Eugenics and the Expressivist Argument
The Eugenics Argument says that screening out disability is wrong because it is a form of eugenics. This chapter defends the view that this argument cannot overcome certain problems: notably the fact that, on the most sensible definitions of ‘eugenics’, eugenics is not necessarily wrong. However, it should be noted that there are objectionable forms of eugenics (e.g. those which attempt to pass off racism or ‘genetic discrimination’ as ‘genetic improvement’). The Expressivist Argument says that what is wrong with selecting out disability is that it sends out a negative and damaging message: that the world would be a better place if people with disabilities did not exist. It is argued that screening out does not necessarily send out a morally problematic message provided that it is done for defensible reasons (such as the avoidance of suffering) and is not presented or carried out in an insensitive way.
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