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Now look who’s picking a fight with Dawkins

simpleconcept

(via Ophelia)


Facepalm time.

It is utterly deplorable that there are people, including in our atheist community, who suffer rape threats because of things they have said. And it is also deplorable that there are many people in the same atheist community who are literally afraid to think and speak freely, afraid to raise even hypothetical questions such as those I have mentioned in this article. They are afraid – and I promise you I am not exaggerating – of witch-hunts: hunts for latter day blasphemers by latter day Inquisitions and latter day incarnations of Orwell’s Thought Police.

Richard Dawkins

Being burnt at the stake or being sent to Room 101 is bad, but being criticized on Twitter is worse, I guess. Where the fuck are these witch-hunts, other than in the mind of every person whose misogynistic behavior is rebuked?

Comments

  1. yazikus says

    When is this image from? If I recall, was it from a while back? I’m glad the president can sum it up so succinctly, but it is a little confusing as to whether this is actually a response to Dawkins.

  2. Drolfe says

    Dawkins would tell you in a minute, no doubt, that he’s certainly smarter and more logical than some dumbass Columbia grad.

  3. Drolfe says

    Yazikus, this is the president’s response to Republican rape-ranking in the wake of Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” commentary.

  4. says

    Excellent point. It’s not that Dawkins were 100% wrong, everything can be fitted on a scale of some sort, but that’s not what we should focus on. This kind of grading is a favorite tool for people trying to rationalize their own crimes, let’s not give them more excuses than we have to. RAPE IS WRONG!

    If Dawkins wanted to use his influence to fight for social issues he should give more young women a platform to be heard from.

  5. tbtabby says

    Well spoken, Mr. President. Although I think it’s sad that we need the leader of our nation to spell this out for people in the 21st century.

  6. yazikus says

    Thanks, Drolfe.

    The President of the US tends not to respond to random tweets.

    True, qwints, but it would be kind of cool if he did, no?

  7. Anthony K says

    “Witch hunts”! I’m not exaggerating.

    Neither is he. He wrote the entire thing from under a board covered in heavy rocks. Every time he was asked to enter a plea, instead of “More weight!” he responds with “Bitches be hysterical, yo!”

  8. says

    In a really general sense I can understand the desire to know what various “kinds” of rape can produce what effects. Some people can get over rape, some can’t. It would be valuable to know what can and can’t be “gotten over”, and in what contexts.
    But I seriously doubt that most people appealing to such are interested in helping recovery from rape. Rather I think that they want to relieve people from being attached to the label of rape from common category (at least unconsciously). This will hinder research related to rape and what causes it. and should be opposed.

    As for Dawkins, a rape apologist is a rape apologist. What matters is how one’s words will be interpreted by the masses. Regardless of one’s intent, the masses will do what they do.

  9. Seize says

    What depresses me most about this image is that this basic description of fact is actually a partisan identity statement in the United States.

  10. David C Brayton says

    So, assuming “rape is rape” why do we permit different levels of punishment? In California, the sentence is 3-8 years and there are a variety of factors the court is required to consider such as whether the perp was in a position of leadership, whether the victim particularly vulnerable and whether a weapon was used.

  11. roro80 says

    @ NateHevens #11

    I feel exactly the same way. I used to give out a number of copies of “The Blind Watchmaker” each year to people I thought might like it. I just can’t do it anymore, and I’m not sure what to replace it with…

  12. says

    David Brayton:

    So, assuming “rape is rape” why do we permit different levels of punishment?

    Rape is rape. This has nothing to do with legal categories. Perhaps you should read the other thread. Here’s a little something from there:

    Which utterly ignores the fact that we live in societies where it’s automatic for people to decide just how raped someone was. We live in societies in which the onus for being raped is still most often placed upon the person who was raped, not the rapist.

    Rape victims are victimized over and over again, by the judgements of others, by those who will default to the age old blame game – somehow or another, a person who was raped must have caused it to happen. This judgement is overwhelmingly harsh in cases of date or acquaintance rape. Even children who are raped are often subjected to this judgement, accused of being seductive and so on. The only time a rape is considered to be a legitimate rape [by a majority of people] is when it’s a stranger rape, which also involves considerable physical violence, especially if there’s a weapon involved.

    If a rape victim decides to report their rape, they are often subjected to a mountain of shit from cops and attorneys, who place more blame on the victims, and spend a good deal of time trying to determine whether or not you belong in the ‘slut’ or ‘they were asking for it’ categories.

    Many rapists are barely slapped on the wrist, if convicted at all. The attitudes of “oh, hey, drunk” and “boys will be boys” and “well, they are in prison so they probably deserved it” are embedded in societies. Many people feel that rape is an okay way to control women. And so on. Believe me, it goes on. And on.

    Too many rapists continue walking about because of such attitudes, one of which is the persistent notion that unless a rape involves a great deal of physical violence, it just can’t really be that bad, and rape victims shouldn’t be so whiny about it. It was just sex, eh.*

    *If you haven’t read the earlier comments about this, I suggest you do.

  13. says

    Brony

    In a really general sense I can understand the desire to know what various “kinds” of rape can produce what effects. Some people can get over rape, some can’t. It would be valuable to know what can and can’t be “gotten over”, and in what contexts.

    Actually, there is research on this.
    Yes, research. Because we don’t need any ivory-tower, fact-free, intellectual wankery about this. And IIRC, factors that make it easier for victims to deal with the trauma is support. I somehow don’t believe that telling somebody that their rape was “objectively less bad” counts as “support”.

  14. thetalkingstove says

    In a really general sense I can understand the desire to know what various “kinds” of rape can produce what effects. Some people can get over rape, some can’t. It would be valuable to know what can and can’t be “gotten over”, and in what contexts.

    I know what you mean, but the individual person’s general personality, their mental health and other circumstances is so important.

    Trying to determine which scenarios are most traumatic isn’t going to be very informative when different people will react extremely differently to similar events.

  15. says

    Giliell:

    And IIRC, factors that make it easier for victims to deal with the trauma is support.

    Most importantly, non-judgmental support.

  16. says

    Logic should be all about plain talk, clarity & irrefutable points. Only Feminist Atheists can use rape as a metaphor or illustration of a logical point. Dawkins has months if not years to go of sensitivity training before he’ll attract less attention to his patriarchal faux pas. Try this on for size you anti-Feminist Atheists: Rape is no different than a forced injection of any substance. A vagina, mouth or anus are all internal organs just as subcutenous or intramuscular/IV injections approximate/equal a rapist germs & sperm. One poster above pretends to be sensitive to “getting over” rape! What a crock of shit. Rape is to be prevented. PERIOD. Males need to be taught NOT TO RAPE. PERIOD. When males learn not to rape in any way shape or form they can fittingly be called men. As for Atheists, the King James Bible is full of rape, violent abortions, enslavement, brutality and murder of women & girls & infanticide & fetucide. Quote that shit NOT YOUR MADE UP so called logic to make any point to advance our inclusive global cause of Feminist Atheism. And be equal opportunity Atheists & cite how Islam is violently patriarchal. How Hinduism is hopelessly patriarchal. How most Buddhist cultures are oppressive to women and girls. And how any religion that advocates sexual mutilation of baby boys or girls is 100 % wrong. [email protected] @AtheistVet Larry Carter Center 843-926-1750 getting pretty tired of people pretending Feminist Atheists are “picking fights” with Dawkins when the problem rests with perpetrator patriarchs no matter how “benign” or well intended.

  17. says

    Larry Center @ 21:

    A couple of things, Larry. While men do make up the majority of rapists, women are capable of rape also. It’s best to remember this, especially in the scope of trying like hell to get societies at large to agree that rape is rape, and it is wrong.

    One poster above pretends to be sensitive to “getting over” rape!

    That’s not a crock, Larry. Many of the commentariat here have been raped. I’m one of them. I’ve been raped more than once, like a lot of people, and I can vouch for the fact that my reactions were different. One incident led to much more self-blame than the others. Human beings are messy, and no, all people don’t react the same way to being raped or assaulted. It is important to know about these things so that we know how to help those who have been raped or assaulted. Non-judgmental support is crucial. Advocacy is a major help to many rape victims. And so on.

    Very often, those who have been raped a/o assaulted are confused by their reaction, or lack thereof. It’s not a crock to try and understand these things, and it’s not a crock to talk about them.

  18. Rey Fox says

    Yep. I’m not giving up my copies of The Ancestor’s Tale (so much good information), or The Blind Watchmaker, but I’m not gonna be in line for anything else he publishes. Partly because I have the sinking feeling that he’s looking at all the kerfuffle and thinking, “By golly, there’s a book in this.”

  19. Adam Paine says

    @ #15, David C Brayton:

    So, assuming “rape is rape” why do we permit different levels of punishment? In California, the sentence is 3-8 years and there are a variety of factors the court is required to consider such as whether the perp was in a position of leadership, whether the victim particularly vulnerable and whether a weapon was used.

    Because – while rape is rape – aggravated rape is aggravated rape, and abuse of power is abuse of power. In all the cases, rape has occurred, but in some cases, there are additional elements; it’s those additional elements that merit the longer sentences, not the fact that the rape is somehow intrinsically different.

  20. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    3-8 years? Really? That’s fucking depressing, considering the person raped automatically gets a life sentence.

  21. Amphiox says

    So, assuming “rape is rape” why do we permit different levels of punishment?

    We ALSO permit different levels of punishment for murder.

    So, are you implying than “murder is not murder”?

  22. says

    Witch hunts”! I’m not exaggerating.

    Neither is he. He wrote the entire thing from under a board covered in heavy rocks. Every time he was asked to enter a plea, instead of “More weight!” he responds with “Bitches be hysterical, yo!”

    Nah, I’m pretty sure he means mild witch hunts, which aren’t as bad as the other kind.

  23. says

    Inaji …. I’m glad you survived and I’m sorry I was not clear about condemning the faux sensitivity regarding therapies and coping by victims of rape. I suppose there are a few sadistic women who penetrate boys & men with phallic objects or infectious contact with vaginal body fluids, infectious saliva & such ….indeed I was attacked by two alleged lesbians in Wyoming 40 years ago and assaulted with lantern oil … I escaped while the perpetrators were throwing ignited sticks of wood at me….none the less the topic at hand is RAPE. Rape laws only in the last few decades are “gender neutral” as your reply would address. Professorr Dawkins is rattling the caged bird whether we sing or not. Rape is not a useful metaphor for almost any “logical” argument. There is a point where biology is written so generally as to violate common sense taboos of stereotyping of people, victims or advocates, sensitive or insensitive, Feminist/Atheist or patriarchal/theocrat

  24. says

    Amphiox:

    We ALSO permit different levels of punishment for murder.

    So, are you implying than “murder is not murder”?

    Please, don’t do this. There have already been more than enough asses bringing up different degrees of murder in order to shore up the whole degrees of rape business.

  25. says

    biologists who observe mating animals may or may not be observing a rape in progress by one animal against another….consider the black widow spider so named because the female often eats the male immediately after he impregnates her …..AGAINST OUR WILL is a topic too many people just are not aware how painful such “triggers” or reminders of a previous violent sexual event in our lives…. My daughters are ages 39 and 20. I taught them to defend against rape. All the while teaching them their full freedom to choose when and if they might choose a lover/spouse. I taught them anatomy at age 2. Mommys have eggs and daddys have seeds who put the seeds into mommys when mommys want to grow a baby inside: “there” pointing to the general location of a uterus, often pointing towards VERY PREGNANT women…. If I had any sons I’d be teaching each NOT TO RAPE but how lucky each could be when a lover chose them and how their choice is totally conditional upon the other’s consent

  26. theoreticalgrrrl says

    See the President there, Dawkins? *That* is using logic when discussing rape. Not like your crying and whining that people are being big horrible meanies and scary witch hunters for daring to disagree with you on the subject.

  27. says

    Amphiox: Clearly “murder is not murder”. There is murder, manslaughter, justifiable self-defence and “killing the bloke with the big bomb who is threatening 100 children”.

    Inaji: why the ad hominem attack for mentioning this?

  28. says

    Mark Emerson #34

    There are no degrees of murder to the victim. The victim is dead whatever. Just as a rape victim is a rape victim.

    Yep, there are degrees in murder, depending on things like intent, self-defence and so on.

    The intent in rape is to rape. No mitigating circumstances. No analogy to self defence.

    So what, exactly, is your point?

  29. says

    Mark Emerson:

    Inaji: why the ad hominem attack for mentioning this?

    :Sigh: Y’know, Mark, I’d bother giving you a comprehensive answer, except you’d ignore it. I know this because there was no Argumentum ad hominem by me,* and you’re yet another person who wants to use ad hominem as a synonym for insult. By the way, I didn’t insult Amphiox either, simply requested they not use that idiotic herring.

    *Here’s a little help for you: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_hominem

  30. says

    You know, here’s what I hear when people bring up murder:

    “You know, actually, I’m not talking about murder. Yes, I say “murder”, but then I go off talking about self-defense, and manslaughter and stuff. You know, the things that are not actually murder. But I’m conflating killing and murder here, because I really need to use the word murder as an equivalent of rape. Because everybody agrees that murder is wrong, right? Just like everybody agrees that rape is wrong. And then I go off and talk about those things that are not really murder, but killing, because I need to talk about how those can be accidential, or even justified, and by first conflating murder and killing, and then using murder for rape, I do this sleigh of hands in which rape suddenly becomes like killing, which can be accidential or even justified. That’s why I need to talk about it so much.”

  31. Amphiox says

    Amphiox: Clearly “murder is not murder”. There is murder, manslaughter, justifiable self-defence and “killing the bloke with the big bomb who is threatening 100 children”.

    None of those others you mention are murder. That’s why, you know, we have this thing called a LANGUAGE, with these things called WORDS, and we use different WORDS to describe those other things.

    Thank you for admitting that “murder is murder”, as demonstrated by your need to actually use different words for those other things.

  32. opposablethumbs says

    biologists who observe mating animals may or may not be observing a rape in progress by one animal against another

    Anyone else think Larry is extracting the michael?

    Mark Emerson
    , the murder parallel has already been shown to be a lousy one, several times over (you think it’s possible to rape someone by accident or in self-defence?). And please learn to distinguish between an ad hominem and an epithet.

  33. yazikus says

    At lunch today a co-worker suggested that young women have a responsibility to prevent themselves from being sexually assaulted. A heated conversation ensued (all women) and I then tried to make a joke asking this co-worker if she had been reading Dawkins twitter feed or something (I know, I know, not funny), and everyone was like, ‘huh, wut?’. None of them had heard of Dawkins. Two of them thought I was talking about Todd Akin.

    On the bright side, almost all of them were absolutely against rating rapes.
    /slice of small town office drama

  34. says

    Giliell:

    I do this sleigh of hands in which rape suddenly becomes like killing, which can be accidential or even justified. That’s why I need to talk about it so much.”

    Yep. Rape apologetics 101. The whole murder herring is also another way to steer the discussion away from rape, away from the reality of it. (We’ve certainly never seen that before, eh?)

  35. atheist says

    I admit to being a little confused why folks at FTB try to debate Dawkins at all. It seems pretty clear to me that on any subject other than biology – and maybe a narrow kind of philosophy – he’s just an old crank. Greta Christina seemed excited the other day when Dawkins made some statement about rape being wrong in any situation, but then he of course started backtracking and she seemed to get pissed off again.

    If I’m really the one who is being fooled, and Greta Christina doesn’t really expect Dawkins to come around, but is only making hay off of his intransigence, then, OK I can understand that. Even if I don’t particularly want to read about it. If, on the other hand, she or indeed anyone expects him to change his position or be open-minded, then I think that’s sad. I’m not asking anyone to “ignore the trolls”, I just wonder what the point is.

  36. atheist says

    @yazikus – 30 July 2014 at 11:10 am (UTC -5)

    The President of the US tends not to respond to random tweets.

    True, qwints, but it would be kind of cool if he did, no?

    Not really, no. Do you realize the kind of unhinged hatred Obama gets even when he says nothing at all? What do you think would happen if he started responding to his many, many deranged haters?

  37. says

    atheist #42

    Like it or not, to those looking at the atheist community (whatever) from the outside, he’s our main public face; he’s who they first think of, if deciding what an atheist might think about something. Sadly, we probably can’t change that. We can hope to get him to change his mind, or at least shut up about these subjects. Not much of a hope, but probably the only one.

    That’s my view. Others may vary.

  38. says

    Atheist:

    I admit to being a little confused why folks at FTB try to debate Dawkins at all.

    I’m not trying to debate Dawkins. I haven’t noticed PZ trying to do that, either. There is criticism, yes. It’s very necessary, too, because Dawkins is doing a wealth of damage, someone has to try and mitigate that damage, and correct the constant misconceptions, and keep fighting the good fight.

    It’s fucking exhausting, too. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t need doing.

  39. soogeeoh says

    @39 opposablethumbs
    re: michael

    … there’s a twitter account mentioned, old even.
    I don’t know what to make of it, but lean towards “no”

    (because I think that, this feels uncomfortable, like sitting in the subway and your unknown-to-you seat neighbours talking about you, not with)

  40. says

    atheist:

    I admit to being a little confused why folks at FTB try to debate Dawkins at all.

    I think some people hold out hope that he’ll listen to reason. Whether that’s a reasonable hope or not, I don’t know (I lean toward ‘no’).
    Also, as Daz says, he’s a leading face of the movement (if not *the* leading face of atheism). Given that many people view him in that light, I can see it being important to try to convince him of the wrongness of many of his views, as his views color the public’s perception of atheists.

  41. lorn says

    I suspect that the hole Dawkins fell into was the result of the reflexive tendency of the scientific mind to quantify and rank things. Rape and molestation are issues that do not lend themselves to quantification, comparison, or estimation of harm simply because each event is highly idiosyncratic.

    I think Obama get it more right than not as to one of the main issues.

  42. says

    Every single one of you seems to think that Dawkins said there are degrees of rape. He didn’t. He said “saying X is worse than Y does not endorse Y”. You’ve fallen into just the logical error he was complaining about.

    There also seems to be some feeling that only women can talk about rape. Men are raped too.

  43. Great American Satan says

    @RD – WITCH HUNTS! I’M NOT EXAGGERATING! That is awesome. I’m awed.

  44. Jackie says

    DAZ,
    I disagree. There is plenty we can do about it. We can distance the movement from bigots an assholes by not giving them our money or our time. We can keep those rifts deep and wide. We can be vocal and uncompromising in in our criticism of the stupid, insensitive things Dawkins says and the jerks he promotes. Atheism doesn’t need poster child or “thought leaders”.

  45. Jackie says

    Terry @#50,
    You’re “feelings” are incorrect, as is everything else you wrote.

  46. says

    Terry Collmann #50

    Every single one of you seems to think that Dawkins said there are degrees of rape. He didn’t. He said “saying X is worse than Y does not endorse Y”. You’ve fallen into just the logical error he was complaining about.

    If X and Y are not different things (different degrees, in this case), then X cannot be worse than Y.

    Do keep up.

  47. Alex says

    Einstein failed at his attempts to construct a theory of everything and produced nothing of lasting value in his later years because he was stuck with applying the same principles which had led to his great early successes to this new problem, completely losing touch with the new developments in the field of quantum physics, where the youngsters worked with such obviously wrong ideas like quantum uncertainty.

    Dawkins knows how to slap down deluded religionists, and it made him famous. But nowadays, he lives in such a confusing, scary world,being the last person that still dares to exercise that good old rationality in a world filled with deluded people even in his own ranks. What is one to do, but to break out that old incredulous indignation which had served so well to demonstrate the folly of religion, and direct it to all those new targets.

  48. says

    Jackie #52

    I agree we can distance ourselves from him within the movement. The problem is that, to many people outside the movement, he is atheism; his opinions are what they take to be the opinions of all atheists—and I sadly doubt that’s something we can control.

  49. says

    Terry Collman:

    He said “saying X is worse than Y does not endorse Y”. You’ve fallen into just the logical error he was complaining about.

    No, we didn’t. You fell right into a pit, though. Not endorsing is not the same as not rating. Dawkins is insisting on rating rape, while claiming to not endorse it. Dawkins is a very bad thinker on this front, and so are those who agree with him.

    There also seems to be some feeling that only women can talk about rape. Men are raped too.

    Speaking for myself, I bring up that women, men and children are raped. I’m a woman, I’ve been raped. I am one of many rape survivors here, a number of them men. It’s not at all a rare thing for men to talk about rape here. Perhaps you’re so busy making assumptions you can’t see what’s right in front of you.

  50. Anthony K says

    I agree we can distance ourselves from him within the movement. The problem is that, to many people outside the movement, he is atheism; his opinions are what they take to be the opinions of all atheists—and I sadly doubt that’s something we can control.

    Eh, lots of theists hate Dawkins and think he’s a fool. I respond that I agree with them about Dawkins, but probably not for the same reasons. Then I go on to enumerate them. At the end of the day, they usually dislike Dawkins even more, but gain respect for atheists.

    Win-win.

  51. consciousness razor says

    Terry Collmann, #50:

    Every single one of you seems to think that Dawkins said there are degrees of rape. He didn’t. He said “saying X is worse than Y does not endorse Y”.

    In fact, he said all of this and much more:

    Mild pedophilia is bad. Violent pedophilia is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of mild pedophilia, go away and learn how to think.

    Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think.

    “Mild date rape is bad. Violent date rape is worse.” Is it really so hard to understand that that doesn’t constitute endorsement of either?

    Does that look like degrees of rape to you, or does it look simply like degrees of X/Y?

    Does that look like a fruitful beginning to a nice long, logical romp into the world of rape apologetics? Whatever your answer, please just say so. You’re a dude who knows what’s what, and we are hanging on your every word.

    You’ve fallen into just the logical error he was complaining about.

    What would that be?

    There also seems to be some feeling that only women can talk about rape. Men are raped too.

    Get the fuck out of here with that bullshit. It’s all too fucking infuriating right now to add this to the pile. I say that as a man, who’s a rape victim, who can even read this fucking thread which already mentioned male victims, with no need for your pointless wankery.

  52. consciousness razor says

    Einstein failed at his attempts to construct a theory of everything and produced nothing of lasting value in his later years because he was stuck with applying the same principles which had led to his great early successes to this new problem, completely losing touch with the new developments in the field of quantum physics, where the youngsters worked with such obviously wrong ideas like quantum uncertainty.

    Just fucking don’t. Einstein was not a fucking denialist. He did more for quantum mechanics throughout the years than… well, more than you reading a fucking pop sci book or whatever the fuck you think you’ve accomplished.

  53. says

    Anthony K #59

    Then I go on to enumerate them. At the end of the day, they usually dislike Dawkins even more, but gain respect for atheists.

    I’d not thought of it that way. Good point. Not sure it would affect the more mass PR stuff, but it’s worth thinking on.

  54. Anthony K says

    I’d not thought of it that way. Good point. Not sure it would affect the more mass PR stuff, but it’s worth thinking on.

    There’s literally no downside. So somebody hates Dawkins twice as much as they already did. Who cares? Not Dawkins. He lives on pure logic. Emotions are foreign, human constructs.

  55. Alex says

    @Anthony K

    Promoting the “good atheism” one believer at a time, sounds fine to me, but isn’t it tempting to think of a solution that is easier, painting atheism progressive with one broad stroke in the eye of the public?

    @consciousness razor

    Of course he has, but that does not negate what I said so I stand by it, and I would love to debate that point with you despite your harsh judgment, but that would derail this important thread with debate of an unimportant analogy. Pity…

  56. says

    Actually, Terry, Dawkins does assume that X and Y can be compared. So just as everyone seems to agree that types of homicide can be compared (one worse than the other, and at some point requiring the term murder) then other types of sexual assault can be compared.

    But what is clear, and where I agree, is that allowing comparison does not endorse either. So when he is attacked for the “wrongness of his views” and for expressing simple logic then I do feel compelled to rise to his defence. He is not doing damage; he is trying to be a voice of reason in a world full of “faith” and taboos.

  57. Alex says

    How nice that you’ve decided that he is not doing damage, Mark Emerson. Problem solved!!! And so rationally, too.

  58. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    What a thoughtful, useful, good man. It’s dangerous to speak out against the powerful feminist witch hunters.

    Jesus fucking Christ.

    He’s Not Rehabilatatable

  59. says

    Mark:

    But what is clear, and where I agree, is that allowing comparison does not endorse either. So when he is attacked for the “wrongness of his views” and for expressing simple logic then I do feel compelled to rise to his defence. He is not doing damage; he is trying to be a voice of reason in a world full of “faith” and taboos.

    Yes, he is doing damage, if you’d listen to people instead of plugging your ears in blind support of his holiness.
    You’re also not paying attention to the very words he’s saying. Consciousness razor just quoted what Dawkins said @60:

    Mild pedophilia is bad. Violent pedophilia is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of mild pedophilia, go away and learn how to think.

    Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think.

    “Mild date rape is bad. Violent date rape is worse.” Is it really so hard to understand that that doesn’t constitute endorsement of either?

    Bolding mine.
    Right there he’s saying that one type of rape is worse than another type of rape. No on is arguing that he’s trying endorse anything. We’re saying that he’s ranking rape, and that’s not a good thing. When you attempt to rank rape, you lead to shit like this:

    According to The Sun Chronicle, Mansfield police determined that 18-year-old Sean Murphy began kissing the 17-year-old girl after meeting her at the concert on Sunday, and then took her away from her friends to another part of the outdoor amphitheater. She said that she went with him because “she was afraid of what would happen” if she didn’t agree.

    After removing the girl’s shorts and underwear, Murphy reportedly began having sex with her.

    Police said that 15 or more concert-goers gathered around to watch, and even recorded the incident on their cell phones. Some of those photographs and videos had been recovered as evidence.

    “My friend told me to look over there and there was a couple on the ground having intercourse. So we looked at it, and we took pictures and we thought it was consensual,” one witness told WFXT.

    The attack only allegedly came to an end when a woman asked the victim if the act was consensual.

    “Do you want this?” the woman was heard saying.

    According to a police report, the girl said, “no,” and then a witness “saw the female break free and run.”

    The girl’s friends later brought her to police, and gates to the venue were closed until the suspect was found.

    The police report said that Murphy admitted that he had been intoxicated from drinking Jack Daniels, but “stressed that he did not force himself on her.” The report also said that he was overheard telling his parents on the phone that he “messed up.”

    Murphy pleaded not guilty to charges of forcible rape at a court hearing on Monday.

    In a statement on Tuesday, defense attorney Neil P. Crowley, who is representing Murphy, insisted that his client did not rape the girl.

    “This was a consensual act, not a sexual assault. There are no allegations of force or violence put against him,” Crowley said. “This was a private act that regrettably occurred in a public place. Mr. Murphy deeply regrets this incident and I’m sure the young woman does as well.”

    Dawkins’ very words rank rape, just as much as society at large does. His words diminish the impact of some forms of rape if they don’t entail certain levels of violence. That defense attorney is dismissing the victims’ claims of rape because they don’t match his standard of what qualifies as rape. The attorney has bought into the same shit that Dawkins has. Neither of them is viewing rape as non-consensual sex and thus realizing that *all* rape is horrible, whether it is violent or non-violent.

  60. Alex says

    He can rank rape all he wants, but putting the result of his deliberations on twitter sends such a strong message beyond the bare words, how can he be so oblivious of that…

  61. says

    Mark:

    But what is clear, and where I agree, is that allowing comparison does not endorse either. So when he is attacked for the “wrongness of his views” and for expressing simple logic then I do feel compelled to rise to his defence.

    There is no logic in his logic. That’s a wee bit of a problem. I just posed this to another Dawkins defender on the other thread. I’ll do the same with you:

    I was raped weekly for six years as a child, ages 3 to 9.

    When I was 16, I was raped, beaten, strangled and knifed by a stranger.

    When I was 19, I woke up with the fingers of someone I barely knew in my vagina.

    Which of those experiences was the worst one, for me?

  62. says

    Alex:

    He can rank rape all he wants, but putting the result of his deliberations on twitter sends such a strong message beyond the bare words, how can he be so oblivious of that…

    True. He’s perfectly within his rights to rank rape all he wants. I just wish he’d listen to the people telling him that doing so is not helpful and is actively harmful.

  63. Jeff Smith says

    Obama’s comments were in regards to the idea of not providing abortions to rape victims if the rape was somehow not “legitimate”. In terms of providing help to the victim, “Rape is Rape” makes sense, it doesn’t matter what sort of rape it was, the woman should be able to get an abortion.

    The levels of “badness” of different rape crimes however, is something different.

    If “Rape is Rape” and we treat all Rape as being equally bad…. should all those who commit any sort of rape be sentenced to the same prison term?

    If so: What would that term be? Surely someone who commits a violent rape at knifepoint should be sentenced to life in prison. Should all other rapists be given this same sentence?

    If not: Then there ARE degrees of badness of all crimes, including rape.

    In my opinion there are certainly rape crimes that are worse than others, but that doesn’t mean I think that any sort of rape is not bad….

    Who would be stupid enough to believe that Richard Dawkins thinks that any sort of rape is not bad?

  64. theoreticalgrrrl says

    Can someone please explain to me this attitude that emotions and logic are mutually exclusive? Anger and disgust are very rational, healthy, sane and logical responses to stupid, callous and completely ignorant bullshit.

  65. says

    Jeff Smith:

    In my opinion there are certainly rape crimes that are worse than others, but that doesn’t mean I think that any sort of rape is not bad….

    You’re wrong. Why don’t you try addressing responses to your post in the other thread, Jeff?

  66. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What would that term be?

    Life without parole. DUH. Shut the fuck up with your vulcan idiocy. You aren’t asking innocent questions.

  67. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Who would be stupid enough to believe that Richard Dawkins thinks that any sort of rape is not bad?

    Ever hear of the Slymepit?

  68. says

    Jeff Smith:

    Who would be stupid enough to believe that Richard Dawkins thinks that any sort of rape is not bad?

    Oh, so now it’s stupid to read his own words and come to the conclusion that his very fucking words say that some types of rape are worse than others. Your blind support for this asshole paints you as every bit the insensitive asshole Dawkins is.
    Why? I don’t know. Why not ask Dawkins himself why he’s dismissive of the experiences of rape victims? When he says that being held at knifepoint and raped by a stranger is worse than date rape, he’s telling people that have experienced date rape that their horrible experience wasn’t as bad as others who have been raped. It’s a worse form of Dear Muslima. The people that get to decide how horrible their rape was are the victims of rape. Not Richard fucking Dawkins.

  69. says

    Jeff Smith #72

    Who would be stupid enough to believe that Richard Dawkins thinks that any sort of rape is not bad?

    Who said he thought this?

    Look, its quite simple. Rape is rape. Other actions—use of weapons or drugs, abuse of authority etc—might also take place, but they are not the rape.

    Rape + X might be viewed as worse, in the eyes of the law and/or the victim, than rape + Y, but the rape part is (or should be in the case of the law) the same. And yeah, in the eyes of the law the + X or Y might make a difference to sentencing, but the only scale upon which the rape part might or should be different is subjective to the victim. You don’t get to tell victims that one rape is worse than another, or upon what scale their experience should be measured. Hell is subjective.

  70. consciousness razor says

    The levels of “badness” of different rape crimes however, is something different.

    It’s something else, alright.

    If “Rape is Rape” and we treat all Rape as being equally bad…. should all those who commit any sort of rape be sentenced to the same prison term?

    I have an idea. Let’s not have fuckers like Dawkins try to deduce from first principles, as a matter of “logic,” what we ought to do, while pretending that the actual experiences and emotions of the actual human beings to whom he’s pontificating don’t matter.

    If so: What would that term be? Surely someone who commits a violent rape at knifepoint should be sentenced to life in prison.

    Surely, you are full of shit. How the fuck did you conclude that?

    Who would be stupid enough to believe that Richard Dawkins thinks that any sort of rape is not bad?

    People who are stupid enough to believe that some sorts of rape are not bad. There exist such people. As a matter of pure logic, the fact that it’s Richard fucking Dawkins doesn’t entail he must have different beliefs than them. These people can read his words. I would leave it to you to draw additional conclusions from that, but you couldn’t think your way out of a wet paper bag.

  71. CJO says

    Latest super-genius:

    Who would be stupid enough to believe that Richard Dawkins thinks that any sort of rape is not bad?

    Who would be stupid enough to give a rat’s ass what Dawkins thinks about it? A lot of you fuckers, apparently, who just can’t get enough of this chin-stroking “dispassionately consider the reprehensible, old chap.” “You don’t say, chum, let’s have another port shall we?” A good ol’ logic-wank was had by all.

    Thanks, Richad Fucking Dawkins! Thanks for the super genius brigade. They’re a hoot.

  72. Pete Shanks says

    Alex @ 56:

    Dawkins knows how to slap down deluded religionists, and it made him famous

    Not exactly. On that subject, Dawkins knew how to pander to his audience, but I don’t think he has ever done much good in convincing “deluded religionists” to change their views. However, he’s quick and verbal, and practiced in the art of the put-down, and he built a celebrity career, first with genuine science, then with popular science and then with what is essentially a stand-up comedy routine. But as he expanded his subject matter, he lost his audience. Because he is nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is. I do hope this drives him into retirement.

  73. Alex says

    @Pete,

    I did not mean to imply that he was particularly successful at convincing the staunch believer with his routine (but what could ever do that), i think we’re on the same page there. I do grant him having made a sizable number of converts though, but the point remains that he’s lost, and his “LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE” shtick today is too a blunt instrument. God, 2006 feels so long ago these days.

  74. opposablethumbs says

    Jeff Smith, pay attention:

    Rape + X might be viewed as worse, in the eyes of the law and/or the victim, than rape + Y, but the rape part is (or should be in the case of the law) the same.

    Thank you Daz
    Rape + abuse of authority. Rape + threat of violence. Rape + GBH. Rape + coercion. Rape + drugging the victim. These are not “different kinds” or “degrees” of rape; these are multiple crimes. The combination of crimes, and hence the sentence, may not be the same in all cases; notice the element they all have in common, though.
    There are lots of people who think that some kinds of rape are zero bad. Dawkins may not be one of them, but there are certainly many who are who will feel vindicated by his words.

  75. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    They are afraid – and I promise you I am not exaggerating – of witch-hunts: hunts for latter day blasphemers by latter day Inquisitions and latter day incarnations of Orwell’s Thought Police.

    I want Richard “I am not exaggerating” Dawkins to point out one witch hunt, one placing a person the rack, one example of a room where “the worst thing in the world” happens.

    Just fucking one.

    Funny how the great teacher of logic is not being logical at all.

  76. Pete Shanks says

    @Alex. Fair enough. Mind you, I personally found The God Delusion (and God Is Not Great) unconvincing — and I’ve been an atheist since 1963! I fear that Dawkins on feminism is not much worse, logically, than Dawkins on Christianity. And don’t get me started on other religions, some of which I have an occasional emotional connection with. Skepticism is generally good …

  77. Akira MacKenzie says

    Well, I didn’t expect this “cease fire” thing to last long. I’m also not surprised that it was Dawkin’s who’d break it with his mind-numbing cluelessness.

  78. vaiyt says

    Well, it’s certainly ironic as hell to see Richard fucking Dawkins resorting to creationist-like “Help! Help! I’m being oppressed” shrieking in response to people condemning him for his objectionable views.

  79. Bryan Long says

    We need to look at people who parse the laws around rape the same way we look at someone who was trying to find a technical loophole in assault or murder laws. I don’t really care what the law is, on some level. If you are tiptoeing up to the letter of the law you are a despicable person, even if you technically did not break a law.

    Who cares what the law is when we are talking about people being harmed? It seems particularly American to me. People so easily confuse legal with right. Our constitution is pretty good but it did not come on golden tablets. For example, a person can be contributing to the breakdown of society, even though their actions are within their constitutional rights.

  80. Ana Blanco says

    Where the fuck are these witch-hunts?

    Just a couple of months ago, you and your mob were howling for the blood of the computational chemists – based on a spurious accusation of sexism within the field, an accusation that quickly fell apart when exposed to the cold light of day.

    All in all it’s pretty amusing how easy you lot are to manipulate, just press the right buttons and you’ll be all set to burn your best friend. Just what you would expect from a gang of fundamentalist who are chronically lacking in self awareness.

  81. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Just a couple of months ago, you and your mob were howling for the blood of the computational chemists – based on a spurious accusation of sexism within the field, an accusation that quickly fell apart when exposed to the cold light of day.

    Evidence from where? I don’t recall seeing any. I’m a chemist, and there is a big amount of sexism present in physical chemistry. Link to some real evidence please….

  82. CJO says

    I mean, for my part, I was just dispassionately ruminating on whether Dawkins deserved just mild torture for violating our taboos, or whether we should set an example with a full-on auto de fe. It is deplorable that there are many people in the atheist community who are literally afraid to think and speak freely, afraid to raise even hypothetical questions about the possible utility of Orwellian thought police or whether or not –just for-instance, mind you!– a latter day Inquisition might not be as bad as everyone says.

  83. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Could all you empathy-deficient shitheads who seem only able to think about rape and murder from the perspective of the perpetrator kindly get the fuck off my planet? And take Richard Fucking Dawkins with you. Please and thanks in advance.

    Also this sentence from Dawkins:

    They are afraid – and I promise you I am not exaggerating – of witch-hunts: hunts for latter day blasphemers by latter day Inquisitions and latter day incarnations of Orwell’s Thought Police.

    Witch hunts! Inquisitions! Orwell’s Thought Police! I’m so not exaggerating! Fucking Ray Comfort levels of ridiculousness right there.

  84. says

    Ana Blanco:

    Where the fuck are these witch-hunts?

    You’d need to ask Dawkins that, as he’s the one who brought them up.

  85. Jeff Smith says

    Jeff Smith, pay attention:
    Rape + X might be viewed as worse, in the eyes of the law and/or the victim, than rape + Y, but the rape part is (or should be in the case of the law) the same.
    Thank you Daz
    Rape + abuse of authority. Rape + threat of violence. Rape + GBH. Rape + coercion. Rape + drugging the victim. These are not “different kinds” or “degrees” of rape; these are multiple crimes. The combination of crimes, and hence the sentence, may not be the same in all cases; notice the element they all have in common, though.
    There are lots of people who think that some kinds of rape are zero bad. Dawkins may not be one of them, but there are certainly many who are who will feel vindicated by his words.

    So now we are upset with Richard for saying something that others with warped moralities might intentionally misinterpret in order to fit their own warped reality?

    Richard is not the enemy here folks, there was no malice in his statement.

    Richard’s own example is essentially, from a criminal perspective, Rape vs Rape+Weapon. Assuming all other circumstances in the hypothetical scenario equal out, the second one will receive a harsher sentence (and is thus, in the opinion of the law, a WORSE crime).

    If someone wants to interpret this as meaning “Date Rape ain’t so bad… it’s not REAL rape!” then fuck that person, but it’s not the correct interpretation or the intent of the comparison.

    It pains me to see so much venom and outrage directed at a awkward but harmless tweet, when it should be focussed on the multitude of people out there who DO actually permit rape within their morality.

  86. says

    Just a couple of months ago, you and your mob were howling for the blood of the computational chemists – based on a spurious accusation of sexism within the field, an accusation that quickly fell apart when exposed to the cold light of day.

    We did? You mean this thread?

    I don’t see anyone demanding that any chemists be bled, or strung up, or set on fire, or anything. They’re pointing out examples and personal experiences of endemic sexism in the field, demonstrated by a numerical bias in conference speakers…which has not suddenly disappeared.

