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Old 08-23-2014, 02:21 PM   #76
Aaron W.
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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
I'll ask you two questions.

1) If you state a fact, and it's perceived as controversial, are you automatically seeking attention?
Nope. It depends on the method of communication and personal history. If you're using Twitter and you have a history of saying inflammatory comments, it's a reasonable conclusion that you're seeking attention.

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2) If you filled out a living will and had non-resuscitate instructions in there in case of diminished mental capacity, does that make you arrogant?
Nope. For many reasons, the question of what you would do with your own life in the event of a situation that changes your life circumstances is substantively different than speculating what you would do with your life if you had someone else's life.
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Old 08-23-2014, 02:24 PM   #77
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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 Naked_Rectitude View Post
Wil, I think you've moved slightly from Dawkins' premise. Not that you shouldn't, it's just an observation.
This is a useful observation. As it pertains to the specific statement at the start of this thread, you cannot be calling his statements "facts."
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:00 PM   #78
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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
Nope. It depends on the method of communication and personal history. If you're using Twitter and you have a history of saying inflammatory comments, it's a reasonable conclusion that you're seeking attention.
Getting into debates or arguments doesn't always equal seeking attention. By the way you are defining it anyone who has any type of opinion that may be controversial is seeking attention. Dawkins actually seems like the exact reverse of that. He doesn't seem opportunistic in trying to receive any type of attention whether negative or positive. His statements have all been in line with his way of thinking, and they've been wide out in the open for quite a long time now. They aren't things that are coming out of the blue.

Honestly I think you have a personal problem with Dawkins. I'm unsure if you feel he's intellectually arrogant or you have a serious philosophical disagreement with him for you to try to drive this point home so much. I think he's the opposite of an attention whore. He's famous, so it muddles the issue, but he doesn't seek out publicity just for the sake of it.

There's no reason to continue this point. You think what you want and I will. It really doesn't even matter much.

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Nope. For many reasons, the question of what you would do with your own life in the event of a situation that changes your life circumstances is substantively different than speculating what you would do with your life if you had someone else's life.
I don't see how there is a difference between me speculating about having diminished mental capability and not wanting to be revived and me speculating about being born with diminished mental capability and not wanting to be born. They are essentially the same thing. It doesn't mean I'm passing judgement on the people who are in that condition, and if I was in that condition I wouldn't be able to assess the situation from the same viewpoint.
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:02 PM   #79
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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
This is a useful observation. As it pertains to the specific statement at the start of this thread, you cannot be calling his statements "facts."
It only took me 1300 posts, but I finally said something useful
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:34 PM   #80
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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 really see the debate. What Dawkins' proposes in the quote is eugenics. As a scientist should know eugenics doesn't actually bloody stack up because we simply don't have enough ecological modelling power to predict what such proposals will actually accomplish.

As an intellectual he should know that he is being borderline fascist, which is something we not only have reason to suspect does not work; it is something we know very well does not work.

The only decent followup to his twitter post is "Sorry, I worded myself very badly".
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:01 PM   #81
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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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Getting into debates or arguments doesn't always equal seeking attention.
True. But that doesn't address the point I'm making at all, does it? I mean, I'm raising observations about past behaviors and pointing out that your argument of his naivete clearly fails.

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By the way you are defining it anyone who has any type of opinion that may be controversial is seeking attention.
Nope. By making this claim, you're showing an inability to address the points that are being raised in a meaningful manner. Being a public figure clearly impacts the circumstances of his decisions.

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Dawkins actually seems like the exact reverse of that. (1) He doesn't seem opportunistic in trying to receive any type of attention whether negative or positive. (2) His statements have all been in line with his way of thinking, and they've been wide out in the open for quite a long time now. They aren't things that are coming out of the blue.
You make two points.

(1) He created the situation that is drawing the attention. I don't care whether this was an opportunistic move or not, though you can say that someone threw him a softball to make such a claim to the Twitterverse and that's opportunistic.

(2) Again, this is utterly irrelevant. Whether he really believes this does not have any impact on my claim that this is basically an attention whoring move.

