Eugenics, Race, and The Urantia Book
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Modern Peoples and Slavery
This chapter addresses The Urantia Book’s description of “modern peoples” and how the topic of modern peoples relates to slavery. Eugenics and race issues intersect with these themes because they relate directly to managing both the upper and lower ends of the gene pool in a manner that is both physically and morally progressive. The Urantia Book claims to provide us with superior—even superhuman—insights, information, and guidance. The authors are direct in their efforts to help us attain a higher of quality civilization, materially, intellectually, and spiritually. They state:
No society has progressed very far when it permits idleness or tolerates poverty. But poverty and dependence can never be eliminated if the defective and degenerate stocks are freely supported and permitted to reproduce without restraint.(1)
The humane treatment of subnormal human beings along with the necessary safeguards on their reproduction can only occur through some degree of institutionalization and/or overcontrol of the subnormal population. This ensures that society’s needs, morals, and mores are respected. Private enterprise should not be permitted to profit off the subnormal population; this is a clear conflict of private and public interests. The more moral approach is to manage them in a manner that allows subnormal human beings to enjoy a reasonable standard of living, to be contributing members of society, and to be freed from responsibilities that they are not equipped to handle.
As always, we can look at family dynamics, the micro level, to get some perspective on human population dynamics, the macro level.
Every child is unique and special, but having and raising children is not. Because having children is a general phenomenon, we can perceive a general pattern of development and write insightful books about the different stages of growth. We can compare and contrast children to ascertain time periods in which certain stages of development usually occur. This leads to the creation of standards or norms for maturity relative to age; certain types of behaviors become appreciated as “age appropriate” while others are rejected as not age appropriate or, sometimes, simply inappropriate.
Just as children have individual differences, so do cultures. And just as children need to grow up and engage life in a positive manner, our various cultures must also collectively do the same in order to assure that maturity attends aging.
The authors of The Urantia Book write from the perspective of celestial beings who are involved with raising planets of mortals. Each planet is like a child, going through developmental stages, working through unavoidable lessons. Children can differ greatly in how they mature, reflecting individual hereditary disposition, environmental circumstances, and one’s personal choices and decisions. Similarly, The Urantia Book teaches, planets of mortals can also vary widely in how they “grow up.” Naturally, if we if we do happen to be on a world that has suffered both a spiritual rebellion and an Adamic default, this would make it a lot harder for our anthropologists to get a clear perspective on our biological and cultural development. But, in any case, no person and no world can avoid the imperative of developing maturity over time.
The history presented in The Urantia Book, consistent with the challenges we face, indicates that our planet has had “an especially tough time growing up.” We have excelled and matured in some areas; in other areas, we have not excelled or matured.
As newborn babies, we arrive with a genetic endowment that is beyond our control. As adults, we make choices that affect all future generations. The choice is always ours to make and, depending on how we conduct ourselves, very negative retrogression can happen over the course of a handful of generations. Positive evolution, on the other hand, tends to take a lot more time. This is one of the reasons why eugenics is such an important issue.
Improving our gene pool is essential to the progress of civilization and as the stewards of humanity’s gene pool for future generations, respecting the role that eugenics plays in this process is a moral imperative. The Urantia Book encourages us to adopt such multigenerational moral sensibilities. But there is simply no way to move forward without accepting where we are now and this, in turn, requires getting some perspective on how we got here.
The chapter titled The Dawn of Civilization begins:
This is the beginning of the narrative of the long, long forward struggle of the human species from a status that was little better than an animal existence, through the intervening ages, and down to the later times when a real, though imperfect, civilization had evolved among the higher races of mankind.
Civilization is a racial acquirement; it is not biologically inherent; hence must all children be reared in an environment of culture, while each succeeding generation of youth must receive anew its education. The superior qualities of civilization—scientific, philosophic, and religious—are not transmitted from one generation to another by direct inheritance. These cultural achievements are preserved only by the enlightened conservation of social inheritance.(2)
Civilization develops from the interplay between nature and nurture. Making progress in both of these areas is critical to the progress of civilization. As noted earlier, the nature-nurture dynamic is directly related to human inclinations regarding climate—colder climates require more from people than warmer climates. Because living in a colder climate is significantly more challenging than living in a warmer climate, survival in colder climates requires a more energetic disposition and a more balanced and robust genetic foundation.
