This section of my blog will contain statements made by atheist scientists and especially those who are most outspoken on their atheism. Many atheists who consider these individuals some sort of modern day heroes for atheism are unaware of most of what they have actually say and some of the positions they take based on their understanding of or application of science to some of the biggest questions in life which arguably lie outside of the scope of science. It will further record false statements made by these atheist scientists and possibly will go on to provide a transcript with detailed commentary of the debates they have engaged upon and lost badly.
Richard Dawkins on Infanticide (Excerpted from Peter Singer – The Genius of Darwin: The Uncut Interviews – Richard Dawkins
This is the transcript of the relevant section from the above link which begins at around 23:12 into the video:
Dawkins: “I can think of no moral objection to eating human road kills except for the ones that you mentioned like ‘what would the relatives think about it?’ and ‘would the person themselves have wanted it to happen?’, but I do worry a bit about slippery slopes; possibly a little bit more than you do.
There are barriers that we have set up in our minds and certainly the barrier between Homo sapiens and any other species is an artificial barrier in the sense that its a kind of ‘accident’ that the evolutionary intermediates happen to be extinct. Never the less it exists and natural barriers that are there can be useful for preventing slippery slopes and therefore I think I can see an objection to breaching such a barrier because you are then in a weaker position to stop people going further.
Another example might be suppose you take the argument in favour of abortion up until the baby was one year old, say two years old. If a baby was one year old and turned out to have some horrible incurable disease that meant it was going to die in agony in later life, what about infanticide? Strictly morally I can see no objection to that at all, I would be in favour of infanticide but I think i would worry about, I think I would wish at least to give consideration to the person who says ‘where does it end?’ ”
Singer: “Yes, I can see there is a problem with say, young children, partly because we’re bonded to them very closely in a way we’re not really bonded with the fetus or the new-born infant but I think when people make slippery slope arguments in this area you have to appreciate that it does go the other way, that precisely because we do draw this boundary between us and animals we turn a blind eye to all of that animal suffering as you are more or less acknowledging I think. That of course has disastrous consequences for animals….
Dawkins: I agree.
Singer: … so that’s why I want to reduce the sharpness of that difference and one of my objections to a religious viewpoint is it does reinforce that boundary, I mean it says only we were made in the image of God and so on. Obviously neither of us share that view but I think that on the one hand perhaps it has given some protection to humans but on the other hand it’s put the whole of these other sentient beings into this state where we can just use them and abuse them for our ends.
Dawkins: Yes, yes.