Statistical Inquiries into the Efficacy of Prayer | Francis Galton, 1872

Statistical Inquiries into the Efficacy of Prayer

Francis Galton
Fortnightly Review vol. 12, pp. 125-35, 1872

Lifted from Galton.org, with great respect and appreciation, so, go there for other stuff. 

An eminent authority has recently published a challenge to test the efficacy of prayer by actual experiment. I have been induced, through reading this, to prepare the following memoir for publication, nearly the whole of which I wrote and laid by many years ago, after completing a large collection of data, which I had undertaken for the satisfaction of my own conscience.

The efficacy of prayer seems to me a simple, as it is a perfectly appropriate and legitimate subject of scientific inquiry. Whether prayer is efficacious or not, in any given sense, is a matter of fact on which each man must form an opinion for himself. His decision will be based upon data more or less justly handled, according to his education and habits. An unscientific reasoner will be guided by a confused recollection of crude experience. A scientific reasoner will scrutinize each separate experience before he admits it as evidence, and will compare all the cases he has selected on a methodical system.

The doctrine commonly preached by the clergy is well expressed in the most recent, and by far the most temperate and learned of theological encyclopaedias, namely, Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible. The article on ‘Prayer,’ written by the Rev. Dr. Barry, states as follows: ‘Its real objective efficacy.., is both implied and expressed (in Scripture) in the plainest terms …. We are encouraged to ask special blessings, both spiritual and temporal, in hopes that thus, and thus only, we may obtain them …. It would seem the intention of Holy Scripture to encourage all prayer, more especially intercession, in all relations and for all righteous objects.’ Dr. Hook, the present Dean of Chichester, states in his Church Dictionary, under ‘Prayer,’ that ‘the general providence of God acts through what are called the laws of nature. By this particular providence God interferes with those laws, and he has promised to interfere in behalf of those who pray in the name of Jesus …. We may take it as a general role that we may pray for that for which we may lawfully labour, and for that only.’

The phrases of our Church service amply countenance this view; and if we look to the practice of the opposed sections of the religious world, we find them consistent in maintaining it. The so-called ‘Low Church’ notoriously places absolute belief in special providences accorded to pious prayer. This is testified by the biographies of its members, the journals of its missionaries, and the ‘united prayer meetings’ of the present day. The Roman Catholics offer religious vows to avert danger; they make pilgrimages to shrines; they hang votive offerings and pictorial representations, sometimes by thousands, in their churches, of fatal accidents averted by the manifest interference of a solicited saint.

A prima facie argument in favour of the efficacy of prayer is therefore to be drawn from the very general use of it. The greater part of mankind, during all the historic ages, have been accustomed to pray for temporal advantages. How vain, it may be urged, must be the reasoning that ventures to oppose this mighty consensus of belief! Not so. The argument of universality either proves too much, or else it is suicidal. It either compels us to admit that the prayers of Pagans, of Fetish worshippers, and of Buddhists who turn praying wheels, are recompensed in the same way as those of orthodox believers; or else the general consensus proves that it has no better foundation than the universal tendency of man to gross credulity.

The collapse of the argument of universality leaves us solely concerned with a simple statistical question – are prayers answered, or are they not? There are two lines of research, by either of which we may pursue this inquiry. The one that promises the most trustworthy results is to examine large classes of cases, and to be guided by broad averages; the other, which I will not employ in these pages, is to deal with isolated instances. An author who made much use of the latter method might reasonably suspect his own judgment – he would certainly run the risk of being suspected by others – in choosing one-sided examples.

Continue reading Statistical Inquiries into the Efficacy of Prayer | Francis Galton, 1872

A Different Darwin Day – Leonard Darwin

Yesterday, for Darwin Day, I posted a number of quotes from Charles Darwin’s son, Leonard Darwin. Specifically quotes from his book “What is Eugenics”.
Wiki’s bried top of the page bio reads:
“Major Leonard Darwin (15 January 1850 – 26 March 1943), a son of the English naturalist Charles Darwin, was variously a soldier, politician, economist, eugenicist and mentor of the statistician and evolutionary biologist Ronald Fisher.”

Part of the reason was to test the queuing function on tweetdeck, setting them up to post every other hour. I figured today I’d collect them here:

“If you inspect any good (cattle farm) you will find that the animals are well housed; that they are fed with suitable food in quantities neither too small nor too great; and that they are carefully guarded against infection. Should not we be glad if the same could be said about our slums?”

‎”The misery, pauperism, crime, resulting from over-crowded houses could be lessened by forethought as to the size of the family.”

“THOSE who marry any one with any serious defect of body, mind, or character are apt to bring trouble on both themselves and their children. This is because such failings are not only immediately harmful, but may be passed on to succeeding generations by natural inheritance or by example.”

“THERE are three things which make a person likely to commit a crime. These are, in the first place, a bad home; in the second place, subsequent temptation; and, lastly, bad natural qualities. We are bound to mitigate all these causes to the best of our abilities.”

