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post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/20/us...rtner=homepage
post #2 of 21
I'll let others set the pace. My views on this sort of thing are um... controversial ;p
post #3 of 21
i dunno if this complies w/ natural selection, but let them have their fun
post #4 of 21
a long time ago, I volenteered to work for a while at a home for retarted children. they are just as hormonal and sexual as everybody else, with less ability to understand the nounces of etiquite.

sex is a huge part of the pursuit of happiness. what ever can be done to allow them access to this part of life should be.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by oman
i dunno if this complies w/ natural selection, but let them have their fun

Sex is one thing, reproduction another. Personally, I don't think we should be messing with natural selection unless it is to improve the species. These people can't even care for themselves...
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
sex is a huge part of the pursuit of happiness.
no argument.

however, the "pursuit of happiness" is a construct.

on a much more relevant level, human beings are conglomerates of DNA, the only known molecule with data-storage and self-replication. DNA exists to create more DNA.

since animals (humans included) are simply advanced forms of DNA-based life, we exist for one reason only, and that is Procreation, the perpetuation of species. all this other shit - economics, government, drugs, rock'n'roll - all that is secondary to the big P.

evolution is an extension of this - it happens when mutations permeate the hereditary line to the point where they become the norm. that is, if they become the norm. some mutations are undesirable because they lessen the species' ability to reproduce. some would argue that downs, and the myriad other forms of mental retardation, are among these mutations.

those same anonymous "some" would also argue that this has very little to do with "the pursuit of happiness," and everything to do with natural selection, not fucking up the gene pool, et al.

i don't hold that opinion, but i dunno if we're smart enough to discount it. i dunno if we're smarter than nature.

i have love for all humans. so as you say, "what ever can be done to allow them access to this part of life should be." genetic consequences be damned
post #7 of 21
I am sorry, I didn't read the whole article. I am not sure about whether or not people who can't care for themselves should be reproducing. the flip side of that is we don't want to be forcbly sterilizing people if we can help it. hard to say. I would be very comfortable with a reversable sterilization procedure - even if it was never reversed - just so long as the state didn't take away people's capacity to reproduce permentantly
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by oman
no argument.

however, the "pursuit of happiness" is a construct.

on a much more relevant level, human beings are conglomerates of DNA, the only known molecule with data-storage and self-replication. DNA exists to create more DNA.

since animals (humans included) are simply advanced forms of DNA-based life, we exist for one reason only, and that is Procreation, the perpetuation of species. all this other shit - economics, government, drugs, rock'n'roll - all that is secondary to the big P.

evolution is an extension of this - it happens when mutations permeate the hereditary line to the point where they become the norm. that is, if they become the norm. some mutations are undesirable because they lessen the species' ability to reproduce. some would argue that downs, and the myriad other forms of mental retardation, are among these mutations.

those same anonymous "some" would also argue that this has very little to do with "the pursuit of happiness," and everything to do with natural selection, not fucking up the gene pool, et al.

i don't hold that opinion, but i dunno if we're smart enough to discount it. i dunno if we're smarter than nature.

i have love for all humans. so as you say, "what ever can be done to allow them access to this part of life should be." genetic consequences be damned

If you're interested in this sort of thing there's a book called Guns, Germs, and Steel by a man named Jared Diamond, a well-known evolutionary biologist. It deals in with natural selection in human populations. The book doesn't really tackle the issue we're discussing here, but it deals with why some civilizations have advanced to such a great degree while others are still in the hunter-gatherer stage. Most westerners would say they just backwards or less intelligent, but really it's got nothing to do with that. In one instance, he goes to some lengths to try and demonstrate that certain tribes in New Guinea seem on average more intelligent than the general population. Why? Because natural selection was allowed to work on the basis of intelligence and cunning, whereas in England for instance, whole populations were wiped-out with the plague, which killed people off indiscriminantly.

For what it's worth, and without wanting to start a huge flame war, you can lump me in with the anonymous "some".
post #9 of 21
thx for the recommend, i'm tossing it into my notepad file of books to buy off amazon in the nearish future

this really is a fascinating topic, though - the reproduction stuff, i mean. i'm starting to realize it affects EVERYTHING about our lives, because IT'S WHY WE'RE HERE. so many languages, so many cultures, we've built pyramids and skyscrapers that'll outlast us, but they're all a side-effect to sex

it's really humbling
post #10 of 21
There was a time when sterilization was regularly forced upon the developmentally challenged. I grew up with a young man with Downs Syndrome and he underwent a vasectomy at a very early age. I don't know if this is the norm anymore.
post #11 of 21
I don't reject the idea of limiting reproductive 'rights' in general. For me, the issue doesn't apply to the 'mentally challenged' any more than anyone else. There are 'mentally-challenged' people who would make far better parents than some 'normally-abled' people, actually. People who can't provide a minimum standard of care for a child shouldn't be allowed to reproduce. Establishing and enforcing the standard would be an interesting challenge, though.
post #12 of 21
I have often marveled at the concept that a society which requires one to be licensed to carry on certain activities: drive a vehicle, pilot an aircraft, sell real estate or securities, et al, allows any and all to undertake the most important task of all — parenting.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota rube
I have often marveled at the concept that a society which requires one to be licensed to carry on certain activities: drive a vehicle, pilot an aircraft, sell real estate or securities, et al, allows any and all to undertake the most important task of all "” parenting.

don't worry, it's only a matter of time.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota rube
I have often marveled at the concept that a society which requires one to be licensed to carry on certain activities: drive a vehicle, pilot an aircraft, sell real estate or securities, et al, allows any and all to undertake the most important task of all — parenting.

Well, there are so many practical barriers to the policing of it.

We should probably just reversibly sterilize everyone at birth, and require individuals to apply to have it reversed. Applicants should have to go through a rigorous interviewing process and background check, comparable to the strictest adoption agencies.

I'm (sort of) kidding.

Actually, I'm liking this idea more and more. You really only have to address the males, which is probably medically safer (any MDs in the house?) and allows you to sidestep any disingenuous 'sexism' accusations that might otherwise derail the policy. Call it 'Circumcision Plus' -- two snips in a single trip.
post #15 of 21
Its been awhile since I studied genetics, but would reproduction really be an issue with people like that?

I remember learning that mules are sterile because their genes are messed up. Wouldn't that be an issue too with two adults with down's syndrome?
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