Thursday, August 21, 2014

Richard Dawkins Offers Fauxpology

From the Independent:

The limited 140 characters meant he was unable to offer his full take on the issue, which he rectifies in a lengthier format. While he wouldn’t “dream of imposing my views on you”, he reiterates the same sentiment – that the “moral and sensible” choice is to abort a child with the condition.

“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,” he wrote. “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.”

Does he not realize that Down Syndrome people are often among the happiest people in the world?

Or is he saying that people are unhappy about Down Syndrome people?

You can't create a moral system based purely on a functionalist goal of increasing happiness and reducing suffering without a corresponding respect for the human individual.

Because morality is made for the individual, not the individual for morality.

Any moral system worth its salt must begin with the premise-- the axiom-- that all human beings have intrinsic self-worth.

Otherwise you're making ideas more important than people.