Philosophical study of life, death, and nature

Home > Other Pages > Discussions > This page



Back to home

About this site

Eugenics and Disabled People 2

*Part 2   (Part1 is here)

Re: Eugenics and good life
(41/M/Japan)  9/15/00 8:43 am

Disabled people do not have the same attitude towards selective abortion. Some say that selective abortion is ok, but others say selective abortion threatens the lives of disabled people. And some Deaf people sometimes state that they want deaf children instead of "normal" children. I know a physically disabled woman who said that she did not care whether her baby be disabled or not, and she did not test her fetus.

Disabled Peoples' International Europe announced "The right to live and be different"

They say,"We demand an end to the bio-medical elimination of diversity, to gene selection based on market forces and to the setting of norms and standards by non-disabled people." and "having a disabled child is not a special legal consideration for abortion".

Japanese disabled groups have said the same thing since 1972.

What do you think of this?

Disabled people
(M/, Miami, FL)  9/15/00 9:57 pm

I would say that disabled people have a right to feel the way they do. If deaf parents want deaf children, I am not opposed to that.

On the other hand, people who do NOT want to have disabled children should not be forced to have them because of pressure from disabled people. I would say that people have the right to use technology in any way they wish which does not interfere with the rights of others.

Consider this: people can pass laws against genetic engineering, but this does not make it impossible, merely illegal, and therefore probably less convenient and more expensive.

There are 211 nations on the country: if Niue or Vanuatu or Burkinsa Faso or Malawi wish to allow genetic engineering clinics, does the UN have the right to bomb them or force them to cease and desist?

Also consider this: You have a patient and a bunch of doctors who are practicing genetic engineering. But if they are asked what they are doing, they just say that they are doing sonograms or traditional prenatal care. Should the police send spies intop hospitals to make sure no child is genetically engineered? Should we put the doctors in Jail, o the patients, or both?

I see laws against genetic engineering as essentially unenforceable in any free country. Poilticians can do their usual osturing, but it is like abortion: if the doctors and the patients do not report it or tell anyone, how is the law to know? Reproduction is about as personal thing as anyone ever does.

Re: Disabled people
(41/M/Japan)  9/16/00 4:17 am


What do you think about human cloning? It does not seem to interfere anyone's rights. An international religious cult, Rael, began to create human clone because they believe humans are copy of God. And they plan to research in a small country where no regulations exist. See their site:

As for disability, I have something to say more later.

(M/, Miami, FL)  9/16/00 4:32 pm

Th Raelians are the guys with the combined swastika and Star or David logo, aren't they? I have seen them at the Miami Bookfair and have read some of their literature.

I think that they also believe that a messenger of God from outer space, a French-Canadian who now calls himself Rael, is their leader. God of course, is pretty much just another human except for being eternal and living in outer space. They are sort of weird.

I wonder whether there would be some mental connections between the newly cloned being and the donor clone, or between brother r sister clones.

There are too darn many people on the planet to need cloning from a practical perspective, but of course, a dozen cloned Michaelangelos cound not be an entirely bad thing. I don't believe.

Re: Disabled people
(21/M/Sacramento, CA)  9/19/00 1:24 pm

Mr. Eldridge,

You wrote, "I would say that people have the right to use technology in any way they wish which does not interfere with the rights of others." I wonder how you have come by these rights? In fact, and perhaps John Rawls would like to jump in here, I not sure how you can countenance rights at all.

You later wrote, "Reproduction is about as personal thing as anyone ever does." I'm not sure how creating another person can be considered personal but assuming that it is, I am still not willing to concede that anything can be considered to affect only the initiator of action. By this I mean to say that to view each person as individual and separate in terms of causal relationships, although a popular position, is not well founded. I for one am more inclined to take the view that any distinction between you, the computer screen and me is arbitrary and meaningless in the most fundamental sense.

disability again
(41/M/Japan)  9/27/00 10:56 am

Peter Singer once said that if other things are equal, no one prefers a life with disability. What do you think about this? I know your opinions are different from each other. Is there anyone who agrees with Singer? As for me, I disagree, because I know a disabled person who says either life is ok. But it may depend on the bitterness of disability.

