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Dawkins on Down Syndrome

LogicalLunatic
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8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...
A True Work of Art: http://www.debate.org...

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Bulproof formally admits to being a troll (Post 16):
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LogicalLunatic
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8/22/2014 8:53:13 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...

And THIS is why all people with disabilities should vote Republican. Even if the Republicans take away your welfare, at least they won't "evaluate" your right to life and conclude that you and all people with similar disabilities should've been aborted.
Ah, the Secular Left...
A True Work of Art: http://www.debate.org...

Atheist Logic: http://www.debate.org...

Bulproof formally admits to being a troll (Post 16):
http://www.debate.org...
TheGreatAndPowerful
Posts: 3,012
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8/22/2014 9:10:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 8:53:13 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...

And THIS is why all people with disabilities should vote Republican. Even if the Republicans take away your welfare, at least they won't "evaluate" your right to life and conclude that you and all people with similar disabilities should've been aborted.
Ah, the Secular Left...

...has nothing to do with this. This is his singular opinion. One which is stupid and short-sighted.

Besides, it is completely false and dishonest to suggest that Republicans "care," in any way, about the lives of disabled people. They're routinely against social and economic welfare policies in general, which covers those designed to assist people living with disabilities, and will go out of their way to find excuses to execute them, should they be offered the chance. The Republican's "value" of life ends the second you're born.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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8/22/2014 9:38:32 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...

"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 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," Dawkins wrote."

By all means that is a debatable but I don't think you can call it stupid.

Maybe you are confusing "stupid" with "I don't like it" ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Dragonfang
Posts: 1,122
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8/22/2014 10:04:53 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
What if the mother knew she is having an annoying and arrogant pseudo-philosopher scientist?
Skikx
Posts: 132
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8/22/2014 10:33:57 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...

And he's right.

"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 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"

If you know that the baby will have a severe disability and will almost inevitably suffer from it. Then it is most likely immoral to have that baby, if your morals are , at least partially, based on minimizing suffering.

If you choose to keep it, then it will suffer due to your decision not to have an abortion.
Thus you are increasing the amount of suffering in the world.

Just because you are unable understand this, you shouldn't be calling Dawkins an idiot.
Dragonfang
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8/22/2014 10:54:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 10:33:57 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...


And he's right.

"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 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"

If you know that the baby will have a severe disability and will almost inevitably suffer from it. Then it is most likely immoral to have that baby, if your morals are , at least partially, based on minimizing suffering.

If you choose to keep it, then it will suffer due to your decision not to have an abortion.
Thus you are increasing the amount of suffering in the world.

Just because you are unable understand this, you shouldn't be calling Dawkins an idiot.

Wouldn't reading a trashy romance novel instead of engaging in humanitarian aid increase suffering?
Skikx
Posts: 132
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8/22/2014 11:01:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 10:54:00 AM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 8/22/2014 10:33:57 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...


And he's right.

"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 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"

If you know that the baby will have a severe disability and will almost inevitably suffer from it. Then it is most likely immoral to have that baby, if your morals are , at least partially, based on minimizing suffering.

If you choose to keep it, then it will suffer due to your decision not to have an abortion.
Thus you are increasing the amount of suffering in the world.

Just because you are unable understand this, you shouldn't be calling Dawkins an idiot.

Wouldn't reading a trashy romance novel instead of engaging in humanitarian aid increase suffering?

Is there a point to this question?
Dragonfang
Posts: 1,122
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8/22/2014 11:48:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 11:01:59 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 10:54:00 AM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 8/22/2014 10:33:57 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...


And he's right.

"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 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"

If you know that the baby will have a severe disability and will almost inevitably suffer from it. Then it is most likely immoral to have that baby, if your morals are , at least partially, based on minimizing suffering.

If you choose to keep it, then it will suffer due to your decision not to have an abortion.
Thus you are increasing the amount of suffering in the world.

Just because you are unable understand this, you shouldn't be calling Dawkins an idiot.

Wouldn't reading a trashy romance novel instead of engaging in humanitarian aid increase suffering?

Is there a point to this question?

