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#Pray4Dawkins

Poor old Richard Dawkins. I am thinking about starting a new Twitter campaign #pray4dawkins. He has landed himself in yet another social media storm. But this time I couldn’t let it pass. So forgive me if I rant a little…

Hot on the heels of comments about date rape and his refusal to back down when challenged on Twitter, he has now offered parenting advice to any that will listen.

 

Look at the following Twitter exchange:

 

Notice the tone of the tweet.

Abort it – cleverly dehumanising the foetus. It’s not a person, but an object. Not murder, just termination.

But the kicker comes in the next line – it would be immoral to bring it into the world. Well at least he isn’t arguing for a consumeristic situational ethics: ‘If you don’t fancy raising a child with a genetic abnormality then chose for yourself.’

No, Dawkins has no place for this kind of relativism. He asserts categorically that it is immoral. So anyone who has carried a child with Down’s Syndrome to term and lovingly cared for the child until adulthood and often beyond as many people with Down’s Syndrome do not go on and live independently, has been immoral.

Dawkins shows his true colours. It reminds me of Friedrich Neitzsche’s book The AntiChrist where he criticises Christianity for resisting the will to power by instilling pity and compassion for the weak and the needy.

For example Neitzsche writes: “Pity preserves things that are ripe for decline, it defends things that have been disowned and condemned by life, and it gives a depressive and questionable character to life itself by keeping alive an abundance of failures of every type.”

It wasn’t long ago that Dawkins was arguing that religion was a virus of the mind and his friend Christopher Hitchens argued that religion poisons everything. Today we saw another side to life without God: human beings reduced to biology, people discarded if they don’t measure up to a certain standard.

Dawkins once described God as the worst villain in all fiction because Dawkins misunderstood Old Testament texts, thinking they promoted genocide. Well there’s a gaping inconsistency that sees Dawkins advocating genocide – wiping out anyone with an additional Chromosome 21. Sounds like if Dawkins had his way 40 000 residents of the UK who have Downs would not be in the world – that sounds a lot like genocide to me.

Dawkins argued in later tweets that autistic people should not be terminated because they are able to contribute to society.

How benevolent of him.

We are back to the utilitarian balloon debates and Dawkins is in charge of the seating arrangements. How do we judge who has made a contribution? If we are to be judged by our contribution to society I haven’t come across that many people whose lives have been made better because Dawkins has been involved whereas I had the privilege of being the foster parent to a beautiful young girl who had Down’s Syndrome. We poured love into her life from when she was only a few days old until she was three. When the time came for her to move on to adoption we hosted a party in our house and more than 80 people came. There were many tears as she left because so many people in our small town had had their lives enhanced because this little girl had touched them. But even if she hadn’t of made other people’s lives better, I believe every life is valuable irrespective of their utility. See a piece I wrote for World Downs Syndrome Day. 

Which other genetic groups should be eradicated from the planet? Perhaps Dawkins would argue that brown people should be next because they don’t make as great a contribution to society as white people? He did recently declare that Trinity College in Cambridge had more Nobel Prize’s than the entire  Muslim population. Perhaps we should IQ test in vitro and see if they measure up before we permit them to be born? Which other genetic abnormalities need to be purged from the gene pool? Dawkins once argued that we are DNA replicating machines – I am guessing people with a homosexual orientation don’t farewell under a Dawkins fuelled eugenics programme either as its hard to argue they will make good DNA replicators. I have always wondered how Dawkins managed to reconcile “survival of the fittest” with universal human rights, I guess we are finding out now.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 3 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Another disciple of Neitzsche’s nihilism managed to get enough power to put these notions into action 75 years ago. I for one will be doing everything I can to make sure that all children born into this world find a loving home – atheists are welcome to help if they can find a way to live better than Dawkins’ philosophy suggests. I will #pray4dawkins that he “goes away and learns how to” love.

Ok that last bit might have gone too far, I do want to engage with Dawkins, my anger of his upside down morality not withstanding. I genuinely call those who are up for it to #pray4dawkins – no one has strayed too far to know the compassion of God.

 

Photo credit (CC) Annikaliegh Flickr

 

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 You might like this post on “5 Reasons Why Dawkins Should Know Better”. 

 

4 thoughts on “#Pray4Dawkins”

  1. You have been very selective with the tweets of his you chose to feature in this piece. In doing so, you have completely misrepresented (or perhaps misinterpreted?) what Dawkins actually said.
    For example, why did you not feature this tweet: “Woman said she wouldn’t know whether to abort. I told her what I would do & why. I OBVIOUSLY wouldn’t TELL a woman what to do. Up to her.”?
    Or this one: “If I were a woman with a DS fetus I personally would abort. So do most women in fact. If you wouldn’t, good luck to you, it’s your decision”?
    So, was he “advocating genocide”? Nope. Is it then sensible to extend what he said to a desire to annihilate all people with brown skin, or homosexuals? Clearly not. In fact, to draw such an assumption demonstrates stupidity on your part – stupidity infused with your own personal feelings regarding this issue.

    1. Sounds like Dawkins is trying to back off his initial dogmatic statement, in which he identifies his view that keeping a Down Syndrome baby to term is “immoral.” His subsequent tweets simply serve to distancing himself from the idea that he would dare tell another person (woman) what to do (because I assume he believes to do so would be immoral or at very least impolite in western culture). But Dawkins is still clear that he believes that he would be in the moral right to abort the down syndrome fetus, and by extension, those who would not follow his advice would be acting immorally (although he’d be careful not to impose his will on their decision). We’re left to wonder by what standard he’s judging morality. Maybe Dawkin’s preference = moral?

  2. When I see the latest Richard Dawkins tweet I just know a storm of comments is going to follow. His critics will tear into his statement and his supporters views. His supporters will do the same against anyone who disagrees with his view. IF I assume his tweets are not “of the moment” reactions THEN I might assume his tweets have some other purpose. So the obvious question is what might that be?

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