RTÉ Radio 1 presenter Brendan O’Connor has been praised online for his handling of renowned atheist Richard Dawkins, who previously stated it was immoral not to abort Down Syndrome babies.
O’Connor brought up a 2014 Twitter exchange between a person who said they wouldn’t know what to do if their unborn baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and Prof. Dawkins who said to “abort it and try again” because he claimed “it would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have a choice.”
@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
The radio presenter then made clear he had brought a Down Syndrome baby into the world, and asked Dawkins “why is it immoral not to abort it?”
Dawkins, who immediately backed down from his original stance by saying he had “put it too strongly”, went on to claim that bringing a baby with Down Syndrome into the world “probably” increases the amount of suffering compared to a child without the condition.
O’Connor then asked had the Oxford professor any “reason for knowing that”, given that he is a “scientific, logical person”, but Dawkins was forced to admit he had no evidence to support the claim.
When pressed on whether he continued to believe it would be “immoral” to bring a Down Syndrome baby into the world, Dawkins said he would “take that back”, but that it “would be wise and sensible” not to bring babies with the condition to birth.
O’Connor finished by reminding him that children who are “so-called perfect can cause terrible suffering in the world as well.”
So impressed with the calm professional way Brendan spoke with Richard Dawkins, if I was in his place I am not sure I could have remained so calm 👏
— Edel Kelliher (@edelkel2) May 11, 2021