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  1. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    Ethics in Bio

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by hilal, Feb 24, 2016.

    Reading a evolutionary bio text book on my own accord. Answering the question in it as well. I answered this question. Do you agree with my answer? These are just my views.

    Question
    Recently there has been controversy about ability to screen foetuses for certain
    genetic abnormalities. If an abnormality is found the parents could then make the
    decision to terminate the pregnancy (this has happened with disorders such as
    Down’s syndrome). Is this ethical? Is it ethical for parents to choose the sex of their
    children in this way? Is this ethically no more justifiable than eugenics?


    Answer
    This is a very interesting question and like many interesting questions the answers will vary. And not all of them will be clear cut. For the first part that is it ethical? The answer according to me is that given the circumstances it is very ethical. Geoffry Miller in his book the mating mind talks about that we humans have engineered how we are though generations of mate selection. Is it ethical to leave a girl just because she is not pretty while her medical bill shows no diseases? The fact is that the mind has evolved to screen certain features and what is and isn't attractive(its decided by natural selection).

    Now when the power has shifted from the people(quite literally) and has become more personal(similar to the evolution of computers) people are talking about whether it's ethical or not. Questions like this always arise i believe and this is a guess, that people raise questions like these when they lose power and control. Or when they see others getting more or about the same as they have been getting(and they don't like that equality(sort of become of Marxism)). But like i said this is a guess or for a better word a really disorganised hypothesis.

    It is ethical to choose the sex of the child this way, after all a boy like that will be a burden to society and the last I checked society wasn't doing too good. Eugenics is a great idea and I am very much in favour of it because as I said humanity has always been engaged in eugenics since the dawn of time. There are certain traits that men find attractive and vice versa. Again those who deviate too much are thrown into oblivion. The problem with eugenics which is its undoing(everything carries the seeds of its own destruction) is that many of the worlds geniuses, that eugenicists wants to mass produce were the results of two idiots coming together.
     
  2. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    I entirely disagree. You're equating mate selection with terminating a fetus. Further, I think you misunderstood the second question. The second question was about whether it would be ethical to terminate a fetus SOLELY because its parents want a child of the opposite gender. No defects, just the wrong gender. Not only do I find the idea abhorrent, but from a pragmatic stance it's dangerous. Look at the gender imbalance in China created by the One Child policy. You could see something similar develop.
     
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  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    When it comes to the termination of pregnancy, I think the unavoidable issue is whether, and at what time, the developing fetus becomes a person. If we're talking about a "person," then of course these kinds of terminations seem ethically problematic. If we're not, then what does it matter the reason for the termination?
     
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  4. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    I'm equating mate selection with eugenics.

    For the second part I can only say that parents would want the best for their child. You agree or disagree with their choice . After all if your a parent you will agree with that statement. If you could increase your child's I.Q in pregnancy its a safe bet that you would do it. I would do it,everyone would do it, after all we want our children to have the best start. Is it okay to abort female foetuses? Maybe not but I'm not a parent so I will not comment on something I know nothing about. Than again a parents knows best.

    It's good that you have brought China up, you have greatly helped my case. Michio Kaku has said that don't be surprised if you see a Chinese flag on the moon in the year 2020. So if a man like Michio Kaku is saying that about a country that only got it's independence in 1949 than I'm sure they know better than you or I.

    For your concern with ratios, I will say that nature balances everything in the end.
     
  5. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mate selection isn't the same thing as ending a being's existence.

    China's technical prowess is irrelevant.
     
  6. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    I'm not comparing mate selection to abortion. I said that already.

    On the second part, maybe.
     
  7. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    I think it more an issue of the accessibility of the technology. Abortion has saved many lives and then again its used for wrong things. Wrong is a very subjective term. In the end it's all about power. Just like the gun lobby, which doesn't allows gun control.
     
  8. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    Except that you are. Abortion can be and is used as a subset of eugenics, as is euthanasia.
     
