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Old 08-22-2014, 02:01 PM   #26
wil318466
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

I don't think he wants attention. He voiced his opinion. Attention was the side effect of that. He didn't do it to simply seek attention or to purposefully ignite a debate, one that he apologized for.

The Dear Muslima is also an awful example. It started a ****-storm that turned into a huge debate over feminism and all sorts of other weird crap. He stated "he didn't get it". Millions of people agreed with him. It was completely bull****.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:03 PM   #27
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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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I don't think he wants attention. He voiced his opinion. Attention was the side effect of that.
Right.........

Maybe you really don't know what an attention whore is.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:04 PM   #28
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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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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.
So....... the below didn't state his case? Explain please?

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.”
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:05 PM   #29
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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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Right.........

Maybe you really don't know what an attention whore is.
Apparently everyone who voices his or her opinion or weighs in on a subject is an attention whore. This doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:07 PM   #30
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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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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?
Its not a matter of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Bringing forth a Sklansky hypothetical here: how would you feel if you were that Downs Syndrome being, about to be an earthly human, if you were to be aborted ?
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:13 PM   #31
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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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Apparently everyone who voices his or her opinion or weighs in on a subject is an attention whore. This doesn't make sense to me.
Not everyone is voicing their opinion on a highly sensitive topic on Twitter when they have a million-plus followers, especially knowing full well that the space was not sufficient to elaborate on the position.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:13 PM   #32
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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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Its not a matter of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Bringing forth a Sklansky hypothetical here: how would you feel if you were that Downs Syndrome being, about to be an earthly human, if you were to be aborted ?
Are you serious? I'm a walking pimp now and thinking about pulling the plug.

Sorry, bad joke. In all seriousness if I had any type of choice, I'd rather not come into the world. Of course, the question is ridiculous because I'm using my 38 year old mind to make that decision and trying to picture myself with a disability as a 12 week old baby.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:15 PM   #33
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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....... the below didn't state his case? Explain please?

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.”
He's trying to have it both ways in saying that "the choice is yours", "IF your morality is as mine...", "personal choice", and then saying "it IS immoral".

He obviously backed up from his first stance that it is immoral, and ended up saying that it's immoral if you see it that way, which is kind of a tautological cop-out, and I don't blame him, since he was heavily berated.

He's no longer saying that it is immoral, but only that it is immoral under a certain framework. Not sure anyone can disagree with that, although he still runs into the problem of proving that happiness is merely the absence of suffering, and that it is easily measured. I'm reminded of the myth of Spartans throwing sickly babies off of cliffs.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:16 PM   #34
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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 Aaron W. View Post
Not everyone is voicing their opinion on a highly sensitive topic on Twitter when they have a million-plus followers, especially knowing full well that the space was not sufficient to elaborate on the position.
I would agree that maybe his position could not be expressed well in 140 characters, but I would think that's more due to his naivety of how smart the people would be who read it, or him making a bad decision to use a medium that really doesn't help people like him.

Him doing it strictly for attention is highly unlikely. In fact when I think "attention whore" he doesn't even register. I think he earnestly and sincerely believes in his positions. He doesn't just to get his name out there.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:17 PM   #35
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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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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?
He's making a claim that people should abort foetuses with down syndrome. In stating

Quote:
"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."
he is making the claim that that foetus will not have a life worth living and this his seems not to correspond to the number of people with downs who live fulfilling lives. Yes there are challenges and given that I am pro choice I am perfectly okay with a person aborting because their foetus has DS but it seems also morally permissible to go to term on the utilitarian grounds he is basing his claim on.

He should also know that a parent of a child with translocution DS is significantly more likely to have another DS child. He gets genetics like.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:17 PM   #36
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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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Its not a matter of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Bringing forth a Sklansky hypothetical here: how would you feel if you were that Downs Syndrome being, about to be an earthly human, if you were to be aborted ?
I would be very interested to see if anyone can produce an example of a person who was born with some type of illness like Down Syndrome who claims it would have been better to never have been born because of the amount of suffering. Or at least an example of someone in that condition who questions whether they should have been born.

The predominant image is one of gratefulness for life. Whether that's an accurate one is actually an empirical question. It seems that if one wants to claim that the amount of suffering exceeds the amount of joy, it would be reasonable to ask those who are in that population their views of life.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:20 PM   #37
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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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Are you serious? I'm a walking pimp now and thinking about pulling the plug.

