Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:22 am UTC

Copyright is definitely in the Constitution, but it's not stated as a right to intellectual property or anything similar. Congress just has the power to enforce copyright so that it's worthwhile to produce new works. If they wanted, they could reduce copyright protections, or even eliminate them entirely, without infringing any rights.

Kyrn wrote:If it is not, how do you define a fundamental right?

I don't, and I'm not really sure if the Supreme Court has, either. But what matters is that a particular right, once it is recognized as fundamental, is protected by strict scrutiny. Reproduction is a fundamental right; hence, the courts would almost certainly strike down the various eugenics policies proposed here as unconstitutional.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Kyrn » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:29 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Copyright is definitely in the Constitution, but it's not stated as a right to intellectual property or anything similar. Congress just has the power to enforce copyright so that it's worthwhile to produce new works. If they wanted, they could reduce copyright protections, or even eliminate them entirely, without infringing any rights.

Kyrn wrote:If it is not, how do you define a fundamental right?

I don't, and I'm not really sure if the Supreme Court has, either. But what matters is that a particular right, once it is recognized as fundamental, is protected by strict scrutiny. Reproduction is a fundamental right; hence, the courts would almost certainly strike down the various eugenics policies proposed here as unconstitutional.


Halt there. What is your issue with my definition of fundamental rights or human rights, if you cannot define them yourself? If we cannot define fundamental rights, how can we use them in any arguments?
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:35 am UTC

It's not a matter of our personal philosophies, but of judicial precedent. You want the courts to administer a eugenics program. The courts likely would not administer a eugenics program. At this point, you're advocating a total disruption of the means by which fundamental rights are protected by the courts for the sake of one policy. How can you reconcile this with faith in the courts as arbiter of such a policy?
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Kyrn » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:43 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:It's not a matter of our personal philosophies, but of judicial precedent. You want the courts to administer a eugenics program. The courts likely would not administer a eugenics program. At this point, you're advocating a total disruption of the means by which fundamental rights are protected by the courts for the sake of one policy. How can you reconcile this with faith in the courts as arbiter of such a policy?

If you cannot adequately define fundamental/human rights, there is no issue with eugenics whatsoever, since you cannot prove eugenics is a human/fundamental right. Now please define human/fundamental rights, or I'll take that my definition stands. My claim is that fundamental rights are based on the constitution, and if you prefer, of judical precedent as well. Is this an acceptable definition, or not.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Philwelch » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:45 am UTC

Azrael wrote:Copyrighting is not in the constitution


US Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 wrote: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:48 am UTC

Kyrn wrote:If you cannot adequately define fundamental/human rights, there is no issue with eugenics whatsoever, since you cannot prove eugenics is a human/fundamental right.

I do not attempt to show that eugenics is a fundamental right. My personal philosophy is irrelevant on questions of law. I merely acknowledge the Supreme Court's precedent in recognizing procreation as a fundamental right.

You are not responding to my posts. This sophistry is tiresome.

Edit for edit: Yes, fundamental rights, in law, are defined by the Constitution and by legal precedent (which recognizes traditions outside the Constitution). Given that you accept this definition, why do you continue to raise examples of rights which fall outside it?
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Kyrn » Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:00 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Kyrn wrote:If you cannot adequately define fundamental/human rights, there is no issue with eugenics whatsoever, since you cannot prove eugenics is a human/fundamental right.

I do not attempt to show that eugenics is a fundamental right. My personal philosophy is irrelevant on questions of law. I merely acknowledge the Supreme Court's precedent in recognizing procreation as a fundamental right.

You are not responding to my posts. This sophistry is tiresome.


Then you accept that the supreme court is how fundamental rights are determined. However, is it also proven that the supreme court rulings has been overturned before. See examples: Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896) compared to Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954). Hence since fundamental rights can be overruled, it stands that they cannot be a reasonable justification against my proposal.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:08 am UTC

Precedent can be overturned, yes, but that doesn't make it meaningless. Do you have any evidence that procreation would cease to be recognized as a fundamental right?

