Bryan Caplan  

IQ With Conscience

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I'm an IQ realist, all the way.  IQ tests aren't perfect, but they're an excellent proxy for what ordinary language calls "intelligence."  A massive body of research confirms that IQ predicts not just educational success, but career success.  Contrary to critics, IQ tests are not culturally biased; they fairly measure genuine group differences in intelligence. 

Yet I've got to admit: My fellow IQ realists are, on average, a scary bunch.  People who vocally defend the power of IQ are vastly more likely than normal people to advocate extreme human rights violations.  I've heard IQ realists advocate a One-Child Policy for people with low IQs.  I've heard IQ realists advocate a No-Child Policy for people with low IQs.  I've heard IQ realists advocate forced sterilization for people with low IQs.  I've heard IQ realists advocate forcible exile of people with low IQs - fellow citizens, not just immigrants.  I've heard IQ realists advocate murdering people with low IQs. 

When I say, "I've heard..." I'm not just talking about stuff I've read on the Internet.  I'm talking about what IQ realists have told me to my face.  In my experience, if a stranger brings up low IQ in Africa, there's about a 50/50 chance he casually transitions to forced sterilization or mass murder of hundreds of millions of human beings as an intriguing response.  You can protest that they're just trolling, but these folks seemed frighteningly sincere to me.

Don't such policies flow logically from IQ realism?  No way.  If someone says, "I'm more intelligent than other people, so it's acceptable for me to murder them," the sensible response isn't, "Intelligence is a myth."  The sensible response is, "Are you mad?  That doesn't justify murder."  Advocating brutality in the name of your superior intellect is the mark of a super-villain, not a logician.

But don't low-IQ people produce negative externalities - negative externalities that well-intentioned consequentialists will want to address?  I'm no consequentialist, but the consistent consequentialist position is: Not if the "solution" is worse than the problem!  And if your "solution" involves gross human rights violations, there's every reason to think it is worse than the problem.  We should be especially wary of self-styled consequentialists who rush toward maximal brutality instead of patiently searching for cheap, humane ways to cope with the social costs of low IQ.

Why do IQ realists go so wrong?  Stigma is part of the story: If IQ realists face grave social disapproval, sensible IQ realists will tend to keep their views quiet.  Remaining spokesmen for IQ realism therefore lean crazy.  But stigma aside, IQ realists tend to be smart - and self-consciously smart people are often attracted to what I call high-IQ misanthropy.  If you marinate in your own misanthropy long enough, common decency fades away.

To repeat, I'm an IQ realist myself.  As a result, I'm tempted to deny ugly generalizations about my tribe.  But I won't.  As I've said before:
If you really want to improve your group's image, telling other groups to stop stereotyping won't work. The stereotype is based on the underlying distribution of fact. It is far more realistic to turn your complaining inward, and pressure the bad apples in your group to stop pulling down the average.
So here's what I say to every IQ realist who forgets common decency: You embarrass me.  You embarrass yourself.  You embarrass intelligence itself.  Teaching IQ with conscience probably won't end the stigma against the science of intelligence.  But if we teach IQ without conscience, we deserve that stigma.




COMMENTS (55 to date)
TMC writes:

I would guess most people I know are IQ realists. I can't think of anyone who would be a denier, maybe just because denying it makes them sound like they don't believe it because they are low IQ.

Not one of them would agree it's right to abuse those low IQ groups though. While I agree with you that stereotypes usually have some truth behind them, this stereotype is way outside of my experience. It's usually the statists who advocate for controlling populations. Not sure what kind of fringe you're hanging out with though.

Michael writes:

This post made me think of the great Hitchcock movie "Rope" - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040746/ - worth a watch if you haven't seen it.

I am a Ph.D. student in an education policy school, and most of the people I come into contact with are deniers.

I am curious: can anyone provide links to research of IQ realists that show it is not culturally biased?

Matthew Moore writes:

It's not even a correct arguement on its own merits.

A society of 100 geniuses is going to be far less wealthy than a society of 100 geniuses and 100000 dunces.

Think of the pensions crisis...

Richard writes:

I've seen IQ denialists among conservatives, liberals, and libertarians. But never among the alt right or white nationalists. So, yes, this sort of rings true.

Graham writes:

How strange. I read Steve Sailer's blog (on unz.com) almost every day. Its commenters include hundreds of IQ realists. I have never seen any remark even vaguely approximating the horrible things you mention. Could it be that Steve carefully moderates them all out - which I doubt, because there are too many posts and too many comments? Or could it be that these repellent sentiments are far rarer than you allege?

