Kathryn Paige Harden (University of Texas): "The Genetic Lottery and Its Ethical Implications"

I find those that are infatuated with social equality to be arrogant, greedy, jealous and judgmental.

What is social equality? I am sure there are millions of pages written, but once you clear away the BS, it is financial equality. Because equality of everyone doesn’t pass the smell test with anyone, they will switch gears into equity. Equity is associated with fairness and everyone supports fairness. It is easy to confuse people with regard to fairness. Unfairness can be confused with unfortunate. It is unfortunate if you get hit by lightning, but can be said that it “wasn’t fair that she died so young”. So it is easy to conflate something that is from human intention and random happenings unassociated with human action.

By confusing the language and with smooth tongued wizardry, these people disguise what they really really believe. Financial standing is the most important thing in the world. They are greedy for money or power or their own social standing,

If someone wins the genetic lottery somehow that is unfair and needs to be corrected. It wasn’t even human action, but they try to associate it with unfairness. Does this mean that the powerball lottery is immoral? Do we need to correct for that?

A great life isn’t about money or even opportunity. I have had significantly more wealth and opportunity than my parents. In a large part because of them. That has no relationship with our lives being unequal. I ask what part of a fulfilling life did they miss and I cannot find an answer.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and property apply to all except those that are unable to care for themselves due to mental disability. It is pursuit not acquisition.


So here’s what it comes down to:
inequality among humans is a fact of human life. So it has always been in any human society. There’s always a “big man”.
Evolutionarily and culturally, our present civilization, “the West”, has already eliminated the very obvious badges and artifacts of inequality. It’s like if you see someone limping and he’s wearing two different shoes. Monarchies, hereditary social class and the like— The low-hanging fruit.
And, much as it tries to revive it, the Left knows that Marxism has shot its wad. Yes, it HAS been tried, and it has failed. The human-hating Lefties have tacitly admitted that, by moving on.
They have to dig deeper, like someone with a skin rash who scratches until the skin bleeds.
And tney’re now abrading the stuff of our species at the molecular level.


That’s the current situation, The ones who won the genetic lottery are richer, and indeed the richer pay most of the taxes.

But it is not something that will continue. If humans continue, chances are we will control genetics in another generation or so.

How we got to the situation is of interest to me. Clark makes the case that there were a lot of characteristics that were all selected in the run-up to the industrial revolution. About 1800 society became wealthy enough that famines quit being a factor that culled the poorest. Of course the current situation may bring back famines.


Elsewhere I wrote about wokeism and the Soecial,Olympics. And I notice the author of the review linked here mentions Down’s syndrome people, as if that’s a problem we’ve already solved…? (Actually we could eradicate that now, by prenatal,testing, but a large number of people on both sides seem to feel that’s out of bounds). But talk about your “losers” in the genetic “lottery”! And yet the author of this book, and her sycophants, seem to feel that calling genetics a lottery and suggesting that our DNA has an effect on our social existence are somehow new, revolutionary ideas?
Still, the Left accepts the obvious truth that chromosomally divergent people can’t compete athletically with their peers, and it’s very protective of such people: they are not retarded, but “special”, “differently abled”. You better not be makin’ no jokes about the Special Olympics! Even B. Hussein was (mildly) chastised for that!
So why can’t the rest of us get that kind, considerate treatment?
As a woman, I’m “differently abled” than a man… how come I can’t compete in sporting events solely against MY physical peers?


I see this as a disaster on the order of mass destruction.

First, because, like the economy, just because you have a knob and some understanding, doesn’t mean you should turn the knob in a complex system. Unintended consequences anyone?

More importantly, the State will be in control. What kind of people will they want?


No doubt. But this era will have so many unintended consequences that this one will likely be lost in the noise. For example, humans could rapidly mine so much carbon out of the atmosphere that it would cause an ice age. Or so many people could upload that the population would almost vanish or go biologically extinct.

Not at all sure what the “state” would be in an era of AI.


I, for one, will miss having potable running water, working electricity and air conditioning …

Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.

Thomas Sowell – Is Reality Optional?, 1993

Personally, I like Robert Plomin’s take on this topic quite a bit more because he focuses more on data than “feel good” social theories. Here is a recent video worth watching over a Zwyft ride.

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Ayn Rand’s critique of Rawls (whom Harden apparently admires) is apposite:

Observe that [the egalitarians’] view of man is literally the view of a children’s fairy tale — the notion that man, before birth, is some sort of indeterminate thing, an entity without identity, something like a shapeless chunk of human clay, and that fairy godmothers proceed to grant or deny him various attributes (“favors”): intelligence, talent, beauty, rich parents, etc. These attributes are handed out “arbitrarily” (this word is preposterously inapplicable to the processes of nature), it is a “lottery” among pre-embryonic non-entities, and — the supposedly adult mentalities conclude — since a winner could not possibly have “deserved” his “good fortune,” a man does not deserve or earn anything after birth, as a human being, because he acts by means of “undeserved,” “unmerited,” “unearned” attributes. Implication: to earn something means to choose and earn your personal attributes before you exist.

Therefore, under a scheme in which one’s achievements are the result of “simple genetic luck,” it is impossible to truly earn anything. Moreover, it is questionable whether moral statements, such as claims about how resources ought to be distributed, can be made in a world where good and evil are not deliberate choices but genetic accidents.