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atheism minus patronizing as heck pedophiles oh sorry ephebophiles playing the victim richard dawkins

Richard Dawkins opens mouth, inserts foot, mumbles something about "mild pedophilia" again

A young Richard Dawkins contemplates the beauty of the universe.
A young Richard Dawkins contemplates the beauty of the universe.

Apparently Richard Dawkins was worried that people might have forgotten what an asshat he is. So, helpful fellow that he is, he decided to give us all a demonstration of why he’s one of the atheist movement’s biggest liabilities, a “humanist” who has trouble remembering to act human.

Earlier today Dawkins decided, for some reason, that he needed to remind the people of the world of a fairly basic point of logic, and so he took to Twitter and thumbed out this little thought:

 Richard Dawkins @RichardDawkins  ·  5h  X is bad. Y is worse. If you think that's an endorsement of X, go away and don't come back until you've learned how to think logically.

However petulantly phrased this is, the basic logic is sound: If I say that Hitler was worse than Stalin, I’m not endorsing either Hitler or Stalin. Unless I add “and Stalin was totally awesome and I endorse him” at the end.

The trouble is that Dawkins didn’t stop with this one tweet. He decided to illustrate his point with some examples. Some really terrible examples.

    Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins 5h      Mild pedophilia is bad. Violent pedophilia is worse. If you think that's an endorsement of mild pedophilia, go away and learn how to think.     Details         Reply         189 Retweet         287 Favorite  Richard DawkinsVerified account ‏@RichardDawkins  Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that's an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think.Yep, that’s right. He decided to do what comedians call a “callback” to some terrible comments he made last year about what he perversely described as “mild pedophilia.” And then he added asshattery to asshattery by suggesting a similar distinction between “date rape” and “stranger rape.”

Anyone seeing these comments as insensitive twaddle designed to minimize both “mild” pedophilia and date rape has good reason to do so. As you may recall, in the earlier controversy about so-called “mild” pedophilia, Dawkins told an interviewer for the Times magazine that

I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can’t find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today.

He went on to tell the interviewer that when he was a child one of his school masters had “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts.” But, he added, he didn’t think that this sort of “mild touching up” had done him, or any of the classmates also victimized by the teacher, any “lasting harm.”

Huh. If Dawkins says that a teacher groping him was no big deal, I guess this kind of “mild” abuse shouldn’t be a big deal for anyone else, either, huh?

I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of logical fallacy here.

Given his history of minimizing these “mild” sexual crimes, it’s not a surprise that his crass tweets today inspired a bit of a twitterstorm.

Dawkins has responded with his typical petulance, and has stubbornly defended his comments as an exercise in pure logic that his critics are too irrational to understand.

If you take a few moments to go through his timeline you’ll find many more tweets and retweets reiterating this “argument.” Dawkins is not the sort of person to admit to mistakes. Indeed, he so regularly puts his foot in his mouth it’s hard not to conclude that he must like the taste of shoe leather.

But these recurring controversies can’t be doing much for his reputation. Indeed, they seem to cause more and more people to wonder why anyone takes Dawkins seriously on any subject other than biology. Even his critics on Twitter are growing a bit weary.

https://twitter.com/endorathewitch/status/494071064008597504

Seems like it. I’m beginning to wonder why any atheists — at least those who are not also asshats — continue to think of Dawkins as an ally of any kind.

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pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

White skirts are great on me if I have tanned legs (faked or otherwise). I have a few white short sleeved work tops, and they look good so long as I have a summer kiss to my skin. I have no white winter tops at all.

gilshalos
6 years ago

One of the many ways I fail at being femaletm, is I have no sense of style or colour. As a blue-eyed, pale-skinned redhead (On the auburn rather than copper side), I’ve spent most of my life wearing black, forest green, with occasional dark browns, grey or navy blue. Once I hit 40, I suddenly realised that I like red and maroon/wine shades and started buying and wearing that. It was weird, I truly never liked reds before. So now I wear them on the grounds thatso long as I feel comfortable, it doesn’t really matter how I look, since I live alone, spend 90% of my time alone, and only look in mirrors to brush my hair. 🙂

gilshalos
6 years ago

*bleh* subscript fail.

gilshalos
6 years ago

Oh, and re: Capaldi, when I think of him in a fan context, it’s as The Angel Islington in Neverwhere

Z
Z
6 years ago

I don’t pay attention to WHTM for a week and then this happens… 800+ comments. Should I read them all? Any highlights?

