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Eugenics? Or simply education.

I think I may have scared someone in a conversation we were having about eugenics. I don't want to scare people here, too, but opinions are good and nice.

I am not saying that I think that we should sterilize the people who a certain group deem unworthy of reproduction. I'm merely saying that there are extreme instances in which case the option should exist, and even in those cases, that it is not *my* right to choose for someone to be sterile.

It's more that I think classes should be available, and in some instances required, in order to have children. Obviously the logistics would need to be worked out.

At Orange Avenue Community Center, and at Magnolia Terrace, there are mandatory classes that the tenants must attend in order to be able to live at those housing projects. They can pick and choose which classes to go to as long as they fulfill a minimum requirement. It seems fair. Very cheap housing, a safe community center where your children can play, and all you have to do is listen to a couple lectures a month, about things you may not have been previously taught while growing up.

It's amazing how much of our country's stupidity is because of a lack of available education.

Should there be a minimum IQ, standard political test, or other form of weeding out the unknowledgeable, in order to vote?



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
A. "It's amazing how much of our country's stupidity is because of a lack of available education." True, and not just for our country. There's a study just came out about how playing with children or even giving them something to play with alone makes a huge difference in IQ. http://www.wetmtv.com/mostpopular/story.aspx?content_id=8a9ae0f0-0086-4fe8-9911-ce52d17988ab Apparently in some very poor areas kids are not stimulated enough. Seems easy enough to give them or make them a toy, even if you're poor, but if you don't realize what a difference it could make you might not make that a priority.

The question always has to be, who does the educating? The government housing thing seems fair on the surface, take a class to get free stuff, but who designs these strings. In some prisons you have to take religious (Christian) classes in order to qualify for some benefits. http://freeinternetpress.com/story.php?sid=9580 I'm sure many people think that is perfectly okay and beneficial to the prisoners.

B. "Should there be a minimum IQ, standard political test, or other form of weeding out the unknowledgeable, in order to vote." No way!! We're a democracy because we let even stupid people vote. There's no way that a system like that could ever be fair. We already exclude enough people (teenagers and felons for example).
Jan. 8th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
But *should* we let 'stupid' people vote, assuming we could come up with a valid assessment system?
Jan. 8th, 2007 06:23 pm (UTC)
There is no such thing as a valid assessment system in this case... if we don't agree with someone's political views its not truly a democracy and if you are trying to determine one's "intelligence"-- its near impossible. Many people may not be able to take an SAT like test (and some people are just not test takers) but they might be able to see who liars and cheats are... then you have Harvard educated men who will still vote in the best interests of the few and not the country.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 8th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC)
Exactly. There's no way to enforce the course. That is, unless we could figure out some way to medically turn "on" and "off" the reproductive organs with no harmful side effects. The thing is, unless you can make every single person elect to turn theirs "off" it would have to be a regular medical procedure at birth. Then when they complete the class, congratulations, go to the doctor and then you can have children.

I don't see this happening, certainly not in the near future.

As for a literacy requirement to vote, it seems unfair. Just because a person can read doesn't mean that they have knowledge to make the decisions while voting. And just because a person cannot read doesn't mean that they wouldn't be extremely knowledgeable about the political systems. And then you have to factor in blind people, etc. It also comes down to literacy not being a black and white issue. Is there a grade level a voter has to read at? Who determines the grade level of the test? or of the student? What about people on the dividing line?
Jan. 8th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
So you really believe the government should have the right to determine whether or not you can have a family? Even if a person takes a class, it won't stop them from being a bad parent if they were already on the road to being a bad parent (in most cases). I agree with a parenting class perhaps being offered in high school, but I can't imagine it being very successful. Just like health and drug courses, there won't be enough funding, the teachers will be dimwits and kids will consider it an easy A course.

Everyone should have the right to make their own decisions about their family and their health. If they truly do not offer the child what it needs or mistreats the child, we already have systems in place (that could be improved) to handle those situations... which I think are the only situations in which a person lose their rights as parents: abuse.
Jan. 8th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
As I stated before, I don't think anyone has the right to take away a person's right to reproduce. This is simply for discussion, and trying to come up with methods that could alleviate the problems caused by these situations (poverty, child abuse, etc)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 8th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
Requiring someone to take a pill is.. not going to happen. Free birth control would certainly help the problem, but without classes or reasons on why to take it, I don't see it being effective for those who need it.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 8th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
I would hope that the program, if implemented, would be more effective than DARE.

I think it would have to be something done over several years. Young children aren't going to be able to understand certain things, but if you wait too long, you run the very high risk of not helping teenage pregnancy, which is where many of the problems in question stem from.
Jan. 8th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
I think there should be required parenting classes for everyone in high school. You don't graduate until you pass. It's a heck of a lot more useful than learning to diagram a sentence.

But some people drop out. Or they're too developmentally retarded or socially maladjusted to enroll in high school in general. I think you have to let them have kids anyway.

In part it seems like an issue of justice. IMRHO, it is legal and right to take away someone's child if there's sufficient proof they abused the child. But it's not right to take away a child (or the ability to have a child) just because you think in advance that they might do a bad job of raising them.

I would add that such a restriction would be difficult to enforce. Suppose a fair, unprejudiced, objective judge decides that "Jane" is unfit to be a mother. Do you demand that she take the pill every day? Or send cops to find her, hold her down, and inject her with a contraceptive every X months? Drugs can be counteracted, IUDs can be removed. How brutal do you want to be?

I think eugenics, parenting licenses, and so forth could do a lot of good in terms of preventing child abuse, overpopulation, inherited genetic defects, etc. But the cost in personal freedom is too high.
Jan. 8th, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
Where do you get a fair, unprejudiced, objective judge? See my comment in reply to masterific about how to enforce.
Jan. 8th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, there are cases where people shouldn't be allowed to reproduce. As some other posters commented, the issue arises because who gets to decide that? There are women who have had all their children taken away. When they have another, the state just can't take the child on the assumption that she will neglect/abuse that child also. I, personally, could care less about her rights here. The idea that the child can't be taken away until she abuses it is downright dumb.

It always reminds me of that line from 'Parenthood'- You need a license to drive, fish, hunt, etc, but any jackass can be a parent. (Tod; not verbatim)
Jan. 8th, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC)
You're right. We should prevent the problem instead of trying to "fix" once the damage has been done.

What should be done for/to the people in these situations?
Jan. 9th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC)
Political test? No. Minimum IQ? no. Weeding out the unknowledgelable? Ideal, but unfortunately, no. Of course, you should never understemate the power of stupid people in large numbers,.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


Much like pineapples, I am hardcore.

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