Re: disability again
(31/M/Sweden)  9/27/00 11:24 am


Peter Singer might be the most famous one but also Torbjörn Tännsjö stated this argument a long time ago and others to i guess. Its a kind of Utilitarian argument that you would prefer two arms instead of one since the utility (in the sense of use) with two would be higher then with only one, all things beeing equal.

I must agree here, id prefer life without disability and mayby if you ask your friend what he would do if he got to choose for his children then what would he choose ?

Lets put it up like this:


1. Let the throw of a dice decide wheater his child would be born with the same disability as him.

2.Decide for himself if his child would be born with the same disability or not.

If he is totaly indiffrent to his disability then he ought to choose option nr 1 since that doesnt cost any mony and takes no effort. The toss of a dice is the same for me as the hunch of nature or act of God or whatever.

I sure can understand that people dont think that they need their offspring to be checked in advance if the only disability that are inheritated in their family history are somthing of little importance. But if its some deadly decise then i cant understand it, if the option is avalible and not to expansive.

Peter Singer has other intressting topics on his list that id love to talk about so just shoot !

(M/, Miami, FL)  9/27/00 8:24 pm

I am sure that I would be happier with three arms or four, at least on some occasions, and I am singularly unpleased with the design of teeth. On the other hand, I can get by just the way I am.

Getting old is no fun, IS better than the alternative.

Re: Disabilities
(31/M/Sweden)  9/28/00 4:34 am

Alittle trivial perhapes I wouldnt be so sure that I would be happier with three arms if you consider the social norms and the social punishment that do exist in every society for deviant people.

Not that I praise konformism but you have to consider the possibility of beeing a freak with three arms. Mayby the utility in the sense of use are more proper and then for those wanting to reach a physical perfection would love to have three arms or more but as I stated before im not a perfectionist.

Three armedness
(M/, Miami, FL)  9/29/00 3:23 pm

I think I woiuld hide one arm unless I was doiing something miraculous with all three at once.

Re: disability again
(41/M/Japan)  9/30/00 8:41 am


I once asked her(the person was female) if she checked her baby or not, then she said no. She left it to the destiny or the natural process, and she decided to accept any results. So she chose the throw of dice you mentioned.

I think she, by so doing, avoided selecting the quality of life of their baby. I believe this is a kind of "rationalism," though it is not utilitarianism.

I heard that a woman decided to give birth to her severely dameged baby only to hug the baby. The baby had severe disabilities, so he/she died soon surrounded by their parents. In this case, which is better, killing the fetus, or to let the baby be born and die naturally afterwards?

Re: disability again
(M/, Miami, FL)  10/1/00 11:38 pm

I would say that what is best depends on the parents first and the baby second. Allowing the child to be born sounds more humane, but is it really, if the child is in constant pain?

Re: disability again
(31/M/Sweden)  10/2/00 6:01 am

Mr Morioka,
I must say that i can understand the parents that you mentioned but when i can stand outside and think straight about the issue i must say that such a behaviour only satisfies their own egos and at the same time hurts the child.

But its easier to stand beside and tell others what they ought to do then to do it yourself. I hope that i wouldnt have done what they did since it benefits noone.

But are one able to choose not to choose ? Isnt that a choce itself ? Im not sure here but mayby one can do that in cases where the context is a forced one that you didnt choose yourself or...??

Here's a question
(M/, Miami, FL)  10/4/00 6:20 pm

If your wife was carying a two-month old baby and the doctor said that unless something was done, it would be born deformed, but that you could be 90% sure of solving this by agreeing to a DNA procedure, would it be immoral to do the procedure?

Suppose that instead of the baby being deformed, it would be very short, but could be made taller than average by diddling with the DNA? Would THAT be immoral?

I personally see nothing wrong with either decision.

As I see it, when we almost entirely banished leprosy, THAT was "playing God", except, unlike Jesus, we cured darn near everyone.