“If mothers of feeble-minded girls would picture to themselves all the shame and suffering which would be felt if an illegitimate grandchild were to be born in their home, they might begin to look on sterilization in a new hght.”

“It has been said on good authority that the son of a criminal is ten times as likely to commit a crime as is the son of honest parents. (W)e cannot… say that so much is due to bad early environment, so much to meeting the devil in the path of life, and so much to bad inborn predispositions. We may conclude… from such facts as this that if criminals had fewer children there would be less crime…”

“The inferior include in their ranks the stupid, the careless, the inefficient, the intractable, the idle, the habitual drunkard, as well as those too feeble in body or in health to do a good day’s work. The inferior add to public expenditure in the same ways as do the unfit…”

“Every time any one receives his wages, or buys anything whatever… he comes off worse than he would have done if there had been no unfit or inferior… If all men could realize how much better and happier all classes would become if the number of these unfortunates were to be reduced, then eugenics would come into its own.”

“Good jobs are, it is true, often obtained by favouritism. Much good work is ill paid. And men often fail from want of training or opportunity. These are all evils against which we must fight, and they are evils which will diminish with any real advance in civilization.”

BOOK NERD :: “Eugenics And Sex Harmony” 1942, selected Illustrations

I spent (probably too much) time today scanning illustrations from “Eugenics and Sex Harmony”. I stripped the yellow page color from them, straightened and posted them all at Flickr.

Archive.org has the 1933 edition, and I noticed different versions of illustrations!

I’ve posted just a few below:






 

Nature Vs. Nurture Ngram

I don’t know if you can draw hard conclusions from the following, but I thought it was interesting.

The Passing of the Great Race - Madison Grant’s widely influential book on the hereditary nature of man’s behavior published in 1916
The Mind of Primitive Man – Franz Boas’ widely influential book on the environmental nature of man’s behavior published in 1911

NGram of the two books from 1900 to 2000:

I was going to run Galton’s “Hereditary Genius” and Margaret Mead’s “Coming of Age In Samoa”, but realized that just an NGram of their names may be a better reflection of their influence/popularity. I had “Charles Darwin” on it as a neutral and at one point in the 70s Margaret Mead is actually higher than Darwin.

1850-2000
Francis Galton, Madison Grant, Franz Boas, Margaret Mead

 

“A Eugenics Catechism”, American Eugenics Society, Inc.. 1926

 In my reading recently, I’ve seen two references to A Eugenics Catechism and was able to find an OCRed version online, but not the scans of the original. I was curious to read the work in its entirety, so this is certainly good enough. I’ve reset the type from the source to that it’s more readable.

The document was published by the American Eugenics Society

Wikipedia: “The founders included Madison GrantHarry H. LaughlinIrving FisherHenry Fairfield Osborn, andHenry Crampton. The organization started by promoting racial betterment, eugenic health, and genetic education through public lectures, exhibits at county fairs ea., but under the direction ofFrederick Osborn, started to place greater focus on issues of population control, genetics, and, later, medical genetics.”

One source states that it was the Committee on Cooperation with Clergymen that “distributed thousands of copies of A Eugenics Catechism to ministers and college professors”.

What I find odd and frustrating is that an excerpt given in the book I’m reading differs significantly from the same answer below.

In “Defending the Master Race” the author provides the following Q & A:

Q. What makes slums?
A. People. Slums have been cleaned up and the people move on and make other slums.

But the University of Vermont’s website where I pulled the text below from states it as:

Q. What makes slums?
A. Inferior people in inferior places. To do away with slums requires improvement of both.

The most obvious answer is that there were at least two editions, with significant revisions. This is highly plausible, but frustrating nonetheless.

—–

WHAT EUGENICS IS

Q. What is eugenics?
A. Eugenics is the study of those agencies under social control which may improve or impair the inborn qualities of future generations of man either physically or mentally.