Yes, inquiring and testing what the principle you defended suggests at different scenarios. A simple thought exercise.
Skikx
Posts: 132
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8/22/2014 1:05:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 11:48:40 AM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 8/22/2014 11:01:59 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 10:54:00 AM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 8/22/2014 10:33:57 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...


And he's right.

"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 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"

If you know that the baby will have a severe disability and will almost inevitably suffer from it. Then it is most likely immoral to have that baby, if your morals are , at least partially, based on minimizing suffering.

If you choose to keep it, then it will suffer due to your decision not to have an abortion.
Thus you are increasing the amount of suffering in the world.

Just because you are unable understand this, you shouldn't be calling Dawkins an idiot.

Wouldn't reading a trashy romance novel instead of engaging in humanitarian aid increase suffering?

Is there a point to this question?

Yes, inquiring and testing what the principle you defended suggests at different scenarios. A simple thought exercise.

I didn't defend any principle. I just pointed out that his reasoning is logically valid.

However, to answer your question, one would first have to quantify the suffering and based on Dawkins' own words, also the happiness both actions would bring about.

To simplify this, lets set happiness and suffering on the same scale at opposing ends. With 0 being neutral, suffering being negative and happiness being positive.
Now lets say reading a novel increases Dawkins' happiness, with a value of +10, while engaging in humanitarian aid increases the happiness off 10 people by 5 each. Resulting in +50.
Simply math tells us that the value for humanitarian aid is 40 points bigger than that for reading a novel.
If Richard Dawkins ever finds himself in the situation where he has to choose between reading a novel and engaging in humanitarian aid, his morals would then compel him to engage in humanitarian aid.

You can do this with every scenario you like.
Keep in mind that I choose the values pretty random and they do not necessarily reflect Dawkins' views.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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8/22/2014 1:29:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 8:53:13 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...

And THIS is why all people with disabilities should vote Republican. Even if the Republicans take away your welfare, at least they won't "evaluate" your right to life and conclude that you and all people with similar disabilities should've been aborted.
Ah, the Secular Left...

Please demonstrate why it is an idiotic statement.
LogicalLunatic
Posts: 1,633
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8/22/2014 2:41:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 1:29:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:53:13 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...

And THIS is why all people with disabilities should vote Republican. Even if the Republicans take away your welfare, at least they won't "evaluate" your right to life and conclude that you and all people with similar disabilities should've been aborted.
Ah, the Secular Left...

Please demonstrate why it is an idiotic statement.

Go find a little boy with Down Syndrome. Tell him that his mother should've aborted him. If you're not willing to do this, then you are helping prove my point.
I was expecting the majority of Liberal respondents to say that Dawkins is an extremist, and that the large majority of Liberals do not share his views. That'd be the sensible thing to do. Unfortunately, I found that instead they are defending him.
A True Work of Art: http://www.debate.org...

Atheist Logic: http://www.debate.org...

Bulproof formally admits to being a troll (Post 16):
http://www.debate.org...
LogicalLunatic
Posts: 1,633
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8/22/2014 2:52:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 10:33:57 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...


And he's right.

"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 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"

If you know that the baby will have a severe disability and will almost inevitably suffer from it. Then it is most likely immoral to have that baby, if your morals are , at least partially, based on minimizing suffering.

If you choose to keep it, then it will suffer due to your decision not to have an abortion.
Thus you are increasing the amount of suffering in the world.

Just because you are unable understand this, you shouldn't be calling Dawkins an idiot.

By that logic, anybody who is suffering can be killed!
A True Work of Art: http://www.debate.org...

Atheist Logic: http://www.debate.org...

Bulproof formally admits to being a troll (Post 16):
http://www.debate.org...
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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8/22/2014 3:27:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 2:41:49 PM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 8/22/2014 1:29:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:53:13 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...

And THIS is why all people with disabilities should vote Republican. Even if the Republicans take away your welfare, at least they won't "evaluate" your right to life and conclude that you and all people with similar disabilities should've been aborted.
Ah, the Secular Left...

Please demonstrate why it is an idiotic statement.

