So it is with PZ Myers cynical misrepresentation of Richard Dawkins' latest tweets on abortion.
Earlier today, via YouTube, I gave my thoughts on what Dawkins had said and on one particular response he had received. I don't intend to go over that ground again, instead let me remind you what Dawkins had said and then have a look at the games Myers played in his blog response.
InYourFaceNewYorker @InYourFaceNYerSo this was what brought on the whole shitstorm.
@RichardDawkins @AidanMcCourt I honestly don’t know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma.
Richard Dawkins @RichardDawkins
@InYourFaceNYer Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.
What is 100% crystal beyond a shadow of even the smallest scintilla of doubt is that Dawkins is IN NO WAY arguing that the choice to abort or not abort should be taken away from the mother. His point is that to not abort, in this circumstance, he regards as immoral. Saying something is immoral is not the same as saying you think it ought to be legislated against (I gave the example of having affairs / cheating on partners in my video).
So whilst many may, perhaps legitimately, criticise Dawkins for aspects of this tweet (as I did), one thing he cannot be accused of is being anything other than still resolutely pro-choice in both his opinions and in the content of his tweets. In fact, he is being SO pro-choice he is saying you should STILL have that choice even IF one of the options is, in his view, immoral.
So PZ Myers blogs about it and this was the title:
Saying you should abort is as wrong as saying you may not abortNotice what PZ does here. He doesn't compare should abort with should not abort (which would have been an entirely legitimate comparison). Instead, he conflates a moral standpoint that recognises choice (Dawkins' should abort) with the pro-life position of prohibiting choice. See the game he has played here? He knows his personal entourage of ideologically addled nodding dogs are fiercely pro-choice, so he likens Dawkins equally pro-choice position with an anti-choice (pro-life) position because that makes it seem a thousand times worse.
He then goes on to show the first time wasn't just a fluke and that he can repeatedly be a total manipulative prick:
it is not immoral to have a child with Downs. It is immoral to insist that a fetus with Down Syndrome should be aborted.
I'd happen to agree with Myers if anyone actually WAS insisting the fate of Down's syndrome foetuses but no-one has done that. I will say it again, in the tweet that Myers actually showed on his own blog, Dawkin's says that he believes not aborting would be immoral, nowhere does he insist anything other than that the final decision remains with the mother (regardless of whether he agrees with the decision she makes).
As I said at the very beginning, if the only way you can make your point is by twisting, lying and manipulating what was said out of all recognition then it doesn't say much for your argument. The only thing that surprises me here is that Myers is so far down the path he is even using these shoddy political tactics against his old mate Dawkins.
Myers is a clever man. You can be sure that when he manipulates what someone says it is deliberate and calculating. But hey, he has the sword of moral superiority on his side so any tactic is justified when you fight the good fight, right? Just ask the religious zealots, they will back him up here.
Thanks for reading and bye for now,