  9. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    If your definition of eugenics is aborting female foetuses than your definition of eugenics is flawed. I told you twice already. I didn't, if your applying the mantra that if you can't persuade them than confuse them you have done a rather poor job. If your defending your case you need to give more than just write "subset of eugenics". And even you are unsure, betrayed by your word choice of 'can'.

    Give examples to support this claim that you have made. What I can induce from this is that you believe it's better to have an unhealthy baby than to be labelled a eugenicist. So if there is an nuclear attack, the families should not have the babies aborted and have them born disfigured is that what your saying?

    Read my answer again and you will see that I'm comparing mate selection to eugenics. While your saying that abortion is equal to eugenics. That's like saying that anthropology should be a subset of cosmology as we are all made up of stars.

    A=B=C, A=C. Abortion has a negligible part to play in eugenics because if the society was one where this sort of ideology was carried out than there would be very few abortions because 'the undesirables would never have children'. So no need for abortions because the right people are having sex while the others aren't.

    So you saying that abortion is eugenics is not a very strong argument at all. It's equivalent of using citric acid for your car battery. It is an acid but it won't make your car work.
    When did mercy killing became eugeinces? You need to be more clear with your word choice.
     
  10. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    I used "can " because abortion isn't always a tool of eugenics. I said you're equating mate selection with abortion because the question and your response featured instances of abortion. It's flawed because an abortion prevents the fetus from ever having a chance at reproducing, while most people can find a mate somewhere in the world, even if they are considered "ugly".

    Let me make this clear: I said abortion can be a tool of eugenics. I did not say it was eugenics. For instance, population control can be regarded as a form of eugenics. The Chinese government used forced abortions to enforce their one child policy.

    I'm sure you're aware of the eugenics program put in place by the Nazis, which featured forced sterilization and ultimately euthanasia of undesirables.
     
  11. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I think it's a threshold question. If the fetus is not a person, then what is a "wrong" reason for abortion?
     
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  12. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    Yes and while we are on the agenda of making things clear, let me tell you for the third and final time that I said mate selection is like eugenics. Okay.
     
  13. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    What connection are you making here? Mate selection is like eugenics? Mate selection is a very, very mild form of eugenics. Saying that mate selection is okay does not mean that all eugenics is okay.

    A boy like what?

    You should probably back this up. By most measures, we're doing pretty well, at least in parts of the world.

    One very, very mild form of eugenics has been engaged in for a long time. But just because something's been happening forever doesn't mean it's good, and even if it is good in a very mild form that doesn't mean it's good in more extreme forms.

    Imagine a person cutting her fingernails. That's fine--people have been cutting their fingernails forever. It's neither good nor bad, but it's been happening. It's a form of body modification, but a very mild form. You can't extend this fact into an argument that it's okay for someone to rip off someone else's fingernails, or cut off their own fingers, or arms. These are also forms of body modification, but they're way more extreme.

    Your logic doesn't really hold up. Try to read other people's responses and understand what they're saying rather than getting defensive/aggressive and see if you can figure things out.
     
  14. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    Over thousands of generations the effects start to add up. Men preferring blonds, waist to hip ratio etc. So the reason why we find certain traits desirable or beautiful is because our ancestors preferred them. This is not my argument but Miller's. Mate selection is okay and I never said all eugenics is okay. In-fact if you read my answer's last paragraph you will see how I discredit eugenics. Do you want me to show it again?

    A boy that will be born deformed.

    Global recession my dear. If you say there is no recession it's because you have grown accustomed to it. I believe that is proof enough.

    You may put an infinite number of very in there but that wont change the fact that a butterflies wings can bring about a hurricane.
    Exactly, one has no business telling others if they can abort a child or not.
    I like the fact that you agree with Miller's view.
    Do you know why women of west Africa are some of the most beautiful ? It's because they kicked the ugly ones out.

    I'm neither being aggressive nor defensive I'm only answering questions and waiting for your logical reason.
     
