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[P]
Is the Need to Breed Outweighing Common Sense?

By catseye in Op-Ed
Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 06:53:12 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)
/etc

On February 13th, CNN ran a story entitled New fertility clinic guidelines aimed at HIV parents. Even if proper treatment of an HIV-infected mother lowers the risk of infecting the baby during pregnancy and birth from 20% to 2%, why would an HIV+ couple, or any couple with a high risk of passing on a horrible or fatal condition, want to pass this on to their children?


There are many types of illnesses and conditions that seriously reduce quality of life and life span, yet time and time again people plan children when they know that there is a high risk of the genetic disease or condition being passed on to the child.

For example:

  • A person with Cystic Fibrosis has a 50% chance of passing it on to a child, if the partner has an unexpressed gene for it and a 100% chance of passing on the unexpressed gene for it to children if the partner does not have the gene.
  • A person with Marfan Syndrome has a 50% chance of passing it on to a child.
  • A male with Hemophilia will pass the carrier gene on to all girl children, allowing them to have infected sons or carrier daughters.
  • Muscular Dystrophy works the same way as hemophilia.

As well, there is some thought now that psychiatric disorders such as clinical depression, schizophrenia and bipolor disorder can be inherited. Genetic research is now being done to see whether there truly is a link.

Even if a link has not yet been proven, it does appear to run in families. I've talked to many people, on and off line, who have this or similar disorders and was not surprised to find that a parent had it, along with siblings and other close relations. Many times they feel it runs in their family, too, and they feel their children will probably suffer from it.

On women.com, which used to have a lively, fairly intelligent message base going before it got absorbed by iVillage and turned into stereotypical girlie tripe, there were several bipolar mothers who were having problems with their bipolar children, or worrying about problems later in life if their children were diagnosed. All these women had children on purpose, after being diagnosed, and with the knowledge that they would have a good chance of passing it onto their children. (Regardless of scientific validity, it was their belief and that's what's important.)

I asked these women how they could, in good conscience, pass along a debilitating condition that they were suffering from and hated. Across the board, the answers were selfish. The most striking was, "I deserve to be happy." I wasn't quite sure how to respond to that without being insulting, so I didn't, but I was very disturbed. As well, women were complaining that all 3, or all 4, or all 5 of their children had ADHD and they were concerned their latest pregnancy might produce a similar child. I was staggered. If all your children had serious personality disorders, why would you keep having children? When I asked, the answer was, again, a selfish one. "Because I want to," "Because I like having children," or "Because I like being a mother."

I can write off the lack of common sense or compassion in those with psychiatric conditions because, well... they have psychiatric conditions, but I wonder if this incredible selfishness is the same reason that those with purely physical conditions feel the need to take the risk that they will pass their suffering on to their children. In the future, perhaps even the near future, there will probably be a way to weed out those genes so that people who suffer from genetic diseases can safely have children, but we're not there yet. Until we are there, what do we do?

I say "we" because it is more than just a family problem, it is a societal problem. For those with physical disorders it's mainly a fiscal problem. We're doling out money for worse causes than medical treatment for sick children, so I'm not really complaining about that. For those with psychiatric disorders, should they be proven to be genetic, the problems are more widespread. Untreated, manic phase bipolar individuals can be dangerous to themselves and others. (I knew someone who went off his medication, started a bar fight, and last I heard is on the run with a charge of attempted murder against him.)

Should people with disorders like this be counseled against having children? Objectively, I'd say yes... it's the responsible, practical and compassionate thing to do. It's the ultimate act of selfishness to bring a child into the world that you know will die young after a short life of suffering, yet, who am I to tell someone, "You're not good enough to breed"?

Any ideas, or do we just sit tight and wait for medical science to come up with a way to weed out defective genes?

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Related Links
o New fertility clinic guidelines aimed at HIV parents
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o Also by catseye


Display: Sort:
Is the Need to Breed Outweighing Common Sense? | 131 comments (106 topical, 25 editorial, 0 hidden)
VERY GOOD (1.63 / 11) (#3)
by AmberEyes on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:30:28 PM EST

YUO == VERY GUD TROLL!!!!!

That's a good idea. Eugenics, basically. See, we find everyone who isn't like us, and is therefore inferior, and we find a way to never have to deal with them again. Once, that was done by burning people alive in ovens to control who would be alive later to breed. You seem to prefer the term "weed out defective genes".

Wouldn't it be a nice concept to live in a world where people like you don't tell people like the rest of us who we should have sex with, when, and how many kids we can have? Ever consider that one of the things that makes this world so wonderful and exciting are those flaws in people, whether they are obvious, or barely noticeable?

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
Can we stop it with the "troll!"? (5.00 / 3) (#6)
by ODiV on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:36:58 PM EST

I'm sick of it. You would've had a mostly nice post besides.

--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
OK (3.00 / 2) (#7)
by AmberEyes on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:39:39 PM EST

Cover that first line up with your hand.

Cover the following with your hand as well: Catseye is a troll.

Thank you, and remember to repeat this simple proceedure whenever you are assaulted by the horrible word (cover with hand) "troll".

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
Oh yes! (4.50 / 4) (#8)
by roam on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:39:42 PM EST

Ever consider that one of the things that makes this world so wonderful and exciting are those flaws in people, whether they are obvious, or barely noticeable?

I just can't wait until I breed with someone so I can have my life fullfilled by a child! Sure I'm a carrier of a disease and my child would have a high chance of having the disease, but it's my happiness we're talking about here! I don't have to consider any effects of my actions except how I would feel if I don't get what I want!

I think the article is talking more about educating people on risk factors rather than "burning people in ovens". Knee jerk much?

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
Erm... (4.00 / 2) (#15)
by AmberEyes on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:51:41 PM EST

If you don't want to have kids because you've got AIDS or something, fine, don't do it. I mean, you're the one having the kid and all.

My fiancee's-sister's-fiancee's-sister (I think I got that right) had some horrible illness that the doctors said would mean that she had 2 weeks to live, tops, after she was born. She survived for 16 years, before dying recently due to that illness.

Now, a few people said that perhaps it was better she died because it wouldn't be a burden on the family, etc, and of course the family took great offense at this, because they recognized that she had a good life while she was here, and she was taken care of.

If the person who has the disease wants to live, and the people who are taking care of him/her don't mind it, then why the hell is it such a goddamn problem for people like you and catseye to leave them alone? Why do you have to get in their faces and bitch and moan about how awful and evil it is?

That 16 year old didn't mind. She wasn't rolling her wheelchair into the street to kill herself because she liked living. Her family liked taking care of her. It brought them closer. It expanded the love. In this day and age, that's a good thing.

I'm fine for educating about risk factors. Hurray for that, and I encourage it. But where I draw the line is when catseye starts posting crap like how evil, selfish, and other moronic reasons she's employing to justify why he/she feels uncomfortable having to accept that some people would rather celebrate life and it's ups and downs.

And no, what catseye is talking about is called eugenics -- preventing and selectively allowing breeding to weed out undesirable traits. You can sugar coat it as much as you want to, but that's what she's talking about. Sorry.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
Sorry (4.00 / 3) (#16)
by roam on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:59:50 PM EST

But you're wrong.

You're entire story about your fiancee's-sister's-fiancee's-sister is entirely irrelevant to this story, because the child was already conceived... Now if the mother had information about what could be the outcome of the pregnancy before she even had sex, don't you think she would have been able to make a better educated decision about birth control?

The article makes no mention about forcibly controlling who can and cannot breed. I belive if a mother looks at the risk factors and decides she doesn't care because she "wants to have a child", then she is selfish.

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 0) (#42)
by AmberEyes on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:02:06 PM EST

Now if the mother had information about what could be the outcome of the pregnancy before she even had sex, don't you think she would have been able to make a better educated decision about birth control?

I deliberately left that part out. I leave it as a fun, mental exercise to the reader.

Remember what happens when you assume something?

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#43)
by roam on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:06:16 PM EST

I assumed she would do the right thing and think twice about birth control, since you've left it up to me and she had the child, she obviously didn't consider it, thefore acting for selfish reasons.

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
So... (none / 0) (#50)
by AmberEyes on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:23:08 PM EST

You are of the opinion that if you have the mere potential to pass on a "bad gene", and following that, whether it appears at birth, or later, you shouldn't have children? Wouldn't that be kind of counter-productive? Who can safely say they have pure breeding stock?

And that leads into the obvious problem of who makes the list of "acceptable" and "unacceptable" genes. I mean, unless there's a well agreed upon list, eugenics supporters are kind of tilting at windmills, aren't they?

Whose genes are claimed as "clean"? What diseases should we "screen"? How much micromanagement should we engage in in regards to those?

Is it ideal to have people who are sick being born into this world? I suppose if you subscribe to a genetic utopia concept, then no, but is it really better to get involved in eugenic-like conceptualization of who should be passing on what, and to whom?

