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I Can See the Next Holocaust From My House

Anthony Horvath is a contributor at Laigle’s Forum, Christian apologist, pro-life author and speaker, and publisher.  To learn more about his latest project aimed at combating the philosophies discussed in the essay below and how you can help, click here.


Tina Fey, impersonating Sarah Palin, joked, “I can see Russia from my house.”

I can see the next holocaust from my house, and it is no joke.

In the decades leading up to one of the most horrific chapters in human history, the leading lights of the day openly discussed bringing about those horrors.  Eugenics was posited as the rational position of all intelligent, well-meaning individuals.  In journals, newspapers, academic conferences, public health offices and elsewhere, they talked about sterilizing people with or without their consent, segregating them from society, or even exterminating them.  And that was in America.

In a book written in 1920 by two German experts and applauded by American experts, it was argued that it was allowable to destroy the ‘life unworthy of life.’

Who was regarded as ‘life unworthy of life’?  The handicapped, the disabled, the diseased, the mentally ill, the ‘feeble-minded.’  Really, just about anyone the experts decided was ‘unfit’ could be deemed ‘unworthy of life.’  When eugenics morphed into the Holocaust, many of its proponents quietly went to ground.  Some asked ‘What went wrong?’ but few arrived at the right answer.

Fast forward sixty years.  Enter Julian Savulescu.

You probably don’t know who Julian Savulescu is, just as your average American off the street in 1910 wouldn’t have known who Charles Davenport was.  You probably don’t know who Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva are, just as your average American in 1920 wouldn’t have known who Alfred Hoche and Karl Binding were.

But you may recall a few months ago when two ‘ethicists’ quietly submitted an article in an ethics magazine arguing that the logic of abortion does not cease after the child has fully exited the birth canal.  For all the reasons that abortion on demand was justified, so too, the two ‘ethicists’ Giubilini and Minerva argued, was infanticide.  Of course, they preferred to call it ‘after-birth abortion.’

I hope that nobody misunderstands me:  Giubilini and Minerva were correct in their analysis.  If they are to be faulted for anything, it is for stopping at the newborn.

When people heard about this article there was outrage, and not a little of it spilled over onto the journal that printed the article in the first place.  That journal was “The Journal of Medical Ethics.”  Flabbergasted, the editor defended the publication of the article, saying:

“As Editor of the Journal, I would like to defend its publication. The arguments presented, in fact, are largely not new and have been presented repeatedly in the academic literature and public fora by the most eminent philosophers and bioethicists in the world, including Peter Singer, Michael Tooley and John Harris in defence of infanticide, which the authors call after-birth abortion.”

Yes, that is quite right.  The arguments presented were not new, and have been ‘presented repeatedly.’

He continued, “What is disturbing is not the arguments in this paper nor its publication in an ethics journal. It is the hostile, abusive, threatening responses that it has elicited. More than ever, proper academic discussion and freedom are under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.”

This embattled editor of a renown journal of medical ethics is named Julian Savulescu.

Whatever else Mr. Savulescu is, he’s certainly consistent.  He is an avowed (modern) eugenicist.  In 2009, he delivered a presentation at a conference called the “Festival of Dangerous Ideas” titled “Genetically enhance humanity or face extinction.”  (By the by, at the upcoming 2012 “Dangerous Ideas” conference, Minverva and Giubilini are scheduled to speak, arguing that the ‘fetus’ is not a person.  As if that matters to them, given their other arguments.)  But it is Savulescu’s latest remarks that I want to draw your attention to.  Were you even aware that he had spoken?

In the September 2012 UK edition of “Reader’s Digest” in an article titled “It’s Our Duty to Have Designer Babies” Savulescu says that he believes that “within the next five years we may be able to screen for every gene that determines who we are physically and psychologically.”