Hazel Meade writes:

I might be a recovered IQ misanthrope. IQ misanthropy is, I think, sometimes a mask for other forms of insecurity. High-IQ people can often hide behind their intelligence to make up for other weaknesses, like poor social skills. Even if extreme intelligence makes it hard to relate to normal-IQ people, it also means very intelligent people may have a lack of practice at dealing with others. It's easy to say "oh well, those people are just too stupid to be worth bothering with.", which is more of an excuse for not really trying to understand people on their own level than a real argument for the inferiority of low-IQ people.

Secondly, intelligence may be overrated. Lots of low-IQ people have extreme talents in art and music. You don't have to be smart to have a great singing voice. You also don't have to be smart to be a "people person", which is a kind of skill too. Some people are just great at bringing a group of people together, establishing a mood, and getting people to have a good time. Maybe there are different kinds of intelligence that aren't measured on regular IQ tests. Maybe those skills don't always happen to have high market value.



Matt Skene writes:

If both IQ tests and educational and career success are influenced by bias, then the fact that results on one predict the other isn't evidence that the first one isn't biased. Pretty sure most people who claim there's an IQ test bias would be even more sure that there was one that had an effect on educational and career success. There's lots of good data to back up that claim.

If outcomes are influenced by bias and yet correlate with IQ test results, then either IQ test results are also biased, or else somehow low IQ people consistently overperform in order to make up for the effects of cultural bias. I'd say the first one is more likely.

Robert Ford writes:

Point taken but you could say that about any bad trait along with IQ (disabled people, ppl with DS.) Haters a plenty. My answer to your complaint is an economic one: simply deincentivize low IQ people from having children rather than incentivizing them to do so as we do now. It shouldn't be controversial to not like the gov't supporting Idiocracy.

William Foster writes:

Mr. Moore above alluded to the basic problem of assuming low-IQ people produce negative externalities. Wealth depends on the refinement of the division of labor, which in turn depends on the number of people making individual decisions, each with their own idiosyncratic information (Hayek, etc., etc.). IQ is just one dimension that might serve to sort people into their individual specializations, but so is beauty, strength, perseverance, and so on. A few smart people would be poorer, less "educated", more brutish than a great society with a few high IQs and a mass of relative dunces. Because of correlation with material success, today IQ is mistaken for moral value rather than just one dimension of many by which we might differentiate ourselves.

And remember, in the not too distant past brawn and athletic lethality determined the distribution of wealth among nobles/warlords, leaving skinny types, including geniuses, to gather lovely muck and complain vainly about how supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses. In the days of real "Dieu et mon droit" there were probably the equivalent of brawn-realists who wanted to do away with or sterilize those who couldn't manage a jousting lance or pull a plow.

Robert Gressis writes:

A person named Sean II made this point on Bleeding Heart Libertarians, but it struck me as a good one: of course you're right that having a higher IQ doesn't make you a better person or give you more rights than others; but I think a lot of people will take it that way, and will draw out similar inferences to the embarrassing IQ realists.

Josiah writes:

What is an IQ realist?

Mark Bahner writes:

We'll see what the IQ realists say, in a decade or two, when robots have IQs of 200+. :-)

John writes:

So, this is basically Bryan Caplan engaging in virtue-signaling. Look how brave and virtuous I am that I criticize my own tribe!

MikeP writes:

Look how brave and virtuous I am that I criticize my own tribe!

Well, at least the miscreants of my own tribe.

To be fair, the miscreants probably to a person have lower IQs than the average IQ realist. But give them a break. They were born swimming in social institutions they ascribe to high IQ and they don't want anyone else as stupid and inconsiderate as them coming in and screwing it up.

It's for the children, don't you know.

CC writes:

Here is an ungated version of the source that I think Bryan was linking to to support the claim the IQ scores do not suffer from a cultural bias:

http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/wp-content/uploads/Bias-in-Mental-Testing-since-Bias-in-Mental-Testing.pdf

Your in-group writes:

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shecky writes:
So, this is basically Bryan Caplan engaging in virtue-signaling. Look how brave and virtuous I am that I criticize my own tribe!

Is virtue signaling a vice? I can easily see instances of virtue signaling to be, well, virtuous.

Alex writes:

IQ realism seems quite obvious to me. I didn't know it was so rare.

What do IQ deniers believe in? That intelligence doesn't exist? That intelligence is distributed homogeneously among mankind? I know there are some people who make these kind of claims but I don't think they truly believe it.