The problem is that the article inherently assumes that something can be done about this. Genetics isn't perfect -- some diseases and disability, luckily, are fairly constant in how they move through a system. Others seem to engage in a bit of bad luck, a few wierd skips over a generation or two, and wham, it pops up when you least expect it. What odds are acceptable?

What if someone has twins, and one of them will have the disease, and the other doesn't? Do we deny one of them their life? Deny both?

You're painting people with this selfish brush, when you (nor I) even understand the complexity of the systems -- both the genetic system, and the cultural and moral systems -- that this topic lies in. Personally, I err on the side that diversity (which, btw, is shown to keep populations alive -- sometime you ought to look into what happens when a healthy and propserous biological systems are that doesn't show genetic changes encounters a disease) is better than strictly controlled breeding.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
You're painting me with the black and white brush (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by roam on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:29:29 PM EST

You are of the opinion that if you have the mere potential to pass on a "bad gene", and following that, whether it appears at birth, or later, you shouldn't have children?

No. My opinion is that the parent should be educated about the risk of potential diseases that their child might have. Then I think they should take a step back and objectively look at whether they want to have a child or not. Which is one of the major points in the article.

If they still decide to have a child, thats their choice, I don't advicate forcing anyone into anything, but I am entitle to have my own opinion on it.

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
Risk factors (4.50 / 2) (#34)
by TON on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:32:37 PM EST

Many people may have already seen this article in Wired on Autism/Asperger's syndrome. Even if a condition may be known or suspected to result in children, knowing the longer term results is very difficult. Risk factors are easy to spot, but the complex interactions may be difficult to predict. What are the possible positive effects?

Risk is just that; a chance. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. You never know.

"First, I am born. Then, the trouble begins." -- Schizopolis

Ted


[ Parent ]

I completely agree (none / 0) (#44)
by roam on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:08:39 PM EST

That's why I'm trying to defend this article from knee-jerk pseudo-activists who are trying to twist it into something else. I believe in educating the person on all possible risks.

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
I wish the trolls would die. (1.24 / 25) (#5)
by Ken Pompadour on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:36:48 PM EST

That includes you, Catseye. PS in a previous post, you admitted that you've breeded as well. Presumably, this article is not only a troll, but also an ego-stroking piece of mental masturbation, designed so that you can pat yourself on the back for having offspring that are genetically superior ubermensch.

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
bred (3.71 / 7) (#9)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:42:02 PM EST

The past tense of "breed" is "bred".

Peoples Front To Reunite Gondwanaland: "Stop the Laurasian Separatist Movement!"
[ Parent ]
*sigh* (3.00 / 3) (#21)
by catseye on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:04:55 PM EST

You're going to be a complete dick every time I post something aren't you?

Yes, I have a child, and yes I'm sure I have genetic issues, but none are debilitating. My kid is short and will probably be nearsighted, but he's not going to suffer from anything fatal that I knew I would pass to him. That's what I'm talking about, not simply good looks, intelligence and physique.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]
questions ... (none / 0) (#100)
by pooka regent on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:08:24 PM EST

I remember a quote I found in a Reader's Digest about this issue (but, unfortunately, I can't remember who said it):

"Some people say that we can wipe out genetic diseases in a generation or two simply by not allowing any fetus at risk to be born. But ... just because we have that power, who says we should use it?"

You're certainly right about some genetic tendencies' not being fatal, but what do you do about the perfectionists in the area? Absolutely everyone has some tendencies toward genetic diseases, and with science advancing the way it is, more and more things may be found to have a genetic component. What do we do when a large number of those (of a serious nature) are found? If we prohibit anyone who has those diseases from having children, you're going to block essentially everyone from reproducing and quite possiblydrive the species to extinction.

How far is too far? What is really considered serious and what isn't? What is not fatal may cause much suffering; are we to save people who might have them from a proposed life of misery without even taking into account any good that they can do?

These cases have to be considered on an ad hoc basis, really; people are not just their genetic flaws, and neither they nor any children they might have should be treated as such and denied existence on that one condition.

You might not have intended to start a flamewar over eugenics, but that subject invariably comes up in situations like this. What gives people the right to decide who lives and who dies? Are we to concentrate the power to make such decisions into a small group of people, since such power would tend to corrupt most people?

To sum all of this up, what should be done to ensure the least amount of suffering and denial of existence?

[ Parent ]
reply (none / 0) (#116)
by catseye on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 09:40:44 AM EST

While it's my opinion that some people probably shouldn't be breeding, at least out of respect for the child they will cause to suffer, I can't see any positive outcome of legal prohibition and wasn't really considering that as an alternative.

Voluntary eugenics is different, however, and I don't see that as being anywhere near as bad. I think maybe if more people would sit down and talk about family history and speak to their doctors about it before having children, we might see fewer children with problems.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]
Flamebait, but (3.80 / 5) (#10)
by tombuck on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:43:35 PM EST

...genetic differences make things interesting.

I know intelligent people, stupid people, ugly, good-looking, rich and poor people.

Damn it, I'd be bored stiff if all these people and I were perfect. Or would I? Hmm...

Were I genetically engineered to this degree... well, it all links in with Brave New World, doesn't it?

--
Give me yer cash!

Screw Eugenics... (4.40 / 5) (#11)
by SnowBlind on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:44:51 PM EST

Just reintroduce wild lions, tigers and bears!

Oh well, I guess we will just have to rely on fast cars, high voltage, and Kitchen Improvised Plasic Exposives to weed out the weak.

There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
eugenics is coming, like it or not (3.50 / 4) (#12)
by speek on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:44:59 PM EST

People will choose their children's genes in the future, like it or not. Those who don't will be shamed for forcing their children to lead needlessly disadvantaged lives, compared to those who were chosen. In a capitalist society, you can't prevent the service and the choice from happening. As people choose it more and more, more and more people will feel the pressure to choose it.

But, hopefully it will eugenics as practiced by all, rather than by just a powerful few.

Of course, some will take this comment to mean I'm in favor of all this, and I'll get flamed. Knock yerself out.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees

I'm curious about how they will (3.00 / 1) (#14)
by eyespots on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:51:38 PM EST

This technology is generations away at best. Do you know of any way to custom choose genes for humans? I can't think of it. Let's see, we have:

1. Viral mediated genetic changes (these are bad- either they don't work, and some viral genes get mistakenly incorporated into the genome)

2. Knock-ins/Knock-outs (not ethically sound, way too much work to get it to work, would require multiple generations to have child with altered genotype.)

We don't have to worry about this for a while. Maybe in 100 years at best.

[ Parent ]

How about... (4.50 / 2) (#30)
by Boronx on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:26:22 PM EST

Lets begin with something simple. Let's say I am a Cystic Fibrosis carrier, and so is my wife. That means 50% of my sperm carries the desease.

It may soon be possible to sort the sperm on this criteria, so only non-desease carrying sperm impregnate my wife (also, with testube conception, we could also sort the eggs...)

Whats the result? Instead of a 75% chance that our kid is a carrier, and a 25% chance they get the desease, there's now only 50% chance that the kids a carrier, and a 0% chance to get a desease?

I know a family with two girls and both have C.F. It is tragic in many ways. The odds are that at least one of them would be desease free (only carrier), but they wern't. After the second daughter was diagnosed, the parents couldn't bare to have more kids. Both children are wonderful, and live a happy life. They don'tdeserve to die young. If by some miracle they live to have children of their own then those who no them will be very happy and amazed for them.
Subspace
[ Parent ]

but how would you sort (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by eyespots on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:38:37 PM EST

Unfortunately every method to detect certain kinds of DNA involves the isolation and subsequent denaturing of the DNA. You can't do that with sperm and still have them functional, because you remove all the proteins.

Plus, detection of genes on a single cell level is very very difficult even when you don't care if the cell gets killed.

[ Parent ]

I always thought... (5.00 / 2) (#103)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:20:41 PM EST

... one could sort by taking a few dozen eggs and fertilizing with a few dozen sperm, let them each develop until they won't care about loosing enough cells for testing, take those cells for testing, halt development of the other cells with temperature, test the cells with the destructive testing technique, plant the best few development lines (by whatever metrics you tested with) in the prospective mother (or artifical womb, when that technology matures). Viola! Shotgun genetic enginering of your offspring.



[ Parent ]

Hmmm. (4.28 / 7) (#13)
by eyespots on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:48:14 PM EST

First of all, what you propose is horrible.

Secondly, it doesn't make any sense scientifically. All of these bad diseases could have some sort of positive selection that we don't know about. It's good to have this diversity around.

For example, you'd be in favor of people with sickle-cell amenia not reproducing, right? Whoops- you now have a whole population of people who are more sensitive to Malaria. Millions more die because you thought you were solving a problem.

