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comment by OftenBen
OftenBen  ·  320 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Long, Slow Death of Religion

Is it a fair assessment, in your mind, to say that people are not, by and large, using religious lines of thought/reasoning to make decisions, regardless of the state of their perceived connection to the divine?

It's the old trope about 'I'm not religious, I'm spiritual.'




thenewgreen  ·  313 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    It's the old trope about 'I'm not religious, I'm spiritual.'

Some would say that there is a very real difference between the two:

OftenBen  ·  313 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's kind of exactly the point I'm making.

A 'Religious' person makes big life decisions with regard to their religion, what their religion believes is 'right.'

A 'Spiritual' person makes big life decisions based on what they think will be the best/most desirable outcome, and look for 'spiritual' justification or solace or comfort after the fact.

I think a lot of people who call themselves 'religious' are actually 'spiritual' and that is what makes it so that 'Christian' can mean Duggars or it can mean Nadia Bolz-Weber.

Trombone  ·  320 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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OftenBen  ·  319 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think that fewer people should call themselves 'religious.' I think that it should be illegal to expose children under the age of 16 to religious ideology or texts, except as historical documents.

I think that if a group of adults all agree to read from an old book once a week and reflect on how they can be better people, kinder to their neighbors, that's great, and should be encouraged. I think that some churches actually have this to some degree, many don't. I think that Unitarian Universalists have it closest to correct, doctrinally speaking. Love everybody, love them so much it hurts.

The fact that prosperity theology exists is proof positive to me that in most instances the Bible in specific and religious texts in general are tools used by clever people to affect the behavior of less clever people. Sometimes those clever people do genuinely want to make people happier/more ethical/moral, sometimes they need a new jumbo jet, GOD NEEDS A NEW JUMBO JET.

Trombone  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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OftenBen  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Is it ethical to put a child through a faith-based education, and to possibly subject them to non-consensual physical alteration (i.e. circumcision or FGM) as part of the faith?

I can't find an argument that supports this except for a biblical one. Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go,

And when he is old he will not depart from it."

And all that's really saying is "Get 'em young so that they aren't capable of questioning it when we tell them to believe hogwash."

Trombone  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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OftenBen  ·  318 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I'd make an exception to my own observation, though, when it comes to physical alteration. FGM, circumcision, anything done without consent like that is unethical.

I don't see how mangling a child's ability to use critical thinking is any different. It causes real-world harm even if it's not done with a knife and a rabbis mouth.

I'm not a parent, and likely won't ever be. I get to sit on my moral high horse and say 'It is never okay to lie to children.'

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    there's a whole bunch of other ways to do this besides religion.

    At this point we leave the discussion on religion and transition into a parent's right to raise their children.

Agreed.

I feel compelled to mention at this point that I am pretty against the idea of most people being parents. I think that bringing a child into the world and raising a competent, self-sufficient, pro-social, healthy, mostly-happy adult is possibly the most difficult thing that a lot of people will ever do, and few are able to do it well.

The harder acknowledgement for me personally, is that human imperfection makes it so that there really isn't a better option than giving people all the freedom we can, all the information we can, and hoping that they make good informed decisions. Every other suggestion on this issue is some form of eugenics, in that formal criteria for who is and who isn't allowed to have babies would be created.

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not sure why, but apparently it's a controversial idea to state that I think the only babies that should be born, are ones who can be born to a pair of emotionally and financially stable adults who have the means and desire to raise competent, self-sufficient, pro-social, healthy, mostly happy adults.

rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Cause that's pretty damn close to Eugenics?

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Natural selection is still acting upon the human species. Changes are being made to our allele frequencies with or without our sanction. I believe that massive amounts of pain and suffering could be averted by making conscious choices about which alleles become more or less prevalent, and that makes me a weirdo.

