Yes, Savulescu referenced “cognitive enhancement” when discussing the government tampering with your water. And I say your water, because the professor suggested the roll all governments ought to play, in his opinion. And he sees governments being a guiding hands in human evolution. This isn’t just about tap water in the UK.
It seems to me that the renewed conversation about fluoridated water is actually a part of the larger general discussion of government intervention into the health of the private class.
We are living at a time when the political class, more and more, has been taking it upon themselves to dictate the day to day health of the private class. I say dictate, because in my opinion health is being legislated – with little choice given to the private class.
It’s not the fluoride I am worried about. It’s the fact that government feels free to put chemicals in the water that have nothing to do with water purity. It’s only a matter of time before the members of the political class, who have far too much power, start experimenting with “enhancements” that go far beyond just teeth.
And when we have government being openly advised to start looking beyond teeth when considering public water additives, we have to worry. Government can easily shift from public health en messe to programs of public “enhansement” en masse.
In his letter, Julian Savulescu, a professor at Oxford University, is suggesting that it is the duty of the State to oversee the evolutionary progress of all of humanity. He points to government campaigns to remove lead, and then points to government programs that already drop fluoride into the tap water; and then he asks, essentially, “why stop there?”
To me, the point is not whether or not fluoride is harmful in the correct doses – which is usually where the conversation leads. It’s whether or not government should be [messing] around with your water at all.
To quote Jonah Goldberg: “Even if the government only wants to hug, is still tyranny if you don’t want to be hugged.”
And the State will use force, if necessary, to give you that hug.
So here is some of what this man, a respected professor of bioethics, said. Taken from his 2008 article:
Fluoridation is the tip of the enhancement iceberg. Science is progressing fast to develop safe and effective cognitive enhancers, drugs which will improve our mental abilities. For years, people have used crude enhancers, usually to promote wakefulness, like nicotine, caffeine and amphetamines. A new generation of more effective enhancers is emerging modafenil, ritalin, Adderral and ampakines and the piracetam family of memory improvers.
It seems likely that widespread population level cognitive enhancement will be irresistible. Studies based on removing lead, which reduces cognitive ability, from the water and paint, have estimated that a 3 point IQ increase would lead to:
Poverty rate -25%
Males in jail -25%
High school dropouts -28%
Parentless children -20%
Welfare recipiency -18%
Out-of-wedlock births -15%
The US military already employs modafenil and Ritalin for its pilots in Iraq, to improve their performance. It has a vigorous programme of developing and testing human enhancers. One spokesperson recently said:
“The world contains approximately 4.2 billion people over the age of twenty. Even a small enhancement of cognitive capacity in these individuals would probably have an impact on the world economy rivaling that of the internet.”
Fluoridation may not merely be about tooth decay. It may be about the future of humanity and the drive to be better. Current enhancers are not suitable for population level distribution. But drugs to improve working memory and other select aspects of cognition may be. We may not just want whiter teeth, but to be smarter. A government which refuse to enhance its population might well be effectively disabling it. What government would refuse its citizens access to the internet?
As you can see, fluoride in water is about more than just teeth. It’s about members of the political class who are on a power trip, and see themselves as ‘tweaking’ humanity. Or rather, they see themselves as ‘enhancing’ humanity.
By the way, from a quick read of some of Julian Savulescu’s opinion, I get the sense that he is a big time eugenicist who doesn’t even recognize the individual. He isn’t even capable of recognizing individual liberty, because he only sees humanity as a broad, faceless collective.
Among the many ideas and programs suggested by Julian Savulescu, he has argued …
That parents have a responsibility to select the best children they could have given all of the relevant genetic information available to them, a principle that he extends to the use of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and preimplantation genetic diagnoses (PGD) in order to determine the intelligence of embryos and possible children.
As more and more government bodies take it upon themselves to know what is best for the so-called “general health,” will governments begin adding more than just fluoride to our tap water? I think yes because, to quote Congressman Pete Stark, “the Federal Government can do most anything it wants.” (See the video posted below.)
Or at least, that’s what many within today’s political class believe.
For those that want more info, Julian Savulescu’s 2008 article ends with links to the following sources. The “ENHANCE Project site has been taken down. The 3rd url is a download for a pdf; a 40 page on “Genetic Interventions and the Ethics of Enhancement of Human Beings.”
The other links lead to some other articles and discussion on cloning, a paper asking “How Dangerous is Religion?,” adding fluoride to the drinking water in the UK, and a variety of other papers.