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Autism Advocacy & Traditional Catholic Philosophy

Greatshield17

Claritas Prayer Group#9435
I’m planning on taking Claritas to the next level, I’m going to be starting a YouTube channel for Claritas in which I advocate for Autism Acceptance and the like in the Catholic Church. On this thread, I plan on posting and discussing the philosophical arguments that will be key to this advocacy; and would like help from fellow-Catholics (like @Gerontius and @Magna) and other people who know something about Scholasticism, Thomism, and Traditional Catholic Philosophy.

I already have three arguments against the call for a cure for Autism, and will post them here sometime today, once I’ve first typed them out and thought-up some objections to them; in fact what I’m looking for on here, in regards to these three arguments I’ve come up with, is objections people will raise against them.
 
One, call me before you involve me in stuff. Seriously

Two, this is kind of a cool project on paper. I am looking forward to seeing if/where I can help.

Three, why don't you post your arguments against a cure for autism right away? Here. I'll start with reasons WHY autism should be eradicated. Break a lance. Make my day-- *note, I gathered these from things I've run across--not my personal beliefs.*

Religious Nutjob Style
--Autism predisposes people to lead a sinful life. The high percentage of homosexuals & other intrinsically disordered states in the autistic population lead one to conclude that autism itself is disorderly. Therefore autism should be eliminated.

Utilitarian Style
--
Autistic people are a drain on the economy; to mandate that they should be protected is a restriction on capital gains. Therefore autism should be eliminated insofar as it is profitable.

Personal Experiences Style. Autism is difficult to live with and reduces quality of life. How then can we treat it as some sort of "normal" disorder--how can you even have a normal disorder? It's difficult, it hurts people who have it and those they interact with, and it's too hard for those people to keep going. Society disables them, sure, but we shouldn't change society to pander to a minority of defectives.
 
What's Claritas?
Something like this??
Or what?

upload_2021-8-9_13-34-2.png
 
One, call me before you involve me in stuff. Seriously

Two, this is kind of a cool project on paper. I am looking forward to seeing if/where I can help.

Three, why don't you post your arguments against a cure for autism right away? Here. I'll start with reasons WHY autism should be eradicated. Break a lance. Make my day-- *note, I gathered these from things I've run across--not my personal beliefs.*

Religious Nutjob Style
--Autism predisposes people to lead a sinful life. The high percentage of homosexuals & other intrinsically disordered states in the autistic population lead one to conclude that autism itself is disorderly. Therefore autism should be eliminated.

Utilitarian Style
--
Autistic people are a drain on the economy; to mandate that they should be protected is a restriction on capital gains. Therefore autism should be eliminated insofar as it is profitable.

Personal Experiences Style. Autism is difficult to live with and reduces quality of life. How then can we treat it as some sort of "normal" disorder--how can you even have a normal disorder? It's difficult, it hurts people who have it and those they interact with, and it's too hard for those people to keep going. Society disables them, sure, but we shouldn't change society to pander to a minority of defectives.
My first two arguments do deal with your pro-eradication arguments in some way, I’ll post them here and come back to refute your arguments later, I’m still working on argument No. 3, it’s longer and more complex than the first two:

Argument 1: It’s Unnecessary:

A cure is not necessary for dealing with the negative effects Autism, social skills and other treatments can suffice to help an Autistic person live a good life in society; similar to how neurotypical person can train him or herself to acquire Autistic traits like good integrity, consistent thought, and the like, without having to become Autistic.

Your utilitarian argument is the only objection I can think of in regards to this argument.


Argument 2: It’s Contrary to the Church’s Teaching Against Mutilation of the Body:

If a cure were ever to be invented, it would include gene “therapy,” as we know for a fact that Autism is genetic in nature. Gene “therapy,” is contrary to the Catholic Church’s teaching regarding the sanctity of the body, it is a form of bodily mutilation and thus, very perverse and sinful.

Objection 1: We give prosthetic limbs to people who have lost them, that’s not considered bodily.

