Richard Dawkins has apologised for the “feeding frenzy” triggered by his tweet claiming it would be immoral to carry on with a pregnancy if the mother knew the foetus had Down’s syndrome.
The geneticist’s latest Twitter row broke out after he responded to another user who said she would be faced with “a real ethical dilemma” if she became pregnant with a baby with Down’s syndrome.
Dawkins tweeted: “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.”
I see. So a woman who chooses to give birth is being immoral. He wants to blame the mother for the unfortunate situation by classifying her decision as “immoral.”
In a fuller explanation on his website – entitled Abortion & Down Syndrome: Apology for Letting Slip the Dogs of Twitterwar – the author tried to set the record straight.
He wrote: “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.”
Dawkins again “apologizes” by blaming other people or something else for being misunderstood.
He wrote: “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.”
Sneaky. He did not say it “might” be immoral. He clearly wrote: “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.”
With this logic, I suppose it would be immoral for women in poverty to give birth, as children born into poverty are more likely to suffer than those that are not.
If Dawkins truly desires to to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering, then he should shut down his Twitter account. Given the pain and suffering his offensive tweets have constantly caused over the years, it is immoral for him to continue tweeting.
But then again, Dawkins doesn’t practice what he preaches.