The only reason not to play God is because one hasn't the ability to do so.

God, after all, invented human teeth, now, didn't he?

Re: Here's a question
(31/M/Sweden)  10/5/00 3:17 am

In general I agree with you woebagger. I can tell you all that now there has been a child born in the US using IVF with preimplantatoric featus diagnostics as a method of selection. This was made for two reasons

1. to see to it that the child shouldnt be born with the same deadly inherited decise as the cupples first child has.

2. to make him a donar of blood and other things that i dont know the english word for in purpose of trying to save the other childs life.

I think this is good anyway, it reduces pain for all parts and its not a racist or nazist act against the other unborn festuses according to me anyway since they are to be measured the same as other abortions with the exception that these are beeing made in a much earlier state. There are no relations what so ever to these other unborn featuses and no funerals will be hold, they will simply be thrown out with the garbage..

woebagger's question
(42/M/Japan)  10/20/00 9:33 am


I am now free. I caught cold, though. I am very sorry for my absence.

Ok, your first question was as follows:

>If your wife was carying a two-month old baby and the
>doctor said that unless something was done, it would

>be born deformed, but that you could be 90% sure of

>solving this by agreeing to a DNA procedure, would

>it be immoral to do the procedure?

I think basically this should be admitted in our society, however, there may be an immoral factor in it. This procedure is called gene therapy on a fetus. As long as it be an "ordinary therapy" it should be done if parents really hope. Then, what is the immoral factor? I think those who decided to perform this kind of therapy unconsciously "denied" the existence of the disabled people who have similar deformity. This is a really delicate point, but it is also true that some disabled people have sticked to this very point. In this sense, the procedure has some immorality, but this immorality is not so bad as to prohibit the procedure. Let us imagine. driving a car is immoral in that it causes lung cancer. However, we should not stop automobiles only bacause of that particular reason. But anyway, it is true that driving a car is immorality-free. I think this also applies to gene therapy.

your next question:

>Suppose that instead of the baby being deformed, it
>would be very short, but could be made taller than

>average by diddling with the DNA? Would THAT be immoral?

Similar thing applies here. By doing that you belittled short persons, so you unconsciouly "denied" the existence of short persons in a sense.

Hence, you said:

>I personally see nothing wrong with either decision

but I think there is something wrong in it.

Everyone knows that in our society there are lots of immorality. Can you imagine a world where nothing immoral exists? Most important thing is to question immorality inside us and try to overcome it.

Anyway, I do not have a clear cut answer to this question.....

On the horns of a dilemma
(M/, Miami, FL)  10/20/00 10:38 am

I don't think you are really belitling short people just because you want a taller child. Am I insulting the sushi chef everytime I eat a cheeseburger? Is buying a Pokemon a slap in the face to the creators of Hello Kitty?

I would say that I am saying that I would prefer a taller son or daughter, which is a matter of taste rather than of morality.

On the other hand, it might be collectively immoral for a whole society to constantly want taller children, because bigger people take up more space and eat more, and there aren't that many advantages to being tall.

So from the standpoint of history and society, you are right: this is a step towards a collectively immoral decision.

Kurt Vonnegut's solution
(M/, Miami, FL)  10/20/00 10:43 am

By the way, welcome back, I hope you are feeling better, and are glad that I didn't have the last word here.

American novelist Kurt Vonnegut in one of his books (Hocus Pocus perhaps: it is the one with the recurring motto "Lonesome no more") speaks of a time in the future where the Chinese solve the overpopulation problem by miniaturizing themselves (after exterminating all the cats, dogs, rats and mice). They become as asmall as insects and then disappear, but reappear as a virus, and then get even smaller and disappear from even microscopic view.

Perhaps we should strive for smaller peoiple instead of fewer people. But we would have to get rid of the mice and roaches first.

Re: On the horns of a dilemma
(42/M/Japan)  10/20/00 9:15 pm


Thanks for your comment.
You said:

>Is buying a Pokemon a slap in the face to
>the creators of Hello Kitty?

but, I am not talking about the "creators".

