It is not unusual in our modern age for parents who cannot conceive children of their own to turn to sperm banks for assistance in creating a family. For decades these clinics have even offered 'specialty' sperm that was harvested by men with extraordinary I.Q.s or certain physical characteristics. Recently, a sperm bank in California began offering 'celebrity Look-a-like' options.
When this type of genetic engineering is inflicted upon us by the government, as in the case of Hitler's Aryan master race, it is considered unacceptable. I realize this example is extreme, in an effort to breed perfection, the Nazis practiced genocide, an element that we as a society distain.
A small segment of our population, however, seems to be practicing mild eugenics as a personal option. This allows them to filter out deformities, disabilities and characteristics that are undesirable to them. It allows them to strive for perfection.
Are we on our way to creating Nietzsche's Ubermensch by offering this 'superior' sperm? Is this an ethical practice that should be encouraged? Or should these parents have to play fertility roulette and be happy that are giving the chance at conception?
Well, this has nothing to do with Nietzsche's Umbermensch, so the short answer the the first question is no.
Ethical? Well, if it's ethical to tell people that they shouldn't inbreed, or smoke or drink while pregnant, or that they have to have their children vaccinated and sent to school, or if it's ethical to delete my posts on other threads, then it seems more than ethical to permit parents the option to have children that are as happy and healthy as possible. It would seem unethical to ignore this opportunity.
Fertility roulette? As the parent of several adopted children, I think I've got excellent credentials to say that the fertility roulette is a cruel game.
DannyO's answer sounds pretty good to me.
Certainly this would never result in the society that Nietzsche describes, but it is indicative of the Ubermensch mindset. It is one small way that the individual can strive for perfection. I'm not certain how the ethics of the things that you mention affect the validity of this particular topic. Are you pointing out the randomness of the application of values in our society?
Eugenics always seemed too haphazard a method to achieve superiority. Intelligence amplification through human to computer interfaces or improvement of the brain's neurological operations appear to have a better chance of success. If you are concerned about physical appearances, some aesthetic holographic cloak of beauty might become practical in the near future. We could all look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie.
Don't be tempted to use Nietzsche's sperm - the one time he decided to have sex he contracted syphillis and went stark raving mad...as evidenced in his later writings.
That's all we need, cyborgs with syphilis.
I hope they will be able to get health insurance - or at least an acetylene torch.
All I know about Eugenics is that in the Star Trek universe there was a war in the late 21st century called the Eugenics War. Khan from the movie The Wrath of Khan as a product to Eugenics and he was not a nice man.
My grandmother warned me that sperm donation would lead to that.
I prefer my banks in small towns in Texas.
Trying to make those small towns bigger?
Banks make more money in small towns.
Me too Aggie.