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Sep 10 2013

Consciousness raising needed

There is a petition asking Richard Dawkins to retract his trivializing of victims of sexual abuse. I’m really not interested in a retraction; he’s a smart guy, I’d rather see him have a conversation about these issues, and come to a better understanding of why people find his statements repugnant.

If you sign it, please leave a comment asking him to think more deeply about the position he’s taken, and to try to understand why people care about what he says.

140 comments

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  1. 1
    gsjurseth

    Agreed. The petition is an additional polarizing moment. I do think the onus is on him, however, to listen to the criticism and address it. All I’ve seen so far is rhetoric suggesting that the real criticism surrounds equating molestation with rape and death. No one is saying that. The inane notion that any pedophilia needs/must be viewed in it’s historical context is insulting: we’re not doing that now for any surviving victims of priests for example.

    Troubling stuff…

    /geir

  2. 2
    Inaji

    Signed yesterday and I left a comment.

  3. 3
    R Johnston

    I’m really not interested in a retraction; he’s a smart guy, I’d rather see him have a conversation about these issues, and come to a better understanding of why people find his statements repugnant.

    It’s time for a Bayesian update on that point. Dawkins almost certainly isn’t as smart as his detractors think he is, much less as smart as his supporters think he is, and very much less as smart as he thinks he is. I think what we’ve seen in the last few years is exactly how limited in scope Dawkins’s intelligence is and how lacking he is in analytical ability in any realm beyond evolutionary biology. He’s well trained in his field of expertise, but it seems more and more like he simply doesn’t have the intelligence to do a good job of analyzing anything he hasn’t been specifically trained to analyze. He’s a dog who can run the obstacle course, he’s run every day for years but who stumbles and falls at the first glimpse of anything unfamiliar.

  4. 4
    smhll

    I think it is wrong for Dawkins to broadly generalize and ‘universalize’ his experience to others AS IF his small sample of molestation is representative. The fact that he had a more mild experience than many other young people was probably random, not because he was armored with a more relaxed attitude to sexual contact.

  5. 5
    grumpyoldfart

    R Johnson #3 writes about Dawkins:

    He’s a dog who can run the obstacle course, he’s run every day for years but who stumbles and falls at the first glimpse of anything unfamiliar.

    I have the feeling that the exact same words could be used to describe your own life thus far.

  6. 6
    PDX_Greg

    No doubt he is smart. He is brilliant, actually. He is a very talented and clever writer and speaker. But his reactions to being called out on his own privileged blindness have been so disappointing, I can’t say I expect that he would understand, or even TRY to understand this issue. Like almost all celebrities and “heroes”, he is quite attached to his own opinions on such matters that he has never carefully studied, and is not open to even the most voraciously rational arguments against them.

    Whatever; his books are generally great and available at libraries near you. His opinions about the plights of others not like him? Rubbish.

  7. 7
    anuran

    Signed and commented

  8. 8
    Inaji

    Getting in early here.

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  9. 9
    Al Dente

    Signed and message left.

    Unfortunately, considering his response to criticism of the Dear Muslima letter, I’m not optimistic that Dawkins with respond well to this petition.

  10. 10
    leftwingfox

    I can’t see it helping.

    I swear some people have a gene that makes criticism a carcinogen of the personality. The more you criticize their statements, the more likely those beliefs are to metastasize and consume them.

  11. 11
    Tashiliciously Shriked

    I think recanting is pointless, even if he does it (which he probably won’t, the obstinate old boor)

  12. 12
    ceesays

    Well, either he gives his head a shake and start doing better, or he’ll continue to alienate more people. but maybe he’ll give his head a shake and start doing better.

    maybe.

  13. 13
    carmagnole

    At this point I wonder if he’s always been like this and I’ve just failed to notice, or if being surrounded by uncritical fans / being locked in constant slugfests with religious nut-jobs has somehow accentuated his worst qualities. You know, “battle not with monsters” and all that.

  14. 14
    Inaji

    carmagnole @ 13:

    At this point I wonder if he’s always been like this and I’ve just failed to notice

    I expect it’s this one, because such attitudes don’t arise out of nowhere and pop into your head. There’s a lifetime of bias at work here, and I think it’s only coming out now because people are refusing to be silenced and talking about such issues.

  15. 15
    R Johnston

    Al Dente @9:

    Unfortunately, considering his response to criticism of the Dear Muslima letter, I’m not optimistic that Dawkins with respond well to this petition.

    What response to criticism of the Dear Muslima letter? Dawkins has yet to write anything responsive to the criticism aimed at him. He’s responded to the strawmen erected by the voices in his head, but not to any actual criticism.

  16. 16
    Inaji

    R Johnston:

    What response to criticism of the Dear Muslima letter? Dawkins has yet to write anything responsive to the criticism aimed at him. He’s responded to the strawmen erected by the voices in his head, but not to any actual criticism.

    He wrote plenty, in the same threads where he dumped Dear Muslima.

  17. 17
    PDX_Greg

    I signed and commented on the petition. But I do think PZ’s suggestion is better. A real conversation is needed and a genuine in-depth conversation where Dawkins could state a sdifferent position with conviction, not contrition, would be the only thing that would convince me that Dawkins is able to see through his filters. And about that whole misogyny thing, too.

    Dawkins is actually speaking in Portland — I would have jumped at the chance to see him before Muslima opened my eyes. Now I’m the first in the “not buying a ticket” line.

  18. 18
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    A side note but the usual suspects will see this post as yet an other PZ Myers attack on a popular figure. Never mind the tone PZ has been using has been one of regret about a friend that he expected better of.

    (Sorry I even brought this up. But I wanted it to be noted.)

  19. 19
    Tashiliciously Shriked

    Looking back, his oddly defensive stance about masculine pronouns in Blind Watchmaker is… even more awkward.

  20. 20
    R Johnston

    Caine @16:

    Yes, Dawkins certainly wrote a lot, but where was he actually responsive? His “responses” to the criticism of his uneducated Dear Muslima rant bring to mind the words “it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” There was as close to nothing as to make no difference that Dawkins said or wrote in connection to the matter that had anything to do with either the incidents that happened or the criticisms leveled at him. In a standard Fox News maneuver he retreated into his own fantasies, totally disconnected from reality.

  21. 21
    Inaji

    R Johnston @ 20, true enough. So far, Prof. Dawkins has shown no desire whatsoever to take a look at his own privilege. It’s likely to remain that way, too.

  22. 22
    Skeptical Jackal

    Caine @ 21:

    Prof. Dawkins has shown no desire whatsoever to take a look at his own privilege. It’s likely to remain that way, too.

    Agreed. I think he considers all that dare to criticize him as underpeople, an inferior human subspecies which he doesn’t consider worthy of his attention. Apparently it doesn’t matter if his critics are believers, feminists, fellow atheists or even colleagues. Whoever contradicts him is deemed “unworthy opponent”.

    I signed the petition, but unless something serious happens in his life forcing him to rethink a lot of his assumptions, I don’t see him recanting or even deigning to acknowledge the existence of his opponents.

  23. 23
    abewoelk

    When I was 14, I began a two-year consensual same-sex sexual relationship with a high school teacher. Because it was consensual, and because I emerged from it relatively unscathed (at least as best as I can tell), for years I took the position that such relationships were not a big deal and, while perhaps not praiseworthy, shouldn’t be criminal. I used to snicker at people who told me I was a victim. At one time I would have agreed with Dawkins.

    What changed my mind was the realization that just because I emerged from it relatively unscathed doesn’t mean that other kids were so lucky. Some kids commit suicide over such things. Others have mental health issues for the rest of their lives. And I have come to realize, somewhat belatedly, that my personal experience does not translate into the general experience of other people in the same position.

    And I think Dawkins has the same blind spot. If he was sexually abused as a child and managed to not be harmed by it, I’m happy for him. Not everyone was so lucky.

  24. 24
    Inaji

    Skeptical Jackal:

    I think he considers all that dare to criticize him as underpeople, an inferior human subspecies which he doesn’t consider worthy of his attention.

    You certainly get that feeling, that sense of being utterly dismissed. It’s unpleasant.

  25. 25
    yubal

    If you sign it, please leave a comment asking him to think more deeply about the position he’s taken, and to try to understand why people care about what he says.

    Done.

    I hope my comment was understandable.

  26. 26
    Jafafa Hots

    You certainly get that feeling, that sense of being utterly dismissed. It’s unpleasant.

    But on the bright side, I can do that right back.

  27. 27
    Inaji

    Jafafa Hots:

    But on the bright side, I can do that right back.

    :snortle: True that. It would be nice if it had some sort of impact.

  28. 28
    Michael

    Perhaps too many people are acting like he is the secular messiah or something, and he’s tired of the hero worship. So rather than try Brian’s (Graham Chapman’s) ineffective attempts, he’s deliberately dulling the shine a little, so people keep grounded that he is human. Just a thought.

  29. 29
    Inaji

    Perhaps too many people are acting like he is the secular messiah or something, and he’s tired of the hero worship. So rather than try Brian’s (Graham Chapman’s) ineffective attempts, he’s deliberately dulling the shine a little, so people keep grounded that he is human.

    Oh FFS, this is not a Monty Python sketch (or a movie), and this thought is pure idiocy. Prof. Dawkins is clearly stating his views, full stop. Many of those views are sexist and racist. In the one currently under discussion, he’s indulging in rape apologetics. What he has said couldn’t possibly be more clear, and if he’s a poor, tired messiah, he certainly has enough privilege to happily leave the limelight. It’s also clear he enjoys the limelight, and uses it to say some very wrong things, so I’m afraid your thought has nary a leg to stand on.

  30. 30
    jenny6833a

    As a child I had a teacher who occasionally twisted my nose and another who repeatedly slapped my fingers. As a teen and young adult, I and others were ‘felt up’ rather thoroughly by police officers who didn’t like being photographed in the misperformance of their ‘duty’.

    I wasn’t harmed during any of those incidents and have suffered no lasting effects. I don’t think that any of my classmates or nudist friends were harmed either.