Go find a little boy with Down Syndrome. Tell him that his mother should've aborted him. If you're not willing to do this, then you are helping prove my point.

That doesn't follow, given that the mother has a demonstrable emotional investment and attachment to the now alive child, and the child is now aware and has memories and is capable of forming memories.

Objectively it would be a perfectly justified statement, just because people get emotional after the mistake doesn't make it any less of a mistake. I would rather not be born with Down's syndrome/other disabilities, I would rather be born healthy. Therefore I would prefer if I were aborted and my parents tried again.

I was expecting the majority of Liberal respondents to say that Dawkins is an extremist, and that the large majority of Liberals do not share his views. That'd be the sensible thing to do. Unfortunately, I found that instead they are defending him.

He doesn't represent the views of all atheists, and I imagine most atheists in this specific topic, but you have yet to demonstrate what he said is in any way foolish. It actually makes a lot of objective sense to me. Society would benefit from an extension of this, which is a form of eugenics.
Skikx
Posts: 132
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8/22/2014 3:33:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 2:52:42 PM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 8/22/2014 10:33:57 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...


And he's right.

"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 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"

If you know that the baby will have a severe disability and will almost inevitably suffer from it. Then it is most likely immoral to have that baby, if your morals are , at least partially, based on minimizing suffering.

If you choose to keep it, then it will suffer due to your decision not to have an abortion.
Thus you are increasing the amount of suffering in the world.

Just because you are unable understand this, you shouldn't be calling Dawkins an idiot.

By that logic, anybody who is suffering can be killed!

Just killing somebody will most likely cause his friends and family to grief and thus ultimately increases the amount of suffering.
LogicalLunatic
Posts: 1,633
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8/22/2014 3:38:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 3:27:45 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 8/22/2014 2:41:49 PM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 8/22/2014 1:29:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:53:13 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...

And THIS is why all people with disabilities should vote Republican. Even if the Republicans take away your welfare, at least they won't "evaluate" your right to life and conclude that you and all people with similar disabilities should've been aborted.
Ah, the Secular Left...

Please demonstrate why it is an idiotic statement.

Go find a little boy with Down Syndrome. Tell him that his mother should've aborted him. If you're not willing to do this, then you are helping prove my point.

That doesn't follow, given that the mother has a demonstrable emotional investment and attachment to the now alive child, and the child is now aware and has memories and is capable of forming memories.

Objectively it would be a perfectly justified statement, just because people get emotional after the mistake doesn't make it any less of a mistake. I would rather not be born with Down's syndrome/other disabilities, I would rather be born healthy. Therefore I would prefer if I were aborted and my parents tried again.

I was expecting the majority of Liberal respondents to say that Dawkins is an extremist, and that the large majority of Liberals do not share his views. That'd be the sensible thing to do. Unfortunately, I found that instead they are defending him.

He doesn't represent the views of all atheists, and I imagine most atheists in this specific topic, but you have yet to demonstrate what he said is in any way foolish. It actually makes a lot of objective sense to me. Society would benefit from an extension of this, which is a form of eugenics.

So you're saying that if you were to be born with Down Syndrome, you'd rather not exist at all?
People with Down Syndrome can still find happiness in life, can they not? I know a kid (I'm pretty sure he has Down Syndrome) who smiles all the time and seems to be quite happy with his life.
Granted, Down Syndrome is something that no sane person would want to be born with, but having it doesn't necessarily mean that their life is going to be Hell on Earth.
A True Work of Art: http://www.debate.org...

Atheist Logic: http://www.debate.org...

Bulproof formally admits to being a troll (Post 16):
http://www.debate.org...
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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8/22/2014 3:53:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 3:38:04 PM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 8/22/2014 3:27:45 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 8/22/2014 2:41:49 PM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 8/22/2014 1:29:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:53:13 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...

And THIS is why all people with disabilities should vote Republican. Even if the Republicans take away your welfare, at least they won't "evaluate" your right to life and conclude that you and all people with similar disabilities should've been aborted.
Ah, the Secular Left...

Please demonstrate why it is an idiotic statement.

