Published: Nov 28, 2006
Utilitarianism -- The New Evil
by Doug Hagin

"If you can breed cattle for milk yield, horses for running speed, and dogs for herding skill ... why on Earth should it be impossible to breed humans for mathematical, musical or athletic ability?"

Quite a quote isn't it?  Pretty scary that anyone could hold that selectively breeding human beings is not only not a bad idea, but that it might benefit society.  The statement was made in a letter to Scotland's Sunday Herald, and it was not just anyone who wrote that letter either.  It was written by one Dr. Richard Dawkins, who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding at Oxford University.

Dr. Dawkins is best known for his hatred of Christianity in particular and religion as a whole.  Dawkins wrote a book titled The God Delusion, and is a staunch believer that the catholic Churches opposition to birth control will lead to mass starvation.  Dawkins is also fairly well known as a proponent of granting human rights to apes.  Since, according to Dawkins anyway, thee is no such thing as a soul, then humans and apes are, in fact equals.  Now most of us would consider such ramblings delusional.  Yet, such beliefs are, I believe, a natural extension of the radical atheism that Dawkins and people like him have adopted.

Consider another excerpt from Dawkins letter to the Sunday Herald.  "I wonder whether, some 60 years after Hitler's death, we might at least venture to ask what the moral difference is between breeding for musical ability and forcing a child to take music lessons.  Or why it is acceptable to train fast runners and high jumpers but not to breed them,"

Statements such as this really should not surprise anyone.  When people like Dawkins totally reject the existence of God, and become not merely indifferent towards religion, but openly hostile to it, then radical beliefs soon follow.  Think of it this way, according to Dawkins logic, if you can actually call such thinking logic, there is no God.  If there is no God, then humans could not have been created in His image.  In fact, we are just the result of some cosmic accident rather than by design.

Therefore, we possess no souls.  We are just skin, bones, and muscles to Dawkins.  Therefore, if that belief is followed to its natural conclusion, humans are just another animal.  Breeding cows to make more milk and breeding little boys to be faster or more athletic are moral equivalents.  Once God is removed from the equation, the value of human life automatically is diminished.

That is not to say all, or even most Atheists share Dawkins twisted values.  I would guess most Atheists do value human life, but, Atheism, like any other religion, can be perverted and Dawkins certainly holds some perverse beliefs.  Of course, it ought to be noted that Dawkins, while in the minority, is surely not alone in his views.

Take Dr.  Peter Singer, the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Ivy League Princeton University and a leading advocate of utilitarian bioethics and a promoter of infanticide and euthanasia.  Singer is also a radical animal rights proponent and in fact is known as the father of the modern animal rights movement.

Singer, like Dawkins is a follower of utilitarianism, which, American Heritage Dictionary describes first as: A belief that the value of a thing or action is determined by its utility.  And it also describes it as: The ethical theory proposed by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill that all action should be directed toward achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. 

There is another example, one Nobel Prize winner named James Watson.  Watson was the first director of the Human Genome Project.  He likes to promote the improvement of the human race by inherent genetic modification.  During a speech at UCLA in 1998, Watson laid out his views.  "I think its complete nonsense ... saying we're sacred and should not be changed ... to say we've got a perfect genome and there's some sanctity?  I'd like to know where that idea comes from because it's utter silliness."

"If we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn't we do it?  What's wrong with it?  Who is telling us not to [do] it?"

Getting a clearer picture now?  It is an eye-opener isn't it?  There are would-be mad scientists out there, and they are not merely in the shadows or babbling on some bar stool with no real influence on our world.  They are at places like Oxford and Princeton, and have won Nobel Prizes.  If these examples are not enough to curl your toes here are two more for you to consider.  Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist John Sulston, who has also worked on the Human Genome project, has this to say of the disabled: "I don't think one ought to bring a clearly disabled child into the world." 

Finally, let us listen to Dr. Robert Edwards, who helped bring the world's first "test-tube baby" into existence.  "Soon it will be a sin for parents to have a child which carries the heavy burden of genetic disease".

Sin?  No, what these men are advocating goes well beyond sinful.  It is evil.

Doug Hagin is an independent columnist

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