God, Evolutionary Ethics, and Eugenics
by James Hart
WE IN THE EUGENIC MOVEMENT are not interested in competing against Adolf Hitler or Karl Marx for some minuscule little 1,000 year reich. We are interested in competing with Jesus Christ and Buddha for the destiny of man. Eugenics and evolutionary ethics involves much more than merely the mechanics of selective breeding like we humans were merely a new breed of cattle or a new strain of wheat. Evolutionary ethics is an entirely new understanding of man and his relationship to the universe. (ILLUSTRATION: By our actions today, we determine who shall exist in the future: Latona and Her Children, Apollo and Diana by William Henry Rinehart)
From the beginning of time, man has searched the far reaches of space for another consciousness and another power that could control the destiny of the universe. While we searched in vain to the ends of the universe for an unknown entity, we ourselves have acquired the power to build nuclear suns; to fly through the air like Apollo’s chariot; to reach out and touch the stars; the surface of Jupiter; and to probe the depths of the sea: powers that once were ascribed only to God. Could it be that God is not something that was, but rather something that is to be? Could it be that the universe was not the end of creation, but just the beginning? Could it be that we are evolving into and becoming that very God for which we searched?
When man came into existence, for the first time in forever, the universe could think and feel and see and purpose and direction were born amid the black chaos of space. In us, the universe has evolved into a mind and a conscience and a potential beyond that of a thousand super novas. All the mountains and all the volcanoes and all the suns in the universe are as nothing compared to the life and the consciousness and the brain of man. The most powerful sun in the universe could not even build so much as a table; could not think about itself; could not build a microscope to examine itself; could not build a telescope to examine the universe around it. As the most powerful organizing and directing force in the universe, man is the corporeal manifestation of the universe trying to comprehend and control its own destiny.
Perhaps we are at once the purpose of the universe and the means through which that purpose is to be fulfilled. If we are the center and focus and fulcrum of the universe through which everything is seen and understood and done, our value and our moral responsibility and religious significance are infinite. If we are the mind and soul of the universe trying to comprehend and control its own destiny, our first moral responsibility must be to preserve and improve the human species because if we do not exist, we can not direct the destiny of the universe.
The central thesis of evolutionary ethics is that there is no abstract standard by which to judge the value of human life except the quality of that life itself. If the human race actually does destroy itself, it is of only academic interest that we died fighting for or against. Since all abstract standards of value by whatever name: religion, justice, freedom; are merely human qualities and human creations, without human life, they mean nothing at all. Human concepts or inventions are only a manifestation of what we are, and without us, they are no more important than an empty icon, a hollow imitation, a picture of life. The most brilliant physics, the most compassionate religion, the most efficient politics has no more value than a stone tied to a stick compared to the sacred divinity of the race of man that created it. If the human race exists and improves, they can all be created again but without the human race, the universe is an empty void, an empty anarchy without purpose or meaning. Is there any book, any idea, any religion worth more than the existence and improvement of the human race? No! We created all these things. How can they possibly be of more value than we who created them? If we survive and improve ourselves, we can create infinitely greater in the future.
If we are, as evolutionary ethics suggests, the consciousness of the universe that must determine the destiny of the universe, then good is what improves us and evil is what weakens or destroys us. Good and evil are not myths. Good is what promotes social cooperation toward universal human improvement because that increases man’s power, consciousness, control and chances of survival. Evil is putting loyalty to a human construct: nation, religion or politics; above loyalty to preservation and improvement of man because that causes conflict and decreases the chance of survival and advancement. It is not necessary that we all agree to be Christians, atheists or communists. It is only necessary that we recognize the deity that we have in common with all men; the life within our mortal bodies.