Reply to Objection 1:
Yes, prosthetic limbs are not considered a form of bodily mutilation, but gene “therapy” is. Gene “therapy” is radically different from prosthetic limbs, prosthetics is simply adding a manufactured object to a person that he or she can use in place of a limb that he or she has lost; gene “therapy,” is the act of intruding into the body at arguably the most personal level, ones genes; in order to interfere with and alter.
 
What's Claritas?
Something like this??
Or what?

View attachment 69661
My prayer group: Claritas Prayer Group I plan on ultimately expanding it into a huge Catholic Apostolate for Autistic Catholics to connect with each other, if that’s the Lord’s will for it; now it seems that my next step is starting up a YouTube Channel and continue with my own “coming out,” and being open about myself and advocating for Autism Acceptance in the Church.

076F6B3B-C228-4B1D-A8C2-8C74E8B761F6.png
 
Here’s No. 3, it may raise a few eyebrows:


Argument 3: Neither Autism, NOR Neurotypicalism are God’s Will for how He originally intended humanity to be:

Probably the most controversial of the three, God originally intended us to be neither Autistic, NOR Neurotypical. I wouldn’t normally wade into such deep, elevated, Theological argument such as this, but because I have such a deep devotion to Our Lady, and view Her as being humanity as God originally intended us to be, I will step into this controversial subject; I dare say that this may even be something Our Lady wants from me. We know, as Catholics, that we are all fallen, we are all disordered in some way or another, that there is only one human being who completely free from all disorder and that is Our Blessed Mother. (Our Lord too, but He’s also fully God as well as fully human so He’s in His own category.) When it comes down to it, when one advocates for curing Autism, one is not offering to free us from a disorder, rather one is advocating to have us trade in one disorder for another one; for me, I am satisfied with the fruitful cross that the Lord has given me.


Objection 1: It’s blasphemous to suggest that Our Lady was/is not a neurotypical.


Reply to Objection 1:

This was actually my own objection when I first pondered this speculation, however the more I thought about this, the more I believe that the contrary is true, that it’s blasphemous to assert that Our Lady WAS a neurotypical; Our Lady is the Immaculate Conception, She is completely different from all of us fallen human beings, She is neither Neurotypical, nor Autistic nor anything else, and to claim otherwise, that would be blasphemous. I truly believe that both Her intellectual and emotional empathy, Her logic and reasoning, Her ability to think consistently and follow thing through to their logical conclusions, Her ability to focus, and act & think integrally, Her ability to express Herself as clearly as possible; all of them surpass anything we fallen human beings can do.


Objection 2: Arguing that Neurotypicalism is a disorder is a form of whataboutism.


Reply to Objection 2:

I am not necessarily arguing that Autism is equal to Neurotypicalism; my argument rather is that it’s not worth it to make Autistic people Neurotypicals, the Church instead should focus on saving the souls of Autistic people, teaching them to carry their crosses and cultivate the abundance of fruit that comes from such crosses.

So those are my three arguments, @Gerontius I’ll get to your arguments in a bit, please look into mine and raise more objections when you can.
 
Sorry it took me so long, I’m ready now.

Religious Nutjob Style
--Autism predisposes people to lead a sinful life. The high percentage of homosexuals & other intrinsically disordered states in the autistic population lead one to conclude that autism itself is disorderly. Therefore autism should be eliminated.
Refutation: Just because one is prone to something does not mean that one or worse, one’s distinct group is intrinsically worthy of mutilation or elimination. Neurotypicals are more prone to sins like rash judgment, backbiting, dishonesty and so on. On an individual level people are always more prone to one sin than another, it is unjust to single out one group’s proneness to certain sins and blame the group itself as intrinsically bad; the correct thing to do is to help the people themselves deal with these sins and overcome. On top of that, it should be worth considering that perhaps theses pronenesses to sins do not come from Autism itself, or at least not exclusively, it may be the case that these pronenesses come, in whole or in part; from other social, political, and/or economic factors, such as the implementation of the new practice of restraining and/or locking autistic children in seclusion rooms when they act up.