Tay-Sachs, Harlequin ichthyosis, all kinds of diseases, all kinds of suffering are apparently the price our society is willing to pay to maintain the moral high ground.

rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You said

    I feel compelled to mention at this point that I am pretty against the idea of most people being parents. I think that bringing a child into the world and raising a competent, self-sufficient, pro-social, healthy, mostly-happy adult is possibly the most difficult thing that a lot of people will ever do, and few are able to do it well.

and you said

    I'm not sure why, but apparently it's a controversial idea to state that I think the only babies that should be born, are ones who can be born to a pair of emotionally and financially stable adults who have the means and desire to raise competent, self-sufficient, pro-social, healthy, mostly happy adults.

Which means in your mind, this goes beyond genetics and birth defects. You're proposing a government or some other agency decides who is and isn't fit to be parents, not only for genetic purposes, but since this is stemming from a conversation about religion where you earlier argued that parents shouldn't be allowed to have their children engage in religious study, arguably for ideological purposes as well.

Maybe you ought to reconsider the path of thought that took you down to this conclusion, especially since in other posts you often voice such a vehement distaste for organizations that exert authority over both individuals as well as large groups of people.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Which means in your mind, this goes beyond genetics and birth defects.

Yup. Nature and Nurture and flat out luck determine if you're going to be a saint or a serial killer.

    You're proposing a government or some other agency decides who is and isn't fit to be parents,

Nope, but I know that's the only conceivable idea to put these things into practice. I can only control myself. I'm not going to produce biological children because I refuse to pass on my variety of messed up to the next generation. I can wish and wish for other people in similar situations to take the same considerations, adoption as one example and IVF and embryonic screening as another. Some will, some won't.

My ideal isn't a government agency saying 'Your SAT score was too low, you don't get to have kids, here's a sterilization pill.' it's people with inheritable conditions, or without the means to raise adults self-selecting out of being parents, or else taking measures to address the problems that can be fixed for the betterment of the human meta-animal.

I've examined this a lot. Do you think it's an easy or flippant thing to declare with the certainty that I do that I'm not fit to reproduce? If there was such an agency handing out chemical castrations I'd be the first one to sign up, and be glad for the privilege.

rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Do you think it's an easy or flippant thing to declare with the certainty that I do that I'm not fit to reproduce? If there was such an agency handing out chemical castrations I'd be the first one to sign up, and be glad for the privilege.

Abstinence and birth control (including vasectomies) are voluntary. Fascist and totalitarian laws that take rights away from people? Not so much.

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It is a form of eugenics, because it creates a class of people who are legal adults, capable of making their own decisions, who are legally prohibited from having children.

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The principal is the same. It's about arbitrary conditions set by those in power that can easily be manipulated to disenfranchise others and take away their basic human right to reproduce. That's why it's controversial and that's why it's "pretty damn close."

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

How about, instead of looking at restrictions to alleviate suffering, we look at ways of supporting each other. You know, good schools, good community support programs, good health care and nutrition initiatives, combating poverty, etc. Or should we just continue to dance with concepts of fascism and totalitarianism to take care of every difficult problem?

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Counter argument. More developed nations, such as countries in Europe, Japan, and The United States either have a stable or declining population growth. The only reason half those countries, such as the US, has a growing population is because of immigration. There's a direct correlation between the number of children a woman has, her job, her income, her education level, and the country she lives in. Furthermore, every decade, every year, every month, we're coming up with more and more techniques in engineering, agriculture, and medicine to take care of the people we do have.

Equilibrium is possible. Hell, if it'll really help, bringing down the total global population without resorting to anything drastic or ugly is possible. We just need to focus on programs to achieve those means. You know, ones focused on what I just listed.

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    That's double what we have now, in less than 100 years. The environment can't cope with that stress.

There's a limit, we both can definitely agree on that. I'm pretty certain though, I heard it argued back in the late 1800s early 1900s that the earth couldn't support 1 billion. I think the goalposts move with the development of technology. I think we should continue to develop technology but focus on finding a concrete place to put those goal posts, before we find out how catastrophic that limit might really be.

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I agree things are complex and look grim. I really hope we're not too late here.