Andy writes:

I'm not defending the examples Bryan alleges, but there is a sense of legitimate urgency that I think is justified among the crowd for the reason of deleterious mutation load, which is accumulating at a frightening rate. If there's even a chance that this is legitimate, we ought be considering its implications:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Michael_Woodley_Of_Menie/publication/268800810_How_fragile_is_our_intellect_Estimating_losses_in_general_intelligence_due_to_both_selection_and_mutation_accumulation/links/5475d0610cf29afed612b566/How-fragile-is-our-intellect-Estimating-losses-in-general-intelligence-due-to-both-selection-and-mutation-accumulation.pdf

Red Flag writes:

Is it ethical to allege without any evidence (other than "they secretly told me in person") that half of IQ realists advocate mass genocide? Is that an ethical move by an ethical person? That screams red flag to me ethically.

Mr. Econotarian writes:

Economics shows that the best way to deal with low-IQ externalities is economic freedom.

Society is more productive when high-IQ people can shed low-IQ tasks onto low-IQ workers, and make use of comparative advantage. Regulations that keep the low-IQ from doing low-IQ work (like overly high minimum wages) are a problem.

Regulations that encourage rent-seeking from illegal voluntary economic activity (like the sale of recreational drugs) is also a problem, and drives crime.

Regulations that encourage rent-seeking from high-IQ landowners that make it unaffordable for low-IQ people to have housing close to where they can be the most productive is also a problem.

I suspect that between now and 100 years, we will identify most IQ-related genetic differences, and will be able to alter the human germ line to increase IQ.

john hare writes:

Robert Ford writes:
Point taken but you could say that about any bad trait along with IQ (disabled people, ppl with DS.) Haters a plenty. My answer to your complaint is an economic one: simply deincentivize low IQ people from having children rather than incentivizing them to do so as we do now. It shouldn't be controversial to not like the gov't supporting Idiocracy.

I like this attitude. Lets quite pretending that we are all the same and subsidizing those that are less intelligent and effectively irresponsible as a result. IMO, subsidizing people having children that they are unable or unwilling to raise in a responsible manner is almost criminal behavior. IQ plays some part in this, but subsidies make the downside effective.

Mr. Econotarian writes:
Economics shows that the best way to deal with low-IQ externalities is economic freedom.

I also like this attitude. We don't need rules against low IQ people, just the freedom to operate effectively. It's the "Who chooses" problem that creates problems. I could see the cut off being above my IQ with my being cut off from things I am trying to accomplish, much as educational credentials work, only with something I have no control over.

John Smith writes:

I am a IQ realist, and I am somewhat supportive of mass killings. My SAT score is in the 98th percentile, which I fully admit is nonetheless inferior to many people.

I agree that there are pros and cons to mass killings, as Caplan rightfully points out. But its benefits of improving the human race are very alluring to me. Just a few rounds of mass killings and we can achieve a human race with a much higher average IQ. History may judge us in the future, but we would have bestowed our descendents a great heritage.

Is this not *potentially* worth the gross human rights violations and inhumanity involved in mass killings?

[For clarity, I am significantly more reluctant to execute fellow citizens due to bonds of fellowship and precedent, but am quite keen on Africans. I am racially Chinese.]

Prakash writes:

The concern comes from long term views which believe that modernity is actively selecting against itself. A true traditionalist would disavow those solutions you list. You're mostly talking about the more technically inclined people of the alt-right, I think.

The entire argument hinges on what kind of technology is available, isn't it? All of these prescriptions assume that certain technology is available (IQ testing) and certain technology is not (Reliable CRISPR on humans), which is the current status quo. When the technology available changes, the severity of many of these suggestions reduces. The suggestions change to the low IQ people being allowed to have only genetically modified babies, which is still a violation, but a much smaller one. With a fairly persuasive ad campaign in place, it could also be made totally voluntary.

Btw. My current least bad solution, other than the pretty much standard economic solutions (stop subsidizing them), is a girl child only policy, max 2. Girls IQ's cluster near the average anyway, they're tougher and their chances of retardation are much lesser. A best practice for many low IQ people is just to follow instructions and girls do that a lot better. Their chances of finding a mate and leading a decent life are much better than those of low IQ boys/men.

anonymous writes:

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James writes:

John Smith,

The descendants of high IQ people will have high IQ with or without any form of population engineering. Who would be better off from mass killings or eugenics?

John Smith writes:

James,

Society, due to extermination of low IQ individuals and the negative externalities they bring about. There is also an inherent sense of joy at improving our people.

