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August 26, 2011

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The reasoning is now in place in the West to begin to more aggressively separate the valuable humans from the non-valuable ones.

For the USA, that process shifted into high-gear on January 22, 1973.

With choice being the sole criteria, it doesn't matter what the reason is behind the choice. "Because it has Downs" is just as good as "Because my life is busy" or "Because it's female", or "Because it's Jewish".

I had to get that last one in there (Godwin's law requires it).

But wait, you say, we'll NEVER sink to the level of the Nazi's. Too late. As a society, we already have.

I'm willing to bet that Denmark disapproves of China's one child policy - but on what basis?

This is sickening.

It is also the top of a very troubling "slippery slope".

Homosexuals should be very frightened of this is a "gay gene" is identified and a fetal test developed for it. Elimination of gays by 2100!

Oops.

IF a gay gene is identified.....

Very disturbing, but throwing evolution in was unnecessary and unhelpful. Moral Relativism is the problem.

M.M., moral relativism is the logical result of a materialist worldview since moral realism can't be reasonably grounded in a world where there is no objective standard over human beings.

And the view of the human person--what we are, what our purpose is (if any), and our objective rather than subjective value--is inextricably bound with the view of our origins. I don't see how it could be otherwise.

Don't many people believe belief in God is a genetic predisposition?

"Herr Doctor: I'd like a tall, male, blonde, blue eyed, athletic, straight, atheist please."

I also want to quickly point out that I'm very specific when I say:

If we're merely the evolutionary result of blind, purposeless, unknowing, and uncaring natural processes, with only instrumental value conferred on us by the subjective preferences of the majority of other human beings

The focus is on a materialistic worldview, not evolution (though evolution is naturally included in that). I think you would agree that we're not the result of these purposeless things and we're not in a materialistic universe, even if you believe in theistic evolution (if I remember correctly that you're a Christian).

Homosexuals should be very frightened of this is a "gay gene" is identified and a fetal test developed for it. Elimination of gays by 2100!

That's exactly what I was thinking. I'd bet money that the same people in charge of this "aborting fetuses with Downs" movement are also very supportive of homosexuals. But if homosexuals are the minority, and caused by genetics, what's to prevent them from being next?

GATTACA

It looks like Denmark has no such goal.

It was not so hard to check this, Amy.

RonH

I just found an article on this in on a german page for doctors. And ofcourse they are talking about the "great success" of this program. Denmark started a screening of all pregnancies for downs syndrome and, according to their calculated risk, strongly recommend an "invasive diagnostic".
Already in 2006, 84% of all pregnant women got "screened".
They believe "the high level of acceptance" goes back to high advancement in technology and that now "only" 3 instead of 4% are wrongly diagnosed with downs.
Within the first year it cut the number of babys born with downs in half (65 in 04 vs. 32 in 06).
....another factor: age!
A 35 + pregnant women has a 16time higher risk to have a baby with downs than a 25year old. So even more than 90% of european women who have "positive" screening results opt for abortion, the number of downs still rises. So Denmark chose the "radical" route to just screen basically everybody. You just have to make sure, you don't call the rabbit a rabbit. In Denmark / Europe, it's no longer "Eugenics" (that word is "verboten" anyway, because of it's connection to the Nazis ...). They just call it "provision". Sounds so much "nicer" than "hey, let's kill all the unproductive ones", or?
....but Babys are, I guess, no longer "a gift from God" for some people? ....even presidents can call them a "punishment" ...Lord have mercy ...

Volker,

So Denmark chose the "radical" route to just screen basically everybody.

According to the official website of Denmark, health insurance in Denmark covers screening. This is common for insurance here too. The difference is: in Denmark every resident who pays taxes is insured.

How about a link to your German article?

Your mention of Nazis reminds me: What about Greg's claim made on the last STR radio show (podcast) that Hitler gave every soldier a copy of Darwin's Origin.

If that is true then why then does this Nazi list of bad books include Darwin?

And, incidentally, this other Nazi list of bad books includes "All writings that ridicule, belittle or besmirch the Christian religion and its institution, faith in God, or other things that are holy to the healthy sentiments of the Volk."

RonH

"Why then does this Nazi list of bad books include Darwin?"

It doesn't.


Plus.

""If you're okay with this development, you should keep in mind that the line has a funny way of not staying in a place you're comfortable with.""

First they came ...

6. Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (H�ckel).

What's 'primitive Darwinism' of not mere Darwinism?

And how does the enforcer of the list know what to do?

And where is some evidence for the original claim?

And Faust?

I'll just quickly remark as a Dane that the Danish government in no way, shape or form promotes any kind of Eugenics.