WHAT EUGENICS IS NOT

Q. Is eugenics sex hygiene?
A. No.
Q. Is eugenics birth control?
A. No, not in the sense in which the term is commonly used. The conception of fewer inferiors is eugenic, but such birth control as reduces the conception of superiors is opposed to eugenics.
Q. Is eugenics prenatal culture?
A. No.
Q. Is eugenics public health?
A. No.
Q. Is eugenics free love?
A. No.
Q. Is eugenics trial marriage?
A. No.
Q. Is eugenics a vice campaign?
A. No.
Q. Is eugenics government‐made marriage?
A. No.
Q. Is eugenics physical culture?
A. No.
Q. Is eugenics Spartan infanticide?
A. No.
Q. Is eugenics a plan for producing genius to order?
A. No, but it is a plan to increase the number of geniuses and to raise the general average.
Q. Is eugenics a plan for making supermen?
A. No, it is a plan to raise the general average.
Q. Is eugenics scientific love making?
A. No, but it fosters more selective love making.
Q. Is eugenics equivalent to breeding human beings like animals?
A. No.
Q. Does eugenics mean less love in marriage?
A. No, more.
Q. Does eugenics contradict the Bible?
A. The Bible has much to say for eugenics. It tells us that men do not gather grapes from thorns and figs from thistles.
Q. Is eugenics antagonistic to the Bible?
A. No. The aim of eugenics is to insure the totality of human welfare in the long run.
Q. Does eugenics mean less sympathy for the unfortunate?
A. It means a much better understanding of them, and a more concerted attempt to alleviate their suffering, by seeing to it that everything possible is done to have fewer hereditary defectives.
Eugenics does not mean less sympathy for the unfortunate; it does mean fewer unavoidable unfortunates with which to divide a sympathy which should be more fully and effectively expended on the inevitable unfortunates. At the same time that sympathy and remedial treatment are being extended, something effective should be done to prevent a recurrence of such cases where heredity is to blame. This is a true kindness, both to the victims and to society.
Q. Must one who believes in eugenics believe in evolution?
A .Yes, that evolution is a present and a continuing process. It is not necessary to believe that the original or ancestral man evolved from apes. All admit that there has been an evolution in the differentiation of the races, and from fossil man to modern man. Should we not want more of such evolution?

THE BEGINNINGS OF EUGENICS

Q. Who is called “The father of eugenics”?
A. Sir Francis Galton, who invented the word and was the first outstanding student of the subject proper.
Q. What is the history of eugenics in brief?
A. Common sense has recognized that traits are inherited from very early times. Chinese, Greek, Roman and Jewish histories abound with eugenic references. Some landmarks in the modern history of eugenics, however, are as follows: In 1858 Darwin gave to the world the theory of natural selection.
In 1865 Mendel framed his theory of alternative inheritance.
In 1869 Galton gave to the world his idea of eugenics, although he did not propose the name until later.
Q. Who was Gregor Mendel?
A. A Moravian monk who lived at Bruun, Moravia.
Q. What did he discover?
A. That pea vines were not just pea vines, but bundles of innumerable units shown in such characters as color of seed, height, etc. In each plant two ancestral factors or determinants unite to determine each unit. Where the two corresponding determinants are different, one, which he called dominant is apparent to the observer, and one, which he called recessive, gives way to the other so that it is not apparent, but may appear in the next generation. These determinants are not influenced ordinarily by their association with their partners, but reappear unchanged in future generations. The frequency with which they appear is governed by the law of chances as was shown by Mendel. Since then this relatively simple plan is found to be more complicated than he supposed.

INHERITANCE

Q.Does everyone believe in the inheritance of physical characteristics ?
A. Everyone who has investigated the subject.
Q. Does everyone believe in the inheritance of mental or moral characteristics ?
A. Most students of biology conclude that structure of the nervous system accounts in a large part for the way one thinks, and influences the results of that training which in part determines what we do. Special abilities result from the training of special capacities. Special training is of little value for those who have not the special capacity that it is sought to train.
Q. What chance of having a son listed in Who’s Who have thefamilies of men of the following occupations?
A. Unskilled laborers 1 in 48,000 Skilled laborers 1 in 1,600 Farmers 1 in 680 Engineers 1 in 161 Physicians 1 in 105 Business men 1 in 80 Lawyers 1 in 52 Professional men with the exception of clergymen (including teachers, literary men, etc.) 1 in 46 Clergymen (all denominations) 1 in 20
Q. Are acquired characters inherited?
A. Nearly all students of heredity believe that acquired somatic (bodily) variations, due to exertion on the part of the parents or due to outside influences such as sunburn, etc., are not inherited as such.
Q. Is there anything to the old theories of pre‐natal influence?
A. Probably nothing. So far, there has been nothing to prove that there are any prenatal influences on such things as temperament, specific physical defects and the like. Nevertheless, certain conditions such as proper food, absence of poisons, and a happy disposition or environment during pregnancy in order to avoid harmful substances in the blood supplied the embryo and hence impair its growth or health, are undoubtedly desirable.
Q. What is there to the old birth mark theory?
A. No proof, to date, to substantiate it.
Q. Can the germ cells be affected by any outside influence?
A. Poisons such as alcohol can weaken or kill some of the germ cells. The capacity of the germ cells to resist modification is necessarily very great. Efforts to accomplish change by selection where the trait is already variable are, therefore, far more worthwhile. Even where the germ cells are apparently modified, the change is often only temporary, and not in the direction desired.