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

Kitteh, yep, that’s the one. And I’ve no problem with an older doctor, just not him. It hasn’t aired here yet either, so maybe my opinion will change, but he played a baddie on Torchwood and it’s the same universe and I can’t reconcile that. (Older doctor, fine, female doctor, fine, non-white doctor, fine, gay or bi doctor, also fine [though idk about ten! he certainly didn’t mind kissing Jack], etc. previous whoverse baddie as the doctor? Brain overload, shut down sequence initiating)

He was also the father in the Fires of Pompeii episode. But it’s hardly new for actors to play different characters. Nicholas Courtney was Brett Vyon in the first Doctor’s day, before he played the Brigadier. Lalla Ward got her part as Romana in the story straight after she played Princess Astra, when Mary Tamm left. Patrick Troughton played a villain who banked on his resemblance to the Doctor at one stage. Phillip Madoc played Eelek in The Krotons and later played Solon in The Brain of Morbius. Yeah, a jump from villain to Doctor, but Capaldi’s already played more than that and multiple roles definitely have a history there.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

That’s so cute, is that a chenille yarn? How’s she going with the meds/food?

Yes, the blue bit on the right is, and the red and blue bit on the left is a sort of boucle yarn.

Fribs is the one on medications. She’s doing well, though I’m still convinced she lost a bit of weight during her days at the get and hasn’t regained it. She just feels a little bonier than she did before she went, but I can’t give her the high-protein stuff now, because of her kidneys.

I did not apply it directly to my brain, nor did I snort it.

But putting it directly on the brain builds a good foundation for LogickThinking!

@gilshalos, good, it’s not just me who goes through colour phases! I don’t think I had any colour awarness or preferences in my twenties, but got into the goth stuff when I was about thirty, and did a lot of black or purple with the odd bit of crimson. Total change of taste later and I was wearing lots of forest greens and browns and rich tans, often in vintage men’s clothes. Now I wear the occasional black, with all the above colours, plus variations on rose pink, but as likely to be paired with long skirts as jeans. Plus the knitwear, of course. Wouldn’t have been seen dead in knitwear once upon a time.

gilshalos
6 years ago

I feel sorry for my mother when I was a teen. First she got trouble from me when she tried to lure me into ‘fashionable shops for teens’, then from my father(I found out later), for repressing my teen desire ofr neon and only buying me drab clothing 🙁

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

I don’t remember having much interest in clothes as a kid or teenager. Individual pieces I owned, yes, but not fashion. As a teenager, I was aware of not fitting in and certainly not being whatever passed for fashionable in 1970s Melbourne suburbia, but neither did I want to wear whatever it was the other kids wore.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Oooo! Makeup talk! And crafty talk! Gonna have to scroll back I don’t know how many pages now! Curse you, fun people!

Michael McG
Michael McG
6 years ago

Can we all just agree that Dawkins–at least by the time he had become a “prominent atheist–was, at best, a notable evolutionary biologistethologist but was, and still is, no better than a first-year philosophy student who got stoned and watched The Matrix one too many times when it comes to that field?

Ally S
6 years ago

No, I like the stoner philosophy student more. At least they have a decent chance of sharing weed. Dawkins probably doesn’t even smoke.

And that marks my weird comment of the morning. Hi.

Michael McG
Michael McG
6 years ago

Sorry, I’ve been in way too many discussions lately where Dawkins is cited for is opions on the philosophy of science, a topic it is painfully obvious from his petulant screeds he has no knowledge of.

Ally S
6 years ago

I have a hard time believing any evolutionary psychologist has a decent understanding of the philosophy of science.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Speaking of clothing, I bought a pair of cheap jeans last week on clearance. I buy everything on clearance. I am an incredible penny pincher and shopper. ANYHOO, I knew they didn’t fit super awesome when I bought them and that they didn’t look incroyable but I liked that they were cheap and would push me to lose another 5lbs. I trust in jeans when it comes to weight maintenance and moderate weight loss.