The idea of screening for ‘psychological’ features is something I recently described as ‘eumemics.’  Obviously, on his materialistic worldview, everything really does need to reduce to ‘stuff,’ including psychological attributes, thought patterns, and, I suppose, abstractions such as 2+2=4.   The irony is that earlier in his article he complains that 20th century eugenicists made their mistake when they “tried to use selective breeding to weed out criminals, the insane and the poor, based on the false belief that such conditions were caused only by genetic disorders.” (emphasis mine)

This is the same man who in the same article suggests we weed out “potential alcoholism, psychopathy and dispositions to violence.”  Indeed, he goes on and insists, ” that people have a moral obligation to select ethically better children.”

Are these caused only by genetic disorders?  The inconsistency is so brazen that only the editor of a major journal of medical ethics could fall into it.

What is particularly troubling for our present day and age is his assessment of where the Nazis went wrong:

“But what was especially objectionable about this movement was the coercive imposition of a state vision for a healthy population. Modern eugenics, from testing for diseases to deciding whether you want a girl or boy, is voluntary.”

We should thank the good doctor for at least admitting that what he is promoting is truly ‘eugenics’ but his assessment of the ‘especially objectionable’ part is way off.  First of all, after arguing that people have a ‘moral obligation to select ethically better children’ he immediately goes on to say, “They are, after all, less likely to harm themselves and others. That doesn’t necessarily imply that people should be coerced into making a choice, but we should encourage them.”

What a load of nonsense.  If the man believes what he is selling, then of course the ‘values of a liberal society’ cannot allow people to bring defective–physically or psychologically–children into the world.  He even says earlier in his article that the ‘critical question’ is:  “will it benefit the unborn child?”  If the State (read:  the medley of ‘experts’ who control the State) believes there is sufficient reason to believe the unborn child will be physically or psychologically ‘unfit’ then for its own good and society’s, obviously the parents should be more than ‘encouraged.’

Second of all, he repeats the basic mistake that 20th century eugenicists made:  thinking that a ‘compassionate’ society should ‘manage’ it’s population–guided, of course, by Science.  Savulescu thinks that by shifting this arrogant assumption from the State to parents, and making the exercise of the ‘selection’ ‘voluntary,’ the enterprise is ethically sound.

However, it is the assumption that was wrong, all along.  It is wrong for the State, it is wrong for the parent.  It is wrong for whomever you think should be given the task.  It is even wrong if the people who act on the assumption do so ‘voluntarily.’

Savulescu believes that at the minimum, this is something that a ‘liberal society’ should be ‘properly’ talking about.

Just like the 20th century American progressives and German Nazis thought a ‘progressive’ society should be having a ‘proper conversation’ about how best to exterminate Jews and blacks and the deaf and dumb and disabled.  You know, for their good, and for ours.  Right?

Ironically, while Savulescu is putting his money on the ‘voluntary’ nature of his scheme, his ethical compatriots are arguing the opposite.  I’m thinking in particular of the ‘ethicist’ Jacob Appel, who, in a 2009 article titled “Neonatal Euthanasia:  Why Require Parental Consent?” that was published in the journal “Bioethical Inquiry” wrote:

“As Western society comes to distinguish between those forms of euthanasia that are pernicious and those that are therapeutic—an inevitable consequence of our progress toward liberal humanism—expanded access to neonatal euthanasia appears likely. What is most important is that when the practice does become available, decisions are made by the most suited individuals for the most appropriate reasons. Rethinking and interrogating the need for parental consent in this process—whatever society ultimately decides—is essential for pursuing an honest and meaningful debate.” (emphasis mine)

In the article, Appel points out that the State already acts in some cases on behalf of children against the will of the parents. (see also)  The Dutch have rules for killing newborns that are born with a birth defect–such as spina bifida–but require parental consent.  (see the Groningen Protocol.) As you can infer from the quote above, Appel believes the parents, when acting on a ‘voluntary’ basis, have too much say on whether or not the disabled child should be whacked, both before and after its birth;  he prefers that “decisions are made by the most suited individuals for the most appropriate reasons.”

Hoche and Binding would concur.

But if any of the elites mentioned in my article so far were in the least consistent, they’d realize that stopping their argument at young children is irrational and just our “squeamishness.”  If the arguments hold, they hold from conception to death, and all points between.

