Honeybuns, do try to think

Even if you can’t have kids naturally, that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be a parent, writes Sharyn Graham Davies.

Fair enough.

Other reactions I get though stem from a place of hate and fear. Some people think that if you can’t have kids naturally then that’s social Darwinism in practice. In other words, only the best, brightest and fittest should reproduce, moving humanity generation after generation to a higher form of evolution.

That’s not social anything you dimwit. That’s Darwinism, evolution itself. That’s how we got here – we’re descended from those who were able to reproduce.

Perfectly happy with the idea that we don’t have to continue that way, that we don’t have to entirely rely upon that evolutionary fitness as our definition of who does and does not have kids. But I do insist that you understand the underlying idea at the same time.

20 comments on “Honeybuns, do try to think

  1. I was thinking something along these lines just last night. I was looking at my late developing, hyperactive, headcase three year old daughter and thought that if we were cavemen she’d likely have run off a cliff or had herself eaten by something by now. These days she will probably survive to reproduce and pass on those genes (Probably got from me!). What does this mean for the future of the human race?

  2. If the the prefix ‘social’ is a negative, then ‘Social Darwinism’ means getting on welfare and making as many useless babies as you can at the ‘best, brightest and fittest’s’ expense.

  3. “That’s not social anything you dimwit. That’s Darwinism, evolution itself. That’s how we got here – we’re descended from those who were able to reproduce.”

    Yes, it looks like she got the Social Darwinism argument slightly scrambled. The issue is not about whether reproduction is natural or artificial, but about us being selective in who gets artificial. People argue that you shouldn’t give gays and TGs artificial aid because they can’t reproduce naturally, but that you *should* give people artificial aid if they can’t reproduce naturally for other reasons. She’s only given half the explanation.

    Social Darwinism has many meanings, but is most commonly associated with the ideas of eugenics. It’s distinct from Darwinism because it’s based on people’s ideas about what constitutes fitness, rather than the evolutionary sense, and because it involved people giving evolution a hand, by deliberately preventing some people reproducing who otherwise would have been able to.

    The point in this case is that cancer patients and TGs *are* able to reproduce, with technological assistance. However, we differentially choose to offer that technological assistance to some and not others – thus giving evolution a hand based on our own opinions about what constitutes ‘fitness’. People with cancer are fit and deserve to reproduce. TGs aren’t and don’t.

    Darwinism means evolution by *natural* selection, which means you treat them all the same and let the *unavoidable* obstacles decide who reproduces most. Deciding yourself who is fittest and then only offering those people treatment is getting Darwin’s idea the wrong way round. That’s eugenics.

  4. When Darwinism was quite new there was a worry that, because the lower orders were breeding so prolifically, the human species would start to regress. The flaw in the argument was that the upper classes were not as superior as they supposed themselves to be.

  5. ‘Darwinism’ isn’t science. It’s a made up pejorative of the anti-evolution crowd. It is undefined and meaningless.

  6. ‘that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be a parent’

    As noted by others, ‘deserve’ has nothing to do with having children/being a parent. Like Davies’ ‘social Darwinism,’ it’s totalist language.

  7. ‘…deserve to be a parent…

    As a reward for what? Who decides who deserves to be a parent and based on what criteria?

  8. “Social Darwinism” and eugenics, along with other forms of preference (such as foot binding and earlobe stretching) are just another aspect of natural selection. The descendants of any such selection will be subject to competition pressures from the descendants of other forms of preference as well as facing all the regular non-human obstacles.

    Genes and memes, baby.

  9. we differentially choose to offer that technological assistance to some and not others – thus giving evolution a hand based on our own opinions about what constitutes ‘fitness’

    I see no reason why anyone should get their reproduction assisted by the taxpayer – it’s not as though there’s a shortage of children in need of adoption (though you’d better not be a UKIP member, under current social worker protocols). If they want to pay for it themselves, that’s fine – as Larry Niven observed “The knack for making money is a tested, proven survival factor”.

  10. “Who decides who deserves to be a parent and based on what criteria?”

    Yes. That’s the point. If someone is about to take cancer treatment that will render them infertile, they get fertility treatment. If someone has a genetic abnormality that will render them infertile, they get fertility treatment. If someone is transgender and about to get medical treatment that will render them infertile, they don’t. Who decided that? On what criteria?

    The basic principle is that everyone is equally deserving of medical treatment. Gender identity cannot be used as a criterion. So you can either say to everyone with fertility problems: “That’s not a life-threatening condition. Nobody has a ‘right’ to children. We’re not treating it for free.” and that’s fine. Or you can say to everyone with fertility problems: “OK. That’s a valid medical problem. We can fix it. The NHS is free at the point of delivery to every citizen.”

    What you can’t do is pick and choose which taxpayers get ‘free’ treatment based on your own moral or political judgements of their lifestyle. You don’t deny treatment to smokers, or drinkers, or fat people, or meat-eaters, or rich people, or poor people, or unemployed people, or brown people, or white people, or people who didn’t eat up all their 5-a-day vegetables like a good boy, or right-wingers, or the religious, or the transgender. Everyone gets taxed, so everyone gets treated.

  11. “Parents who go through the extraordinary hoops to employ reproductive technologies to have children are often far more dedicated parents than those who just happen to forget a condom. Indeed, research shows that kids with LGBT parents are some of our best and brightest and the kids I know absolutely reinforce this. ”

    How many girls are the boys managing to cop off with? How many of the girls are being chased around by boys? Or do you mean things like passing GCSEs?

    There’s something to be said for the guy in a club who takes a girl to an alley in the night club and can fuck her without a condom. He’s got *something* that other men don’t have. Maybe it’s looks, charm, muscles, resources. Ugly footballers have girls swarming around them because they’re young and rich.

    Sure, there’s nurture on top of that, but what’s the effect of that vs nature? I believe it’s far less than most people think.

  12. BoM4,

    Indeed. As the famous question goes: “Wha first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”

  13. NiV: The basic principle is that everyone is equally deserving of medical treatment.

    Yes and the problem arises now that people have become eligible for medical treatment under the NHS for illnesses that are not illnesses at all.

    Infertility is not an illness nor is wanting a sex change. Cancer is. Calling something a “condition” should not mean that the taxpayer needs to shell out.

  14. @Bloke on M4 March 31, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    …There’s something to be said for the guy in a club who takes a girl to an alley in the night club and can fuck her without a condom. He’s got *something* that other men don’t have…

    I’ve a few friends with that “something” (two from school) and I wish I could see and copy it. They’re not rich or famous.

    .
    As for “deserving”/”right” for a child – No. Taxpayers should not be funding a choice, especially one which costs taxpayers more for many decades.

  15. “…If someone is transgender and about to get medical treatment that will render them infertile, they don’t. Who decided that? On what criteria?

    …The basic principle is that everyone is equally deserving of medical treatment. Gender identity cannot be used as a criterion.”

    That’s an argument to insist that reassignment must not be done before puberty, so that there are some gametes to harvest for future use.

  16. “The basic principle is that everyone is equally deserving of medical treatment.”

    A cultural Marxist lie.

  17. “A cultural Marxist lie.”

    Not necessarily. You can read it as saying that everyone is equally undeserving.

    However, we’re talking about the NHS as it is, and the principles on which the NHS operates are based on the welfare state philosophy. It might be a bad principle to have, but it’s not a lie to say that’s the principle it’s based on.

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