Today’s the first day I’ve worn them. Put them on. Yep, still too small in the waist band. That’s OK. Three weeks of 9,000 calories and a couple hours of moderate exercise will resolve that issue and get me closer to my weight goal.They make my thighs look mammoth but whatevs. It’s Friday. I’m only in the office for four hours. Then I can come home, strip naked and bask in the air-conditioned glory.Then I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror as I walked by.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! CAMEL TOE!

I can handle just about anything else but that won’t do!

I’ve adjusted them and I think I’ve got things rectified but yikes.

maistrechat
6 years ago

@cassandrakitty

Responding to a comment from a while ago…
Whole Foods sushi is terrible because they don’t make it. The sushi areas of Whole Foods are contracted out to a different company (what company that is depends on where in the country you are).

contrapangloss
6 years ago

Usually drab for me: jeans, well worn t-shirts, and the like.

My jacket, though, is bright green. I also have one pair of ridiculously vibrant blue gym pants that I wear occasionally.

I call that pant/jacket combo the “You can see me, right? Please don’t kill me with your car” outfit for walking along sidewalk-less streets.

Totes colorblind looking, but really easy to spot.

Emmy Rae
Emmy Rae
6 years ago

I like to think I’m pretty stylish these days, but when I was a kid/teen I just had one outfit obsession after another:

kindergarten: 1 purple dress which I insisted must be worn at all times

third grade: huge bright orange matching shirt and shorts set, worn all summer long

fifth grade: 1 pair of navy shorts worn every day to school (they were part of my uniform, but I wouldn’t wear my other uniform shorts

middle school: homemade pants (out of cotton quilt-top material) which kept wearing out, so I would make a new pair of the same pants in a different fabric

high school: one pair of jeans I continually patched rather than replaced
etc.

Now I am still like that but also understand about laundry. Currently: pink dress worn every day of every weekend and sometimes during the week.

@contrapangloss my family doesn’t get why I keep buying white jackets, but it’s for precisely that reason. I prefer to not be hit by cars, thanks. Keeping my coat clean is not my #1 priority.

Robert
Robert
6 years ago

Cassandra – the last time I was in the Castro, the chocolate shop was gone. Replaced with another shop selling things you don’t need but want to have. Ah, capitalism.

Robert
Robert
6 years ago

Oh, clothing. I still remember, as a wee lad, putting on blue pants (not jeans) and a solid green placket front shirt. Almost to the door, and mother asks pleasantly, “You’re not going out dressed like that, are you?”

Both my husbands have been just like that. Current one has assisted me in learning how to do it for myself. I am normcore made flesh.

katz
6 years ago

If there was a just God I would be eating a bag of Minstrels right now instead of typing these sad words. So nope on the just God thing.

An airtight argument, right there.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Why do men’s pants go via having holes occur in the crotch. With my pants, it’s either the arse gets too thin (e.g. chenille fabric, knits) or the hems fray (e.g. denim).

I have formed this view from a sample of two but feel the need to extrapolate to everyone.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

I’m tempted to say “too much rubbing to check everything’s still there”.

GrumpyOldNurse
GrumpyOldNurse
6 years ago

@ pallygirl – butt and knees, for me. Knees and crotch for MrGrumpyOld(nota)Nurse. The small grumps are usually too smudged to tell where the rips are.

I doubt, somehow, that this will assist with your where pants wear out thesis, but better too much data than not enough!

GrumpyOldNurse
GrumpyOldNurse
6 years ago

@ kittehserf – I snorted so hard I may have lost a filling.

katz
6 years ago

We must make a scientific survey of this. For me, it’s always knees.

GrumpyOldMan
6 years ago

“Why do men’s pants go via having holes occur in the crotch.”
I’ve never had that problem — perhaps I should feel jealous.
Maybe it’s from popping boners whenever a woman passes by? No, that would only be true for 15-year-old boys.
Mine always go in the knees or the seat. I must lead a boring life.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

My partner is into making things with power tools. It may be that manipulating planks etc onto machinery is the driver. 🙂

Emmy Rae
Emmy Rae
6 years ago

Mine always go in the thighs.

My male partner’s jeans get crotch holes, but nearly simultaneously they have knee and top inside corner of butt pocket holes. I assumed it was because he bikes in them and those areas get a lot of movement.

Emmy Rae
Emmy Rae
6 years ago

My partner also attempts to jump into his pants two legs at a time, which causes them some stress as he is never successful.