You also do not present evidence that fundamental rights have been overruled, but rather that Supreme Court decisions in general can be overruled. It is true that West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish somewhat limited the previously-recognized right to contract, but it is hardly an example of repeal. Your argument against the weight of precedent remains flimsy, and it is doubtful that it would be recognized by any court.

Edit: To clarify the necessity for these legal considerations: You say that the government can be trusted with the power to limit reproduction because the courts will restrict those limits to cases where they are justified. However, you also seek to radically alter the courts' treatment of human rights so that your proposed policy could become minimally acceptable. In what meaningful way do the courts protect rights if you seek to redefine rights ad hoc to suit legislation?
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Kyrn » Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:15 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Precedent can be overturned, yes, but that doesn't make it meaningless. Do you have any evidence that procreation would cease to be recognized as a fundamental right?

You also do not present evidence that fundamental rights have been overruled, but rather that Supreme Court decisions in general can be overruled. It is true that West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish somewhat limited the previously-recognized right to contract, but it is hardly an example of repeal. Your argument against the weight of precedent remains flimsy, and it is doubtful that it would be recognized by any court.


Then again, prove that procreation is a fundamental right. For another example, a supreme court ruling which takes away property rights for economic (society) benifit: Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:24 am UTC

Kyrn wrote:Then again, prove that procreation is a fundamental right.

I have quoted the relevant passage from Skinner more than once. This is no longer sophistry. It is merely obtuse, but still tiresome.

Kyrn wrote:For another example, a supreme court ruling which takes away property rights for economic (society) benifit: Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)

Kelo found those benefits to fall within the public use conditions of eminent domain, which is Constitutional. I do not necessarily defend that decision, but it does not indicate a rejection of strict scrutiny.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Kyrn » Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:59 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Kyrn wrote:Then again, prove that procreation is a fundamental right.

I have quoted the relevant passage from Skinner more than once. This is no longer sophistry. It is merely obtuse, but still tiresome.

Kyrn wrote:For another example, a supreme court ruling which takes away property rights for economic (society) benifit: Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)

Kelo found those benefits to fall within the public use conditions of eminent domain, which is Constitutional. I do not necessarily defend that decision, but it does not indicate a rejection of strict scrutiny.


It is tiresome because you are reverting the definition to a group whose rulings has been overturned. But neitherless, let's assume strict scrunity.

1) Compelling governmental interest.
This is not just about money, this is about social welfare. A child produced in the situation I mentioned is unable to have a proper functioning family and are at higher risks of behaviorial issues.
2) Narrowly tailored
This will only affect people who has been pre-diagnosed with mental disability, and further analyzed to determine if one is able to care for more than oneself.
3) Least restrictive means
Along with the small target population, this would only enforce reasonable effort taken to limit reproduction, as opposed to forcing abortion/sterilization.

This is my proposal.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Raptortech97 » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:22 am UTC

Azrael wrote:
sinc wrote:right to life? Dont you mean, privillage to live in this case?

They are people, therefore they have a right to life. That is very simple.

Your personal and subjective feelings are exactly that -- personal and subjective. They do not override basic human rights, regardless of how ardently you disagree with them.

It is your opinion that all people have the right to live. While I do not think such, I have the right to think differently, because of the freedom of speech in the US and intahwebs.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:37 am UTC

Existing provisions for involuntary foster care can also protect the welfare of the child. Even if the right to parent one's children is fundamental (and I suspect that the generally unchallenged bulk of custody laws indicate that it has not been defined as such), this means is more narrowly tailored to these ends in that it only affects those parents whose incapability has been shown in practice. It is obviously less restrictive in any case where parenting rights are not recognized as fundamental.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Azrael » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:45 am UTC

Raptortech97 wrote:
Azrael wrote:
sinc wrote:right to life? Dont you mean, privillage to live in this case?
They are people, therefore they have a right to life. That is very simple.

