Eugenics: Man Vs God Essay

1125 words - 5 pages

Eugenics: Man vs God

“The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
-Margaret Sanger, “Woman and the New Race”

Seven-foot, blonde haired, blue-eyed super-humans bearing the swastika and marching in perfect Aryan rhythm, bred to be smarter, stronger, superior. This is a typical image when people hear the word eugenics, but there are two distinct branches: negative eugenics, which looks at removing undesirables and degenerates from society, and positive eugenics, which looks to promote the positive hereditary traits within society. In this essay I will Look at both sides of the eugenics argument in order to find a conclusion.

Margaret Sanger, controversial birth control activist and negative eugenic supporter, expressed her view in her book “Woman and the New Race”, which was all too common in a war-ravished world where rationing and bombing were an everyday occurrence and an astonishing 60,000 American's were forcibly sterilized, some as young as 10 years old, after their state deemed them mentally, or socially, handicapped.

The modern day eugenics movement all started with Francis Galton who, in 1869, proposed that procreation between the upper class men and the wealthy women could lead to a superior race. This led to the American Eugenics Society being founded in 1926, a society that wanted restricted access for immigrants of inferior genetic makeup into America as well as the right to sterilize the insane, retarded and epileptic within the country. This was with a view of furthering humanity and improving the gene pool by preventing the poorly endowed (genetically speaking) from continuing their blight on the world.

In Vitro Fertilization makes positive use of eugenics. One of the major advantages would be the ability to choose healthy donor samples for couples using IVF. Of the 4.1 million babies born in America, approximately 6,150 have an extra copy of chromosome 21, the cause of down's syndrome, although only 4,370 are actually born with this genetic condition as the others are aborted during the pregnancy in order to try again for essentially superior and healthy children. Using the advanced screening techniques and using only healthy samples for IVF treatment would help to prevent abortions and, in effect, could actually be a strong argument for the pro-life movement.

This screening has various negative connotations, however. Many people have concerns about this type of screening, especially in countries which believe in gender superiority (e.g. China and India) which could lead to a eugenics being used as a gender bias rather than the health of the child. "It runs the risk of turning procreation and parenting into an extension of the consumer society" argues Michael Sandel, a Harvard philosopher. Some argue that a particular gender should not be regarded the same as an illness or disability and those who would regard it as such will likely abuse the technology used in order to gain a...

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