The same thing could happen for other diseases. For all we know, being heterzygous for cystic fibrosis could be an advantage in the future when some new disease appears. Best not tolimit our own genetic diversity for what we think is right. We'll fuck it up in the end.

Sickle Cell (3.00 / 1) (#23)
by catseye on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:09:24 PM EST

No, the inactive sickle cell gene is beneficial, but I'd consider genetic counseling before having children to find out if a particular set of partners are going to have a kid with sickle cell or just a carrier.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]
it's not inactive (4.25 / 4) (#24)
by eyespots on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:13:56 PM EST

It's recessive. There's a big difference.

If both parents are heterozygous, are you going to suggest they don't have kids? I mean the chance of having a sickle-cell anemic kid is 25% then, right? Well, then you start destroying any positive selection for the mutated hemoglobin gene, and you lose the trait.

That's the problem with what you propose. You can't select for just heterozygotes.

[ Parent ]

Exactly! (5.00 / 3) (#86)
by epepke on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:46:19 PM EST

Malaria is fascinating. There are six different human adaptations to malaria. Another one, Favism, is common in the Middle East, and it's a similar situation.

Similarly, most psychiatric disorders, including bipolar, schizophrenia, and ob-com, have much more common milder forms which are actually beneficial. Bipolar II's tend toward genius. Schizoaffectives tend to be good artists. Mild ob-coms make good accountants, at least. There hasn't been much progress in finding a gene, but the familial distributions are consistent with the idea that it's a heterozygous deal as well.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
greenrd transation service (none / 0) (#75)
by greenrd on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:08:24 PM EST

Best not tolimit our own genetic diversity for what we think is right. We'll fuck it up in the end.

In other words, "best not to try anything risky, we're sure to fuck it up".

What about scientific progress?


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

over generalization (4.00 / 1) (#88)
by eyespots on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 06:17:32 PM EST

I'm saying we'd sure to fuck up such a large scale manipulation of human genetics. We would think we're doing the right thing, but in the end we wouldn't. It's like breeding only one genetic strain of plants on a farm. Once a virus mutates to attack this strain, the entire crop dies.

Hence, best not to selectively breed out all these negative traits in the population.

I'm sure most would agree that this is a big difference from smaller scientific experiments. I don't see how you can relate messing with mass population genetics with other aspects of scientific progress. Perhaps its late in the day and I've missed the point of your post.

[ Parent ]

Evolution is based on our choices for mates (none / 0) (#124)
by autonomous on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 12:41:06 PM EST

Evolution is based on the fittest reproducing, in some species that means that only those who survive can reproduce, in others, it means that those that are the most attractive mates are the ones who should reproduce. The only problem is that with medical science, we have people who should never be able to live to an age where reproduction is possible are passing that along. If that weren't bad enough it is no longer acceptable to chose mates by their traits, I've read diaries of many people living through the ages where they would inspect their potiental mates, sizing up any health problems, reasoning out the difficulties their diabeties or the weak hearts in their family would cause. Now we mate for "love" , we don't look at important things like that.. If we used our knowledge of genetics to chose mates we could be in a much better situation.
-- Always remember you are nothing more than a collection of complementary chemicals worth not more than $5.00
[ Parent ]
Selfishness (1.44 / 9) (#17)
by jabber on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:01:59 PM EST

That's the simple reason why all those defectives insist on breeding. It's a side-effect of American Freedom, and the misguided attempt by Liberal (Communist) Democrats to cater to every little whinny school-girl's ego and self-esteem!! Grrl Power my ass!!

Must not allow the Commies to infest our prefious bodily fluids!! One Nation, One Folk, Ein Reich!!

If a troll dies in the forrest, will anyone care?

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

American Democrats != Communists (4.00 / 2) (#28)
by miker2 on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:18:05 PM EST

The American political parties are both in the center. The Dems are just a hair to the left and the Bible humpers, i mean Republicans, are a shade to the right. More proof that anyone with an idea outside of common thinking is deemed 'extremist' in the States.

[ Parent ]
Ah... (none / 0) (#38)
by jabber on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:43:01 PM EST

Thank you for the enlightenment.. ;)

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

*laugh* (none / 0) (#102)
by aphrael on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:16:48 PM EST

The tone and content of his post suggest that he was trolling, probably in a sarcastic manner meant to intend that he thought the *story* was a troll. YHBT. :P

[ Parent ]
Gotta feed (2.20 / 5) (#18)
by Woundweavr on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:02:47 PM EST

First of all this is obviously a troll. Yet I cannot help but respond a little.

Genetic selection for breeding on a societal level IMO would be wrong and I doubt it will ever happen. The fact of the matter is for good or (IMO) bad, is most people have kids for their own pleasure/desire. Whether it is because it is the next step in a normal life, to create something to live on after they die, because their biological clock is tickin or just to have a little kid to play with, most people aren't really thinking about the hypothetical kid or about society in general. Alot of parents say "I would do anything for my child" but almost none really mean it. They'll put 'em on drugs so they calm down and continue with their lives. Neither parent truely dedicates themself to raising a child as a primary responsibilty. Generally this was the mother's role in the past but with gender equality, now neither are taking an active enough role in the average child's life. I know many people who work in daycare and a good number of the kids have more rapport with the daycare workers than the parents. Two parents working 8-6 doesn't exactly create a situation where there will be a lot of easy bonding and guidance. Since two incomes is generally a requirement in the US economy, lots of sacrifices are needed, and most people are willing to just let get by and worry about their own problems. For some children, this is enough, for others it is woefully inadequate. Its even harder for single mothers, but some still manage to spend enough time with/attention to their kid(s).

To me it boils down to a subtle selfcenteredness. When you have a baby, its not about you. Its about the kid and I think thats a hard thing for anyone to really fully adopt.

Two cents from "Anyone Can Be a Parent Magazine"

Procrustes Lives! (4.66 / 6) (#19)
by epepke on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:03:06 PM EST

Here is a partial list of people who almost certainly had that debilitating psyciatric condition Bipolar Mood Disorder:

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Leonardo DaVinci
  • Dorothy Parker
  • Vivaldi
  • Richard Feynman

Personally, I think it's a good thing that these people were born.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


P.P. (1.00 / 1) (#47)
by medham on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:18:35 PM EST

In a big, big way, my man.

Are you equating bipolar disorder (whatever in the hell that's supposed to be, don't kid youself into thinking that a 'bipolar' R. Italian had the same biochemical imbalance as 21C Joe/Jane Moodswing), with CF, e.g? Are you doing that?

I could easily do without Vivaldi, myself, and Dorothy Parker was just a snide, oversexed snit.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

eugnic nazi theories that destroy civilization (2.09 / 11) (#20)
by turmeric on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:03:42 PM EST

'personality disorder' is one way to look at it, and surely mozart, van gogh, beethoven, einstein, bohr, and every other great artist or musician or scientist or anyone else that ever lived happened to have a 'personality disorder' according to brainless twits such as yourself who cannot stand to live around 'different' people.

The questions about HIV are interesting, though. On the other hand, you ignore things like people who drink while pregnant, people who smoke while pregnant, people who take drugs while pregnant, people who beat their kids, etc etc etc.

reply (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by catseye on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:06:37 PM EST

RE: you ignore things like people who drink while pregnant, people who smoke while pregnant, people who take drugs while pregnant, people who beat their kids, etc etc etc.

Yes, I do, because each one of those is a whole other topic for discussion. Here, I'm merely focusing on contagious fatal diseases such as HIV and debilitating or fatal genetic diseases, not lifetyle habits.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]
You can sum them up (none / 0) (#59)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:59:49 PM EST

You can sum up the drinkers, smokers, and so on in the "stupid, selfish, people who shouldn't breed" category.

Unfortunately, all you can do with them (with anyone) is try to educate them and hope they make the right decision.


--
When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

Different people (3.00 / 1) (#33)
by catseye on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:30:56 PM EST

RE: "...brainless twits such as yourself who cannot stand to live around 'different' people."

Why is it that some people that simply read a post on an interenet forum think they know everything about a person? You have no clue.

I don't mind 'different' people. Over the years I've known and worked and gone to school with people with handicaps, both mental and physical. I've worked with and been friends with people who have had mental/chemical/neurological disorders, including MPD, bipolar, asperger's syndrome and clinical depression.

I've had friends that were suicidal from depression, had a bipolar roommate that would go off meds, become violently manic and threaten people with guns. I've had other bipolar friends that found proper doses and mixtures of medications and they're just fine.

I don't mind different people. I mind people... any people... who prove themselves to be a violent threat against others in inappropriate circumstances. And I mind pompous jerks that assume they know what others are talking about without even asking.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]
Because it's easier (none / 0) (#56)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:54:42 PM EST

Because it's easier to pigeonhole someone as a racist, pro-eugenic nazi than to actually think hard about a complicated issue.