Today’s ‘leading lights’ think that we should have “an honest and meaningful debate” over whether or not parents should kill their own children, or if instead, experts should make that call.  Savulescu does thinks we should have a “proper academic discussion” about the fact that the principles justifying abortion on demand apply equally to people who have already been born.

Savulescu says being able to talk about such things reflects the “very values of a liberal society.”

Appel believes ‘therapeutic euthanasia’ is the “inevitable consequence of our progress toward liberal humanism.”

And they are correct.

On their view of the world, they are right.

They cannot fathom the possibility that in ten or fifteen or twenty years someone might arise on the scene to put their academic conclusions into action–a future Hitler.  If history is any guide, today’s leading lights will be flabbergasted that it could have gone so far, but still won’t recognize that the main problem all along was that they were terribly, horrifically, wrong.

Their views may reflect the ‘values of a liberal society’ and killing people for their own good may be the inevitable consequence of liberal humanism, but that is all the more reason why secular humanism must be resisted at every turn.  We shouldn’t be doubling-down on this madness.  We should be fighting it tooth and nails.

Before it is too late.


Anthony Horvath is a contributor at Laigle’s Forum, Christian apologist, pro-life speaker, and publisher. To learn more about his latest project aimed at combating the philosophies discussed in the essay below and how you can help, click here.


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11 Responses to “I Can See the Next Holocaust From My House”

  1. [...] Originally Posted at Laigles Forum [...]

  2. Your Christian position about eugenics must be and is respected. And of course, for creationists that is the end of the argument.

    On the other hand it can also be said that God gave us a world where the unfit were eliminated for billions of years, not through eugenics but something even more radical and thorough: survival of the fittest. It can be argued that without this evolutionary process we would not even be here today.

    God’s evolutionary system has two prongs:

    1) The production of genetic mutations (whether or not these mutations are totally random or influenced by our bodies is a separate question that does not alter the main argument).

    2) Survival of the fittest or natural selection through which all organisms had to pass, thus creating the wonderful balance of nature (always at the expense of many life forms). Of all life that ever existed 99.9% have proven unfit and are extinct. Since God gave us this world, it can’t be denied that this is His system, and with it God seems to tell us that there IS life that is unworthy to live, and that He is interested in quality, not more biomass.

    Human rights, in that sense, directly clash with what God seems to tell us. It of course also clashes with Christian doctrine, which, if introduced as argument, immediately terminates a discussion about the historical facts of our earth.

  3. Your Christian position about eugenics must be respected. And of course, for creationists that is the end of the argument.

    On the other hand it can also be said that God gave us a world where the unfit were eliminated for billions of years, not through eugenics but something even more radical and thorough: survival of the fittest. It can be argued that without this evolutionary process we would not even be here today.

    God’s evolutionary system has two prongs:

    1) The production of genetic mutations (whether or not these mutations are totally random or influenced by our bodies is a separate question that does not alter the main argument).

    2) Survival of the fittest or natural selection through which all organisms had to pass, thus creating the wonderful balance of nature (always at the expense of many life forms).

    Of all life that ever existed 99.9% have proven unfit and are extinct. Since God gave us the world, it can’t be denied that this is His system, and with it God seems to tell us that there IS life that is unworthy to live, and that He is interested in quality, not more biomass.

    Human rights, in that sense, directly clash with what God seems to tell us.
    It of course also clashes with Christian doctrine, which, if introduced, immediately terminates a discussion about the historical facts of our earth.

  4. Your invoking of ‘God’ in this adds a great deal of confusion. Do you really believe in God, along theistic evolution lines, or are you just needling my position? I suspect the latter, because you say ‘for creationists that is the end of the argument,’ without the usual qualifier ‘young earth.’ ‘Creationists’ of course is more general, and would even include the theistic evolutionists. You invoke God, and take a potshot at creationists, but it is impossible to believe in God without being a creationist to some degree, albeit in a very small degree for some folks like Francis Collins.

    A couple of thoughts.