    The challenges we face are immense, and unprecedented action is needed to tackle them. We don't have that.

I think we're slowly but surely starting to turn that ship around. Ask China.

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    windmill

Can I just say that I think windmills are some of the most impressive things to see in person? Pictures don't do their size justice.

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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veen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I recommend watching Hans Rosling's The Overpopulation Myth for more thoughts on global population demographics.

I'd also like to point out that worries about overpopulation have been going on for centuries and that it has been used as an excuse for terrible things ranging from eugenics to screwing over the poor. It's not an unimportant issue nor is it wrong to worry about it but it's definitely a problem with a history.

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Something would need to change us from the path we're on, imo, and it's not clear what that may be as of yet.

My depressed brain has one likely candidate. Catastrophe.

veen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

More realistic: misery for billions of people not living in colder, Western countries. The sad part is that you and I will probably be fine whereas someone in sub-Saharan Africa will likely perish, even though we are way more responsible for it.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That doesn't count as catastrophe?

veen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Not the kind of catastrophe that'll get us to change from the path we're on, I think.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    But, as we profess our support for that right we must remember that it causes suffering.

Right, this is sort of the core of the debate.

I don't think that suffering is worth it. Others have a different opinion. I understand and accept the arguments against a government agency whose job it is to tell you if you can or cannot have kids. I don't understand the argument that's in favor of the proliferation of disease-causing alleles.

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    genetic diseases and mutations are necessary.

Mutations yes, known pathological ones, no. Genetic disease, no, not necessary.

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Well it's not like you can have one without the other.

Variation exists that is non-pathological. There are lots of different ways to code a muscle fiber, for example. There are also lots of ways to code half-functional, disease causing muscle fiber.

Believe me when I say I understand how genetics works. I don't pretend that selective breeding is a cure-all, and if it were misapplied, we would lose a lot of beneficial genetic diversity. I'm not against genetic diversity, I think it's important. But the spectrum is wider than just 'good' genes and 'bad' genes, as you stated.

We know more now than our ancestors. That obliges us to use that knowledge for the betterment of the species. That obliges us to use that knowledge to reduce suffering where we can.

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Would it not, for the sake of argument, be a better tactic to use CRISPR methods if the goal is to eliminate the mutant genes?

I look forward to the day when we can do that. I think it's our best hope for a Tay-Sachs, HI free future, among others. I'd love to live in a world where we can drive the disease from our genes so that our kids only have to contend with the struggles they encounter after birth. Some people, for reasons unknowable to me, are opposed to even this most humane of treatments.

    the last time doctors went out with the objective to reduce suffering where possible we got the opioid epidemic.

I don't think this is a fair comparison. Nobody stands to make a oodles and oodles of long-term profit from removing pathological mutations from people. Genetic Therapy would be a service you'd use once, rather than a life-long addiction to a substance.

Trombone  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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OftenBen  ·  313 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    You must agree, though, that misuse of any medical treatment is of concern, including CRISPR.

I completely agree. The point of contention is what qualifies as 'misuse.'

In my mind, removing a gene that is known to be pathological and replacing it with a sequence we know DOESN'T cause disease isn't even a controversial point.

Trombone  ·  313 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Just as a related aside, you will never find a NICU or PICU doctor or nurse who is pro-life.

rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Nice try to muddy the waters there. Eugenics and pro-choice are two different issues.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My point is that it's easy to say that these terrible inherited conditions that leave hours old infants screaming in their death throes are an acceptable price for unchecked, uncontemplated reproduction and the right of individuals to reproduce when you don't see it first hand.

I'm not saying that NICU and PICU staff are pro-eugenics. I'm saying that first-hand experience changes peoples opinions on controversial topics.

rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

And I'm saying that allowing a couple to choose whether or not they're going to keep a pregnancy, and allowing a couple to choose whether or not they even get to try and have a pregnancy in the first place are two completely different things.

