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Old 08-25-2014, 04:27 PM   #126
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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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Much is tied to the underlying logic of "Therefore, I would rather not exist than be such a being."

If all he is saying is that "this faculty is lacking" then there really wouldn't be much of an objection. We can both agree that this faculty is lacking, and that the absence of this faculty in some form diminishes the overall capacity of that person. And I'm okay with that. I see students all the time who don't apply themselves fully and make other poor decisions and hence not fully embody what it is to be human (with that understanding).

But that's not the full implication of his belief. The full implication of his belief is that this state is so lowly that merely existing in that form is sufficiently negative to reject that existence entirely. I do not believe that this would follow from the Aristotelian ethic you describe.

If you want to look at the more theological side of this, the underlying suggestion of the non-existence claim is that there's nothing worth trying to redeem in a person that lacks these faculties. Their state is so poor that Wil would rather not exist than be one of those people. Fallenness is a redeemable quality, and this is worth pursuing in all people.
I think you (and neeeel) are both trying to draw an implication that isn't there--and to a certain extent making the same error as Dawkins. Someone can say that they would rather not exist with diminished cognitive capacity (here is a recent and somewhat pertinent example) without thereby claiming it as a moral principle that everyone should feel the same way. Rather, they can acknowledge that as a matter of personal choice and freedom rather than as resulting from a general moral principle.

Anyway, I think the counterfactual is probably not very useful as in the most important sense I don't think you are the same person as the person with diminished cognitive capacity in the thought experiment. So what intuition are you actually eliciting?
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:03 PM   #127
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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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To be clear, under this formulation, the protection of basic human rights is merely a fiat, as is the line being drawn as to when human rights should be protected. Is the a correct interpretation?
Not really sure what you mean by fiat here, but most utilitarians don't view rights as basic in the way that eg Kantians might. So you don't have a right to life simply because you are a human, part of the "kingdom of ends." Insofar as a utilitarian will accept rights as justified, they will be for essentially prudential reasons, e.g. that governments that guarantee rights will be more utility-maximizing or as a way to simplify our moral reasoning. This is why some utilitarians, who don't see anything inherently special in being human, have been leaders in the animal rights/welfare movement.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:31 PM   #128
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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 think you (and neeeel) are both trying to draw an implication that isn't there--and to a certain extent making the same error as Dawkins. Someone can say that they would rather not exist with diminished cognitive capacity (here is a recent and somewhat pertinent example) without thereby claiming it as a moral principle that everyone should feel the same way. Rather, they can acknowledge that as a matter of personal choice and freedom rather than as resulting from a general moral principle.
Right. Dawkin's error is claiming that this is a moral principle, based on the utilitarian framework of a "happiness minus suffering" type of measurement, and that his conclusion does not follow from those premises.

My claim of arrogance was outlined earlier:

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Definition of arrogance: an insulting way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people
In order for you to think that mental retardation is sufficient cause for you to prefer not being born, you must believe something about mental retardation is beneath you. Somehow, they're worse than you, dumber than you, or less important than you. And that makes them unworthy ("in your opinion") relative to you.
To boil down an entire person's life (even as an abstract quantity) on the basis of a single measure (mental capacity) and declare that it's so much below where you are that this life (whatever it is) isn't worth living is very arrogant-sounding to me. I do think it's quite an insulting way to talk about those with mental deficiencies, and that such a belief is rooted in a belief of "I'm better than that person."

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Anyway, I think the counterfactual is probably not very useful as in the most important sense I don't think you are the same person as the person with diminished cognitive capacity in the thought experiment. So what intuition are you actually eliciting?
It's true that you are not the same person in the thought experiment. But how you construct the person in the thought experiment, what attributes you attribute and the hypothetical life you envision, say a lot about how you envision that class of people as a whole. That's the intuition I'm eliciting.

My claim is that saying "I'd rather not have been born than be that person" is significantly stronger than merely saying "I'd rather not be that person." And that the basis of that conclusion is intellectual capacity alone is also a strong statement.

There are objective ways to say "my life is better than that person's life" that are not arrogant. My life is objectively better on the bases of economic status, job satisfaction, and so forth than someone living in the ghetto working a tough job and barely scraping by.