Eugenics and Dysgenics
Man has a tremendous ability to influence the destiny of the universe because of his highly evolved brain. While man’s scientific technology is developing by quantum leaps, we are destroying the very intellectual faculty that gave us this capacity just as surely as a pianist would destroy his capacity by cutting off his hand. Every day we are crippling and maiming the children of the future by injecting into them the genes that cause poverty, suffering, starvation, famine, disease, physical and mental retardation causing in effect the degeneration and anti-evolution of the human species. Paradoxically, we have been conditioned to believe that we are doing all this in the name of the highest morality. Indeed, we are told that it is the epitome of compassion, charity, social responsibility and even religious duty to spend time and money maintaining the unfortunate children who are retarded and incapable of taking care of themselves. What of our moral responsibility to protect the right of future generations to be born physically healthy and mentally capable? It is only because of our highly evolved intellectual capacity that we were able to develop the technology to keep these genetically poisoned individuals alive. Ironically, we are using the intellectual capacity that made us great in order to destroy that capacity itself.
The purpose of human action is and should be to increase man’s knowledge about and power over the environment. Each year, we spend billions on education and nutrition for our children in order to increase their power to control the environment and thus produce a higher standard of living: Yet, we ignore the most pertinent and significant factor in human power, which is intelligence. The Encyclopedia Britannica acknowledges that at least 75% of the variation in intelligence between individuals is determined genetically and only 25% environmentally. We are ready to blow the world up in a nuclear conflict between Lysenkoist environmental determinist fairy tales like capitalism and communism and 2,000 year old ghost stories that could have been written by Bram Stoker or Mary Shelley, but we are too meek to take any action on a public health issue like eugenics that could directly improve the human condition without war.
Eugenic techniques like gene splitting and selective breeding are considered good when applied to plants and animals to produce advances in medicine and food production, but should anyone have the temerity to suggest that these eugenic techniques be used to protect our children, he risks being labeled as a nazi or racist. One actually hears the argument: eugenics is evil because Hitler believed in eugenics. Is everything that Hitler believed in wrong ipso facto because he believed in it? If Galileo had been a mass murderer, would that prove the world was flat? Eugenics is a moral commitment, not a racial affiliation.
This schizophrenic attitude toward eugenics is muddled and confused further by the pseudo-intelligentia of sectarian atheists, humanists and socialists who think of themselves as the most liberal and objective free thinkers? Instead of entering into an honest discussion of eugenics, they catechize us with slogans like “we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal.” This fanciful slogan is interpreted by egalitarians as a pseudo religious mystical ‘divine right of birth’; that is parallel to the medieval concept ‘divine right of kings’. In medieval times, a child who happened to be born to a king was thought to endowed with a metaphysical divine right to control the resources of the earth and the destiny of man. In modern times, according to the ‘divine right of birth’, a person who happened to be conceived and born because of the chance combination of sperm and egg and a thousand other happenstances is thought to be magically endowed with a mystical supernatural right to command the resources of the earth and the destiny of man. Both the ‘divine right of kings’ and the ‘divine right of birth’ involve the medieval assumption that those who happen, by chance and coincidence to have been born, have somehow more right to control the resources of the earth than those who did not yet happen to have been born. The ‘divine right of birth’ has no more validity than the capitalist assumption that those who happen to have been born with wealth have somehow more divine right to use the resources of the earth than those who do no happen to have wealth. The procreation of children is a combination of caprice, opportunism, greed and chance in much the same way that the acquisition of money is. The socialists and sectarian humanists would claim, with some validity, that an economic system is valuable only in so far as it contributes to mankind as a whole. To a much greater extent, this premise should be applied to the birth of each individual human being.
An even more fantastic objection to eugenics comes from superstitious people who base their objection on what they call religious or moral grounds. They claim that if a child is born retarded, it could only be because it was the intention of some all knowing and all powerful entity who wanted the child to be born retarded. Do we really believe that a child is born because of immaculate conception: because some ghost comes down and picks one sperm out of millions and matches it alone with the egg and determines that the child will be born with downs syndrome, mental retardation, spina bifida, and club foot and that it would be a sin against the ghost for a human being to protect his own children from physical and mental defects? What is the difference between this attitude and that of the Jehovah’s Witness or Christian Scientist who refuses medical treatment for his children?