So once again, you're trying to muddy the waters.

oyster  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Taking away the right to reproduce would just mean either sterilizing woman or forcing them to have abortions, which is also pretty fucked up and would cause suffering as well on a pretty huge scale. The pro-eugenics side is far from sunshine, rainbows and happy babies. Seeing that as an acceptable price for regulating who can have babies is easy to do when you don't think about it like even a little.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I mean, or you could sterilize men. That's much easier and takes less of a toll on their bodies.

Nobody is in favor of abortion. What I am in favor of is making the best of a bad situation. Do I wish that we had GATTACA levels of technology, and anyone could have their bad genes corrected so that their baby doesn't get Tay-Sachs or Harlequin ichthyosis, and we don't have to have this discussion. But we're not there yet.

I'm not saying it's a sunshine and rainbows solution. I am trying to say it reduces suffering that's inflicted upon hours old infants.

oyster  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You are in healthcare, surely you are aware that woman can pass on genetic disorders as well.

Sure we can reduce suffering on hour old infants but how do you think sterilizing woman and men would actually reduce suffering in the world ? Pretty sure that would cause plenty of chaos which would in turn cause suffering for hours old infants.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    how do you think sterilizing woman and men would actually reduce suffering in the world ?

I think that if fewer babies were born with debilitating, painful, ultimately lethal illnesses, that would be a good thing.

I think if you know you're likely to produce a sick baby, you should adopt or else take measures to ensure that you don't produce a sick baby. I think you owe it to your future children to provide for their health and safety and quality of life as best you can, and that includes their genetic heritage. We have more tools at our disposal than ever before to make that a reality, and I think they aren't used as much as they could be.

oyster  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I mean it just sounds like you are pretty pro-eugenics but you are uncomfortable saying it because like people are obviously against eugenics. There is absolutely no way to make sure certain people don't reproduce unless they are rendered physically incapable. You fantasize about a world free of hours old infants suffering but it seems like it pains you to consider the reality that even with all these technologies that could "make that a reality" it will never work.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In the same way I'm pro-communist in theory, im also pro-eugenics in theory. In practice im against both and for the same reason. They don't work in practice.

rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Maybe instead of entertaining ideas that fail in practice, maybe you ought to worry about entertaining practices that work in reality.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    you ought to worry about entertaining practices that work in reality.

Why do you think i'm pursuing a career in public health?

rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I think if you know you're likely to produce a sick baby, you should adopt or else take measures to ensure that you don't produce a sick baby. I think you owe it to your future children to provide for their health and safety and quality of life as best you can, and that includes their genetic heritage. We have more tools at our disposal than ever before to make that a reality, and I think they aren't used as much as they could be.

    Why do you think i'm pursuing a career in public health?

I think the better question is, why are you entertaining thoughts of eugenics when you clearly know better?

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't describe my beliefs as eugenics, and I think it's unfair that you do, but I don't get to decide what you label me.

There will never be a government agency that tells people they can't have kids. I would never advocate for such a thing and it's frankly impossible in practice even in the most totalitarian of states. What I would like is for people to make honest appraisals of their means and ability to be a responsible parent, which includes the genetic component. I will frankly state that I think less of people who knowingly bring sick kids into the world. Medicine does not exist to try and ameliorate the consequences of peoples poor decision making. Fate throws us enough curveballs, enough suffering without having to deal with conscious stupidity.

rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's it. The kid gloves are off, because this perverse joke of a debate has gone on long enough.

    I don't describe my beliefs as eugenics, and I think it's unfair that you do, but I don't get to decide what you label me.

Except you literally admitted it . . .

    It is a form of eugenics, because it creates a class of people who are legal adults, capable of making their own decisions, who are legally prohibited from having children.

. . .

    There will never be a government agency that tells people they can't have kids. I would never advocate for such a thing and it's frankly impossible in practice even in the most totalitarian of states.

Dude. Eugenics have been around for centuries. You don't even have to find yourself in a totalitarian state to find yourself a victim of eugenics. You want the ugly truth? The real, nasty, ugly truth? It happened here, in America. On multiple occasions. Even worse? We gave the idea to the fucking Nazis. Read that whole thing. It's dispicable. It's disgusting. It's completely, wholly, and without argument, indefensible.