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Honestly I think you have a personal problem with Dawkins. I'm unsure if you feel he's intellectually arrogant or you have a serious philosophical disagreement with him for you to try to drive this point home so much.
Both, actually. I also think Neil deGrasse Tyson is intellectually arrogant and have serious philosophical disagreements with him, but even though he's a public figure of greater notoriety than Dawkins, I don't think he's an attention whore in general, and I have no particular reason at this time to criticize him for attention whoring.

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I think he's the opposite of an attention whore. He's famous, so it muddles the issue, but he doesn't seek out publicity just for the sake of it.
Sure. He just accidentally uses Twitter to say inflammatory remarks. And it's not like he has used this to drive traffic to his website. Oh, wait...

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I don't see how there is a difference between me speculating about having diminished mental capability and not wanting to be revived and me speculating about being born with diminished mental capability and not wanting to be born. They are essentially the same thing.
You really think the question of being revived after an accident is "essentially the same thing" as the question of not being born? Really?

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It doesn't mean I'm passing judgement on the people who are in that condition, and if I was in that condition I wouldn't be able to assess the situation from the same viewpoint.
You're not passing judgment. Just giving your opinion that your their life is in such a terrible state relative to yours that you would rather have not been born than to have their mental capacity.
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:04 PM   #82
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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
I don't really see the debate. What Dawkins' proposes in the quote is eugenics. As a scientist should know eugenics doesn't actually bloody stack up because we simply don't have enough ecological modelling power to predict what such proposals will actually accomplish.
If we did have the modeling power to predict what such proposals will actually accomplish, and that people with Down Syndrome have a negative overall impact on society according to the measure being used, would that make eugenics moral?
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:15 PM   #83
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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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If we did have the modeling power to predict what such proposals will actually accomplish, and that people with Down Syndrome have a negative overall impact on society according to the measure being used, would that make eugenics moral?
Not anymore so than ballistics make bombs moral.
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:19 PM   #84
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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
Not anymore so than ballistics make bombs moral.
Okay. Just wanted to clarify. Your statement made it sound as if the flaw in eugenics comes down to ineffective modelling.

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Originally Posted by you
As a scientist [he] should know eugenics doesn't actually bloody stack up because we simply don't have enough ecological modelling power to predict what such proposals will actually accomplish.
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:22 PM   #85
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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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Okay. Just wanted to clarify. Your statement made it sound as if the flaw in eugenics comes down to ineffective modelling.
That is why reading entire posts are preferable. Eugenics has two sides, an normative aspect and a scientific aspect.
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:28 PM   #86
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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
That is why reading entire posts are preferable. Eugenics has two sides, an normative aspect and a scientific aspect.
I don't really know how the second statement was "normative" instead of "scientific" but okay.

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As an intellectual he should know that he is being borderline fascist, which is something we not only have reason to suspect does not work; it is something we know very well does not work.
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:53 PM   #87
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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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Both, actually. I also think Neil deGrasse Tyson is intellectually arrogant
It seems very much so after a while. You obviously have issues with him and that's fine, but I think it's really making you biased in this little argument. Like I said, it doesn't really matter much so whatever.


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You really think the question of being revived after an accident is "essentially the same thing" as the question of not being born? Really?
From my viewpoint? Meaning would I want diminished mental capacity at either level? No. What I'm saying is that from MY perspective I would not want to be born with very little mental capacity. I view this more as philosophical, since I know no other mental capacity except the one I have now. As little as it is, I'd really to not like it to be less.


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You're not passing judgment. Just giving your opinion that your their life is in such a terrible state relative to yours that you would rather have not been born than to have their mental capacity.
Maybe we simply view things differently. Their lives may be in a "terrible" state, but the only way I can view it is from my own state. It's not the same as something like poverty, which someone may be able to get out of. Their lives will almost be solely dependent on what circumstances they are born into. If they are born into poverty on top of diminished mental capacity their lives will almost certainly be awful in most people's sense of the word. This doesn't mean I wish them harm, or wouldn't advocate helping and caring for them in any way possible if needed. I'm simply stating that I, knowing what I know now, would rather not have been born than to be in that state.