Your personal and subjective feelings are exactly that -- personal and subjective. They do not override basic human rights, regardless of how ardently you disagree with them.
It is your opinion that all people have the right to live. While I do not think such, I have the right to think differently, because of the freedom of speech in the US and intahwebs.
No, it is not my opinion. The concept of basic human rights is that they held as facts. Regardless, yes, you do have the right to think otherwise -- much as I originally said to sinc. But not only does your opinion continue to not matter, it's ... wrong ... when it conflicts with facts.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Kyrn » Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:08 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Existing provisions for involuntary foster care can also protect the welfare of the child. Even if the right to parent one's children is fundamental (and I suspect that the generally unchallenged bulk of custody laws indicate that it has not been defined as such), this means is more narrowly tailored to these ends in that it only affects those parents whose incapability has been shown in practice. It is obviously less restrictive in any case where parenting rights are not recognized as fundamental.


It does, but the damage has already been done. The purpose of my proposal is to prevent damage. And the incapability is demonstrated at the point where the mental disability is diagnosed, regardless.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:12 am UTC

If that incapability is demonstrated, then it wouldn't be possible to place those children in foster care rather than to forbid reproduction? This seems less restrictive, and yet it is also much more enforceable — how many people with disorders so severe as to make them incapable of parenthood would nevertheless be capable of respecting an injunction against, say, sex without contraceptives?
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:31 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:If that incapability is demonstrated, then it wouldn't be possible to place those children in foster care rather than to forbid reproduction? This seems less restrictive, and yet it is also much more enforceable — how many people with disorders so severe as to make them incapable of parenthood would nevertheless be capable of respecting an injunction against, say, sex without contraceptives?
Remember, too, that we're talking about a small subset of the population--if we're willing to (temporarily) sterilize those who are either incapable or uninterested in expressing a desire to exercise their right to pregnancy, the only people who would be affected by this policy are those who 1) Want to get pregnant and 2) Remain, by an undefined standard, incapable of providing for those children.

At this point, I have to ask--how many people do you think fall under this heading? Would the violation of their rights through sterilization against their will be worth the benefit? I'm not convinced that there's a sizable portion of the population who would even fit this criteria.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:34 am UTC

If I'm reading it right, Kyrn has already excluded sterilization and is just talking about an injunction against having children. But that seems like a very strange policy to me, because an injunction is a pretty flimsy means of controlling someone who isn't of sound enough mind to care for a child.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:39 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:If I'm reading it right, Kyrn has already excluded sterilization and is just talking about an injunction against having children. But that seems like a very strange policy to me, because an injunction is a pretty flimsy means of controlling someone who isn't of sound enough mind to care for a child.
Oh, pardon, I must have misread! But, uh, yeah. Taxing people for pregnancy would create financial pressures encouraging parents to abort ("Abort your child or face a hefty fine!"), and if you're already fine with pressuring people into abortion, you might as well skip to pressuring people into sterilization. That leaves us with punishing parents by taking their children into the custody of the state, which doesn't strike me as a policy that would go over well.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Kyrn » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:45 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:If I'm reading it right, Kyrn has already excluded sterilization and is just talking about an injunction against having children. But that seems like a very strange policy to me, because an injunction is a pretty flimsy means of controlling someone who isn't of sound enough mind to care for a child.
Oh, pardon, I must have misread! But, uh, yeah. Taxing people for pregnancy would create financial pressures encouraging parents to abort ("Abort your child or face a hefty fine!"), and if you're already fine with pressuring people into abortion, you might as well skip to pressuring people into sterilization. That leaves us with punishing parents by taking their children into the custody of the state, which doesn't strike me as a policy that would go over well.


Actually to clarify, the injunction would still apply whether or not you decide to keep the pregnancy, so it wouldn't encourage abortions (just as how even if you give up your car license, you will still have to pay the fine for speeding). However, I do admit that the cost benefit for a such a small population sample is questionable But if we were to assume that this is not about cost, are there other potential issues? (also, yes, it is indirectly "punishing parents by taking their children into the custody of the state", but why do you say that it wouldn't go well? (given that objections should have been raised at the point of diagnosis)
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:48 pm UTC