So you can sit there, at your computer, in your chair at home, and say "Oh. I think Eugenics is okay as a thought exercise and I don't see why it's so controversial." The reality though? The reality is for so many countries, it was more than a thought exercise, it was a real practice, with real victims, with long lasting consequences.

Fate throws us curveballs. Entertaining the idea of eugenics, even slightly, is the embodiment of conscious stupidity.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Except you literally admitted it . . .

Yes, your interpretation of what I believe the world 'should' be like is eugenics. I am not in favor of a government agency telling people they can or can't have kids. I do think that lots of unqualified people are parents, and there should be some standard that we can agree on as a society that define 'acceptable minimums' for being a parent. We don't let people with Downs have kids, even in cases where they want them. Not everybody reproduces. Regardless of what you or I believe, changes are being made to the frequency of alleles that develop into the characteristics that make us human. Because of the miracle of modern medicine, pathological alleles that once would have been selected out by the unforgiving hand of Mother Nature are surviving and reproducing. In cases where it's a pure binary of 'dead or not dead' that's a good thing, but in the cases where it's 'Dead or alive but barely, and not really a person with agency or anything like a decent quality of life' that's not a good thing. The population of 'Alive, but barely, and experiencing a lot of pain' is growing, and will continue to grow.

I'm well aware of the history of eugenics. I'm aware of the historical US influence on other countries with regard to eugenics. I am aware of the long history of abuse and violence inflicted in the name of 'racial purity' and various other causes.

Do you think, if you had the experiences that I have had, you would feel differently than I feel?

rd95  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

From start to finish, you've been contradicting yourself this entire conversation, moving the goalposts, and trying to muddy the issue. Either you want to talk about eugenics when it comes to ideologies and a person's capacity to be a good parent, or you don't. Either you want to talk about eugenics and genetics and birth defects, or you don't. Either you want to admit that it's morally wrong and reprehensible, or you don't. Either you want to admit that it's something that past governments have done and is still a risk in today's world or you don't. Apparently, we can talk about this all night because you don't want to commit to any one part of the argument.

So this is my last response.

Deciding who can and can't get married, who can and can't have kids, how they can and can't raise them, what risks they can and can't take, are all up to the individuals. Period, full stop.

Fucking polio, small pox, and the mother fucking flu used to be devastating. We're over that hump. Now we got this hump to go over. Focusing on the genetic, nutritional, environmental problems behind these diseases is fine. Same with poverty. Same with hunger. Same with a shit ton of problems. Once again, deciding who can and can't have kids and what risks they can and can't take, is up the the individuals. Period. Full. Stop.

If you are well aware of the history of eugenics and are even slightly willing to entertain them as a viable idea, EVEN IN THEORY AND NOT IN PRACTICE, you need to accept every last bit of criticism and argument that comes your way, because you are in the wrong. Period. Full. Fucking. Stop.

    Do you think, if you had the experiences that I have had, you would feel differently than I feel?

I guaran-fucking-damn-tee you I do, because unlike you (remember this shitshow of an argument?) no matter what problem I see in the world, never will I ever even consider dances on the fringes of fascist or totalitarian concepts. Furthermore, if I ever do, and it's pointed out to me, I'll scoot my ass away from that fire so quick you'll see a fucking blur and thank the man that kept me from getting singed.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Good talk. I'm totally in favor of sick people having oodles of sick babies now.

But you're outright wrong on one point. If you had lived my experiences, you would be me. That's how being human works. We are the amalgamation of every experience we've had leading up to the present moment.

I hope you never have to experience the things that have led me to believing the things I do.

oyster  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I am not in favor of a government agency telling people they can or can't have kids.

    there should be some standard that we can agree on as a society that define 'acceptable minimums' for being a parent.

What ? How do we standardize something without some sort of agency ?

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    How do we standardize something without some sort of agency ?

