I don’t know whether I am getting older and more demanding, or whether the human race is degenerating, but the world didn’t seem to be so barren of intelligence in my youth.
If there are degrees of evil, it is hard to say who is the more contemptible: the brute who assumes the right to force the mind of others or the moral degenerate who grants to others the right to force his mind.
Every period ruled by mystics was an era of stagnation and want, when most men were on strike against existence, working for less than their barest survival, leaving nothing but scraps for their rulers to loot, refusing to think, to venture, to produce, when the ultimate collector of their profits and the final authority on truth or error was the whim of some gilded degenerate sanctioned as superior to reason by divine right and by grace of a club.
There are no more uses of "degenerate" in the book.
Show samples from other sources
"If our search degenerates to that level I’ll be sure to call on you," I said without looking in his direction.
Patrick Rothfuss -- The Name of the Wind
By nature I am high-strung and animated, but when frustration confronts me head-on, I degenerate into a demoniac.