If you *were* Hello Kitty and saw someone remodeled Hello Kitty into Pokemon, you would feel something negative.

Mutant Kitties and Pokemen
(M/, Miami, FL)  10/23/00 10:41 am

Is the plural of Pokemon Pokemen or Pokemons?
Is the plural of Maalox Maaloxen? Imponderable questions.

But if couple X, who is unrelated to you, decides that XC, Jr. will be seven feet tall because they want a son who Dennis Rodman will respect, it does not make YOU taller agains your will. In a very real sense, parents who decide that they want a naturally blond child are that child's creators.

But this decision is not a slap in the face of all of the fiune (and unblond) people of Japan, Mongolia, Bolivia or Togo.

Re: Mutant Kitties and Pokemen
(31/M/Sweden)  10/23/00 5:38 pm

People do these kinds of choices even today as we speak.. Someone today gets a message that the ultrasound shows this or that "deformation"on the fetus.. Someone else gets a message that the test of the featuswater shows this or that "deformation"..

They all get confronted with a choice wheater to make an abortion or not.. Some chooses to do so and other chooses not to do so..

So the choice is already present here today and I cant see any moral diffrence wheater this choice comes after one technique or another technique..

Mayby its morally better to make that choice after a technique like pre implantatoric featus diagnostics since it spares the parents the inconvenience of an abortion and lets assume that the fetus can respond to pain then we avoid even more suffering¨with this technique..

Also the question if the rejected fetus is a slap in the face to people alive with that rejected deformation.. If so then there are alot of slapping going around in the world today..
But do we see protests agains techniques like ultrasound etc? Not much anyway, the only protests we see are those agains abortions in general.. Some of these abortions would be avoided with this "new" tech..

I must say that in general i agree with woebagger but of reasons of justice and fairness i dont want the tech to be used for those purposes that you use as examples.. I also think that we should advance slowly with this tech so that we know that there wont be any backlashes in the long run..

Re: Mutant Kitties and Pokemen
(42/M/Japan)  10/24/00 6:07 am


You might have missed the point, woebagger. Let us imagine that you belong to Hello Kitty tribe, and I belong to Pokemon tribe. These two tribes look very different but they share some genes. One day, someone who belongs to Pokemon tribe has a fetus, but it looks very Kitty. She thinks, "Oh, what a ugly baby it is! It looks like Hello Kitty! I do not want such a baby. I want to manipulate the fetus' body and change it into Pokemon-like figure." Then she does. If some Hello Kitty person hear this event, what would he/she feel? Nothing?

ps. Probably, the plural of Pokemon would be Pokemons. I like Pikachu, and Yadon, but I do not know their English names!

Re: Mutant Kitties and Pokemen
(42/M/Japan)  10/24/00 6:18 am


You wrote:

>If so then there are alot of slapping going
>around in the world today..

and I agree with you on this point. I think we should admit that there are lots of slapping and insulting and discriminations around the world. Then we can go on to think what we should do for our happiness.

You said:

>we should advance slowly with this tech

I agree. We are now rushing without pondering. Humans must think. This is why I want a new type civilization. Marx thought the same thing, but he couldn't invent a social system. But his legacy is big.

Re: Mutant Kitties and Pokemen
(M/, Miami, FL)  10/24/00 12:12 pm

I would imagine that the Kitty-ites would be perhaps angry, but they should simply assume from this that parents that are able to have childen should have the right to have the ones they want. If I buy a Hyundai should Toyota or Nissan drivers get all upset?

Of course, these particular Pokemon people just wanted a taller Pokemon.

Re: Mutant Kitties and Pokemen
(42/M/Japan)  10/24/00 7:04 pm


Yes, Basically people have the "legal right" to have a baby they want. But it is also true that Pokemon woman did something "morally wrong." As you pointed out, "the Kitty-ites would be perhaps angry". This fact (=they are angry) shows that this is not a matter of "taste" but a matter of "morarity."