The latest embarrassing and thoughtless tweets of the Professor has generated yet another media storm and a lot of criticism and not forgetting the usual dose of worship from the “Richard Dawkins can do no wrong” worshippers. What I find amusing and of course saddening is how he refuses to acknowledge the constructive criticisms levelled at his tweets but chose instead to spew bigotry and disdain from his high pedestal at his critiques. To boot, he tries to make himself out as a victim of witch hunts!
The Professor and his apologists are going to ridiculous length to ‘clarify’ the intentions behind his tweets. Richard Dawkins wanted us to know he was not endorsing rape, but who the heck said he was endorsing rape? It is like the man wants to direct our attention away from the major blunder he committed by using an obvious defence, only that no one attacked him with that tool, so using that particular defence is basically pointless. We are no children that can be tempted away from the main issues just because he flashed a candy at us.
Below are the Richard Dawkins’ tweets in question, one can see how the tweets spiralled out of the control of Richard Dawkins. RD even went on a tantrum when he couldn’t believe that people were even more stupid than he thought. Sighs.
X is bad. Y is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of X, go away and don’t come back until you’ve learned how to think logically.
Well, as far as I know, no rational person has problem with this easy to grasp premise.
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.
I can’t believe the Professor is still ranking child abuse, didn’t he apologised for this same thinking some time ago? Or was his apology just an effort to control the damage his ill-thought out tweet was causing his reputation? In that case, one would be right to conclude that his apology was insincere.
Well, the professor followed this disturbing tweet with yet another thoughtless syllogism
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.
Actually Richard Dawkins, you are the one who really need to go away and think. You are actually not as smart as you think and definitely not as smart as many thought you were. Your tweets are a constant reminder of your shortcomings in the ‘smart’ department.
If you prefer to think date rape is worse than knifepoint, simply reverse my syllogism. To say Y is worse than X is not an endorsement of Y.
Again Professor, no one said you were endorsing rape, stop shying away from the criticisms levelled at you, which BTW is GRADING RAPE not ENDORSING RAPE.
Yes yes, you rank X and Y differently. Fine. Whichever you rank as worse, it is still illogical to interpret that as approval of the other.
Oh RD , still ranting about your imaginary attack?
Whether X or Y is worse is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of LOGIC that to express that opinion doesn’t mean you approve of either.
Oh we know, we know, don’t get your knickers in a twist over this. No rational person is attacking you with this, it is all in your head.
“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.
Oh Richard Dawkins, you just don’t get it, do you? What are you gonna do next, compare rape to your jar of honey that was taken away from you? Oh, you already did something similar, after all taking away your jar of honey at the airport was a terrorist win!
Richard Dawkins knows he is wrong again, he even attempted to ‘clarify’ his tweet but ended up not apologising for it and coming across, again,as a bigoted asshole.
There is nothing ‘logical’ about Richard Dawkins attempt to rank Rape or Paedophilia. Even if we were to use facts, his personal opinion or experience of child abuse does not make him an authority to rank how victims should rate their own personal experience.
The professor in his clarification statement, stated:
I wasn’t even saying it is RIGHT to rank one kind of rape as worse than another
So Richard Dawkins, if you actually agreed that it is not right to rank one kind of rape as worse than the other, why are you still bent on calling those who called you out on your RANKING RAPE as illogical?
The professor tortuously further stated:
All I was saying is that IF you are one of those who is prepared to say that one kind of rape is worse than another (whichever particular kinds those might be), this doesn’t imply that you approve of the less bad one. It is still bad. Just not AS bad.
See Richard Dawkins, you are really losing it. You are constantly contradicting yourself. Here is just one example. You stated
IF you are one of those who is prepared to say that one kind of rape is worse than another
RD, are you implying that being “prepared to rank rape” is a brave act?
Does the person deserves a brave hero medal for being brave enough to rank rape?
Yet in the same paragraph you said you were not saying it is RIGHT to rank rape. And in this same breath, also said
It is still bad. Just not AS bad.
If this isn’t ranking rape, I wonder what is! Go home Richard Dawkins, you are drunk. Or better still, don’t use twitter until you clear your head of your many delusions. Seriously, this is a case of firstname.lastname@example.org.
The professor also laboriously tried to pin the ‘condescending’ tag of ‘Emotionalism’ on his critiques in yet another post to clarify his tweets. –
That, then, is why I chose rape and pedophilia for my hypothetical examples. I think rationalists should be free to discuss spectrums of nastiness, even if only to reject them. I had noticed indications that rape and pedophilia had moved out of the discussion zone into a no-go taboo area. I wanted to challenge the taboo, just as I want to challenge all taboos against free discussion.
Dear Richard Dawkins is now justifying his attempt to rank rape. Wait a minute, did he not say in his previous clarification statement that he was not saying it is right to rank rape? But now, hey, he just came up with another explanation as to WHY HE RANKED RAPE! See it was because he wanted to take us out of our comfort zone and make us jettison emotions so we can be fit enough to sit in his classroom and learn how to think and reason without emotions! Wow, what land is that? A planet of emotionless zombies. What language is he speaking, Klingon?
In his attempt to chastise us mere mortals for being emotional, he further stated:
Nothing should be off limits to discussion. No, let me amend that. If you think some things should be off limits, let’s sit down together and discuss that proposition itself. Let’s not just insult each other and cut off all discussion because we rationalists have somehow wandered into a land where emotion is king.