Let me repeat that: There is no Eugenics Program in Denmark.

There are no established protocols of screening and weeding of undesirable traits, through any program implemented in any hospital either directly or indirectly. Doctors don't have orders to abort fetuses with abnormalities and parents aren't punished in any way from not aborting a fetus with abnormality. In fact parents who wish to complete a pregnancy with a handicapped child are entitled to extra government support.

The only thing Denmark has is free abortion (before the twelth week) and free screening. So if danes are aborting abnormal embryos, then its due to a completely free choice. Everyone I know who's done it has done it for personal reasons and desires not to raise a handicapped child. Not because they "Want to improve the bloodline". There is no social darwinistic motivation behind the abortion. Or any evidence of that, except perhaps for a few fringe wierdos. Just mundane desires of parents who have certain expectations about what they want, and the ability to get it.

Let me repeat it again: Denmark does *NOT* have a eugenics program. Neither directly, or indirectly, nor even implicitly, or metaphorically, or allegorically.

But don't let me interrupt the chain of thought... Hitler, Hitler.. Darwin... Relativism... Materialism, Hitler!!! There, back on the circular track again. ;)

What's 'primitive Darwinism' of not mere Darwinism?

Posted by: RonH | August 26, 2011 at 03:51 AM

And how does the enforcer of the list know what to do?

As a Darwin apologist that's how I would protect this claim as well, RonH.
What is "primitive Darwinism"? I'm not entirely sure, of course, but it is a qualified Darwinism, and is not "Darwin" - which is what you internet atheists keep saying while ignoring the qualification and the historical facts about Darwinism and Hitler.

How does the enforcer know? By knowing the books previously assigned, by knowing the language and milieu, and by being instructed by the compilers of the list. These are things we don't have, and yet you guys keep using this list as though you know exactly what is going on and as though it somehow expunges Nazi Germany of its Darwinian influence.

And where is some evidence for the original claim?

And Faust?

You're the one who introduced the original claim - off-topic and sidetracking, of course - so you know the exact context of the claim and you know the evidence.
Greg made clear he was repeating a hearsay claim twice-removed and he twice attributed it to the teller's limited authority. Take it for what it's worth.
If you don't think it is worth repeating then you ought not be the one repeating it and passing it on.

Harvard historian, Steven Ozment's A Mighty Fortress: A New History Of The German People.


In the New Age envisioned by National Socialism, biblical Christianity was politically subversive, even a "rebellion ... against nature"91 . It's perceived absurdity had been impressed on Hitler during his Austrian schooldays, when, as he mockingly recalled, students attended a catechism class at ten A.M. to hear the biblical story of Creation, only then to listen, at eleven A.M., to Darwin's version of it in a natural science class - the latter winning hands down. 92

During the war years Hitler recommended a slow "natural death" for Christianity by exposing its dogmas to the light of science. 93

Thanks for that clarification and reminder, Leonard, that the Danish government has not required the deaths or cleansing.

There are serious problems with the STR article, most of them stemming from the poor translation.

Here are the facts they got wrong:

1. There is no official policy to promote abortion of those affected by Down Syndrome.

2. The 2030 date was determined by the journalist by following the current trend (i.e. if Down Syndrome births are reducing by this much currently, they will disappear by 2030).

The official translation of the original article is available on Denmark's official website: http://www.denmark.dk/en/servicemenu/News/Culture-News/DownsSyndromeDwindling.htm

This article if anything presents an unfavorable view of the trend, quoting a mother of a DS child, as well as three professionals who have serious bioethics concerns with the trend.

It is this sort of sloppy, poorly-fact-checked journalism that is detrimental to the pro-life cause.

And, incidentally, this other Nazi list of bad books includes "All writings that ridicule, belittle or besmirch the Christian religion and its institution, faith in God, or other things that are holy to the healthy sentiments of the Volk."

That is interesting considering how influential Neitzsche was to the Nazis.

Danes as a people group will be no more by 2030. Why? Because the definition of "suspect" down-syndrome will continue to expand to where all babies are aborted.

I agree that the title of the blog post is misleading. There is no such goal or program apparently. It's not the point of the post though, so we ought to get past that and discuss what is really at issue here.

SteveK, the author (Amy) starts out talking about the right to life of embryoes and fetii and then proceeds to give an example of moral decay as a result of neglecting that. Her example was that Denmark now (according to the post) has a Euthanasia Program, and she ends with a warning that if it starts with a program to terminate Down's Syndrome it might not end there. I don't think you can get around, that she bungled up due to superficial research. Calling it 'misleading' is actually the very definition of misleading.

Personally I think she should apologize and correct the mistake, preferably in another post. There's a lot of prolifers reading Stand to Reason, and I don't like to think that a couple of hundred thousand Americans are under the impression that Denmark has a Euthanasia Program running.

Sam, Ayn Rand is a great influence on the Tea Party movement, but most of the Tea Party movement consists of evangelical christians. I wonder if you find that interesting in the same way? I don't think you have to agree one hundred percent with someone, to have them be an influence. Isn't there any figure that has influenced you a lot, with whom you might have some objections and reservations? Bertrand Russel? Thomas Aquinas? Kierkegaard?

I'm not even sure Nietzsche was such a great influence on Nazis. I think, the little I know of his writings, that all of that sweltering nationalism and leader worship seems to be exactly the sorts of values he was arguing against. He was most of the time a nihilist, and they were national idealists. Beyond them borrowing his terms of übermench and üntermench, and applying them to racial categories (again unlike the author), where's the similarity?

Then again I'm not a Hitler scholar, or a Nietzche scholar, just an online commenter with my two cents to throw in.

Personally I think she should apologize and correct the mistake

Leonhard, you're absolutely right. I was alerted to Robb's comment a couple hours ago, and I've made the changes and apologized above. Thanks for your comment.

I guess you are right, Leonhard. I was focusing more on the value of human life message that Amy was pointing us to - , but there were other messages in there that were wrong, not just misleading. I'm glad Amy rewrote the post.

And now for some good news - here

Planned Parenthood Closes ... Former Manager Speaks Out

(posted on another blog post while Amy was rewriting)

Leonhard, I'm not familiar enough with the writings of Ayn Rand to know whether it's strange that a bunch of evangelical Christians would be influenced by her. But I am familiar enough with Nietzsche to think it odd that the Nazi party would put anti-Christian literature on the "bad book" list, yet still be so influenced by him.

I don't think you have to agree with everything somebody thinks in order to be influenced by them, but if you agreed with somebody's conclusions while disagreeing with their reasons, then I don't see how you would really be influenced by them since in that case you would've both come to the same conclusion by completely different routes.

If Ayn Rand's case against Christianity has anything to do with her political point of view, then yes, i would find it equally odd that the Tea Party would be influenced by her. Nietzsche's case against Christianity does have a lot to do with the views that the Nazis adopted. For example, Nietzsche abhorred Christian morality (or slave morality) because it favoured the weak and prevented the rise of the over-man--the next step in human evolution. The Nazis wanted to weed out those they thought were weak or inferior in order to clear the way for the rise of the over-man. The virtues the Nazis valued were the virtues that Nietzsche valued.

Here's an essay on Nietzsche's influence on Hitler.

Well Ayn Rand was about as hard boiled atheistic as it gets. However she was also a hard boiled libertarian. She's written many works that expounds on such things as art (soundbyte version: Modern arts sucks; Romantic realism is awesome!), economy (strictly laissez-faire), government (minimalistic or non-existent, best when it doesn't get in the way of the individual). Her fictions are basically manifests against socialism of any sort and there's a lot that resonates with the Tea Party movement. The thing that doesn't is that she pretty much considered religion bunk and what of ethics she considered an individual practical matter.

And yeah Nietzsche was definitely against Christianity. That doesn't make him a Nazi though. Most Nazis were nominal Catholics. Nietzsche also wasn't an anti-Semite, though his sister was. The little I know of it she became his main apologist and interpreter after he got sick. So whether the Nazis received Nietzsche views, or his views as interpreted by his sister is something I can't properly expound upon. That's a lot of writings to go through, and I'm no historian.

The thing I don't get is that he was very much critical of what you'd call typical values... romanticism of nature and the state and people ideals that the Nazis glorified, blood purity, leader worship... it seems more like this stuff that he relegated to the garbage bins. He wasn't purely a nihilist, though God was dead and we lived in a value-free world of existential despair there was hope for something more, something this-worldly instead of the Christian other-worldly. I'm told that its here you'll find the proper interpretation of his übermench: The future man who could rise above the inevitable nihilism and create his own values. I'm not sure it can be pinned down more than that, again I'm not a Nietzsche scholar. It sounds vague enough that *anyone* could find some resonance there.


