Saturday, 4 October 2014

Dawkins' soft-headed, hard-hearted comments

This is not news, the story has receded but I still want to point out some things from Dawkins' comments about the "immorality" of allowing children with Down's Syndrome to be born.

The first thing I want to know is what is Dawkins standing on when he speaks about an action being immoral? Where has he hung his sky hook to hold up his moral pronouncements? Dawkins believes that the physical universe is all there is - there is nothing that transcends the material. What that means then is that there is no objective standard of behaviour that is binding upon humanity. If atheism is true there is no rule book that tumbled into existence with the rest of the cosmos telling us to do x and not do y, and even if there were a rule book there would be no reason why we would be obliged to pay any heed to it, after all, that rule book would just be an accidental by-product of the big-bang, wouldn't it? So when Dawkins says an action is immoral the question is, "Says who?" His answer? Says him. This is the outcome of rejecting God - we take his place and we determine good and evil (see Genesis 3).

Secondly, even if Dawkins had any logical basis for talking about any action being immoral, why on earth would he say bringing a child with Down's Syndrome into the world would be one? The answer is because on Dawkins' view human beings only have extrinsic value not intrinsic value, i.e. you are valuable because of what you do, not because of what you are - the more valuable you are to society, the more of a right to life you have. Of course, if atheism were true then this would be true - why would any particular bag of chemicals have any intrinsic value? This is why Dawkins would allow children with autism to be born, (isn't that so kind of him?) because they can be super smart and creative and benefit the world, but on his view, children with Down's Syndrome can't, so get rid of them. This leads to point three.

Dawkins is stunningly, jaw-droppingly ignorant about Down's Syndrome. Anyone who knows anyone with Down's Syndrome will tell you that the world is a richer place for having them and we are better people for knowing them. They make a valuable contribution to society and have a lot to teach us. Just consider - there aren't too many people with Down's Syndrome in prison, on the sex offenders register, taking drugs, getting drunk, clogging up casualty at the weekend, etc. etc. They harm no one, and benefit every one who knows them. They love life and love people, they learn and work, they are a definite asset.

Fourthly, he speaks about the immorality of bringing them into the world. Sorry Richard - they are already in the world - you just can't see them. Just because they are hidden in the mother's womb doesn't make it any less barbaric and immoral to slaughter them. Abortion doesn't stop a child from entering the world, it removes a child from the world.

He tried to ameliorate the situation somewhat by saying it was only his opinion and he wouldn't force it on others - oh! That really helps! It's great to know you wouldn't force a stranger to have her innocent, defenceless child torn asunder in her womb - that's fantastic! You are only saying that you believe that by her not killing her child she is immoral - thanks, that's not at all offensive.

Keep talking, Richard, you are fast becoming a great evangelist for Christianity, as you show how incoherent you are and how heartless atheism is.