In the world today many things are openly verbal, and others are taboo. Homosexuality, whilst controversial, is openly verbal. So is genocide (although genocide is morally abhorrent). The mental state of a person is taboo. As was Eugenics. But now, recent breakthroughs in the field of molecular biology and genetics have begun to bring light back to the once popular ideal.
Eugenics is, on a basic level, the conscious identification and control of evolution, with a focus of humanity. This idea was hugely popular in the 1920's, where governments actually wrote legislation based on the misconception that the mentally ill were somehow inferior to the rest of the population. The euthanasia and sterilization have all but stopped, although there are places who do voluntary sterilizations. Eugenics met its apparent defeat at the hands of Nazi Germany during World War II.
Nazi Germany did not outlaw eugenics. It legalised it, calling for the euthanizing of the mentally ill. It reached its peak when the concentration camps were opened. Millions of Jews and Gypsies were killed in less-than-humane ways, all in the name of the betterment of mankind. There is some debate as to whether Adolf Hitler started the death camps because he believed Jews and others were a detriment to society, or a threat to the Aryan race. In any case, whether or not eugenics is inherently evil, the methods employed in it's name were.
In the world today, a new form of Eugenics has formed. Designer babies are just one avenue a person can take to enhance your child to be slightly better than others. While this is not the only means, it is the best known. The kind of positive directional eugenics is a change off pace from the out-dated negative direction. Promote the good, not the bad is much more PC than Stop the bad. A analogy could be drawn to health and medicine promotions: Eat right and exercise, so we don't have to cut away infections. I feel this is a positive step in human evolution, so long as it wont hamper social evolution. Calling for mandatory sterilization or death of those deemed unfit for procreation would slowly kill society, and thus humanities only hope for higher evolution. But slowly weeding out natural aggression, and other of societies ailments, through the betterment of our children is much safer and, dare I say, righteous.
Before I conclude this post, I would like to draw attention to the media. There is a mixed climate for the advocates of Eugenics in the media. Most news programs spin designer babies to be a bad thing, though there are exceptions. Many movies also have ties to eugenics. Any Sci-fi where people are changed genetically, either directly or through a slow breeding process, is based on the idea of eugenics. My favourite example is: Idiocracy. It's a brilliant and funny movie, which is based on an age old idea that less intelligent people breed faster the more intelligent people. This is generally true, though there are some smart guys who counter this. I recommend this movie to anyone. Anyone at all. It freaking hilarious.
To conclude, I have only recently researched into the intricacies and history of Eugenics, and I find nothing inherently wrong with it. Error lies, like in most things, with humans. We as a species have the ability to make ourselves better, either by cutting back on the bad, or promoting the good, but we don't have the foresight to see which way we should evolve. This is the folly of man, and in hindsight, we could probably have used a little less violence in our nature. Hopefully, we live and learn.
crites evidentia logica.