Generally, a decrease in temperature stimulates progress and an increase in temperature exacerbates retrogressive inclinations. Because this interplay has been going on for so long, humanity’s gene pool significantly reflects the effect that climate has on human populations.
Today, with the spread of technology and modern civilization, the effect of climate on the nature-nurture dynamic is obscured. Obviously, modern civilization exists in all climate zones. However, modern civilization itself is a very recent phenomenon. For eons climate affected the human gene pool more powerfully than it does among modern peoples.
Advanced civilization is the goal. Cooperation is essential to achieving and maintaining advanced civilization. Naturally, the authors of The Urantia Book focus our attention on this subject and speak directly about racial differences within the context of social cooperation.
All efforts to identify the Sangik ancestry of modern peoples must take into account the later improvement of the racial strains by the subsequent admixture of Adamic blood.
The superior races sought the northern or temperate climes, while the orange, green, and indigo races successively gravitated to Africa over the newly elevated land bridge which separated the westward retreating Mediterranean from the Indian ocean. (3)
These secondary Sangik peoples found existence more easy and agreeable in the southlands, and many of them subsequently migrated to Africa. The primary Sangik peoples, the superior races, avoided the tropics, the red man going northeast to Asia, closely followed by the yellow man, while the blue race moved northwest into Europe.(4)
Understanding the cosmological context of The Urantia Book is necessary for appreciating the eugenics aspects of its depiction of modern peoples; the authors assert that without the extraterrestrial uplifts, the evolutionary process toward creating real civilization on a Sangik foundation is extremely slow and the results are limited. The general plan is for Adam and Eve’s genetics to uplift the mortal races in an organized and comprehensive manner.
From The Urantia Book perspective, the migrations of Adam and Eve’s descendants further widened the genetic gap between people living in warmer and cooler climates. In The Urantia Book the definition of “modern peoples” is based on the genetic uplift brought by Adam and Eve roughly 40,000 years ago combined with how their descendants intermixed with the Sangik races and the Nodites—a genetic uplift that got started about 200,000 years ago. This area of Urantia Book cosmology is becoming increasingly well aligned with the field of anthropology and advances in our understanding of the history of human genetics. (The mixture of Adamites and Nodites are referred to as Andites. For a more detailed description, see Homo sapiens ultrasapiens and Homo sapiens transerectus in Appendix 1: Urantia Book-based Taxonomy).
Though the development of genetic sciences is becoming increasingly aligned with The Urantia Book’s statements about genetic uplifts that got started approximately 40,000 years ago and 200,000 years ago, the alignment with a mutational uplift occurring 500,000 years ago (the birth of the Sangik races) is not as powerfully established at this point. But it is developing. The Sangik mutation is said to have triggered the arrival of one hundred celestial teachers, who incarnated in a human, but immortal, form.
These one hundred started a city called Dalamatia. Members of this group of teachers, who joined the Lucifer rebellion, became mortal (as a consequence of their rebellion) and initiated the unplanned genetic uplift that occurred 200,000 years ago. Regarding the 300,000 years of slow but stable evolutionary development of the Sangik races prior to the rebellion, The Urantia Book says:
Social evolution of the co-operative order was initiated by the Dalamatia teachers, and for three hundred thousand years mankind was nurtured in the idea of group activities. The blue man most of all profited by these early social teachings, the red man to some extent, and the black man least of all. In more recent times the yellow race and the white race have presented the most advanced social development on Urantia.(5)
These wise beings knew better than to undertake the sudden transformation, or the en masse uplifting, of the primitive races of that day. They well understood the slow evolution of the human species, and they wisely refrained from any radical attempts at modifying man’s mode of life on earth.(6)
One does not have to believe Urantia Book cosmology to appreciate that, in general, more industrious human beings would be found in the more northern climates. So, if a genetic uplift occurred back then (extraterrestrial or not), it only stands to reason that they would be more attracted to the more advanced peoples.