Sorry, bad joke. In all seriousness if I had any type of choice, I'd rather not come into the world. Of course, the question is ridiculous because I'm using my 38 year old mind to make that decision and trying to picture myself with a disability as a 12 week old baby.
That's why this is subjective. You are aware you have less deficiencies than someone who suffers from Down syndrome, but what if you were made aware that there are people that are have advantages over you, and you are shown to have severe deficiencies compared to them. In comparison, your life is just as difficult, as someone with DS is to you.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:22 PM   #38
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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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I would be very interested to see if anyone can produce an example of a person who was born with some type of illness like Down Syndrome who claims it would have been better to never have been born because of the amount of suffering. Or at least an example of someone in that condition who questions whether they should have been born.

The predominant image is one of gratefulness for life. Whether that's an accurate one is actually an empirical question. It seems that if one wants to claim that the amount of suffering exceeds the amount of joy, it would be reasonable to ask those who are in that population their views of life.
This would be dependent on the mental capacities of the person? I have no idea what they are for people with Down's, but I'm sure we could come up with millions of examples of everyday normal people who would think it would have been better they have never been born. There is untold suffering and misery across the planet.

It'd be easy.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:24 PM   #39
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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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That's why this is subjective. You are aware you have less deficiencies than someone who suffers from Down syndrome, but what if you were made aware that there are people that are have advantages over you, and you are shown to have severe deficiencies compared to them. In comparison, you life is just as difficult, as someone with DS is to you.
This example is beyond ridiculous. One is a physical disability that hampers mental capacity, learning, understanding, etc. We're not talking about being born to wealthy parents.

wtf.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:27 PM   #40
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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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This example is beyond ridiculous. One is a physical disability that hampers mental capacity, learning, understanding, etc. We're not talking about being born to wealthy parents.

wtf.
I disagree. When you state that this is the amount of suffering that is considered immoral, then you are implementing a standard. You have now drawn a line, and need to show why this line exists. I simply moved the line, but you did not approve, which is indicative of why the line exists, not where the line is drawn.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:32 PM   #41
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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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This would be dependent on the mental capacities of the person? I have no idea what they are for people with Down's, but I'm sure we could come up with millions of examples of everyday normal people who would think it would have been better they have never been born. There is untold suffering and misery across the planet.

It'd be easy.
It seems like depression and suicide rates should be a pretty reasonable proxy for this, right? Not perfect, because it's at least possible to imagine thinking it would be better not to have been born, but also better to go on living than to commit suicide, but still it should be reasonably close.

It seems to me that the norm is rather that people believe that their existence is better than non-existence. It's not clear that is different at all for people born with Down's Syndrome
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:37 PM   #42
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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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This would be dependent on the mental capacities of the person?
Is that a question or a claim?

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I have no idea what they are for people with Down's, but I'm sure we could come up with millions of examples of everyday normal people who would think it would have been better they have never been born. There is untold suffering and misery across the planet.
But "everyday normal people" are not part of the relevant population. In your limited personal experiences, have you ever met a person with Down's Syndrome that wished that they had never been born, or a family that gave birth to a Down Syndrome child that wished they could have gone back and aborted the child? It's anecdotal and limited, but in my experiences I've never seen either one.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:37 PM   #43
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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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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.
Yeah, this is right. It is one thing to suggest someone have an abortion, it is another thing to say that it would be immoral not to have an abortion. Also, like you say, Dawkins should know better. He is probably the most famous defender of evolution and atheism in the world (at least in the English-speaking world). As such, whether he likes it or not, people look at him as a representative of those viewpoints, and when he says these kinds of stupid things he makes all of us look bad.

I'll also point out that this is not a simple logical consequence of Dawkins's utilitarian axioms. Derek Parfit, who teaches at Oxford as well, identified a major dilemma (known as the "Repugnant Conclusion") with utilitarianism around exactly these kinds of issues in the early 80's. Essentially, if our goal is to increase happiness, then on some ways of summing up happiness we have a moral obligation to have as many children as possible as doing so would increase the aggregate sum of happiness in the world.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:39 PM   #44
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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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He's no longer saying that it is immoral, but only that it is immoral under a certain framework. Not sure anyone can disagree with that, although he still runs into the problem of proving that happiness is merely the absence of suffering, and that it is easily measured. I'm reminded of the myth of Spartans throwing sickly babies off of cliffs.
Of course you can. First, you can show that his claim doesn't follow from his premises. Second, you can show that his premises are false.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:40 PM   #45
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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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It seems like depression and suicide rates should be a pretty reasonable proxy for this, right? Not perfect, because it's at least possible to imagine thinking it would be better not to have been born, but also better to go on living than to commit suicide, but still it should be reasonably close.