    First the important one about the ‘historical facts of our earth.’ You seem to be unaware that all variety of ‘creationists’ believe very much that the ‘historical facts’ support their view. I am a young earth creationist, but this isn’t because it is an article of faith, but because I believe the scientific evidence supports it. You present yourself as someone who knows something, but you seem to be fundamentally ignorant on some important particulars.

    Secondly, it is likewise impossible to believe in God without believing that there are, at least to some degree, human rights. For you to credit God with an ‘evolutionary system’ and then regard ‘human rights’ as at variance with the ‘historical facts’ is incoherent.

    I will give you this: at least you’re willing to embrace the implications of your evolutionary theories. I will watch out for you, and warn others.

  5. I’m very serious and I’m not needling you. I don’t think I have given you any reason to be suspicious or to question my motives.

    As per my experience, uniformly bad with creationists, there is never any serious discussion about history or facts. It’s always stubborn insistence on religious dogma. Kind of like they would burn you at the stake if they only could. And of course that ends the discussion. But who knows maybe you are the first.

    You claim it’s impossible to believe in God without also being a creationist. What arrogance. I very much believe in God but don’t think organized churches have anything to do with God. Churches are and always have been for organizing and controlling people. Political power pretending to be links to God and abusing the people’s need for spirituality. Nothing more.

    Churches have come and gone. The Catholic Church is very much shrinking and on the way out. Deservedly so. Look what an evil and corrupt bunch they have become. Only God is permanent, and His messages are all over nature. Religious zealots can’t change a thing about those messages, even if they ever get back to power and burn everybody they accuse of being a heretic. The messages and evidence would still be there.

    I can’t believe that a benevolent God floating somewhere above the clouds has reached down and “created” man a few thousand years ago, by copying a model that already existed in nature. Although the thought of creation by God would certainly be more uplifting than the idea of having monkeys and other critters as ancestors. But that’s not what the genetic evidence says.

    Maybe God has created the seed material that is floating around the universe and looking for a fertile spot to grow. If not that, the presence of God’s spirit throughout the universe, and thus to a small part also in our little place, is good enough for me to abide in His spirit to do good and be moral.

    You are of course free to believe anything you like about the history of the world, young or old. But that doesn’t make the scientific assessment of earth go away. The age of our earth is less important anyway. The real question is always evolution.

    You have genes, I have genes, everybody has them. Our children have ours, we have those of our parents, grandparents, etc. Can you agree with this or not?

  6. It isn’t arrogance to conclude that you can’t believe in God without being some form of creationist. It’s logic. The only way your statement can’t be incoherent is if you mean something very different by the word ‘God’ than I and all other monotheists do, and if that’s the case, that would be sufficient reason for me to be suspicious. A man should be honest about his use of words. If you mean something different by the word ‘God’ than I do, then you should say so, or admit it, or be forthcoming about it, instead of trying for some (frankly, childish) piece of moral high ground. I’m afraid that I’ve been around the block too many times to fall for that sort of thing.

    Based on my ‘suspicions’ I doubt very much that my time is well-served discussing anything with you. That you think that all manner of arguments by all manners of creationists reduces to dogma shows me you don’t really know what you’re talking about. To me, it is simply a matter of respect to educate yourself about the perspectives you mean to represent as you take issue with them. You’re just spouting off.

    You are right about a couple of things: your belief about the scientific assessment of the earth is irrelevant to the actual truth about the earth–‘scientific assessments’ have been wrong before–and yes, the real question is evolution.

    You get the last word. My time is better spent…warning people about people like you.

  7. Eugenics often occurs as the end game of when the weak adopt socialism as a means of survival and socialism always fails often killing its participants (and eugenics is one mode of this self-annihilation politics).

    Creation versus genetics is a silly argument for people who have too much time to waste. They must not have a productive job to do. Remember the Parable of the Talents and what God thinks of those who waste the talents they are given.

    And no where in the Bible does it say you have to go around forcing your dogma down other people’s throats.