  31. 31
    jenny6833a

    I think Richard Dawkins suffered no short- or long-term harm because no one told him again and again that unspeakable horrors had been inflicted on him and that his life was forever ruined.

  32. 32
    Inaji

    jenny6833a:

    I wasn’t harmed during any of those incidents and have suffered no lasting effects. I don’t think that any of my classmates or nudist friends were harmed either.

    If people would fucking read before posting, we wouldn’t have to keep repeating ourselves. It’s great you suffered no effects or harm. While you might think none of your classmates or nudist friends* weren’t harmed, you don’t know that, and you don’t get to speak for them. Where Dawkins goes wrong is in extrapolating his experience onto everyone else, along with stating that being sexually molested really isn’t all that big of a deal. Dawkins doesn’t get to make that judgement about anyone except himself.

    I think Richard Dawkins suffered no short- or long-term harm because no one told him again and again that unspeakable horrors had been inflicted on him and that his life was forever ruined.

    I think this is pure bullshit. It’s also been brought up in other threads, and it was bullshit there, too. One more time: Where Dawkins goes wrong is in extrapolating his experience onto everyone else, along with stating that being sexually molested really isn’t all that big of a deal. Dawkins doesn’t get to make that judgement about anyone except himself.
     
    *What in the fuckety fuck does nudism have to do with your point?

  33. 33
    Inaji

    Monitor Note:

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    1. You cannot control your posting habits, and are dominating the discussion.

    2. Your comments are repetitive, especially if you repeat arguments that have already been addressed.

    3. You demonstrate that you are unwilling to have read previous comments or the opening post.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/rules/

  34. 34
    imthegenieicandoanything

    A Discussion Topic I’m trying to post at the Dawkins site related to his treatment of Rebecca Watson & Skepchicks still hasn’t been OK’d by whoever their moderator is, nor have they bothered to answer my simple and very civil email asking why it hasn’t.

    I mention that because it seems to be due to the same sense of his opinions being “above” those of anyone who dares a contrary opinion – and nothing saps my respect for a person faster than that.

    I’ll be doing this as well. I hope he’s somehow been unable to make his intention clear (nah, I don’t see how either) or wakes up to his being an unreasoning, uselessly opinionated, alienating idiot on this and a few other matters.

    Maybe he is just getting too old.

  35. 35
    jenny6833a

    #32, Caine, Fleur du mal, says, “Where Dawkins goes wrong is in extrapolating his experience onto everyone else, along with stating that being sexually molested really isn’t all that big of a deal. Dawkins doesn’t get to make that judgement about anyone except himself.”

    Dawkins didn’t make any judgment about others. He said, “I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm.”

    He offered a rather tentative opinion. “I don’t think …” is NOT a judgement.

    Some of you folks really need to read more carefully — and with better understanding.

  36. 36
    Ichthyic

    Some of you folks really need to read more carefully — and with better understanding.

    you’re an idiot. really.

    be aware of that going forward in your life. It will assist you greatly in your dealings with others.

  37. 37
    theoreticalgrrrl

    Right Jenny6833am, the reason kids have a problem with being molested is due to being brainwashed by others to think it’s horrible. Otherwise they’d be just fine with it.

  38. 38
    Ichthyic

    guess I need to post this in every thread about this issue.

    listen up, idiots. People who actually understand what Dawkins said, and have the background to comprehend the damage it does, have concluded:

    Peter Watt, director of child protection at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, called Dawkins’ defense of sexual assault “a terrible slight” to victims of such abuse.

    “Mr. Dawkins seems to think that because a crime was committed a long time ago we should judge it in a different way,” Watt continued. “But we know that the victims of sexual abuse suffer the same effects whether it was 50 years ago or yesterday.”

    got it?

    YOU ARE WRONG.

  39. 39
    Inaji

    Some of you folks really need to read more carefully — and with better understanding.

    Here’s an idea! How about if you read more carefully – and with better understanding?

  40. 40
    Inaji

    theoreticalgrrrl:

    Right Jenny6833am, the reason kids have a problem with being molested is due to being brainwashed by others to think it’s horrible. Otherwise they’d be just fine with it.

    Yep. Right interesting how that works, given that a majority of sexually abused kids never speak about it or tell anyone. I was raped for six years when I was a child and never said a word. Never even talked about it as an adult until I was in my 40s, but I guess I was brainwashed by someone.

  41. 41
    Moggie

    Michael:

    Perhaps too many people are acting like he is the secular messiah or something, and he’s tired of the hero worship. So rather than try Brian’s (Graham Chapman’s) ineffective attempts, he’s deliberately dulling the shine a little, so people keep grounded that he is human. Just a thought.

    Not much of a thought. If you’re an effective communicator, and you’re concerned about hero worship, do you: (a) write about our tendency to put people on pedestals, the good and bad things about this, its connection with religion etc; or (b) devise a cunning plan to torpedo your own effectiveness by acting like a douche, thus driving away supporters, many of whom will find other heroes to worship?

    Remember whose website says “This is a movement, and Richard Dawkins is the catalyst that galvanizes it”. Those don’t sound like the words of someone who wants to “dull the shine”. More like someone who is furiously polishing it.

  42. 42
    anuran

    I was sexually abused as a child
    I was taught religion
    The effects of the sexual assault were much worse and longer lasting and definitely a big deal.

    Dick Dawkins can toddle his patrician British ass off the end of the pier.

  43. 43
    marinerachel

    Isn’t that Warren Farrell, Men’s Rights elder’s thing – girls raped by family members only feel harmed because people tell them to?

  44. 44
    echidna

    Jenny6833am:

    I wasn’t harmed during any of those incidents and have suffered no lasting effects.

    You display a distinct lack of empathy. Are you sure that you weren’t harmed by the societal messages that this was normal?

  45. 45
    billyeager

    no one told him again and again that unspeakable horrors had been inflicted on him and that his life was forever ruined.

    Spoken like a true paedophile/paedophilia apologist. Oh, before your knee-jerkery fires back some throwaway missive about ad hominem’s, do some research, your words are to be found, verbatim, on pro-paedophilia websites and within despicable organisations such as NAMBLA.

    I don’t think that any of my classmates or nudist friends were harmed either.

    Ah, yes, nudism, that particular proclivity is also to be found promoted in spades at these places too.

    Funny that.

  46. 46
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @jenny6833a

    Dawkins didn’t make any judgment about others. He said, “I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm.”

    [Emphasis mine]

    any of us
    any of us
    any of us!!!

    Jesus fuck, how is this difficult? Can someone please explain to me how anyone could look at that sentence and go “Well, that’s not extrapolating his experience onto other!”. It’s right there in black and fucking white! Jenny quoted it herself and still didn’t get it! How!?

  47. 47
    Nick Gotts

    What in the fuckety fuck does nudism have to do with your point? – Caine, Fleur du mal@32

    Nudism is pretty much always always jenny6833a’s point.

  48. 48
    Laurent Eriksen

    I kinda agree with Dawkins on this one. I also have a close friend who was molested and doesn’t think it’s a big deal. He also told me that his psychologist tried again and again to get him to say that he feels terrible when thinking about it, but he simply doesn’t.
    What I take from that is that we in our secular culture may be doing something similar to what Christians do when they want to convince young girls that something valuable and important was taken from them when they lost their virginity and need to feel bad about this, which is the main reason why they actually end up feeling shameful.
    I’m totally open to the hypothesis that some anthropologist may come along and show us that the psychological harm certain actions do is very much dependant on cultural variables as Dawkins may have implied, so I don’t see why what he said is met by such an emotional response instead of a cool rational discussion of the topic.

  49. 49
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Laurent Eriksen

    You, too, have missed the point. See my #46. The problem is not that Dawkins feels he wasn’t harmed. He was the victim and if that’s what he says then I believe him. The problem is that Dawkins presumes that since he wasn’t harmed, none of the master’s victims were harmed. Quite apart from the fact he has zero evidence to support this, it has a negative effect on victims of this master or any other molester who were negatively affected by it. That’s the problem.

  50. 50
    drxym

    What a ludicrous petition and what a ludicrous furory. It was clear in context what he was driving at and it wasn’t to “trivialize” anything.

  51. 51
    Nick Gotts

    drxym@50

    what a ludicrous furory

    Furory? Is that a furtive theory, perhaps? A furry story? No, I give up.

    It was clear in context what he was driving at

    Do tell us, O great one: we await your pearls of wisdom.

  52. 52
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Nick Gotts

    I assume drxym means furore. Though how they managed to hit the “y” when it’s separated from the “e” by both “t” and “r” is beyond me.

    @drxym

    He may not have intended to trivialise anything, and in fact I don’t believe he did mean to, but that doesn’t change the fact he did.

  53. 53
    drxym

    @Nick Gotts go read them yourself.

  54. 54
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Richard Dawkins just handed Ray Comfort ammo (paraphrased: “defending pedophilia = atheist morality”) with his statement. How much more evidence do you need to see before you realize how poorly it was constructed?

  55. 55
    Roberto Aguirre Maturana

    I mostly agree with #3. Richard Dawkins critical thinking abilities seems to be restricted to evolutionary biology and the demarcation problem between science and religion, yet regarding issues like discrimination or sexual abuse he has a huge blind spot.

  56. 56
    francesc

    @Laurent I don’t have an anecdotic 2nd-hand experience to share, but I was thinking the same. Would it be possible that social rejection of sexual abuse is increasing victim’s pain? I suspect it is, as victims of rape are often more ashamed than their assailants. Then, what should we do? Do we agree to not ever speak about the issue again? Should we change our ethics and laws and stop considering sexual abuse a crime?
    When I read your comment I thought: “ok, this could start an interesting discussion about ethics and maybe this point needs more anthropological/pshycological studies to gather more data”. Then, do you think that Dawkins lacks the communicative ability to state his point clearly? Or maybe that wasn’t his point at all? Is it possible that his point simply was: “hey, been there and I’m fine, you seem to be overreacting”

  57. 57
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    ould it be possible that social rejection of sexual abuse is increasing victim’s pain? I suspect it is, as victims of rape are often more ashamed than their assailants.

    What the… how does this even follow? It makes no sense at all.