INHERITANCE VERSUS ENVIRONMENT

Q. Which counts for more, heredity or environment?
A. They are interdependent. This question is almost the equivalent of “Which is more important, the seed or the soil ?“ We may well call it “a 50‐50 proposition.”
Q. What makes slums?
A. Inferior people in inferior places. To do away with slums requires improvement of both.
Q. Do eugenics and social work disagree?
A. They stress different things; one, heredity, and the other environment. Improving environment will help some, but the same environment cannot in the same way help all of diverse mankind. Heredity gives potentialities. It does not determine, willy nilly, the course of development. A good environment affords a great opportunity for those who can take advantage of it.
Q. How much has been spent within the last few years by 23 of the most generous philanthropists for the environmental improvement of the human race?
A. $1,385,220,000.
Q. How much for hereditary improvement?
A. Scarcely anything.
Q. How much does the government spend annually on the genetical improvement of domestic animals?
A. Over $300,000 outside of poultry. The separate states also spend great sums.

EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL DEFECTIVES

Q.In what way is crime a concern of eugenics?
A. The elements of personality‐‐ e.g. lack of strong social instincts or lack of self‐control‐‐which lie at the bottom of many crimes have an hereditary element. To understand the recidivist it is important to know his constitution as it may be inferred from a study of his family as a whole.
Q. Are the crimes against person and property the acts of a normal individual?
A. Frequently not. A person with strong social instincts and self‐control is rarely given to repeated antisocial acts. The recidivist generally has a constitutional make‐up which is not readily moulded by ordinary training.
Q. How many persons are in penal institutions in the United States?
A. 109,075. Jan. 1, 1923. (World Almanac for 1926).
Q. How many paupers are there in the United States?
A. 78,090 in almshouses, Jan. 1, 1923. (World Almanac for 1926).
Q. How many commitments to jail in the United States per year?
A. Over 650,000.
Q. How many insane are in institutions in the United States?
A. 290,456 in hospitals for mental diseases, and many more in psychopathic wards in general hospitals.
Q. How many are so feebleminded that they need institutional care?
A. Estimates vary from 300,000 to over 1,000,000. There recently were 43,349 in state institutions for feebleminded.

THE METHODS OF EUGENICS

Q. How can the object of eugenics be obtained?
A. This has been answered in many ways. Some believe that eugenics can be legislated into usefulness, others, that education is the only thing. No doubt the last is most important, especially the education of children to realize that there is such a thing as inheritance. It is very difficult to break up a match after the boy and the girl have fallen in love. Many dysgenic (harmful to the race) matches can be prevented by the teaching of eugenics to children. Education can also influence the number of children in families of good and of bad stock. The Eugenics Society has answered this question in this way:
1. By the promotion of eugenic research
2. By the promotion of eugenic education
3. By the promotion of conservative eugenic legislation
4. By the promotion of eugenic administration

NEGATIVE EUGENICS

Q. What is meant by negative eugenics?
A. This deals with the elimination of the dysgenic elements from society. Sterilization, immigration, legislation, laws preventing the fertile unfit from marrying, etc., come under this head.

STERILIZATION

Q. Why sterilize?
A. To rid the race of those likely to transmit the dysgenic tendencies to which they are subject. To decrease the need for charity of a certain form. To reduce taxes. To help alleviate misery and suffering. To do what Nature would do under natural conditions, but more humanely. Sterilization is not a punitive measure. It is strictly protective.
Q. Who should be sterilized?
A. Such criminals, paupers, insane, feebleminded, epileptics, rapists, and other defectives who can be proved to have inherited such defects as make them incapable of leading ordinarily normal lives, and who, unless sterilized, are likely to transmit their defects to their children.
Q. How is sterilization accomplished?
A. In males by vasectomy: namely, by severing the tiny tube which carries the sperm from the seminal gland. In females, by an abdominal operation, closing the Fallopian tubes (the tubes which carry the ova to the uterus.) Also by a method of searing the tubes where they enter the uterus so that the contracting scar will close the opening, thus preventing the ova from reaching the uterus and preventing the sperm from entering the Fallopian tubes. This method is as yet difficult and less frequently used.
Q. Is vasectomy a serious operation?
A. No, very slight, about like pulling a tooth.
Q. Is the closing of the Fallopian tubes a serious operation?
A. Yes, about equivalent to an operation for appendicitis.
Q. Is the sealing of the tubes by searing serious?
A. Much less than closing the Fallopian tube by tying as the abdomen is not opened.
Q. Do any of the above operations interfere with the normal life of the individual in any way?
A. No. They do not even interfere with his or her sex activity. They merely make it impossible for the persons to reproduce.
Q. How does sterilization affect sex immorality?
A. It decreases the number of illegitimate children.
Q. Is voluntary sterilization likely to become a menace to America?
A. It may, but that does not interfere with its value as applied to the cases considered.
Q. Who decides the question of legally sterilizing any given person?
A. A committee of experts, board of trustees of the institution in which the patient is confined, State Board of Charities and Corrections, State Board of Eugenics or similar body. A State Eugenist whose duty is to investigate and then bring the matter before a court is recommended. An appeal to the courts is always possible.
Q. How many states have sterilization laws?
A. Twenty‐three states have at one time or another enacted sterilization laws, but repeal or court action has reduced the number of states where it is in operation.
Q. Are all of these laws effective?
A. No, but they are rapidly being replaced by new laws, which are effective.
Q. In what states are they most successful?
A. California, where about 5,000 persons have been sterilized since 1909; Kansas, 335 since 1913; Nebraska, 260 since 1917; Oregon, 313 since 1917; Wisconsin, 144 since 1913. For further information, send for H. H. Laughlin’s booklet “Eugenical Sterilization: 1926,” (price 50 cents) published by the American Eugenics Society, Inc.