Adam’s blood has been shared with most of the human races, but some secured more than others. The mixed races of India and the darker peoples of Africa were not attractive to the Adamites. They would have mixed freely with the red man had he not been far removed in the Americas, and they were kindly disposed toward the yellow man, but he was likewise difficult of access in faraway Asia. Therefore, when actuated by either adventure or altruism, or when driven out of the Euphrates valley, they very naturally chose union with the blue races of Europe.
As it developed, the red man was destroying himself in the Americas, the blue man was disporting himself in Europe, and the early descendants of Adam (and most of the later ones) exhibited little desire to admix with the darker colored peoples, whether in India, Africa, or elsewhere.(7)
It was not that there were so many of the Andites, nor that their culture was so superior, but amalgamation with them produced a more versatile stock. The northern Chinese received just enough of the Andite strain to mildly stimulate their innately able minds but not enough to fire them with the restless, exploratory curiosity so characteristic of the northern white races. This more limited infusion of Andite inheritance was less disturbing to the innate stability of the Sangik type.(8)
The “innate stability” comment is consistent with why there was so little cultural progress for hundreds of thousands of years, even with celestial help, according to The Urantia Book. Whatever genetics humanity had for the vast majority of our ancient history, it apparently was not sufficient to help us develop civilization very quickly. The Urantia Book’s depiction of the migrations of Adam and Eve’s descendants parallels the relative degrees to which modern civilization developed in various parts of the world.
The importance of considering a secularized version of this perspective cannot be overstated. If a genetic uplift occurred around 200,000 and 40,000 years ago that powerfully relates to our ability to develop and maintain modern civilization, we need to make sure we study this very carefully.
Quotes providing a more in depth review of the Adamites in Europe follow. This story again reminds us of the intimate and unavoidable relationship between genetics and cultural progress.
The blue men, then dominant in Europe, had no religious practices which were repulsive to the earlier migrating Adamites, and there was great sex attraction between the violet and the blue races. The best of the blue men deemed it a high honor to be permitted to mate with the Adamites. Every blue man entertained the ambition of becoming so skillful and artistic as to win the affection of some Adamite woman, and it was the highest aspiration of a superior blue woman to receive the attentions of an Adamite.(9)
This Andite-blue union, resulting in the northern white races, produced an immediate lapse of Andite civilization, a retardation of a transient nature. Eventually, the latent superiority of these northern barbarians manifested itself and culminated in present-day European civilization.(10)
By 5000 B.C. the three purest strains of Adam’s descendants were in Sumeria, northern Europe, and Greece. The whole of Mesopotamia was being slowly deteriorated by the stream of mixed and darker races which filtered in from Arabia. And the coming of these inferior peoples contributed further to the scattering abroad of the biologic and cultural residue of the Andites. From all over the fertile crescent the more adventurous peoples poured westward to the islands. These migrants cultivated both grain and vegetables, and they brought domesticated animals with them.(11)
By 2500 B.C. the westward thrust of the Andonites reached Europe. And this overrunning of all Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and the Danube basin by the barbarians of the hills of Turkestan constituted the most serious and lasting of all cultural setbacks up to that time. These invaders definitely Andonized the character of the central European races, which have ever since remained characteristically Alpine.(12)
Slowly these migrating sons of Eden united with the higher types of the blue race, invigorating their cultural practices while ruthlessly exterminating the lingering strains of Neanderthal stock. This technique of race blending, combined with the elimination of inferior strains, produced a dozen or more virile and progressive groups of superior blue men, one of which you have denominated the Cro-Magnons.
For these and other reasons, not the least of which was more favorable paths of migration, the early waves of Mesopotamian culture made their way almost exclusively to Europe. And it was these circumstances that determined the antecedents of modern European civilization.(13)
We live on planet with diverse cultural practices and genetic characteristics. Research showing how many genes we have in common will not mask the significance of our differences. This is not an academic exercise; we cannot create artificial constructs that allow us to equivocate about cultural and genetic differences. What is controversial, challenging, not going away, and needs to be addressed is our differences, not our similarities. Our great struggles in life are over how to treat each other with respect to our differences in a manner that is not dehumanizing, oppressive, immoral, or unethical.
