Eugenics and Christianity in a Letter to the Eugenics Review

Norman A. Thompson, “Eugenics and Christianity”, published in The Eugenics Review, pages 346-347 (1933) [Source]

To the Editor, Eugenics Review

Sir, In these latter days of the general liquefaction of ideas, philosophies, and policies, whether founded on dogma or tradition, or on other bases, which may have satisfied our understanding at earlier stages of the development of our present knowledge, it is essential that the existing disharmonies between the teachings of Eugenics and Christianity be frankly and formally recognized.

Eugenic doctrine is based on the acceptance of the natural inherited inequalities, which distinguish and define individuals, and on the assessment of the value of the human individual in accordance with his particular combination of physical and mental characteristics. Christian doctrine on the other hand has been made to stress very largely the equality of individuals and their right to claim equality of treatment both from heavenly and earthly powers, for the Christian assessment is determined exclusively with regard to the spiritual, and regardless of the physical and general mental values of each particular individual.

It is perfectly clear that these two systems of measurement can never be in accord, and consequently an authoritative pronouncement from the Council of the Eugenics Society on the attitude of eugenics towards certain aspects of the present teaching of Christianity seems urgently needed, alike in the interests of eugenics, the public, and the present members of the Eugenics Society.

The Christian religion is doubtless an advocate of justice, integrity, fortitude and other human attributes of indisputable value, but there is inconsistency of thought behind its teaching, and in so far as the latter is responsible for promulgating the conception of a general equality of value between individuals, it is directly supporting the teaching of Bolshevism and Marx. An uncompromising purging and disentanglement of ideas is necessary in the interests of the Christian Churches themselves, which in despite of the equalitarian and democratic trend of their doctrines announce themselves opposed to Communism. This is a case where confused thinking has failed to mislead sound instincts.

The eugenic doctrine, which is the basis of all sound politics and can never be interpreted to support Communism, is at least consistent and well founded; it teaches real values, and is a religion in itself, as the following epitome discloses:

  1. Eugenics demands self-control by the maintenance of the body and the mind at a high level of health and vigor. Excesses of all kinds are taboo.

  2. It demands unselfishness, for the interests of the family and nation come before those of the individual, and of future generations before those of the present.

  3. It demands honesty of thought and action, for dishonesty obscures truth, involves waste of time and energy, and is deteriorating in its influence.

  4. It fosters pride of family and race, personal dignity, and mutual respect where, such is due.

  5. It cements individuals, families, and classes in healthy co-operation according to their natural capacities.

  6. It develops a discriminating sense of beauty and enjoyment.

  7. Its sole object is the welfare of humanity.

A very large number of the followers of Christianity would accept the seven paragraphs above as entirely in accordance with their own beliefs.

                                                     NORMAN A. THOMPSON.

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