Go find a little boy with Down Syndrome. Tell him that his mother should've aborted him. If you're not willing to do this, then you are helping prove my point.

That doesn't follow, given that the mother has a demonstrable emotional investment and attachment to the now alive child, and the child is now aware and has memories and is capable of forming memories.

Objectively it would be a perfectly justified statement, just because people get emotional after the mistake doesn't make it any less of a mistake. I would rather not be born with Down's syndrome/other disabilities, I would rather be born healthy. Therefore I would prefer if I were aborted and my parents tried again.

I was expecting the majority of Liberal respondents to say that Dawkins is an extremist, and that the large majority of Liberals do not share his views. That'd be the sensible thing to do. Unfortunately, I found that instead they are defending him.

He doesn't represent the views of all atheists, and I imagine most atheists in this specific topic, but you have yet to demonstrate what he said is in any way foolish. It actually makes a lot of objective sense to me. Society would benefit from an extension of this, which is a form of eugenics.

So you're saying that if you were to be born with Down Syndrome, you'd rather not exist at all?

'You' implies I was already conscious. Which is not the case with a foetus. We have the choice of continuing with the foetus, or snorting it. If we snort it, then most likely a further pregnancy will bring an additional child which would not have occurred before.

So really in essence we have a choice between continuing with a seriously unhealthy child, or attempting again for a healthy child. In this case the choice seems very much obvious.

People with Down Syndrome can still find happiness in life, can they not? I know a kid (I'm pretty sure he has Down Syndrome) who smiles all the time and seems to be quite happy with his life.

It's debatable whether or not their lives are of positive overall value of it's a state of continual suffering. The anti-natalists would definitely sympathise on that notion.

It's not a question of whether they can have an overall happy life or not, it's a question of how likely it is they will have an overall positive life. If only 1 child in 100 had a happy life with Down's syndrome then it seems rather compelling that we should abort the child irrespective of whether or not I plan on having a 'replacement child'.

If I do plan on having a replacement child then we don't even need to consider this much, since clearly having a child without Down's syndrome is going to be happier than the one with it, and hence aborting it in lieu of having a healthy child is the most moral course of action.

Granted, Down Syndrome is something that no sane person would want to be born with,

Exactly, which is why I think it's immoral if you impose it on a child when it's easily within your power to do something about it before they become conscious of themselves.

but having it doesn't necessarily mean that their life is going to be Hell on Earth.
Dragonfang
Posts: 1,122
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8/22/2014 4:01:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 1:05:41 PM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 11:48:40 AM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 8/22/2014 11:01:59 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 10:54:00 AM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 8/22/2014 10:33:57 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...


And he's right.

"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 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"

If you know that the baby will have a severe disability and will almost inevitably suffer from it. Then it is most likely immoral to have that baby, if your morals are , at least partially, based on minimizing suffering.

If you choose to keep it, then it will suffer due to your decision not to have an abortion.
Thus you are increasing the amount of suffering in the world.

Just because you are unable understand this, you shouldn't be calling Dawkins an idiot.

Wouldn't reading a trashy romance novel instead of engaging in humanitarian aid increase suffering?

Is there a point to this question?

Yes, inquiring and testing what the principle you defended suggests at different scenarios. A simple thought exercise.

I didn't defend any principle. I just pointed out that his reasoning is logically valid.

However, to answer your question, one would first have to quantify the suffering and based on Dawkins' own words, also the happiness both actions would bring about.

To simplify this, lets set happiness and suffering on the same scale at opposing ends. With 0 being neutral, suffering being negative and happiness being positive.
Now lets say reading a novel increases Dawkins' happiness, with a value of +10, while engaging in humanitarian aid increases the happiness off 10 people by 5 each. Resulting in +50.
Simply math tells us that the value for humanitarian aid is 40 points bigger than that for reading a novel.
If Richard Dawkins ever finds himself in the situation where he has to choose between reading a novel and engaging in humanitarian aid, his morals would then compel him to engage in humanitarian aid.

You can do this with every scenario you like.
Keep in mind that I choose the values pretty random and they do not necessarily reflect Dawkins' views.

