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Famous Atheist Richard Dawkins Comes Under Fire for Touting Benefits of Eugenics

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British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who has never hidden his embrace of atheism, touched off a firestorm this week by saying eugenics should not be dismissed as unworkable just because some people don’t like the concept.

Eugenics can be summarized as a method of controlling human population growth so that only certain characteristics or populations continue.

The concept was embraced by Nazi Germany, and has been considered abhorrent by most of society since that time, although it was supported by Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.

As noted recently by The Washington Post, however, the concept of eugenics is making a comeback as part of proposals designed to slow population growth and address climate change.

In this context, Dawkins fired off a three-tweet salvo on Sunday.

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“It’s one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work in practice. Of course it would. It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn’t it work for humans? Facts ignore ideology,” he tweeted.

Dawkins wanted to be sure no one confused his support for the concept with the reality of actually making it work.

Are you scared that eugenics is now embraced by many on the left?

“For those determined to miss the point, I deplore the idea of a eugenic policy. I simply said deploring it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work. Just as we breed cows to yield more milk, we could breed humans to run faster or jump higher. But heaven forbid that we should do it,” he said.

He then noted that just because it would be wrong does not mean eugenics could not work.

“A eugenic policy would be bad. I’m combating the illogical step from ‘X would be bad’ to ‘So X is impossible’. It would work in the same sense as it works for cows. Let’s fight it on moral grounds. Deny obvious scientific facts & we lose — or at best derail — the argument,” he wrote.

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Oh was there a reaction!

Sunday’s series of tweet was not the first time Dawkins has raised the issue of eugenics.

Writing in The Guardian after one of Dawkins’ previous comments about eugenics, writer Giles Fraser took Dawkins to task.

“Being so obsessed with attacking religion, people such as Dawkins have lost sight of what they are supposed to be defending,” Dawkins wrote.

“And this may be because too many humanists also place the category ‘human’ quite a long way down their order of importance, with things such as rationality or choice or the avoidance of pain being deemed of greater significance. Human life can thus be easily traded away in some utilitarian calculation.”

“It so happens that, when it comes to eugenics, religion has a much better track record at defending the human than science or leftwing progressives,” he added.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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