Skip to comments.Surprised by Joy: A response to Richard Dawkins on Having a Child with Down syndrome.
Posted on 08/23/2014 6:33:35 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Every once in a while people let their guard down and say what they really think. For Richard Dawkins, Wednesday was one of those days.
In an extraordinary moment of public honesty, Dawkins, the British evolutionary biologist and militant atheist, wrote on Twitter that it would be immoral to bring [a child with Down syndrome] into the world if you have the choice. It was a statement that no doubt delighted the utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer, his friend and fellow traveler, who has advocated the killing of disabled infants on the grounds that they are not rational and self-conscious beings. We have begun to think in terms of quality of life, instead of all life equally being sacred. Thats why it is logical to now start thinking about severely defective babies, and whether it is always wrong to kill them, Singer told a journalist in 2004.
Does such talk frighten you? It does me. My eight-year old daughter Magdalena has Down syndrome. She falls into the category of people Peter Singer would like to see dead. I fall into the category of people Richard Dawkins considers immoral. How upside-down these guys are. Its like an ethical Bizzaro World, where all the cold, heartless, smart guys with the fanciest degrees and the most fashionable eyeglasses look with utter disdain on the slightly different, slightly imperfect, slightly vulnerable people. God save us from utilitarian philosophers and evolutionary biologists.
Richard Dawkins is a man of logic, and his tweet makes sense if you view babies as personal accessories or interchangeable units of economic utility. But logic has its limits. Life is more than survival of the fittest. Sometimes its a mysterious and beautiful ballet. Other times its a painful and confusing crawl through the darkness. There is sudden despair and surprising joy. Logic can explain only so much.
Do you remember the late Robin Williamss joke about the duckbill platypus? He said it was God giving Darwin the finger. We humans are more like duckbill platypuses than we are the homogenous and genetically perfect robots that Richard Dawkins wants us to be.
No one can say with certainty exactly how many unborn children with Down syndrome are aborted every year in allegedly civilized countries, including our own, but the estimates are shockingly high. Shocking, that is, if you are like me and dont think it immoral to bring a baby with Down syndrome into the world. Shocking, that is, if you think we live in a society that places a value on human life that other societies societies we consider barbarous dont.
In 2008, shortly after the Summer Olympics were held in Beijing, Sky News reporter Holly Williams interviewed the director of a Chinese maternity hospital who admitted that her facility counseled expectant mothers to abort babies with serious deformities, such as a missing arm or leg. We dont let them have the baby, said the hospital director. If they have it, its a burden to the family, to society, and to the country. We want healthy babies because they make families happy and our society happy too. Were working to improve the quality of the population.
You should seek out and watch the video if only to hear the hospital directors girlish giggling as the interview concludes. You may have heard that evil can be banal. See for yourself just how easily a moral society can be corrupted by ideas similar to those of Peter Singer and Richard Dawkins. See for yourself just what kind of an ethical universe you get when the evolutionary biologists are in charge.
Mr. Dawkins, youre welcome to come to our house and meet Magdalena. I think youd really like her, if you could see past her imperfections if you could see what we see, if you could hear her laughing. But you probably wont come. Youre probably too busy. Were probably too simple-minded for you, with our sky God and our ritualistic religious hocus-pocus and our weird belief that even children with Down syndrome should be allowed to live.
So, go ahead and call me immoral, Richard Dawkins. Call my wife immoral. Call the dozens of families around the world we have met and befriended over the last eight years immoral. Many of us had a choice, as you call it, and chose life over death. We chose the joy of love over the pain of abortion. We chose the happiness that radiates from Magdalenas soul over the darkness that must cloud your every, empty day.
We chose Magdalena, and wed do it again. Wed do it again because your scientific morality is cold and dark. It illuminates nothing.
Matthew Hennessey writes from Connecticut. Follow him on Twitter: @matthennessey
Who is this Dawkins? Every time I read his name I think of Hogan’s heroes, the British prisoner in particular
This is nothing new. The Chinese have always had a custom of killing those who are less than perfect. The only difference is that they can kill the imperfect at a younger age than ever before.
As a nurse I’ve always loved taking care of my Downs patients. I don’t like phony people and they are never phony or pretentious.
When I worked in the NICU we had a Downs patient whose family nicknamed him “Sug”, short for “Sugar.” The nurses used to fight over him because we all wanted to take care of him.
This is yet another article highlighting what enlightened individuals might call the "provincial" views of Dawkins. Indeed, Dawkins and others, such as Singer, and today's "progressives," with all of their domination of academia and Far Left politics, seem to fit into a category described in an essay by T.S. Eliot on Virgil and cited by Dr. Russell Kirk in his "The Conservative Mind":
"In our time, when men seem more than ever to confuse wisdom with knowledge and knowledge with information and to try to solve the problems of life in terms of engineering, there is coming into existence a new kind of provincialism which perhaps deserves a new name. It is a provincialism not of space but of time--one for which history is merely a chronicle of human devices which have served their turn and have been scrapped, one for which the world is the property solely of the living, a property in which the dead hold no share." - T. S. Eliot
By his "doubling down," on his previous assertions, Dawkins simply reveals his own empty reservoir of "understanding."
