Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
The philosopher's comments follow his similarly controversial musings on the differing degrees of rape
Budding atheists wondering whether Richard Dawkins is in need of a little time away from Twitter to reflect on the past few weeks are about to have their (lack of) prayers answered.
The philosopher has managed to go one step further than his controversial comments on ‘date rape versus stranger rape’ to voice his opinions on what it would be ethical for a mother who is informed that her unborn child has Down Syndrome to do.
He started off his conversation with followers ethically enough, highlighting the plight of women in Ireland, where abortion is illegal, in light of the recent reports of the country’s refusal to provide a safe abortion to a suicidal rape victim. She was forced to give birth.
“Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area,” he tweeted, adding “You'd think the Roman Church would have lost all influence,” to caption a link to a similar article.
Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area:http://t.co/i2PqFf6fYL You'd think the Roman Church would have lost all influence.Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) August 20, 2014
But after engaging in conversation with a number of users, his ethical values appeared to come a little unstuck.
“994 human beings with Down's Syndrome deliberately killed before birth in England and Wales in 2012. Is that civilised?” @AidanMcCourt asked.
“Yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings,” Dawkins responded.
“I honestly don't know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma,” @InYourFaceNYer chimed in.
“Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice,” he tweeted back.
@InYourFaceNYer Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) August 20, 2014
Naturally, his reasoning prompted a slew of further comments – and subsequent commentary:
@InYourFaceNYer People on that spectrum have a great deal to contribute, Maybe even an enhanced ability in some respects. DS not enhanced.Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) August 20, 2014
Including this musing on aborting Down Syndrome children versus aborting Hitler:
@Bitch2410 I read a short story about that. How Hitler's mother almost had an abortion! I think it was by Roald Dahl.Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) August 20, 2014
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