It seems to me that the norm is rather that people believe that their existence is better than non-existence. It's not clear that is different at all for people born with Down's Syndrome
It's more relevant to ask the question of whether suicidal tendencies are HIGHER for people with Down's Syndrome relative to the "everyday normal people" population.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:41 PM   #46
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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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Of course you can. First, you can show that his claim doesn't follow from his premises. Second, you can show that his premises are false.
Yeah, the "repugnant conclusion" you just showed refutes this framework quite nicely. Withdrawn.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:41 PM   #47
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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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I disagree. When you state that this is the amount of suffering that is considered immoral, then you are implementing a standard. You have now drawn a line, and need to show why this line exists. I simply moved the line, but you did not approve, which is indicative of why the line exists, not where the line is drawn.
A standard to mental capacity or ability? We're not talking about the actual state of being wealthy or doing something good with your life, we're talking about the very ability to understand and even have the ability to attempt to have a good life. We're unsure what that truly is in terms of Down's but I'd say it's way below that of others.

Is that not some sort of pretty good standard? Kinda?

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It seems like depression and suicide rates should be a pretty reasonable proxy for this, right? Not perfect, because it's at least possible to imagine thinking it would be better not to have been born, but also better to go on living than to commit suicide, but still it should be reasonably close.

It seems to me that the norm is rather that people believe that their existence is better than non-existence. It's not clear that is different at all for people born with Down's Syndrome
I was going to mention that but people consider those mental illnesses. I was about to refer to people who are living in misery like the subsahara or even people in the Middle East. In fact I was listening to the radio this morning about doctors without borders who are helping the people in Syria, the misery there is so great that some of the people severely injured have no response even to medical treatment, dead stares and uncaring coming from them as the doctors treat them. They have no joy in life and don't care if they live.

Yeah. I think we could find plenty of people who wonder if it'd have been better for them to have been born. Personally I think of that as almost a personal philosophical type question. For me, I feel my happiness much outweighs my sadness in life experiences, but for many people I would bet that would be the reverse. Who hasn't heard stories of people who have endured extreme sadness multiple times in their lives? Who would really want a life full of pain?

Probably getting too philosophical here.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:45 PM   #48
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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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Personally I think of that as almost a personal philosophical type question. For me, I feel my happiness much outweighs my sadness in life experiences, but for many people I would bet that would be the reverse. Who hasn't heard stories of people who have endured extreme sadness multiple times in their lives? Who would really want a life full of pain?

Probably getting too philosophical here.
You're probably not getting philosophical enough. The problem with aimless ramblings like the one you just started is that you're not actually engaging your mental faculties to address the question.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:49 PM   #49
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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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A standard to mental capacity or ability? We're not talking about the actual state of being wealthy or doing something good with your life, we're talking about the very ability to understand and even have the ability to attempt to have a good life. We're unsure what that truly is in terms of Down's but I'd say it's way below that of others.

Is that not some sort of pretty good standard? Kinda?
A standard of the happiness required to meet the moral "baseline".

I think this leads to a tautological conclusion, if that's even a thing: DS is not a life worth living, because it's not a life worth living. The baseline of "not worth living" is not based on anything concrete, but a subjective opinion. I moved the standard and it didn't meet your own subjective opinion, which should tell you something.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:55 PM   #50
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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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You're probably not getting philosophical enough. The problem with aimless ramblings like the one you just started is that you're not actually engaging your mental faculties to address the question.
I was just self-reflecting while addressing the point of people who would choose to rather not have been born. I'm unsure what question you are referring to.

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A standard of the happiness required to meet the moral "baseline".

I think this leads to a tautological conclusion, if that's even a thing: DS is not a life worth living, because it's not a life worth living. The baseline of "not worth living" is not based on anything concrete, but a subjective opinion. I moved the standard and it didn't meet your own subjective opinion, which should tell you something.
I think "not worth trying" is different than "not worth living". People with DS would lack the mental capacities for many things in our world. For many (most?) people would agree that would be a good reason to abort, "not worth trying". Not worth living is more along current conditions.

If I had a choice, I'd opt out.
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