Let’s Eliminate Suffering (And Those Who Suffer)

Nothing good comes from suffering.

Stream: Let’s Eliminate Suffering (And Those Who Suffer)

The news is “Iceland Has Nearly Eliminated Down Syndrome–Through Abortion“.

…Iceland — through the use of abortion­ — apparently is on the brink of completely eradicating the disorder from their society or at least killing off all the unborn children with the condition.

Turns out “Icelandic law permits abortion after 16 weeks (4 months) only if the fetus is deformed”, and having Downs counts as “deformed.”

Said Helga Sol Olafsdottir, a Landspitali University Hospital counselor, “We don’t look at abortion as a murder. We look at it as a thing that we ended.”

Many “things” are being ended in Iceland.

I approve of this trend of ending useless things. Which is why I wrote, “I’m hoping they can do the same for short people. They’re always underfoot.”

Let’s face the cold, brutal truth. Short people are an annoyance. I tried playing basketball with one once, but had no fun (there being no challenge) and ended up having to scrape the guy off my shoes. Plus, given my celebrity, I’m often forced into taking “selfies” with my groupies, many of whom are short. The amount of bending over I have to do is wreaking hell on my back.

Why should I suffer these ignominies?

If you can’t go through life easily, without suffering, something is wrong. And that something wrong is short people. Short people and those who need glasses.

Answer this next question honestly: do you really want to fly with a pilot who wears glasses? His optical correctives might slip off at any moment and you could fly right into a mountain. What kind of society allows such unnecessary risks? Don’t we care about people?

It is indisputable that people who need glasses are less fit than those with perfect vision, like me. These semi-blinds are forced to live suboptimal lives as they stumble from obstacle to obstacle, knocking into the furniture and tipping over vases. This causes insurance costs to rise.

What’s far worse is that these optically defective folks often seek out one another and breed. Well, they have no choice, since the perfect-sighted prefer to stick with their own. And we all know what this indiscriminate breeding leads to. More people who need glasses.

Just consider this: wouldn’t it have been better for these people if they were never born? They would therefore never suffer. And would not cause the rest of us any grief, either. These are logical truths.

In case you think I am being facetious, it really is a logical truth that if a person will suffer a medical malady if he is born, if his birth is prevented he will not suffer the effects of the malady. And we won’t have to suffer watching him suffer.


If you’re one of those who made the cut, click here to read the rest.


  1. brian (bulaoren)

    What about the suffering of all those poor babies born without vaginas?… Oh yeah, that malformation can be surgically corrected post partum.

  2. Ray

    The solution is easy, just become a socialist. The socialists know how to create heaven on earth. Remember the late great USSR? It was the socialist workers paradise and everybody was happy and nobody suffered.

  3. brian (bulaoren)

    Want to eliminate suffering? Well, you know what they say; Give a man a fish, and you feed him and his family for one day. Give that man a fishing pole, and teach him to fish…..
    and you’re raping the oceans, you bastard!

  4. Ken

    Imagine a world whereby reporters set the tone and substance of important policy discussions (analyses) and decisions — including the elimination from consideration important relevant factors affecting those decisions — simply by hypnotizing the public and elected leadership via carefully written headlines.

    What a hellish dystopian society that would be. And it is here among us now!!

    The problem isn’t the reporters, though. Its people who have the attention span of what it takes to read a headline then who respond emotionally to that headline and nothing more. And who thereby let reporters do their thinking for them.

    Case in point:

    Iceland’s legalized abortion, for listed reasons (not broad convenience), in 1975. That’s over 40 years ago.

    Unlike in the U.S., where abortion can be obtained on demand for convenience of almost any sort, including sometimes by young girls given the option without their parents’ knowledge, Iceland has imposed stricter criteria, one of which allows for aborting a fetus because the fetus is defective.

    One is hard-pressed to find anyone who opposes abortion to agree that given a choice between Iceland’s criteria and the U.S.’s criteria, Iceland’s is “better” … or less unsavory.

    Over the period of Iceland’s legalized abortion the rate at which abortions occurred rose to 21.9 then declined to 14.5 abortions per 1000 women.

    In the U.S. over the period abortions rose to 29.3 (much worse than in Iceland) then declined to 14.6 abortions per 1000 women (about the same as in Iceland). No doubt proportionately more of those U.S. abortions were to terminate defective fetus’s of otherwise desired pregnancies because U.S. law makes that easier.

    I don’t know about you, but I find the abortion of healthy viable fetus’s much more repugnant than aborting fetus’s that are unmistakably defective in a major way(s).

    How good are the numbers, really? No clue. The press is reporting close to 100 percent of Icelandic fetus’s with Downs being aborted. Which reads a lot like what has been said about Downs fetus’s in the U.S. (e.g. see http://www.lifeissues.org/2015/09/make-second-mile-less-scary/ ). Doesn’t really look like much of an issue, much less a different issue in Iceland vs the U.S. or, probably, elsewhere.

    But when some reporter frames the situation in emotionally-charged context, framing the legalized option (“choice”) of abortion as if it were some euthanizing initiative (but not quite making such an assertion) against Downs Syndrome, the emotionally-based hullaballoo — “fake news” — ensues over a situation that’s been around for a very very long time in many many places.