Ron
...a link to the german article:
http://www.aerzteblatt.de/v4/news/news.asp?id=34589
...let me know if I can translate anything for you.
It states clearly, that Denmark started this program to screen everybody nationwide in 2005. That, before the program, around 50% where screened and that, already in 2006, 84% where screened.
The for Europe significant age factor is not from this article and neither is the fact, that 90+% of european women choose an abortion when confronted with news the baby could have DS. But I am more than happy to give you links for that if you question these numbers as well.
About the Nazi thing:
I mentioned that the word Eugenics, because of its Nazi misuse, is no longer used in Germany or other parts of europe. So of course you won't find anything in Europe, and especially in Scandinavia who already had Eugenics laws and programs in the 20s and 30s, that is labeled Eugenics. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Eugenics isn't simply something that we can put in a race/arien/nazi closet. It was right from the beginning about avoiding "undesirable/unwanted defects" as well.
....and even so nobody wants to admit the connection between Darwinism and the Nazi Ideologie, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Social Darwinism was Hitlers base. Don't believe me, read his book. Some of his stuff is almost a carbon copy of Darwins theories.
Btw.
The German title of Darwins Book "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life"
was:
"Über die Entstehung der Arten im Thier- und Pflanzen-Reich durch natürliche Züchtung, oder Erhaltung der vollkommensten Rassen im Kampfe um's Daseyn."
...im Kampfe ums Dasein ...Hitler made the struggle to preserve the "favoured" Race, HIS Struggle or "Mein Kampf".
It's not something Craig invented to give Naturalists something like a guilt trip. It's reality. Hitler wasn't an Atheist. Hitler was maybe the original member of the church of Oprah. He saw himself as godly. Just watch "Triumph of the Will" one day. Big eye opener about the base of Nazi Ideologie.
But ...Narzism and Darwinism are not the same thing. Atheism and Antitheism are not the same thing. But there is connection.
It wasn't Darwin who started Fashism. It was a horroble interpretation of his work.


@Leonhard
> Most Nazis were nominal Catholics.<
...I'm sorry, but that is not really correct. If you look at statistics of who voted for the Nazis, like in 1932, and who didn't, you will see that the Nazis won in most protestant Regions of Germany but not in the catholic Regions. Of course, after being in power, they won everywhere. But the Nazis had a much easier play with german protestant church than with the catholics. Both churches had pockets of resistance but those where silenced.
Please remember, that being a catholic or a protestant in Germany has very little to do with your religious beliefs but a lot with region...
Nazis changed their religion quickly. They identified not as catholics or protestant, but only as "gottglaeubig" (godbelieving). They did not encourage atheism. They encouraged really a form of New Age Religion.

@Ron
....sorry ...I checked your link twice and still cannot find a listing of Charles Darwin. What are you talking about?

Leonhard, why is it that just because you are a "Dane" you are suddenly the expert on Denmark? So you can say without any reasonable doubt that they don't have a Eugenics Program? I agree that it is a stretch to assume that they due based on basic humanity and only reading this article but your argument is based on nothing more than your claim of Danish heritage. Please argue the issues with your opinion and actual investigations because at this point you have not provided information to negate the claim of a Danish Eugenics Program. Of course Amy has not done the opposite either but that doesn't make you right.

Uhm Concerned, I happen to have followed the abortion debate at home, plus my mother and my sister is a nurse. RonH already linked the proper english interpretation of the news article. I also concur with it being a bad translation. There was very little for me to add. Plus Amy has retracted her original article.

And yes I'm a dane so I'm more likely to know whats happening in my own country. I am not aware of anything aproximating a Eugenics program, and that stuff would have made the news. There are no news about that stuff on my end. The last time there was talks about anything like that was in the thirties, similar to your country.

-Having been occupied by Germany we're very sensitive about purity programs of any kind.
-Doctors aren't under orders to abort anomolous fetii or embryos. I know this from experience, but sure I'll see if I cant dig up the law references.
-People who have children with disabilities are entitled to extra support, contrary to what a Eugenics program would entail.
-Screenings are not mandatory.
-People choosing to keep disabled embryos arent punished.

If you want citations and reference then send me your email. However I don't think witness testimony is worthless in a blog comment section. And you won't find any evidence contradicting what i say.

I think that the reason that many of us are concerned by the developments in Denmark in this area is that, while not overtly a eugenics program, this might be considered a means by which a system of removal from society those deemed not worthy of life to go under the "eugenics radar". The subtlety with which only screening has been introduced, leaving the final decision to the parent(s) as to what is to be done, might leave one suspicious of the motives behind such widespread free(?) availability of screening for Down's Syndrome. At the very least, the use of the word "free" would seem to be an encouragement to have it done and to have something done, there has to be a motive behind it that might be also something the government is attempting to encourage. Since morality entails motives, it is a legitimate concern for anyone who calls himself a follower of Jesus. That is to say, knowing the motive behind it, helps to decide if it goes counter to what God deems an appropriate action on our part. The fact that politicians are involved just complicates the matter as they are notoriously known to be intentionally ambiguous in the language they use to set policy.

Good points, Louis.

More thoughts:
http://catholicexchange.com/2011/08/08/157092/

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