--
When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

speedy Nazi accusations (none / 0) (#60)
by Delirium on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:04:09 PM EST

Story posting timestamp: Wed Feb 20th, 2002 at 09:18:09 AM PST

Your comment timestamp: Wed Feb 20th, 2002 at 10:03:42 AM PST

Time from posting to first Nazi accusation: 45 minutes, 34 seconds.

[ Parent ]

Genes, disorders, eugenics (2.66 / 3) (#25)
by vefoxus on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:16:54 PM EST

If you want such a story to pass without being seen as a simple flamebait, you should at least give also an overview of the drawbacks of eugenics. After seeing this your point of view will certainly shift (I hope).
    As well, there is some thought now that psychiatric disorders such as clinical depression, schizophrenia and bipolor disorder can be inherited. Genetic research is now being done to see whether there truly is a link. Even if a link has not yet been proven, it does appear to run in families. I've talked to many people, on and off line, who have this or similar disorders and was not surprised to find that a parent had it, along with siblings and other close relations. Many times they feel it runs in their family, too, and they feel their children will probably suffer from it.
If you want to make a real point of this, you should take a more scientific approach, which means decoupling environmental effects (the way children are educated, the food...), and the genetic effects. In other words, you should prove whether there is a colleration in the behaviour of identical twins who have been separated immediately after birth (and even that discards the influence of the mother's environment during the pregnancy).
Here is an example of these studies, on Scientific American. There are a number of such studies (google is your friend). Whatever their conclusions are, you still have to consider how horrible an eugenic world would be.

Attention idiots who don't read to the bottom. (3.66 / 6) (#26)
by catseye on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:17:30 PM EST

I know what eugenics is. I'm not advocating any type of mandatory eugenics. I also said that it wasn't my place to tell people they can't breed, regardless of my personal feelings.

I was asking for opinions on what I see as a problem, mostly a problem with parental selfishness.

Perhaps next time I submit an article, I'll put the wrap up and my personal feelings at the top in big, bold lettters.... but then again, you'd probably just remember that you hated the man article, assume you know what I'm thinking without reading what I have to say, and carry on as usual.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
Mmmmh (none / 0) (#39)
by vefoxus on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:44:25 PM EST

Don't take it personnaly, but:
    I know what eugenics is
"Knowing" also implies that you understand the consequences of eugenics. This article definitely does not show this, or you'd have more argued with pro's and con's of eugenics. You have completely discarded the con's.

And there are contradictions

    I'm not advocating any type of mandatory eugenics
    I say "we" because it is more than just a family problem, it is a societal problem
...so you are advocating that the problem should be adressed at a higher level than the family. This is eugenics.

[ Parent ]
What are the consequences? (1.00 / 1) (#49)
by medham on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:21:49 PM EST

Can you point towards any significant eugenics program that had measurable ones? Nazi Germany doesn't count. Modern-era Anglo-America doesn't count. The godless Swedes, maybe.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Tough Subject (4.50 / 2) (#27)
by ChiefHoser on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:17:43 PM EST

The rest of society should not be able to "tell" one person or another that they can or can not have children. But I would think that a person with said disorder would want the best for their children, passing down some disorder is not the best for a child. For these people who want children, who have a right to have children just like everybody else, why don't they adopt or get a foster child? It provides an otherwise parentless child a better life without passing down a disorder? It seems to me to be a nice solution, but I don't know too much about the availability of adoptable children. Maybe it is just a pipe dream.


-------------

Chief of the Hosers
Adoption (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by greenrd on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:05:09 PM EST

It seems to me to be a nice solution, but I don't know too much about the availability of adoptable children.

Basically, as I understand it: for babies, the demand greatly exceeds supply. For teenagers, the supply greatly exceeds demand; hence the need for alternatives to adoption, such as "children's homes".

A better alternative perhaps is sperm/egg donation (depending on whether the man or woman has the undesirable DNA, or both).


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Re: Adoption (4.00 / 1) (#80)
by defeated on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:29:07 PM EST

"Basically, as I understand it: for babies, the demand greatly exceeds supply. For teenagers, the supply greatly exceeds demand; hence the need for alternatives to adoption, such as "children's homes"."

Maybe it's because I'm not very maternal, but people who want to adopt but only want a baby make me sick. Why not give an older child a chance? I know older kids probably come with more baggage, but at least they're usually already housetrained;)



[ Parent ]
different experience (none / 0) (#113)
by kubalaa on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 06:34:22 AM EST

In the same way people want to pass on their genes by making kids, people want to pass on their memes by raising kids. Raising a baby from scratch gives you a sense of satisfaction that you molded them, you controlled their life for the greatest part of their formation. The older a kid becomes, the more "solid" they are and the less influence others can have.

You can have a large, positive effect on a teenagers life, but you'll never be able to affect them in the way you can a baby.

[ Parent ]

that's easy to say (none / 0) (#129)
by gregholmes on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 04:50:22 PM EST

Maybe it's because I'm not very maternal, but people who want to adopt but only want a baby make me sick. Why not give an older child a chance? I know older kids probably come with more baggage, but at least they're usually already housetrained;)

That's easy to say if you aren't in that situation. There are those who choose to adopt older children, and bless their hearts. But in many cases, people are adopting to create a family in as natural a way as possible, when they can't or shouldn't give birth. It's only easy to criticize their choices when you aren't in their shoes.

Reminds me of those who lecture members of the armed forces on who they should have to share submarines or foxholes with, when the closest they have come to a submarine or a foxhole is a movie screen.



[ Parent ]
HIV vs. psychiatric disorders (3.50 / 2) (#29)
by paf0 on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:21:38 PM EST

I fail to see the relationship between HIV and personality disorders. One can be treated and a person can live a full life. In the other a person faces almost certain death.

Untreated, manic phase bipolar individuals can be dangerous to themselves and others. (I knew someone who went off his medication, started a bar fight, and last I heard is on the run with a charge of attempted murder against him.)

Even when untreated people with psychatric disorders are not a harm to themselves or others. Many untreated bipolar people are the most creative people in our society. When treated (even in schizophrenia), they can all live happy productive lives. The mistakes of one idiot who went off his medication are not reason to lump all bipolar people in the same category. This is a single incident and is no reason for you to request that these people stop breeding.

I can see not wanting HIV patients to breed but people with psychiatric disorders fall in a completely different category.
-----------
The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do. --B. F. Skinner
icq 3505006
Certain death (none / 0) (#55)
by dipipanone on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:49:58 PM EST

It's a sad fact, but the truth is that all of us face certain death. HIV/AIDS is now treatable, and people who are infected can currently look forward to an indefinite lifespan. It's likely that their life will be shortened, but as yet, we don't really know how long it will be shortened by, but most people on the new HIV meds seem to be doing fairly well.

--
Suck my .sig
[ Parent ]
Psychiatric/Personality (5.00 / 2) (#79)
by epepke on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:28:54 PM EST

Please be careful. A psychiatric disorder is not the same as a personality disorder. Personality disorders are only a small subset of psychiatric disorders, and they are diagnosed along axis 2, while thought, mood, sexual, etc. disorders are diagnosed along axis 1.

While there is some evidence for genetic components to thought and mood disorders (though the "chemical imbalance" idea is a piece of folk pseudomedicine), personality disorders appear to be learned. Many psychiatrists will tell you that they think most personality disorders are iatrogenic; that is, they are caused by therapy. Sociopathy, for example, is too strongly correlated with having been abused in a certain way as a child (usually at the hands of authorities outside the family) to be neglected, and borderline personality disorder is too strongly correlated with certain kinds of psychological treatment. Incidence rates of personality disorders also vary widely between cultures. Basically, the person is faced with an extremely painful situation in which there is no reasonable way out, and the personality disorder starts off as the only set of behaviors that afford the person some control.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Can I say: (4.00 / 6) (#31)
by Pink Daisy on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:26:59 PM EST

It's better to have lived and lost than never lived at all.

I would never draw a line and say, "This probability of that disease makes this life worthless." It's quite possible to claim that this is because I have diabetes and would likely fall on the "don't breed" side, but I like to think that I'm doing this for the interest of the large portion of humanity that has deficient genes, and for the good of the whole population through that genetic diversity, rather than just my selfish desire to have children some day.

Also, as a conservative person, I prefer to understand this before taking drastic action. This is a debate that should not take place at all until humanity has a much fuller understanding of genetics.

I'd like to say: (3.66 / 3) (#48)
by roam on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:20:28 PM EST

I haven't tried not living yet, so I don't know if I agree with you or not...

