Essay On A Defense Of The Moral Principles Of New Eugenics

3313 Words14 Pages

Dylan Crowe
Ms. Cross
EH103-01
27 March 2022
A Defense of the Moral Principles of New Eugenics
Eugenics was once a well-respected and accepted scientific field, yet, now, it is viewed with scorn and distrust. Throughout the early twentieth century, the ideas of eugenics were widespread, with many nations, such as the United States, implementing various elements of it with the goal of enhancing their nation's populace. However, during the 1940s, it became untouchable after some began questioning the ethics and morality of improving humanity through selective breeding and the methods used by Nazi Germany in furtherance of genocide and racial hygiene.
Despite being deemed politically untouchable by the international community, some nations and …show more content…

They argue that the previous forms of eugenics inherently permit and, indeed, support racial prejudice. First, in the case of negative eugenics, for instance, in his article, Adam Rutherford states that the sterilization laws of the United States "primarily target the poor and those with disabilities and [numerous minorities]" (Rutherford 1419). Rutherford rightly claims that these forced sterilization laws wrongfully targeted individuals whom the state deemed to be undesirable, with the understanding that these individuals were undesirable due to their poor genetic lineage. Second, similar to the argument against negative eugenics, Robert Ranisch cites that the privately run positive eugenics events of the early twentieth century, the Better Babies Program and Fitter Family Contests, propagated pseudoscientific and racist ideals by awarding families due to the quality of their lineage, which, at the time, was judged by the racial purity of the family (Ranisch 217). Despite lacking state support, these positive eugenics still managed to encourage the same racist theorems as the authoritarian eugenic programs. Third, as new eugenics has yet to be implemented, except in an isolated incident, there are no precedents of its usage in the propagation of these aforementioned racist ideas; however, Ranisch argues the liberal language of new eugenics is not new; rather, it draws from the ideas of positive eugenicists, emphasizing the responsibility of the parents to ensure the best possible future for their offspring (Ranisch 217). Even without state support, positive eugenics was strongly supported by pseudoscientific and racist ideologies. The association between new eugenics and positive eugenics implies that new eugenics is vulnerable to these ideologies. Each of these arguments explains

Open Document