    Oh my gosh, Ana Blanco…you’re full of shit! Get that cleaned up right away!

  87. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Richard is not the enemy here folks, there was no malice in his statement.

    Not intentionally, but there was stupidity.

    If someone wants to interpret this as meaning “Date Rape ain’t so bad… it’s not REAL rape!” then fuck that person, but it’s not the correct interpretation or the intent of the comparison.

    Why isn’t it? It is how I read the statements. And I’m close to RD’s generation. He should shut the fuck up on anything to do with women and women’s issues and somebody close to him should make him understand that. Why aren’t you doing that???

  88. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Jeff Smith @ 96

    If someone wants to interpret this as meaning “Date Rape ain’t so bad… it’s not REAL rape!” then fuck that person, but it’s not the correct interpretation or the intent of the comparison.

    It pains me to see so much venom and outrage directed at a awkward but harmless tweet, when it should be focussed on the multitude of people out there who DO actually permit rape within their morality.

    Do you even read this shit before you hit submit? In one sentence you freely admit that people could interpret those tweets as meaning date rape isn’t so bad because it’s not stranger-with-a-knife rape and then in the very next sentence declare that the tweets are harmless. How the fuck do you go from “people can take this as justification for date rape” to “not harmful”?! Please. Do tell. I’m all ears.

  89. says

    Jeff Smith #96

    In the eyes of the law ≠ In the eyes of the victim.

    Rape + X might carry a heavier sentence than Rape + Y. That doesn’t make experiencing the former worse than experiencing the latter. No one but the victim can make such a judgement.

    This is not difficult.

    there was no malice in his statement.

    Possibly not. Ever been bitten by a playful dog? Did the lack of growly-nastiness make it hurt less?

  90. says

    Jeff Smith:

    It pains me to see so much venom and outrage directed at a awkward but harmless tweet,

    It was not a harmless tweet. It was not the first time that Dawkins has downplayed sexual abuse as not all that bad. He has caused a great deal of damage. It pains me that people such as yourself mindlessly defend the shit Dawkins drops all over the floor, without actually thinking for yourself. You’ve refused to answer me in the other thread Jeff, so I’ll do this again:

    Also, Jeff, where do you think Dawkins has the right to declare which rape is worse than another? Or you, for that matter, or anyone else?

    Here’s an exercise for you:

    I was raped weekly for six years as a child, ages 3 to 9.

    When I was 16, I was raped, beaten, strangled and knifed by a stranger.

    When I was 19, I woke up with the fingers of someone I barely knew in my vagina.

    Which of those experiences was the worst one, for me? As you seem to think Dawkins is right with his rape rating, you should be able to answer that, right?

  91. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Jeff Smith @ 96

    Richard’s own example is essentially, from a criminal perspective, Rape vs Rape+Weapon. Assuming all other circumstances in the hypothetical scenario equal out, the second one will receive a harsher sentence (and is thus, in the opinion of the law, a WORSE crime).

    Dawkins didn’t say he was speaking from a criminal perspective. He wasn’t saying X is worse and therefor deserves a harsher sentence. When challenged on his dubious choice of examples, he didn’t then clarify and say that he was speaking of legal distinctions. So how about you just fucking give up that line of defense?

    And OMG fuck this business of erasing the victims from the equation altogether because what we really need to talk about is what happens to the rapist.

  92. Jeff Smith says

    Why isn’t it? It is how I read the statements. And I’m close to RD’s generation. He should shut the fuck up on anything to do with women and women’s issues and somebody close to him should make him understand that. Why aren’t you doing that???

    I certainly did not read his tweet like that.
    I suspect those who are used to, and are rightfully sick of, seeing bullshit defences of “Date Rape” as not being “real rape”, and other such comments that this comment just seemed to be “more of the same”.

    What is important however, is that was not his intention.

    Very disappointed to see someone advocating that men “shut the fuck up on anything to do with women and women’s issues”.

  93. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Very disappointed to see someone advocating that men “shut the fuck up on anything to do with women and women’s issues”.

    Why? Are you a slymepitter? Men should shut the fuck up and listen on all women’s issues. Otherwise, it is telling women how they should feel, instead of being empathetic, and listening to the problems.

  94. says

    Jeff:

    Very disappointed to see someone advocating that men “shut the fuck up on anything to do with women and women’s issues”.

    I don’t advocate men shut up. I do advocate that Dawkins shut the fuck up on issues of feminism and sexual abuse, as he doesn’t have the slightest fucking idea of what he’s talking about, and he can’t think for shit on these issues, instead, he simply pushes his personal beliefs on these matters, which happen to be repugnant and damned offensive.

  95. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Fucking hell, this is not complicated.

    No one, not even the Great High Overlord of All Atheism, gets to pronounce which rape is better. To do so is to belittle the experiences of every person who suffers because of their “less-bad” rape.

    This, this right here is why I hate all the wanna-be Vulcans in atheism and scepticism. Everything, including the real suffering of human beings, is less important than their desire to be right about a petty point of logic.

    Fuck ‘em. Fuck ‘em all.

  96. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Hi. Man here. Not being told to shut the fuck up. Odd that, innit.

    Amen. But we have listened, not pontificated.

  97. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    What is important however, is that was not his intention.

    And, for the millionth time: intent is not some magic elixir that will wash away the harm done. Statements like Dawkins’ do not exist in a vacuum of perfect logic. They exist in a society where date rape is routinely trivialised and dismissed. His grand pronouncement is harmful regardless of his intention.

    A compassionate person, a good human being would walk that shit back a soon as the first person pointed out that trauma is not something that third parties get to decide for the victim.

  98. says

    Jeff Smith:

    Very disappointed to see someone advocating that men “shut the fuck up on anything to do with women and women’s issues”.

    Man here, and I don’t see anyone saying that.
    I see people telling Richard fucking Dawkins to shut his insensitive, empathy deficient, ignorant mouth about subjects he knows little about. Moreover, if he’d simply listen to the people telling him that he’s minimizing rape by trying to rank different forms of rape, he wouldn’t have legions of people telling him to shut up. But he refuses to do that. He refuses to listen to rape victims telling him how harmful his words are. And you’re supporting that. Neither one of you is demonstrating that you care about the feelings of rape victims.

  99. says

    What is important however, is that was not his intention.

    What in the fuck difference does it make what his intent happens to be? Intent is not bloody magic, it doesn’t make what Dawkins is doing okay, or harmless.

    Also, personally, I don’t think there’s good intent involved, given his prior insistence that all child molestation isn’t necessarily bad, his prior statement that teaching children about hell was worse abuse than molestation, his prior missive Dear Muslima, and so on.

  100. says

    Daz:

    Also, Jeff Smith, you’re spewing the same fucking shit, making the same crappy points, on two threads. Would you kindly pick one and stick there?

    Seconded. I’m tired of having to respond the same shit in two different threads.

  101. ibyea says

    The whole intention ship has sailed a long time ago. One time? Okay, people make mistakes. But Dawkins is a multiple offender. I don’t give a crap about intentions anymore.

  102. azpaul3 says

    The thread above is filled with criticism, outrage, hateful invective, hostile insult, profane recrimination … Pretty much everything this community has to offer in the way of bile and bluster. And not just toward Dr. Dawkins but toward each other and for some of the pettiest reasons of syntax let alone expressions of opinion. So much for constructive criticism and logical discussion. A good emotional rant is one thing but some of the expressions here are just plain mean, vindictive and cruel. There is blood in the water and the frenzy begins. Feed away.

    What bothers me most is seeing such an accomplished and prominent scientist, educator and author self-destruct so publicly. Dear Muslima, rating “types” of rape, now criticism as witch hunt.
    This is sad. This voice, which at one time was so clear, courageous and correct, is being lost from the greater community of Enlightenment v. 2.0. Dr. Dawkins may not be beyond recovery but, given the scope of privileged insensitivity and ego, I fear any recovery is problematic at best.

  103. says

    azpaul3:

    The thread above is filled with criticism, outrage, hateful invective, hostile insult, profane recrimination … Pretty much everything this community has to offer in the way of bile and bluster. And not just toward Dr. Dawkins but toward each other and for some of the pettiest reasons of syntax let alone expressions of opinion. So much for constructive criticism and logical discussion. A good emotional rant is one thing but some of the expressions here are just plain mean, vindictive and cruel. There is blood in the water and the frenzy begins. Feed away.

    Dear me, whatever shall I do.
    You’re yet another troll who is focusing on the tone, rather than the content of the message. Plenty of people who have engaged in “bile and bluster”, “profane recrimination”, and “hateful invective” have also offered comments with substance. You choose to ignore that substance bc your entire point is that people are not communicating in the manner you deign effective or approve of. We’re not here for your approval. We’ll comment as we please. Either leave the tone trolling at the door or leave. I hope you’ll just leave.

  104. Adam James says

    I won’t tell anyone else how they should feel about Dawkins. I can only share the positive influence he had on me. I think Dawkins may have been the first person whom I respected who spoke highly of feminism. When he talked about the power of feminism to transform his own views and attitudes in The God Delusion it made me see the movement in a different light. I can honestly say that because of Dawkins I began to take the idea of feminism seriously, and started down the path towards feminism myself. Dawkins may not be totally on board with every every point of the modern feminist platform, but I also don’t think he’s a totally lost cause either. He may just be in need of some more “consciousness raising,” to borrow his phrase. Quote related.

    A more subtle reason for preaching to the choir is the need to raise consciousness. When the feminists raised our consciousness about sexist pronouns, they would have been preaching to the choir where the more substantive issues of the rights of women and the evils of discrimination against them were concerned. But that decent, liberal choir still needed its consciousness raised with respect to everyday language. However right-on we may have been on the political issue of rights and discrimination, we nevertheless still unconsciously bought into linguistic conventions that made half the human race feel excluded.
    excerpt from The God Delusion

  105. says

    I will say this-at least the latest tone troll didn’t offer up the cliched “groupthink, hivemind”. Xe recognizes that we don’t all think the same:

    And not just toward Dr. Dawkins but toward each other and for some of the pettiest reasons of syntax let alone expressions of opinion.

    But azpaul3 is so much better than the rest of us, and needed to express their disdain for we lowly people. Gosh I sure hope I can one day measure up to the standards of the latest arrogant, condescending, tone troll.

  106. says

    Adam James:
    I’m glad that Dawkins has had that effect on you, but I don’t see how that relates to this thread and how much he dismisses the oppression of others when it isn’t sufficiently awful enough (in his mind).

  107. says

    azpaul:

    The thread above is filled with criticism, outrage, hateful invective, hostile insult, profane recrimination … Pretty much everything this community has to offer in the way of bile and bluster. And not just toward Dr. Dawkins but toward each other and for some of the pettiest reasons of syntax let alone expressions of opinion. So much for constructive criticism and logical discussion. A good emotional rant is one thing but some of the expressions here are just plain mean, vindictive and cruel. There is blood in the water and the frenzy begins. Feed away.

    How many comments did you dismiss as you wended your way to scolding everyone, Paul? Have you paid any attention at all to those of us who have been raped responding, time after time after time, to people saying incredibly harmful things in their defense of Dawkins and his need to rate rape and sexual assault?

    There’s been plenty of valid criticism and a boatload of logical discussion, Paul. You may have missed it because there was a fuck here or there. Or you may have missed it because people are angry, and rightly so. This is not a matter of sharing a nice cuppa while mournfully shaking our heads over an oh so mighty man’s misstep. You can take that sentiment and, well, you wouldn’t much like my suggestion. I’m sure you get the idea, what with you being so logical and smart and stuff. (In case this sails over your head, you just heaped more offense and harm all over the heads of rape victims, and we don’t need it, thanks ever.)

  108. ibyea says

    @Adam James
    Look, I doubt anyone here thinks he is the worst person ever or anything, but Richard Dawkins has shown himself to be highly oblivious to that kind of stuff. Yeah, he talked the talk. But right now, he is not walking the walk and considering why his words are harmful. And he keeps doing it despite being told that it harmed people. So people who knows this stuff has no choice but to declare him an asshat.

  109. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So much for constructive criticism and logical discussion.

    And you present neither, just apologetic blather about your hero.

    Dr. Dawkins may not be beyond recovery but, given the scope of privileged insensitivity and ego, I fear any recovery is problematic at best.

    You should have led with this, and left your first paragraph off….

    I think Dawkins may have been the first person whom I respected who spoke highly of feminism.

    *snicker*, he is an enemy of feminism, and it has shown since elevatorgate….

  110. says

    Adam James:

    Dawkins may not be totally on board with every every point of the modern feminist platform,

    I’ll be kind here, and assume you have missed things. A whole lot of things.

  111. says

    Nerd:

    And you present neither, just apologetic blather about your hero.

    I don’t think this is necessary. Adam wanted to share a positive thing, and as it resulted in him being more aware on the subjects of atheism and feminism, that’s a good thing.

  112. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    What bothers me most is seeing such an accomplished and prominent scientist, educator and author self-destruct so publicly

    That’s great. Bully for you. And hey, I agree: it is a sad thing to watch. But do you know what? Richard will be fine. He’s insulated by wealth, class and fame.

    What about the thousands of people who’s horrific experience he dismisses so casually in order to make a trivial point of logic? Those people won’t be fine. That bothers me far, far more.