Kyrn wrote:Actually to clarify, the injunction would still apply whether or not you decide to keep the pregnancy, so it wouldn't encourage abortions (just as how even if you give up your car license, you will still have to pay the fine for speeding).
Ah, but it would encourage sterilization (much as how speeding tickets encourage not speeding) or not having sex in the first place (much as how speeding tickets encourage not driving in the first place!). Safe sex too, but as safe sex carries a potential ratio of failure that you cannot necessarily control, sterilizations would be the more sensible response.
Kyrn wrote:However, I do admit that the cost benefit for a such a small population sample is questionable But if we were to assume that this is not about cost, are there other potential issues? (also, yes, it is indirectly "punishing parents by taking their children into the custody of the state", but why do you say that it wouldn't go well? (given that objections should have been raised at the point of diagnosis)
Well, you've removed all the teeth from the policy and reduced it to some form of taxation on pregnancies involving individuals we'd rather not see caring for children. There are still... yeah. A lot of issues.

The first that springs to mind--how will you account for rape? If we're dealing with people who don't possess the agency to raise children, we're dealing with people who 1) Are more vulnerable to rape, and 2) Are more likely to be unwilling or incapable to report their rape as rape. You'd have to create a whole new bureaucracy to try and insure that people aren't fined in cases of rape (and it would still happen anyway).

The second that springs to mind--you're trying to create an incentive to prevent certain people from having children, but I think you're overlooking that the group we're talking about (those who do not possess enough agency to raise children, but possess enough agency to have consensual sex) are not responsive to government incentives and taxes in the first place--at least not in the way we might assume.

And... really, there are just tons of problems. I wouldn't call this an effective policy, and at this point, I'd question as to what your actual aims with the policy would be?

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:38 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Ah, but it would encourage sterilization (much as how speeding tickets encourage not speeding) or not having sex in the first place (much as how speeding tickets encourage not driving in the first place!). Safe sex too, but as safe sex carries a potential ratio of failure that you cannot necessarily control, sterilizations would be the more sensible response.

It also encourages you to have abortions before anyone finds out that you're pregnant. Rush abortions. Good idea. :shock:

Anyway, why require a person not to get pregnant at all if your only goal is too avoid the chance of a child being neglected?
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby folkhero » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:23 pm UTC

OK, I haven't read the entired of of this thread (but I think that I've at least skimmed most of it) so sorry if this is repeating something that's already been said.

The assumption of some posters seems to be that if a parent isn't capable of taking care of a child, then the child won't be cared for without the government or 'society at large' being burdened to take care of the child. In reality, it's not uncommon for a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other relative to take responsibility for raising a child when the parents cannot and give him/her a great upbringing. Obviously it can be a tough decision or a large burden for the relative, but unsuitable parent doesn't automatically mean neglected child.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Dargon Cophe » Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:56 pm UTC

I believe that we have to respect the emotions of current humans, but we can decide for future generations.

I feel that the mentally disabled are unable to provide the physical, mental, and emotional needs of a child. How can you raise a child that is more advanced emotionally, socially, and experience. Without the essential experience, how can you be expected to impart the common sense and wisdom that the world requires?

What good can possibly come from incapable parents with no chance to improve? There is no cure for mental disability.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:04 pm UTC

Dargon Cophe wrote:How can you raise a child that is more advanced emotionally, socially, and experience.

I don't know. Ask the 50% of parents who have children who are smarter than them just by pure chance. (Actually, it's higher than that because most of them have more than one child.)
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Dargon Cophe » Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:14 am UTC

I was referring not to general intelligence, but more common sense and logical capacity.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby smit90 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:16 am UTC

Note: I only read the first page of replies

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby hideki101 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:36 pm UTC

I guess that the biggest problem coming through this thread is that everyone seems to be looking at this from the eyes of a non-disabled person's perspective. My current class on disability studies is taught by someone who has Multiple Sclerosis and his viewpoint is way different from what I've been reading in this thread.

