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High priest of Atheism defends pedophilia.


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Initial post: 16 May 2014 21:15:06 BDT
In a recent interview with the Times magazine, Richard Dawkins attempted to defend what he called "mild pedophilia," which, he says, he personally experienced as a young child and does not believe causes "lasting harm."

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/10/richard_dawkins_defends_mild_pedophilia_says_it_does_not_cause_lasting_harm/

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2014 21:19:36 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 May 2014 21:24:40 BDT
And this has what to do with religious discussion? Other than your desperate ad hominem obviously, which speaks for itself.

I'm fairly sure his remarks which have been gleefully leapt on by the usual theist suspects may very well have been perfidiously misrepresented, so I'll not pass judgement until all the facts are known, but even so it's not like he's protecting untold numbers of paedophiles from the law, by refusing to help a UN investigation get justice for their victims. Now that is both newsworthy and salient to this site. It's also not as if he's spewing bigoted hateful homophobia, or advocating discrimination either, now that's truly repulsive behaviour, but then Professor Dawkins is an intelligent educated man, whereas the bigoted homophobes are usually ignorant and stupid.

Posted on 16 May 2014 21:19:47 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 17 May 2014 06:13:12 BDT]

Posted on 16 May 2014 21:24:09 BDT
Richard Dawkins:

"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,"

I feel the same about homophobia in the middle ages. They didn't know any better. Today however no educated person could possibly be homophobic. Could they?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2014 21:27:37 BDT
A very good point. though even an uneducated person who possessed a modicum of intelligence should be able to determine that prejudice and persecution of others based solely on their being gay is an egregious act worthy of the condemnation of all decent people. An educated person who was homophobic would be a complete 5cumb4g..

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2014 21:31:48 BDT
"18th and 19th centuries and condemn people for racism in the same way as we would condemn a modern person for racism"

For example: what about the slave trade that had blacks viewed as inferior ?? We do nothing but condemn that nowadays, even though it were centuries ago. Nations now demanding recompense, apologies from governments etc etc. So that notion of "we don't condemn certain aspects of the past based on current standards" is just not true.

Do you know, what does he class as "mild pedophilia" ??
Surely you either molest a child or you don't ??

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2014 21:41:13 BDT
I've no idea. Personally I think one can condemn slavery without thereby condemning those who really knew no better. I mean one need not like them very much for it but passing the kind of judgement on them as someone who enslaves people now doesn't seem right somehow.

Also it wasn't so long ago that girls married at 13 or so. But I don't really know what Dawkins was talking about.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2014 21:58:58 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 May 2014 21:59:49 BDT
It does seem an odd idea with regard to molesting children though. I mean someone involved in the slave trade may not know better but some schoolmaster at Dawkins school certainly ought to.

Posted on 16 May 2014 22:10:19 BDT
Stu says:
He was molested 5 times in all, once when a schoolmaster put his hand down his trousers, and 4 other times by older boys at oudel college or somewhere similar. His friends had far worse experiences and one hung himself, so he was not defending paedophilia at all, just his experience of it.

Posted on 16 May 2014 22:19:31 BDT
Roma says:
I think his comment is irresponsible. Paedophiles already have difficulty in recognising the long term damage caused to children by their abuse: they do not need this confirmed by someone Of Dawkins' standing. The term "mild paedophilia" bothers me as it condones some levels of abuse and also fails to acknowledge that "mild" abuse often escalates to long term more serious abuse.
No, the term "mild abuse" is definitely oxymoronic.

Posted on 16 May 2014 22:28:31 BDT
Spin says:
Dawkins is a man who vehemently argues against religious belief, calling it a "delusion". Clearly, in attempting to justify the actions of sexual perverts he has a few delusions of his own...How can one trust the reasoning of a man who uses the phrase "mild paedophilia"?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2014 22:57:53 BDT
Aren't you taking it out of context though? When you say:

" Paedophiles already have difficulty in recognising the long term damage caused to children by their abuse:"

Are you talking of a contemporary situation? If so then Dawkins is not. I'd also prefer to reserve judgement until I know all teh facts, as this wouldn't be the first time someone has sensationalised something Professor Dawkins has said by misrepresenting him.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2014 22:59:20 BDT
This rather proves my point.....some theist are only interested in petty revenge through ad hominem attacks on RD. Given some of the stuff Spin has posted on here that's not just pathetic but extremely hypocritical.

Posted on 16 May 2014 23:00:45 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 May 2014 23:13:47 BDT
TomC says:
While I was at school, we had at least two schoolmasters who, if the opportunity arose, would allow their hands to wander if a boy stood close enough. This was well known. One, in particular - call him the Octopus - I had good reason to be wary of. I make no attempt to condone that behaviour in any way: it was utterly wrong. On the other hand I can't say that I have been haunted or damaged by it, because there was a simple remedy - after the first encounter, my classmates and I learned to remain at arm's length, and we ensured that we were never alone with the Octopus or others of his species. This was easy enough in a day school; I realize that in a boarding school this may well have been much more difficult.

There was another teacher who had a fearsome temper and a reputation for brutality; if the facts had been officially known, he would certainly have ended up helping police with their enquiries. On one occasion, when a boy was being particularly irritating, I saw him call the boy out to the front of the class. He then slapped the boy with such force that his head was whipped round, and his glasses flew off and hit the wall several yards away. It was the most appalling act of violence I ever saw in a class room.

