[ExI] 'Survival of the fittest' ??

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sat Jan 18 09:37:55 UTC 2020

On Sat, Jan 11, 2020 at 1:59 PM William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

>  SR Ballard> wrote:
>> I’m sorry, but some people are genetically unfit to have children.
> Yeah?  Agreed.  So what do you want to do about it?  Give governments a
> say in who is born?
> bill w

### Why do people always ask What Should the Government Do, instead of
asking What Should We Reasonable People Do?

SR is right - there are people genetically unfit but still able to have
children, in the sense that their actually having a child results in
wrongful life. "Wrongful life" is a legal concept that allows children or
their guardians to sue their parents for the harm of being born malformed,
sick, disabled and suffering, if this harm was preventable and was caused
by the parent's failure to take reasonable preventative action. Under the
concept of wrongful life there is no need for government commissions,
bumptious officials and crusading politicians to force this or that on
parents. We, reasonable people, may demand that all parents take complete
responsibility, including legal and financial responsibility, for the life,
survival and well-being of their children. We may expect all fertile adults
in our in-group to show proof of insurance for causing wrongful life and
insurance against disability in their children. Private and competitive
insurance is a wonderful thing - it creates a responsive, incredibly
efficient mechanism for pricing behaviors based on their costs. If
carelessly having a child destined to sickness and early death is a cost, a
harm, then that cost can be transferred to the parents responsible for it,
and thus exert a pressure to change parents' behavior that is commensurate
with the potential harm of their behaviors.

In a reasonable world having children while genetically healthy and
socially productive would be cheap but having sick children while
genetically damaged and unproductive would be ruinously expensive.
Everything in between would be priced according to the risk imposed on
unborn children, letting everybody make informed decisions about having
children and encouraging parents to take measures to reduce the risk of
harm to their children, such measures to include prenatal testing, carrier
testing, genetic screening of potential marriage partners, PGD, and in the
future also genetic engineering.

It would be a brave and much better new world.
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