  113. ibyea says

    Adam James
    I will say this. I get it. Richard Dawkins did contribute to selling me on the whole atheism thing, even if he wasn’t that big of an influence to me. And maybe you aren’t aware of the things he has said previous to this. I don’t blame you for looking at the good stuff he has influenced in you, and if you didn’t know Dawkins history, I won’t blame you either. But this is about his actions now. And he has been a multiple offender.

  114. says

    Ibyea:

    But this is about his actions now.

    Oh yes, very much so. Something I wish his valiant defenders would understand. (Not talking about Adam here.)

  115. says

    Tony:

    Your quote of Nerd was his response to azpaul3, rather than Adam James.

    Oh hell. Thank you very much for the correction, Tony. Nerd, my apologies.

  116. anteprepro says

    azpaul

    The thread above is filled with criticism, outrage, hateful invective, hostile insult, profane recrimination … Pretty much everything this community has to offer in the way of bile and bluster. And not just toward Dr. Dawkins but toward each other and for some of the pettiest reasons of syntax let alone expressions of opinion. So much for constructive criticism and logical discussion. A good emotional rant is one thing but some of the expressions here are just plain mean, vindictive and cruel. There is blood in the water and the frenzy begins. Feed away.

    And like every concern troll ever, he has nothing but vague and blustery insults to regale us with, has no logical argument to muster, and does all that while pretending that they give a such a titanic and all-consuming shit about civil discourse and pure logic. Hypocrisy is just so damn irresistible for these folks.

  117. chrislawson says

    There is one situation where it matters how bad a rape was — and that’s at sentencing after a conviction. At any other time, it seems more of an exercise in trying to divert people who want to discuss the problems with rape in our culture. I mean, really, yes I accept that each rape is different and will affect people in different ways, but this incessant nitpicking about whether date rape is worse than rape with a weapon seems not just pointless but actively undermining of victims’ opportunity to express their own experiences without having to justify themselves.

    Why does Richard Dawkins get to decide that date rape is more traumatising than rape at gunpoint? And why does he think grading the trauma quotient of each possible situation has any bearing on how to reduce rape in the community? And why does he think people discussing rape and how to prevent it should have to listen respectfully to his repeated peregrinations on the calculus of awfulness?

  118. azpaul3 says

    Have you paid any attention at all to those of us who have been raped responding, time after time after time, to people saying incredibly harmful things in their defense of Dawkins and his need to rate rape and sexual assault?

    (In case this sails over your head, you just heaped more offense and harm all over the heads of rape victims, and we don’t need it, thanks ever.)

    Inaji @ 124

    I do not see where my observations are said to be applicable to every message here. Still, I can see where you might see this. I saw a lot of those messages, and more points well made, and if my omission to exclude them from my criticism is an affront to you that was not my intent. I am myself a privileged white guy and sometimes my sensitivity meter is not as finely tuned as it should be. I do appreciate the nature of your criticism. I endeavor to improve.

    You choose to ignore that substance bc your entire point is that people are not communicating in the manner you deign effective or approve of.

    Tony @119

    That is an over reaction by your own emotional perception, not my words. Deal with that on your own.

    Since you missed the point let me state it more simply for you. You’re feeding on yourselves and often for trivial reasons.

    At the risk of over complicating things for you this does not apply to every message here. If I wanted to comment on the great deal of substance that is stated in many of these messages I would. I chose to comment on some other aspect of this thread as I have every right. If you are personally offended by this then too bad. Grow a pair and deal with it.

    I hope you’ll just leave.

    My dear petulant child, not gonna happen. You are going to have to deal with this little inconvenience as well. You seem to have a lot with which to deal. And all because of a bit of observation by little ol’ me. You make my point for me so very well.

  119. Adam James says

    @Tony #123

    Hi Tony,
    I suppose the point of my comment was to point out that Dawkins, at least at one time, understood that it was not only the worst offenses against women that deserve our outrage. The passage I quoted from the God Delusion shows a Dawkins who is willing to listen to what women think and feel, instead of dictating to them how they should feel, or what sort of things they ought to be outraged about. My hope is that that Dawkins, the more reflective, compassionate, self-critical Dawkins, is still there, trapped under his increasingly defensive outer shell.

  120. says

    azpaul3:

    That is an over reaction by your own emotional perception, not my words. Deal with that on your own.

    My reaction is based on your words. You spent more time chiding people for the manner in which they communicated rather than *what* they communicated. Focus on the substance, not the tone. Whining about tone will get you nowhere here.

    Since you missed the point let me state it more simply for you. You’re feeding on yourselves and often for trivial reasons.

    I didn’t miss any such point. I see fully what you mean. I just don’t agree.

    At the risk of over complicating things for you this does not apply to every message here. If I wanted to comment on the great deal of substance that is stated in many of these messages I would. I chose to comment on some other aspect of this thread as I have every right. If you are personally offended by this then too bad. Grow a pair and deal with it.

    Don’t equate having a backbone with being male. That’s sexist. Yes, you can comment on what you choose, but this is a rude blog. People are not always going to communicate in the manner that you’d prefer. If you don’t like that you can go away, bc it’s not going to change. If you intend to keep commenting, you’ll have to live with the nature of this blog.

    My dear petulant child, not gonna happen. You are going to have to deal with this little inconvenience as well. You seem to have a lot with which to deal. And all because of a bit of observation by little ol’ me. You make my point for me so very well.

    The observation you made is one that condescends to many of the commenters here based on the manner in which they communicate with one another. You’re tone trolling and that’s looked down on here.
    I don’t have a lot to deal with. I just think you’re an arrogant, condescending pissant.
    BTW, how is criticizing your tone trolling childish? You made comments. I criticized them. I offered my reasons for that criticism. That’s a bit different than being a petulant child. If you’re not going to address the substance of my comments, you’re merely proving my point for me.

  121. says

    Adam James:

    My hope is that that Dawkins, the more reflective, compassionate, self-critical Dawkins, is still there, trapped under his increasingly defensive outer shell.

    I don’t share your hope. I don’t know how familiar you are with Dawkins’ comments in the last few years, but the reflective, compassionate, self-critical Dawkins has, over the years, become increasingly absent with regard to topics like feminism, rape, and child sexual assault (with Dear Muslima being possibly the beginning of his descent).

  122. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    I do not see where my observations are said to be applicable to every message here. Still, I can see where you might see this. I saw a lot of those messages, and more points well made, and if my omission to exclude them from my criticism is an affront to you that was not my intent. I am myself a privileged white guy and sometimes my sensitivity meter is not as finely tuned as it should be. I do appreciate the nature of your criticism. I endeavor to improve.

    Fucking hell. May Cuthulu consume me first, if it’ll save me from having to read one more pedantic pissant’s pathetic not-apology it’ll be worth it.

    Here’s an idea azpaul: how about you demonstrate your improvement by acknowledging that publicly giving primacy of emotion to loss of a figurehead over the trauma he caused to the victims of rape is insensitive at best, and downright harmful at worse.

  123. says

    azpaul:

    Grow a pair and deal with it.

    If your statement that you endeavor to improve was the truth, you would not have thought this, let alone typed it. It’s juvenile, stupid, and sexist. It’s also arrogant and condescending on your part. Pretending you’re simply above the rest of the commentariat here isn’t going to get you anywhere at all.

    Treating people like they are shit isn’t more acceptable because you managed to do it without cuss words, you know. What you said to Tony is pure poison. I’d listen to Tony more than I’d listen to you because he is passionate and caring and smart. Tony is something else you most certainly are not: Tony is a good listener. He pays attention to people, and he never dismisses their experiences as irrelevant.

    One sure sign that a person isn’t the least bit interested in what others have to say is this: a person shows up in a thread, drops a stinker on the carpet by saying things they know will get a reaction, have little to do with what people have actually been discussing, then tries to make everything all about their self. That’s what you’re doing, Paul. This thread isn’t about you, it isn’t about your opinions of the commentariat either. If you had anything of substance to say about Dawkins or rape, I imagine you would have said it, but you don’t and you didn’t. So, we’re waiting for you to say something on topic, which is relevant and doesn’t consist of you attempting to paint yourself as superior.

  124. David C Brayton says

    It seems that if you argue that the mens rea (i.e. the criminal intent) of rape is equally bad in all situations, then the punishment for all cases of rape should be exactly the same.

    This means that certain exacerbating factors cannot be considered when setting the punishment. In other words, a person that abuses his/her position of trust or authority deserves the same punishment as a stranger committing the crime by employing violence.

    Same with these cases: the teenager that was drunk after the high school dance and a predator that planned the crimes for weeks before and tied up the victim. A sixty year old man raping a six year old girl? All of those cases would justify the exact same punishment.

    Traditionally, the courts have treated such cases differently. But maybe that should change.

  125. says

    Gee, I wasn’t feeling particularly nauseated until I read Mr. Brayton’s comment at #144.

    Now I feel like I need to turn off the internet and have some ginger tea.

    Thanks a fucking lot, asshole.

  126. David C Brayton says

    Sally–what should the punishment for rape be based on if not the intent of the perpetrator?

  127. says

    David Brayton:

    Traditionally, the courts have treated such cases differently. But maybe that should change.

    Yes, when setting the punishment, courts will look at the exacerbating factors in a given rape case. The thing is, between this thread and the other, the vast majority of people have been talking about rape with regard to how it affects individual victims of rape, not how the court system deals with rape cases.

  128. says

    David Brayton:

    Sally–what should the punishment for rape be based on if not the intent of the perpetrator?

    Have you read this thread, or the Why, why, why thread? If not, I recommend doing so. That way you can see that bringing up how courts deal with rape cases is not the subject.

  129. says

    The sad part is Dawkins understood there was potential for it to turn out bad, given what he said about this in no way means he thinks any rape is OK and damn you for thinking so. Unfortunately he didn’t have Hitchens around to slap some sense into him. There is no need for a scale if it is all bad. Only exception is a court trial where level of punishment is evaluated in proportion to the crime. These actions do more to server those who wish to discredit science and atheism.

  130. says

    Oh FFS, would those of you with non-stellar thinking skills just shut the fuck up already? Apparently, David Brayton can’t fucking read, as he seems to have missed my response to his earlier muddled thoughts.

    What, exactly, is so damn complicated about rape plus another crime, such as drugging someone? Yes, there can be additional crimes committed in a rape. Rape is Rape. Attempting to rate it is both offensive and harmful. I’m also damn weary of men showing up in this thread who haven’t managed to actually read the comments, or bother to take the time to read the comments in the previous thread.

    Those of you who want to rate rape, read my post @ 70. An answer should be very easy if you think Dawkins is right.

  131. says

    Dawkins sez:

    They are afraid – and I promise you I am not exaggerating – of witch-hunts: hunts for latter day blasphemers by latter day Inquisitions and latter day incarnations of Orwell’s Thought Police.

    He’s falling more and more in line with the Pitters. Their cries of persecution and witch hunts are every bit as baseless as his. No one is being threatened with harm. No one is being hunted. No one is being tied at the stake and burned.
    People are criticizing you Dawkins.
    Is this guy so full of himself that he thinks he’s beyond reproach? That everyone should hang on his words and not so much as criticize him? Whining about non existent witch hunts-yes, non existent Ana Blanco-is pathetic. Whining about the so-called ‘Thought Police’ is just as pathetic. No one is trying to control Dawkins’ thoughts. No one is trying to stop him from speaking (as much as many of us wish he would). None of the people criticizing him has the power to control his actions or regulate what he says. No one has the power to monitor his thoughts and punish him for them. No one is trying to punish him for his words either. But he seems to think he should be free from criticism. Sorry, but free speech doesn’t work that way.

    What people are doing is criticizing him, giving reasons why they think he’s wrong, explaining the harm in his words, and expressing a desire for him to stop pontificating about things he knows precious little about. If he’s not going to educate himself…if he won’t listen to people telling him that he’s dismissing their lived experiences, which he’s been doing for years..then yes, people would like him to shut the fuck up. That’s not silencing him. If he didn’t want to hear all this criticism, he should have thought more about what he was going to say before saying it. He should have engaged people to learn more about rape. He should have engaged his empathy a good deal more.

    He refuses to do all these things, and yet whines about thought police and witch hunts. This from someone who claims to value rational thinking.

    I don’t have the appreciation for Dawkins that many have (or had as the case may be). Given what keeps flowing from his mouth, I don’t see myself appreciating him any time soon.

  132. says

    David Brayton:

    what should the punishment for rape be based on if not the intent of the perpetrator?

    Are you truly that hard of thinking? A rapist’s intent is to rape. There’s no such thing as “golly, I tripped and fell, my pants and underwear fell down, and I just happened to land in her vagina, your honor!” There’s no such thing as “I had to rape them in self defense!”

    What in the fuckety fuck is wrong with you? Did you even bother to read my response to you @ #17?

  133. Jackie says

    Won’t any of us stop thinking of the victims as if they matter and consider the plight of the poor rapist? We need to be fair to the rapist and if that means invalidating the feelings of the victims, then that’s clearly a price worth paying for atheist douchebros and their hero, Richard Motherfucking Dawkins.

    What a bunch of hateful asshole that man has for fans.

