Friday, July 28, 2006

The Friday Furo Questus

Editor's Note: You may have noticed that I have been awfully quiet about the Destiny Norton kidnapping and murder, despite it happening in our backyard. I said nothing because I really didn't have anything to say, just prayers that she would be found and doubts that she ever would.

Sadly, events have borne out my fears. All I have to say now is this: cases like this one are the reason I support the death penalty.

Questus Furore - Brave New World

Found this article the other day: "Confessions of a Genetic Outlaw."

Cases of Downs Syndrome are declining - but not because it is being cured. New technologies have made detection possible during pregnancy. Many parents are choosing to abort Downs Syndrome children rather than bring them to term - and often with the best of intentions, to spare their child a life that is dominated by disease.

This will happen more and more, as tests emerge to discover the presence of other genetically-caused diseases.

The question is, where will these tests lead us? To more and better cures and therapies, applied as soon as possible? Or down the road of eugenics - the deliberate breeding of humans for certain characteristics, and elimination of "undesirables"? Eugenics with a smiley face - since, in the minds of some, fetuses do not count as people anyway?

Now don't take this as an anti-techology rant. These tests are just tools, and tools have no say in how they are used.

It is what we choose to do with these tools that is good or evil.

What is strange is there is little discussion of it - have any of you heard about this before?

Our technology has outpaced our understanding of the implications - as it usually does. The opportunities being offered by recent advances in the biological sciences are going to come flooding out, so it is time we began to ponder these things. It is too late to wonder when the decision stares you in the face.

For a bit more on eugenics, genetics, and their implications, consider reading the following pieces by Jonah Goldberg: this, this, or this.

Recommended Reading
VDH, "The Vocabulary of Untruth."

Jonah Goldberg, "Beavis and Butthead Democracy." Jonah Goldberg writes against making voting easier. He's right.

From the Denver Post: "Military to Put Cheyenne Mountain on Standby." So the old Cold War base, from which the first 30 minutes of Armageddon would be fought, is being idled. Given the threats posed by rogue nuclear powers, I'm not sure this is a good idea. But nobody asked me.

Thought of the Week
"Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute."
Rep. Robert Goodloe Harper, Chairman, Ways and Means Committee (Address, 18 June 1798)

Churchill Quote of the Week
"A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril."
Sir Winston Churchill


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