That just about summarize my problem with utilitarianism.
Who assigns the value? The individuals themselves. Some might give suffering and happiness equal weight, some might make happiness weight more, and some might make suffering weight more. And all these arbitrary and approximative measurements are subjective.

You can argue that feeding slaves on the coliseum to the lion is moral since more people got happy. You can argue that sadistic gang rape in an isolated place is moral. You can argue that falsely executing an innocent African American slave in order to make an angry mob happy is moral. You can argue that the best healthcare system in the world is one that saves as few lives as possible. You can say that it is immoral to watch the end of a movie while you are very hungry.

Just killing somebody will most likely cause his friends and family to grief and thus ultimately increases the amount of suffering.

However, you can argue that society will benefit overall from sacrificing people with disabilities and not needing to support them.
Assuming negative utilitarianism, killing people is a great and moral thing for them, and would be a great thing overall as long as people don't react badly to it.
Skikx
Posts: 132
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8/22/2014 4:46:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 4:01:12 PM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 8/22/2014 1:05:41 PM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 11:48:40 AM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 8/22/2014 11:01:59 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 10:54:00 AM, Dragonfang wrote:
At 8/22/2014 10:33:57 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...


And he's right.

"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 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"

If you know that the baby will have a severe disability and will almost inevitably suffer from it. Then it is most likely immoral to have that baby, if your morals are , at least partially, based on minimizing suffering.

If you choose to keep it, then it will suffer due to your decision not to have an abortion.
Thus you are increasing the amount of suffering in the world.

Just because you are unable understand this, you shouldn't be calling Dawkins an idiot.

Wouldn't reading a trashy romance novel instead of engaging in humanitarian aid increase suffering?

Is there a point to this question?

Yes, inquiring and testing what the principle you defended suggests at different scenarios. A simple thought exercise.

I didn't defend any principle. I just pointed out that his reasoning is logically valid.

However, to answer your question, one would first have to quantify the suffering and based on Dawkins' own words, also the happiness both actions would bring about.

To simplify this, lets set happiness and suffering on the same scale at opposing ends. With 0 being neutral, suffering being negative and happiness being positive.
Now lets say reading a novel increases Dawkins' happiness, with a value of +10, while engaging in humanitarian aid increases the happiness off 10 people by 5 each. Resulting in +50.
Simply math tells us that the value for humanitarian aid is 40 points bigger than that for reading a novel.
If Richard Dawkins ever finds himself in the situation where he has to choose between reading a novel and engaging in humanitarian aid, his morals would then compel him to engage in humanitarian aid.

You can do this with every scenario you like.
Keep in mind that I choose the values pretty random and they do not necessarily reflect Dawkins' views.

That just about summarize my problem with utilitarianism.
Who assigns the value? The individuals themselves. Some might give suffering and happiness equal weight, some might make happiness weight more, and some might make suffering weight more. And all these arbitrary and approximative measurements are subjective.

How is this different from any other moral system?

You can argue that feeding slaves on the coliseum to the lion is moral since more people got happy. You can argue that sadistic gang rape in an isolated place is moral. You can argue that falsely executing an innocent African American slave in order to make an angry mob happy is moral. You can argue that the best healthcare system in the world is one that saves as few lives as possible. You can say that it is immoral to watch the end of a movie while you are very hungry.


Just killing somebody will most likely cause his friends and family to grief and thus ultimately increases the amount of suffering.

However, you can argue that society will benefit overall from sacrificing people with disabilities and not needing to support them.
Assuming negative utilitarianism, killing people is a great and moral thing for them, and would be a great thing overall as long as people don't react badly to it.

So you're saying it is bad to do what is (supposedly) the best for everybody.
But what alternatives do you have? Not doing what is best for everybody is obviously not good either.

Which means it is inevitable that you will worse than you could do. But if it is inevitable, then you couldn't do better, which means you're already doing your best. But you can't do your best, because doing your best is bad.
So no matter what you do, it is bad.
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,386
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8/22/2014 5:15:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 2:41:49 PM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 8/22/2014 1:29:38 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:53:13 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...

