Monday 25 February 2019

Doublethink 27 - Eugenics

Pi is pleased to present another bonus episode of
 Youngjin Kang's Doublethink


Keith said...

‘How would you refute their argument?’ This question strikes me as a tad loaded. Why? Because of the six daunting suppositions that set up the question: the ministry of genetics, gene tracking, ranking (castes), grade assignment, breeding program, tax incentives/disincentives to participation — all government enacted. Don’t these suppositions, likening to big-brother interventionism, equate to a fat thumb on the scale?

But let’s leap over those alarming suppositions and go straight to another of your questions: ‘If you were a parent, would you not want your child to be as healthy as possible and be exempt from any genetic defect?’ I suspect many parents would answer that question with a ‘yes’ — albeit a manifestly qualified yes.

The possibility of averting gene-based ill health in their children might understandably be perceived as a good thing, as far as it goes. But, here’s the hitch, prospective parents might not think so if it meant accepting the diktats of an autocratic regime that very 1984-ish says ‘Trust us’ and that saw fit to impose the unambiguous conditions derived from the six suppositions.

So, instead of the eugenics-styled, perhaps unnecessarily dystopian program portrayed here — shades of 20th-century ‘national socialism’ — perhaps there’s a different model. One where prospective parents get to (freely) plan families — and, yes, perhaps (freely) consider opting for some form of unforced gene screening. Though doing so uninhibited by governmental intimidation aimed at heavy-handedly swaying who breeds with whom.

Thomas O. Scarborough said...

That's right, Keith. We had kept this cartoon in reserve because it does seem 'a tad loaded'. We were depending on comments such as yours to bring some balance to it.

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