I think you have to start taking some very extreme pictures (slavery) before such a position even begins to have a chance at not painting such an arrogant picture. And in the case of slavery, the reason for not wanting to be that person has nothing to do with any inherent properties of being that person, but the circumstances of that person that are imposed from the outside.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:01 PM   #129
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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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To boil down an entire person's life (even as an abstract quantity) on the basis of a single measure (mental capacity) and declare that it's so much below where you are that this life (whatever it is) isn't worth living is very arrogant-sounding to me. I do think it's quite an insulting way to talk about those with mental deficiencies, and that such a belief is rooted in a belief of "I'm better than that person."

It's true that you are not the same person in the thought experiment. But how you construct the person in the thought experiment, what attributes you attribute and the hypothetical life you envision, say a lot about how you envision that class of people as a whole. That's the intuition I'm eliciting.

My claim is that saying "I'd rather not have been born than be that person" is significantly stronger than merely saying "I'd rather not be that person." And that the basis of that conclusion is intellectual capacity alone is also a strong statement.

There are objective ways to say "my life is better than that person's life" that are not arrogant. My life is objectively better on the bases of economic status, job satisfaction, and so forth than someone living in the ghetto working a tough job and barely scraping by.

I think you have to start taking some very extreme pictures (slavery) before such a position even begins to have a chance at not painting such an arrogant picture. And in the case of slavery, the reason for not wanting to be that person has nothing to do with any inherent properties of being that person, but the circumstances of that person that are imposed from the outside.
Fair enough, I don't disagree with this.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:36 AM   #130
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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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Old 08-26-2014, 07:01 AM   #131
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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, that doesn't follow at all.
well, less than human, then?
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:11 AM   #132
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

I agree with Dawkins that aborting down syndrome is the right thing to do. Hell, aborting because you aren't financially ready for a child is also the right thing to do.
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:34 PM   #133
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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 agree with Dawkins that aborting down syndrome is the right thing to do. Hell, aborting because you aren't financially ready for a child is also the right thing to do.
Please tell me you are joking?
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:38 PM   #134
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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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Please tell me you are joking?
I'm not going to answer for him, but I believe there is a difference in stating that "it is right to abort X", versus, "it is wrong to not abort X". RD was saying the latter when this all began.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:26 PM   #135
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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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Please tell me you are joking?
Not joking. Those were just 2 of many reasons that make abortion the correct choice for someone.
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:21 AM   #136
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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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[ 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”.
What I think about it is that a guy who says this:

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The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.
is nothing but a joke when he says the word "moral" and isn't laughing.
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Old 08-27-2014, 04:23 PM   #137
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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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Not joking. Those were just 2 of many reasons that make abortion the correct choice for someone.
Sick and disgusting.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:08 PM   #138
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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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Sick and disgusting.
No, bringing unhealthy children into this world is sick disgusting. Kids born into poverty with crack head mothers who are on crack during the entire pregnancy is sick and disgusting. And that's just the tip of the ice berg, now stop being so closed minded.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:39 PM   #139
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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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Sick and disgusting.
Unless the cleansing of imperfect humans is done by God, then its good.
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:55 AM   #140
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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, bringing unhealthy children into this world is sick disgusting. Kids born into poverty with crack head mothers who are on crack during the entire pregnancy is sick and disgusting. And that's just the tip of the ice berg
Just to be clear, this was your first statement:

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Originally Posted by you
I agree with Dawkins that aborting down syndrome is the right thing to do. Hell, aborting because you aren't financially ready for a child is also the right thing to do.
So.... Down's Syndrome babies are like crack babies. And if your income drops below a certain level, your baby is like a crack baby. "And that's just the tip of the iceberg."

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now stop being so closed minded.
If what you have counts as open-minded, I'd rather be closed-minded.
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:41 AM   #141
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Re: Idiot Richard Dawkins opens his mouth again: "It's immoral not to abort Down's Syndrome bab

Does your open-mindedness extend to supporting the unhealthy unwanted babies, or just far enough to tell other people how they should behave?

We have demonstrable proof that there are **** loads of unwanted human garbage in the world (look at all the retarded and/or crazy people in mental hospitals, prisons, orphanages, the streets, etc), how can it be so disgusting and awful to suggest cutting down on the number of new ones produced if we can help it?
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:46 AM   #142
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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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Does your open-mindedness extend to supporting the unhealthy unwanted babies, or just far enough to tell other people how they should behave?
My open-mindedness extends to reasonable patterns of thought. We already support all sorts of unwanted babies and all sorts of unwanted other things. So your argument doesn't really carry much weight. And I have not yet made any specific statements about how people should behave.