  134. azpaul3 says

    how about you demonstrate your improvement by acknowledging that publicly giving primacy of emotion to loss of a figurehead over the trauma he caused to the victims of rape is insensitive at best, and downright harmful at worse.

    I understand this point and do agree. The “What bothers me most…” line in my message 117 was not meant to detract from this point, though it indeed did. I coulda/shoulda/woulda chosen better.

    I am still of the opinion, and shall remain of the opinion, that Dr. Dawkins’ comments, but more so his inability to see and acknowledge the errors, have left a sad dark hole where once stood a shining light.

    Further, I am still of the opinion that a lot of you people beat up on each other far too hard over minor crap. If that is “tone trolling” then so be it. I hold that opinion and I am entitled to voice that opinion whether Tony thinks it appropriate or not.

    If all I did here was constant criticism of tone then I could see the point. In this case I saw what to me is an unhelpful and unnecessary emotional frenzy that I felt necessary to also comment upon. The reaction I get was

    We’re not here for your approval. We’ll comment as we please.

    Well, Tony, I’m not here for your approval either and I, likewise, will comment as I please.

    And, yes, Tony, the “I hope you’ll just leave,” comment really was quite petulant and childish, which is fine if that’s what you want to be. I have no problem with that. But when called on it, recognizing it should not be above your comprehension level.

  135. David C Brayton says

    I did read your post.

    The American criminal justice system has always based punishment on the intent of the perpetrator (except for strict liability crimes which are not relevant here). For example, duress and mental incapacity/insanity have always been reasons why, although a crime was committed, the criminal won’t be punished.

    Given the way the current system is structured, if you argue that the intent of the criminal is irrelevant, i.e. it is only the act that counts, then exacerbating or mitigating factors are irrelevant. Rape is rape and therefore one punishment is warranted.

    I did not argue that current system is best or right. I’m considering the ramifications of your argument.

  136. Jackie says

    But Tony, we told him he was WRONG. Don’t you know that’s a vicious attack? When mere women are threatened with murder and rape, that’s just disagreeing, but when you disagree with a “great man”, that’s an attack and it’s the end of the goddamn world. When Dawkins tells women to shut up about being treated to sexist shit at atheist cons, it’s fine. when he tries to blacklist a woman for being too uppity, that’s fine. He’s a hero. He’s worth trying to gingerly persuade to change. Don’t we know that he’s our “best friend” and that we’re hunting him down to torture him to death by disagreeing with his tweet?

    The fact that people who talk like that think they’re good at logic or even good would be funny if it didn’t make me sick.

  137. says

    azpaul3:

    And, yes, Tony, the “I hope you’ll just leave,” comment really was quite petulant and childish, which is fine if that’s what you want to be. I have no problem with that. But when called on it, recognizing it should not be above your comprehension level.

    Nope. Still disagree. It’s not childish or petulant to hope that you’ll leave. Your greatest contribution to the thread so far is to whine about tone. Been there done that. Got the mug, tee shirt and mousepad. Nothing childish about that fuckwit.

  138. Jackie says

    AZPAUL,
    Get the fuck out.
    Seriously.
    Respect people’s boundries and leave. Now. You are wrong. You are horrible and frankly, I think you’re taking delight in being horrible. Go fawn all over Dawkins on Twitter or something, but get your stench away from here.

  139. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    I understand this point and do agree. The “What bothers me most…” line in my message 117 was not meant to detract from this point, though it indeed did. I coulda/shoulda/woulda chosen better.

    Great. We’re in violent agreement then.

    Further, I am still of the opinion that a lot of you people beat up on each other far too hard over minor crap.

    Great. We disagree. But here’s the thing: this is not the thread for that discussion. Since you appear to be new here I’ll politely point you in the right direction for such arguments: The Thunderdome. And hey, you too Tony. Let’s not derail this thread any further.

  140. says

    azpaul, this thread is not about you.

    Please go whine elsewhere. Tony isn’t the only person who would like to see you leave. You contribute absolutely nothing aside from a stunning display of arrogant egotism.

  141. says

    FossilFishy:

    Since you appear to be new here

    If you’re talking about azpaul (you didn’t use a nym), no, they aren’t new here. They generally complain about the commentariat regardless of a thread’s topic. /derail

  142. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Sorry Inaji, I was referring to azpaul. [bad monitor, no pudding for me.] The nym wasn’t familiar.

  143. says

    Dawkins would have spared himself a lot of trouble if he would only publicly concede that it was presumptuous for him to claim certain variations of rape as objectively worse than others, regardless of how people who’ve actually undergone the experience of rape actually feel.

    It has been my experience that a lot of self-proclaimed secularists take on the attitude that merely disbelieving in gods or the supernatural makes them more objective or free of psychological blinders than everyone else. Very often, since they disproportionately come from more affluent walks of life, they will have their heads deeply embedded in their privileged asses. I may identify as an atheist and a humanist, but guys with the mindset Dawkins displays here make me hesitant to socialize with the rest of the so-called secular movement these days.

  144. PatrickG says

    Just dropping in to express support to people dealing with assholes like David C Brayton, who can’t quite seem to grasp the difference between the criminal justice system and inane and harmful pronouncements on Twitter.

    In particular, internet hugs to Inaji, if welcome, for being so willing to share such horrific personal experiences. I can’t imagine myself in those circumstances, and I can’t imagine sharing such personal material on the internet. Repeatedly, in thread after thread. Just… yeah, wow, admiration of courage. That’s all I got.

    And finally, won’t someone please leave that poor Dawkins ALOOOOONNNNEEEE?! All of this criticism might turn him *gasp* emotional!

  145. says

    Grow a pair and deal with it.

    I have two pairs. A complete set of ovaries and a matching set of tits. And since I’m cis I’m pretty OK with this body configuration. I don’t think that any additional body-parts would do me any good.
    Or did you want to say that unless I have the body-configuration you deem superior, i.e. the male one I need to shut up?
    BTW, I’m dealing with it. Arguing is dealing. And if you want to talk about courage: There are many rape survivors here, who are putting themselves on the line. They are showing MORE courage than you’ll ever know.

    +++

    There’s something else about Dawkins’ “witch hunts”. I was thinking about some snark along the lines of “when is he going to co-opt slavery, the only difference being that it’s in the more recent past”, but then I realized: It fucking isn’t. There are witch hunts now, they target women, they lead to the torture and murdering of women and Richard fucking dawkins thinks that people tweeting and writing blogposts is somehow comparable to what is happening to those women. What’s next? The Holocaust of scientists?

  146. says

    Chigau
    I was contemplating to cry “genocide” the next time somebody criticises me. Sounds legit…
    I just had a conversation with one of Dawkins’ fanboys on Twitter. He screamed “logic, logic, logic, things only work when they are logical (which is bullshit), nothing works when you think 2+2=5″ Not that he actually engaged or refuted the argument that witch hunts are something that happens and that has a definition and that the definition is not “being criticised on the internet”. By that “logic” 2+2=5 works perfectly fine because I have just defined 5 as the sum of 2+2.

  147. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Can someone please explain to me this attitude that emotions and logic are mutually exclusive? Anger and disgust are very rational, healthy, sane and logical responses to stupid, callous and completely ignorant bullshit.

    Usually it comes from either 1) equating “emotion” with “impulse” – IE, “being emotional” as “reacting instead of thinking” which genuinely causes all kinds of problems outside of time-critical responses to physical threats (and sometimes even then) [I used to make this mistake a lot >.>], or 2) considering one’s own emotions to fall under the category of “logic” and the logic of one’s opponents to fall under the category of “emotion.”

  148. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I have two pairs. A complete set of ovaries and a matching set of tits. And since I’m cis I’m pretty OK with this body configuration.

    Hey, give your kidneys some credit – you’re dealing with a PISSant here, after all; it only seems fitting.

  149. chigau (違う) says

    Back in my undergrad, I took a course, PHIL102-LOG (or something like).
    It was all about Logic, both formal and informal.
    It was fun and made all the participants (19 and 20 year olds) even more insufferable.
    Most interwebs commenters who call upon Logic™ are just like my 19 year old self.
    Dawkins included.

  150. mikee says

    azpaul3,

    When I first started reading Pharyngula several years ago, I didn’t think much of the tone. I thought people were sometimes quite mean and nasty to each other and I said so.
    After a while someone pulled me up and pointed out my tone was just as bad and they were right.

    You have patronised contributors here by calling them childish and petulant, you have dismissed their arguments and told them to “grow a pair”. Do you think your tone is any better?
    Yes, sometime insults and blunt opinions are given here, that can be a bit disconcerting at times. But the ideas here can be very revealing and thought provoking. I have learnt more here about atheism, privilege, transgender and how cruel life can be for some, and how kind people here can be to others.
    The people here may be blunt but they are also very honest and share their experiences to better educate others. If you hang around (but maybe just read for a while) you might learn a thing or two.
    I think Dawkins has made some great strides for science and atheism but his recent history has left me very disappointed. Logic is a wonder thing but in my opinion it needs to be tempered with empathy to make the world a better place to live in

  151. clevehicks says

    My response on Huffington Post to Dawkin’s rebuttal: ‘I am a great fan of Dawkin’s books and essays, but I think he is just terrible on Twitter. Whether it is snootily implying that Muslims worldwide are stupid due to lack of academic prizes or this unnecessary condescending logic lesson inexplicably using rape and ‘mild pedophilia’ to make what is an obvious point, he is steamrolling his own well-deserved reputation for careful, thoughtful and persuasive argumentation. Also, when telling people who object to his grotesque comparison of different forms of rape to ‘go away and learn how to think’, he basically comes off as callous and dismissive. Now in his response he is actually comparing getting criticized on Twitter to the Inquisition? Witch hunts? Please, Dr. Dawkins, you didn’t gain your fame and reputation by throwing out half-baked incendiary Tweets about hot button issues. I would recommend that you go back to what you are good at. No problem if you want to discuss rape, pedophilia, Muslims, etc (I agree with you that no issues are taboo), but when you do it on Twitter you come off as an obnoxious cad.’

  152. Dimitris Papageorgiou says

    Dawkins should have said ” I was molested as a child and I got over it and since every rape is the same maybe those raped ladies should get over it too.”
    PZ arguing against Dawkins is traumatizing me.

  153. Alex says

    I’ve heard there is a new feature length movie by the RDF coming up, it’s called:

    “EXPELLED: no logic allowed”

    It is narrated by the man himself, where he says things like “the last time my father saw a feminist, it was when she lit the kindling under his feet”. I am not exaggerating!

  154. Alex says

    @Daz

    Quite impressive, lets hope RD doesn’t read “Albert”s response etc. and takes it as a reassurance that he can safely ignore this interesting post.

  155. azpaul3 says

    You have patronised contributors here by calling them childish and petulant, you have dismissed their arguments and told them to “grow a pair”. Do you think your tone is any better?

    The people here may be blunt but they are also very honest and share their experiences to better educate others. If you hang around (but maybe just read for a while) you might learn a thing or two.

    mikee @ 174

    No, my tone was no better than I received and it should have been. I appreciate your advice and will follow.

    I think Dawkins has made some great strides for science and atheism but his recent history has left me very disappointed. Logic is a wonder thing but in my opinion it needs to be tempered with empathy to make the world a better place to live in.

    Very much the point I was (attempting) to express in my errant msg #117. You said it much better and without the insensitive baggage attached.

    Thanks, mikee.

  156. Anri says

    David C Brayton @ 146:

    Sally–what should the punishment for rape be based on if not the intent of the perpetrator?

    …possibly the effect on the object victim?

    After all, by your suggestion, if I honestly believe rape is good for someone, I should get off scot-free for raping them, right? Or if I believe that rape qua rape might not a good thing, but that there are larger issues at stake, such as family honor, or the sanctity of marriage, or keeping marital problems hidden from my co-workers – still pretty much fine, right?
    What if I’ve decided this particular 12-year-old is unusually mature and can therefore grant consent – all good, right?
    Perhaps I’ve come to the conclusion that the person I’m with wants to have sex with me, but is merely bowing to social pressure, or maybe just playing hard-to-get… my intent is still just fine, yes?

    … let me know at what point you figured out you were being a rape apologist.
    And if it’s too difficult to admit publicly, just answer the question in your own mind, ‘k?

  157. azpaul3 says

    I have two pairs. A complete set of ovaries and a matching set of tits. And since I’m cis I’m pretty OK with this body configuration. I don’t think that any additional body-parts would do me any good.
    Or did you want to say that unless I have the body-configuration you deem superior, i.e. the male one I need to shut up?

    I like that, a push back with gentle humor.

    The “grow a pair” statement was directed at one person only and that person was not you. Why would you assume otherwise? And, in context, why did you assume that I was deeming the male a superior being?

  158. Anri says

    Also, just as a general note on the OP:

    Anyone still having all that much trouble telling the difference between the terrible and not-as-bad parties in this country? What do you imagine Ryan or Akin might have said about this same topic?

    Oh, wait, we don’t have to imagine, we know.

  159. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    azpaul @ 184

    And, in context, why did you assume that I was deeming the male a superior being?

    Oh, stuff the faux confusion. Using “grow a pair” or “has balls” as a euphemism for courage is characterizing courage as a distinctly male quality.

  160. Emrysmyrddin says

    You weren’t suggesting that Tony grow a pair of eyeballs, were you? Correct me if I’m wrong. So what were you suggesting he grow, and how does this pair of Mystery Things relate to your ever-meandering point?
    .
    Deliberate and shameful obfuscation.