I don't think that position is all that controversial. I would actually think it's mainstream. I would think most people would agree with me.

Once again, it seems you have some sort of personal issue with this. I'm not trying to offend, or imply anything like "hey if your brother is severely mentally retarded he should have never been born". I don't mean that at all.
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:13 PM   #88
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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
<snip>
You make two points.

(1) He created the situation that is drawing the attention. I don't care whether this was an opportunistic move or not, though you can say that someone threw him a softball to make such a claim to the Twitterverse and that's opportunistic.

(2) Again, this is utterly irrelevant. Whether he really believes this does not have any impact on my claim that this is basically an attention whoring move.
I'm agnostic on whether Dawkins is doing this intentionally or not. Your (1) seems the relevant point--if Dawkins is not being opportunistic, then I don't think it is fair to call him an "attention whore," although other criticisms, like tame_deuces's, are still available.

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Both, actually. I also think Neil deGrasse Tyson is intellectually arrogant and have serious philosophical disagreements with him, but even though he's a public figure of greater notoriety than Dawkins, I don't think he's an attention whore in general, and I have no particular reason at this time to criticize him for attention whoring.
Apologies in advance for being super nitty here, but notoriety doesn't just mean famous (which is what I assume you mean here as Dawkins is obviously more notorious, although possibly less famous, than Tyson), but "The state or condition of being notorious; the fact of being famous or well known, esp. for some reprehensible action, quality, etc." (OED, with my emphasis added).

That being said, I would be surprised to find out that Tyson is more famous than Dawkins, even with Cosmos.
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:15 PM   #89
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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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From my viewpoint? Meaning would I want diminished mental capacity at either level? No. What I'm saying is that from MY perspective I would not want to be born with very little mental capacity. I view this more as philosophical, since I know no other mental capacity except the one I have now. As little as it is, I'd really to not like it to be less.
I don't know why it is you think that YOUR perspective is an insulation against the claim of your arrogance. After all, its YOUR perspective that I'm calling arrogant. Maybe this conversation is too complex for you to follow.

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Maybe we simply view things differently. Their lives may be in a "terrible" state, but the only way I can view it is from my own state.
I guess this claim is true if you're a sociopath. Most "everyday normal people" are able to see the world in ways other than their own. You know, things like "put yourself in their shoes" and the like?

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It's not the same as something like poverty, which someone may be able to get out of. Their lives will almost be solely dependent on what circumstances they are born into.
And by "may be able to get out of [poverty]" you mean "is very likely to end their life in poverty." The economics point to very little economic mobility at that level.

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If they are born into poverty on top of diminished mental capacity their lives will almost certainly be awful in most people's sense of the word.
But the relevant perspective to relative to "never been born at all." But the underlying claim is "Your life sucks so much that, in my opinion, you would have been better off if you were never born. (Of course, this isn't saying that you *shouldn't* have been born. I'm just saying that from my perspective, your life just sucks that much.)"

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This doesn't mean I wish them harm, or wouldn't advocate helping and caring for them in any way possible if needed. I'm simply stating that I, knowing what I know now, would rather not have been born than to be in that state.
No, your statement is that you would rather not have been born at all. Not that you would rather not have been born into that state.

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I don't think that position is all that controversial. I would actually think it's mainstream. I would think most people would agree with me.
People would generally agree that being born into better circumstances is better than being born into worse circumstances, but that's not the position you're taking.

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Once again, it seems you have some sort of personal issue with this. I'm not trying to offend, or imply anything like "hey if your brother is severely mentally retarded he should have never been born". I don't mean that at all.
It's not personal. It's an issue of pseudo-intellectualism. You're trying to pretend as if merely claiming that something is a personal perspective or opinion somehow insulates you from the logical consequences of that position. It's representative of a lack of awareness and a narrow perception of reality.
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:20 PM   #90
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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 being said, I would be surprised to find out that Tyson is more famous than Dawkins, even with Cosmos.
As a first attempt at such a measure, Dawkins has about 1 million followers, and Tyson has about 2.3 million followers.

https://twitter.com/RichardDawkins

https://twitter.com/neiltyson

I grant that there may be something both generational and geographical in play in this measure, but I'm not sure what else I can use as an easy way to try to measure the claim.