Utilitarian Style
--
Autistic people are a drain on the economy; to mandate that they should be protected is a restriction on capital gains. Therefore autism should be eliminated insofar as it is profitable.
Refutation: The drain on the economy in regards Autism has more to do with the fact that we do not yet know, the proper way to deal with Autistic people and help them integrate into society, it is because of this the money is being spilled left and right in an effort to “deal” with Autistic people. Of course the search for a cure, is also a huge drain on the economy, billions of dollars are wasted on the search for a cure, when they could’ve better been spent elsewhere. Finally, I have yet to see evidence that Autism is one the key things contributing to a drain on the economy, there are plenty of other factors that are much more harmful to the economy; one key factor that comes to mind for me, is the collapsing population in Europe, North America and many other parts of the globe; economies are ultimately dependent upon people, it is people that that build produce & buy goods and taxes.

I’ll answer your third argument later, it’s getting late here.
 
People make things so complicated. It's simple God said I knew you in the womb I can count the hairs on your head. So if he made autistic people we need to embrace it no matter the religion.
 
People make things so complicated. It's simple God said I knew you in the womb I can count the hairs on your head. So if he made autistic people we need to embrace it no matter the religion.
I wish it were that simple but unfortunately, there do exist genuine genetic defects and the like that people are born with; that being said, I honestly don’t think I would advocate for gene “therapy” as a cure or treatment for any disease no matter how serious.
 
Personal Experiences Style. Autism is difficult to live with and reduces quality of life. How then can we treat it as some sort of "normal" disorder--how can you even have a normal disorder? It's difficult, it hurts people who have it and those they interact with, and it's too hard for those people to keep going. Society disables them, sure, but we shouldn't change society to pander to a minority of defectives.
The Hail Holy Queen prayer says that we are “mourning and weeping in this valley of tears;” we cannot remove all suffering from this world, and frankly, when we look around at a society that has more or less been built around instant gratification and instant cures, one cannot help but notice, that the NTs of this society don’t seem too happy with their lives. On the one hand, a lot the things that Autistic people are struggling with in society these days, are the same things that NTs are struggling with; on the other hand, some of the methods we use to “deal with” Autistic people now, such as ABA treatment, restraint and seclusion are probably damaging Autistic peoples development and making it harder for them to enter into society. I believe it’s best that we work on changing society, not just for the sake of Autistic people, but for the sake of everyone; of course small changes here and there on the local level, can also be a big improvement for Autistic people.
 
Hello @Gerontius are you still interested in this or have time for it? I answered your arguments, how well did I do?

Either way I’ve started reading both Peter Kreeft’s Summa of the Summa, and the Summa Theologicae itself. I’ve been wanting to read them, pretty much for years, but had to set them aside to read other books that were more important to my spiritual needs; now I’m at a state where they actually are important to my spiritual needs! :)
 
Hello @Gerontius are you still interested in this or have time for it? I answered your arguments, how well did I do?

Either way I’ve started reading both Peter Kreeft’s Summa of the Summa, and the Summa Theologicae itself. I’ve been wanting to read them, pretty much for years, but had to set them aside to read other books that were more important to my spiritual needs; now I’m at a state where they actually are important to my spiritual needs! :)

I took part in research at Yale University today on eye movement & autism, and ended up having yet another panic attack. I've been feeling just about ready to kill myself lately. The next person who expresses sympathy, I will rip off his testicles and feed them to the stray cats.

Frankly I am worried about getting involved right now. I'm at home right now playing the reed-organ like life depends on it & wondering why it has been several weeks since I was able to experience pleasure of any kind. I feel terrible.

Now to answer your questions--Yes, you did reasonably well with answering the objections. I deliberately attempted to upset the apple-cart with the "intrinsically disordered" bit; esp. as that's something I've wondered about as I am pretty well out as far as being asexual, as in, for me "In the Mood" will only be a Glenn Miller record. (Coincidentally I ended up falling in love with an absolutely lovely Catholic lassie after that realization. I hope she doesn't expect too much.)

The Summa is a good place to start; I think you'd also benefit from Kreeft's Socratic Logic. Quality stuff--that and D.Q. McInerny's Philosophical Psychology (Alcuin Press, 1996)-- You are doing great and I hope this really does go somewhere; it should do a lot of people great good.
 