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
You can wait... (none / 0) (#97)
by SIGFPE on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 08:32:11 PM EST

This is a debate that should not take place at all until humanity has a much fuller understanding of genetics.
How do you get through the day? We don't all have the luxury of living through situations where we can wait, oh...about a few hundred years, before we can solve our priblems.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
this can wait (none / 0) (#107)
by Pink Daisy on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 01:13:11 AM EST

Humanity has survived until this point; what's the rush on this issue now? As I see it, life is getting better for people with various diseases that were once incurable/ still are incurable/ doom them to an untimely death/ whatever.

I can solve lots of problems right now. In many cases I shouldn't. If there is no real need for a solution, and the proposed solution may have unknown side effects, and future developments may cause the problem to go away entirely, then it's a good candidate for procrastination.

[ Parent ]
"Hello... (none / 0) (#126)
by SIGFPE on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 01:33:27 PM EST

...person with really horrible incurable disease that's causing you terrible suffering and pain, we think we can cure your disease for you but it involves doing genetics and lots of people think that we should wait until we have a full understanding of genetics before we even try to cure you, after all the rest of humanity is getting along just fine without you, so please just go home now and put up with your suffering and pray to God or something and remember that if you'd lived 100 years ago your suffering would be even worse..."

Fortunately since the first prehistoric human figured out how to light a fire there have been humans who've been prepared to take risks for the betterment of humanity rather than sit and watch the world crawl by.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]

what is the problem (none / 0) (#127)
by Pink Daisy on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 01:43:23 PM EST

My claim is that the problem is the suffering of a person, and that having disease-causing genes around is a cause of the problem, and not inherently a problem itself. Since reducing the gene pool has much greater ramifications than treating an individual, my position is that it deserves more study before being applied.

Of course, you can claim that the genes themselves are the problem, and the suffering caused is merely a symptom. Then my criteria would favour more dramatic treatments like eugenics (voluntarily or perhaps mandatory). I just happen to disagree with that position.

[ Parent ]
Speaking as someone who is physically disabled (4.87 / 8) (#36)
by daedal on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:41:08 PM EST

[I have a mild form of Muscular Dystrophy.]

I think what is happenning here is the "sufferers" and err, people like you, are looking at the same situation from two different perspectives. In your mind the most important thing about these people is that they are "sufferers". When I think of myself I do not think "sufferer", but rather as a normal person, of reasonable intelligence. I do not actually suffer; I am not in pain, and whether or not I can do certain things does not make me suffer. I am leading a happy life, and there is no reason disabled people cannot.

It would indeed be selfish to have a child if you had regretted being born, but I myself do not and I doubt the people you speak of do either. I cannot do all the things that you can do, but I am willing to bet you can't do all the things I can. This shouldn't mean that we both have to be unhappy.

And btw, your link is about Becker/Duchenne MD, which are just types of Muscular Dystrophy.

Hmm, maybe I would have written more, but I have to go now.

But having children, when you know that (4.33 / 3) (#53)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:46:32 PM EST

But having children when you know there's a good chance of passing on you disease is being selfish, particularly when there are so many children who need to be adopted.

And when someone argues that adopting isn't the same as actually having your own kid - that's purest selfishness. Parents exist for the child's benefit, not the other way around.

It's great that you've learned how to cope with your problems - actually, that's a sign that your, er, "good breeding stock". But you shouldn't generalize from yourself to, say, people who pass on sickle cell anemia or MD, or other more serious conditions.


--
When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

agreed (none / 0) (#83)
by daedal on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:33:11 PM EST

In my case, as I have such a rare form of the disease the chance that my spouse will have it or my children's spouse's will have it is very rare.

You are correct in that my case is very different from others. I was going to put a disclaimer saying so in my original comment, but, uh, that never made it.

Adoption *is not* the same as having your own kids, but this IMO does not make it bad. In fact I think all couples should seriously consider adoption before having children. There are currently enough children who want parents in the world for the parents who want children.

[ Parent ]

Adoption (2.00 / 1) (#91)
by I am Jack's username on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 06:53:13 PM EST

Whatever evolution give most people that make them want to have a child (or 12) didn't make into me. I would only have considered having a child biologically if I was very intelligent and was physically and psychologically ideal (which I'm not). Adoption is the only option I'd consider. How people can have kids (and fertility treatment!) while there are so many orphans, just boggles my mind.

I thought k5ers would be the kind of people who wouldn't have kids, or at most 1; but this small diary poll seems to point the other way (0=22%, 1=15%, 2+=60%).
--
Inoshiro for president!
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

a try at a reason (1.00 / 1) (#123)
by miah on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 12:15:59 PM EST

I would think the reason that adoption isn't more prevalent would be due to the difficulty in actually adopting a child. It is very expensive, you have to prove all numbers of things.

They'll let teen mothers have babies on the streets but if you want to adopt a child you have to prove you have a job and a place to live. Granted, the barriers to that are there for a reason. You don't want to take a child from the pan and put them in the caring hands of the fire. There needs to be screening, but I agree with all of you that adoption is a Good Thing(tm) and should happen more often.


Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the biker grade crystal meth of the masses.
SLAVEWAGE
[ Parent ]
Not nearly as expensive (none / 0) (#132)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Feb 28, 2002 at 02:45:04 PM EST

Adoption is nowhere near as expensive as fertility clinics. I know couples who've dropped 30 grand in those places. Before they gave up and adopted.


--
Knock Knock.


[ Parent ]
BTW (5.00 / 2) (#54)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:49:04 PM EST

I've spent a lot of time working first hand with kids who suffer from MD; the idea that someone would deliberately have kids knowing that they are passing that gene on, well that horrifies me.


--
When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

different genes (none / 0) (#78)
by daedal on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:13:55 PM EST

There is more than one type of Muscular Dystrophy. When you say "that gene" I presume you mean that for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy or similar which is a much more severe and common type than mine.

[ Parent ]
Personality disorders and environment (4.66 / 3) (#57)
by Wing Envy on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:55:23 PM EST

I think you've touched on two very different subjects. The first being genetic defect and the other being environmental defect.

While I don't personally advocate a birth in life-threatening situations, i.e. HIV parents, I also don't think there is anything wrong with physical defect. What is a problem, however, is life sustained in life altering environments.

Call it what you want: personality disorders, physical violence, drug abuse, alcoholism, etc. Much debate can be made as to whether the aforementioned are genetic, but I'm of the opinion that it's nothing more than environment. How sane could you remain or live in an insane environment?

If testing is to be done to qualify parents, environment should be given greater consideration above anything else. Think about it- How many criminals have been raised in loving, nurturing households?


You don't get to steal all the deficiency. I want some to.
-mrgoat

I have some first-hand experience (4.80 / 5) (#63)
by panum on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:10:52 PM EST

A few days ago, I got the diagnosis for a sample of my skin. The judgement states I have Psoriasis. It, you might know, is an incurable genetical skin disease.

The affected skin dries, and looks like dandruff. If scratched, it comes loose and the skin underneath is bright red and bleeds easily. It can manifest in every part of a body, even on the genital and mucous areas. In a severe case, a person's face is largely covered by psoriasis infection, and the poor fellow does look strange indeed. The disease can also wreck big time havoc to patient's joints.

Luckily in my case, the affected areas are very small: namely a few square centimeters on my elbows, some part of my right palm, the second joint of my index finger and the first joint of one of my toes.

The bad news are, I have a 25% chance to pass psoriasis to my possible future children. Should my wife carry the disease too, the risk is around 65%.

Though I'm not dating anyone seriously at the moment, I'm worried about the impurity of my genes. What if I have a kid and she suffers from the worst-case psoriasis making her life very difficult? What can I answer, should she ever ask: "Daddy, you knew I could get this disease. Why did you have me?"

I... I really do not know whether I could look into a mirror ever again after such a question. Was I selfish? Did I just seek the purpose of life - namely life itself? Had I only followed my built-in urge to pass my genes forward? My impure, faulty genes, that is.

Of course I sound pathetic. A skin disease is nothing like HIV, the Down syndrome, hemophilia or other more serious things. Still, it hurts. A lot. I haven't had time to think this over properly. I haven't told anyone yet.

-P

-- I hate people who quote .sigs
What? (2.33 / 3) (#66)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:32:19 PM EST

Last time I checked, Psoriasis is caused by infection, injury or stress. It is not curable, but itchy skin is hardly in the league of "life in a wheel chair and dead by the time your 12".


--
When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

That's what I said... (5.00 / 1) (#74)
by panum on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:05:57 PM EST

In about the end of my post, I admit it is not a problem when comparing against HIV or Down syndrome. Or some other Bad Stuff

For your remark about 'itchy skin', try telling this one about it. Or how about this?. Feel free to Goole for more pictures. In the current society, good looks are considered important. The people have all kinds of predjuices against those who are different. So having some 'itchy skin' might be a big pain in one's backside (Google found pictures of such cases too.)