I'm open to suggestions. Off the top of my head, we could crowdsource it. Ask people what they think the 'acceptable minimum' is for different things. Keep refining the questions until some sort of consensus is reached. Then somehow get prospective parents to reflect and honestly assess if they are able to meet those minimums.

oyster  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If people want kids, they'll have them regardless of what some randoms on the internet decide is acceptable.

I mean basically you think people should vote for a standard but you're stopping short of saying the standard should be enforced to avoid the whole government thing.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    you're stopping short of saying the standard should be enforced to avoid the whole government thing.

Mostly because it can't be enforced effectively enough to warrant doing it in the first place. And what is government other than some random people?

As you said, people who want kids will have them regardless. I don't think that's a good thing. Children are people too, not just something an adult gets to have because they want one.

oyster  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So what about normalizing adoption ? Currently it's seen as the last ditch effort to have kids for those people who fail in every other way. If it wasn't viewed so negatively than maybe more people would make that choice when deciding if they want kids.

There are actual ways to convince more people to stop having kids they know will be sick that don't involve any sort of voting or standardized list of who can acceptably have children.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's another good approach, but emotionally difficult to sell. Most people who want kids want their own kids, and that's not a moral failing. Maybe it should be?

oyster  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Dude, it's not about looking down on people or moral failing. The more you look down on people, the easier it is to dehumanize them and the less you will care about their suffering.

That's not difficult to sell, it's just an approach that will take a new generation to fully understand. Considering adopting would have less of an impact on a woman's career since she skips pregnancy it could easily start to seem like a positive.

oyster  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That doesn't make sense. Your just for eugenics and communism when you can ignore reality, what is even the point of that ?

Edit: that just sounds like a really depressing way to hate the world for not being able to live up to these idealized concepts.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm a depressed and depressing person. In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, theory and practice are different.

I want fewer sick babies born, and that make me a fascist. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

oyster  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Carrying certain mindsets will make you depressed. Fantasizing about a world that will never exist as easily as you want it too will only make you hate the world. That's your choice but just accepting reality and living fully in it is a lot less depressing.

You don't just want fewer sick babies born, you want fewer sick babies born and your afraid to admit you think people should be sterilized so instead you say that people should want to be sterilized like you would happily do. Not only does that just keep you in a depressing cycle of hating the world it also keeps you away from actual solutions.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    your afraid to admit you think people should be sterilized

Except, I don't think this. But I don't get to decide what you think of me, or believe that I believe.

Spend some time in a NICU or PICU unit. Talk to the parents of a kid who died of Tay-Sachs or Harlequin Ichthyosis. You and rd95 and Quatrarius all go do that. Then please come tell me that you feel exactly the same way you do now about conscious genetic choices.

Quatrarius  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

everybody that disagrees with me is dumb

oyster  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Okay, so then lay out exactly how you think we can achieve fewer sick babies. How are we going to stop people, with the current technology we have, from having sick babies without forcing anything ?

It is sad babies are born sick, it's sad children get cancer. You know what's also sad ? Baby girls being mutilated because the Chinese government thought they could step in and tell people how to reproduce.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Education is the first part, as rd95 talks about. The more educated a populace, the lower the birthrate in general, which helps. But 'education' means more than basic K-12 stuff, it includes sex education, and not abstinence based sex ed either, but actual science based lessons on how human reproduction works and how to avoid conception. And that's unfortunately controversial.

Soon, genetic testing will be cheap enough that large-scale genetic analysis of the general population will be possible, and more people will know what kind of risks they undertake when they choose to get pregnant.

But I don't know how to change someones mind about having a baby if they are likely to produce a sick one. Typically, people don't decide to have kids, they just sort of happen. I'd like to see more people make the choice I have, and consciously decide to not pass on identified pathological genes. I don't know what arguments would persuade someone who had consciously decided to have kids anyway, knowing they could make them lethally ill.

oyster  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So basically you have absolutely no idea how to make it happen.

OftenBen  ·  317 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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