I took part in research at Yale University today on eye movement & autism, and ended up having yet another panic attack. I've been feeling just about ready to kill myself lately. The next person who expresses sympathy, I will rip off his testicles and feed them to the stray cats.

Frankly I am worried about getting involved right now. I'm at home right now playing the reed-organ like life depends on it & wondering why it has been several weeks since I was able to experience pleasure of any kind. I feel terrible.

Now to answer your questions--Yes, you did reasonably well with answering the objections. I deliberately attempted to upset the apple-cart with the "intrinsically disordered" bit; esp. as that's something I've wondered about as I am pretty well out as far as being asexual, as in, for me "In the Mood" will only be a Glenn Miller record. (Coincidentally I ended up falling in love with an absolutely lovely Catholic lassie after that realization. I hope she doesn't expect too much.)

The Summa is a good place to start; I think you'd also benefit from Kreeft's Socratic Logic. Quality stuff--that and D.Q. McInerny's Philosophical Psychology (Alcuin Press, 1996)-- You are doing great and I hope this really does go somewhere; it should do a lot of people great good.
I see, sorry to hear that. Do you have any idea why you’re being triggered like that? Do you believe it’s specifically related to you being Autistic or is it something else? You’re in my prayers regardless, I hope you improve with things.
 
Argument 2: It’s Contrary to the Church’s Teaching Against Mutilation of the Body:

If a cure were ever to be invented, it would include gene “therapy,” as we know for a fact that Autism is genetic in nature. Gene “therapy,” is contrary to the Catholic Church’s teaching regarding the sanctity of the body, it is a form of bodily mutilation and thus, very perverse and sinful.

Objection 1: We give prosthetic limbs to people who have lost them, that’s not considered bodily.

Reply to Objection 1:
Yes, prosthetic limbs are not considered a form of bodily mutilation, but gene “therapy” is. Gene “therapy” is radically different from prosthetic limbs, prosthetics is simply adding a manufactured object to a person that he or she can use in place of a limb that he or she has lost; gene “therapy,” is the act of intruding into the body at arguably the most personal level, ones genes; in order to interfere with and alter.
Objection 2: Our Lord said in St. Matthew 19:12, that being a eunuch is morally acceptable.

Objection 3: Curing Autism is not mutilation but actually the reverse, correcting a pre-existing mutilation of the body.

Reply to Objection 3:
This kind of argument opens the door to slippery slope in which anything that is deemed a “pre-existing mutilation,” can be an excuse to edit the genes of an individual in order to him or her conform to whatever genetic ideal those in-power want; such a slippery slope would of course, lead to eugenics. To be brutally frank the fact that Autism is the context in which this argument is being asserted arguably proves that this is a slippery slope.

I’ll reply to objection 2 later, once I have a better understanding of the meaning behind that passage, although I already see several problems with this interpretation of that passage.
 
Argument 3: Neither Autism, NOR Neurotypicalism are God’s Will for how He originally intended humanity to be:

Probably the most controversial of the three, God originally intended us to be neither Autistic, NOR Neurotypical. I wouldn’t normally wade into such deep, elevated, Theological argument such as this, but because I have such a deep devotion to Our Lady, and view Her as being humanity as God originally intended us to be, I will step into this controversial subject; I dare say that this may even be something Our Lady wants from me. We know, as Catholics, that we are all fallen, we are all disordered in some way or another, that there is only one human being who completely free from all disorder and that is Our Blessed Mother. (Our Lord too, but He’s also fully God as well as fully human so He’s in His own category.) When it comes down to it, when one advocates for curing Autism, one is not offering to free us from a disorder, rather one is advocating to have us trade in one disorder for another one; for me, I am satisfied with the fruitful cross that the Lord has given me.


Objection 1: It’s blasphemous to suggest that Our Lady was/is not a neurotypical.


Reply to Objection 1:

This was actually my own objection when I first pondered this speculation, however the more I thought about this, the more I believe that the contrary is true, that it’s blasphemous to assert that Our Lady WAS a neurotypical; Our Lady is the Immaculate Conception, She is completely different from all of us fallen human beings, She is neither Neurotypical, nor Autistic nor anything else, and to claim otherwise, that would be blasphemous. I truly believe that both Her intellectual and emotional empathy, Her logic and reasoning, Her ability to think consistently and follow thing through to their logical conclusions, Her ability to focus, and act & think integrally, Her ability to express Herself as clearly as possible; all of them surpass anything we fallen human beings can do.


