[LMB] No lefties in the Nexus

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 4 08:42:41 BST 2019

From: Luke Bretscher <rocketman0739 at gmail.com>

On Thu, Oct 3, 2019 at 3:28 AM Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I'm just wondering where they drew the line.

The most looming part of this question to me is what to do about
mental conditions that aren't unmitigated negatives. Being
manic-depressive isn't exactly fun, but how many artists would you
eliminate by taking it out of the gene pool? I don't think anyone
thinks severe autism is beneficial, but many people with mild autism
use that different perspective to get things done in ways that
neurotypicals couldn't. And I'm sure there are more places where this
issue is fraught. Personally, I'd approach the issue quite
conservatively, only allowing suppression of the most obviously
debilitating conditions.

Gwynne: Ah, great minds think alike!  After I posted I started to consider
my question of where you'd draw the line. I know a couple of High-end
ASD people who are very successful as a lawyer and pathologist, respectively.
Their condition means they're very careful of details, and they are highly
focussed on their work. And some of our best artists, performers, writers,
scientists and inventors have had bipolar. If we eradicate these conditions
we deprive the world of some amazing talents.

But if those conditions, especially the bipolar, make life difficult ... would a
parent choose to have their child carry that condition? Is it fair to say that
you have to live a more difficult life just in case it stimulates a talent that
will benefit other people? Can a parent sacrifice a child that way? Or should
we stand back and not interfere, saying it's 'meant' to be that way?

It's really hard to decide where that line falls. It's easy if there's a life-
threatening condition such as a congenital heart defect. But which
chromosomal or genetic conditions should we eradicate, which should we
keep? That would be a terrifying decision for parents to face.

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