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We have demonstrable proof that there are **** loads of unwanted human garbage in the world (look at all the retarded and/or crazy people in mental hospitals, prisons, orphanages, the streets, etc), how can it be so disgusting and awful to suggest cutting down on the number of new ones produced if we can help it?
So, you're advocating a form of eugenics? Maybe we should just extend the logic of abortion to living people with observable deficiencies?

Last edited by Aaron W.; 08-28-2014 at 11:53 AM. Reason: And orphanages?
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:36 PM   #143
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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, bringing unhealthy children into this world is sick disgusting. Kids born into poverty with crack head mothers who are on crack during the entire pregnancy is sick and disgusting. And that's just the tip of the ice berg, now stop being so closed minded.
Ah, so if the mother is on crack, you should murder the baby.

Brilliant logic.

Before you didn't even mention crack, you just said poverty was a good reason to murder the baby, brilliant logic there too.

Sick and disgusting, and evil.
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:06 PM   #144
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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're advocating a form of eugenics? Maybe we should just extend the logic of abortion to living people with observable deficiencies?
Oh no, just like you, I didn't advocate anything. So we're both good.

We have systems in place to take care of intellectually impaired people that are totally inadequate in many cases, but your reasonable patterns of thought seem to imply that there is a problem with promoting abortion of DS embryos. I think it is very reasonable to ask what happens to them after they are born.
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:18 PM   #145
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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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Oh no, just like you, I didn't advocate anything. So we're both good.
Whoops... You're not mark. My bad.

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We have systems in place to take care of intellectually impaired people that are totally inadequate in many cases, but your reasonable patterns of thought seem to imply that there is a problem with promoting abortion of DS embryos. I think it is very reasonable to ask what happens to them after they are born.
The challenge I've raised is with the logic that is being applied. If it's true that the reason for aborting DS embryos is that the existing systems for dealing with it are inadequate, in what sense does their actually being born change that logic? Clearly, after they're born, the systems are still inadequate.

So what's the difference, in your view, between a pre-born child and a just-born child if the primary reason for ending the life of the child in the pre-born child is the inadequacy of various systems, and this logic in unchanged when the child reaches just-born status? What happens in that "birth moment" that changes the logic?
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:55 PM   #146
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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.... Down's Syndrome babies are like crack babies. And if your income drops below a certain level, your baby is like a crack baby. "And that's just the tip of the iceberg."



Yes


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Maybe we should just extend the logic of abortion to living people with observable deficiencies?

You mean putting them down like we do with dogs? I would not be opposed to that.




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Ah, so if the mother is on crack, you should murder the baby.

Brilliant logic.

Before you didn't even mention crack, you just said poverty was a good reason to murder the baby, brilliant logic there too.

Sick and disgusting, and evil.

who said anything about murdering babies?




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The challenge I've raised is with the logic that is being applied. If it's true that the reason for aborting DS embryos is that the existing systems for dealing with it are inadequate, in what sense does their actually being born change that logic? Clearly, after they're born, the systems are still inadequate.

So what's the difference, in your view, between a pre-born child and a just-born child if the primary reason for ending the life of the child in the pre-born child is the inadequacy of various systems, and this logic in unchanged when the child reaches just-born status? What happens in that "birth moment" that changes the logic?
They breath air would be most peoples answer. Honestly tho I have nothing against taking care of the problem at the birth moment if there was no knowledge of the down syndrome( or whatever health problem it is ) during the pregnancy, but it is discovered at birth.
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:08 PM   #147
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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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Yes
Okay. As long as you're making your position clear that drug addicted babies are comparable to Down Syndrome babies and babies of people who fall below certain income thresholds.
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:22 PM   #148
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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. As long as you're making your position clear that drug addicted babies are comparable to Down Syndrome babies and babies of people who fall below certain income thresholds.
I already said yes didn't I? There are plenty of other situations where abortion is the best option too. Don't just narrow it down to crack whores, poor people and down syndrome.
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:16 PM   #149
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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 already said yes didn't I?
Yup. But I like to make people affirm when they are taking positions that are potentially open to misinterpretation.

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There are plenty of other situations where abortion is the best option too. Don't just narrow it down to crack whores, poor people and down syndrome.
Sure. If the parents are stupid, their children should be aborted, too. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:37 PM   #150
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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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Yup. But I like to make people affirm when they are taking positions that are potentially open to misinterpretation.



Sure. If the parents are stupid, their children should be aborted, too. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Actually they shouldn't be allowed to have children. You should have to get a permit from the government to have children. This means before anyone is even pregnant.

But this is population control and a whole other discussion.
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