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Old 08-22-2014, 10:03 AM   #1
festeringZit
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Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome babies"

[ Why anyone listens to this blathering idiot, is beyond me ]

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2...yndrome-foetus

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

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theguardian.com, Thursday 21 August 2014 00.14 EDT
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Richard Dawkins says it would be immoral for a mother to continue with a pregnancy if the baby would be born with Down's syndrome. Richard Dawkins says it would be immoral for a mother to continue with a pregnancy if the baby would be born with Down’s syndrome. Photograph: Murdo Macleod

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.

Some users supported the God Delusion author, agreeing with his assertion that there is a difference in deciding on a termination before a child is born, and suggesting after the child is born that it should have been aborted.

The Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA) issued a response to Dawkins’s initial comment. “People with Down’s syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society.

“At the Down’s Syndrome Association we do not believe Down’s syndrome in itself should be a reason for termination, however we realise that families must make their own choice.

“The DSA strives to ensure that all prospective parents are given accurate and up to date information about the condition and what life might be like today for someone with Down’s syndrome.”

Previously Dawkins has caused controversy on Twitter by saying the world’s Muslims had won fewer Nobel prizes than Trinity College Cambridge; and by arguing some types of rape or paedophilia are worse than others, then telling people who couldn’t understand his logic to “go away and learn how to think”.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:18 AM   #2
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

So, when we remove the quotes and the link... your contribution to the issue is to call him an idiot twice?

I feel enlightened.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

Quote:
Originally Posted by tame_deuces View Post
So, when we remove the quotes and the link... your contribution to the issue is to call him an idiot twice?

I feel enlightened.
Would it help if I call him an idiot again?
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:41 AM   #4
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

No, it would help to explain why you think that he's an idiot?

My take on this is that I do sometimes wonder if Dawkins really understands that many people are going to respond to logical statements like this more emotively than rationally. On the one hand we have a loving mother declaring her unconditional love for her Downs child (lovely, but so what?) and on the other we have a statement from the Downs Syndrome Association claiming that Downs children can live full and rewarding lives. That's a much better response (although they appear to be treading a very fine line of justifying the birth of Downs kids whilst also trying not to upset those families that choose to abort, not easy...)

So, if Dawkins is an idiot, it's for thinking (maybe, cos I don't even know if this is true) that everyone is like him and can put emotion to one side to logically discuss philosophical issues like this.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:58 AM   #5
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

His attempts at philosophy are ****
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:02 AM   #6
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post

My take on this is that I do sometimes wonder if Dawkins really understands that many people are going to respond to logical statements like this more emotively than rationally...
Do you really think Dawkins doesn't purposely make incendiary statements to get a reaction? As if he doesn't have a long history of doing the same?

Why do you assume that just because people respond emotively, that they're not also responding rationally? The two don't have to be mutually exclusive.
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:02 AM   #7
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

Support for aborting fetus's with disabilities is a fairly common position, however twitter isn't really the place for this. How does he deal with questions regarding translocution down syndrome and that a child or fetus with this is more likely to be followed by further downs children. Abort it and try again isn't always an option.

If he's defending the womans choice he should also be defending the womans choice to carry to term.
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:16 AM   #8
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

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Originally Posted by festeringZit View Post
Do you really think Dawkins doesn't purposely make incendiary statements to get a reaction? As if he doesn't have a long history of doing the same?
Possibly. You didn't answer my question about why you think he's an idiot? Is he an idiot for deliberately being provocative? Honestly I doubt that's what's happening here though, this isn't about religion, he has no reason to be upsetting people over Downs Syndrome. It comes across more as a personal opinion.


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Originally Posted by festeringZit View Post
Why do you assume that just because people respond emotively, that they're not also responding rationally? The two don't have to be mutually exclusive.
Don't have to be, no. Often are though. Do you think that 'I'm a loving mother' has any bearing on the morality of allowing Downs children to go to full term? Do we only have children so that we can love them? It doesn't strike me as a good response, it's emotive and irrelevant.

But, how do you get out from under responses like that? It's similar to me getting slammed for apparently being unsympathetic and nonchalant in the ISIS thread because I asked the OP why they'd started the thread, or a conversation elsewhere where about the Nestle water rights issue where I asked a question about human rights and got a response along the lines of 'it's alright for spoiled rich kids to moralise and philosophise whilst children are dying of cholera'. Yes, I was philosophising and yes children are dying of cholera, but does that mean that I can't ask a question about rights and how do I respond to that?
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:19 AM   #9
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

This is really not some sort of horrid position at all. Many people who face this decision elect abortion, not just in the case of Down's.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:34 PM   #10
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

Questions like this are approached and can only be approached through an understanding of reincarnation and karma.