Basically, what he thinks is that everyone with a disability has the same rights as anyone else in the world. The underpinnings of the ideas that the disabled are universally inferior to "normal" people is a societal thing, not a statement of fact. This is borne out through the Moral Model of human thought, where the normal majority of humans believe that the disability is either a result of sin or some bad thing they did, or a test from some higher power, or a symbol. this survives to the modern age as a feeling of disgust or avoidance toward disabled people. Later, the Medical Model, where disability is seen as a wrong that needs to be fixed, became the dominant model of thought in the current day. This way of thought is shown through pity, and can be just as hindering as the moral model, as it dehumanized the disabled person. What he advocates for is the adaption of the social model, which puts the person with the disability first,and treats them like a person, not as an object to be studied or hated. Basically, treat disability as an ethnic group (anologically wise, not literally so) with the same rights and treatment as such.

My view is slightly different. All people get fundamental rights, whether they are disabled or not. I also believe that the maturity of the person is the most important thing regarding such. If both partners are mature enough to realize exactly what they are getting into, then there is no problem with me giving them birthing rights. If they are mature enough to do that, then they are mature enough to give their resultant child a decent upbringing. Also I think such a child, if tended to with sufficient care, may turn out better than another child of a different family, due to being exposed to someone with a disability may be more accepting of others, and less judging of appearances.

So my idea is to make it illegal to have sex with someone who is mentally deficient enough to not understand the consequences of their actions; basically to give severely mentally deficient people the same legal standing as children. However, if the disabled person is deemed mentally fit enough to qualify as an adult (no matter how low that bar may go) let them have children.

Incidentally, I find the idea of forced sterilization to be entirely uncomfortable. The slope is long, high, and slippery, as well as violating one of the fundamental human rights.

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(however, my list of fundamental human rights may not be in line with the socially accepted way of thinking. My fundamental list of human rights consists of pretty much one real right: the right to live in contentment. However, there is one rule that goes with that right: you must respect other people's fundamental rights. e.g. I have the right to flail my arms about, but my rights end where my hand comes in contact with your face. If you want to go jump off a cliff, I may try to persuade you to not jump, but it's entirely your decision to make.)
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby thefrenchhornguy » Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:52 pm UTC

Griffmo wrote:How do you feel about severely mentally disabled people becoming pregnant and having kids? It's been bothering me all day, so I'm genuinely curious.


I'm a Christian. Speaking from my beliefs, I don't believe it's our right as human beings to decide who is allowed to reproduce, and hence, who is allowed to be born. Such prohibition also undermines the Constitutional right to the pursuit of happiness (I think it can be agreed that reproduction, when desired, makes people happy). Now, speaking from an evolutionary standpoint, I would like to point out that we, as humans, are one of the only animal species who actually protects and cares for the weak: the mentally disabled, the physically disabled, etc. While this has provided us with some great benefits, such as the benefit of the prodigious natures of some of the physically and mentally disabled (I provide Stephen Hawking and a virtual plethora of great composers as examples, respectively), these are the exceptions, not the rule. That is to say, the vast majority of the mentally and physically disabled (let me pause and clarify for a moment: the severely disabled, almost dysfunctional types) create a net drain on society by consuming resources and, by dint of their disability, producing little, if anything. We, as a society, spend our resources to sustain a group that does little to enhance our society. We do so out of a sense of humanity, for this is one of the things that sets us apart from other organisms, but from a rational, logical standpoint this practice is foolish.
I realize I have diverged from the topic at hand. I am of a divided mind, personally. From my views as a Christian believer and proponent of the United States Constitution I would say it is not ours to decide who can and cannot reproduce. From a purely rational standpoint allowing the severely mentally disabled to reproduce is ultimately foolish and over time has potential to create terrible societal problems by degrading our gene pool.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:44 am UTC

thefrenchhornguy wrote:From a purely rational standpoint allowing the severely mentally disabled to reproduce is ultimately foolish and over time has potential to create terrible societal problems by degrading our gene pool.