    And yes, it was Warren Farrel’s schtick to say that incest is only harmful because society tells the victims they should feel bad.

    THAT WARREN FARREL ARGUED THE SAME AS YOU DO SHOULD TELL Y’ALL SOMETHING. Just saying.

  58. 58
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    Oh, and those nice people from the article PZ linked to in another post, the pedophiles who “take” kids who need “rehoming”? Here’s what one of them said in an online chat with an undercover police officer:

    “Its all fun man no matter their age,” Winslow wrote in a chat. Winslow told Laws he would come to Alaska and work as the man’s housekeeper; in exchange, Winslow would have access to the children. Their chat went this way: (source: http://www.reuters.com/investigates/adoption/#article/part2)

    Lovethemcute: its a shame they have to feel guilty or schools tell them its wrong

    Laws, working undercover: yea but what are you going to do

    Lovethemcute: I agree its wrong to abuse a child but we don’t abuse them there is a difference

    Lovethemcute: just have to raise them to think its fine and not to tell anyone

    Lovethemcute: what is done in the family stays in the family

    So please tell me again how molesting kids would be fine if only society didn’t make such a big deal out of it.

  59. 59
    David Marjanović

    Perhaps too many people are acting like he is the secular messiah or something, and he’s tired of the hero worship. So rather than try Brian’s (Graham Chapman’s) ineffective attempts, he’s deliberately dulling the shine a little, so people keep grounded that he is human. Just a thought.

    what

    Remember whose website says “This is a movement, and Richard Dawkins is the catalyst that galvanizes it”. Those don’t sound like the words of someone who wants to “dull the shine”. More like someone who is furiously polishing it.

    To be fair, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to learn that he doesn’t even know his website says this. Remember, he still doesn’t understand that the Internet is real! #Neuland

  60. 60
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I think Richard Dawkins suffered no short- or long-term harm because no one told him again and again that unspeakable horrors had been inflicted on him and that his life was forever ruined.

    TRIGGER WARNING

    I never told. Still haven’t told anyone outside of this blog. I didn’t even remember any details beyond not liking scouts until I was in my 40s. So, Jenny6833am, are my flashbacks, body memories, panic attacks, massive guilt, because I was brainwashed into thinking that it really was wrong to be anally raped by a middle-aged man when I was 9 years old?

    I wasn’t harmed during any of those incidents and have suffered no lasting effects.

    I am gladdened by that.

    However, when Dawkins not only says the same thing but projects it onto his classmates, do you not see the problem there? He (and you) can speak to personal experience. Doesn’t mean it applies to others.

    It was clear in context what he was driving at and it wasn’t to “trivialize” anything.

    Maybe clear, maybe not. As a survivor (so far) what I got out of it was that I really shouldn’t talk about the pain and guilt and suicidal feelings because Dawkins wasn’t harmed when he was sexually assaulted as a child.

    =======

    Though Dawkin’s statement does give me some insight into his assertion that teaching children about hell is far worse than child abuse. Then again, his privilege is showing in that he doesn’t understand that, for some of us, far too many of us, we were shown that hell can exist right here on earth.

  61. 61
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    Though Dawkin’s statement does give me some insight into his assertion that teaching children about hell is far worse than child abuse. Then again, his privilege is showing in that he doesn’t understand that, for some of us, far too many of us, we were shown that hell can exist right here on earth.

    Word. We discussed this very thing way back in the Matt Dillahunty thread, and I dislike the need to keep saying the same thing over and over, but…

    I was brought up old school Catholic in the States. That meant classical teaching of hell. The concept of hell was hammered into to me until it was woven into my flesh. It terrified me. A family member started raping me when I was three years old. This went on until I was nine years old. When it comes to which constituted the most abuse, which was worse, for me? It was being raped. That made hell seem like the soft option, and I can’t even express how much hell frightened me.

    It’s fine for Prof. Dawkins to feel any way he likes about being molested, and it’s fine for him to feel that teaching religion constitutes abuse. In many ways, I agree with the latter. All that said, Prof. Dawkins has absolutely no business speaking for his classmates, or for Gen, or for Ogvorbis, or for me, or for anyone else, which is what he is doing. Prof. Dawkins is wrong, and he needs to stop talking, at the very least.

  62. 62
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Caine:

    Deep and loving hugs to you. I have no words, just ehugs.

  63. 63
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis, the same to you, always. It’s not easy for us, talking about these things, being guardians to that lost kid inside.

  64. 64
    Seize

    I’m totally open to the hypothesis that some anthropologist may come along and show us that the psychological harm certain actions do is very much dependant on cultural variables as Dawkins may have implied,

    My friend, we are not talking about how how in some places a “thumbs up” means “great job” and in other places it means “cram this up your ass.” We are talking about adults remembering experiences where their physical person was grossly imposed upon by another person for no reason more compelling than fleeting gratification. (And often for reasons far less compelling, and far more sinister.) Forgive me if I am skeptical that the the touching of physiologically normative sexual erogenous zones will ever be considered meaningless by a later civilization.

    so I don’t see why what he said is met by such an emotional response instead of a cool rational discussion of the topic.

    If we are too shrill for you here, you must for consistency’s sake agree to desist with that dog whistle.

  65. 65
    Seize

    my comment at 64 is directed @ Laurent Eriksen @ 48.

    (You finally learn to masterfully employ the blockquote tag and then you forget to address your comment… paging Alanis Morissette)

  66. 66
    stephens

    Ogvorbis,

    . I didn’t even remember any details beyond not liking scouts until I was in my 40s. So, Jenny6833am, are my flashbacks, body memories, panic attacks, massive guilt, because I was brainwashed into thinking that it really was wrong to be anally raped by a middle-aged man when I was 9 years old?

    If I’m reading you correctly in that you didn’t have specific memories until you were in your 40s, you should consider the possibility that those later memories are not real. Repressed memory is a hugely controversial subject in psychology, one that’s not accepted as proven to exist by mainstream science. Elizabeth Loftus is one example of a widely respected expert in the field who argued against it.

    As a survivor (so far) what I got out of it was that I really shouldn’t talk about the pain and guilt and suicidal feelings because Dawkins wasn’t harmed when he was sexually assaulted as a child.

    You were anally raped when you were nine, while Dawkins is saying that “mild touching-up” should not be “bracketed” with the really horrible paedophilia-based crimes like “rape or even murder”. And what you get out of this is Dawkins wants to minimize what happened to you? Forgive me for saying so, but this is a very, very peculiar reading of his words.

  67. 67
    Inaji

    Stephens:

    If I’m reading you correctly in that you didn’t have specific memories until you were in your 40s, you should consider the possibility that those later memories are not real.

    You were anally raped when you were nine, while Dawkins is saying that “mild touching-up” should not be “bracketed” with the really horrible paedophilia-based crimes like “rape or even murder”. And what you get out of this is Dawkins wants to minimize what happened to you? Forgive me for saying so, but this is a very, very peculiar reading of his words.

    Monitor Note: You will not be doing this. At all. You are indulging in a form of rape apologetics, and that is not on. You will not express any opinion on what constitutes abuse on another person’s part. Full stop. Consider this a warning. Any more of this, an alert will be sent and you risk being banned.

  68. 68
    daniellavine

    Hey, all you trolls saying “I don’t think pedophilia causes any harm, I think it’s just reporting and criticizing reporting pedophilia that causes harm”:

    1. That is a straight-up NAMBLA talking point.
    2. If you really want anyone to consider your seriously fucked-up pedophilia apologetics then you should maybe provide some, I dunno, evidence that there’s even the remotest chance it might be true. Peer reviewed studies, please, not anecdata.

  69. 69
    daniellavine

    68 was directed at stephens, fransesc, Laurent Eriksen, and Jennysomerandomnumbers.

    fransesc@56:

    Is it possible that his point simply was: “hey, been there and I’m fine, you seem to be overreacting”

    That’s the interpretation which pretty much everyone here agrees was his intent and which is being criticized.

  70. 70
    stephens

    Caine,

    As plain reading of my words will show you if you undertake to read them, I have argued with Ogvorbis’s interpretation of Dawkins’ statements. I have not opined on whether anything that happened to them constituted abuse or not – that’s really not my place to decide. Neither is it rape apologetics to point out the extremely well documented controversial status of repressed memories in mainstream psychology. None of that tries to excuse or whitewash in any way the horrible crime that is a rape of a child.

    I will not reply to any further attempts from you to misrepresent what I said and put hateful words in my mouth. If you think you might be misunderstanding something I wrote, I’ll be happy to explain further, or otherwise engage in argument.

  71. 71
    daniellavine

    Because people are seriously stupid:

    Suppose you say something stupid and I get mad and smash up your car with a baseball bat. Further suppose that your car is an old POS insured for more than its blue book value, that my baseball bat shenanigans did more damage than the car’s value and as a result you were able to collect more from the insurance on the car than you could have by reselling the car. So you say “score!” and buy yourself a slightly nicer POS with the insurance money.

    Now, you’re obviously not harmed by my act. In fact, I inadvertently helped you get a nice new(er) shitbox.

    Does that mean what I did with the baseball bat was morally correct?

  72. 72
    Inaji

    stephens:

    I have not opined on whether anything that happened to them constituted abuse or not – that’s really not my place to decide. Neither is it rape apologetics to point out the extremely well documented controversial status of repressed memories in mainstream psychology. None of that tries to excuse or whitewash in any way the horrible crime that is a rape of a child.

    What you wrote is visible, you know. Denying what you wrote is stupid and pointless. I’m sending an alert.

  73. 73
    daniellavine

    stephens@70:

    As plain reading of my words will show you if you undertake to read them, I have argued with Ogvorbis’s interpretation of Dawkins’ statements.

    No, you didn’t actually. There is no part of #66 in which you argue with Ogvorbis’ interpretation of Dawkins statements. You do argue that Ogvorbis is wrong about his own interpretation of his own life experiences, but you do not argue anything about his interpretation of Dawkins’ statements.

    I have not opined on whether anything that happened to them constituted abuse or not – that’s really not my place to decide.