High IQ individuals, due to freeing up population capacity for their additional descendants. I am not confident of this aspect because I think that this does not accurately describe many of our current societies. However, on the margin, this should be true in at least some limited cases.

In any case, what is the downside from exterminating the Africans? I understand and agree with many of the arguments against targeting our fellow countrymen, that significantly constraints us. I am extremely displeased at the US government sending medical aid during the recent outbreak in Africa, when that would potentially have turned out very well for us.

Mike White writes:

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Shane L writes:

I wonder if it is also a matter of identity emerging in part from a rejection of the identity of opponents. Supposing an IQ realist remarks that IQ differs by race. Her neighbour is appalled by the perceived implication that some races are more intelligent than others, so the neighbour attacks the idea that IQ tests represent objective intelligence. The IQ realist reacts the way many of us do when our ideas are attacked in an unreasonable manner: she feels that her own identity is under attack and she dismisses the critic entirely.

Meanwhile, the IQ realist is encountering other IQ realists, people who support her belief in IQ tests indicating intelligence. Some of them hold extreme or violent views connected to these beliefs. The IQ realist warms to these extremists, who after all support her in arguments with critics. The IQ realist notices that the critics who had attacked her, also attack the extreme IQ realists, causing her to become more vociferously repulsed by the critics and more attracted to the extremists. In this way, the wild ideas of the extremists become attractive to the initial IQ realist, and the revulsion with which these ideas are met by critics only strengthens their attractiveness.

I noticed something like this process in a critic of Islam who, under attack from Muslims for his irreverance and supported by extreme anti-Muslimists, drifted towards really wild and violent anti-Muslim bigotry.

Doug writes:

This seems like a straw man to me. Any links to an IQ realist advocating genocide seriously?

Philo writes:

IQ realists don't usually advocate killing all dogs, or utterly preventing them from breeding, yet dog's IQs are 'way lower than stupid people's. True, dogs can't vote while stupid people can, but the importance of the vote is less if we have minimal government. IQ realists should therefore be libertarians.

L writes:

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Hazel Meade writes:

@William Foster

Great comment. Thanks for saying it more eloquently than me.

Kitty_T writes:

Odd. I've not encountered genocidal IQ realists off the wilds of the internet. The realists I've know usually have a grasp of evolutionary theory sufficient to know that breeding only for a specific trait is generally a bad idea for your population in the long term. (Actually, most 4-H club kids I've met have figured that out.) Fitness isn't absolute, it's meaningful only in a specific context. Contexts change, so if you're smart you want to maintain the most diverse gene pool practicable against the unknowable future.

Perhaps these IQ eugenicists aren't as smart as they think?

John Smith writes:

Kitty_T,

You are obviously wrong (and disturbingly confident of your incorrect ideas about evolution). There is a trade-off, as with most issues.

Clearly, some IQ realists believe that the preferred trade-off is to exterminate the low IQ individuals.

Peter writes:

I don't know what an IQ realist is but what evidence is there that IQ correlates with moral judgement at all?

Let's assume it does. One reasonable prediction from this conjecture would seem be that the set of Very Smart People should show more agreement on vexed moral questions than the larger set of Random People.

Does it?

I am highly skeptical. I suspect that smart people disagree about questions or moral judgement at a similar rate than the general population.

And I suspect that Very Smart People can turn out to be Very Wrong about the moral questions of their day whether it is slavery (supported by some smart founders in the US) or social Darwinism and eugenics (supported by most educated people - including scientists - of the late 19th century).

I would be interested - really - to see any evidence that intelligence correlates with moral judgement. I have not seen it.

I believe it was Socrates who once noted that even the gods disagreed.

Adrian Gabriel writes:

Standardized tests are very deceptive in what they purvey to the general public. Many times I wonder whether they are necessary at all. I would hasten to proclaim that simply and only at the proprietary level do these tests serve any purpose whatsoever. To elaborate, the SAT test has lost it's eminence due to government promotion at the public school level. Hence, nix all public goods such as the Department of Education, as well as public schools in general. Sadly the idea of private standardized tests has been convoluted by the desire of individuals to inaccurately presume that education is not only necessary, but also the sole means to erudition. One could not be further from the truth with this bold and fallacious assumption: http://austrianquips.blogspot.com/2017/04/standardized-tests-delude.html


[broken html removed--Econlib Ed.]

