PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Schalk van Zyl
 
Comments: 23
Article views: 987
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Schalk van Zyl's badges.
 

Eugenics and Evolution

23 February 2014, 19:38
I've heard it said a lot that the Theory of Evolution and atheism in general are in support of eugenics.

So first off what is eugenics and why would Evolution be linked to it? Well eugenics is simply the practice of selective breeding to ensure that we foster good genetic traits, while also cutting down on the prevelance of bad genetic traits. It's basically what we've been doing with everything form corn to horses over the last several thousand years.

The idea is pretty sound - if we forbid breeding in those people who for example have sickle cell anaemia, then with time the gene will totally vanish from the human population (barring de novo mutations). This would, in the long run, make us as a species much more capable and healthy.

Now since evolution is built around Herbert Spencer's 'survival of the fittest' it does seem to be rather in line with eugenics. "Nature kills off the weak, so why shouldn't man?" - this is what it comes down to.

But you actually see very few biologists advocating eugenics (in no small part due to the terrible practices associated with the Nazi-party), even though most of those same biological scientists support the Theory of Evolution.

The reason for this is a rather simple one when we look at it - why should we, as sentient animals, be compelled to enforce evolution's mandate? Just because nature works in a certain manner does not mean that humanity must follow suite.

Mercy is exceptionally rare among animals, yet we not only condone it, but actively encourage mercy as a good trait among humans.

Getting one's ethics from a mindless and blind natural process seems to me to be a bit illogical. If plate tectonics move continents around - should we start tugging at the earth too? Obviously not, that's just silly. So why would eugenics be any different?

The logic of eugenics is there (although there are many factors beyong ethics I'll focus on at a later time), but the ethical philosophy behind it is on very shaky ground. Long-term the suffering of the world may be less with eugenics than without it, but is that reason enough?

Here's a simple test of that kind of logic - You're a healthy young human with a very rare tissue type, and by some stroke of bad (good?) luck several people in need of different organs match your tissue type.

By killing you and harvesting those organs we can save many lives for the price of one. Would you go along with that? If yes, then you're a nobler person than I am. If no, welcome to the human condition.

Doing evil for good doesn't work out very well, because at the end of the day you're talking about stopping INDIVIDUALS from breeding.

Those individual persons don't care for this 'greater good' eugenics aspires to, they care about themselves and their lives.

So no, atheism and evolution do not support eugenics, because social policies depend on ethically acceptable practices, not cold scientific logic.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
23 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
PeterTracey
South Africans are too harsh with...

Let me cut to the chase today and say that, after years of observing our socio, political and economic situation, South Africans in general are too harsh with each other – whether this is a sign of a normal, growing nation, I cannot tell. Read more...

3 comments 364 views
Submitted by
Victor
Should Christian beliefs be ridic...

If there is one thing that ministers of the gospel and fools fear the most it is ridicule.  Read more...

51 comments 492 views
Submitted by
Jackie Killian
The Loo children

Much has been said about the “dignity” of people who have long drops, or use the bucket system, in this country. Read more...

0 comments 171 views
Submitted by
Linamandla Mpolase
The Art of recovery from failure ...

Coping with failure can be and is a difficult situation, initially it might feel like it is the end of the world and you might wonder what other people are going to think about you. Read more...

0 comments 274 views
Submitted by
Gail Shorkend
Rhino

I think that it is amazing. That a little girl thought of that idea. To use hunting dogs. Lets us hope it works. Read more...

3 comments 70 views
Submitted by
HamiltonTspoon
SA TV dramas, the killer of the s...

During the olden days TV dramas used to teach us, the viewers, a lesson or two about life. The bad guys never won a thing and never succeeded in their lives.  Read more...

4 comments 463 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.