    If you are really secure in what you believe, then you don’t need other people to confirm it for you, and you can do what Jesus said in Matthew 6:5 and keep it to yourself in your private room.

    Enough said. No go on with your wastefulness.

  8. I see you are big in accusations and personal attacks, from
    the very start. Also big in generalities. But very weak in
    specifics. I asked you one simple question in the last
    paragraph of the previous post. No answer. You haven’t even
    gone near. Very typical. You defend your position with big words and broad strokes, i.e. hot air. If you have no answer to a simple, specific question like that, you have nothing and can’t ever be convincing. No need to warn people about you. You show in your own posts how little you’ve got. No surprise there. It appears you are not going to be the first creationist to change the pattern of reluctance with specifics in history and scientific facts. You just claim them wholesale for your side, sort of like Galileo’s opponents did… As everybody knows, the earth is flat… A few hundred years ago you may have succeeded with that strategy. But thankfully, those times are over. Good bye, Anthony.

  9. [...] Laigle’s Forum » Blog Archive » I Can See the Next Holocaust From My House. But you may recall a few months ago when two ‘ethicists’ quietly submitted an article in an ethics magazine arguing that the logic of abortion does not cease after the child has fully exited the birth canal.  For all the reasons that abortion on demand was justified, so too, the two ‘ethicists’ Giubilini and Minerva argued, was infanticide.  Of course, they preferred to call it ‘after-birth abortion.’ [...]

  10. Few people even know what Eugenics even is, they just think it’s a bad word. Look, if you have or carry a genetic condition which will lead to a painful and miserable short life, and the odds of your child inheriting it are high, you are cruel and selfish for wanting to pass that on and continue introducing the destructive genes to humanity’s gene pool. Adopt a healthy child instead. Nobody has a right to reproduce. Rights are human constructs, a product of civilization as eugenics should be. Mother Nature used to take care of these genetic inferiors, but civilization doesn’t play nice with natural law and survival of the fittest. Therefore it is our right and duty to come up with eugenics laws in order to preserve and enhance our species.

    Whether you like it or not, eugenics is already being practiced. The Jewish people has a large issue with Tay Sachs, a terrible genetic disorder which literally leads to fatal brain problems in infancy. Via eugenics, it has largely been elimintated. Selective breeding, counciling, and adoption were used to reduce this fatal genetic issue. Eugenics is not bad unless the intentions are evil i.e. sterilizing a race. But that’s never what they’ve been proposed for. It’s what the psych warfare propaganda claims it was intended for only to demonize the concept. So the genetically flawed ruling class and their founder’s effect recessive disorders can continue to pass them along, along with their money to their interrelated and equally as riddled with gene flaws kin.

  11. “Eugenics is not bad unless the intentions are evil i.e. sterilizing a race.”

    The problem with this reasoning is in of course assuming that there are no good reasons for sterilizing a race. When this viewpoint is combined with this viewpoint:

    “Rights are human constructs, a product of civilization as eugenics should be. Mother Nature used to take care of these genetic inferiors, but civilization doesn’t play nice with natural law and survival of the fittest. Therefore it is our right and duty to come up with eugenics laws in order to preserve and enhance our species.”

    It therefore entirely plausible and rational for ‘civilization,’ or a particular civilization, to conclude–with the very best of intentions–that it is necessary to ‘sterilize’ or even eliminate a race. If a ‘civilization’ determines that some particular subgroup within the ‘species’ is holding it back, it would be GOOD, justifiable, and on YOUR view, a DUTY, to prevent that ‘species’ from reproducing.

    After all, ‘rights are human constructs.’

    And so, on your view, is what constitutes ‘good and evil.’ You can trot out examples that appear, on their face, to provide beneficial examples of ‘eugenics,’ but there is no way, on your view, to denounce those who wish to extend those principles in ways that you personally would characterize as ‘evil.’

    Eugenics is in fact only a manifestation of the principle that “Rights are human constructs….” Eugenics is one waypoint on that philosophical trajectory; I doubt very much that you can begin with “Rights are human constructs” and not end in horror upon horror, eventually.

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