Richard Dawkins Defends 'Mild' Pedophilia, Again and Again

Sep 10, 2013 Full story: The Atlantic

Richard Dawkins defended "mild pedophilia" in an interview this weekend. And while the quote itself is quite jarring, especially to those who look to Dawkins for his influential writings on atheism , it's far from the first time that the scientist has launched a defense of the behavior - or talked about his own abuse at the hands of boarding school ... (more)

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“you must not give faith”

Since: Jul 12

Nottingham, UK

#1 Sep 11, 2013
Oh God more Dawkins hate stuff read the quote they provide!
"Referring to his early days at a boarding school in Salisbury, he recalled how one of the (unnamed) masters “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts.”
He said other children in his school peer group had been molested by the same teacher but concluded:“I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm.”
“I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours. Just as we don’t look back at the 18th and 19th centuries and condemn people for racism in the same way as we would condemn a modern person for racism, I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can’t find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today,” he said.
He said the most notorious cases of pedophilia involve rape and even murder and should not be bracketed with what he called “just mild touching up.”"
However when the article described Dawkins reasoning it was "First, that "hysteria" over a fear of pedophilia is overblown by society; second, that instilling a child with fundamentalist religious beliefs is actually a worse way to abuse a child; and third, that he personally overcame childhood sexual abuse, meaning it must not be that big of a deal for anyone else who was subjected to similar behavior."
As you can see there is no mention of the "you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours" point.

I must admit that I cringed when I heard what Dawkins has been saying, as trying to find things worse than a pedophil abuseing you and trying to put degrees of wrongness on said abuse, is the sort of subject where you say one thing wrong and it's game over. So please read what Dawkins said carefully and don't miss things like this article did, and also prepare to clear fight misinformation about this even if you don't agree with Dawkins.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#2 Sep 11, 2013
Benjamin Frankly wrote:
....As you can see there is no mention of the "you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours" point.
And that is an important point he was trying to make, as well as that there ARE degrees of wrongdoing. Some serious crimes are wrong in virtually any age or culture, even in hindsight. Nonetheless, we can only try to do what is right according to the values of the culture and age in which we live. We cannot know how people in the future will judge us.
Benjamin Frankly wrote:
I must admit that I cringed when I heard what Dawkins has been saying, as trying to find things worse than a pedophil abuseing you and trying to put degrees of wrongness on said abuse, is the sort of subject where you say one thing wrong and it's game over. So please read what Dawkins said carefully and don't miss things like this article did, and also prepare to clear fight misinformation about this even if you don't agree with Dawkins.
'Cringed' is a natural reaction. However, that is what I like about Professor Dawkins: fear no question.

I acknowledge the need for 'caution' about 'degrees of paedophilia or child abuse', as you say, but sometimes we learn most by addressing what is taboo and the dangerous questions. We should still be able to recognise that there ARE degrees of wrongdoing even there - and the significance of that when judging people in the past by modern values and with the latest knowledge. Keep talking sense and let people make of it what they will. I'm sure Prof Dawkins will learn more from the reaction and exchange of views than most.

My old Dad said that you cannot really understand what the other person is saying unless you look yourself into his shoes. In other words: criticism is easy, but empathetic listening is essential for good comprehension.
Thinking

UK

#3 Sep 11, 2013
Dawkins is actually saying some religitard paedophilia is worse than other religitard paedophilia.

This article shows true believer desperation. They're desperate to be allowed to revert to their bad old ways.
Amused

Lowell, MA

#4 Sep 11, 2013
Don't care. Dawkins is not some infallible pope of atheism. He's just another atheist, a very bright man, but perfectly capable, as we all are, theist and atheist alike, of holding some thoughts or beliefs well outside the mainstream.

It is fascinating that some fundies, being unable to dispute or debate Dawkins' points about the existence/nonexistence of god, instead devote themselves to parsing every utterance by the man, as if any flaw in his thinking, however unrelated to atheism, somehow discredits atheism, or, even more remotely, somehow validates theistic belief, merely because a prominent atheist isn't a 'perfect' being.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#5 Sep 11, 2013
Sounds like a "groomer", to me. It would have been much worse, but something curtailed the perves agenda.

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