(Edit: I should also point out that their use of social media may not be equivalent, which would say is another reason that this may not be such a great comparison.)

Last edited by Aaron W.; 08-23-2014 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:37 PM   #91
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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'm agnostic on whether Dawkins is doing this intentionally or not. Your (1) seems the relevant point--if Dawkins is not being opportunistic, then I don't think it is fair to call him an "attention whore," although other criticisms, like tame_deuces's, are still available.
I think the distinction between opportunistic and intentional is important here. Opportunistic has more to do with finding oneself in circumstances that can be turned favorably. Intentionality has more to do with his... well... intentions. Someone can intend to draw attention to himself and fail, and I don't think that would make that person less of an attention whore. Just a worse one.

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Apologies in advance for being super nitty here, but notoriety doesn't just mean famous (which is what I assume you mean here as Dawkins is obviously more notorious, although possibly less famous, than Tyson), but "The state or condition of being notorious; the fact of being famous or well known, esp. for some reprehensible action, quality, etc." (OED, with my emphasis added).
Interesting. I have not viewed "notorious" as necessarily carrying a negative connotation. So I did a little looking around to see what I could find:

http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/20...notoriety.html

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Although one could make an etymological case for using “notoriety” in a positive way, the word carries a lot of negative baggage. That’s why you were puzzled by the Montebello Kitchens press release.

Would we use it positively? Perhaps, but only in rare situations.

For example, we might use it to make a hyperbolic point: “Groucho achieved notoriety as a punster.”

Or we might use it to make a play on words: “In Hitchcock’s Notorious, a close-up of the key in Ingrid Bergman’s hand gained a certain notoriety.”
However, there are things like this:

http://books.google.com/books?id=DXD...gative&f=false

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Notorious can be positive or negative. It may mean you're well known for something good or for something bad.

...

Be careful when using notorious: Since it can connote either good or bad, your meaning may be unclear. If you say Squiggly's cupcapes are notorious, for example, it's unclear whether they are delicious or horrible. It's clearer to say Squiggly's cupcakes are notorious for their moistness or their ability to break teeth.
http://engli******ackexchange.com/que...s-and-infamous

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Notorious is more often than not used as a more neutral "famous" - used in contexts, where you want to limit the positive connotation be it not to sound overly flattering or as tongue-in-cheek expression of limited praise. You can be a DJ notorious in clubs of your city, a notorious speaker at Sci-Fi conventions, a notorious hacker with three hundred security advisories published to your name. These don't strictly imply what you do is wrong, they just say you are widely recognized, and simultaneously don't try to trump up your achievements.
So I don't know where that leaves things. But it was a fun diversion to look it up.
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:44 PM   #92
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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 guess this claim is true if you're a sociopath. Most "everyday normal people" are able to see the world in ways other than their own. You know, things like "put yourself in their shoes" and the like?

It's not personal. It's an issue of pseudo-intellectualism. You're trying to pretend as if merely claiming that something is a personal perspective or opinion somehow insulates you from the logical consequences of that position. It's representative of a lack of awareness and a narrow perception of reality.
You're warping this into something that it's not. I can understand other people's situations. I have empathy. I think most people would agree that physical issues or economic status or whatever are different than mental capacity. When we discuss mental capacity I can't say I understand what it would be like to have it severely limited, and I don't think many others can either. That's why so many people would agree with me. It's not out of left field.

If you want me to say I don't understand what its like to be severely mentally retarded, then that's fine, but for you to equate that with being a sociopath is ridiculous. If that's how you view "lack of awareness and a narrow perception of reality" then.. ok? It sounds absurd to me.
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:00 PM   #93
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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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When we discuss mental capacity I can't say I understand what it would be like to have it severely limited, and I don't think many others can either.
But you've made your perspective clear. Based on whatever it is that you *do* know, you think it would be better to not even have been born than to have certain types of mental deficiencies.