Objection 2: Arguing that Neurotypicalism is a disorder is a form of whataboutism.


Reply to Objection 2:

I am not necessarily arguing that Autism is equal to Neurotypicalism; my argument rather is that it’s not worth it to make Autistic people Neurotypicals, the Church instead should focus on saving the souls of Autistic people, teaching them to carry their crosses and cultivate the abundance of fruit that comes from such crosses.

So those are my three arguments, @Gerontius I’ll get to your arguments in a bit, please look into mine and raise more objections when you can.
Objection 3: You’re just desperately trying to make Autism okay, even while at the same time admitting that it’s a disorder.

Reply to Objection 3:

And you’re not trying desperately to make Neurotypicalism okay? Tell me how is trying to make Neurotypicalism the ideal and how all human beings should be; not another form of heaven-on-earth utopianism? The fact is life on this planet is a “valley of tears,” we need to just accept our state in this world, be it Autistic or Neurotypical, and help each other live the best life possible (possible) on this planet. We Autistic people need social skills, not socialist skills.

Objection 4: Arguing that “Neurotypicalism” is a disorder, is literally a form of gaslighting.

Reply to Objection 4:

First of all, if Christianity is false, (and I’m most-certain that it isn’t) than the Christian belief in Original Sin and our fallen nature IS a form of gaslighting, regardless of the issue regarding Autism and Neurotypicalism. On the other hand, when we read the Bible, when we study Church history, and we study the history of the world in general, it becomes quite apparent that the behaviour of the typical human being, is far from sane. On top of that, what is one reason why we Catholics are afraid to be holy and become saints; in addition to our attachments and fear of suffering? Well it’s because we’re scared of looking “crazy” to others, why would being holy and being a saint look “crazy” to most people? Well obviously it’s because we ourselves are crazy, and thus a person who is actually sane and actually living in conformity with reality looks “crazy” to us. Thus Neurotypicalism is in fact a disorder, it is not an ideal state of mental health.
 
Objection 2: Our Lord said in St. Matthew 19:12, that being a eunuch is morally acceptable.
Reply to Objection 2:
Christ is not promoting the act of becoming a eunuch (i. e. Castration) but rather the act of being a eunuch. (e. i. Celibacy) Also, let’s take a closer look at the passage itself:

“For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.”

-St. Matthew 19:12 DR

Our Lord speaks of “eunuchs, who were born so from their mother’s womb…” in other words He was saying that those who were born with birth defects that made them sterile are called to live a “eunuch’s” lifestyle. Now there is a huge difference between being a eunuch “born so from their mother’s womb,” and being Autistic; but it’s still more than worth considering that maybe people born with Autism have been give by God, their own path to Heaven that shouldn’t be interfered with.
 
I’m considering moving on to refuting arguments for prevention; assuming they haven’t already been covered in the arguments above, I’ll think about this for a bit. In the meantime I’ll be reading more Saint Thomas Aquinas and the like.
 
Here’s No. 3, it may raise a few eyebrows:


Argument 3: Neither Autism, NOR Neurotypicalism are God’s Will for how He originally intended humanity to be:

Probably the most controversial of the three, God originally intended us to be neither Autistic, NOR Neurotypical. I wouldn’t normally wade into such deep, elevated, Theological argument such as this, but because I have such a deep devotion to Our Lady, and view Her as being humanity as God originally intended us to be, I will step into this controversial subject; I dare say that this may even be something Our Lady wants from me. We know, as Catholics, that we are all fallen, we are all disordered in some way or another, that there is only one human being who completely free from all disorder and that is Our Blessed Mother. (Our Lord too, but He’s also fully God as well as fully human so He’s in His own category.) When it comes down to it, when one advocates for curing Autism, one is not offering to free us from a disorder, rather one is advocating to have us trade in one disorder for another one; for me, I am satisfied with the fruitful cross that the Lord has given me.