  15. BayView
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    Your last paragraph where you say "Eugenics is a great idea and I am very much in favour of it". That last paragraph? Or is there a different last paragraph where you make more sense?

    It's ethical to choose the sex of the child because... a boy will be born deformed? What? I mean, yeah, penises are a bit goofy looking, but they're not really deformities, are they?

    So... that's economic rather than social, but even so, I don't think a recession is a good reason to abort fetuses...

    I can't decide to hope this all makes sense in your brain and it's just the communication that's the problem, or whether it's better to imagine your brain is as jumbled as your presentation...

    So we agree, most forms of eugenics are a terrible idea. Good.

    I'm really not sure I understand Miller's view, since I've never read him myself and you don't seem like the most reliable source for a synopsis. I'm certainly not confident that I agree with his view... whatever it is.

    I think this is going to be another of those threads that's more aggravation than it's worth, so I'm out, now. But... enjoy your... debate?
     
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  16. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    As I said earlier, you misread the question. It asks if aborting a fetus because of a defect like Down's Syndrome is ethical. It then asks if aborting a child not of the parents' desired gender is ethical. Two separate matters.
     
  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Though if you answer yes to the first, perhaps the answer should be the same for the second.
     
  18. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can say that the moon is like cheese. That doesn't mean that we accept your definitions, no matter how many times you reiterate them.

    My dear.
     
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  19. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    And I answered, it's the parent's choice.
     
  20. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    Yes the last paragraph where I say "The problem with eugenics which is its undoing(everything carries the seeds of its own destruction) is that many of the worlds geniuses, that eugenicists want to mass produce were the results of two idiots coming together." That is in the last para, or does your definition of a para something totally different than mine...I wonder.


    First of all it's ethical to abort, according to me if a child will be born deformed. Second people have been trying to choose the sex of their children for a very long time. It's the parent's decision what they want. Making people not abort foetuses is just as 'bad' as doing the job for them(I'm talking about how society intervenes.)
    And this is where your argument falls apart. Because on the one hand your saying how eugenics is bad while on the other hand your enforcing the very same idea(parents shouldn't abort female foetuses). A society where parents aren't given the freedom to abort is as bad as a society that does the abortion without the parents consent.

    What a narrow definition of society. Your allowed to think what ever you like but that doesn't changes the facts.

    It's the butterfly effect that I'm talking about. A little change over time adds up, how do you think you got here. Evolution, that's how. It didn't happen on a single day. It would help if you would shift your focus from my brain to the metaphors that I use. Don't Imagine but feel.

    I already answered that. Stopping people from aborting and forcefully doing abortions is one and the same. Now please don't tell me one is less bad than the other because that doesn't makes them any good.

    Google.

    Pleasure to make your acquaintance.
     
  21. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    Perhaps. I really like your DP.
     
  22. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    I never said that accept them(when did I say that?).I was only telling the other member that they are making a wrong connection.
    This is the very first line of my answer. I'm telling my dear readers that answers will vary, to the question. An educated man reading that would have understood it.
     
  23. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    No one ever thinks about the fetus' desires, now do they?
     
  24. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Exactly. If it's not up to 2o weeks, the threshold for pain, it does not really matter, because it's consciousness and nervous system are still sub-developed, it's not truly a human being. Especially if it's just a blastocyst or a zygote; nobody should be worried about those.
     
  25. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Well, in most real abortion cases, the child does not yet have the capacity for desires, because it's a clump of cells, or a half-developed fetus, rarely is a fetus aborted at conscious functioning level, for the obvious reason that past that point it's more difficult to justify. And heck, even when the child's in the middle of being born, if it's a direct threat to the mother's life, the doctors will ask her if they can abort it to stop a fatal miscarriage. And they can't ask the child, because it can't talk and it doesn't have telepathy. Yes, the child should be considered, but mothers usually love their babies, and doctors are obligated to follow guidelines that consider that.
     
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