First, read: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/08/gay-gene-eugenics

Now, without getting into the question of the morality or immorality of homosexuality (at least directly – it will inevitably come up indirectly), I have a question and seek an answer.

It seems that the pill the author is talking about doesn’t have much to do with an already existing human person, but only with human persons potentially. Certainly, contraception is an immoral act against potential people. It denies their ability to exist, makes impossible the end of the sexual act, etc. etc. (there are better formulated arguments against contraception than this)

However – again, if I am understanding the way this pill works correctly – what exactly is wrong with taking medicine to prevent future children from having not merely “undesirable defects” (one might consider things such as race, hair or eye color, male- or female-ness to be defects) but from having chemical imbalances which drive them towards unhealthy or immoral behavior? It isn’t peverting someone’s free will – it seems to be simply setting the conditions for one to live a healthier or more virtuous life.

For example, if one family had a history of schizophrenics, what would be wrong with a female from such a family to take medicine which would set the conditions for her children to be less susceptible to schizophrenia? It’s not 100% natural (not that most of human life is), but is there anything wrong with this?

Obviously, this is a very dangerous issue, since what exactly would be ok and what would not be ok for this procedure is pretty hazy, and the risk of prejudice coming in is high, but…

Well, any thoughts?

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3 Responses to “eugenics”

  1. Wade Bass says:

    The way I understand it, homosexual tendencies are different than the chemical imbalances or genetic factors that cause things like Schizophrenia or Bipolarism.

    While people with said disorders may have some control over their actions, I believe that as a whole their behavior is less-controllable than your standard human’s sexual actions (not their desires or urges, but the actions that come out of those desires — something that is more or less entirely in a healthy person’s control).

    God gives us what we need, and sometimes we have to deal with thorns in our side in our “bodies of death” that purify us. I wouldn’t wish homosexual tendencies on anyone, but there are plenty of instances where people who have them can and do overcome those and live completely ordered and loving lives. I think Joe Carter is right when he says that messing with things that we think cause post-natal behaviors in the womb opens a Pandora’s box (key word is think; it sounds like the researchers involved really don’t have a very strong handle on some of this stuff, definitely no certainties at this point).

    While it might be desirable to try and root out the problem at what we think is its source, perhaps it’s not a chemical or genetic problem at all. We’re fallen creatures, and as a result our souls aren’t perfect. Maybe these are spiritual defects given to us as purification, and even the most powerful pre-natal treatment isn’t able to find them or treat them–only trust in God can help us overcome them!

    Looking forward to that first pipe, I’ve got to get a good one before I go back to school. See you next week.

    • Michael Williams says:

      Wade, for now I’m only responding to your final comment. I’ll say this: wait to buy a good pipe until you get to Boston, so you can get it from L.J. Peretti’s, the finest tobacconist in the land. That’s where I got my pipe and pipeweed, and they’ve been more than enjoyable thus far. Alex Aune told me that Cigar Masters downtown doesn’t even bother to make pipeweed because Peretti’s does it so well. We’ll go sometime next week.

    • Michael Williams says:

      Wade, you certainly have a point in that we don’t really know whether this treatment will do anything to reduce a certain kind of behavior or not. That takes many a year of testing to figure out – testing which is, yes, of dubious moral quality (read: probably immoral). Hard to argue with you there, though I believe I admitted as much in my original post.

      I also agree with you that people with homosexual tendencies can’t be much blamed for their desires, especially when those desires are biologically fed, rather than formed by one’s character. And I agree with you that God sends us sufferings, crosses, to purify us and make us focus more on Him rather than the things of this world.

      My main question basically is, do we take things the way they are, or do we try to make them better? Schizophrenia was not a good choice to use as an example. Say the males in one family have had a tendency to violence for the past few generations. Perhaps there is some genetic or biological factor in this historically testy temper. The question is: would it be wrong to undergo a treatment which would, without adversely affecting any living person (chiefly the mother), lower the chances that a person born would have a similarly testy temper? Again, this isn’t mere cosmetic biological programming, but is aiding a potential human being in living a life of virtue and avoiding one of the seven deadly sins (anger). It’s not programming a person to be a robot but giving an extra boost for said person to live a good life on earth. Do we (or should we) give less credit who don’t struggle with temptations as much as people who do?

      Anyways, again, these are all speculations. My gut tells me that you’re right. A cross borne of natural causes might just be Providence at work. Food for further thought.

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