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Richard Dawkins says it is immoral not to abort a baby with Down Syndrome

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  • Richard Dawkins says it is immoral not to abort a baby with Down Syndrome

    Source: Richard Dawkins: 'immoral' not to abort if foetus has Down's syndrome


    Scientist says a mother has a responsibility to ‘abort it and try again’ if she knows her baby would have the disorder

    The scientist Richard Dawkins has become embroiled in another Twitter row, claiming it would be “immoral” to carry on with a pregnancy if the mother knew the foetus had Down’s syndrome.

    The British author made the comment in response to another user who said she would be faced with “a real ethical dilemma” if she became pregnant and learned that the baby would be born with the disorder.

    Dawkins tweeted: “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.”

    He faced a backlash for his comment, with one mother, who has a child with the genetic condition, saying: “I would fight till my last breath for the life of my son. No dilemma.”

    Dawkins later defended his view, saying he would not apologise “for approaching moral philosophic questions in a logical way”. He went on to point out that Down’s syndrome foetuses are aborted in many cases, and that abortion was a woman’s choice.


    Source

    Story continues at link

    © Copyright Original Source



    I purposely choose the Guardian as my source which is generally considered center-left to reduce any chances of what he said being taken out of context by a hostile news source. Of course one could just read the Twitter exchanges for themselves.

    Anywho, while I admire his writing style for getting his point across in an easy to follow and enjoyable to read style his comments above just reinforces my view that he is an insufferably arrogant and somewhat nasty piece of work.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

  • #2
    Atheists all over the internet have been face palming.

    There's a very witty tweet I saw in my timeline just now.
    A Richard Dawkins tweet is a lot like an episode of Game of Thrones. There are 140 characters & something unimaginably awful happens.

    Comment


    • #3
      Ahhh

      Naturalist morality.
      -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
      Sir James Jeans

      -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
      Sir Isaac Newton

      Comment


      • #4
        He is his own worst enemy at this point.

        First, defending pedophilia, and now claiming it is immoral not to abort someone with down's syndrome. What's next?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
          He is his own worst enemy at this point.

          First, defending pedophilia, and now claiming it is immoral not to abort someone with down's syndrome. What's next?
          He defended pedophillia??? How could that sick act have any survival value?!
          If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sylas View Post
            Atheists all over the internet have been face palming.

            There's a very witty tweet I saw in my timeline just now.
            A Richard Dawkins tweet is a lot like an episode of Game of Thrones. There are 140 characters & something unimaginably awful happens.

            "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


            "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

            My Personal Blog

            My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
              He defended pedophillia??? How could that sick act have any survival value?!
              I and many many others were critical of his remarks... but he was not defending pedophilia.

              This is a reference to an interview in which he describes his own experience of (apparently) having been groped by one of the masters at an English boarding school. He speaks of this as "mild pedophilia". Here's the relevant extract:

              The mention of paedophilia inevitably brings us to the recent run of arrests of old white men accused of child sex abuse, starting with Jimmy Savile. Has the moral zeitgeist been shifting at their expense? “I think we should acknowledge it. That’s one point… But the other point is that because the most notorious cases of paedophilia involve rape and even murder, and because we attach the label ‘paedophilia’ to the same things when they’re just mild touching up, we must beware of lumping all paedophiles into the same bracket.”

              So is there a risk of a metaphorical lynching of well-known people as soon as they’re accused? “I think there is a risk of that.”

              What about the child sex abuse scandals that have led to anguished soul-searching and multibillion-dollar payouts in various outposts of Christianity? “Same thing,” he says. “Although I’m no friend of the Church, I think they have become victims of our shifting standards and we do need to apply the conventions of the good historian in dealing with cases which are many decades old.”

              In the book, Dawkins mentions one occasion when a teacher put a hand down his trousers at a prep school in Salisbury, and four others at Oundle, when he “had to fend off nocturnal visits to my bed from senior boys much larger and stronger than I was”. The Oundle incidents don’t seem to have bothered him. The prep school one did, but he still can’t bring himself to condemn it, partly because the kind of comparison his adult mind deploys is with the mass murders carried out by Genghis Khan in the 12th century. “Without condoning what was done, at least try to put on the goggles of the period and see it through those eyes,” he says. “I find it much harder to put on those goggles where we’re talking about the monstrous cruelty that went on in past times. It’s hard to think of that and to forgive using modern standards in the same way as it might be for the schoolmaster who touched me up but didn’t actually do me any physical violence.”

              You can read the interview in full here. There's a heck of a lot of discussion falling out from this, with many people and organizations being critical of Dawkins' remarks quoted above; and Dawkins also responding and qualifying and so on. But I did want to point out that Dawkins' remarks are not "defending pedophilia". He's attempting a ranking of moral evils, and suggesting what he experienced (the "mild touching up") is not as bad as other more serious instances.

              Some folks here (whether atheist or not) might be inclined to agree with him on that. I am inclined to agree with this extract from a blog on the subject by Hemant Mehta at "The Friendly Atheist".

              Source: Hemant Mehta


              ... I’m not seeing anything that even suggests “defending pedophilia,” mild or otherwise. Dawkins isn’t condoning what happened. Nor is he suggesting that others who experience the same thing today should just “get over it.”

