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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Richard Dawkins’ Down Syndrome Bigotry



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What is it with scientists who become crusading atheists?

First, James Watson came out as an anti-Semite and a eugenicist. Now Richard Dawkins has released his own inner bigot by claiming that women have an ethical duty to abort Down babies. From the Telegraph story:

Richard Dawkins, the atheist writer, has claimed it is “immoral” to allow unborn babies with Down’s syndrome to live. The Oxford professor posted a message on Twitter saying would-be parents who learn their child has the condition have an ethical responsibility to “abort it and try again”…

He claimed that the important question in the abortion debate is not “is it ‘human’?” but “can it suffer?” and insisted that people have no right to object to abortion if they eat meat.

The last feeble defense is a non-sequitur. He wants Down babies aborted because they are disabled, not because they can’t suffer–a questionable premise–while late term fetuses.

Dawkins’ bigotry goes beyond the question of whether women should have a right to decide to abort a Down fetus. It is a claim that they are morally required to do so.

I miss our missing Down brothers and sisters. They are some of the most beautiful people on the planet. “If all you need is love,” they have it in quantities to spare. It is a lamentable tragedy that so many are killed while gestating. We are all the poorer for it.

Atheists insist that they can not believe in God and be moral. I agree. But they do have to believe in human exceptionalism.

Otherwise, we end up dividing humanity between the fit and the unfit–which essentially is why Dawkins pushes eugenic abortion as a moral obligation.



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