Richard Dawkins Shane Pope, Wikimedia Commons

All life is worthy

  • August 28, 2014

Comments from crusading atheist Richard Dawkins offer a glimpse into a possible future world that rejects the intrinsic value of all human life. It is chilling.

The British geneticist recently stated that women who know they are pregnant with a Down syndrome baby should not only consider abortion but they have a moral obligation to terminate. 

“Abort it and try again,” he wrote. “It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.” 

Quite rightly, his comments sparked outrage, particularly from mothers of Down children. It is staggering to assert these mothers acted immorally and coarse to suggest it is ever shameful to give birth to a child who fails some warped test of 21st-century perfection. On the contrary, these moms display a selfless love that all of society should emulate. 

Yet, Dawson was persistent. To critics he replied: “If your morality is based, as mine is, on a desire to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering, the decision to deliberately give birth to a Down’s baby, when you have the choice to abort it early in the pregnancy, might actually be immoral from the point of view of the child’s own welfare.” 

Anyone who knows a Down’s child grasps how ludicrous it is to suggest these children are unhappy and suffering. Quite the contrary, Down’s children are predominantly joyful and loving. It is grotesque to suggest their best interest is served by denying them birth. 

So why even publicize Dawkins’ beliefs? Because we fear the onset of a society that, out of a misplaced compassion, is adopting his Godless view of life and his narrow definition of happiness. His words reflect a deteriorating respect for life that is infecting society. Eliminating Down’s babies is just one example. 

It’s not a huge leap to go from declaring that an objective of human existence is increased happiness and reduced suffering to then start enacting laws that threaten all those who appear unhappy or suffering. Advocates of euthanasia already apply Dawkins-like arguments to the terminally ill, and some day no doubt they will apply them to the mentally and physically handicapped, the elderly and perhaps eventually to anyone labelled an unproductive member of society. 

Medical science soon will be able to unravel the complete genetic makeup of a baby in the womb. Some 3,500 potential genetic disorders will be detectable, allowing parents to know early in a pregnancy if their child has a disability or disease or carries a gene that could develop into one. The implications of this are terrifying. 

In a Dawkins’ world, terminating these pregnancies is a moral act that would make the world happier. The thought of that world makes us weep. 

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