Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

EUGENICS

The science of hereditary and environmental influences in order to improve the physical and mental qualities of future generations. As a term, it was first used by Francis Galton (1822-1911), cousin of Charles Darwin (1809-82). There are, in general, two types of eugenics. An extreme form advocates the compulsory breeding of the select, contraception among the poor, and sterilization and euthanasia for the unfit. Moderate eugenics promotes the study of how to reduce the number of mentally and physically handicapped without resorting to coercive measures. The Catholic Church strongly supports the idea that people have a right to use suitable, licit means to improve their own physical and mental condition and that of their children. but the Church condemns eugenicists who, in their narrow outlook, exalt eugenics as the supreme good and who, therefore, use illicit means to promote their goal. Eugenics has contributed substantially to the practice of contraception, sterilization, abortion, and euthanasia. (Etym. Greek eugen_s, well born.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another argument for reform in the Roman Curia 3 hours ago
A Diocese in Paraguay 4 hours ago
Apologies: The danger in lamenting what everyone laments 6 hours ago
Talk to your kids about porn! 13 hours ago
Showing the Courage to battle homosexual impulses July 31

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21