A land where emotion is King? Where is this land Richard Dawkins speaks of so assuredly? I do know of a land where there can be a reasonable balance of emotions and reason and it is not a bad thing. The attempt by Richard Dawkins to look down at mere mortals who make room for emotions in a debate has been well tackled by Stephanie Zvan in the post Yes, Richard Dawkins, I’m Emotional. In fact, emotions is integral to our survival as humans. So, is the Professor trying to evolve or is it ‘devolve’ us into zombies with no emotions or zombies who scoffs and scorn at any show of emotions?
It is utterly deplorable that there are people, including in our atheist community, who suffer rape threats because of things they have said. And it is also deplorable that there are many people in the same atheist community who are literally afraid to think and speak freely, afraid to raise even hypothetical questions such as those I have mentioned in this article. They are afraid – and I promise you I am not exaggerating – of witch-hunts: hunts for latter day blasphemers by latter day Inquisitions and latter day incarnations of Orwell’s Thought Police.
Oh Richard Dawkins, stop hyperventilating before your hysteria gives you a heart attack!
People who are calling Richard Dawkins out for getting it wrong are not “just being emotional” , If anything Richard Dawkins is the one who is using his subjective emotions to define RAPE for every other person. This is not a logical act but simply emotion based. His emotional opinion neither constitute a fact nor make him an authority on the subject.
As Ashley Miller eloquently explained in her post ‘Richard Dawkins on Date Rape vs Stranger Rape’
“In fact , studies abounds that shows that “Victims of acquaintance rape are as traumatized as victims of stranger rape. Specifically, they report equal (and high) levels of depression, anxiety, hostility, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms…” (http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1997-08362-004) and victims of acquaintance rape are more likely to be unable to reconcile what happened with their beliefs in the world and to blame themselves. (Researching Sexual Violence Against Women edited by Martin D. Schwartz)
Richard Dawkins is considered the public face of New Atheism and unfortunately the leader of Atheists. Which quite frankly is embarrassing to many of us. He is like that nutty grandpa who just wants to embarrass us all on Twitter! Yes he is entitled to his opinion but he is the public face of atheism, and it is a reputation that has made him loads of money and given him a lot of clout in the society. So yes, he is accountable for his opinions on social media, highly more so than less known persons or more accurately, less known atheists.
Couldn’t he have found some other non-grey area or non-aggravating syllogisms beside Rape or Paedophilia, especially knowing just how there are so many rape apologists out there? Damn, majority of women cannot even come out and publicly say that they have been raped by trusted friend, family member or their lover because the society won’t believe them. Stigma is another reason. Also the society always find a way to apportion a part of the blame to the victim or even fully blame the rape victim for the crime of the rapist. Ranking rape as bad, worse or worst would only make it difficult for victims to gain the confidence and support they need to seek redress.
We do not need this nutty professor further complicating the path to justice for rape victims.
Dawkins knew what he was saying, it was not by accident that he used the Rape comparison. He meant to grade rape or paedophilia based probably on his own experience of child abuse and he thrust it upon the public as a RATIONAL thing thereby grading his own reaction as the standard reaction ALL rape victims or child abuse victims should have. This is factually incorrect as people deal with trauma in different ways. Also, his example was illogical and, this is not the first time he has made such stupid, bigoted and irrational public blunders.
Rape is rape when looked at from every perspective. In court, it is either the rapist is found guilty of rape or not guilty of rape, there is no in-between. There is no Mild rape or half rape, A rapist can also be charged with other crimes like assault, battery or murder however, these are distinct crimes and can stand or fall on their own merits or demerits.These are stand-alone crimes, which does not make rape not rape simply because these were absent. Rape has its own jail term regardless of whether assault, battery or murder were involved. Assault, battery or Murder has its own jail term regardless of whether or not rape was involved. Rape is a crime on its own, it does not need to be graded before it qualifies as rape. And rape victims do not need to be told they could have had it worse!
Does a rapist gets a medal because he did not use a knife or because he first spiked her drink and made sure she was passed out before raping her?
Richard Dawkins should learn to communicate is intention in a better way. Intents aren’t magic, we can only comment on what he wrote not what is intentions were. We read his words not his intentions. If his words were wrongly worded, it is his duty to take greater care in coming across just as he intended. The professor was wrong he knew this and no amount of disdain bigotry on his part could change this fact.
Yes, Richard Dawkins is entitled to his personal opinion. If Richard Dawkins said his personal experience of child abuse is less traumatic than the experience of another person, THAT WOULD BE HIS OPINION and he is very well entitled to that. However what the professor did was to use his own SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE to grade RAPE and PAEDOPHILIA for ALL VICTIMS and he tried to pass this blunder off as fact and termed people who don’t get it as illogical. THIS is what we are against.
No matter who you are, you don’t use the perimeters of how you personally dealt with a trauma as a way to grade or tell others just how traumatic their experience is and how they should get over it. His syllogisms were wrong on many fronts and he made it worse by attempting to pass off a subjective experience as grading mark for rape or paedophilia.
I guess somewhere, right now, there is a rapist rationalising- “See, my action was not all that bad, after all I only raped a friend, she could have been raped by a stranger which would be a worse rape, or i could have raped a stranger instead of a friend which would have been a worse rape and Richard Dawkins agrees with me!”