Objection 1: It’s blasphemous to suggest that Our Lady was/is not a neurotypical.


Reply to Objection 1:

This was actually my own objection when I first pondered this speculation, however the more I thought about this, the more I believe that the contrary is true, that it’s blasphemous to assert that Our Lady WAS a neurotypical; Our Lady is the Immaculate Conception, She is completely different from all of us fallen human beings, She is neither Neurotypical, nor Autistic nor anything else, and to claim otherwise, that would be blasphemous. I truly believe that both Her intellectual and emotional empathy, Her logic and reasoning, Her ability to think consistently and follow thing through to their logical conclusions, Her ability to focus, and act & think integrally, Her ability to express Herself as clearly as possible; all of them surpass anything we fallen human beings can do.


Objection 2: Arguing that Neurotypicalism is a disorder is a form of whataboutism.


Reply to Objection 2:

I am not necessarily arguing that Autism is equal to Neurotypicalism; my argument rather is that it’s not worth it to make Autistic people Neurotypicals, the Church instead should focus on saving the souls of Autistic people, teaching them to carry their crosses and cultivate the abundance of fruit that comes from such crosses.

So those are my three arguments, @Gerontius I’ll get to your arguments in a bit, please look into mine and raise more objections when you can.
Say @Gerontius sorry for bothering you with this, but what are your thoughts on Argument 3? I’m still a bit uneasy about this; on the one hand, it does seem kind of blasphemous to assert the contrary to this argument, to assert that Our Lady was a neurotypical, on the other hand, I don’t know, I just can’t help but worry about this, especially considering that arguments 1 & 2 seem to suffice. What are your thoughts?
 
Say @Gerontius sorry for bothering you with this, but what are your thoughts on Argument 3? I’m still a bit uneasy about this; on the one hand, it does seem kind of blasphemous to assert the contrary to this argument, to assert that Our Lady was a neurotypical, on the other hand, I don’t know, I just can’t help but worry about this, especially considering that arguments 1 & 2 seem to suffice. What are your thoughts?

I reply that:

Categorizations such as Autistic or Neurotypical are of human origin, but for the sake of discussion we will acknowledge the objective validity of these as they are a description of reality. The Blessed Virgin Mary was neurotypical, being the human "without spot or blemish."
I would go further: Mary, in a very real sense, was the only neurotypical to have existed on earth since the fall of Adam.

We risk error if we see it all as "autistics vs. neurotypicals." There are many forms of neurodivergence, and many of those who are neurotypical (in the sense of non-ASD) are only so temporarily, falling to other mental conditions eventually. The state of neurotypicality is essentially a state of health and all health among people is temporary at best.

Mary had emotions: hers were regulated perfectly.
Mary had feelings: they were completely aligned to God's will (the end & purpose of humans) when she chose freely to align her will with His.
Mary had human desires, but could choose higher desires. It would be ridiculous, for example, to say that Mary had a sexual orientation. Before the Fall of Man, our passions and desires were under the complete mastery of the will--known as integration. In the average human the "flesh wars against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh." For Mary, body & soul were entirely united & directed to a proper end.

Mary is not so much "neurotypical" as she is the pattern, the model, "Our tainted nature's solitary boast."(Wordsworth.)

The rest of us poor bastards are a variety of things: all of us are a bit disordered. We have disordered inclinations: some to jealousy, some to pride, some to lust, all the capital sins are but the result of looking for the good in the wrong place. We retain the imago Dei but we are not in real great shape.
We are the scratched-up record of Tetrazzini singing an aria, but God intended us to be more of the lived experience of sitting in Carnegie Hall, box seat, during a live performance. Both are operatic, but only one is the true image & likeness of the opera.

Autism is intrinsically disordered. So are lots of other things.
Neurotypicals are also sometimes intrinsically disorderly.

I like the old ways. Old traditionalist thought was the pioneering use of person-first language. The idea of inherently disordered persons didn't occur--it was only impairments of the will, the mind, etc., so I motion that we need to look beyond any internalized fears and consider ourselves first & foremost as human beings.

Well, sorry that's long & rambly, but that's kind of how I think of it.
 
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