For instance, the same tendency that makes it possible for the yellow man to get along so well with himself also makes it difficult for this race to enjoy the benefits that come with genetic and cultural blending. One does not have to believe The Urantia Book’s statements about our genetic history to notice that this group has enjoyed more of the blessings of internal peace and less of the blessing of racial and cultural diversity. Though the nature-nurture interplay makes it difficult to say precisely the degree to which genetics are conditioning people’s choices, recognizing various dispositions is crucial for developing wisdom about how to address our circumstances.
Whatever genetic endowment one wants to assume existed when the black race got started, their long association with the climate of Africa—in many places being both hot and arid—certainly has not done the race any favors. Even if enormous potentials for the black race in Africa (or other warmer climates) are today being squelched by the competitiveness of international politics, this does not address the importance of discerning the effects of climate on genetics over time.
The difficulty in defining the “white races” (as The Urantia Book uses the term), the political dominance of the white races in world affairs, and their use of blacks as slaves, all combine to make this part of the discussion more complex. But the overarching morality of The Urantia Book simplifies some of this. The Urantia Book’s version of genetic history may add some new angles to the discussion, but its moral stance provides a simple and clear context.
“Slavery creates an organization of culture and social achievement but soon insidiously attacks society internally as the gravest of all destructive social maladies.”(14)
There is a particular cosmological twist in The Urantia Book when it comes to the issue of slavery. This relates to its assertion that the orange and green secondary Sangik races engaged in warfare that destroyed both races. From a Urantia Book perspective, this effectively derailed any tendencies the red and yellow races would have had towards enslavement.
The more backward humans are usually employed as laborers by the more progressive races. This accounts for the origin of slavery on the planets during the early ages. The orange men are usually subdued by the red and reduced to the status of servants—sometimes exterminated. The yellow and red men often fraternize, but not always. The yellow race usually enslaves the green, while the blue man subdues the indigo. These races of primitive men think no more of utilizing the services of their backward fellows in compulsory labor than Urantians would of buying and selling horses and cattle.(15)
Note how the first sentence distinguishes backward humans from progressive races. By stating it this way, the truism becomes applicable to both intra- and interracial relations. “Primitive men” are willing to treat their “backward fellows” like they are animals.
Note also how a term like “backward” describes not only subnormals and those at the lower end of the normal category, but also it describes the relative difference between the primary and secondary Sangik races. “Backward” is not a category in The Urantia Book, like “subnormal.” It is a relative term used to describe how individuals and groups act in relationship to each other. The secondary Sangiks are not backward unto themselves but in comparison to the primary Sangiks. And, of course, the pre Sangik humans were backwards compared to both primary and secondary Sangiks.
The Urantia Book provides a perspective on slavery that requires taking a serious look at the entire enterprise of evolving humanity—both genetically and culturally—from a state just slightly above the animal level to one worthy of being described as truly civilized.
During primitive times life on Urantia was a serious and sober business. And it was to escape this incessant struggle and interminable toil that mankind constantly tended to drift toward the salubrious climate of the tropics. While these warmer zones of habitation afforded some remission from the intense struggle for existence, the races and tribes who thus sought ease seldom utilized their unearned leisure for the advancement of civilization. Social progress has invariably come from the thoughts and plans of those races that have, by their intelligent toil, learned how to wrest a living from the land with lessened effort and shortened days of labor and thus have been able to enjoy a well-earned and profitable margin of leisure.(16)
Thinking of slavery in ancient times creates a context that softens the moral stigma otherwise attached to it. This does not make slavery any less primitive, but it does allow us to take a more realistic look at the development of human civilization. Consistent with contemporary mores, the authors also teach, “[A]ll ancient peoples should always be studied and judged in the light of the moral standards of the mores of their own times.”
