Anonymous asked: What is your ultimate fantasy?
Cross-posted at my blog:
There was quite a to-do on Twitter yesterday and today, when Richard Dawkins seemed to suggest that women definitely ought to screen for and abort fetuses with Down Syndrone:
@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
Many people thought Dawkins was telling this particular woman what to do and were outraged.
According to the Guardian, Dawkins took to his website to explain and apologize:
He added: “Those who thought I was bossily telling a woman what to do rather than let her choose, of course this was absolutely not my intention and I apologise if brevity made it look that way. My true intention was, as stated at length above, simply to say what I personally would do, based upon my own assessment of the pragmatics of the case, and my own moral philosophy which in turn is based on a desire to increase happiness and reduce suffering.”
Of course, Dawkins is very plainly arguing that “It would be immoral” to bring a Down Syndrome baby into the world “if you have the choice” not to do so. This is based, as he says, on “my own moral philosophy which in turn is based on a desire to increase happiness and reduce suffering.”
This is a fine moral philosophy, but it’s not clear what it has to do with Down Syndrome. Here’s some survey data that Dawkins apparently never heard about:
Among 2,044 parents or guardians surveyed, 79 percent reported their outlook on life was more positive because of their child with Down syndrome….
Skotko also found that among siblings ages 12 and older, 97 percent expressed feelings of pride about their brother or sister with Down syndrome and 88 percent were convinced they were better people because of their sibling with Down syndrome. A third study evaluating how adults with Down syndrome felt about themselves reports 99 percent responded they were happy with their lives, 97 percent liked who they are, and 96 percent liked how they looked.
So, it’s not clear who exactly Dawkins believes is suffering and why it’s so obviously immoral to bring a Down Syndrome baby into the world.
In addition to this issue, it seems other people were outraged because they believed Dawkins was saying that people with Down Syndrone ought to have been aborted or shouldn’t exist now. He apparently address this issue as well:
He also argued: “Those who took offence because they know and love a person with Down’s syndrome, and who thought I was saying that their loved one had no right to exist, I have sympathy for this emotional point, but it is an emotional one not a logical one. It is one of a common family of errors, one that frequently arises in the abortion debate.”
It’s not entirely clear what Dawkins is arguing here, but it sounds like he wants to discourage people from making the “emotional” point that a loved one with Down Syndrone does, in fact, have a right to exist. Instead they should be “logical” and not make what “is one of a common family of errors.” I’d go read his post to see if I could get some more information, but strangely that one page on his website is returning a “404 - Page Not Found” error and has been doing so for hours now.
So, perhaps I’m missing Dawkins’ point, but this seems like an unusual argument and one that doesn’t really fit in a post titled “Abortion & Down Syndrome: Apology for Letting Slip the Dogs of Twitterwar.”
Except, of course, that Dawkins wasn’t really apologizing in his post, as the cheeky title suggests and as his final paragraph makes very clear:
"To conclude, what I was saying simply follows logically from the ordinary pro-choice stance that most of us, I presume, espouse. My phraseology may have been tactlessly vulnerable to misunderstanding, but I can’t help feeling that at least half the problem lies in a wanton eagerness to misunderstand."
You see that last sentence there? That makes it not an apology.
Which is pretty much what Dawkins was aiming for:
I do not for one moment apologise for approaching moral philosophic questions in a logical way. There’s a place for emotion & this isn’t it.— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins)August 20, 2014
HT: David Watkins.
this will surprise absolutely no one but still hooooly shit
Nancy Wake, who has died in London just before her 99th birthday, was a New Zealander brought up in Australia. She became a nurse, a journalist who interviewed Adolf Hitler, a wealthy French socialite, a British agent and a French resistance leader. She led 7,000 guerrilla fighters in battles against the Nazis in the northern Auvergne, just before the D-Day landings in 1944. On one occasion, she strangled an SS sentry with her bare hands. On another, she cycled 500 miles to replace lost codes. In June 1944, she led her fighters in an attack on the Gestapo headquarters at Montlucon in central France.
Ms Wake was furious the TV series [later made about her life] suggested she had had a love affair with one of her fellow fighters. She was too busy killing Nazis for amorous entanglements, she said.
Nancy recalled later in life that her parachute had snagged in a tree. The French resistance fighter who freed her said he wished all trees bore “such beautiful fruit.” Nancy retorted: “Don’t give me that French shit.”
"strangled an SS sentry with her bare hands"
"too busy killing Nazis for amorous entanglements"
"don’t give me that French shit."
The young lady that was shot in the head by a police officer is still waiting to be interviewed by the police department
(they’ve edited the articles to take out the white part and that she was killed hehehe)
Residents knew it was BS.
Turns out Mya was shot by a police officer. The department forced surgeons to take the bullet out and took the bullet for “Ballistics”
Over a week later, she still has yet to be contacted by the department
Do not let her story go ignored