When to be offended, and when to laugh it off? Here’s my take.
Came across an article on Jpost, which I only went to today to see if there are any updates about the people trapped in the rubble in that collapsed parking lot in Tel Aviv, right across from where I used to work.
Anyway, there is this article about some idiot Rabbi who says that Downs Syndrome is caused by past sins. A bunch of people are offended, understandably.
Here’s why they should not be offended. Because the statement is meaningless. It has no theoretical evidence that could possibly prove or disprove it beyond a direct Divine revelation, which is not happening. It’s equivalent to someone saying gravity is caused by a bunch of invisible elephants blowing gravitons at us from space that are entirely undetectable in every way.
It’s like claiming everything in the world was suddenly replaced by exact duplicates yesterday and the originals destroyed by God’s court jester for fun. This is an unprovable statement. Maybe it’s true. But it doesn’t matter. Maybe Downs Syndrome is actually caused by past sins. There is no way for us to ever know, and therefore it’s not a statement that means anything.
So who cares?
When someone says something that cannot, by its very nature, be proven or disproven by any conceivable evidence, then he may as well be saying nothing at all. We may as well just consider him as someone with Downs Syndrome and leave the guy alone. Maybe he has Downs Syndrome and all the evidence to the contrary is fake.
What should offend us is if he says something like “Parents of kids with Downs Syndrome should be stoned to death because they are sinners, otherwise they wouldn’t have had kids with Downs Syndrome.” At that point it’s OK to be offended because he would be advocating murder. But as long as he’s just babbling incoherent nonsense, just laugh at him and leave him alone.