SEGREGATION

Q. What is another method of protecting society against the socially inadequate?
A. Segregation.
Q. How much does segregation cost?
A. It has been estimated that to have segregated the original “Jukes” for life would have cost the State of New York about $25,000.
Q. Is that a real saving?
A. Yes. It has been estimated that the State of New York, up to 1916 spent over $2,000,000 on the descendants of these people.
Q. How much would it have cost to sterilize the original Jukes pair?
A. Less than $150.
Q. What are segregation farms good for?
A. These farms have been recommended instead of jails for persons actively or potentially a menace to society and not requiring unusual restraint. Many of these people need custodial care for their own benefit as well as for that of the state by preventing their reproduction and other damage to society.

IMMIGRATION LAWS

Q. Is immigration an economic consideration?
A. It should be first of all considered a long time investment in family stocks.
Q. How may immigration regulation be used to improve our stock?
A. By a rigid exclusion of all idiots, imbeciles, feebleminded persons, epileptics, insane persons, persons of constitutional psychopathic inferiority, and similar groups, and by admitting only those who are shown by tests to be superior to the American average.

POSITIVE EUGENICS

Q. What is meant by positive eugenics?
A. This deals with the forces which tend upward, or with the furtherance of human evolution. Encouraging the best endowed to produce four or more children per family, encouraging the study of eugenics by all, etc., are positive eugenics.
Q. How can we most quickly raise the hereditary level of the United States?
A. By encouraging reproduction among the superior, and discouraging reproduction among the inferior. By eliminating immigrants who are not above the average American standard. Tests must be developed to determine which are the superior and which the inferior.
Q. Why is eugenics interested in birth control?
A. The control of births is the principal means of improving the stock. The term, “Birth Control,” has of late been taken by some to mean the limitation of birth on an economic and war prevention basis, or an anti‐baby strike. Sterilization of defectives or segregation is in one sense a form of birth control. Conception of children whenever the couple wants them is birth control. The movement in question should really be called “conception control.” Control after conception is a medical, not a eugenic problem. Abortion except on strict medical grounds is murder and eugenists do not advocate it except to save the life or serious injury of the mother.
Q. How do the different churches stand on the question of birth control?
A. The Protestant and Jewish Churches have taken no definite position. The Roman Catholic Church tolerates birth control accomplished by marital continence, or the use of the “safe period,” but opposes the use of contraceptives.
Q. What is the most precious thing in the world?
A. The human germ plasm.
Q. How may one’s germ plasm become immortal?
A. Only by perpetuation through children.
Q. What is a person’s eugenical duty to civilization?
A. To see that his own good qualities are passed on to future generations provided they exceed his bad qualities. If he has, on the whole, an excess of dysgenic qualities, they should be eliminated by letting the germ plasm die out with the individual.
Q. How many children must a family bear on the average in order to perpetuate the race, that is, just balance itself between life and death?
A. The latest figures for the registration area of the United States is between three and four. In other words, three children will not suffice and four will increase the “line.”
Q. How may my children know all they now are able to about their own pedigree?
A. If the parents have filed as complete a family pedigree as possible at the Eugenics Record Office, Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, the children may have the information at any time by applying there for it.
Q. How much does it cost to file a family pedigree?
A. Not a cent except the postage. Even the blanks are furnished free of charge.
Q. Is the pedigree then open to the public?
A. Absolutely no. It is held confidential.
Q. What may I do to spread eugenical information?
A. Learn, speak and write. The American Eugenics Society will be glad to help by sending you suggestions on reading, lists of speakers, and a leaflet, “Suggested Program for Clubs.”
Q. What are the Fitter Families Competitions which are conducted by the Eugenics Society?
A. These competitions are held at fairs, and will be extended to other appropriate places. Whole families compete for the trophies offered, on the basis of heredity, physique and mentality. The idea is to inculcate in those interested in taking the examinations, and in those who hear about it, the idea that heredity is the important thing, and that proper attention to the laws of heredity and hygiene will be decidedly worth while.
Q. How may I bring one of these competitions to my town?
A. Write to the American Eugenics Society, which has now standardized the contests and simplified them so that a few doctors and a supervisor can easily handle them. The American Eugenics Society is anxious to extend the competitions to all who are interested.
Q. Where may I get information on what to read in eugenics, without having to go through the library, and then not find just what I want?
A. Ask the American Eugenics Society for their condensed bibliography on eugenics.