I guess I can’t top Kitteh’s theory, since I don’t know how widespread Mr Emmy Rae’s habit is.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

I’ve had very few pants with holes in them. I mostly wear pants made out of stretchy material, so the holes have been in the center seam tending towards the butt. Apparently I’m more secure that everything is present and accounted for than most dudes.

bunnybunny
6 years ago

I’m a lady and just lost a pair of jeans to a crotch hole this year. Although they were getting a bit small anyway (read: I was getting a bit big).

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
6 years ago

It’s friction. That is why we are supposed to turn everything inside out when we launder it. I don’t do it, I just know I am supposed to and so it is all my fault when my favorite thing is ruined. To reduce the wear caused by friction. I have no opinion on why there is friction in some peeps crotches, none!

katz
6 years ago

I have no opinion on why there is friction in some peeps crotches, none!

Because they are Fall Out Boy.

Michael McG
Michael McG
6 years ago

My slacks wear most around the hems, whereas my jeans wear most around the rear pockets.

kittehserf
6 years ago

My partner also attempts to jump into his pants two legs at a time, which causes them some stress as he is never successful.

He should read the bit in Pepys’s diary when a friend of his went all day with both legs through one side of his breeches. Granted these were petticoat breechs and very wide, but you’d think he’d notice!

My jeans always wear out on the inner thigh, near the groin. It’s from my legs rubbing together.

twincats
twincats
6 years ago

This is all probably over with by now, but I’m a food passimist. Whatever you don’t like that I do, I’ll take off your hands and (hopefully) vice-versa.

I dislike okra, eggplant (aubergines), bell peppers, dark chocolate, anything with pumpkin, most things with bananas and kiwifruit (NOT kiwis!) This is not in any war meant to be a declaration of way, by the war!

I’m american and have seen the choco-smarties before, but as I recall, they didn’t actually have any chocolate in them. Cocoa, yes, but in the U.S. you’re not allowed to call that chocolate.

Flying Mouse
Flying Mouse
6 years ago

My jeans tend to show the most wear at the back pockets’ corners and the knees. Dress pants always hang on until they just wear thin/pill/get nasty all over.

Mr. FM is a mechanic who spends most of his days crawling over, under, and through pointy aircraft bits, so his pants are constantly turning up with new and innovative tears and holes. I don’t think he’s ever had a pair wear out naturally. They just get purged when the patch and darn to original fabric ration gets too out of whack.

(I guess that makes him an outlier on this very scientific study).

kittehserf
6 years ago

This is not in any war meant to be a declaration of way, by the war!

XD

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Kiwifruit is very nice, but passionfruit is the work of the devil. Not just because of the pips but also because of the taste. Passionfruit poisons everything.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

My book on why it should not be added to fruit salads or juice is going to be titled The Selfish Passionfruit.

My book about people who like the taste of passionfruit will be called The Passionfruit Delusion.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

The small local market by me had the Talenti ice creams on sale for $3.99. Guess who has some salted caramel in the freezer RIGHT NOW?

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

pallygirl: My wedding cake was passionfruit. Declaration of way? Y/N

kittehserf
6 years ago

Kiwifruit is very nice, but passionfruit is the work of the devil. Not just because of the pips but also because of the taste. Passionfruit poisons everything.

Never eaten actual passionfruit but love me some passionfruit icing … which is probably 99.99999% sugar anyway.

What about The Blind Passionfruit Eater?

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

If you eat all the passionfruits for me, this proposal is acceptable.

The Blind Passionfruit Eater has a sad and disappointing ending.

cloudiah
6 years ago

The small local market by me had the Talenti ice creams on sale for $3.99. Guess who has some salted caramel in the freezer RIGHT NOW?

I’ll be over in 5 minutes.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

cloudiah: come on up.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Might take a little longer than 5 minutes, now that I think about it. Hey, I read something the other day that looked at all the global climate change projections and declared the Pacific Northwest to be the best location once global warming hits us big time. Looks like you made the right decision!

kittehserf
6 years ago

Hey, I read something the other day that looked at all the global climate change projections and declared the Pacific Northwest to be the best location once global warming hits us big time.

Wait for meeee!

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

I considered the Pacific Northwest myself, but fuck it. The Midwest is way cheaper, and Ohio is oddly growing on me. (The $200 rent doesn’t hurt either.)