Since I wrote the first chapter while tipsy, writing the second one while in a hurry before work will hopefully keep the quality consistent. Apologies to Nemomen for spelling his pen name wrong throughout the first chapter. See what alcohol does to you kids?

In response to NoTrust's review:

NoTrust wrote:

'Nemomen's a guy.'

Thanks for clearing that up. I tend to assume everyone, and everything is female until proven otherwise, just because everyone else seems to do the opposite.

Notrust wrote:

'I think Nemomen's argument fails horribly.

There is no way to measure what is 'good' for society because society does not have desires or values. One can only measure what is 'good' for individuals, and then, only by what they themselves desire. One can determine that voluntary charity is 'good' because all participants benefit from it (otherwise it wouldn't take place, as is the nature of all voluntary action). Charitable contributions to people with 'bad genes' don't make anyone worse off than they would have been had the money not been spent. The money spent on the charity went to the end thought best by those who earned it, and of course the folks on the receiving end could always simply refuse the aid if they didn't want it. Everyone's happy. Any attempt to try and divine some kind of economic harm to 'society' fails on methodological grounds before it even gets anywhere.'

NoTrust seems to have been so keen to go off on his usual rant about people's rights to do what they want with their money that he has missed the point of what Nemomen was saying. I don't think Nemomen was trying to argue that charity harmed society at all. It looked to me more like his first two paragraphs on the reasons behind charity were just a sort of explanation of what charity is by way of introduction to the rest of the essay. He never said anything about society having desires or values, he was talking about the good of the *species*, and I think that what is good for a species can be safely defined as what helps it to survive, and what is bad for it can be defined as what hinders its survival.

'The evolutionary argument fails also. Firstly, unless the people with 'bad genes' make a habit of committing rape, they're not going to reproduce with anyone who doesn't want to reproduce with them.'

Whether an individual wants to have children with someone with 'bad genes' or not has no bearing whatsoever on whether it is good for the species. Nemomen was arguing that for those genes to be passed on at all is bad for our survival. What matters is whether or not they reproduce and pass on their genes, not whether the child's other parent is happy about it.

' Assuming all charity is voluntary, the 'bad genes' folk aren't going to be a drain on anyone who is not willing to voluntarily shoulder that burden. '

Again, this isn't relevant. Nemomen wasn't talking about anyone's willingness to support them, but rather the fact that supporting them at all is possibly detrimental to the species.

'There's also a question of where all these 'bad genes' came from. Did they just appear out of nowhere? If one believes in evolution it only makes sense to believe that people with bad genes have been able to exist all along. It is likely that everyone has 'bad genes' and that they're just something that can't really be gotten rid of.'

There, at last is a valid argument. It is likely that lots of genetic defects have been around a very, very long time, and that most, or all of us are carriers of some 'bad genes'. Even if we were to eradicate these, new diseases and deformities would arise through mutation. I suppose we might be able to engineer genetically perfect humans once we get a better handle on the technology needed, but then it's still subjective what would constitute 'perfect'. Are blue eyes better than brown? Are tall people better than short? Even things which the majority of people in our society would consider to be a deficiency, might be considered by some people to be an advantage. I once watched a documentary about a young deaf girl, born to deaf parents, who wanted to have a cochlear implant to enable her to hear, not perfectly, but at all. The operation would only work properly if performed while she was young, so she could not wait until she was an adult to decide. Her parents did not want her to have the implant because they felt that if she were able to hear she would miss out on 'deaf culture'. While this may sound like a simple case of sour grapes, it is impossible for anyone who has not experienced hearing to undestand what it is like to be deaf. A community of people deaf from birth, communicating only through sign language probably would have subtle differences which the rest of us could never grasp. Much of our humour depends on words and sounds, maybe there are entirely different kinds of jokes you can make signing. It is possible that the child would be better off being part of her parents' world than cut off from it as they are cut off from ours. There is no way to objectively judge.

'Nemomen's arguments, or something like them, apply much better to coercive welfare schemes. They don't apply at all to voluntary charity.'

If you have a response to my arguments on coercive welfare schemes, which I've already posted on this site (www. fictionpress. ?storyid=1372787&chapter=20) then bring it.

'I don't know what he's smoking.'

It's obviously not as good as what you're smoking.

There, that was fun and took all of 10 minutes. I should do this again. I can call them 'speed chapters'.