I am coming in rather late on this one. I was sitting in a casino in Las Vegas when my mobile phone started pinging furiously with messages, tags, texts and the like, alerting me to what you had said on twitter.
My cheeks flushed, my blood boiled and yet the rant that I wanted to have stayed put as I was on my own at the time. I looked up from my phone and regarded my surroundings; drunk men, strippers, hookers, people gambling and smoking…. and yet I was reading your tweet “It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.” It. Immoral. Choice. The irony was not lost on me.
I am grateful that I have never heard of you before, although I appreciate you have a huge following. I dipped in and out of the internet as I lay awake with jet-lag insomnia and discovered a few things about you. You are an atheist who likes logic and you condemn emotion. You seem to be seeking some sort of formula to determine how society can achieve happiness and at the same time relish in playing God. Emotions are forbidden. How odd.
The thing is, there are many of us that felt that the “choice” we had was clear cut. There was only one “choice” for me. Unlike the original question posed to you by one of your followers, I was not “faced with an ethical dilemma” when I discovered that there was a good chance our unborn baby would have Down’s syndrome. On the contrary. I felt the need to protect my unborn child even more than had my pregnancy progressed without any indication that our baby would need extra support.
I have no idea how you formulate the factors required to achieve the perfect happy society, but I personally believe that a persons life is formed and matured through experiencing a variety of situations. Happiness itself can only be achieved through learning, through experiencing, through the simplest of lessons and the hardest. By removing some situations because they can be identified as being challenging will also remove the opportunity to learn.
I have 3 daughters aged 6, 4 and 2. My middle daughter has Down’s syndrome.
Never once did we even momentarily consider abortion. Never once did we discuss terminating our children’s lives should they have screened as something outside the norm; they were loved before they were conceived. Far too much emotion for you I am sure.
Our lives are different, but not in a way you might imagine, and if you had taken the time to research before making sweeping comments about families like ours, then you might have learned that the vast, VAST majority are very happy indeed. More so because they get to share their lives and their life’s journey with an individual who has Down’s syndrome.
While a few people may plod through life avoiding any kind of deviation from what they might consider a balanced equilibrium (ie they terminate and try again), there are a few of us who embrace our path. I do not consider my decision immoral, I consider it to be the only decision. There was no other one for us. Does that make me a bad person? No.
If you were to spend some time with my family I think you might find it an enlightening experience.
Having to raise a child with Down’s syndrome has its challenges. So does raising any child. Do I intend to do my best by all my children? Of course. Will it be easy? No. Life has a way of bringing happiness, just not in the form you may think. Humanity and morality? I have it in abundance, as do all my children, and with that we are deliriously happy. Really, really happy.
You are trying to steer society like so many other men like you – Nikolaides being one who is still alive. Hitler being one who has passed.
Do you want a logic from an uneducated person? I only have a BE(Hons), I am a stay at home mum, I am a nobody compared to you. But here is my logic, here is my formula for life:
I believe that without challenge, we can never achieve.
I believe that without effort, we will never succeed.
I believe that without surrendering the person we were, we will never discover the person we can become.
I am not particularly angry with you, I just pity you and your followers. You haven’t experienced what I have. Its like being privvy to the best chef in the world any feeling sorry for those who have never had gourmet food. I live a life of true satisfaction and you shun it… sorry about that Richard… but you have absolutely no idea what you are on about (perhaps only on this occasion!)
My daughter does not suffer at all… not one bit. She is happy and well loved, she is just learning to read. I am glad she is only just 4; I can’t imagine the pain she would suffer reading your hurtful drivel – just like so many older people with Down’s syndrome must feel right now.
You cannot possibly feel good for saying what you have said, if you do, then I suggest you are a long, long way from experiencing the kind of happiness I experience with my children in my life.
I truly and logically believe that I am living a better life than you.
My daughter is here because I wanted her…. my choice was not immoral. You are wrong.