    You implied that what happened to Dawkins was not abuse, or at least not the bad kind of abuse:

    You were anally raped when you were nine, while Dawkins is saying that “mild touching-up” should not be “bracketed” with the really horrible paedophilia-based crimes like “rape or even murder”.

    . Neither is it rape apologetics to point out the extremely well documented controversial status of repressed memories in mainstream psychology.

    It is when you try to tell someone who tells you he was raped as a child is incorrect and that it’s probably just repressed memories.

    None of that tries to excuse or whitewash in any way the horrible crime that is a rape of a child.

    It’s straight-up an attempt to erase Ogvorbis’ experience of this.

    I will not reply to any further attempts from you to misrepresent what I said and put hateful words in my mouth. If you think you might be misunderstanding something I wrote, I’ll be happy to explain further, or otherwise engage in argument.

    What you said is clear and fucked up.

  74. 74
    stephens

    daniellavine,

    evidence that there’s even the remotest chance it might be true.

    Look. I’ll probably regret giving this link even though it’s just about the most famous evidence of this kind there has been, reported and written on thousands of times, discussed on the floot of Congress, etc. But are you really completely unaware of the Rind et al controversy? It was a peer reviewed study, later replicated, that claimed a failure to find a causal link between child sexual abuse and “intense, pervasive harm and long-term maladjustment”. It was of course criticized, and then the defended, and then other scientists redid the analysis 6 years later and got almost the same results. The links are in the Wikipedia article.

    I’m neither a troll nor a paedophilia apologist, but this study is out there as evidence you asked for. It’s important to also note that there have been other studies (example) that claimed pervasive harm, and the whole subject is very much controversial. But surely this falls under your requested “remotest chance it might be true”? That’s quite a weak requirement.

  75. 75
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    stephens:

    You have not silenced me. You will not silence me. But I need to step away for a bit until I am in a safer place.

  76. 76
    Inaji

    stephens!

    STOP RIGHT NOW. You have not only spewed vile rape apologetics and told a survivor he’s mistaken about his own experiences, you seem to have genuine trouble in comprehending a clue.

    Until PZ is able to address your apologia himself, there will be no more of this crap in this thread. You have already caused harm, and it will stop. If you cannot help yourself, take any further comment to Thunderdome.

    Anyone who wishes to respond to stephens, do so in Thunderdome. Thank you.

  77. 77
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    You have not silenced me. You will not silence me. But I need to step away for a bit until I am in a safer place.

    We are legion, Ogvorbis. Holding on to you. And yes, step away, this shit is unbelievably triggering.

  78. 78
    daniellavine

    stephens@74:

    Yeah, that’s a lot better than the weak sauce everyone brought so far, although I’ll redirect you to my post at 71 and also mention that this study was based on self-reported harm which is not quite the same thing as simply harm.

    Also going to snip this little bit from the wiki article because I think it’s relevant:

    Shortly thereafter, the North American Man/Boy Love Association posted an approving review of the study on their website, furthering the impression that the piece was an endorsement of pedophilia.

    So I personally tend to think that when your peer reviewed research is going to be used as support by organizations like NAMBLA maybe you should make extra sure you’ve dotted your “i”s and crossed your “t”s. Since there are no less than 7 criticisms, at least some of them quite reasonable, listed on that wiki article I’d say the authors didn’t quite do that.

  79. 79
    stephens

    daniellevine,

    There is no part of #66 in which you argue with Ogvorbis’ interpretation of Dawkins statements. You do argue that Ogvorbis is wrong about his own interpretation of his own life experiences, but you do not argue anything about his interpretation of Dawkins’ statements.

    What the hell are you talking about? Here are my words:

    You were anally raped when you were nine, while Dawkins is saying that “mild touching-up” should not be “bracketed” with the really horrible paedophilia-based crimes like “rape or even murder”.

    I’m recounting Ogvorbis’s statement about his life, and citing what Dawkins said about the “mild”, in his words, sexual abuse he was subjected to, contrasting it with “rape or even murder”.

    And what you get out of this is Dawkins wants to minimize what happened to you? Forgive me for saying so, but this is a very, very peculiar reading of his words.

    I’m criticizing Ogvorbis’s reading of Dawkins, namely “what I got out of it was that I really shouldn’t talk about the pain and guilt and suicidal feelings because Dawkins wasn’t harmed when he was sexually assaulted as a child”. It’s in direct contradiction to Dawkins’s desire not to bracket the “mild” kind with rape. How is it reasonable to read in Dawkins “I shouldn’t talk…” with respect to rape? I’m criticizing his reading of Dawkins. See the words “very peculiar reading of his words” quoted up there? How can you possibly read that and claim “you do not argue anything about his interpretation”? Are you joking or something?

    You implied that what happened to Dawkins was not abuse, or at least not the bad kind of abuse:

    No, Dawkins implied that, not me.

  80. 80
    daniellavine

    Sorry, Caine, cross-posted with your 77.

  81. 81
    PZ Myers

    Stephens: You’ve been warned. Your next comment in this thread will be your last anywhere on Pharyngula.

  82. 82
    roro80

    I have not opined on whether anything that happened to them constituted abuse or not – that’s really not my place to decide.

    You straight-up accused Ogvorbis of making up hir rape. Do you have any fucking clue how utterly fucked up that is?

  83. 83
    roro80

    Sorry Caine, your request to take it to the thunderdome hadn’t come up when I started my comment. Sincere apologies.

  84. 84
    Inaji

    Roro80, no problem.

  85. 85
    jeffm

    My first ever comment on FTB: Prof Dawkins is v much a product of the English public school system so not surprising he does not see anything wrong about it. Listen to Derek and Clive satirise it in “Sir” and you’ll get the picture. Prof Dawkins v good when banging on about evolution but not so good banging on about anything else. He cocked up making these comments. Let’s hope he has learned from it.

  86. 86
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    francesc @56

    Would it be possible that social rejection of sexual abuse is increasing victim’s pain? I suspect it is, as victims of rape are often more ashamed than their assailants. Then, what should we do? Do we agree to not ever speak about the issue again?

    The fuck?

    Okay, let me calm down. Okay.

    You do not understand what you are talking about. That is not a slam against you in general, only a specific point that you do not understand what you are talking about in this specific instance.

    Victims of rape suffer. They are visible when we acknowledge that suffering. They do not cease to suffer when they bottle it inside. They are not caused to suffering by social acknowledgment that it is wrong.

    I mean, you take the fact that our rape culture is so messed up and rape victims are so encouraged to internalize their pain and use it as weapons against themselves to somehow argue that talking about it hurts. No. Not talking about it is what causes it to fester. Talking about this shit, realizing how many others have felt this way, have beat ourselves up because we needed to “be better” for the world helps. It makes things easier to understand and it helps people process faster in a way likelier to be healthier starting earlier.

    Rape is a trauma. The responses we have to it are trauma responses. The process is traumatic. But actually acknowledging that it is happening is the only means by which to move through that. Silence only allows those who have never experienced it feel like it never happens. It privileges those who haven’t been raped or prefer to believe in a world where rape is rare or non-existent over having a means for survivors to receive care.

    So, no. Fuck the “he had a point” garbage that those who want to retain a good image of Dawkins are clinging to. Acknowledging the rot does not create the rot. It merely points out how deep it lies and how much it has spoiled the whole damn fucking rape-infested fruit.

  87. 87
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    Also not to play junior psychologist on the internet, but I seriously fucking doubt that Dawkins was “unaffected” by his rape. I get that some people are lucky enough to escape with minimal scars, the feeling of a bad weekend and nothing more. I mean, infinite world, some peeps get the breaks and don’t have the delayed bomb going off effects the rest of us do where years later we’re crying while asleep because we’re back there and it’s still happening.

    But I doubt that Dawkins is one of them. I mean, look how he keeps circling back to it when he has no real reason to bring it up. How important it is to him that it not be anything bad in order for him not to be weak How it keeps cycling up over and over again. I know that behavior. I know from doing it the cycling conversations back to it while joking that it wasn’t as bad as everyone else’s. I know from traumatic recycling of events.

    And frankly, that’s exactly what Dawkins mentioning it feels to me.

    Now, that doesn’t fucking excuse him making pro-child-rapist arguments and universalizing his (false) impressions of himself. It’s just as bad with or without that “excuse”. And frankly with each passing year, I’m more and more ashamed of the copy of The Selfish Gene I used to display with pride.

  88. 88
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    stephens @66

    Get the fuck out.

    I would say more. Because that horrible vile pestilent action you just decided to take where you TOLD A FUCKING RAPE VICTIM that they must be deluded is so far beyond the pale, it should be grounds for retroactive revocation of your human status. It is an unforgivable action and I’m holding back words of raw fury because by this point you’ve probably already gotten yourself banned.

    You are a horrible person and I hope you have a life fully deserved by your actions, no more, no less.

  89. 89
    shoeguy

    I believe Dawkins owes his reputation a better explanation of what his experience as a child did or did not effect him personally. It would be a damn shame if this broad offhand generalization should end up as one of the bullet points in his biography. There is no doubt the man is a genius but that has limits.

  90. 90
    Inaji

    Cerberus! Please, do not respond to stephens in this thread. If you must, please take it to Thunderdome, as per request already posted. Thanks.

  91. 91
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    Whoops, sorry Caine.

    And massive gaint HUGS to Ogvorbis. You didn’t deserve that massive horrible demonstration of the child rape apologetics movement.

  92. 92
    Inaji

    Shoeguy:

    I believe Dawkins owes his reputation a better explanation of what his experience as a child did or did not effect him personally.

    No. Prof. Dawkins owes the details of his assault to no one. No one who has been a victim of rape or sexual assault owes that, and it is not at all alright to think that said details are owed. That doesn’t change because Prof. Dawkins has chosen to be a compleat asshole about it.

    It would be a damn shame if this broad offhand generalization should end up as one of the bullet points in his biography.

    Why would it be a shame? I don’t give a damn about Prof. Dawkins’s reputation. If he chooses to define himself with instances like Dear Muslima, all the terrible racist things he has said, and defending the sexual assault of children, that’s his choice. As all these things are his viewpoints, I’ll go with publish and be damned.

  93. 93
    Inaji

    Cerberus:

    And massive gaint HUGS to Ogvorbis. You didn’t deserve that massive horrible demonstration of the child rape apologetics movement.

    He sure as hell didn’t. Shit, I’m still trying to pick my jaw up off the ground.

  94. 94
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    Is there like a casting call we’re missing, where all the various scumbags of the internet have been requested to show their absolute worst, most rape apologetic and specifically child rape apologetic face possible? Cause, holy fuckballs, these various defenders of “atheist heroes” are getting more and more horrifying every week.

  95. 95
    Inaji

    Cerberus:

    Cause, holy fuckballs, these various defenders of “atheist heroes” are getting more and more horrifying every week.

    You aren’t kidding. It’s been one amazingly vile and shittastic “defense” after another. I. Do. Not. Grok. It. I don’t care who says shit like this, don’t defend them. It’s wrong. I shouldn’t be surprised, I really shouldn’t, that people will defend rape and sexual assault because they need a hero that badly. FFS, yeah, the man wrote some good books. And? Yeah.

    If you feel like watching your blood pressure rise, check this thread: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/09/09/i-beseech-you-in-the-bowels-of-christ-please-stop/comment-page-1/#comments

  96. 96
    Seize

    @ Caine @ 95

    YERP. YIKES. NOPE. Somehow I had missed the first thread. Could only read a few from the bottom before my claptrap trap jammed and I was forced to disengage. Don’t know how you do it all day every day. Thank you for your service to the commentariat.

    @ the right archduchess of slanterbury mme Cerberus

    Supemegafisk: atheist slug apologia edition? I can think of a better venue than the thunderdome IYKWIM AITYD.

  97. 97
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    Seize @96

    … Now there’s a thought. Muahahaha.

    Caine @95

    I’m only a third of the way through and I already want to press the reset button on the universe.

    Though it is “funny” in a sense to see all the die-hard super-skeptics who swarmed around demanding infinite proof plus free hamburgers with regards to PZ relating the warning given about Schermer try to pull the same exact stunt with an actual published article posted to the very blog of the person who wrote it.

    I mean, talk about no proof ever being sufficient to convince these supposed skeptics and a full demonstration that they are nothing more than denialists, unwilling to even look at the overwhelming evidence that goes against the type of universe they’d prefer to believe in.

  98. 98
    Inaji

    Seize:

    YERP. YIKES. NOPE. Somehow I had missed the first thread. Could only read a few from the bottom before my claptrap trap jammed and I was forced to disengage.

    Believe me, I share the feelings. It never ceases to amaze, the length rape apologists are willing to go to, especially when one of their Holy Saints is involved. It flabbers your ghast and drives you into the bat’s belfry all at once.

    Don’t know how you do it all day every day. Thank you for your service to the commentariat.

    Aaw, thanks. I’m hardly alone. Without the rest of the Horde, it would be impossible.

  99. 99
    Inaji

    Cerberus:

    Though it is “funny” in a sense to see all the die-hard super-skeptics who swarmed around demanding infinite proof plus free hamburgers with regards to PZ relating the warning given about Schermer try to pull the same exact stunt with an actual published article posted to the very blog of the person who wrote it.

    Oh, I know. My irony meter didn’t stand a fucking chance. They will stretch any way, in order to absolve their beloved heroes. They have all the credibility of silly putty.

  100. 100
    Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory

    Seize @96

    On that note, if an enterprising reader wants to help make that fisking happen. A good link to the whole article or a sneaky copy-paste emailed to my address at cerberussadlyno AT gmail DOT com, can help a ton.

  101. 101
    Anri

    Laurent Eriksen @48:

    I’m totally open to the hypothesis that some anthropologist may come along and show us that the psychological harm certain actions do is very much dependant on cultural variables as Dawkins may have implied, so I don’t see why what he said is met by such an emotional response instead of a cool rational discussion of the topic.

    translation: “Kids were molested – sheesh – why get so worked up about it! Just chill, man! It’s barely worth your time and effort amiright?”

    *vomit*

    For any arguing against lasting harm: A child cannot consent to sex. Sexual contact without consent is rape. Even if a victim was totally unaware of a rape, a rape has occurred. If you are ok with this occurring, you are defending rape.
    It really is just that simple.

  102. 102
    Hekuni Cat, MQG

    Signed.

  103. 103
    scimaths

    He cocked up making these comments. Let’s hope he has learned from it.

    I think it’s highly unlikely he’s learned anything useful from it at all. Because that’s his problem. A refusal to listen to other people, a refusal to take on board information and knowledge from outside his immediate field, a dismissal of “lesser” others. He has such a belief in his own position on every last thing, that there can be no budging for him

  104. 104
    theoreticalgrrrl

    Well, maybe kids are afraid of hell because we tell them over and over that it’s a bad, horrible place to go. Would it be possible that social rejection of the concept of hell is increasing kids fear of it? I suspect it is, as the victims of the teaching that hell is a bad place are often more afraid than people who just accept it as a normal thing. Then, what should we do? Do we agree to not criticize people who tell their kids they might go to hell, or that hell is ‘bad’, ever again?

  105. 105
    Ichthyic

    Well, maybe kids are afraid of hell because we tell them over and over that it’s a bad, horrible place to go

    You know, there’s a way to find that out! All we need to do is talk with kids who actually went to hell and…

    oh, wait.

    I do hope you are seeing the problem with your “analogy” at this point?

  106. 106
    theoreticalgrrrl

    yeah, I know. It’s late. :)

    I was trying to use francesc’s @56 argument that the social rejection of sexual abuse is what is really traumatizing kids and not the abuse itself. It doesn’t make sense anyway you slice it.

  107. 107
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.
    Well, maybe kids are afraid of hell because we tell them over and over that it’s a bad, horrible place to go

    You know, there’s a way to find that out! All we need to do is talk with kids who actually went to hell and…

    But when people who did go to hell as kids do speak up, we are told that we are mistaken, that our memories are automatically suspect (if I told someone that I borke my leg at age nine and had forgotten about it for 35 years would that even come up? or a car accident?) and that our reaction is somehow not acceptable because, well, Dawkins was sexually assaulted as a child and he and his fellow survivors didn’t suffer. Some of us did go through hell but Dawkins still dismisses our experience as being automatically analogous to his and thus not a big deal (as opposed to the teaching of hell with is).

    Sorry. A little disturbed and cynical right now.

  108. 108
    seeker

    I have not read many of the comments here but have word searched to see if any science has been injected into the discussion. I found mot reference to a very relevant meta-anlysis.
    If all Dawkins said is what was reported in PZ’s post I would say he was foolish to say it. But there is scientific evidence he is correct in that child sexual abuse often does not cause pervasive life-long harm. According to a 1998 study in the Psychological Bulletin:

    “the authors stated their goal was to determine whether CSA[child sexual abuse] caused pervasive, significant psychological harm for both males and females, controversially concluding that the harm caused by child sexual abuse was not necessarily intense or pervasive,[3] that the prevailing construct of CSA was not scientifically valid, as it failed empirical verification, and that the psychological damage caused by the abusive encounters depends on other factors such as the degree of coercion or force involved.[1] The authors concluded that even though CSA may not result in lifelong, significant harm to all victims, this does not mean it is not morally wrong and indicated that their findings did not imply current moral and legal prohibitions against CSA should be changed.[1]

    You can read about the study, the huge controversy which ensued, how Congress for the first time in history condemned a scientific study, and further peer reviews of the study at the link below. An example of how politics and emotion trumped science.
    Please read it before you jump all over it. and me.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rind_et_al._controversy&printable=yes#Studies_and_findings

  109. 109
    Maureen Brian

    And, seeker, it took me all of 10 seconds to discover that the paper (which rang a bell with me) by which you set such store is now regarded as controversial and unsound. That’s quite apart from the fact that it has been used and manipulated to advance a number of unsavoury agendas.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rind_et_al._controversy

    If you were unaware of that controversy then who are you to tell us what to think? If you were aware and tried to hide it, well then …… Try again, please, remembering always that people here are bloody good at using google and some have even studied psychology!

  110. 110
    seeker

    @maureen brian
    “the paper (which rang a bell with me) by which you set such store is now regarded as controversial and unsound. That’s quite apart from the fact that it has been used and manipulated to advance a number of unsavoury agendas.”

    The paper is not NOW regarded as controversial and unsound, it was then by SOME. The controversy was huge, as I mentional. The criticisms were addressed and answered satisfactorily by the APA over several years. This is discussion the the reference I posted as well as the one you did-the same one I think. I think it is incorrect to imply that it is Now regarded as unsound. By whom? The fact that it was used to “used and manipulated to advance a number of unsavoury agendas.” is no criticism of the work. Darwin’s work was used the same way. This did not discredit his work.
    I was aware aware of the controversy- it is spelled out and answered in the reference I gave. I don’t think your reference added anything new. Do you any any specic criticism of the study and the subsequent reviews by the APA or are you simply saying that some found it unsound.
    I am not telling you waht to think. Saying waht I think and adding something to the discussion beside personal opinion. I believe the study IS sound. Perhaps your reaction is a kneejerk one meant to defend a position. Did you read bother refernces carefully?

  111. 111
    seeker

    Setting up notifications to me

  112. 112
    David Marjanović

    I really don’t get what your point is. If not all victims of sexual abuse are traumatized for the rest of their lives, what does that change? The cause for all the rage never was that Dawkins says he wasn’t harmed; it’s that he heavily implied nobody is ever harmed by it.

    I have not read many of the comments here but

    Seriously… I strongly recommend you never again add to a thread when you haven’t read all of it. Anywhere. Even on fucking YouTube.

  113. 113
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    @ seeker

    Had you troubled yourself to read the thread, you’d have noticed that the general consensus here is not contradicted by that study; i.e. nobody is claiming that all childhood sexual abuse is always intense and pervasive. I’d recommend you go back and read it but I think we all know you’re just here to pontificate.

