The answers to some questions ought to be so self-evident that even voicing the question should sound strange.
Such a question is the one recently asked by Bill Nye; “Should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?” Thankfully some panel members took issue with the question, but there was one who said, “I do think that we should at least consider it.”
Obviously, such a question and statement brought the denouncements that they deserve across the internet and media. But then some came to his defense with the rationale, “Bill Nye ‘the Science Guy’ did exactly what scientists are supposed to do this week — ask questions — and people are blasting him for it.”
Of course he is being blasted for it. That is a crazy question that the 20th century alone should prove is a bad idea. What if Bill Nye had asked, “Do black lives really matter?” Would anyone have defended him by saying, “Hey, he’s a scientist and they are supposed to ask questions, right?” Give me a break. Bill Nye would have been denounced just as much for seriously considering a ridiculous question. He would not have been allowed to hide behind the excuse “I’m a scientist; I ask questions; stop blasting me.”
It is a right to ask questions, but when you ask something shocking don’t be shocked when people are shocked. Common-sense people have just as much a right to call “Bull crap!” when it is obviously bull crap.
Breaking down the sentence
“Should we have policies that penalize people…?” Interesting how he says “we” since he will obviously not be part of the “extra” problem. Some other human person is an “extra” who will be penalized, but not himself.
Mark Shea and Rod Bennet had an interesting discussion about the concept of “the scapegoat” on Mark Shea’s podcast “Connecting the Dots.” The people who most want a scapegoat never offer themselves to be one. Bill Nye even “jokes” that he emits as much carbon making his morning coffee than the average Nigerian uses annually. Sounds like Nye himself is a major part of the problem. But obviously it’s better to penalize the unknown masses for existing than to give up coffee, right?
The reality is that Bill Nye’s statement is nothing more than the simple Eugenics we’ve seen in the past. Some self-appointed enforcer with a self-appointed authority will decide who gets to live, who gets to die, who is never born, and all in the name of science.
G.K. Chesterton’s book Eugenics and Other Evils was written in 1922 and is a glorious denouncement of the Eugenics movement. Many of his statements can be equally applied to Bill Nye and his ilk.
“Now this is the first weakness in the case of the Eugenists: that they cannot define who is to control whom; they cannot say by what authority they do these things.” (Eugenics)
Indeed! Mr. Nye, who will be doing this penalizing of who has too many children and by what authority do they operate?
“What is this flying and evanescent authority that vanishes wherever we seek to fix it? Who is the man who is the lost subject that governs the Eugenist’s verb? In a large number of cases I think we can simply say that the individual Eugenist means himself, and nobody else.” (Eugenics)
This explains Bill Nye’s statement “Should we have policies that penalize [other] people….” Bill Nye believes he has the authority but no one else does.
“Should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids…?” Here I will ask the same questions that have been asked a thousand places and which has received no reasonable answer, and never will.
- What is considered “extra”? What number is one too many? What is the magic number of children parents can have and be morally responsible but that number-plus-one is the greatest evil?
- Will this number ever change or will it be fixed forever? As the situation in the world changes, I’m guessing this magic number will also change. Will those who had a proper number of children soon have “too many” once the magic number decreases? Will these fully grown children now be considered “extra” and the parents are criminals today because they followed the law yesterday?
- What about immigrants? They had as many children as they wished in the undeveloped world but then immigrated to the developed world. Will these poor people now be penalized for bringing in excess children?
- What criteria would Bill Nye even use to answer such questions?
Here again let’s listen to Chesterton:
“indeed, the great difficulty I have throughout in considering what are the Eugenist’s proposals is that they do not seem to know themselves.”
Ask a Bill Nye type to nail down specifics on anything practical about their question and you will simply get watered-down and amorphous answers. Their proposals are not concrete; their solutions will not be concrete. It is easiest to hide in the ever shifting shadows.
“The Inquisitor violently enforced his creed, because it was unchangeable. The savant enforces it violently because he may change it the next day….If I gave in to the Inquisitors, I should at least know what creed to profess. But even if I yelled out a credo when the Eugenists had me on the rack, I should not know what creed to yell. I might get an extra turn of the rack for confessing to the creed they confessed quite a week ago.” (Eugenics)
“They are quite seriously, as they themselves might say, the first religion to be experimental instead of doctrinal. All other established Churches have been based on somebody having found the truth. This is the first Church that was ever based on not having found it.” (Eugenics)
“There is no reason in Eugenics, but there is plenty of motive. Its supporters are highly vague about its theory, but they will be painfully practical about its practice.” (Eugenics)
What criteria could Bill Nye even use to decide the answers to his question?
“Should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?”
Bill Nye might not know it, but this seems like a hidden globalist agenda if ever there was one. Right now Bill Nye does not blame Africans for having many children because he does not blame them for causing environmental problems. But Africa will not stay that way. As it stabilizes, becomes more developed, and quality of life increases, the current murderous warlords will be replaced by the Eugenist murderous warlords who need to keep the number of children in check.
As the undeveloped world enters the developed world the developed world will soon become simply the world and the Eugenists will increase their domain to the full.
By What Authority?
As asked above, “What is this flying and evanescent authority that vanishes wherever we seek to fix it?” Chesterton offers the only basis Nye could use but it’s also the one Nye cannot use.
“In the matter of fundamental human rights, nothing can be above Man, except God. An institution claiming to come from God might have such authority; but this is the last claim the Eugenists are likely to make.” (Eugenics)
Having a mission from God Himself is the only criteria by which Bill Nye could claim the authority to advance his question, but that is the very criteria Bill Nye has thrown out as myth and anti-intellectualism. And claiming a mission from God to penalize parents for having children is just as laughable as the original question about “extra” children.
Bill Nye has no foundation on which to stand; he has destroyed his base by his own hand.