Oh no. Richard Dawkins has another post on the “mild rape is less bad than ferocious rape” paradigm he’s been using to illustrate Logic lately. It’s not going to calm the heaving waters.
For now I’ll just quote the last paragraph.
It is utterly deplorable that there are people, including in our atheist community, who suffer rape threats because of things they have said. And it is also deplorable that there are many people in the same atheist community who are literally afraid to think and speak freely, afraid to raise even hypothetical questions such as those I have mentioned in this article. They are afraid – and I promise you I am not exaggerating – of witch-hunts: hunts for latter day blasphemers by latter day Inquisitions and latter day incarnations of Orwell’s Thought Police.
Oh dear. It’s really too bad that he included the “and I promise you I am not exaggerating” – because of course he is doing just that. No, they are not afraid of witch-hunts or hunts for blasphemers by inquisitions or incarnations of Orwell’s Thought Police. Saying that is, indeed, exaggeration. It’s the same kind of exaggeration as comparing feminists to Nazis or the Stasi.
They are afraid of noisy, vehement, harsh criticism. I get being afraid of that. It can be alarming and overwhelming to have a torrent of criticism dumped on you. Absolutely. But it still doesn’t tie you to a stake and set fire to a bunch of damp wood piled at your feet (damp to make it burn slowly and thus prolong the agony). It doesn’t lock you up or send you to a Gulag. It isn’t comparable to witch-hunts or inquisitions or Orwell’s Thought Police.
[As yesterday: reasoned discussion; no epithets, no insults.]