  114. 114
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    my 113 should read “harm from all childhood sexual abuse…”

  115. 115
    seeker

    Well, gee people, I do apologize in so many ways. First, pz I didn’t know it was such a transgression to interrupt a thread with an irrelevant thread. Since the earlier thread I had commented on was a few days old I though people might not be seeing it and wanted to draw attention to what I though was important info. Thanks for informing me. I’m surprised at the treat to be banned for that. Thought you had to do much worse. didn’t know the rules. just stumbling around.getting my bearings. Sorry!
    Also I apologize for not reading the whole thread and any mischaracterizing of the outrage I may have done. And also for not making my point more clear.
    Let me try again.
    112.David Marjanović
    14 September 2013 at 9:49 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment
    I really don’t get what your point is. If not all victims of sexual abuse are traumatized for the rest of their lives, what does that change? The cause for all the rage never was that Dawkins says he wasn’t harmed; it’s that he heavily implied nobody is ever harmed by it.

    But he did draw a distinction between “mild touching up” and rape and murder. Granted he was way off base and minimized the whole touching up thing and implied no one is ever harmed by this and this was outrageous-his impressions and experiences are not data- But, I think it is important to know that there is a body of evidence that shows that sexual abuse is often not very harmful at all and we should be aware of that. If you all were and i missed that by not reading all the posts, and mischaracterized you then I apologize. I do think it is is important these days to remember that not everyone is traumatized by CSA though it is always wrong and should not be tolerated. Sorry if I come off as pontifical. I’ll work on that.

    I’m a big fan of the site and most of the responders. Hope I can be a useful and welcome member despite my rocky initiation.

  116. 116
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    @ seeker

    Friendly tip if you’re going to continue commenting: assume you’re not saying anything that hasn’t already been said. Read the thread. If nobody’s made your point yet, then compose a comment. Then copy your comment, refresh, and check again. These threads move fast and there’s very little patience to spare here for people who don’t make sure they know where the discussion is at before they try to get involved. That behavior is almost always a clear tell that someone has no intention of engaging honestly.

  117. 117
    notsont

    But he did draw a distinction between “mild touching up” and rape and murder. Granted he was way off base and minimized the whole touching up thing and implied no one is ever harmed by this and this was outrageous-his impressions and experiences are not data- But, I think it is important to know that there is a body of evidence that shows that sexual abuse is often not very harmful at all and we should be aware of that. If you all were and i missed that by not reading all the posts, and mischaracterized you then I apologize. I do think it is is important these days to remember that not everyone is traumatized by CSA though it is always wrong and should not be tolerated. Sorry if I come off as pontifical. I’ll work on that.

    I object to the phrase “mild touching up” when I hear this I imagine maybe a guy smacking someones ass or grabbing it, which is offensive enough but it certainly doesn’t bring up the image of a 40 year old man giving a 7 year old a handjob, which is what was actually being described. BTW in case you don’t understand this giving a child a handjob IS a form of rape. People keep wanting to make some kind of distinction between “rape” and “rape” morally there isn’t one. In some jurisdictions there may be a legal divide between actual penetration and just forcible manipulation of someones genitals but there really shouldn’t be, because it seems the only reason there is a distinction is there is some “ick” factor.

  118. 118
    jenny6833a

    Seven of Mine says: “@ seeker Friendly tip if you’re going to continue commenting: assume you’re not saying anything that hasn’t already been said. Read the thread. If nobody’s made your point yet, then compose a comment. Then copy your comment, refresh, and check again. These threads move fast and there’s very little patience to spare here for people who don’t make sure they know where the discussion is at before they try to get involved. That behavior is almost always a clear tell that someone has no intention of engaging honestly.”

    There is, however, one exception to that rule. Any comment that follows the party line, that twists Dawkins’ words into something he didn’t say, that makes gross logical errors, and that asserts-asserts-asserts with never a ‘because’ statement is not only allowed but may be copied and reposted with minor wording changes over and over and over again.

    Virginia McMartin must be sitting upright in her grave chanting “deja vu, deja vu, deja vu.”

  119. 119
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    If all Dawkins said is what was reported in PZ’s post I would say he was foolish to say it. But there is scientific evidence he is correct in that child sexual abuse often does not cause pervasive life-long harm.

    - But, I think it is important to know that there is a body of evidence that shows that sexual abuse is often not very harmful at all and we should be aware of that.

    Okay, seeker, you have now stated, twice, that child sexual abuse OFTEN does not cause pervasive life long harm or is not very harmful at all. What is your definition of often? Is this an attempt at a percentage (ie often is used as a synonym for likely)? Is this an expression of how much of a survivor’s day is spent dealing with the guilt, the memories, everything else (if that is your definition, I would qualify as it being not ‘often’ harmful as it may be as little as a half-hour or less per day that I deal with the shit — fifteen minutes out of a day is not ‘often’, right?)?

    You (and the paper you quoted) may have a point but I have a hard time telling because of the vagueness of your word choice.

    But he did draw a distinction between “mild touching up” and rape and murder. Granted he was way off base and minimized the whole touching up thing and implied no one is ever harmed by this and this was outrageous-his impressions and experiences are not data-

    And I still disagree with making a distinction between being molested by a adult and being raped. Yes, the physical and psychological trauma is different but both are examples of an adult sexually assaulting a child. And it opens the door to just what we have seen on this thread (and some of the other threads that delve into child sexual abuse) regarding who has the right to call themselves a survivor, who is a real survivor, minimalising the experience of those of us for whom the terror has never left. The GOP has been doing this for the past year or so (and (now that I think on it) even longer than that) as they talk about ‘real’ rape, or brutal rape, or any of the other ways used to differentiate between their fantasy of what rape is and what rape actually is.

    I’m glad you think Dawkins was wrong to extend his reaction to child sexual assault onto others. I’m not sure if you get why some of us are objecting, though.

  120. 120
    Inaji

    Monitor Note:

    Seeker:

    I have not read many of the comments here

    Not reading prior comments while insisting on going over already covered ground may engender banning:

    1. You cannot control your posting habits, and are dominating the discussion.

    2. Your comments are repetitive, especially if you repeat arguments that have already been addressed.

    3. You demonstrate that you are unwilling to have read previous comments or the opening post.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/rules/

    I suggest you familiarize yourself with the commenting rules first, and take them to heart. There’s very little patience for rape apologetics (and what passes for them, whether you are aware of that or not) these days. There are two open threads on Pharyngula, The Lounge and Thunderdome. The first is heavily moderated, the latter not. If you have complaints or questions, please take them to one of the open threads. Thank you.

    On the subject of “mild touching up”, I suggest you read this post: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/09/09/i-beseech-you-in-the-bowels-of-christ-please-stop/comment-page-2/#comment-689801

  121. 121
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    jenny6833a:

    Do you still deny that Dawkins attempted to extend his reaction to child sexual abuse onto others? Implying that, since he wasn’t hurt by abuse then other’s weren’t either?

  122. 122
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    In re Seeker, I find it wise to quote Ecclesiastes 1: 10-11:

    Has happen? Gunna be agin. Nuthing new undur teh sunz.10 Kitteh can not sez “OMFGZ sumthing new!” is jus REPOST!.11

    lolcat bible FTW

  123. 123
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    @ 118 jenny6833a

    There is, however, one exception to that rule. Any comment that follows the party line, that twists Dawkins’ words into something he didn’t say, that makes gross logical errors, and that asserts-asserts-asserts with never a ‘because’ statement is not only allowed but may be copied and reposted with minor wording changes over and over and over again.

    Virginia McMartin must be sitting upright in her grave chanting “deja vu, deja vu, deja vu.”

    Translation:

    People agreeing with each other is bad!
    There is no connotation! Only denotation!
    Logical Errors! Because I say so!
    Assertions! Because I can’t click links!
    Restating my already refuted argument is a refutation of your refutation!

  124. 124
    Inaji

    Seven of Mine:

    Translation:

    A couple of things left out:

    I’m living in the past, so should you!

    A blog is a courtroom, and Dawkins is on trial!

  125. 125
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    Why should I read the thread when I only wanted to offer my opinion on the OP?!

  126. 126
    Inaji

    Seven of Mine:

    Why should I read the thread when I only wanted to offer my opinion on the OP?!

    No shit. I’m already tired of quoting the rules about that one.

  127. 127
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Virginia McMartin must be sitting upright in her grave chanting “deja vu, deja vu, deja vu.”

    Just caught that.

    One more person who seems to think that anyone who was sexually abused must have faulty memories, or that anyone who was sexually abused and remembers it at something more than mildly annoying must be lying. But remember, no one ever tries to silence survivors.

  128. 128
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    But remember, no one ever tries to silence survivors.

    No, of course not, never happens. Nope.
     
    We Are Legion, And We Will Not Be Silenced.

  129. 129
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Caine:

    Then again, maybe jenny6833a is claiming that maybe Dawkin’s memories are not real, that they have been planted by police/therapists/psychologists etc.? Which would mean she is defending Dawkins by claiming he is lying about being sexually assaulted as a child. Which makes no sense.

    We Are Legion, And We Will Not Be Silenced.

    And there are way the hell too many of us.

  130. 130
    Inaji

    Ogvorbis:

    And there are way the hell too many of us.

    Amen.
     
    As for jenny6833a, she should go back to frolicking in the woods nekkid, or whatever normally occupies her time. Thinking is not her strong suit, to say the least.

  131. 131
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Jenny:
    I have gotten well beyond infuriated at people like you. Whatever dissent you think you are displaying is tragically absent. In place of any argument, you show a lack of understanding of not only Dawkins’ words, but the significant arguments against his Rape Apologetics in this thread. It also shows a lack of understanding on your part of rape apologetics. Then to make matters worse, you continue the tired meme of ‘no dissent allowed’ which is a very big tell. Hearing that lets people know that you are not here to engage intelligently. It shows that you share many of the same irrational beliefs held by many of PZs detractors.

    The criticism of Richard Dawkins in this thread stems from the minimizing of child sexual abuse and his arrogant attempts to speak for other survivors of child sexual abuse. Many of the commenters here agree with each other bc we share similar moral perspectives, which are clearly not shared by you.

