Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How Not Why

David Harsanyi-hisself a non-believer-skewers Richard Dawkins (an admittedly soft target if there ever was one) and exposes the limits of science to shape morality:

A few years back Newsweek reported that 90 percent of women whose fetuses test positive for Down syndrome choose an abortion. Only a small percentage of mothers even used the test back then. Soon many more will, and it’s not outlandish to believe that close to 90 percent of parents will continue to terminate those fetuses. Does this mean those in comas, critically injured or mentally unable to “feel” in the way Dawkins defines significant life, are also superfluous? If not, why not? And why only Down Syndrome? I assume he would be ok with deposing of any diseases we can find in the womb? We’d be doing them a favor, no? And what happens when we have advances in genetic testing that allow us to measure intelligence or appearance of a future adult? Surely not all of them are cut out for life. Maybe we’d be doing them a favor, as well. If they don’t feel anything, what the difference? Dawkins offers no scientific formula for when life is worth protecting that I can discern. And if he comes up with one it”ll have nothing to do with science.

If you want to know what it might look like when a society no longer feels a moral responsibility to protect life you could do worse than watching or reading the The Giver. I haven't yet caught the big screen version, but if it sticks anywhere close to the book, it will have a somewhat shocking and unmistakable pro-life message to deliver.