The Urantia Book is here, among other things, to provide insights and wisdom on the relationship between morals, civilization, slavery, racial differences, subnormal individuals and groups, and general human tendencies. This is a very complex subject.
There are certain inevitabilities about the development of civilization that are not readily apparent when the focus is only on the challenges we face today. Because slavery is uncivilized and immoral by modern standards, it sounds oxymoronic to speak about being civilized enough to even have slavery. Understanding the flow of labor issues through the developmental stages of human civilization allows us to better chart a course for moral progress.
Not taking advantage of the disadvantaged is a process. It is process both in terms of how people are treated and how they are defined. The more we step back and look at the big picture, the easier it is to calibrate our moral compass so that we can move in a positive direction.
The authors of The Urantia Book directly address these issues in a section called “Slavery as a Factor in Civilization.” Here is the section in its entirety:
Primitive man never hesitated to enslave his fellows. Woman was the first slave, a family slave. Pastoral man enslaved woman as his inferior sex partner. This sort of sex slavery grew directly out of man's decreased dependence upon woman.
Not long ago enslavement was the lot of those military captives who refused to accept the conqueror's religion. In earlier times captives were either eaten, tortured to death, set to fighting each other, sacrificed to spirits, or enslaved. Slavery was a great advancement over massacre and cannibalism.
Enslavement was a forward step in the merciful treatment of war captives. The ambush of Ai, with the wholesale slaughter of men, women, and children, only the king being saved to gratify the conqueror's vanity, is a faithful picture of the barbaric slaughter practiced by even supposedly civilized peoples. The raid upon Og, the king of Bashan, was equally brutal and effective. The Hebrews “utterly destroyed” their enemies, taking all their property as spoils. They put all cities under tribute on pain of the “destruction of all males.” But many of the contemporary tribes, those having less tribal egotism, had long since begun to practice the adoption of superior captives.
The hunter, like the American red man, did not enslave. He either adopted or killed his captives. Slavery was not prevalent among the pastoral peoples, for they needed few laborers. In war the herders made a practice of killing all men captives and taking as slaves only the women and children. The Mosaic code contained specific directions for making wives of these women captives. If not satisfactory, they could be sent away, but the Hebrews were not allowed to sell such rejected consorts as slaves—that was at least one advance in civilization. Though the social standards of the Hebrews were crude, they were far above those of the surrounding tribes.
The herders were the first capitalists; their herds represented capital, and they lived on the interest—the natural increase. And they were disinclined to trust this wealth to the keeping of either slaves or women. But later on they took male prisoners and forced them to cultivate the soil. This is the early origin of serfdom—man attached to the land. The Africans could easily be taught to till the soil; hence they became the great slave race.
Slavery was an indispensable link in the chain of human civilization. It was the bridge over which society passed from chaos and indolence to order and civilized activities; it compelled backward and lazy peoples to work and thus provide wealth and leisure for the social advancement of their superiors.
The institution of slavery compelled man to invent the regulative mechanism of primitive society; it gave origin to the beginnings of government. Slavery demands strong regulation and during the European Middle Ages virtually disappeared because the feudal lords could not control the slaves. The backward tribes of ancient times, like the native Australians of today, never had slaves.
True, slavery was oppressive, but it was in the schools of oppression that man learned industry. Eventually the slaves shared the blessings of a higher society which they had so unwillingly helped create. Slavery creates an organization of culture and social achievement but soon insidiously attacks society internally as the gravest of all destructive social maladies.
Modern mechanical invention rendered the slave obsolete. Slavery, like polygamy, is passing because it does not pay. But it has always proved disastrous suddenly to liberate great numbers of slaves; less trouble ensues when they are gradually emancipated.
Today, men are not social slaves, but thousands allow ambition to enslave them to debt. Involuntary slavery has given way to a new and improved form of modified industrial servitude.
While the ideal of society is universal freedom, idleness should never be tolerated. All able-bodied persons should be compelled to do at least a self-sustaining amount of work.
