Evolution-Based Ethical Challenges Related to Intergenerational Replacement
In this chapter the evolutionary background, developments in modernity and ethical reflections for quantitative and qualitative aspects of reproductive behaviour are addressed. First, the evolutionary and historical background and the causes of the human species’ numerical growth are described. Next, major specific developments in modernity are discussed: the demographic transition, the paradox between the maximisation of inclusive fitness theory and below replacement fertility, and the relations between world population size and ecological sustainability. Finally, ethical reflections on the future demographics of the human species are outlined. Regarding the qualitative aspects of human reproduction, phenomic and genomic aspects are distinguished. The main features of reproductive behaviour in modernity are elucidated and their effects on demography, sexual relations and genetics are examined. Ethical reflections regarding qualitative aspects of human reproduction include euthenic as well as eugenic aspects. Advantages and disadvantages of different eugenic methods and decision-making processes are assessed.