 

Quotes from “Studies in Pessimism” by Arthur Schopenhauer

Below are just a few quotes that I had highlighted on my Kindle when reading portions of “Studies in Pessimism”. I haven’t finished the book, but thought I’d share these quotes:

——-

“Hatred and contempt are diametrically opposed and mutually exclusive. There are even not a few cases where hatred of a person is rooted in nothing but forced esteem for his qualities. And besides, if a man sets out to hate all the miserable creatures he meets, he will not have much energy left for anything else ; whereas he can despise them, one and all, with the greatest ease. True, genuine contempt is just the reverse of true, genuine pride; it keeps quite quiet and gives no sign of its existence. For if a man shows that he despises you, he signifies at least this much regard for you, that he wants to let you know how little he appreciates you; and his wish is dictated by hatred, which cannot exist with real contempt. On the contrary, if it is genuine, it is simply the conviction that the object of it is a man of no value at all. Contempt is not incompatible with indulgent and kindly treatment, and for the sake of one’s own peace and safety this should not be omitted; it will prevent irritation ; and there is no one who cannot do harm if he is roused to it. But if this pure, cold, sincere contempt ever shows itself, it will be met with the most truculent hatred; for the despised person is not in a position to fight contempt with its own weapons.”

==========

“Why is it that common is an expression of contempt ? and that uncommon, extraordinary, distinguished, denote approbation ? Why is everything that is common contemptible ? Common in its original meaning denotes that which is peculiar to all men. i.e., shared equally by the whole species, and therefore an inherent part of its nature. Accordingly, if an individual possesses no qualities beyond those which attach to mankind in general, he is a common man.”

==========

“What value can a creature have that is not a whit different from millions of its kind ? Millions, do I say ? nay, an infinitude of creatures which, century after century, in never-ending flow, Nature sends bubbling up from her inexhaustible springs; as generous with them as the smith with the useless sparks that fly around his anvil.”

==========

“I have argued that whilst a lower animal possesses nothing more than the generic character of its species man is the only being which can lay claim to possess an individual character. But in most men this individual character comes to very little in reality; and they may be almost all ranged under certain classes: ce sont des especes. Their thoughts and desires, like their faces, are those of the species, or, at any rate, those of the class to which they belong; and accordingly they are of a trivial, every-day, common character, and exist by the thousand. You can usually tell beforehand what they are likely to do and say. They have no special stamp or mark to distinguish them ; they are like manufactured goods, all of a piece.”

—–

Also, I kinda dig this quote from Oswald Spengler:

For I confess that I have never had anything but contempt for ‘philosophy for its own sake.’ To my way of thinking there is nothing more tedious than pure logic, scientific psychology, general ethics and esthetics. Life is not made up of science and generalities. Every line that is not written in the service of active living seems to me superfluous. At the risk of being taken too literally, I would say that my way of looking at the world is related to the ‘systematic’ way as the memoirs of a statesman are related to the ideal state of a Utopian. The former writes down what he has lived through; the latter records what he has dreamed up.

Eugenic oriented non-text media on Archive.org

After finding “Tomorrow’s Children” I spent a bit of time going through all the books and media on archive.org tagged with the term “eugenics”. There are far too many eugenic themed books for me to quickly cobble together a comprehensive post, but there are a small number of audio and video files on the subject, though mostly critical. I’ve filtered out the conspiracy theorist garbage, “student projects”, and passed on one audio file from a religious radio show that is an interview with an author of a book attacking Margaret Sanger. Sanger was indeed a eugenicist, but the audio was merely a hit-piece. This culling left very little of worth, but I figured I’d post anyway.

I’m listening to this first audio now, so I cannot comment on the eugenic part, but if it’s about a modern exhibit on Eugenics, it’s probably completely critical.

“Mail Order Brides / Eugenics (October 19, 2005)”

Chriss Enss joins host Jeffrey Callison to talk about her new book, Hearts West, which brings to life true stories of mail-order brides of the Gold Rush.

The history of California’s aggressive eugenic sterilization program is revealed in a Sacramento State exhibit. Jeffrey speaks with University of Virginia Professor Paul Lombardo, an expert on California eugenics, and the exhibit’s designer, UC Davis Associate Professor Kathryn Sylva.

Here’s a video sponsored by a slew of Jewish/Holocaust organizations:

Dr. McGee discusses eugenics, past and present, both in Germany and the United States. Eugenics investigated human heredity, defining differences between individuals and groups in terms of “superior” and “inferior” traits. It focused on the social impact of genetic information and emphasized the value of “superior blood” in contrast to the menace of “inferior blood.” Are you well-born? That’s one of the questions addressed.