My point was - and still is: do I have a right to endanger someone to suffer such a fate? Be it a lethal disease, a disability, fetus damage, whatever. At the moment, I do not think so.

-P

-- I hate people who quote .sigs
[ Parent ]
There I agree (none / 0) (#115)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 09:12:57 AM EST

Sorry, I don't mean to belittle your condition,and I heartly agree with your conclusion.

My problem was that I still haven't run into any description of psoriasis as being genetic, but rather that it is an autoimmune disorder triggered by environmental conditions such as an infection. My first read of your post was that you might have been trolling.

My apologies.


--
When using a nigh-omniscient computer to run your evil empire, do not install Windows. Also, be sure to disable the AppleTalk protocol - woul
[ Parent ]

Will everyone with (4.62 / 8) (#67)
by abdera on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:34:43 PM EST

a family history of Down Syndrome, heart disease, spina bifida, polydactyly, achondroplasia, Huntington disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, Tay-Sachs disease, thalassemia, haemophilia, duchenne muscular dystrophy, pyloric stenosis, clubfoot, hip dislocations, cleft Palette, bloom syndrome, neurofibromatosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, tuberous sclerosis, Diamond-Blackfan syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Tourette syndrome, Situs inversus, or McCune-Albright syndrome please step forward to be strilized?

Luckily I'm an Alpha plus plus from a pure genetic line. You should be happy to be an Epsilon.

#224 [deft-:deft@98A9C369.ipt.aol.com] at least i don't go on aol

8 children (3.00 / 2) (#71)
by verbatim on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:48:17 PM EST

I am going to have as many children that I can support and take proper care of in my life. Not because Allah wants me to, not because Noah was supposed to repopulate the world, but because I can. Same goes for all the other victims of HIV and AIDS, let them do what they want. There should be nothing stopping them, just because they have a chance to pass something on to their children. Don't tall parents have tall children? Some people could take that just as bad as Tourette's. I see no problem letting these otherwise normal people reproduce. I mean come on people, if we can have free speech then I sure as hell expect people to have the right to have as many kids as they can. No if's, and's or but's.

think of the children (5.00 / 1) (#96)
by j1mmy on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 08:08:59 PM EST

... for all the other victims of HIV and AIDS, let them do what they want. There should be nothing stopping them, just because they have a chance to pass something on to their children.

Did their child ask to be born with a debilitating and/or fatal disease? Unlikely.

[ Parent ]
YHBS (none / 0) (#117)
by axxeman on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 09:42:18 AM EST

Strawmanned, that is.

Desperately need Egyptologist. Can you help?
[ Parent ]

Why I'm not having kids (4.00 / 2) (#77)
by Jebediah on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:29:41 PM EST

I have inherited many horribly frustrating conditions from both sides of my family. Flat feet, hammer toes, depression, alcoholism (finally kicked that!), smoking. Those are only some of the afflictions I have that I notice others (mainly my parents, but cousins, aunts, and others too). I got stuff much worse than that. You know what? I wouldn't put a kid through half the shit I've been through. I'll have sex, sure, but I will not knowingly have any offspring suffer like I have. Call me a fucking nazi if you want, that's fine.

Let them make informed decisions. (3.00 / 2) (#81)
by xriso on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:30:58 PM EST

Here's what you can say:
It is observed that you have Q syndrome. Now, genetically, there is a 50% chance that your children will have Q syndrome as well. Are you prepared to raise such children?

And then you bring their selfishness against itself. Do they really want to have to raise kids who (in some cases) will cause them even more stress? If you can cancel out their selfish motivations, then they will be able to look at the situation more rationally. Of course, many would still say that they want kids.
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)

To paraphrase a movie (1.00 / 1) (#82)
by czar chasm on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:31:35 PM EST

I feel the need...to breed. *rimshot*

-Czar Chasm
Bloo!
Stand on Zanzibar (4.00 / 2) (#84)
by UncleMikey on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:36:58 PM EST

For an interesting speculative treatment of what the sort of eugenics we're likely to have within our grasp soon might mean to society, I strongly recommend finding a copy of John Brunner's Hugo-winning Stand on Zanzibar.

Written in 1968, it attempts to depict the world in 2010. While it's got a strong 60s slant and perhaps a bit of a mysoginist streak, it also has some fascinatingly accurate predictions in it -- not least of which the fact that we would be facing the reality of eugenics by now!
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]

Not quite eugenics... (3.00 / 1) (#85)
by rantweasel on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:43:05 PM EST

At least I don't see it that way. There's a difference between making sure that a prospective parent has all of the facts in front of them and forced sterilization. It's interesting, this is the very reason why I feel quite strongly about never having offspring. There's enough history in my family of hereditary problems of various kinds that it would be just plain wrong for me to force that on some kid. Adoption agencies are not that hard to find, and there are plenty of kids in the world already who need parents... Still, the moment one starts talking about doing anything other than presenting the raw facts and the possible alternative options (like adoption), it's a very slippery slope.

mathias

So few Westerners.. (2.00 / 1) (#92)
by RandomAction on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 07:15:09 PM EST

..want to breed anyway. Growth rates in Europe and North America are dropping fast, some countries are shrinking. If the genetically unfortunate or even just the stupid in the west want to breed, maybe we should encourage them.

This what's wrong with society... (3.50 / 2) (#93)
by deefer on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 07:23:55 PM EST

women were complaining that all 3, or all 4, or all 5 of their children had ADHD and they were concerned their latest pregnancy might produce a similar child.

Mmmmhmmm. And while Dad was at counselling ("Your Kids And Why They're Fucked Up: A Guide To Excusing Yourself") and Mum was at work....

*Who* was looking after them?

Great way to bring up the generation that will talk to you when you're old, when you dribble your dinner, box shadows on the wall, and speak in tongues.

But I'm happy *now*, right?


Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

The desire to breed (none / 0) (#98)
by aphrael on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 09:50:42 PM EST

is perfectly natural and normal; it's hardwired into most humans as part of our biology. People with compromised genes should not be deprived of the right to act on that desire any more than anyone else should

It seems to me that you are either worried about the condition of the offspring --- but that requires that you be asserting that they would be better off, literally, dead --- or the societal cost of *supporting* the offspring.

I'm not going to address the first possibility; it isn't that interesting as a matter of debate --- and I sincerely hope that no state policy is adopted that allows some group of people to decide that some other group of people would be better off dead and so therefore should be killed for their own good (which strikes me as being the logical extension of that line of argument).

The second is more interesting, because it boils down to essentially the same set of problems as those posed by motorcyclists and snowboarders: the existence of some method to socialize medical costs, either through state intervention or through insurance policies which pool risk, allows people who engage in risky behaviors to have the cost underwritten, to a certain extent, by those who do not. (I agree that this is a *serious* oversimplification of the way the insurance industry works, but most economic discussions that take place between people who don't have PhD's in economics are oversimplifications, and this one captures the core of the insurance industry: by *averaging* risk over a sizable number of people, you can reduce the cost of providing medical care to the most expensive consumers of it). But some means of socializing medical costs is essential to the functioning of modern industrial society --- and, in some cases, to the public health; you can't reasonably not treat people for salmonella poisioning, for example, even if they aren't able to pay.

So there's the quandary: by allowing the community as a whole, in some fashion, to underwrite some of the costs of raising children with severe genetic disorders, the length of time that these children survive, and the number of them who survive, is increased, and the overall cost goes up; but at the same time, allowing the community as a whole to underwrite the costs of health care is important. You *could*, in theory, prohibit health care costs imposed by risky behavior (snowboarding, giving birth to children with a high likelihood of genetic problems) --- but if a sizeable number of people nonetheless chose to engage in that behavior, you would be unable to enforce that; and if you *were* able to enforce it, you would run the risk that the determination of 'risky behavior' would become more and more strict until all people were strictly controlled in the name of their health.

I don't know what the solution is; certainly the above suggestion, while it makes sense in an abstract clinical sense, strikes me as being repugnant. But I don't have any better ideas, either.

thanks for coming out? (none / 0) (#99)
by mikpos on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:06:24 PM EST

First you seem to suggest that anything natural and normal is OK without backing it up. No doubt breeding and the desire to breed are natural and normal, but I don't see that as any moral justification. Keep in mind that humans genetically are more or less the same as they were 5k years ago; the main difference between their society and ours is that to some extent we've weeded out what's "natural and normal" in favour of what works better (and just to be extra-clear, by "weeded out" I mean behaviour, not people).

Secondly, you dismiss his entire point as something which "isn't that interesting as a matter of debate". I mean it's cool if you think that, but if you do think that, it might be a good idea for you to pick a different debate to get involved in.

[ Parent ]

Where did that come from? (none / 0) (#101)
by aphrael on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:13:39 PM EST

you dismiss his entire point as something which "isn't that interesting as a matter of debate".