Modern society is in reverse. Slavery has nearly disappeared; domesticated animals are passing. Civilization is reaching back to fire—the inorganic world—for power. Man came up from savagery by way of fire, animals, and slavery; today he reaches back, discarding the help of slaves and the assistance of animals, while he seeks to wrest new secrets and sources of wealth and power from the elemental storehouse of nature.(17)
The efficiencies that come from technological advances will never do away with our need for energy. And the need for energy invariably requires us to strike a balance between renewable and nonrenewable resources. The more we act as custodians of nonrenewable resources for present and all future generations, the more moral our civilization. Working in this direction leads directly to the need to develop a progressively moral relationship to renewable resources, especially labor.
The quality of living enjoyed by the least of humanity’s laborers directly reflects on the moral stature of a civilization. Invariably, this indicates how the advantaged treat the disadvantaged. This is the mirror reflecting the degree to which we act like a family. Consider the wisdom of the second to last paragraph in the quote above—everyone needs to work—being acted out in a nuclear family. This ethic is the only workable ethic for families and for civilization if harmonious relationships are going to exist.
The previous chapter provided the foundation for understanding the morality of organizing and integrating the subnormal population into modern society. This is the way to make moral progress in a world where “Involuntary slavery has given way to a new and improved form of modified industrial servitude,” and where certain types of work will invariably be “tasks requiring intelligence above the animal level but making such low-grade demands as to prove veritable slavery and bondage for the higher types of mankind.”
The wisdom for how to move forward requires nothing more than accepting, respecting, and loving people who cannot manage their affairs reasonably on their own in an increasingly complex and sophisticated (advanced) civilization, but who can nonetheless work cooperatively and in mutually uplifting ways with those who do have this capacity.
Modern civilization and slavery are incongruent. This is self-evident and reflected in The Urantia Book’s teachings.
On most normal worlds involuntary servitude does not survive the dispensation of the Planetary Prince [the period starting with the colored races and ending when Adam and Eve arrive], although mental defectives and social delinquents are often still compelled to perform involuntary labor. But on all normal spheres this sort of primitive slavery is abolished soon after the arrival of the imported violet or Adamic race.(18)
Equally self-evident, but not so generally recognized or spoken of, is that tolerating idleness and engaging in social practices that reduce the general quality of our gene pool is immediately problematic and invariably retrogressive over time. Idleness corrodes the moral fiber of the individual and unethically drains community resources; being irresponsible about eugenics erodes the foundation on which we are able to make progress. If modern civilization is going to get out of “reverse” genetically, if it is to stabilize and progress, then we need to first make some moral and social progress.
The Urantia Book’s perspective on these issues could be summarized as a two-step moral progression in labor relations. Step one: progress beyond the racial bigotry that tolerates slavery and genocide. Step two: progress beyond economic relationships that tolerate idleness, industrial servitude, and taking advantage of the disadvantaged (subnormal individuals).
1) Urantia Book 71:3.5
2) Urantia Book 68:0.1
3) Urantia Book 64:7.12
4) Urantia Book 64:7.3
5) Urantia Book 68:0.3
6) Urantia Book 68:6.3
7) Urantia Book 79:2.2,3
8) Urantia Book 79:7.3
9) Urantia Book 80:1.6
10) Urantia Book 80:5.7
11) Urantia Book 80:7.9
12) Urantia Book 80:9.7
13) Urantia Book 80:1.8
14) Urantia Book 69:8.8
15) Urantia Book 51:4.6
16) Urantia Book 81:6.7
17) Urantia Book 69:8.1
18) Urantia Book 51:4.1-8
Table of Contents
Part I: Framing the Conversation
1) Purpose and Parameters
2) Setting the Standard
4) Human Rights
Part II: Racial History, Eugenics, and Civilization
5) History and Destiny
6) The Value of Variety and Racial Vitality
7) Cultural Progress, Overpopulation, and Subnormal Human Beings
8) Modern Peoples and Slavery
Part III: Hindsight, Insight, and Foresight
9) Skull Shapes and Skeletal Types
10) Aryans and Whites
11) Differences Between the Colored Races
12) Racial Blending
13) Eugenics, Race, and Morality
Appendix 1: Urantia Book-based Taxonomy
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