Here’s an fascinating lecture by Carleton Putnam, the author of the book “Race and Reason”, on the day that was declared “Race and Reason Day”. It was tagged “eugenics” though it’s not really about eugenics, but I’m including it here anyway:


Carleton Putnam, author of Race and Reason: A Yankee View giving a speech in Jackson Mississippi on 10/26/61 at a banquet held at the Olympic Room of the Heidelberg Hotel. In this speech Mr. Putnam addresses the following topics; timelessness of American ideals, integrity of the Jackson leadership and press, What is the Problem?, origins of equalitarianism [Franz Boas,Lysenkosim], persecution of legitimate scientists, UNESCO, race and environmentalist propaganda, the role of the church in the spread of equalitarian race doctrine, perverting Lincoln’s words and ideas, northern indoctrination as “moral” crusade, integrity of civilisation, not states rights must be the defence for racial problems and leftist “change” [prophetic!]

And finally (told you there wasn’t much):

Population Control’s Sad History

Columbia U historian Matthew Connelly’s Fatal Misconception documents 150 years and a cast of thousands involved in the effort to control the fertility of women in the name of population control. We discuss eugenics, China, India and the reality of population stabilization.

Tomorrow’s Children (1934) – a story of good breeding..

Eugenics themed film available at the Internet Archive. It’s not a subtle film, though the movie itself is critical of three aspects of eugenical laws. The first being the seemingly healthy daughter of multi-generational dysgenic family was rubber stamped by a judge for sterilization. One of the doctors becomes involved in the case and fights to overturn the judgement.

The second is the rapist son of a politician who has his case thrown out merely on word of a Senator who is speaking on his behalf. The Senator brings along two doctors to speak on behalf of the boy, who had just tried raping his nurse in the room next to the courtroom.

The third is a criminal who is given a vasectomy in return for a reduced sentence. While on the operating room table, he says: “How’s this operation going to keep me from stealin’, or packing a rod to use if I get caught in a jam? Well it won’t. Just wait till I get out of stir some day, I’ll show ‘em.”

Here’s the IMDB page. Schlitzie (of Tod Browning’s “Freaks” fame) plays a small role here, with beard and hair!

Unfortunately the person who posted it recommends some crap from Alex Jones in the description of the film.

“The baby was born dead, good thing!”

Everything below lifted from other sites:

Tomorrow’s Children
(1934, 70 minutes, unrated)
This 1934 anti-sterilization melodrama is an entertaining and thought-provoking period piece. A welfare worker informs Mr. and Mrs. Mason that their family must either accept sterilization or forfeit welfare checks because most of their children are in jail, physically handicapped, or “feeble-minded”.. Included in the sterilization order is eldest daughter Alice, a seemingly healthy young girl, engaged to a young man named Jim.Perhaps because the filmmakers never quite made it clear where they stood regarding forced sterilization, Tomorrow’s Children was banned outright in many areas by the Catholic Legion of Decency. Directed and co-written by Crane Wilbur, a silent screen leading man who starred opposite Pearl White in the historic serial The Perils of Pauline (1914), Tomorrow’s Children was produced and released on the States’ Rights market by Bryan Foy. Leading lady Diane Sinclair, reportedly a mulatto hailing from Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana (Suriname), delivered a fine performance.  Comedian Sterling Holloway provided comedy relief to the grim proceedings as a sleepy intern. All but forgotten, Tomorrow’s Children was re-released on video in 1994.Filled with old-fashioned speechmaking and stereotypical characters, the film’s arguments about eugenics prompt audiences to consider what society’s views are today.  What is eugenics?  What are the arguments for and against eugenic practices like sterilization?  How can we tell the difference between “nature” and “nurture”?  Have society’s views about eugenics changed since we have mapped the human genome?  If so, how?  Could prenatal testing be our equivalent of sterilization eugenics?  What does the disability movement have to say about these techniques?The history of eugenics and eugenic thinking in the United States, both historically and in the present, is complex and challenging.  Like many other states, North Carolina had a state Eugenics Board from 1929 until 1977. In 2003, North Carolina became the first state to officially address the state’s role in forced sterilizations, when Governor Easley appointed a Eugenics Study Committee to consider reparations for the nearly 8000 people sterilized by order of the Board.  The expert panel made recommendations later that year.After the movie, Matthew DeCamp will lead a brief discussion on the science and ethics involved in the film.

For more information on North Carolina and eugenics, see:

(1) the Winston Salem Journal’s special report , Against Their Will, athttp://againsttheirwill.journalnow.com/

(2) The eugenics archive at the Library of the State of North Carolina, with documents from the Eugenics Board, at <http://statelibrary.dcr.state.nc.us/iss/eugenics/eugenicsinnc.htm>

[Film description adapted from  Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide.]