I'm not sure what you mean by "rational." There's really no way you can apply rationality to a choice of axioms, which means that a decision to value utility over human rights would also be irrational.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:54 am UTC

thefrenchhornguy wrote: Now, speaking from an evolutionary standpoint, I would like to point out that we, as humans, are one of the only animal species who actually protects and cares for the weak: the mentally disabled, the physically disabled, etc.
Nope. General source. Specific source. Another specific source.
thefrenchhornguy wrote:While this has provided us with some great benefits, such as the benefit of the prodigious natures of some of the physically and mentally disabled (I provide Stephen Hawking and a virtual plethora of great composers as examples, respectively), these are the exceptions, not the rule. That is to say, the vast majority of the mentally and physically disabled (let me pause and clarify for a moment: the severely disabled, almost dysfunctional types) create a net drain on society by consuming resources and, by dint of their disability, producing little, if anything.
Perhaps the exceptions are worth it? Anyway, we don't care for the sick because we're just such awesome people--we do it because we want someone to care for us when we're sick. That's the benefit you receive for giving a fuck about those around you--those around you give a fuck about you. If we draw lines about who we care about, we risk drawing them in such a way that we ourselves will be excluded.
thefrenchhornguy wrote:From a purely rational standpoint allowing the severely mentally disabled to reproduce is ultimately foolish and over time has potential to create terrible societal problems by degrading our gene pool.
Dude, we've been doing that shit for ten thousand years, plus change. We have yet to cause a crisis. Do you think we're on the threshold only now?

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:39 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Dude, we've been doing that shit for ten thousand years, plus change. We have yet to cause a crisis. Do you think we're on the threshold only now?

Any day now...any day...
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Mr. Freeman » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:49 am UTC

Azrael wrote:
Raptortech97 wrote:It is your opinion that all people have the right to live. While I do not think such, I have the right to think differently, because of the freedom of speech in the US and intahwebs.
No, it is not my opinion. The concept of basic human rights is that they held as facts. Regardless, yes, you do have the right to think otherwise -- much as I originally said to sinc. But not only does your opinion continue to not matter, it's ... wrong ... when it conflicts with facts


Yes, it is your opinion. Regardless of what you call them, fundamental rights, human rights, god-given rights, divine rights, whatever. They only exist because we, as a society decided that they exist. We can, as a society, decide that they don't exist.
Furthermore, it doesn't matter who recognizes these rights. If we are to accept that an authority can give rights. That is, the supreme court, and international panel, etc. Then we must also accept that that same authority can remove those rights.

Your logic states that if everyone on the planet tomorrow decided that human rights didn't exist, then they would all be wrong because human rights are absolutely correct and beyond debate, as if they were provable facts. But your argument fails to realize that humans were what decided that human rights existed. If we accept that humans can grant rights then humans can also restrict or remove rights. Either the rights don't exist in the first place, or they do exist but can be revoked.

In order to avoid arguments that are hard to resolve, I'm going to limit my following argument to the following criteria:
1. We are talking about mental disabilities that can and WILL WITH 100% CERTAINTY be passed on to offspring
2. We are talking about mental disabilities that WITH 100% CERTAINTY result in a miserable, by any definition of the word, quality of life.
3. We are talking about mental disabilities that do not have recessive strains. Thus, anyone without a disability is not a carrier and the offspring of people with disabilities will WITH 100% CERTAINTY have the same disability.
4. Disabilities do not occur at random and must be passed down.

Someone many pages ago mentioned that mental disabilities will propagate throughout the population. Although this might be true (remember, I working off of the above assumptions) if everyone randomly breeds with everyone else, this is not the case. Most mentally disabled people would be unattractive to most normal people (If you have a problem with the word "normal" then send me a PM, don't bring it up in the thread). Of course there are exceptions but for the most part the disability will be confined to a small portion of the population and not run amok within the next few generations.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Azrael » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:56 am UTC

Mr. Freeman wrote:
Azrael wrote:
Raptortech97 wrote:It is your opinion that all people have the right to live.
No, it is not my opinion. The concept of basic human rights is that they held as facts.
Yes, it is your opinion. ... Your logic states that if everyone on the planet tomorrow decided that human rights didn't exist, then they would all be wrong because human rights are absolutely correct and beyond debate, as if they were provable facts. But your argument fails to realize that humans were what decided that human rights existed.

Actually, my logic doesn't state that at all. Nor do I fail to realize the origins of the rights. You, however, have misconstrued my point because you haven't fully understood why I used 'concept' and 'held' in the quoted sentence.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:35 pm UTC

Mr. Freeman wrote:Most mentally disabled people would be unattractive to most normal people (If you have a problem with the word "normal" then send me a PM, don't bring it up in the thread).