Lawrence D'Anna writes:

There's two reasons to be an IQ realist. The first reason is the evidence for it is pretty darn strong, and you have a commitment to truth. The second reason is you want a convenient rationale for some chauvinism and human rights violations. Just because someone got the right answer doesn't mean they got it for the right reason.

James writes:

John Smith,

You have no way to know low IQ people in Africa are having a net negative exernality on you, let alone a negative externality large enough to warrant capital punishment in response.

Eliminating low IQ population doesn't improve our people because there is no such thing as "our people."

One painfully obvious downside to mass killing low IQ people is that the people die. Another is that mass killing requires empowering some set of people to do mass killing. Historically, when groups of people have been empowered to do mass killing, they wind up doing even more mass killing than anyone expected.

I want to commend your honesty about holding a socially unacceptable view but I also have to fear that by advocating for mass killings, you impose a negative externality on IQ realists, a group you happen to be part of. I am now wondering whether you are a high IQ individual who didn't realize this or just trolling.

Prakash writes:

A couple more points.

I realised on reading my own comment that I had come out much more harsh than it felt to me in my own mind's voice and I realised that there is an inference gap at play here. Most neo-reactionaries believe in free exit and so do I. Eugenic laws of whatever severity desired, in that society, are a shock only for the period of introduction. After their introduction, anyone can exit. If there are jurisdictions that are willing to take them, the latter should be ok.

About high IQ people in dead end jobs in a society, there are 2 potential answers to the same. One is automation, turning a janitor's job into a "coordinator of a janitor's swarm" kind of job. The bots take the physically stressful jobs.

Another answer is that even in a high IQ society, people's faculties are not super sharp throughout their lives. Age changes mental faculties, so the youngest or oldest can take up low IQ, low physical effort jobs, which cannot be automated.

Thomas Sewell writes:

@Lawrence
I'm an IQ realist in the sense that IQ is real and unevenly distributed.

That satisfies the evidence/commitment to truth portion.

@John Smith,
I have a very high IQ myself, but I have no idea of the priors which might lead someone with a high IQ to become in favor killing or even sterilizing the low IQ. High IQ combined with sheer ignorance of the world, i.e. an academic-only-level view??? I'm really speculating here.

I've heard the low IQ breeding argument, but having more people is beneficial overall, not a detriment. People create wealth, improve things around them, etc... The anti-population growth arguments from the 70s still aren't convincing today with even a minimum of research.

The "average" IQ doesn't really matter for anything important. (If someone thinks it does, please outline it for us.) From an evolutionary standpoint, success breeds success already, so it seems very presumptuous to think you could design the future of the human race as a whole (as opposed to limited experiments on your own descendants) and manage to improve it. Genetics isn't that simple. You're more likely to manage to design into a monoculture-like vulnerability by not preserving genetic variety.

Of course, I also don't agree with the abortion-rights movement's and their overlap with eugenicists. Presumably they have some of the same basis for their ideas. The question the abortion-benefits crowd has never answered is besides all the crime which was avoided, what happened to all the wealth which was never created, all the technology never created by those people, etc...

After all, we're not discussing replacing lower IQ people with higher IQ people, we're discussing just removing the present/future lower IQ people. That's like saying "Bulldozer's are better at digging. Let's destroy all the shovels and post-hole diggers in the world so everyone will be more efficient and just use the bulldozers which get created!" It's actually pretty stupid if you take a few seconds to actually consider the implications, so I wonder what I'm missing in terms of steel-manning that an advocate might suggest.


In an extreme example, you'd have to figure out the lower limit of your process. Why not just the smartest female and the smartest male, or the top X required for minimal genetic diversity? I wouldn't make the first cut, but maybe the second one. Would they advocate for killing themselves in some perverse desire to improve the human breed?

Of course, the morality of it all is another discussion. I get that some folks disagree with having morality, and it seems like a fallacy high IQ folks are more likely to arrogance themselves into, but people are more than just pre-determined meat bags. If you truly disagree with that, then there is no point in not just killing yourself. If you agree, then morality argues there is something more valuable in a human being than just their IQ or their potentially slightly higher material prospects on whatever time-horizon.

Then there are natural rights, etc... but I don't see how you'd reconcile any of that with eugenics either, so presumably you disagree with any sort of philosophy like that in order to believe in eugenics.

John Smith writes:

James,

Obvious counterpoint. Antibiotic resistant bacteria, among others. If you are claiming that low IQ Africans impose *no* negative externality, then you are obviously arguing in bad faith. The valid debate is over whether the negative externality justifies such an extreme solution as the extermination of these people.

