Eliminate Fat People?

I’ve always been a bit of logician, even when I was a kid. When I got older and began taking college courses in science, mathematics, economics, and philosophy, I really began to understand the importance of knowing how to construct a consequential chain (cause -> effect/cause -> effect/cause -> … -> conclusion).

Because I was a science fiction hobbyist (I liked to write the stuff more than anything), this turned me into a bit of a futurist. I seemed to be able to predict some general events simply by knowing how to construct a consequential chain.

It’s easy: Harry is a vain sonofabitch who cares most about what other people think of him. He knows two girls, Jess and Laura. He likes to talk with Jess about politics, and ignores her glasses and belly. He likes to talk with Laura about movies, and stares at her cleavage and tiny waist. Who will he date? The answer: Laura.

Certainly there are always exceptions, but usually they are due to a lack of data. If Harry ends up dating Jess, for instance, he likely is vain only about say, his career or singing voice, and not about his appearance to others (which usually would extend to one’s significant other).

The point is, perfect information always yields predictable outcomes.

That being said, it’s logical to extend that simple truth to encompass near-perfect information, or a large body of evidence. That is, if one is reasonably knowledgeable about something, if one employs a consequential chain, one can usually come up with likely stimulus-induced outcomes based on the breadth and depth of their knowledge.

That brings me, at long last, to this simple prediction based on the consequential chain I shall now construct.

1. Health insurance premiums are rising.

2. More and more states are considering health insurance a right.

3. Most politicians and their information sources claim that fat people make premiums go up considerably.

4. Fat people are unpopular.

5. State healthcare plans are inefficient, wasteful, and costly.

CONCLUSION 1: A state plan would likely penalize a fat person for being fat.

6. Neither financial penalties, nor forcing people to diet, will make fat people permanently thin.

7. The cost of weight loss programs, weight loss drugs, and weight loss surgery will make premiums for *everyone* skyrocket.

CONCLUSION 2: Fat people will be even more vilified for their fat, and their “drain” on society. More extreme measures will be promoted to make fat people thin.

8. No extreme measure, short of severe starvation when very young, will make a fat person permanently thin.

CONCLUSION 3: Parents allowing children to be fat will be called “child abuse.” Fat children will be sent to fat camps, and parents (especially if fat) will be similarly “re-educated.”

9. Costs will skyrocket, as will the prevalence of eating disorders amongst especially young people. Treating those eating disorders will cause costs to increase even more.

10. Eating disorders will not make a fat person permanently thin. They will, however, make many fat and thin people, but especially fat people, die.

CONCLUSION 4: Many already fat people will, as a consequence of this chain of logic, be killed for being fat.

11. Fat is genetic.

12. Fat camps do not work to make a person who is to be a fat adult permanently thin.

CONCLUSION 5: Eugenicists will find a set of what they consider “obesity genes,” or a way to test the likelihood of a person becoming obese. They will at first upon request eliminate these fetuses. Later, they will be required to eliminate these fetuses, these future “drains” on society.

CONCLUSION 6: Fat people will be eliminated.

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6 comments on “Eliminate Fat People?

  1. vesta44 says:

    To take those conclusions a couple of steps further – With global warming, weather patterns are changing, areas that used to be able to support farming with irrigation are becoming deserts, there are fewer farms available to support more people, famine will become common in all parts of the world (not just the poorer countries), with all fat people eliminated who have efficient metabolisms who can store fat to live off in times of famine and only thin people who have no reserves of body fat on which to draw left, when those famine times come, people are going to be dying of hunger by the millions. Civilization will come to end and there will be no more humans on earth. Mankind will have killed itself off, all because they thought fat people were taking up too many resources and costing too much money, when in reality, it was the greed of businesses for more and more and more money and the only way to keep getting that money was to create a scapegoat, and fat people were an easy target. Continue to make the “ideal” person thinner and thinner; set up negative stereotypes for anyone who can’t, or won’t, meet that ideal,; continue to lower standards of diagnostic indices for health; create an epidemic based on those lowered indices, and you have your scapegoat.

  2. gabfly says:

    But, such chains do not always work, and people have, in fact, changed the way people thought about any number of things from race to disability. It’s no longer automatically assumed that you would abort a disabled fetus. Perhaps instead of always focusing on such causality, we could focus on how we might change people’s thinking. After all, whether we have governmental run health care or for-profit corporate health care as we currently have, things will get worse unless we attack the underlying reality. I would say, as well, that this causal thinking is part and parcel of the problem since its reductiveness is exactly what is behind the panic over obesity (and really, I understand, fat people).

  3. bigliberty says:

    gabfly,

    Certainly not all such causal chains work, because there’s a lack of perfect knowledge.

    I disagree with you on several points. I think you’re coming here with the agenda that you want universal healthcare, and you’re willing to ignore reason and logic – by your own admission – and engage in magical thinking (“we could focus on how we might change people’s thinking”) in order to push forward your universal healthcare agenda.

    The problem isn’t logic and reason. The problem is *ignoring* logic and reason. And no, it isn’t logic or causality that is behind the panic over obesity. An aging population afraid of death and putting pressure (since older people use more healthcare dollars on average) on the healthcare industry is behind the obesity panic. Obese people are merely scapegoats, focal points for those who are fearful. How is that logical? It’s not.

    *Ignoring* reason, *ignoring* logic, is behind the obesity panic. It is not reasonable to scapegoat a group of people out of fear, nor is it logical. The only time it is reasonable to fear a group of people is when those group of people actively threaten the existence of another group of people – fat people are only dangerous in the magical, anti-scientific, anti-commonsense world of fearmongers, big pharma money grubbers, and general demagogues.

  4. richie79 says:

    As a follow sci-fi geek and general connoisseur of post-apocalyptic and otherwise dystopian fiction, I can very much follow the logic of your argument. After all, most good sci-fi may be set in the future but it is as commentary on our present where its real value lies. Unfortunately logic is in short supply outside this blog and the FA movement and I suspect that the ‘snowball’ effect of the obesity crusade has become such that even most of the crusaders no longer know why they’re fighting it, or the potential consequences of a ‘victory’.

    Remember Gattaca and the geneticist’s list of ‘potentially prejudicial conditions’ he took the liberty of ‘eliminating’ from Anton’s designer brother? I seem to recall ‘obesity’ was in there. Yet as I’ve mentioned before, and following on from Vesta’s excellently argued point, security of food supply has been a relatively recent development limited to the West and for any number of reasons (climate change, global instability, nuclear war or some Deep Impact style cataclysm that at this very moment the powers that be might be tracking unknown us) it may also be looked back upon in years to come as a fleeting anomaly in the human condition.

    As a species we’d be very very silly to manipulate through selective breeding, eugenics or whatever a genetic code which has evolved over millennia and served us very well throughout several Ice Ages and the rise and fall of numerous civilisations. Unfortunately this is just the latest in a long line of stories which suggest that that is exactly what the scienterrific great and good are hell-bent on doing on our behalf despite having never asked us or even made an effort to address all the issues beyond a cursory assertion that fat = bad and unhealthy.

  5. richie79 says:

    *fellow, even – that’s what happens when one employs spellcheck as a substitute for proofreading 😦

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