There is a purposeful incarnation of the human being into earth life and in this, all that we consider "illness" in any form. Generally speaking the incarnating human being is involved with the "planning" of his future life (s) and that includes what one would call "congenital defects" or even the earth bound illness which may occur at any age.

The human being is literally "demanding" this particular difficulty in order to develop his spirit-soul being for entry into the future state sans death, or that to which Apocalypse speaks to.

"Heard only at the water cooler" is that it is not unusual for our "geniuses" to have incarnated during at least one life in the situations as the Down's Syndrome human or others with birth disabilities.

An insight can be ascertained if one sees that the spirit-soul being (Man) is not ill but these spiritual bodies of a man are not "connected" to the physical body in a normal manner but of course if the only approach to the human being through the biologists or others is that a man is only physical (whatever that may be) then we're talking of erector sets, or specifically a Dawkin's erector set.

The experience and or development of this spirit-soul being can and is accomplished within these "congenital defects"; only knowledge of the incarnation of Man in subsequent lives can aid in understanding of these external difficulties and then the choice can be made.

Illness and good health are two polarities within the being of Manand manifest in plentiful ways.

The Being of Love manifests within this child and the Mother can be karmically aware of this in a clear consciousness of virtuous behavior.

On face value, Mr. Dawkins of course may not and probably does not understand reincarnation and karma in this life but a tincture of compassion( karmically developed) might put matters in a different light.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:37 PM   #11
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

Quote:
Originally Posted by wil318466 View Post
This is really not some sort of horrid position at all. Many people who face this decision elect abortion, not just in the case of Down's.
Once you invoke the word "immoral" like Dawkins have done here, these positions are not the same. I doubt many of those who choose abortion would view not terminating as "immoral".

Dawkins quote does smack of eugenics. A geneticist should know this is fairly bad.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:44 PM   #12
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

A little more to this :

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

In a fuller explanation on his website – entitled Abortion & Down Syndrome: Apology for Letting Slip the Dogs of Twitterwar – the author tried to set the record straight.

He wrote: "To conclude, what I was saying simply follows logically from the ordinary pro-choice stance that most of us, I presume, espouse. My phraseology may have been tactlessly vulnerable to misunderstanding, but I can't help feeling that at least half the problem lies in a wanton eagerness to misunderstand."

The backlash for his comment had included one mother, who has a child with the genetic condition, saying: "I would fight until my last breath for the life of my son. No dilemma" while Dawkins said accusations of "Nazism, vile, monstrous fascistic callousness" and "fireballs of hatred" had been hurled his way.

He wrote: "If your morality is based, as mine is, on a desire to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering, the decision to deliberately give birth to a Down's baby, when you have the choice to abort it early in the pregnancy, might actually be immoral from the point of view of the child's own welfare."

Dawkins claimed he had hoped that his million-plus followers would not see his comments, which would instead only be sent out to the people who follow both himself and the woman who posed the question. He also claimed there was not enough space in his Twitter reply to get his fuller argument across.

He added: "Those who thought I was bossily telling a woman what to do rather than let her choose, of course this was absolutely not my intention and I apologise if brevity made it look that way. My true intention was, as stated at length above, simply to say what I personally would do, based upon my own assessment of the pragmatics of the case, and my own moral philosophy which in turn is based on a desire to increase happiness and reduce suffering."

He also argued: "Those who took offence because they know and love a person with Down's syndrome, and who thought I was saying that their loved one had no right to exist, I have sympathy for this emotional point, but it is an emotional one not a logical one. It is one of a common family of errors, one that frequently arises in the abortion debate."

Some Twitter users had supported the God Delusion author, agreeing with his assertion that there is a difference in deciding on a termination before a child is born, and suggesting after the child is born that it should have been aborted.


Here is what he said his full response would have been :

“Obviously the choice would be yours. For what it’s worth, my own choice would be to abort the Down fetus and, assuming you want a baby at all, try again. Given a free choice of having an early abortion or deliberately bringing a Down child into the world, I think the moral and sensible choice would be to abort. And, indeed, that is what the great majority of women, in America and especially in Europe, actually do. I personally would go further and say that, if your morality is based, as mine is, on a desire to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering, the decision to deliberately give birth to a Down baby, when you have the choice to abort it early in the pregnancy, might actually be immoral from the point of view of the child’s own welfare. I agree that that personal opinion is contentious and needs to be argued further, possibly to be withdrawn. In any case, you would probably be condemning yourself as a mother (or yourselves as a couple) to a lifetime of caring for an adult with the needs of a child. Your child would probably have a short life expectancy but, if she did outlive you, you would have the worry of who would care for her after you are gone. No wonder most people choose abortion when offered the choice. Having said that, the choice would be entirely yours and I would never dream of trying to impose my views on you or anyone else.”


https://richarddawkins.net/2014/08/a...of-twitterwar/
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:55 PM   #13
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

Dawkins certainly hasn't done the secular or pro-choice communities any favors with his case of foot-in-mouth disease (nor is it the first time, as the "Dear Muslima"/Elevatorgate incident will attest to). But he's been getting a lot of push-back from the humanist community on this point; here is PZ Myers, with links to the famous Michael Berube/Peter Singer exchange on a similar topic.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:05 PM   #14
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

Neither incident was all that not worthy. The Dear Muslima incident is laughable.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:11 PM   #15
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

Quote:
Why do you assume that just because people respond emotively, that they're not also responding rationally? The two don't have to be mutually exclusive.
Its a good point.