Though I want to reprint here a pertinent section from “First Biennial Report of The Eugenics Board of North Carolina”:

An effort is made in every case to secure the consent of the next of kin or guardian of the patient by pointing out the advantages of sterilization. The purpose and the advantages of sterilization have been well stated by the Human Betterment Foundation of Pasadena, California, as follows:

1. That sterilization has one effect only — it prevents parenthood.

2. It is not a punishment ; it is a protection ; and therefore carries no stigma or humiliation.

3. It in no way unsexes the party sterilized.

4. Sterilization is approved by the families and friends of the sterilized.

5. It is approved by the medical staffs, probation officers, and social workers generally wherever they have come in contact with these patients.

6. It permits patients to return to their homes and friends who would otherwise be confined to institutions during the fertile period of life.

7. The records show that many moron girls paroled after sterilization have married and are happy and succeeding fairly well. They could never have managed and cared for children, to say nothing of the inheritance and fate of such children.

8. Homes are kept together by sterilization of husband and wife in many mild cases of mental disease, thus removing the dread by the normal spouse of the procreation of a defective child and permitting normal marital companionship.

9. The operation is simple, it removes no organ or tissue of the body. It has no effect on the patient except to prevent parenthood. Under conservative laws, sanely and diplomatically administered, as they have been in California, these discoveries developed by the medical profession now offer to these classes the greatest relief possible and the greatest protection to the defenseless child of the future.

Satanism as Weltanschauung, a lecture in 9 parts (plus Q&A bonus)

I’m pleased to release the video of a lecture given on March 1st of this year when I was invited to speak on the topic of Satanism for a class at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Filmed in HD and edited to include quite a few graphics not presented in the original lecture, I’m pleased with the outcome and hope that for those already familiar with Satanism there is enough to still keep you interested and possibly entertained.

Embedded below is a playlist of all 9 videos, to play without interruption.

Below are two parts of the Q&A session that followed:

If you enjoyed the lecture and would like to make a voluntary monetary donation, please do so below:

Satanism as Weltanschauung

Ch. 1 “Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself…”

Rev. Kevin I. Slaughter introduces himself and gives a short biographical background to establish his long-held interest in Satanism explicitly, but also the occult or hidden aspects of culture.

Ch. 2 “A Brief Overview of Satanism”

Rev. Slaughter gives a very brief overview of Satanism, what a Satanist is, and how it is viewed by society.

Ch. 3 “The Satanic Bible”

Rev. Slaughter discusses the first High Priest of the Church of Satan’s book “The Satanic Bible”. He reads “The Nine Satanic Statements” and other pertinent selections from it.

Ch. 4 “The Satanic Scriptures”

Rev. Slaughter discusses the current High Priest of the Church of Satan’s book “The Satanic Scriptures”. He reads pertinent selections from it.

Ch. 5 “Egalité vs. Hierarchy”

The natural world is stratified, the weak, slow and stupid tend to be worse for wear. The smart, quick and strong tend to have a better time of it. In the animal kingdom, the world that we exist in, it is eat or be eaten.

Rev. Slaughter makes reference to Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron”, and reads an excerpt from Theodore Dalrymple’s book “Life at the Bottom”.

Ch. 6 “Lex Satanicus”

Satanism takes few overtly political positions, and there is absolutely no affiliation between the Church any political party. The Satanic philosophy positions itself as a third side, rejecting the simplistic dichotomies of good vs. evil, republican vs. democrat, liberal and conservative. The one position most clearly associated with politics is Lex Talionis.

Ch. 7 “Magic”

Magic, in the Satanic sense, is not about shooting fireballs or riding on broomsticks, we do not have “spells” that guarantee sex or death – the two things people always seem to want a spell for. When the Satanist performs greater magic, it is an emotional psychodrama, intended to charge the participant with a specific feeling or to put him in a specific emotional state. It’s made clear in the writings that Greater Magic is an emotional working as opposed to intellectual. Like the power of a masterfully written book or piece of music has, this productive fiction is useful and possibly necessary to the human animal.

Ch. 8 “A Few Unkind Words…”

In this part of the lecture Kevin discusses Christian Child Abuse, a blog that collects stories about pedophile priests. He discusses religiously motivated atrocities committed by Islam and Judaism in the name of their religion and accepted by their communities.

The website is found at http://christianchildabuse.blogspot.com

Ch. 9 “Love”

Satanism isn’t merely a reactionary stance, it is about knowing ones self and building real relationships with worthy people. Rev. Slaughter recites a poem titled “Love” that was written by freethinker Robert Greene Ingersoll, to illustrate this and other points in the Satanic worldview.

Kevin has participated in two oratory contests where contestants read their choice of Ingersoll’s work, and won first place in 2010. The video can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8UPNFcnYIM

Rev. Slaughter is an official representative of the Church of Satan. More information can be found on the website http://www.churchofsatan.com

Filmed and edited by Kevin I. Slaughter for Underworld Amusements: http://www.underworldamusements.com

Music composed and performed by Michaelanthony Mitchell