And THIS is why all people with disabilities should vote Republican. Even if the Republicans take away your welfare, at least they won't "evaluate" your right to life and conclude that you and all people with similar disabilities should've been aborted.
Ah, the Secular Left...

Please demonstrate why it is an idiotic statement.

Go find a little boy with Down Syndrome. Tell him that his mother should've aborted him. If you're not willing to do this, then you are helping prove my point.
I was expecting the majority of Liberal respondents to say that Dawkins is an extremist, and that the large majority of Liberals do not share his views. That'd be the sensible thing to do. Unfortunately, I found that instead they are defending him.
I conversed with a fellow from another forum who for all extensive purposes lead me to believe that he would be the first to break out in a chorus of "we are the worrrrld....we are the childrennnn.....". He suggested I diss my religion for...as he put it..."love".

The strange thing was he claimed that children with down syndrome should be aborted.
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,386
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8/22/2014 5:17:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 10:33:57 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...


And he's right.

"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 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"

If you know that the baby will have a severe disability and will almost inevitably suffer from it. Then it is most likely immoral to have that baby, if your morals are , at least partially, based on minimizing suffering.

If you choose to keep it, then it will suffer due to your decision not to have an abortion.
Thus you are increasing the amount of suffering in the world.

Just because you are unable understand this, you shouldn't be calling Dawkins an idiot.
Why do you think children with down syndrome are suffering?
Skikx
Posts: 132
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8/22/2014 6:00:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 5:17:55 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 8/22/2014 10:33:57 AM, Skikx wrote:
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...


And he's right.

"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 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"

If you know that the baby will have a severe disability and will almost inevitably suffer from it. Then it is most likely immoral to have that baby, if your morals are , at least partially, based on minimizing suffering.

If you choose to keep it, then it will suffer due to your decision not to have an abortion.
Thus you are increasing the amount of suffering in the world.

Just because you are unable understand this, you shouldn't be calling Dawkins an idiot.
Why do you think children with down syndrome are suffering?

Happiness and suffering are hard to quantify, but it is an indisputable fact that disabled people are often discriminated and have it harder in everyday situations. I am not saying that disabled people are necessarily unhappy or that healthy people are always happier than disabled people.
Simply put, a disability is an additional burden that you have to carry.

Anyways, I was simply defending the logic behinds Dawkins' statement. If you expect that the child will not suffer from down-syndrome in any way, then there would be no reason to abort it, however if you expect that the child will suffer from it, then, for the sake of minimizing suffering, you may would be obliged to abort it.
PotBelliedGeek
Posts: 4,298
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8/22/2014 6:12:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
A) Dawkins is a bigot and an angry, vitriolic jackdonkey.

B) He is not the spiritual leader of the anti-theist movement

C) There is no spiritual leader of the anti-theist movement
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HUFFLEPUFF FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!
LogicalLunatic
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8/23/2014 9:53:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 6:12:19 PM, PotBelliedGeek wrote:
A) Dawkins is a bigot and an angry, vitriolic jackdonkey.

B) He is not the spiritual leader of the anti-theist movement

C) There is no spiritual leader of the anti-theist movement

Finally, a Liberal who denounces Dawkins.
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Oryus
Posts: 8,280
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8/24/2014 5:20:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Dawkins often says stupid things.

But I am underwhelmed by this thing.
: : :Tulle: The fool, I purposely don't engage with you because you don't have proper command of the English language.
: :
: : The Fool: It's my English writing. Either way It's okay have a larger vocabulary then you, and a better grasp of language, and you're a woman.
:
: I'm just going to leave this precious struggle nugget right here.
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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8/25/2014 1:44:33 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/22/2014 8:44:43 AM, LogicalLunatic wrote:
The spiritual leader of the Anti-Theist movement proves himself to be an idiot once again.
http://news.yahoo.com...

Yea, I personally took huge issue with this since one of my best friends while growing up had a form of Downs Syndrome I'm pretty sure. I never liked Dawkins to begin with, but this was fuel for the fire so to say. It does make me wonder why people still take the man seriously though outside of evolutionary biology.