I disagree. I consider the human race to be our people, with this even more so for my specific race.

I agree with your very valid point regarding the dangers of mass killings. This sort of thing can go wrong very easily. Hence, my serious reservations about targeting my fellow countrymen beyond the bonds of fellowship. Which is why I suggested the Africans as a priority target, since they are relatively unpopular, unable to effectively resist and of low IQ.

Thank you, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t proactively voice such socially unacceptable views in real life. Yes, I realize this, but I significantly value truth and honesty.

Josiah writes:

John Smith,

You want to commit mass murder because of antibiotic resistance?

Troy Camplin writes:

The people you mention are bad logicians as well as wannabe super-villians. They seem to be utterly unaware of basic system dynamics.

I would be against killing anyone or restricting their rights, reproductive or otherwise, for reasons of IQ simply because such actions are evil in and of themselves. But there is a kind of consequentialist argument that also matters.

In any dynamic complex system, such as human social systems of any kind and scale, there have to be degrees of stability and disruption. People on the average-and-lower end of the IQ spectrum overwhelmingly tend to provide social stability. They are the people who mostly live their lives, mind their own (which includes their friends and family) business, and simply want a stable job at which to work. High-IQ people are social disruptors--entrepreneurs, inventors, artists, etc.--injecting chaos into the system. They keep the system growing and dynamic (and sometimes are destructive when they combine their IQ with stupidities such as ideology and other forms of narcissism).

Here's the problem for the IQ Realist super-villains: much like the villains on that old cartoon Captain Planet, IQ Realist super-villains seem suicidal. Ironically, a low-IQ-only society would be vastly more stable, reaching equilibrium, than would a high-IQ-only society. Constant disruption with no forms of stability would result in a system so chaotic that it collapses. Their super-villain society would be completely unstable and its members would all end up dead, or dissipated into the vastly more stable low-IQ-only societies.

Of course, the ideal society is one where about 20% of the population are innovative enough, with only about 1% being super-innovators, keeping the society stable enough to hold together while also dynamic enough to grow.

What are positive externalities in such a society would become negative externalities in a high-IQ-only society. The consequences of the IQ-Realist super-villains is societal collapse. Yes, there are consequences to violating human rights. Low IQ isn't inferior to high-IQ; it's merely different--and for social stability and human flourishing, absolutely necessary.

kerry Vandegrift writes:

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Arthur writes:

I am new to this topic. What should I read to understand the arguments for and against?

John Smith writes:

Josiah,

Mass killings (of Africans), not mass murders, since the implementation would be by the State and hence inherently legal if not otherwise in conflict with the Constitution.

That is a very small factor, yes.

Corsair writes:

The problem with any sort of myopic policy focus based on IQ realism is that several other human attributes deemed by a great many to be important to the advancement of humanity are not tested for within the concept of "IQ."

Just to give a few examples, morality, aesthetics (seminal artists weren't/aren't all geniuses), and empathy/emotional are among these important qualities that aren't accounted for by an IQ test. Yet a great many fields of human endeavor benefit from these aspects as well.

Policies that actively favor people based on IQ are—while not as inefficient and morally repellent as extermination pogroms—still not sufficient to safeguard the other qualities that humanity values and benefits from. Without empathy and a sense of morality, our civilizations—and likely our species—would likely not have survived the Cold War. Without art to inspire, science would have taken entirely different (and possibly less productive) courses.

Cold rationality in favor of developing intelligence might seem the most efficient and direct path to a better humanity, but it ignores the fact that humanity is multi-faceted and has survived this long precisely because we possess important attributes beyond intelligence.

Steve Roth writes:

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Steve writes:

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Average Radical writes:

I can't believe no one else has yet commented on the timeless epicness of the line, "If you marinate in your own misanthropy long enough, common decency fades away."

Daniel Neylan writes:

There's a stunning lack of EQ among those of your IQ realist mates advocating for mass brutality. Dangerous!

Mark Bahner writes:
Mass killings (of Africans), not mass murders, since the implementation would be by the State and hence inherently legal if not otherwise in conflict with the Constitution.

As far as I'm aware, The Constitution does not authorize the federal government to kill foreigners except in war. And the Constitution requires a declaration of war by Congress. Further, the Geneva Conventions prohibit targeting of civilians even during war. So I don't see how mass killings of civilians in any country is authorized by the Constitution (including the aspect that treaties such as the Geneva Conventions join the Constitution as being the supreme law of the land).

clay ryder writes:

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Tony writes:

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