  161. Ichthyic says

    the problem with Richard is an underlying presumption he relies on without question. it is represented in his latest diatribe here:

    Do we proceed to discuss such questions rationally and logically with the professor of moral philosophy? Or do we throw an emotional fit and run screaming from the room?

    it is the presumption that there is no need to consider the position of those who feel emotionally about certain issues.

    apply your reason HERE good doctor. examine why there are differences in people’s reactions to things.

    should those differences allow you to condemn a reaction merely because it doesn’t give you the satisfaction of being able to dissect it via debate?

    Richard has basically gone black and white, and doesn’t even realize he no longer is actually applying reason to the larger situation.

    he would indeed, actually FAIL a course in ethics.

  162. kevinkirkpatrick says

    @Daz – agreed, that was a fantastic comment, thanks for the link.

    In one of the responses RDnet user Donna says

    But all of this is academic. RD said not the slightest thing about which form of rape is worse than another. He used a hypothetical statement to illustrate a logic point. That’s it.

    To those for whom this defense rings true, please confirm that I’ve got it laid out accurately here:

    My paraphrase of the Just-Using-Logic Defence
    Dawkins was merely pointing out that “X is bad. Y is worse.” does not imply “X is not bad”. To make this abstract point more clear, he chose some hypothetical values to for X and Y to illustrate the point.

    He could have picked anything to substitute for X and Y, and it’s important to realize that whatever values he chose, one cannot infer that he is actually making a value judgement about X or Y, nor that he actually thinks “Y is worse then X.”; nor that he even thinks that X and Y are actually comparable.

    His whole exercise was exactly as if a philosophy professor gave students the statements
    “Widgets are big.” and “Doohickeys are bigger.” and teaching them that this does not imply “Widgets are not big.” It’d be ridiculous of the students to take from this lesson any sense that the professor actually things widgets are big; or actually thinks doohickeys are bigger; or actually thinks widgets and doohickeys are even comparable things.

    So too with Richard Dawkins’ tweets. The man was just giving a basic lesson in logic, and nothing whatsoever about him; his character; or his values can be read from this lesson.

    Is that about right?

    If so, I ask – would you have seen any problems if Dawkin’s had instead tweeted the following:
    “Killing black children is bad. Killing white children is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of killing black children, go away and learn how to think.”

    If you would find it problematic, please reread the aforementioned “Just-Using-Logic” defense and tell me – what’s the problem?

    If you would not have seen any problems with such a tweet… may I humbly request that you, yourself, ought to considering “going away, and learning how to think”?

  163. says

    kevinkirkpatrick #190

    The main problem is his implication that there is an objective scale by which we should predict the victim’s suffering. He’s defending himself against the strawman “You’re saying x is worse than y” argument, instead of addressing objections to that implication.

    Furthermore: yes, philosophy professors do indeed use “horrible hypotheticals,” and in a classroom/lecture room environment, where it’s been carefully explained beforehand that that’s what’s being done, and less-horrible hypotheticals have been used as an introduction to the idea, there’s no real problem with that. The students are pre-warned that shocking and quite possibly immoral ideas will be discussed. Twitter is not that environment.

    If so, I ask – would you have seen any problems if Dawkin’s had instead tweeted the following:
    “Killing black children is bad. Killing white children is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of killing black children, go away and learn how to think.”

    Why should there be a scale upon which to measure such crimes? (Outside the heads of bigots, that is.)

  164. Drolfe says

    [tangent]

    I bet that if you go to the data that killing black children is deemed less bad in our justice system based on conviction/sentencing when you control for the race of the perp. Structural racism, y’all. I made a falsifiable prediction! :-/

  165. vaiyt says

    Do we proceed to discuss such questions rationally and logically with the professor of moral philosophy? Or do we throw an emotional fit and run screaming from the room?

    You mean, an emotional fit like going “WITCH HUNTS! THOUGHT POLICE!” at the first sign of criticism?

  166. Jackie says

    vaiyt,
    Oh no. When the great man claims literal witch hunts when he is disagreed with, it’s totally rational. Those finding his tweet wrong and offensive and explaining why we find it wrong and offensive being depicted as running around screaming and throwing fits is just logic.
    Nope, nothing irrational in calling written responses as screaming fits or in suggesting that dissent equals persecution, torture and execution.
    /s

  167. gmacs says

    Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse.

    Having never suffered either, I suppose I’m just speculating when I say: Nope!

    While the latter involves perhaps more physical violence, the former is a violation of trust. But both are acts of sexual violence.

    If you think that’s an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think.

    No one sees an endorsement of either. It’s just that it is pointless and cruel to speak publicly about how to rank them.

    Dawkins thinks he’s being rational, and treating this subject like other sexual or ethical taboos. What he’s really doing is being a fucking troll.

  168. kayden says

    Having read Dawkins’ entire article, his rating rape argument is not the only idea that is problematic. His privilege as a White male seems to overwhelm his thinking to the point where he gives no credence to the fact that some discussions may actually cause harm for those who are not privileged. He’s able to adopt the “it’s just words” attitude simply because he’s part of the dominant, powerful group which suffers no repercussions from harmful discussions about race, sexuality, etc.

    As an influential person, Dawkins should be able to accept criticism without shouting “witch hunt!” He needs to listen to his critics and figure out how to engage in honest discourse instead of trying to shut them down by flinging excrement. He really needs to examine how his privileges have impacted his worldview and change accordingly.

  169. theoreticalgrrrl says

    @170.
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)
    Thanks!

    I can’t believe Dawkins is pulling a “it’s just a thought experiment!” It’s not. He’s proclaiming like Moses On High that this is truth:

    “Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think.”

    He is telling people this is fact and if they don’t agree they need to learn to think. Where’s the “experiment” in that?

  170. Amphiox says

    “Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think.”

    I can easily think of multiple metrics by which a date rape could turn out “worse” than a strange rape at knifepoint. The psychological trauma could be worse. The date rape drug could have done worse physiological damage than a threat of a knife. On and on. Who is Dawkins to declare that one metric is privileged over any other? How is he even defining “worse”? (Aside from the bigger question on whether any metric is appropriate to use at all) Even from the coldly logical “scientific” standpoint a comparison requires a predefined metric. Is Betelgeuse a bigger star (greater diameter) than Eta Carinae (greater mass and intrinsic luminosity)?

    I am shocked that, as a scientist by training, Dawkins would make such a fundamental error.

    He has failed to BOTH think AND feel.

  171. anteprepro says

    Latest turds extruded from the rectum of the Grand Atheist Pope:

    Many people are accusing me of saying “mild rape”. Did I say it? I don’t think so. Please quote evidence if any. Or apologize

    Yes, apologize for misquoting the Mighty Dawk! He only implied “date rape” was mild, and referred to “mild pedophilia”! Never said “mild rape” though! Sophisticated Dawkology! Oh, actually, wait….

    “Mild date rape is bad. Violent date rape is worse.” Is it really so hard to understand that that doesn’t constitute endorsement of either?

    Apparently to Dawkins, “mild date rape” doesn’t count as “mild rape”, because he is fucking shameless pissant.

    Perhaps this tweet was his supposed escape hatch from his own words:

    There are these funny little things called quotation marks, you see. They mean the person quoting isn’t expressing his own opinion.

    And of course, if so, that is like five different layers of bullshit.

    Interesting, but my point stands. Simply reverse the X & Y in my syllogism. To say Y is worse than X is not an endorsement of X

    It’s interesting that Dawkins is so obsessed with the “logic” that he fails to acknowledge that what he said was WRONG. And that, in addition to his fervent desire to avoid apologizing, is part of the reason why people are so pissed.

    My response to and (I hope) last word on this morning’s “tsunami” of hate:

    Tsunami of Hate!

    Remember, you aren’t allowed an emotional response to Dawkins pseudological wankery, but he sure as hell is entitled to Super Logical histrionics about your responses!

  172. anteprepro says

    The saddest part is the number of bleating idiots cooing in approval at Dawkins every word.

    “Oh yes, Dawkins, they just are dumdums who don’t understand!”
    “Oh yes Dawkins, they are just so emotional and irrational! The fools!”
    “Oh Dawkins, they just don’t get the obvious point you are making. They will figure out that you are right and blameless eventually”
    “Fuck those losers, they don’t understand TEH LOGIC.”
    “Lynch mobs!”
    “Hysterical wimmenz!”

    I didn’t even know it was possible for me to lose faith in humanity at this point, but Dawkins and his entourage are doing their best to surprise me on that front.

  173. gmacs says

    Amphiox @200

    He has failed to BOTH think AND feel.

    That pretty much sums it up.

  174. Alex says

    @theoreticalgrrrl,

    Did you really have to resort to praising the virtues of theology, or quote Terry effing Eagleton, to make your point that Dawkins has some problematic attitudes?

  175. Rey Fox says

    Tsunami of Hate!

    Now now, he used “quotation marks” there, that means he isn’t expressing his own opinion.

  176. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Haha…reminds me of obnoxious kids in chat rooms who, when they get called out on being obnoxious, claim their little brother did it while they were in the bathroom.

  177. theoreticalgrrrl says

    @Alex

    I wasn’t familiar with the author previous to this, sorry about that. I don’t endorse her personal views on theology, but I thought the article was funny and on the mark otherwise.

  178. anteprepro says

    theoreticalgrrrl, the article itself has whines about Dawkins not understanding theology. It is a good article that makes good points aside from that, but the whole Sophisticated Theology schtick does kinda leave a bad taste in one’s mouth.

  179. anteprepro says

    Oh Christ. Didn’t notice Dawkins sharting out this tweet to ineptly defend himself

    “Stealing £1 is bad. Stealing an old lady’s life savings is worse.” How DARE you rank them? Stealing is stealing. You’re vile, appalling.

    Master of logic and controlling emotion, people. Because isn’t obvious that rape is quantifiable like money. It is to Dawkins, Lord of All Knowledge.

    And what to do have for Dawkinsisms to describe those who dare criticize The True Atheist Pope?

    -Tsunami of Hate
    -Absolutism Beyond Belief
    -Active Witch Hunt
    -Vilification and Vicious Insults
    -Vituperative Brickbats
    -Storm of Furious Accusations
    -Agnozingly Passionate Tweets
    -“You are wicked, evil, a monster, to even ask”
    -Latter day Inquistions
    -Thought Police

    Richard Dawkins’ “Emotional Taboo Zone”: Getting criticized.

  180. maddog1129 says

    Here I was, hoping that Prof. Dawkins was meaning to say that focusing on one priority is not a denigration of a different priority. I thought, for just a moment, mind you, that he was going to walk back on ” Dear Muslima.” Choosing to condemn deplorable act X in no way implies endorsement of deplorable act Y. I thought the next logical step would be, “So, of course I also condemn act Y! It’s deplorable! “

  181. anteprepro says

    maddog1129: Huh. That’s a good point. His “you can think X is bad, and Y is worse, but that doesn’t mean you approve of X” pretty much SHOULD be his Super Logical Way of apologizing for and backing away of his Dear Muslima. Instead, as far as I know, it was just his way of justifying being a fence-sitter in regards to Israel and Palestine.

    Ultra Super Rationalist Extraordinaire proving that he is a hypocrite and doesn’t actually apply Logic Reason Skepticism as evenly and consistently as he would have people believe? Say it ain’t so!

  182. neverjaunty says

    @anteprepro: Which means that Dawkins believes date rape is about as morally bad as stealing £1.

    He’ll always have fans because there is a large contingent of the skeptic community that draws the line of ‘skepticism’ right around its own toes.

  183. anteprepro says

    The hits from Dawkins just keep coming.
    His foot is firmly in mouth and he decides to make things better, he is going to start jogging.

    A tweet:

    Article 130: NY Penal Laws:
    http://bit.ly/UPww95 . I presume these gradations are fairly typical of other states & countries.

    The handwaving will never stop.

    And he had someone else (a woman, herself a rape survivor) write an article defending him on his blog, entitled “Admit it: some rapes are worse than others” :

    It is a pity, however, that the pantomime has succeeded in obscuring the fact that what Dawkins had to say was true. He affected surprise at the “absolutist terms” used by his opponents, even though these noisy voices have dominated the rape debate for decades. The childlike simplicity of “no means no” has sought, successfully, to equate the stranger-in-the-bushes-wielding-knife sexual attack with an unpleasant breakdown of communication between two equally inebriated adults, even though — and I write as a survivor of both — they are so obviously different……

    The greater pity, though, is that it is exactly the same voices who refuse to accept any kind of gradation in rape who also most loudly bemoan the rape conviction rate — currently about 6 per cent of incidents reported — without seeing that this small figure is, to a very great extent, a consequence of their vocal presence and their lobbying.

    Fucking odious.

  184. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    The greater pity, though, is that it is exactly the same voices who refuse to accept any kind of gradation in rape who also most loudly bemoan the rape conviction rate — currently about 6 per cent of incidents reported — without seeing that this small figure is, to a very great extent, a consequence of their vocal presence and their lobbying.

    So the lack of prosecution of rape cases is the fault of people who think that all rape be considered criminal and not the fault of people who try to excuse acquaintance rape as “unpleasant breakdown of communication between two equally inebriated adults”?

    Sounds legit.

    I’m lying.