Eugenics is pretty freaky deaky because where do you draw the line? Maybe Dawkins parents were immoral for having a child that did not have 20/20 vision? How good is good enough to be allowed to survive? Making a moral judgement about someone else about something highly subjective seems silly.

You are immoral if you allow a child to live with "x" condition. Diabetes is no problem but downs syndrome is a no brainer to abort...

The underlying assumption which is incorrect is that people with special needs cannot make a meaningful contribution to society.

Even words like "normal" are actually relative. In the end we could be just aborting people because they are not enough like us.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:14 PM   #16
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

Quote:
"If your morality is based, as mine is, on a desire to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering..."
It’s clear that Dawkins would divert the Trolley, but this seems more of a utilitarian approach to morality, and is heavily subjective as to how you define happiness, and how you interpret happiness.

To make a claim that it is immoral to abort a down’s baby, I think he needs to do more than say that life is difficult for the families and individuals, and even if his premise is correct that morality is simply sum happiness, which is subjective, he would still need to show that the sum happiness is in fact greater in the individual cases.

I also think that there is a slippery slope to be had when you conflate morality with happiness. This will lead to some dubious scenarios of what "right" is.

Last edited by Naked_Rectitude; 08-22-2014 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:17 PM   #17
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

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Originally Posted by tame_deuces View Post
Once you invoke the word "immoral" like Dawkins have done here, these positions are not the same. I doubt many of those who choose abortion would view not terminating as "immoral".

Dawkins quote does smack of eugenics. A geneticist should know this is fairly bad.
This.

Also, it's clear that he's attention whoring right now. And he's winning on that front.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:21 PM   #18
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

If someone is going to have severe Down's syndrome and couldnt comprehend what accepting Jesus would mean and there is no salvation without Jesus but babies even in the womb go to heaven....
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:34 PM   #19
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

I dunno wtf is even going on here. How someone could misconstrue Dawkins as attention whoring is just strange. He gave his opinion on the fact. It makes total sense. Some people disagree.

Who gives a **** if you disagree? He already said it's obviously a personal choice, but in the way he views morality it would fit into his definition.

wtf is all this other crap you guys are talking about? Aborting a child with less than 20/20 vision example is ridiculous.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:35 PM   #20
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

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Originally Posted by wil318466 View Post
How someone could misconstrue Dawkins as attention whoring is just strange.
Maybe you're unfamiliar with the term attention whore?

Quote:
He gave his opinion on the fact. It makes total sense. Some people disagree.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:39 PM   #21
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

So you think he gave his opinion for the sole reason to get attention, or to express his point?
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:42 PM   #22
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

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Originally Posted by wil318466 View Post
Aborting a child with less than 20/20 vision example is ridiculous.
That particular example may not be the best, but one can certainly think of other more suitable ones to highlight that morality being the sum of happiness, where unhappiness is defined by Down syndrome, can lead to other dubious examples of morality.

Who is the arbiter of this happiness value?
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:53 PM   #23
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

I would think something like a life-long disability that would cause a multitude of problems socially, financially, emotionally, etc for all involved is something very far apart than a vision deficiency, no?

Most of us can agree on what would constitute a good reason and a bad reason to have an abortion if you believed in that choice. Whether you choose to not abort because you believe it would bring you more joy in your life is completely up to you, and in the end it's each person's choice.

What's the issue here?
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:58 PM   #24
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

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So you think he gave his opinion for the sole reason to get attention, or to express his point?
I think he wants attention. Quoting your post:

Quote:
Dawkins claimed he had hoped that his million-plus followers would not see his comments, which would instead only be sent out to the people who follow both himself and the woman who posed the question. He also claimed there was not enough space in his Twitter reply to get his fuller argument across.
Am I supposed to believe he's that incompetent?
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:59 PM   #25
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

There is no issue, this is all for discussion. If you make the statement that it is immoral to not abort a Down's baby, you should be prepared to state your case. Simply saying that aborting results in "sum happiness" is not enough, imo. You haven't stated why morality only means sum happiness, and that this rule is being violated by not aborting.
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