“In a world without God, everything is permitted.”
-Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
In addition to exterminating millions of Jews, Nazi Germany also killed gypsies (Romani), Christians (Edith Stein and Maximilian Kolbe are examples), the physically handicapped, and the mentally retarded, including those with Down Syndrome.
Now a famous atheist, 73-year-old British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, says it would be “immoral” not to abort a baby with Down Syndrome, which is another way of saying it is our moral duty to kill those with Down Syndrome.
The conversation began when Dawkins tweeted that “Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area.” The area was abortion, which until last year was illegal in all cases in Ireland.
A Twitter user named Aidan McCourt asked Dawkins if “994 human beings with Down’s Syndrome [having been] deliberately killed before birth in England and Wales in 2012″ was “civilised.”
Dawkins replied: “Yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings.”
Later, Dawkins said that “the question is not ‘is it ‘human’?’ but ‘can it SUFFER?’”
In perhaps the most shocking moment, one Twitter user wrote that s/he “honestly [doesn’t] know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma.”
Dawkins advised the writer to “abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.”
According to Dawkins, the issue of who should be born comes down to a calculation based upon possible suffering. “Yes. Suffering should be avoided. [The abortion] cause[s] no suffering. Reduce suffering wherever you can.”
It is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher.
Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome said they were “happy.” At the same time, 99% of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97% said they were proud of them.
Only 4% of parents who responded said they regretted having their child.
Scientist though he is, Dawkins is simply wrong about
fetuses babies in the womb not feeling pain. It is now well-established that 20 weeks into a pregnancy, unborn children can feel pain. Likewise, unborn children have emotional reactions to external stimuli — such as a mother’s stress levels — months before being born.
In other words, the unborn baby DOES suffer when he or she is aborted.
Finally, if “suffering” — as conjectured and determined not by the sufferer but by “scientists” like Dawkins — is the criterion for killing someone, then we might as well bring back Hitler and the Nazis.
Didn’t you know that the Nazis fervently believed that, in exterminating millions of human beings, they were doing good by eliminating the sub-human (Untermensch) so as to prevent them for polluting the human gene pool?
Dr. Eowyn’s post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds.