An Open Letter to Richard Dawkins

Dear Richard Dawkins,
I recently read your twitter response to a woman who wasn’t sure what she would do if she found out she was pregnant with a child with Down Syndrome. You wrote that she should, “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.” I realize that you are a famous scientist and I am just a high school student, but I feel the need to respond.

Life is precious to me even though I have autism. Life is precious to people with Down Syndrome too. Human worth is not measured by your standard of perfection. How can we decide the point where worthlessness begins?

I read in the news about evil deeds done by evil men with evil dreams, raping, forcing conversions, slicing heads off, ethnic cleansing. I’ve never heard of a person with Down Syndrome doing that. Rather, they embrace life, smile and love people. I would prefer to end evil, not innocents who are less than perfect. I fear eugenics in theory because it has been evil in practice.

I am sure my family has struggled because of my disability. I have too, more than you can understand, but despite my disability, I am sure my life is purposeful and I hope I am making this world a little better.

There is great arrogance in your advice. You are confident that no one would terminate you.


14 responses to “An Open Letter to Richard Dawkins

  1. Holy camoly! Spot on!

  2. Bless you , Ido! You said exactly what I have thought and felt, and you said it beautifully and eloquently. Rudolf Steiner said that Downs Syndrome people were reincarnated saints. I have no way to know if that is true, but I have met several people with Downs Syndrom and have never encounter such open love and affection with any other people. I would suggest that, using Steiner’s approach as a means of understanding (while not suggestion absolute truth, but a direction in which truth may be understood), that autistic people may well be those souls who have comprehended other people to the ultimate degree. This would explain the extreme sensitivity to how people in their environment are feeling and acting. In any event, whatever the origins and meaning of any of our lives, I believe with you that all life is precious, no matter its manifestations.

  3. Dear Richard Dawkins, you are an asshole. A huge asshole. You have been a huge asshole for years and continue to evolve into an even bigger asshole with each passing day. To try and debate with you, or even respond to such profoundly cruel and ignorant statements with logical arguments grants your vile rantings a legitimacy that you no doubt revel in. By virtue of your mainstream academic credentials, provocative “sound bite” musings and chummy support within the atheist mechanistic materialism scientific elite you have managed to solidify your reputation as an “important” and respected voice in both the scientific and philosophical academic communities. Yet despite your successful accomplishments in self-promotion and self-aggrandizement, you remain a profoundly huge asshole.

  4. Bravo, Ido…you have answered Dawkins and his like with a terrific response. People with autism and other challenges are of immeasurable worth. Those who do not see that are the ones who harm the values in our society. My son has autism, too, and I love him very much, am glad that he is part of our family, and have learned a great deal from him that has made me a better person. Thank you for your amazing book and for helping the world understand those with autism better.

  5. THANK YOU, Deepak Chopra and Ido for bringing light and form, to this beautifully written letter. As Deepak so eloquently put it on Super Soul Sunday, the karmically like-minded souls will connect to this and spread it throughout the world, until all ignorance like Richard’s is gone. Love to you both.

    Monique Moren

  6. Today science is thinking in some animals, like dolphins, that should have rights like humans. How, some scientist doesn’t see the human rights in humans with different skills.

  7. Desiree in Seattle


    I’ve several friends with autism on various degrees of the spectrum.
    It’s so wonderful that so many have such fine things to give this world despite their lack of perfection by society’s standards.

    I applaud you for supporting the life of those who may be perceived as lesser when all souls are equal. I believe in the soul but I did not always believe so..

    I hope you can understand that Mr. Dawkins response was not to say we should kill those who have been born who have any disability but he was stating his very atheist logical view that many feel. Why not abort a defective project before causing another being to have to live with fluke of cell divide is his seeming view. If you do not believe in the soul and you believe in abortion … you can see how his view might seem quite logical.

    I see Deepak Chopra plugging your open letter but I want to make it clear to you the very man who plugs your letter turns away from protecting another young man … someone who was born and was endangered in fraud by one of his own friends..

    Deepak Chopra when he was informed of Doreen Virtue giving wrong suicide info out to the mom of a suicidal young black man… blew it off.. He also did not call Doreen Virtue out for encouraging others to not get flu shots as an angel message thus risking their lives to swine flu …so Chopra really isn’t pro-life like he makes it seem..

    Chopra actively plugs medium James Van Praagh as real to his fans via the Chopra Institute and Doreen Virtue claims Chopra as a friend.

    Van Praagh pushed his fans to Doreen Virtue even after James Van Praagh knew of her wrong suicide and vaccine statements..

    Life either matters or it doesn’t … Chopra only uses your post to try to shame Dawkins not because Chopra cares about and protects life.. Chopra cares to call this out because it suits his ego.. but if he cared about life he would have called James Van praagh, John Holland and Doreen Virtue out as soon as he found out what they had done – he doesn’t for he doesn’t really care about life..

    But I look forward to your book.. I may buy two during the Amazon Xmas shopping order.. I have friend raising a son with moderate autism .. she might love your book.

  8. Well said, Ido!

  9. Pingback: What is it like to have Down Syndrome? - Quora

  10. There is more wisdom in your words than mr. Dawkins could ever understand. Great post Ido!

  11. Well said, every life is precious and you hit the nail on the head.

  12. Dear Ido,
    I’ve personally went back and forth about my feelings around this issue. Your letter gave me a new understanding and clarity. Thank you.
    I was at the MHAS celebration when you accepted the award. You are a great inspiration and your life is certainly meaningful and purposeful. You are giving hope to people on the autism spectrum, and new understanding for those who are not.
    I used to be a behavioral therapist doing ABA with children on the autism spectrum. It was frustrating at times, and rewarding at times. I hope with your advocacy, we can find better way to communicate.


  13. My son Joseph is 6-1/2 yrs. old and non-verbal; so I’ll speak for him.

    I don’t know Mr. Richard Dawkins. However, if I ever get the chance to meet him, I’ll be sure to ask, “Do you mind if I call you Dick?”

  14. I think what Mr. Dawkins fails to understand is that what constitutes a human being is not the physical body, but the human soul.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *