[ExI] A Gedanken Rational Eugenics Experiment (AGREE)
anders at aleph.se
Sun Oct 27 19:28:19 UTC 2013
On 2013-10-27 18:19, Kelly Anderson wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 4:43 AM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se
> <mailto:anders at aleph.se>> wrote:
> Note that you would need to pay *a lot*. The below 1 SD population
> is around 15%, so in the US that would be about 47 million people
> you need to pay off. I am not sure what the going price for
> getting sterilized is, but at least I expect it to be on the order
> of a few thousand dollars - we are easily talking hundreds of
> billions here. Not quite as much as is already spent on elementary
> schools, but still a lot.
> There is a successful private endeavor to sterilize female drug
> addicts for as little as $300.
> http://www.projectprevention.org <http://www.projectprevention.org/>
> Unfortunately, low IQ apparently is negatively correlated with drug
> use. At least in one study.
Well, as a drug user with decent IQ (
) I don't feel much desire to be sterilized. But then again, my
likelihood of getting an offspring is pretty microscopic.
"As of 7 October 2011 the organization had paid 3,848 clients." - that
tells me they likely do not have the right price. Looking at
it seems that a few percent of the population are drug users (2.8%
adults are 'frequent drug users'). So of the around 1,457,735 frequent
drug users only 0.26% had taken up the offer. More than I expected,
actually, but still tiny.
Still, there is something relevant with that project: it looks at a
phenotype that - at the very least through phenotypical effects - has a
good chance of reducing the life quality of children. One could just as
well imagine similar project paying other statistically bad parents -
say people with personality disorders or criminal lifestyles - to not
have children*. This would be good for the average child (since the
chance of having a nice parent goes up), and indirectly maybe have some
gene pool effect. But the moral argument for this largely hinges on the
direct effect on the children, rather than caring for the gene pool.
The gene pool is in my opinion only instrumentally valuable as something
that generates something truly valuable: good human lives. If we could
get equally good lives by compiling DNA strings or voodoo invocations,
there would not be any particular reason to keep the gene pool. This is
why I am sceptical of interventions that seem to serve "the species"
more than individual members.
[* Of course, when you start thinking about parent group membership
correlating with bad childhoods a lot of the results are pretty
unpalatable. Very fun to string people along and see how far they are
willing to go - what about poor people? immigrants? parents with bad
food habits? the wrong religion? ]
Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
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