Do we have a right to determine who will be born in the next generation and thus who will control and direct the destiny of man and the universe? We are already doing that through the tax and welfare structure. A person who accepts responsibility for restructuring society in one generation automatically becomes responsible for the effects of that restructuring on future generations. “The pattern of present births is the pattern of future population.” Suppose we continue the present policy of encouraging the least capable members of the human race to reproduce by giving them encouragements, welfare grants and rewards for bearing more children? In the end, there would be more people consuming goods than there would be people who had the ability to produce these goods and the very people we were trying to help would starve.
The existence of man depends on the genetically capable individuals because they are the only ones who can maintain society. If the capable individuals are not born or educated, all the people will starve. In order to prevent human suffering, we must first take care of those who can maintain civilization rather than those who will never be able to contribute. It is irresponsible for any society to adopt a social welfare system as they have today, without adopting a eugenic welfare system in conjunction with it. We must consider the future good of mankind. The premise of working for the greatest good for the greatest number is correct, but we must include in that number all the children who will ever be born in all the days that will ever be not just those who happen to have been conceived and born and who happen to exist at this particular stage in evolution.
Redistribution of life support away from the productive and creative members of the more “favored” socio-biological class to the less “favored” socio-biological class through the tax and welfare structure causes genetic change in the next generation. We as a species will change as a result of this redistribution. Our present welfare system is redistributing life support systems away from the capable to the incapable and thus reducing the genetic quality of future generations. We are indulging in unnatural selection by giving welfare to non-producers. We are creating a whole generation of parasites and problem makers and preventing the birth of those very people who could solve those problems. It is not a question of beginning or initiating a eugenic program. It is a matter of recognizing that we have already begun an anti-eugenic program which is a suicidal and disastrous one because it selects the inferior for survival and eliminates the superior. We are practicing eugenics in reverse. We are causing the reversal of evolution. Since we are already manipulating genetics, we should be made conscious of our responsibility for the results of our actions on future generations. We are responsible for what our children will be. We can no longer plead ignorance. We have a voluntary choice to make between superior and inferior, between prosperity and starvation, between evolution and devolution. Doing nothing is a choice and a disastrous one. Shall future generations consist of people who are fertile or of people who can contribute to culture and civilization?
Opponents of eugenics claim that man is a tool making animal now and that genetic improvement is no longer necessary. The fact is that the level of civilization that a life form can maintain is a direct result of and is delimited by the intellectual capacity of that organism. Intellectual capacity is genetically determined. Environmentalists claim that man can fly now, but it has not been necessary for man to develop wings through genetic mutation. The sea otter also uses a rock as a tool to open oysters. The twentieth century sciences of earthmen are as paltry as the otter’s rock compared to the infinite achievements open to us if we continue genetic as well as cultural evolution. Those who allow man only mechanical innovation while prohibiting eugenic improvement are dooming children of the future to live the life of a rat in a Skinner box. The constant degeneration of the human species caused by the present dysgenic welfare system will result in our children becoming crippled by genetic defects. Is the fate of mankind to become a quadriplegic vegetable hooked up to life support systems from which he can never be released? Because of our timid, careless, irresponsible, neurotic cowardice, we are jeopardizing the very survival of the human species.
If man is responsible for the rain forest, the spotted owl and the snail darter, does he not have at least an equal responsibility for his own children? Eugenics is not cruel. On the contrary, it is the highest expression of concern and love for the children of the future. The suffering in this world is not caused solely by environment but partly by genetics. Thus, the cure for poverty, ignorance, or famine must involve genetic improvement. Poverty, ignorance and starvation can only be eradicated by removing the genetic and environmental combinations responsible for this human suffering. The cause of our suffering is within us. The source of our salvation is also within us.
To be continued
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