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The second is a headline quoting Glenn Beck, a conservative radio and television host in the US.But what exactly is the link supposed to be, between eugenics on the one hand, and euthanasia, on the other?
No one would be inclined to take the previous argument seriously as a reason for objecting to people owning pets or using toilet paper.
“I have taken the position which argues for the inevitability of genetic enhancements. “People talk about a new eugenics, a different kind of eugenics.
We allow parents to enhance their children through all kinds of social interventions, so there is already a belief that it's a proper goal for a parent to help their children as much as possible.
One obvious connection between the two, strongly suggested by both of the headlines just mentioned, is that the Nazi's practiced both.
When people link eugenics, euthanasia and Nazism they are not usually intending merely to point out an historical fact, the way I am intending to point out an historical fact when I tell you that the ancient Romans watched gladiatorial combat and wore sandals.
Contemporary defenders of euthanasia defend the right of individuals suffering certain conditions to decide, for themselves, when and how they end their lives. They might also defend the rights of families, in some circumstances, to engage in non-voluntary euthanasia of patients who, for instance, are in a permanent state of disability with no hope of improvement and from which state they cannot consent.
Whether we ought to decriminalise these kinds of behaviours is an important question that demands debate.
“And you can quite easily imagine that if one were to apply these techniques to germline editing the place where it’s going to happen is going to be associated in some way with IVF clinics.
I’m afraid the US is one such country where it seems very unregulated.
It seems trivial to note that not everything the Nazis did was ethically objectionable, and that the mere fact that the Nazis did something does not therefore make it objectionable. That is not to suggest that the kind of eugenics and euthanasia practiced by the Nazis was not abhorrent. The kind of euthanasia practiced by the Nazis was morally repugnant for at least two reasons.
First, because the motivation for their policy was a particularly nasty view about racial purity and a belief about people they took to be undesirable and unworthy of living.
But neither of these two kinds of scenarios looks at all like the mass killing of persons against their will, the behaviour the Nazis engaged in.