Naturalistic Neurodiversity

Exploring our differences through science.

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #29

with one comment

Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

I have a degenerative disease which is sometimes disabling and will eventually always be disabling.

Physical; also, it tends to also cause depression and chronic fatigue on the side. The disorder is called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Type 3/Hypermobility.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

Physically I have a hard time getting out of the house, but that’s not really specifically related to atheism. I do feel very uncomfortable when atheists start talking about aborting children with disabilities or sterilizing people with disabilities, which has happened on multiple occasions.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

I would like to see a little more moderation on the aborting/sterilizing issue I mentioned earlier.

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

In general, I wish it was an issue that atheist communities were more aware of.

The above has been response #29 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

Normally I try to avoid adding to PWD‘s experiences, lest I end up talking over them. But  let me make one thing clear: when you talk about aborting/sterilizing PWDs, what you’re saying is that you don’t think there should be any of them around – in short, genocide (srsly, “imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group” is right there in the definition). And maybe you think what you’re saying is that you’re imagining a world in which nobody suffers, but realize when you say those things right in front of a PWD, what you’re saying is that you wish they weren’t around. No really, you are. And if you still don’t believe me, then maybe disability isn’t really the problem that needs to be eliminated in society. Maybe we should start with bigotry.


Written by The Nerd

May 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm

One Response

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  1. I think that sterilizing has too many negative consequences to even consider, especially when you look at it from a POV of discrimination and bigotry. The abortion part I’m not so sure about though. If a mother knows her child is going to have some sort of terrible disorder or disability, then I think that there is nothing wrong with her choosing to abort the child. The only caveat with that I suppose is that such a thing is only ok when it is made on a small scale basis, meaning a top down imposition of the abortion of deformed, mentally disabled, or physically disabled would be no different than genocide.


    May 12, 2012 at 2:10 am

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