In chapter II of a Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley, Huxley makes some very bold statements on the current state of our nations increasing technology towards medicine. This leads to the formation of the idea that we need to institute a eugenics program.
Though there are many drawbacks in using eugenics, the ultimate goal is very beneficial. Huxley gives a very clear example on why we need a system like eugenics when he states an example which involves introducing a cure for malaria to a tropical island. Suppose someone was to go to a tropical island with DDT and wipe out malaria. After two or three years, hundreds of thousands of lives are saved.
Though the intentions of this act were good, there would now be a lack of shelter, clothing, education and food to go around. Though a quick death by malaria was avoided, now there is a slow, undernourished feeling of death creeping all throughout the island. This is a perfect example of how the disruption of the natural selection process can cause chaotic damage to a societyInstead of giving out drugs to help keep alive people (people who might have been dead without them), eugenics can be used to reassure that there are no bad defects in someone whence they are born. Think of all the handicapped people that are born (Armless, legless, blind, deaf, retarded, etc?). Instead of sustaining these people after birth, there should have been a way to prevent all of these defects from occurring in general. If we were to apply some sort of science to maintain a healthy baby at birth, we might not be seriously disrupting the natural selection process.
When most people think of eugenics, the first thing that comes to mind would have to be Hitler. What we must remember is that Hitler’s form of eugenics is not what I am inferring here. Eugenics consumed the German medical, biological and social scientific communities in the decade before World War II. Many physicians and scientists were frantic about threats they saw to the genetic health of the nation posed by the presence of inferior populations such as Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and, and African people. The steps they took to protect against the public health disaster of a polluted race were so awful, and so immoral that they have changed all following discussion of the ethics of both human genetics and eugenics.
The things to remember when using a technique such as eugenics, is that there is no evidence to support the biological theory of the innate inferiority of races or the biological superiority of specific ethnic groups. This was the main understanding of Hitler which led to the Holocaust. In applying eugenics, one must keep in mind that they cannot force sterilization of someone, commit infanticide or genocide, and most certainly cannot force someone to partake upon using eugenics to form a child that is to their liking. The effects of such a system of birth on our society is one that may come highly pleasant if the right precautions are taken.
As seen in the movie Gattaca, one must not form a discriminatory view towards those who have not been conceived through the use of eugenics. That is why medical history of those who were born through eugenics should not be revealed to anyone, and there should be no way for one to find out if they have been or have not. Parents should not treat their kids differently based on the idea upon them received through the use or absence of eugenics. This is comparable to Frankenstein in a way.
Though Frankenstein created the monster, he should have treated it with the respect that it deserves since it was now a life as any other. With the lack of this treatment the monster is enraged and therefore wreaks havoc. If we don’t treat the people the same either with eugenics or without eugenics, there will just be a lot of civil unrest till a catalyst comes along to form a civil war between eugenic people and non-eugenic people. This is in essence the same theory behind the NATO bombings.
Eugenics is not a bad thing when it comes to introducing it to an unformed egg. Without it, the world as we know it will be faced with overpopulation which will lead to many other things. To house the overpopulated people of the world, new buildings will have to be built, which in turn will lead to the destruction of more forest and farm area. To feed the people, we must use up more of our country’s farming resources. To accommodate the people, we deplete our already diminishing fossil resources even more.
Eugenics helps this cause in a sense, that the government/people no longer have to support those born with a lot of genetic defects. Instead of somebody with no hands surviving through the help of the government, the government could have put that money back into the economy and that person could have been doing farming or something worthwhile if they had been exposed through a process of eugenics. In conclusion, the use of eugenics to help resolve our natural selection problems would be quite feasible in our society. It can be seen as a safe way to maintain a steady population of healthy, hardworking people without the drawbacks of genetic impurities.