The Thug chose his target well, as bullies do: the boy was the class comedian and fancied himself as a hard lad. Also, given the man he was dealing with, he knew he was skating on thin ice, and - as children often do when an injustice is inflicted on them - probably thought he was to blame. The last thing he would have done would have been to complain about it.

I am very happy to say that none of those teachers would find a place in the education system today, but on the whole I believe that the Octopus did a lot less harm than the Thug. There are memories of my school days which anger me even today, but they are not the inept fumblings of a rather sad inadequate man; they are the the acts of sudden, irrational violence, often for very trivial reasons, committed by men in a career for which they were completely unsuited and unqualified.

Posted on 16 May 2014 23:07:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 May 2014 23:29:09 BDT
Spin says:
Those who advocate Dawkin's pseudo-scientific tirades against religion are willing to forgive the man anything...In this instance, however, they are treading on dangerous ground.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2014 23:13:22 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 17 May 2014 06:21:17 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2014 07:50:10 BDT
"It was the most appalling act of violence I ever saw in a class room."

I wish I could say the same. On the whole the teachers were pretty fair unless crossed, but there were notable exceptions. No sexual abuse I was aware of. One of the 6th format girls left her studies to move in with a physics teacher, nothing was done as I recall. To the physics teacher I mean....

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2014 08:30:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 May 2014 08:35:14 BDT
B.A.Pilgrim says:
Mr Anthony Wilde

'I feel the same about homophobia in the middle ages.

When do you think the moment was, when British society 'accepted homosexuality,' or any society for that matter, like France, Jamaica and Ireland? Very recently wasn't it. When did they legislate favourably? Very recently wasn't it, or not in other cases

I think once again more sensationalism is being used to make secularism look normal, and religion a monster? Fact is, only a few people in the 1970's said anything positive about homosexuality, including celebrities, and scientists like Richard Dawkins, which is a shame, because now, all these silent voices from only a couple of decades alone are not pretending they've always been on the band wagon (I am not saying Dawkins is on a band wagon, I think he probably wants to get on with what he's paid to do than answer dangerous questions on ethics).

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2014 08:53:56 BDT
Mrs. F. Shaw says:
Dawkins is a scientist and has used science as an argument to refute religion and religious belief because it is not based on evidence. Nothing pseudo- about it. He has not advocated pedophilia. He is saying that any pedophilic incidents in his childhood did no lasting harm to him whereas the acts of a violent men towards the children in his care anger him more.

This instance is an example of twisting the words of someone to suit an agenda against using the robustness of science against the wooliness of religious belief.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2014 08:54:23 BDT
Mrs. F. Shaw says:
Someone's being a sucky-la-la.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2014 09:00:22 BDT
Mrs. F. Shaw says:
I think Pilgrim you could benefit from a dose of reality. As a society we are better than ever. Let me introduce you to Steven Pinker and please watch the video when you have the time because he argues against this apocalyptic view of the world held by so many religious believers.

As your are a christian (of sorts), may I ask you, is the bigotry posted against homosexuals on this forum loving, compassionate, caring, tolerant and non-judgemental? If you think it is and you believe that Jesus would be posting exactly as cyril, Marilyn, CW, Burchell, Spin et al. would post then I can say unreservedly that I am glad to be an atheist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5X2-i_poNU

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2014 09:22:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 May 2014 09:24:15 BDT
B.A.Pilgrim says:
Mrs Shaw

I was asking when in modern times did Homosexuals begin to get legislation, providing them with the rights that society failed to provide for then a decade, two decades and more when the big bad wolf of religion had long since lost all legislative power? Answer, pretty recently. Last 15 years or so. If I am right, which I am, then secular society has only just now been bothered to sort it.

I am a Christian, I am not against anyone. I think abuse is dis-tasteful, but I think people have the right to express their real views, not what they're politically allowed to express.

Now, it should be taken Into account that what Richard Dawkins, an intelligent man, is saying here sounds ridiculous. Why he wants to try and defend anything, at all, is beyond me. what is funny is that many people are jumping the defence of Dawkins saying we all need the facts, but then would probably condemn the catholic Church for it's treatment of the issue. Abuse is abuse, I wouldn't call something abuse lite and think I've somehow changed it. Also, If he was a victim of abuse himself (Dawkins), then he should support other victims by being a big profile name who says no to ALL abuse.

I am glad to be a Christian, as you are glad to be an atheist. in my humble opinion there is very little difference between the two.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2014 09:40:13 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 May 2014 09:40:55 BDT
TomC says:
"I was asking when in modern times did Homosexuals begin to get legislation, providing them with the rights ... Answer, pretty recently. Last 15 years or so."

September 1957. Subsequently enacted July 1967. In other words, about half a century.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2014 09:42:48 BDT
Mrs. F. Shaw says:
I think the point is that long lasting damage due to childhood abuse does not HAVE to make your life unhappy. There is something to be said about the media portraying child abuse as causing unalterable damage and I don't believe that's true for everyone. There is a difference between what Dawkins termed the 'fumblings of a sad, pathetic man' to child rape or systematic abuse over time. And it doesn't have to affect your life in a negative way. You can be successful and happy.

Dawkins isn't condoning 'mild abuse' at all. He is making the point that there are degrees of abuse. We shouldn't accept it now because we know it can cause long-lasting psychological damage and my point to that, is that sexual abuse of any kind doesn't have to ruin your life.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2014 09:43:32 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 May 2014 13:30:54 BDT
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  28
Total posts:  399
Initial post:  16 May 2014
Latest post:  23 May 2014

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