I am well aware this topic has been discussed at length but there are a few points to this issue I have yet to read, which I would like to put across.
Richard Dawkins replied to a tweet regarding what one should do in the event of knowing that a foetus would have Down’s syndrome.
“Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have a choice.”
Sadly (it would seem) the majority of the world’s population does not have reason, logic and an understanding of biology. Worst of all – in my opinion – are the interpretations I have found; As a writer I constantly battle with people trying to tell me what I was saying in a piece, instead of understanding what I actually said. Most online debates are now as follows:
“I agree with proposition A.”
“OH, so you are basically saying that proposition B is wrong, and the Nazi’s were nice people?”
I’m sure in this technical age we have all seen conversations like this, utter nonsense.
I have seen people write in comment sections on facebook that Dawkins’s tweet meant that he wants all babies and young children with Down Syndrome “to be shot”, this is not a joke. Even many atheists have lined up against Richard regarding this tweet, do they prove or attempt to diminish his point with a logical argument? Not at all.
So quickly, a foetus is not a child, a foetus in biological terms has no difference to an embryo – although in normal terms a foetus is the time when we can see clear signs of what type of mammal the life will become. The brain of a fly has about 100,000 cells, an embryo about 150, though I doubt any religious people shed a tear when they swat a fly; why not? They have basically just killed 666.66 children by my calculation (I swear I didn’t mean to land on that number) (100,000 / 150 = 666.6…)
His statement has nothing to do with living humans, so stop comparing them – it makes you look unintelligent.
It has to be said, we all want healthy children. Let’s say hypothetically children were never made in the natural sense and you could customise an embryo on the shop floor like a BMW, we would stop seeing babies born with disabilities almost instantly. I have suffered with mental health issues in my life, I know the pain and bullying that goes along with it, I also know the stigma that hits you like a brick. If I had a choice to rid the possibility of mental health issues from my child, I would do it in a heart beat, wouldn’t you?
This statement in no way diminishes actual life, a child with any disability should be cared for and loved the same if not more so by all. But we have to admit, the reason we have this moral initiative of taking care of disabled children – in a different way to how we care for children without disabilities – is because a Down’s syndrome child is at a massive disadvantage. Any child with a disability is just that, disabled from some part of natural or normal life. It is not wrong to admit this, in fact we can only help such people after we accept the criteria for abnormality.
How many people if they had the power, would opt for a child who cannot see? A child who cannot use his full mental capabilities? A child who will need constant assistance until death? In all honesty, I think we know how this process would end.
Finally I want to make a point about the hypocrisy I have seen from Christians on this twitter outrage.
“We finally hear atheist morality straight from the horses mouth.”
Excuse me? Firstly, Mr Dawkins, although I admire him, is not the spokesperson for my lack of belief; but most importantly how ironic a bible thumper would find killing a foetus immoral – yet they love the story of Noah and his arc.
You know the story, God knows everything that will ever happen, so he knows he is going to make a population that will anger him, and he knows he is going to retaliate by committing genocide and drowning them all in a flood – And he still chose to do it!
These Christians who find Dawkins’s comments so repulsive, must be OK with stoning children to death, or is God also repulsive?
Deuteronomy 21:18-21 King James Version (KJV)
18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
Stop interpreting Dawkins’s words to make them fit some nasty idea, take him on his word, we don’t need to wait for 2000 years worth of re-writes and interpretations, we can see exactly what he wrote and precisely what it meant.
Aborting a foetus to give a healthier egg a chance, is not only justified, it is scientifically, biologically and morally sound – Stoning to death a child who is unruly however…