              What he’s guilty of is what he’s always been guilty of — being insensitive, inarticulate, and unsympathetic. He’s trivializing something others rightly take very seriously because he’s found a way to get past it. As someone who once held the title of “Chair for the Public Understanding of Science,” he’s doing an awful job of bringing people over to his side. Good educators know you have to meet people where they’re at before you can move them in your direction and, by basically downplaying his own abuse, he’s showing a callous disregard for how others might interpret the same situation.

              Other children who have been touched the way Dawkins was have suffered. The timeline of when it happened, 50 years ago or now, is irrelevant, as Trevor Grundy noted in a piece for Religion News Service when he interviewed someone who is an expert in these matters:

              Peter Watt, director of child protection at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, called Dawkins’ remarks “a terrible slight” on those who have been abused and suffered the effects for decades.

              “Mr. Dawkins seems to think that because a crime was committed a long time ago we should judge it in a different way,” Watt said. “But we know that the victims of sexual abuse suffer the same effects whether it was 50 years ago or yesterday.”

              © Copyright Original Source



              Cheers -- sylas

              Comment


              • #8
                Sylas...that was my thought as well. He wasn't defending it, just saying there were grades of abuse. Which is still nonsense of course.
                Watch your links! http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/fa...corumetiquette

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DesertBerean View Post
                  Sylas...that was my thought as well. He wasn't defending it, just saying there were grades of abuse. Which is still nonsense of course.
                  Yes, and according to him teaching creationism was very high as far as "grades of abuse".

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
                    Yes, and according to him teaching creationism was very high as far as "grades of abuse".
                    Seriously? Weird priorities there. What will matter in five billion years?
                    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      one question I would like to pose is this: Who made Dawkins an authority of morals and ethics, and what gives him a right to put forth a ranking system of any kind?

                      Well, that's 2 questions actually, but why would he even bother grading them?
                      (....crap that's 3)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DesertBerean View Post
                        Sylas...that was my thought as well. He wasn't defending it, just saying there were grades of abuse. Which is still nonsense of course.
                        Eh, it's not nonsense - it's just not relevant for most purposes (would be for legal purposes at sentencing).

                        It's not so much that the concept is stupid as Dawkins' does a lousy job getting it across.

                        "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                        "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                        My Personal Blog

                        My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mr.applemonkey View Post
                          one question I would like to pose is this: Who made Dawkins an authority of morals and ethics, and what gives him a right to put forth a ranking system of any kind?

                          Well, that's 2 questions actually, but why would he even bother grading them?
                          (....crap that's 3)
                          The aliens that seeded the Earth...







                          Sorry, couldn't resist...

                          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                          My Personal Blog

                          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Regarding the rape comments: I do see what Dawkins was getting at, but I think the real issue is that it's incredibly arrogant and insensitive to appoint oneself the arbiter of how an abuse victim should feel about what happened to them. And frankly, I don't see how he could have communicated his particular point in a way that wouldn't be offensive.
                            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dawkins is actually doing what's known as "taking the mask off of actual leftist governing philosophy by following it to its logical conclusion." The very last thing conservatives should be doing is joining in the HOW DARE HE SCANDALIZE US leftist assault.

                              Originally posted by Some indian guy
                              He faced a backlash for his comment, with one mother, who has a child with the genetic condition, saying: “I would fight till my last breath for the life of my son. No dilemma.”
                              A commendably common moral attitude, shared by mothers as diverse as Sybreena Fulton and Lesley McSpadden. (In their defense, most of the mothers of Downs syndrome kids have no particular illusions about the fact that they'll be in a mostly dependent state for their whole lives, and would be much less likely to talk about how their low-IQ son was studying to be an engineer. Or divorce a husband whose job enabled them to take care of their kid, for that matter.)

                              What he’s guilty of is what he’s always been guilty of — being insensitive, inarticulate[<=== ??? Describing a popular author as 'inarticulate?' See me after class.], and unsympathetic.
                              I'm GUILTY of wanting very much to remove people who throw around legal terms to describe personality traits from any positions of respectability, much less power. His problem is the very opposite of inarticulate-he articulated the truth of how he felt so well it inspired an angry response.

                              He’s trivializing something others rightly take very seriously because he’s found a way to get past it.
                              I'd figured it was because Richard Dawkins was, like, a British careerist and social climber first, and there's a not-very-well-hidden-at-all understanding that social climbing in Britain requires offering yourself sexually to all and sundry who can help you get that promotion, much like Hollywood. That and the generally de-emotive affect of a scientist means that being physically violated brought him no more mental distress then a bad cup of tea. Are you going to start making a public argument that a generally innocent and trusting attitude among young people is a good thing?

                              As someone who once held the title of “Chair for the Public Understanding of Science,” he’s doing an awful job of bringing people over to his side.
                              Because as we all know, science is fundamentally about what side you're on.

                              Good educators know you have to meet people where they’re at before you can move them in your direction and, by basically downplaying his own abuse, he’s showing a callous disregard for how others might interpret the same situation.
                              If you were on science's side, you'd use this opportunity to have a teachable moment about the actual structure of power in the educational system, but possibly you're a little too inarticulate to make those points, certainly not in public, and 'meeting in-debt students tempted to sell themselves sexually or turn a blind eye to corruption where they are' may strike the wrong tone among your masters, I'm guessing?

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