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That's why so many people would agree with me. It's not out of left field.
It would be interesting to see whether people actually do agree with you. The basic claim you're making is this: "If I [wil] had the choice between being born with a mental deficiency and not being born at all, I'd prefer not to be born at all."

I doubt you will find a strong consensus for that claim. Furthermore, I strongly suspect that if there are people who support that position, that they come from a higher socio-economic position than average, and it wouldn't surprise me if they were also better educated on average.

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If you want me to say I don't understand what its like to be severely mentally retarded, then that's fine, but for you to equate that with being a sociopath is ridiculous. If that's how you view "lack of awareness and a narrow perception of reality" then.. ok? It sounds absurd to me.
This is what you said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by you
Their lives may be in a "terrible" state, but the only way I can view it is from my own state.
It's true that the sociopath comparison was mostly rhetoric. I don't actually think you're a sociopath.

But you've been using this type of tact throughout to try to insulate your belief from criticism, and it is accomplished by trying to isolate your viewpoint from having any meaningful interaction with other viewpoints. This over-reliance on "MY opinion" and "MY perspective" is indicative of a lack of an investment of time and thought into the issue. Because if that's the best you have to defend your view, you don't have anything at all.
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:06 PM   #94
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

I'm interested to hear your thoughts about whether being born severely mentally handicapped is preferable to not being born?
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:51 PM   #95
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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'm interested to hear your thoughts about whether being born severely mentally handicapped is preferable to not being born?
I think being born is preferable. In my (somewhat) limited experiences with mentally handicapped people, I don't see much reason to believe that their ability to enjoy life is significantly diminished relative to people who are not mentally handicapped.

I also see families bonding together in supportive ways that may not have come about in the absence of the special needs child. I'm not aware of very many parents of such children wishing that their child was never born.

The person seems to demonstrate behaviors that indicate life is a positive thing, the immediate family seems to demonstrate behaviors that indicate life is a positive thing, the extended family/friends demonstrate behaviors that indicate life is a positive thing... So I don't really see much reason to think that being born is less preferable.

What observations do you have to support your claim? Simply that you think relative to your current intellect, an inhibited intellect is beneath you?
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:01 PM   #96
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

No. My line of thinking is that if I only knew how to respond to sensory input from a very limited mental capacity, I could not feel the opposite feeling. Without understanding the opposite of something means you can't truly feel the appreciation of the original feeling.

I think that takes mental capacity, and if that is lacking you are missing out on a very important, if not the most important, human ability.

I really hope that makes sense.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:15 PM   #97
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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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No. My line of thinking is that if I only knew how to respond to sensory input from a very limited mental capacity, I could not feel the opposite feeling. Without understanding the opposite of something means you can't truly feel the appreciation of the original feeling.

I think that takes mental capacity, and if that is lacking you are missing out on a very important, if not the most important, human ability.
So... they're not fully human?
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:41 PM   #98
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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... they're not fully human?
Isn't that dependent on how you define "human"? Is a human a person at the day of conception, or 3 months into gestation, or 6, or 8 or 9?

I'm going to have to be extremely careful here because I know my words can/WILL be used against me, but we have philosophical differences of what we define as "human".
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:50 PM   #99
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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
Isn't that dependent on how you define "human"?
Yes, which is why I'm asking you this question. There's somehow this "most important human ability" that they're lacking. Hence, you wouldn't want to be one of them, and would think it's better to not be born at all.

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Is a human a person at the day of conception, or 3 months into gestation, or 6, or 8 or 9?
We're not even at the more general abortion discussion. Presumably in this conversation, when we're talking about you being born as a person in a different situation, that actually means you were born.

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I'm going to have to be extremely careful here because I know my words can/WILL be used against me, but we have philosophical differences of what we define as "human".
Indeed. Be as careful as you need to be. You're the one who has introduced this "very important human ability" without which you would feel that non existence would be better than being born without it. It's now on you to explain what you mean by this.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:07 PM   #100
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

oops double-post, please delete this one

Last edited by VeeDDzz`; 08-24-2014 at 11:14 PM.
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