Umm:

Belial wrote:Unfortunately, you get called out on it where it happens, not in some other thread that can be conveniently ignored. My recommendation is that if you don't want to get derailed or called to task on your inflammatory phrasing, that you stop using it. And then the issue will never arise. It's going to lead to a derail every time. So stop it.

I'm not sure what your basis is for knowingly using problematic language and then pointing it out in the same post, or how you justify this pay-no-attention-to-the-othering-behind-the-curtain command, but the false disabled/normal binary is at the root of the problem here, so I'll go ahead and say it: The notion of a "normal" person is questionable, and when placed in contradistinction to people with mental illnesses, especially outside your fictional world of 100%s, it only serves to other people with disabilities. Best not to describe things thus if you already realize that it could be a problem.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby Chicostick » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:56 pm UTC

I feel the biggest issue with reproduction and the mentally disabled is whether or not they can adequately support the child. If they are non-functioning, and can't provide financially or emotionally for the child, they shouldn't be allowed to keep any children that they have. Preventing them from actually having children is kind of an iffy issue. If they have disabilities that would be passed onto their child, then they shouldn't be allowed to reproduce as nothing good can come from it. However, if they are simply mentally challenged from the results of an accident or other circumstances, there isn't a good reason to prevent them from having a child. But if they are unable to raise the child, then naturally they will have to put it into foster care.

This is the sort of thing that is already done with parents who can't support children, it is just in this cases the reasons behind them not being able to support it are different. If the risk of disability in the child is to high, then birth should be prevented. If not, there is no reason to prevent them from having children, other than that it is "wrong." Choosing to single out mentally challenged people as people who can't support their children is stereotypical, as there are many completely functioning people who are incapable of supporting their children for various reasons, and there are no government mandates preventing THEM from having children. The children simply become a "burden of the state" in both cases, there is no difference between the two. Whether or not the parents can support the child correctly is the biggest issue in whether or not they can raise them.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:48 pm UTC

Chicostick wrote:If they have disabilities that would be passed onto their child, then they shouldn't be allowed to reproduce as nothing good can come from it.

Citation very needed. Weaker version of this claim have been smacked down repeatedly and resoundingly earlier in the thread; have you read it?
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby cptjeff » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:56 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:It's not a matter of our personal philosophies, but of judicial precedent. You want the courts to administer a eugenics program. The courts likely would not administer a eugenics program. At this point, you're advocating a total disruption of the means by which fundamental rights are protected by the courts for the sake of one policy. How can you reconcile this with faith in the courts as arbiter of such a policy?


Buck V. Bell is still on the books as good law. In that case, the supreme court upheld the right of a state to sterilize a women as she was mentally ill. Your assumption that the courts would not endorse such a policy is wrong. They have endorsed it, and it has preserved as good law since 1927. Reproduction is not a fundamental right under US law.

As for Skinner, the law was only unconstitutional becuase it didn't treat defendants equally. Repeated white collar offenses like embezzlement would not lead to mandatory sterilization like simple theft would, violating equal protection, and there had to be a genuine demonstration of the punishment being necessary for the public health. If it's equally applied and is for the public good, skinner has no bearing on this discussion.

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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:42 pm UTC

cptjeff wrote:Reproduction is not a fundamental right under US law.

Skinner v. Oklahoma wrote:We are dealing here with legislation which involves one of the basic civil rights of man. Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.
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Re: Reproduction & the Mentally Disabled?

Postby BlackSails » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:14 pm UTC

cptjeff wrote:
As for Skinner, the law was only unconstitutional becuase it didn't treat defendants equally. Repeated white collar offenses like embezzlement would not lead to mandatory sterilization like simple theft would, violating equal protection, and there had to be a genuine demonstration of the punishment being necessary for the public health. If it's equally applied and is for the public good, skinner has no bearing on this discussion.


That is not what equal protection means. I dont think any court ever, in the history of humanity has ever argued that different crimes dont deserve different punishments.


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