    Until such time as you develop more empathy for others, an increased ability to read for comprehension and think critically do everyone a favor and shut the hell up.

  132. 132
    jenny6833a

    Ogvorbis et al:

    I find nothing false/wrong/inappropriate in what Richard Dawkins said. Instead, I find the attacks on Dawkins to be way-way-way out of line. Moreover, I suspect (but do not claim to know) that the motivation for the attack is unrelated to Dawkins’ remarks about his experience as a young boy.

    As I read Dawkins’ remarks, he experienced one incident of touching (perhaps even ‘fondling’) of the organs between his legs when he was quite young. I don’t recall if he mentioned his age at the time, but one commenter said it was at age seven. (If so, Dawkins did not yet have ‘sexual organs’ and, as such, his penis at the time would be best described as his ‘urinary organ.’ As a matter of fact, given the frequency of use, that description applies to males throughout their life.) In any event, Dawkins stated that he was not harmed at the time and has experienced no after-effects.

    Dawkins also stated that, as far as he knows (“I don’t think”), other boys in his class also experienced no contemporaneous harm or any after-effects even though some or all of them were touched more than just once. Dawkins bases his opinion on discussions with the others that were touched.

    Note, crucially, that Dawkins did NOT say anything resembling “No harm, no foul.” He said only “No harm” and limited that opinion to his own experience and to the group of classmates with whom he has discussed the matter. Dawkins clearly regards the teacher’s behavior as a foul. But, as common sense would indicate, not all fouls result in short- or long-term harm.

    I find nothing whatever to criticize in any of that. I just don’t see how anyone can (honestly, and with no ulterior motives) be critical of what Dawkins has said.

    I am, however, highly critical of those, including you, who claim Dawkins said or implied far more than he actually did. Dawkins is being crucified by those (including you) who read stuff into his remarks that simply isn’t there. I see both FtB posts and most of the couple hundred comments they generated as vicious, totally uncalled for nastiness.

    I also see a nutcase obsession with sexual body parts, even when they’re not yet anywhere near sexual. IMO, a touch or a squeeze of one body area that produces no pain and no injury is not anywhere near as bad as painful, injurious assaults on those or other body parts.

    In the posts and comments, I see no concept of overall body integrity. This group appears to have no problem with physical assaults by adults on children so long as no so-called “sexual” parts are involved. (Note the total lack of comment on my statement that my nose was painfully twisted and my fingers repeatedly whacked with a rod or ruler when I was age six, seven and eight. That stuff hurt!)

    My tale of being thoroughly roughed up and felt up (which included a finger deep into my fully developed genitals) by cops on a clothing-optional beach elicited only derisive responses. Talk about anti-nudity bigotry! Nice folk!

    I’m also concerned by what I see as ‘partylineism.’ When Joe Stalin was head of the Soviet Union, the faithful followers outside the Soviet Union uncritically cheered whatever he said and did, even when what he said/did was the opposite of what they’d been cheering the week before. That’s also what we see happening with the RRR crowd that Ed Brayton posts about. Ed tends to document the nutcase Christian crusade of the week. The faithful followers cheer and follow whatever some charismatic leader tells them to do. They don’t analyze and they don’t think. They just pitch in and ratchet up the nastiness. I see the same thing happening here.

    I’m also put off, seriously put off, by the rampant illogic. That, of course, is exactly what one would expect from follower, non-thinker types who cheer whatever they’re told to cheer and slam whatever they’re told to slam. I’m referring, among other gross distortions, to comments that go pretty much like this paraphrase: “Dawkins says that mild touching did him no harm and that he thinks it did his classmates no harm either. Well, I was fucked in the ass every day from age three until age 15 which proves Dawkins is all wrong and 97 kinds of an asshole.” That kind of ludicrously crazy apples-to-elephants illogic would get crushed anywhere except in threads like this one and its predecessor. Here its accepted and even cheered.

    I find it ludicrous when commenters refuse to recognize degrees of offense. That’s contrary to common sense and common law. A twisted nose is not a bloody, broken, flattened nose; a broken nose is not a mild concussion; a mild concussion is not a fractured skull; a fractured skull is (usually) not premeditated murder. Similarly, there are degrees of theft and degrees of every other illegal, immoral, or fattening act I can think of. Yet far too many folk here refuse to make a distinction between brief, mild touching and big time physical abuse.

    And I’m blown away by assertion after assertion with no ‘because’ statement to follow. I’m hearing faith-based crap that sounds like “I believe it, I believe it, it’s true, and it’s true because I was told to believe it. So there.”

    Frankly, y’all sound like a bunch of fundie Xtians on the war path. Maybe you are.

    I was totally serious when I said that Virginia McMartin would be sitting upright in her grave shouting “Deja vu, deja vu, deja vu.” As Wikipedia puts it, “The case was part of day care sex abuse hysteria, a moral panic over alleged Satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s.”

    History repeats. But I’m damn sorry to see it on Freethought Blogs.

    Jenny

  133. 133
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    Shorter jenny6833a:

    I disagree with a whole bunch of shit nobody here said. Also, if two people agree with each other about anything, they’re only agreeing to go along with the party line unless I personally witnessed them hash the whole thing out from the ground up. This hashing out process must happen every time a topic of discussion arises regardless of how many times anyone has participated in it.

    Fun facts:
    # of appearances of the word “because” on this page: 39
    # of times jenny says “because” for a reason besides accusing others of not using it: 0

  134. 134
    scimaths

    There’s a basic 101 on the way abuse can affect people differently here:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/09/13/sexual-assault-plus/

    Won’t help the rape apologists as they’re not interested in learning, but may be of some use to others.

  135. 135
    Lofty

    jenny6833a

    Frankly, y’all sound like a bunch of fundie Xtians on the war path. Maybe you are.

    Wow, a truly rusted on Dawkins fan! I gather by your dismissal of all things FTB you imagine yourself to be a deep and original thinker. Sorry, but your sort have been dismissed for a reason. Frequently. With references.

  136. 136
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Shorter Jenny6833a, Waaahhhhhh, my opinion was soundly dismissed with evidence…Waahhh, my opinion is inviolate and can’t be criticized and refuted….Waaahhhhh

  137. 137
    Anri

    Hoo boy, here we go…

    Jenny6833a:

    Ogvorbis et al:

    I find nothing false/wrong/inappropriate in what Richard Dawkins said. Instead, I find the attacks on Dawkins to be way-way-way out of line. Moreover, I suspect (but do not claim to know) that the motivation for the attack is unrelated to Dawkins’ remarks about his experience as a young boy.

    Well, maybe if the topic takes off, we’ll have a 100+ comment thread of people discussing just why this is a problem. Keep checking back to see if that happens, and then read the posts, okay?

    As I read Dawkins’ remarks, he experienced one incident of touching (perhaps even ‘fondling’) of the organs between his legs when he was quite young. I don’t recall if he mentioned his age at the time, but one commenter said it was at age seven. (If so, Dawkins did not yet have ‘sexual organs’ and, as such, his penis at the time would be best described as his ‘urinary organ.’ As a matter of fact, given the frequency of use, that description applies to males throughout their life.) In any event, Dawkins stated that he was not harmed at the time and has experienced no after-effects.

    So, according to your parenthetical, if a child is prepubescent, fondling their genitalia is just fine?
    If not, what’s the point of that statement?

    Dawkins also stated that, as far as he knows (“I don’t think”), other boys in his class also experienced no contemporaneous harm or any after-effects even though some or all of them were touched more than just once. Dawkins bases his opinion on discussions with the others that were touched.

    And it has been pointed out several times that an apparent tendency to dismiss childhood sexual abuse appears to have been an aftereffect. You could characterize this as ‘no harm’ – if you actually think it’s not a bad thing.
    Do you?
    This aspect of the discussion cannot be a surprise to you, as you’ve read the thread and considered this argument… right?

    Note, crucially, that Dawkins did NOT say anything resembling “No harm, no foul.” He said only “No harm” and limited that opinion to his own experience and to the group of classmates with whom he has discussed the matter. Dawkins clearly regards the teacher’s behavior as a foul. But, as common sense would indicate, not all fouls result in short- or long-term harm.

    So, sexual assault of a child is just fine so long as the child doesn’t think they’ve been harmed by it?
    Because that’s actually what you’re saying here.

    I find nothing whatever to criticize in any of that. I just don’t see how anyone can (honestly, and with no ulterior motives) be critical of what Dawkins has said.

    Thread, 100+ responses, read for comprehension, etc, etc,etc.

    I am, however, highly critical of those, including you, who claim Dawkins said or implied far more than he actually did. Dawkins is being crucified by those (including you) who read stuff into his remarks that simply isn’t there. I see both FtB posts and most of the couple hundred comments they generated as vicious, totally uncalled for nastiness.

    Kids were sexually assaulted and you don’t get why emotional content might just run kinda high.
    Gotcha.

    I also see a nutcase obsession with sexual body parts, even when they’re not yet anywhere near sexual. IMO, a touch or a squeeze of one body area that produces no pain and no injury is not anywhere near as bad as painful, injurious assaults on those or other body parts.

    “Dear Sexual Assaulta…”

    In the posts and comments, I see no concept of overall body integrity. This group appears to have no problem with physical assaults by adults on children so long as no so-called “sexual” parts are involved. (Note the total lack of comment on my statement that my nose was painfully twisted and my fingers repeatedly whacked with a rod or ruler when I was age six, seven and eight. That stuff hurt!)

    As a general rule, disciplining children with pain is a bad thing and shouldn’t be done.
    There is a difference between doing this and sexually assaulting a child.
    You, um, you do know that, right?

    My tale of being thoroughly roughed up and felt up (which included a finger deep into my fully developed genitals) by cops on a clothing-optional beach elicited only derisive responses. Talk about anti-nudity bigotry! Nice folk!

    It is not a good thing is people put their hands on your genitals when you didn’t want them to. Doubly so if you were a child and could not in actuality consent.
    And its bad when someone did it to Dawkins.
    Now, are you arguing that your experience wasn’t bad? Are you saying it wasn’t an invasion of your privacy and shouldn’t have happened? Because, yanno, that’s exactly what the rest of us are arguing – just about someone who didn’t happen to be you.

    I’m also concerned by what I see as ‘partylineism.’ When Joe Stalin was head of the Soviet Union, the faithful followers outside the Soviet Union uncritically cheered whatever he said and did, even when what he said/did was the opposite of what they’d been cheering the week before. That’s also what we see happening with the RRR crowd that Ed Brayton posts about. Ed tends to document the nutcase Christian crusade of the week. The faithful followers cheer and follow whatever some charismatic leader tells them to do. They don’t analyze and they don’t think. They just pitch in and ratchet up the nastiness. I see the same thing happening here.

    Right, because all of the rest of us are showing we’ve avoided reading the thread, or any of the other threads, about this topic, or type of topics, by bringing up arguments that have already been dealt with upthread. Oh, wait, that’s not everyone, it’s just you.
    But, ok, let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and let you argue the opposition: we’re saying sexually assaulting kids is bad, even if the victims don’t feel broken afterwards. Feel free to disagree, and put forth your arguments in favor of the practice. Wouldn’t wanna tow the Party Line of “Don’t Molest Kids”, after all.

    I’m also put off, seriously put off, by the rampant illogic. That, of course, is exactly what one would expect from follower, non-thinker types who cheer whatever they’re told to cheer and slam whatever they’re told to slam. I’m referring, among other gross distortions, to comments that go pretty much like this paraphrase: “Dawkins says that mild touching did him no harm and that he thinks it did his classmates no harm either. Well, I was fucked in the ass every day from age three until age 15 which proves Dawkins is all wrong and 97 kinds of an asshole.” That kind of ludicrously crazy apples-to-elephants illogic would get crushed anywhere except in threads like this one and its predecessor. Here its accepted and even cheered.

    Actually, what most people have said, in the thread, is that Dawkins was sexually assaulted, and is aware that some of his classmates were sexually assaulted, and is apparently willing to dismiss these instances of sexual assault, which belittles sexual assault.
    All of which is, as far as we can tell, true.

    I find it ludicrous when commenters refuse to recognize degrees of offense. That’s contrary to common sense and common law.

    Ok, Imma stop you right there. Common sense is terribly overrated.
    If common sense were sufficient to navigate the world, we wouldn’t have invented science or law or, really, civilization. Please stop trying to trump thinking with ‘common sense’.

    A twisted nose is not a bloody, broken, flattened nose; a broken nose is not a mild concussion; a mild concussion is not a fractured skull; a fractured skull is (usually) not premeditated murder. Similarly, there are degrees of theft and degrees of every other illegal, immoral, or fattening act I can think of. Yet far too many folk here refuse to make a distinction between brief, mild touching and big time physical abuse.

    So, Dawkins and his chums were only sexually assaulted a little bit – a kinder, gentler sexual assault – and so it’s all good?
    Ok, if that’s your argument.

    And I’m blown away by assertion after assertion with no ‘because’ statement to follow. I’m hearing faith-based crap that sounds like “I believe it, I believe it, it’s true, and it’s true because I was told to believe it. So there.”

    Well then: sexually assaulting a child is bad because they cannot knowingly consent to sexual contact, as we do not credit minors with the legal and social ability to do so.
    Please rebut.

    Frankly, y’all sound like a bunch of fundie Xtians on the war path. Maybe you are.

    OH SNAP! We are wounded, having never ever ever ever and I mean ever heard that one before!
    I’m sorry we all agree that sexually assaulting children is bad. Oh, no, wait, actually I’m not sorry about that at all.

    I was totally serious when I said that Virginia McMartin would be sitting upright in her grave shouting “Deja vu, deja vu, deja vu.” As Wikipedia puts it, “The case was part of day care sex abuse hysteria, a moral panic over alleged Satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s.

    History repeats. But I’m damn sorry to see it on Freethought Blogs.

    Jenny

    So, your argument is that sexual assault of children doesn’t happen, because a systematic, nation-wide network of satanic abuse of kids at daycare centers didn’t occur?
    At this point, I’m not asking you to read any part of the thread beyond what you yourself have written. Seriously, read it aloud to yourself. If it doesn’t sound utterly ridiculous, please leave – I don’t want to get virtually infected by whatever ate the operating parts of your brain.

  138. 138
    Anri

    Sweet Celestia full of light, that was a wall o’text.
    My apologies for that.

  139. 139
    Lofty

    My apologies for that.

    Twas good. No need to apologise.

  140. 140
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @jenny6833a

    I find nothing false/wrong/inappropriate in what Richard Dawkins said.

    Oh, you fonud nothing inappropriate about it? Oh, well then, my mistake! If the almighty Jenny didn’t find anything objectionable about Dawkins’ statements, then we must all be mistaken! Objection withdrawn. Apologies offered. I’ll go sit in the corner and think about what I’ve done. And while we’re at it, where’s my cone-shaped hat?

    Must I add a snark tag?

    As I read Dawkins’ remarks, he experienced one incident of touching (perhaps even ‘fondling’) of the organs between his legs when he was quite young. I don’t recall if he mentioned his age at the time, but one commenter said it was at age seven. (If so, Dawkins did not yet have ‘sexual organs’ and, as such, his penis at the time would be best described as his ‘urinary organ.’ As a matter of fact, given the frequency of use, that description applies to males throughout their life.)

    You are an idiot.

    Dawkins also stated that, as far as he knows (“I don’t think”), other boys in his class also experienced no contemporaneous harm or any after-effects even though some or all of them were touched more than just once. Dawkins bases his opinion on discussions with the others that were touched.

    The way Dawkins said it makes quite clear that he assumes that since he didn’t experience any harm, the other victims of this master must not have either. He has no way of knowing this. That is the sum total of my objections to his statement. He does not have the right to extrapolate his feelings onto others.

    I am, however, highly critical of those, including you, who claim Dawkins said or implied far more than he actually did.

    I don’t think you know what the word “implied” means.

    I also see a nutcase obsession with sexual body parts, even when they’re not yet anywhere near sexual.

    So fondling people is just fine, providing they haven’t hit puberty yet. Gotcha.

    Again, you are an idiot. You are also disgusting.

    This group appears to have no problem with physical assaults by adults on children so long as no so-called “sexual” parts are involved.

    Bullshit. I am very much against adults beating children, and from what I’ve seen the regulars here are united in that opinion.

    My tale of being thoroughly roughed up and felt up (which included a finger deep into my fully developed genitals) by cops on a clothing-optional beach elicited only derisive responses.

    Did they? Quotes please. For what it’s worth, I don’t think that’s OK any more than I think the teacher molesting Dawkins was OK, and I’m sorry it happened to you; though you continue to put forward this weird thinking that molestation is somehow worse when the victim is post-puberty. That’s just wrong; factually and morally.

    I’m also concerned by what I see as ‘partylineism.’ When Joe Stalin was head of the Soviet Union, the faithful followers outside the Soviet Union uncritically cheered whatever he said and did, even when what he said/did was the opposite of what they’d been cheering the week before. That’s also what we see happening with the RRR crowd that Ed Brayton posts about. Ed tends to document the nutcase Christian crusade of the week. The faithful followers cheer and follow whatever some charismatic leader tells them to do. They don’t analyze and they don’t think. They just pitch in and ratchet up the nastiness. I see the same thing happening here.

    Then you are not reading widely enough. In the original thread about Dawkins there were many people disagreeing with PZ’s phrasing in a particular sentence, which appeared to be victim blaming. I’ve no doubt PZ didn’t intend it that way, but I still brought it up and so did many others. Your comparison to the Soviet Union is an emotional argument founded in bullshit.

    I’m also put off, seriously put off, by the rampant illogic.

    The only one being illogical here is you.

    I’m referring, among other gross distortions, to comments that go pretty much like this paraphrase: “Dawkins says that mild touching did him no harm and that he thinks it did his classmates no harm either. Well, I was fucked in the ass every day from age three until age 15 which proves Dawkins is all wrong and 97 kinds of an asshole.”

    Where did anyone say that? And way to minimise survivors’ suffering. If they feel insulted by what Dawkins said, they have every right to be.

    I find it ludicrous when commenters refuse to recognize degrees of offense. That’s contrary to common sense and common law. A twisted nose is not a bloody, broken, flattened nose; a broken nose is not a mild concussion; a mild concussion is not a fractured skull; a fractured skull is (usually) not premeditated murder. Similarly, there are degrees of theft and degrees of every other illegal, immoral, or fattening act I can think of. Yet far too many folk here refuse to make a distinction between brief, mild touching and big time physical abuse.

    Presumably because those people have the brains to realise that all of those distinctions are arbitrary and meaningless, and the only sensible way to judge a crime is by the amount of harm it causes. A broken nose generally causes less harm than a concussion, I agree. And molestation probably generally causes less harm than penetrative rape. But if there is someone out there who is just as traumatised by the molestation they experienced as a child as another person is by the penetrative rape they experienced as a child, then the two crimes are equally serious. The effects matter more than the specific act.

    And I’m blown away by assertion after assertion with no ‘because’ statement to follow. I’m hearing faith-based crap that sounds like “I believe it, I believe it, it’s true, and it’s true because I was told to believe it. So there.”

    Again, quotes please. Who said that, and when?

    I was totally serious when I said that Virginia McMartin would be sitting upright in her grave shouting “Deja vu, deja vu, deja vu.” As Wikipedia puts it, “The case was part of day care sex abuse hysteria, a moral panic over alleged Satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s.”

    History repeats. But I’m damn sorry to see it on Freethought Blogs.

    What? A person with paranoid schizophrenia interpreted her son’s painful bowel movements as evidence he had been sodomised, and accused his nursery school teachers of sodomising him, indulging in satanic rituals, and being able to fly. This, somehow, led to one of the longest trials in US history, which involved egregiously improper coercive interview techniques by the police and a couple of unscrupulous authors. This is analogous to the current situation how, exactly? I would dearly love to hear you explain the point you think you made.

    So, having read through your Gish-gallop, I would like to say in conclusion, if you’ll forgive the reiteration; you are an idiot.

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