There are many examples in history thatscience often tends to balance on the verge of good and evil. Some of the researchers are simply trying to test a new medicine on themselves, while others adhere to more radical methods of knowing themselves and the world, preferring to conduct experiments whose morality leaves much to be desired. Similar experiments, sometimes bordering on cruelty, accompanied science throughout its existence. One of the most resonant experiments of the 20th century may be the experience of introducing eugenics into ordinary human life, which Nazi researchers actively promoted among the German population. Can such actions be justified for the benefit of humanity or of a separate nation, or can the doctrine of human selection be officially recognized as immoral?
What is eugenics?
When, at the end of the 19th century, Sir Francis Galton,Charles Darwin, an anthropologist and part-time cousin, became the leader of a new and very fashionable movement that originated in England, he probably could not even imagine what further development of eugenics would lead to - the doctrine of human selection. The scientist believed so much in the brainchild that he developed that he seriously claimed that teaching could become a new religion and part of national consciousness. Galton was convinced that it was possible to design special people whose physical and mental parameters would in many ways surpass the rest of the races. At the same time, all those who, in the opinion of the special commission, will be recognized as inferior and “demented,” will have to lose the right to reproduce offspring.
Based on the theory of his cousinCharles Darwin, who was a pioneer in the theory of evolution, Galton developed a special rating of people in which he placed the Australian aborigines one "class" below the Africans.
Such a classification caused a great response inthe public, which provoked the introduction of horrific policies in Nazi Germany, where thousands of disabled people were killed, and also contributed to the law on the sterilization of tens of thousands of people in the United States in the early 20th century.
See also: How scientists are trying to create the life of the pre-Darwinian world
Eugenics: the pros and cons
As you know, everything in our world comes fromcuriosity. A man always wondered “What if ...?”, But this did not always lead to positive results. In the case of the doctrine of eugenics, science acted as a powerful weapon for change in the hands of people with great power. So, in 1913, a law on mental deficiency was introduced in the UK, according to which those people who for one reason or another were recognized as “demented” should be separated from society and literally locked in specialized colonies.
A little later, in Nazi Germany officiallythe Aktion Tiergartenstrasse 4 program or the T-4 mortification program was introduced, within the framework of which more than 300,000 disabled people were killed, the main motive of which was the belief in the “cleansing” of the Aryan race and the world as a whole from “superfluous” people.
Due to the fact that the Prime Minister of Great BritainWinston Churchill was an ardent supporter of eugenics, the concept of “demented” included in his opinion not only people suffering from mental illnesses, but almost half of the globe. For example, Churchill openly spoke of his dislike of Indians, Kurds, and even Germans, whose absolutely healthy women could fall under the category of dementia in the event of medical complications during the birth of a child.
Despite the fact that eugenics is currentlyis under an official taboo, some of it still begins to revive in the form of studies of human DNA. So, now, for a fee, you can produce a “designer” person with a given color of eyes, hair and other external characteristics. In addition, DNA research in the near future will be able to allow humanity to forget about genetic diseases forever, warning them at an early stage of fetal development. However, how can one find this fine line that makes eugenics and the science supporting it immoral? Share your thoughts in our Telegram chat.