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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 642)...

    A new reader of Ishmael recently suggested that we ought to let the "weak, old, and handicapped" die in order to decrease population and live in the hands of the gods. I remember in the Book of the Damned you wrote that part of the Leavers story was that in each generation some would survive and go on to reproduce while others less suited would return their substance early on and that this is how we are shaped. Does this in anyway come close to "social Darwinism"?

    ...and the response:

    What I was describing in The Book of the Damned is natural selection, seen at all levels of life, nothing whatever to do with "social Darwinism." Whenever you speak of our "letting" people live or die, however, you are of course casting us in the role of the gods (and, yes, THIS is social Darwinism). In order to circumvent the prevailing godlike medical policy (under which doctors are not allowed to "let" us die), we now have create a special document, a living will, in order to be allowed to die.


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