A wisdom book from centuries past cautions:
"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." - Proverbs 4:7
The love brought into this world, and celebrated in the faces of those beautiful and affectionate children Dawkins would exclude from entering it, is a testament to the emptiness of his declarations.
May I suggest that FR readers order one of Ben Haden's long-ago sermons entitled, "Affliction," in which he relates a story about the unexpected birth of a Down's Syndrome baby to a minister and his wife, and how God used the birth of that child, and the people and events surrounding the couple's reaction to that birth to exert a powerfully positive influence on the lives of many individuals.
Haden's web site address is here. Now deceased, Haden was an attorney, newspaper editor, and Presbyterian minister whose "Changed Lives" radio program and internet presence made a powerful difference in the lives of many.
The same spirit seen in the faces of these beautiful children is that spirit which will live on after the physical body has returned to "dust," and that is the part of the mystery which Dawkins brain just doesn't compute.
That was Richard Dawson, although I had to google to be sure.
He was lovely, Dawkins is a creep.
And here’s a link to a story describing his “half apology”, but it really sounds like he thinks people should apologize to him.
Oh, and btw, not to go all rad-fem but why should we listen to this MAN on the subject of abortion?
I have no clue who this hateful hothead is, but I also have no doubt he will live to regret his blindness
Eugenics is a progressive program. It has been for over a century.
The National Socialists were big on culling people they deemed unfit from society as well.
There really is no new thing under the sun, and modern progressivism isn’t new at all.
A nation that allows the killing of babies is a nation that will fall to darkness...Citizens make nations...and it is the citizen,s duty to protect life...all life from this veil of ignorance....
A cousin of mine, 5 years ago, was told her baby was going to be Downs & was advised to abort it. She decided to seek a second opinion and that doctor told her the baby was fine. She had decided not to abort regardless and today is blessed with a very healthy, happy 5 year old, no Downs. During the time she was seeking the second opinion, etc., I did some research on Downs children, just to improve my understanding of what she might be facing. Invariably, the parents of Downs children were glad they had them and considered them an absolute blessing and talked about how these children had enriched their lives and families. One described them as angels from Heaven that God had given them for special care here on earth. Ever since, I’ve always thought of them that way and I admire the parents that, despite knowing their children will be ‘different’, choose life.
When I was pregnant I refused the test for Down’s because I was not going to abort no matter what
Hope he learns his lesson before he has to visit his father in the underworld
That is why you are a good Person Yldstrk.
As well was your Cousin Qiviut.
When I was pregnant I refused the test for Downs because I was not going to abort no matter what
I think the percentage of babies aborted after prenatal diagnosis with Downs is about 90%. It’s been called ‘genocide’ and a holocaust ... children killed because of one extra chromosome. I just can’t wrap my mind around how someone morally justifies this .... I think the key is ‘morally’. A lot of decisions involving kids is ‘economic’ these days and priorities are not what is best for the kids, but what won’t interfere with the lifestyles of those having the kids.
Slouching toward Gattaca.
The evil resulting from taking the belief in evolution to its ultimate conclusions.
As the daddy of a newly-teenaged girl who isn’t Downs but very developmentally-delayed, I can agree with the poster.
We didn’t have any of our kids ‘tested’ before birth because my wife and I were never interested in finding out if anything was wrong with them. With my special daughter, it wasn’t until she was about 2 that we noticed that something wasn’t right.
It’s been a challenge, but there have been blessings in the struggle.
It goes without saying that the guy is pure evil. But to me, there’s also a look in his eyes that says he’s barely held together. I expect one day someone will rebuke him in the name of Jesus and he’ll fall down, screaming.
You hit the nail on the head.
When I hear people say that people with Down Syndrome are all so nice, I shake my head. Some of them are not very nice, and to state that every person with Down is nice is to insult them as human beings.
But I have never met a person with Down Syndrome who was a phony.
Isn’t Dawkins due for a stroke or something?
Some people just have pale skin, but this one has a death warmed over pallor. Reminds me of Arafat.
One foot on the grave, the other on a banana peel..
When I was expecting our third, I was 34. New Jersey had put in a requirement for doctors to inform their 'older' mothers about the importance of amniocentsis. I asked my Doc what they would need to look for, besides Down's, since I wouldn't have aborted, no matter what. He said one thing that could be important to know would be if the baby had a neural tube syndrome. I asked if that could be seen on an ultrasound, and he said it could, so I refused the amnio, and had an ultrasound.
When we had our fourth, in MA, I don't remember my Doc suggesting an amnio at all, but I might have told him early on that I wouldn't be interested. ;o)
All the PC people in the world can't change those facts. They ARE as different from us (Europeans, the West, whatever) as Mother Theresa and Venus Williams.
God bless you. Because of the mixture of blood types, I had to undergo them.
No Down babies, although my son and daughter in law birthed one, then adopted another.
I certainly hope Dawkins in his later years gets some debilitating illness or disease that makes his life “they are not rational and self-conscious beings. “ ...
So it would morally ok to kill him....
I am sure he would agree.../S
Thanks for the ping!
Thanks for the beep!