  185. opposablethumbs says

    The greater pity, though, is that it is exactly the same voices who refuse to accept any kind of gradation in rape who also most loudly bemoan the rape conviction rate — currently about 6 per cent of incidents reported — without seeing that this small figure is, to a very great extent, a consequence of their vocal presence and their lobbying.

    Ohhh, that must be why the arrest and conviction rate used to be so much higher in the Good Old Days. When rape within marriage didn’t exist – sorry, I mean never happened and sex workers were never ever raped and there was no such thing as abuse by relatives.

    I would not dream of telling her how to deal with or how to regard the crimes committed against her. It would be good if she would extend the same consideration to others.

  186. susanvan says

    Anyone who is raped by a stranger feels that person is evil and if caught that person must serve jail time. Do we find the same is true for victims of date rape? There is a difference. I am surprised at the vehement denials that there is never a difference for anyone. There is. How do you account for it?

    Look at domestic physical abuse. How many women go back to their abusers? So are willing to say that a beating by a stranger is just as bad as a beating by someone you know? It is not supported by the way most women respond to the crime.

    Our society, like the Taliban, teaches women to feel mentally violated by rape more than they are physical hurt by it. Why do we teach women to feel debased by rape, but not by physical violence. How terrible is a rape with no physical pain compared to a beating that caused a lost of a limb, blindness, or brain damage?

    Be logical, and stop perpetrating mental rape abuse. Society makes rape worse than it is.

  187. says

    susanvan #219

    How terrible is a rape with no physical pain compared to a beating that caused a lost of a limb, blindness, or brain damage?

    That’s subjective. I know someone who lost both legs, and coped with amazing calmness and actual gratefulness that, and I quote, “it wasn’t worse.”

    How hard is the concept “You do not have the right to impose a scale on other people’s suffering”?

    Society makes rape worse than it is.

    Well yes. We call that concept “victim blaming.”

    Be logical, and stop perpetrating mental rape abuse.

    Stop telling people how to feel.

  188. Ichthyic says

    Look at domestic physical abuse. How many women go back to their abusers?

    wait… what??

    are you trying to say that domestic abuse isn’t relatively bad because the abused feel compelled to return to their abusers??

    holy crap, that’s fucked up.

  189. Ichthyic says

    susanvan has never experienced violence, is the only conclusion I can make. the ideas in her post are just so utterly deviant from reality.

  190. Ichthyic says

    …and has never ever ever spoken to a single rape survivor.

    tip for susan:

    there are rape survivors posting regularly on this forum. you could ask them how they felt, or stumble blindly on with your own ignorance, and falsely label that “logic”.

  191. Maureen Brian says

    susanvan @ 219,

    I though that was what we’d all been saying – that every rape is different and that for someone to come along who arbitrarily divides rapes into two categories on the basis of a single fact is both ignorant and hurtful. To call people ignorant or stupid because they do not accept that opinion verges on abuse.

    The definition of rape is penetrative sex without consent. The use of violence may be an aggravating factor but it is not part of the definition and, besides, many an acquaintance rape can be brutal.

    What is wrong with teaching our children to value their own autonomy and be careful to treat other people as autonomous individuals in their own right?

    I never use the term “date rape” because it carries the assumption that the people were in some sexual or potentially sexual relationship. It clouds the issue and does not match up with the facts.

  192. Anri says

    Ichthyic @ 224:

    there are rape survivors posting regularly on this forum. you could ask them how they felt, or stumble blindly on with your own ignorance, and falsely label that “logic”.

    Or they could even just, y’know, read this thread in which such points have been expressed and discussed.

  193. says

    susanvan:

    Our society, like the Taliban, teaches women to feel mentally violated by rape more than they are physical hurt by it. Why do we teach women to feel debased by rape, but not by physical violence. How terrible is a rape with no physical pain compared to a beating that caused a lost of a limb, blindness, or brain damage?

    So, you’re one of those “oh, rape isn’t so bad, it’s just sex, might as lay back and enjoy it” people. So, Susanvan, please tell me about your experience with rape. You can read about mine at #70, this thread. Perhaps you can answer the question I posed.

  194. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    susasnvan @ 219

    Be logical, and stop perpetrating mental rape abuse. Society makes rape worse than it is.

    Since we’re being logical and all, I’m sure you found yourself a bunch of people living in close proximity to each other without forming anything one would call a society to verify exactly how bad rape is before making this claim, right?

  195. anteprepro says

    Wait….is susanvan saying that a beating from a stranger is worse than domestic abuse? Because if so, holy fuck. If not, she just shot herself in the foot!

    Fucking “rationalists”.

  196. susanvan says

    Is a beating or a rape worse from a partner if you have been beaten or raped before by that same partner? Or is that the same too?

  197. anteprepro says

    I don’t susanvan. You seem to be the one with all the answers about everything. Why don’t you tell us what is the objectively worse, better, or equal scenarios for victims of violent crimes? Generalize that shit, just like you were fucking born to do.

  198. susanvan says

    If it’s subjective, then I’ve made my point. Society guilts women into feeling impure on top of any physical pain. I only argue for no more guilt for rape victims to feel than for someone who has been physically abused. I’m sorry you want them to feel dirty.

  199. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I only argue for no more guilt for rape victims to feel than for someone who has been physically abused. I’m sorry you want them to feel dirty.

    You are trolling, and haven’t read the thread. Stop it. You have not point.

  200. says

    susanvan #235

    I only argue for no more guilt for rape victims to feel than for someone who has been physically abused.

    Rape isn’t physical abuse?

    Who here is saying rape victims should feel guilty?

    I’m glad you know what you’re arguing for, ’cause you’re confusing the fuck out of me.

  201. anteprepro says

    susanvan the e-psychiatrist, trauma from rape isn’t exclusively from feeling guilty or dirty about it. For fuck’s fucking sake.

    Really, just fuck off. Right now.

  202. 2kittehs says

    If it’s subjective, then I’ve made my point. Society guilts women into feeling impure on top of any physical pain. I only argue for no more guilt for rape victims to feel than for someone who has been physically abused. I’m sorry you want them to feel dirty.

    This makes no sense at all. Have you even read the thread? How does pointing out that diminishing the impact of acquaintance rape vs stranger-with-knife rape is wrong, equate to wanting victims to feel dirty?

  203. says

    @susanvan
    Where do you think you are and who do you think you’re talking to? Because it seems like you’re responding to things that nobody here is saying.

  204. Ichthyic says

    If it’s subjective, then I’ve made my point.

    you’ve made the point that you can apply an objective scale because it’s subjective?

    logic, ur doin it rong.

  205. says

    susanvan:

    Did you read my post @ 70, Susan? Do you have an answer?

    Society guilts women into feeling impure on top of any physical pain.

    Oh for…this has nothing to do with impurity. Rape strips a person of their autonomy, reduces them to an object. If you haven’t been raped (and I sincerely hope you have not and never will be), you need to try and understand the tremendous impact of having your autonomy stripped, and the consequent effects.

    Your reasoning also conveniently ignores the fact that men are also raped. So are children, all genders. Your little impurity shtick breaks down right there. You’re yet another person who shows up here and makes a very obvious show of ignoring those of us who have been raped, speaking up about how attempts to rate rape is wrong.

    You have also demonstrated no understanding whatsoever about abuse of different kinds, and how that abuse affects people. You aren’t reasoning, Susan. You aren’t being logical, Susan. You are showing how good you are at a deficient level of empathy.

    Oh, and about this:

    I’m sorry you want them to feel dirty.

    You are waaaaaaaaay off base here. We are not discussing making women feel dirty for having (consensual) sex. Rape isn’t sex, Susan. If there’s any sense of dirtiness, it’s in having our autonomy stripped from us, from the up close and personal realization of just how unsafe we are, from the harrowing of being treated as an object. For some people, there’s also the issue of body betrayal to deal with. None of that has to do with ‘feeling dirty’ for having sex. Again, this whole scenario of yours ignores male rape victims as well as child rape victims. You are in desperate need of an education in these matters, I suggest you get one.

  206. susanvan says

    How many women survive date rape v. how many survive rape by a stranger with a knife?
    That’s what makes one situation worse.

  207. says

    You mean, the thing that makes one situation worse than the other is the factors involved in addition to the rape itself. Pretty sure that’s what everybody has said a million times already.

    If you’d bothered to read the thread, you’d know that.

    Moreover, you’ve conveniently left out the factors that weigh in the other direction, such as emotional trauma from betrayal or the fact that the police are more likely to take one case seriously than the other. By some strange coincidence, these are also points that have already been mentioned in the thread that you didn’t read.

    To top it off, you seem to have switched to arguing that it is possible to objectively rank these crimes, even though you previously seemed to think that their subjective nature was a point in favor of your argument.

    Do we really need any more evidence that susanvan is just a pointless troll?

  208. susanvan says

    Inaji said, “I was raped weekly for six years as a child, ages 3 to 9.
    When I was 16, I was raped, beaten, strangled and knifed by a stranger.”
    The two above are the worst. But these two are not comparable. One is bad for lasting longer, but your life was not threatened.

    I am sorry you had so many horrible experiences.

  209. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Do we really need any more evidence that susanvan is just a pointless troll?

    No.

  210. susanvan says

    Yes, I meant “the thing that makes one situation worse than the other is the factors involved in addition to the rape itself. Pretty sure that’s what everybody has said a million times already.”

    Thanks, did you all at least agree on that point? Because I thought I had better be sure of that before say more.

  211. says

    From The Rules:

    II. You may be banned from a comment thread if:
    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.

  212. says

    susanvan… read the whole thread.

    Seriously.

    I know it’s a lot to read, but you’ll find every single last point you’ve made already addressed throughout this one thread alone (not to mention all the other threads going strong here on Pharyngula and at Butterflies and Wheels and Almost Diamonds and so on throughout the FTB network on this exact issue).

    Reading threads is actually one of the rules for new commenters, and not doing so (and showing a refusal to do so), as LykeX has now pointed out, is grounds for being banned.

  213. susanvan says

    Thanks for the warning. It was nice of you to sum up previous discussion.

    Dawkins’ tweet also ignored all other possible factors. The only factors given for consideration are whether the identity of the rapists is known and whether a knife was used.

    There are many other factors which I’m sure were discussed: drugs/alcohol, STDs, condom use, impregnation, guilt over dating someone you don’t really know.

  214. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, a little googling showed susanvan back in January on the Philosophism thread said

    It’s clear to me that philosophy is a branch of science.

    despite the overwhelming historical evidence to the contrary. Definitely somebody who thinks outside of the box. And perhaps outside of other things too.

  215. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    susanvan.

    You….

    DO NOT

    …have the right to tell any victim which of their traumas is the worse.

    You are displaying a lack of empathy and compassion that is frankly disturbing.

  216. says

    susanvan:

    The two above are the worst. But these two are not comparable. One is bad for lasting longer, but your life was not threatened.

    Just in case you come back to read, Susan, you’d be wrong. It’s interesting you completely dismiss the sexual assault, which is the one which caused me a great deal of psychological pain. Now, how on earth would you know whether or not the childhood rape threatened my life or not? I didn’t go into detail, so don’t you think it’s wrong to make assumptions? I first attempted suicide when I was eight years old. Was that not a threat to my life? Was the shattering of my forming personality at three not a threat to my life?

    You make the same mistake Dawkins does, in assuming that physical violence trumps all. It doesn’t, not by a longshot. Without knowing how any one person is affected by a rape, you cannot make any judgment on just how bad it may have been. As each person is affected in similar, but individually different ways, it’s not possible for anyone other than that person to grade or rate what happened to them. I sincerely hope you manage to figure that out one of these days, you’ll be a better person for it.

  217. says

    Also, susanvan, my perspective about death changed in the onslaught of years of abuse. Death isn’t necessarily the worst thing which can happen to you, it’s simply the last.

  218. anteprepro says

    Latest assholerly from Dawkins’s Twitter feed:

    ‘If someone tells me that I’ve hurt their feelings, I say, “Well I’m still waiting to hear what your point is”.’ Christopher Hitchens.

    ‘I’m very depressed how in this country you can be told “That’s offensive” as though those two words constitute an argument.’ C. Hitchens.

    (Without any irony at all, he posted this just before those tweets)

    RT if you too would refuse to share a platform http://bit.ly/1fXPAGS with Willam Lane “Genocide” Craig.

    He also whined about someone making up a quote and attributing to Dawkins on a graphic (the quote has him saying that most art comes from religious anti-intellectualism, so the only true art left is Japanese RPGs). When it was defended as satire, he said:

    You could satirise someone by comically exaggerating the kind of thing they say. Making up random quotes isn’t satire, it’s just lying.

    Remember: It is only Serious Business if Dawkins personally thinks it is. Triviliazing rape? Ooo, your offended, who cares. Putting an absurdist quote in Dawkins’ mouth? Oh you better fucking believe you crossed a line.

  219. maddog1129 says

    @ me #212

    Here I was, hoping that Prof. Dawkins was meaning to say that focusing on one priority is not a denigration of a different priority. I thought, for just a moment, mind you, that he was going to walk back on ” Dear Muslima.” Choosing to condemn deplorable act X in no way implies endorsement of deplorable act Y. I thought the next logical step would be, “So, of course I also condemn act Y! It’s deplorable! “

    OMG, now, apparently, he has!

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