    Recall/consider the quote from Citizen Kane:

    Charles Foster Kane: Mr. Carter, here’s a three-column headline in the Chronicle. Why hasn’t the Inquirer a three-column headline?
    Herbert Carter: The news wasn’t big enough.
    Charles Foster Kane: Mr. Carter, if the headline is big enough, it makes the news big enough.
    Mr. Bernstein: That’s right, Mr. Kane.

    It’s kind of sad to see how low we’ve come — where even a PhD statistician…and so so many many others nowadays — falls for the ole Big Headline gag.

    It’s a scary state of affairs when a reporter can frame informed debate, or squelch the “informed” part, via a headline.

  5. bat8

    Oh hey, now I’ve got confirmation that that Twitter account is yours! It seemed like yours but now I can be sure. You don’t have it on the blog anywhere or anything. I remember mentions to it being @mattstat which is clearly isn’t anymore. I’m in favor of you going by your first name.

  6. Bulldust

    Tsk tsk Ken, you brought rational thought and statistics to a morality debate.

  7. Ye Olde Statistician

    I find the abortion of healthy viable fetus’s much more repugnant than aborting fetus’s that are unmistakably defective in a major way(s).

    I don’t know that the original point was abortion as such but rather the mental process that equates the “elimination” of a trait with the elimination of those who carry it. You could eliminate the scourge of Huntington’s chorea by slaughtering anyone who carries the gene for Huntington’s chorea. The possibilities are endless.

    It is widely acknowledged that individuals with dark skin suffer all sorts of disabilities in in life. We can eliminate the suffering of black people by eliminating black people. Ooh, I know how we can eliminate poverty!

    Perhaps the deficiency in reasoning begins to show itself? I would suppose Iceland has the same incidence of Down’s Syndrome as it ever did. It’s just that they are killed before they can upset anyone.

    A cousin of mine has a daughter with Down’s Syndrome. She is happy, cheerful, and loved by her parents and sisters.

    A friend of mine was urged to abort a baby the doctors assured them would be defective. They demurred and the baby was born with no defects. Bummer. That would have been what we stat people call an “error of the first kind.”

  8. Joy

    Baby talk:
    Someone on the other side of the stream said that “in ancient Greece…”
    I have news for him…

    In India today, where primarily Christian and latterly western standards have not reached, babies, new borns and older, are drowned in the river.

    Girls are often killed just for being girls and of course disabled or deformed babies are considered useless. In parts of London they’ve had to stop telling parent the sex before birth because certain cultural groups abort girls.

    There are schools and orphanages set up by charities and missionaries that care for and educate these young girls.
    The Sharp Memorial School in Raj Pour near Dehra Dunn (spelled phonetically) being just one example.

    One little girl was left in a cornfield to die but was discovered by nurses who looked after her in hospital until she was five when it dawned on them that she couldn’t stay and so was sent to be educated. She had a malformation of the cranium such that she could not close her eyes and the exophthalmus tended to mean that physical abrasion had caused more and more damage.
    Some of the orphaned girls were there in their nineties with nowhere to go and they were characters.

    Nowadays the girls go to college or university, the ones which can, and they are trained usually in banking or computer work which seems to be the most desired type of thing at the moment in India because money matters most of all in society.

    So the families who didn’t want them or abandoned them now want them back. Many of the girls get proposals of marriage from all and sundry where they would never have married before.

    I hardly read it much any more but in 2014 at Snaresbrook Crown court I was proof reading a braille book written by my friend who was a missionary at the school for decades. It was called ‘Blind faith’. a pamphlet but I recall a swarthy Pakistani man with cogs turning when I told him about the girl’s plight in the book.

    Only yesterday, was instructed sweetly and severely by a nurse that she could not believe my sight because I didn’t bump into anything. “And you walk too quick!” but that knowing it she feared for my safety and told me to get a stick so the drivers would know in central London because they’re all mad.

    Women in the west, today ‘have the best of both worlds if they so choose’ and this was misconstrued into my being pro choice in the American sense. What I was referring to was women going to work instead of looking after their family at home. Had I had a family, I would never have gone back to work. I believe in love over money. Which is also why I never married.
    Abortion is killing a living person. One who, like the little girl in the cornfield, needs all the attachment of her mother until she is old enough and or capable enough of looking after herself.
    The only difference is that the newborn doesn’t need the oxygen, nutrition and shelter offered by nature because she has grown out of that stage. Disabled babies need more care, more love.
    If they are loved they are cared for if society frightens people enough they will be terrified of disability in the quest for perfection. Why can’t women have the baby and give it up for adoption? This would be preferable and most would find that they wouldn’t want to . So it is like the situation in old time but Ireland very recently when women were actually forced to give up babies by the church and society due to enforced shame. Some of that legacy lives on when women have abortions instead. Which was also why I said,
    “Let the babies be born in and out of wedlock”. Not to mean to reduce the importance of marriage but to make the point that life is the most precious thing any of us have and so we know it is precious to others.

    ‘Quality of life’ does vary but it’s shallow to judge it to the injury or detriment of someone else.

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