*laugh*. I don't see that I did that; I said that the idea that a given class of people are better off dead is not that interesting as a matter of debate. Since I don't believe his entire premise is that children born with genetic defects are better off dead, the point you raise does not follow from what I said.

First you seem to suggest that anything natural and normal is OK without backing it up. No doubt breeding and the desire to breed are natural and normal, but I don't see that as any moral justification.

Ah! now *that* is an interesting conversation. :) What is the basis for your morality? I have difficulty with any scheme of moral reasoning which doesn't have its basis in natural human behavior --- eg., a morality which says that it is wrong for humans to be humans strikes me as bizarre; a moral scheme which endeavours to restrict humans from behaving naturally strikes me as being problematic and doomed to failure.

This is of course difficult, because to a certain extent any moral regulation of human behavior does this ---- yet I believe there is a place for a morality which encourages people to be the best people they can be. Still, the assertion that it is somehow wrong for people to act on their desire to have children is troubling to me; it is tantamount to saying that is is wrong to be human, in my mind.

[ Parent ]

wrong to be human (none / 0) (#104)
by mikeliu on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 11:59:54 PM EST

So you say you have difficulty with any morality which doesn't have its basis in natural human behavior.

To the contrary, many moralities don't have their basis in natural human behavior. For example, marriage. Humans are by nature not a monogamous animal. Just ask 90% of the 5 years+ married population if they have feelings for people besides their spouse. However, our natural instincts in this case have been usurped by our societal law (which not all societies have) against multiple spouses.

As far as I see it, human instincts are out for ol' #1 for the most part, and then those morals and morality instincts are the parts that are for making the society of humans work as a whole. Now, I'm not saying I'm necessarily for what the author of the article advocated (but I'm not saying I'm against it either) but the society that somehow regulating breeding does not strike me as a definite 100% Bad Thing. This is an example of the Tragedy of the Commons problem being addressed.

As an example, Western critics frequently cite China's one family 2 children limit as some outrageous human rights violation. In my opinion, it is not. It is a rational decision not to let selfish individuals make the rational decision to spoil the commons for everyone else.

You acknowledge the fact that "to a certain extent any moral regulation of human behavior does" "restrict humans from behaving naturally". However, you then proceed to except "the assertion that it is somehow wrong for people to act on their desire to have children" from this line of reasoning. Care to back up why this should be an exception?

[ Parent ]
Is this law, or morality? (none / 0) (#111)
by aphrael on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 03:01:33 AM EST

As far as I see it, human instincts are out for ol' #1 for the most part

Yes and no. :) Since ancient times, most humans have felt a strong loyalty to their tribe, community, or nation; tribal behavior is reported in the earliest of histories and observed in other primates.

It is a rational decision not to let selfish individuals make the rational decision to spoil the commons for everyone else.

This is an issue of political theory: how does the state derive the power to force its citizens to refrain from having children? Eg., what gives the people in power the right to make that decision for other people? Simply the fact of their power?

I think it is possible for a community to legitimately decide to so restrict its members; I am not convinced that the Chinese state per se has the legitimacy to do that.

You acknowledge the fact that "to a certain extent any moral regulation of human behavior does" "restrict humans from behaving naturally". However, you then proceed to except "the assertion that it is somehow wrong for people to act on their desire to have children" from this line of reasoning. Care to back up why this should be an exception?

Because procreation, after eating and sleeping, is the most fundamental human instinct; issuing a moral rule that says it is wrong to have children strikes me as making as much sense as issuing a moral rule that says it is wrong to eat. And also --- because that decision strikes me as being an innately personal one, well within the sphere of autonomy which is protected in our society; while I concede that the bounds of that autonomy are not universal, they nonetheless influence what I believe should be universal. This may very well be a failure of mine.

Nonetheless, I detect two different issues in your post: the question of whether or not it is reasonable to declare that procreation (under circumstances [x]) is immoral, and the question of whether or not the community may legitimately restrict procreation under certain circumstances. (Law != Morality, after all).

[ Parent ]

Are we really natural? (none / 0) (#120)
by dead_radish on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 11:34:22 AM EST

And can you really claim that our society today is "natural"? If so, you're going on the idea that whatever came out of nature is natural. So there's no worries with wiping out the planet and paving it over with concrete, as that action was taken by humans, who were naturally created. So that's a natural action.

I'd argue that our conditions are far from "natural" any more, and that what this author is proposing is more a type of evolution - a societal, rather than biological type.

Remember: Children with massively debilitating diseases, in a purely "natural" environment (ie, a fully competitive environment) would die out immediately. It's only in our modern environment that they can survive and even live to reproduce. My cousin has Cystic Fibrosis. He's 18, and doing great. 500 years ago, he would have died very very early in his life. If you're arguing the "natural" route, he shouldn't be alive, and isn't part of that consideration any way.

We've broken out of the survival of the fittest model. We routinely keep alive people that are fit on a societal level (ie, they can survive within society, and hopefully make the society as a whole more fit), but not a personal level.

Personally, I'm not having kids. My girlfriend has a daughter, and I'm very likely a carrier for CF, as well as a few other genetic diseases. I made the choice. Do I want someone making it for me? No. Do I hope that other people can be smart enough to make a good choice? Yes. Do I think they will be? Hell no.

And no, arguing that people with HIV shouldn't have children is far from saying that all children with HIV are better off dead. There's a far distance between not created and dead. Don't make me invoke Hitler and kill this thread. ;)
I knew I shoulda brought a crossbow. -- Largo. www.megatokyo.com
[ Parent ]

Are we really natural? (none / 0) (#121)
by dead_radish on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 11:34:40 AM EST

And can you really claim that our society today is "natural"? If so, you're going on the idea that whatever came out of nature is natural. So there's no worries with wiping out the planet and paving it over with concrete, as that action was taken by humans, who were naturally created. So that's a natural action.

I'd argue that our conditions are far from "natural" any more, and that what this author is proposing is more a type of evolution - a societal, rather than biological type.

Remember: Children with massively debilitating diseases, in a purely "natural" environment (ie, a fully competitive environment) would die out immediately. It's only in our modern environment that they can survive and even live to reproduce. My cousin has Cystic Fibrosis. He's 18, and doing great. 500 years ago, he would have died very very early in his life. If you're arguing the "natural" route, he shouldn't be alive, and isn't part of that consideration any way.

We've broken out of the survival of the fittest model. We routinely keep alive people that are fit on a societal level (ie, they can survive within society, and hopefully make the society as a whole more fit), but not a personal level.

Personally, I'm not having kids. My girlfriend has a daughter, and I'm very likely a carrier for CF, as well as a few other genetic diseases. I made the choice. Do I want someone making it for me? No. Do I hope that other people can be smart enough to make a good choice? Yes. Do I think they will be? Hell no.

And no, arguing that people with HIV shouldn't have children is far from saying that all children with HIV are better off dead. There's a far distance between not created and dead. Don't make me invoke Hitler and kill this thread. ;)
I knew I shoulda brought a crossbow. -- Largo. www.megatokyo.com
[ Parent ]

Re: Natural Human Behaviour (none / 0) (#105)
by Maxlex on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 12:21:24 AM EST

Can't anything that a human can do be called natural human behaviour? It seems to me that basing morality on what is natural is extremely problematic: There will always be someone to tell you that what they are doing is natural.

[ Parent ]
Ahhh (none / 0) (#110)
by aphrael on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 02:53:59 AM EST

that's a good point. But on the other hand, in a *pragmatic* sense, any ethical system that completely ignores human nature is doomed; it will prove impossible to get a significant percentage of the population to adhere to it for an extended period of time. There must be a middle ground somewhere.

[ Parent ]
what you said (none / 0) (#118)
by mikpos on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 10:02:49 AM EST

What I was going on was that you said the first possibility isn't interesting. The first possibility is "that [he is] ... worried about the condition of the offspring". It seemed to me that the article's basis was the condition of the offspring.

Anyway, on to more interesting things :)

Maybe the problem is that I'm approaching this from an ethical standpoint instead of a strictly moral one. Many people have strong selfish desires, be they sexual or violent or just plain anti-social (shoplifting?) that would end up being counter-productive in the long run. For better social well-being, it's important to moderate these.

It almost sounds like you're suggesting that people just live off their emotions.

Anyway, the article itself does sound pretty extreme. The diseases he brings up, like HIV or Schizophrenia aren't so bad that kids should never be born. I'm sure there are thousands (millions?) of HIV-positive people and Schizophrenics that will tell you that their life is worth living. Maybe if it were something really bad, like my kid would be born without skin, then I would sterilise myself. We have enough reasons not to have kids anyway, like overpopulation and child abuse :)

[ Parent ]

humans 5k years ago (none / 0) (#112)
by kubalaa on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 06:16:38 AM EST

I'm not sure what your basis for comparison is for claiming that we're any better off after 5 millenia. Are we, as a world population, more moral? You say yes, but I'd like to hear the definition of "moral" which lets you argue that. It seems to me we're just as selfish, hateful, destructive, and ignorant as always. Are we happier? Hardly. Physically, of course, we're healthier, wealthier, and more technologically advanced, but this has nothing to do with morals and I'm not sure what good it does us. Now, I'm not a traditionalist romanticizing our ancestors "deep relationship with nature", but you'll have to convince me that the advance of time and technology has changed anything meaningful in our lives.

About "natural and normal" being OK: in the global scale, it doesn't matter what you think morals are, because human populations are basically deterministic and they'll do whatever they damn well please, regardless of your concepts of morality. Morals only have meaning on a personal scale, where we at least have the sensation of free will, if not the fact. So in this sense you're all both wrong and right: yes, moral structure is impossible to force if it goes against human nature, but there's no reason the two should be related.

[ Parent ]

good point (none / 0) (#119)
by mikpos on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 10:25:17 AM EST

Certainly there were societies 5k years ago that would be better to live in than ours. I'm wasn't really considering them, though, because it's hard to compare them against current Western society.

Older Western society has benefited greatly from moderation, though. I'll bring up some random smatterings from the past. I won't say which of these I think more moral and which less moral, but they are pretty hot topics anyway, I think. Anyway, in past European and Middle Eastern life:

  • homosexual acts could earn you the death penalty (and certainly not any "humane" death penalty);
  • people trusted superstition over science. The churches' sole purpose for existence was seemingly to take advantage of people. Indeed the Catholic Church didn't shape up until Martin Luther came along (not really a morality question, but I just threw it in because for some reason you seemed to suggest that people aren't any less "ignorant" today);
  • modulo the Greeks, the only political system around was tyrrany. In Egypt, Greece and Rome (and all throughout the Middle East and northern Africa), slavery was par for the course;
  • children got arguably even less respect than they do now. Children were sold into slavery and forced into marriages. Mohammed reportedly had an 8 year-old wife (and consummated the relationship only a few years later). It was terribly common for a girl to have to bear children at first period (which would have probably been 14-18 in those days)
Etc. We still have many of these desires, but we don't act on them. Most heterosexual men find young teenaged girls attractive, and yet they've learned that it's not such a good idea to force them to carry their children. They've also learned that it's not such a good idea to torture their wives in the town square as a form of punishment. Indeed, we've thrown out the idea of punishing spouses almost entirely.

Maybe you're one of those people who likes to force his wife to have a child for him, so that he can sell her off into marriage at the age of 10 in order to afford a new slave. Personally, I think we've shaped up at least a little bit.

[ Parent ]

Human suffering is treatable. (none / 0) (#106)
by autonomous on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 12:42:59 AM EST

Human suffering is a terrible thing. We have drugs so people don't have to feel sad, we have laws to make sure noone is mistreated, we try to conduct ourselves in ways that keep others from suffering. But yet, every day someone decides to sentence their children and every child after that to lives of suffering. What kind of sick person is willing to cause hundreds if not millions of people to suffer. We have laws to protect SINGLE people, and you can be sent to jail for LIFE for violating them, but we won't stop a pair of obviously sick persons from causing suffering to people they are related to! I personally would like to see disease carriers STERILIZED. I know people have problems controlling their need to breed, for the good of society they should be deprived of the ability to exercise that urge. Many diseases that cost millions to treat can be easily eliminated by a single generation of sterilizations, Many more could be eliminated within 3 generations with some good genetic profiling. Imagine a world where society didn't need to pay for medical aid for preventable diseases (preventable by not procreating) , a society where people don't have to suffer for the stupidity and lack of self control their parents exercised.
-- Always remember you are nothing more than a collection of complementary chemicals worth not more than $5.00
The Flip Side to the Coin... (none / 0) (#108)
by projmayhem on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 02:16:29 AM EST

You advocate that these children likely to be born with inherited diseases shouldn't be born, and when asked these women seem to have given selfish answers (those you have reported), but might the answer be, "I love my children, and is it right for me not to have them simply because they will be far from perfect." I'm no expert (and also not a father yet), but other than accidents, what other reason to have even the first child is there than "We want one." Seems like a complicated issue...
Sometimes you follow your heart, somtimes your heart cuts a fart, and that's the cosmic shame...
the old Jewish joke (5.00 / 1) (#109)
by streetlawyer on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 02:26:01 AM EST

"Rabbi, you know with my life, I wish I had never been born at all"

"Ahhh, how many are so lucky? Not one in ten thousand!"

Think about this a while, and you will realise why the article above is very stupid indeed.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

Think about it this way (none / 0) (#122)
by autonomous on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 11:44:41 AM EST

If you and your spouse take a gun and shoot at your child, with only a 1% chance of actually killing them, its till attempted murder. If that 1% chance killed the child, its murder. And your telling me its ok to kill or cause your child to live with a disability, You are sick people. I'm all for genetic gun control.
-- Always remember you are nothing more than a collection of complementary chemicals worth not more than $5.00
what faulty logic (none / 0) (#128)
by eyespots on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 03:59:45 PM EST

As long as the percent chance you will give you kid a fatal disease is not zero, then by your rational you shouldn't have a kid.

Well, then no one should have children, because for every single couple, there are chances of genetic diseases suddenly appearing and killing your kid. So then you're advocating no one having children. (almost 50% of all fertilized eggs never survive until birth!)

That's not even touching your illogical comparison between having children and shooting them with a gun.

[ Parent ]

No, I think you miss understand (none / 0) (#130)
by autonomous on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 01:49:19 AM EST

I'm saying if you have a chance of giving your child a fatal disease, I'm not talking about acts of nature or random mutation. We all know that sex in an incredibly inefficient way of reproducing, You can't fault my logic because sex isn't a reliable method of procreation. I'm talking about someone with AIDS or something else, they KNOW they can pass, they have been diagnosed with, and then they still make the decision to go ahead and have a child that, chances are will die of this disease. If a parent injected their child with HIV virus and they die, thats murder. If they have a child knowing their child will have a chance of being infected, that should be murder as well.
Since you didn't like my gun analogy think of it more like this, parents are playing russian roulette with their childs life. I'm pretty sure there are laws against that as well. Does it matter if your using a gun or a disease? I don't think so.
-- Always remember you are nothing more than a collection of complementary chemicals worth not more than $5.00
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I've dealt with these issues before (none / 0) (#125)
by Rojareyn on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 01:25:10 PM EST

Howdy,

I'm glad this article was posted for a number of different reasons. I'm a mild factor 9 hemophiliac and so is my brother. Until 1990 when testing was made available, we had *no* idea how my mother could have been a carrier (we later found out it was one of those one-in-a-billion things when she was conceived).

Anyway, sometime during high school/early college I realized that if I had any female offspring, then there would be a 50% chance that *their* offspring would be hemophiliacs as well. Solution: Well, adopt children.

It just seemed the rational thing to do.

So it shocks me that people are bringing their children into the world KNOWING they're not going to have a difficult life. If you love your kids so much, would you *want* to see them suffer? It's scary.

As a final comment, I'd like to say that I was diagnosed AFTER my brother was born (he tested positive for hemophilia after I was tested positive for it). I've no other siblings.

Cheers!


I agree (5.00 / 1) (#131)
by CrazyJub on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 11:53:43 AM EST

I understand that the author is not talking about sterilization, or eugenics, but for people to use a little self control and common sense.

"When I was a kid, the kid who swallowed to many marbles, didn't get to grow up and have kids of their own!" - George Carlin

While science has enabled us to treat the SYMPTOMS of most diseases, people in general are less able to fight infection. The rise of super bacteria is just the first example of this effect. When we first walked the earth, if you got sick easily, or got cancer, or were generally unhealthy, you did not breed and your genes were not passed on. Problem solved.

Why not now? Well, we have a little more compassion than we did 1000 years ago. But come on people, get real. If you have AIDS - don't have children, it's that simple. And if you can't make this basic decision on your own, than someone needs to make the call for you. Bringing children into the world with this strike against them is cruel.

Ok, now replace AIDS with MS, or mentally challenged, or highly allergic, or (insert minority here) and you see the problem. It's a human's basic right to reproduce, and no government has the right to stand in the way. but at least we should be teaching people that if you are afflicted with a serious condition, you have a strong chance of passing on those genes to your kids, and their kids, and their kids, etc...

Which brings us to a larger issue, this has been going on in North America for close to 100 years. What will the gene pool look like in another 100 years? Now you know why scientists are so interested in cracking DNA; we need to to survive.

Of course the meek will inherit the earth, in 100 years we'll all have the meek gene.




Is the Need to Breed Outweighing Common Sense? | 131 comments (106 topical, 25 editorial, 0 hidden)
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