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Atheist scientist Richard Dawkins: 'Mild pedophilia never did me any harm'

Posted by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 12:40 PM
  • 139 Replies


  


Robby Soave


Sexual assault victims’ organizations are slamming evolutionary biologist and leading atheist Richard Dawkins for comments he made about the inoffensiveness of “mild pedophilia.”

Dawkins made the remarks in a recent interview with The Times magazine. He said that during his time at a boarding school as a boy in the 1950s, a teacher “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts.” Dawkins described the incident as “mild pedophilia” that left him no worse off. Neither Dawkins nor the other boys abused by this teacher suffered permanent physical or mental damage, he said.

“I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm,” said Dawkins.

Dawkins also said that it was improper to judge the acts committed by this teacher by today’s higher moral standards.

“I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours,” he said. “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.”

His perspective on sexual assault drew strong criticism from numerous victims’ rights organizations, including Peter Watt, director of child protection at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

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

Dawkin made the comments to suggest the outrage over recently revealed child abuse scandals was overblown, according to The Daily Mail.

“Mild touching up,” is not the same thing as rape or murder, he said.

Dawkins’s memoir, “An Appetite for Wonder,” will be released on Thursday.


by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 12:40 PM
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Replies (1-10):
sarahjz
by Bronze Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 12:44 PM
3 moms liked this

Wow, wow, WOW.  What a foolish and insensitive thing to say.  

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 12:44 PM
1 mom liked this

I wonder whether Richard Dawkins' boarding school teacher had - according to Dawkis' book title -  "An Appetite to Wonder" about children?

susan115
by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 12:50 PM
9 moms liked this

To all the "Hip atheist internet liberals".  This is who speaks for you.  You should be ashamed, but you won't. 

Pema_Jampa
by 2HotTacoTini on Sep. 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM
1 mom liked this

WTF?! 

So very wrong. I'm not sure how to even respond. SMH

Pema_Jampa
by 2HotTacoTini on Sep. 11, 2013 at 12:56 PM
3 moms liked this

To all the God fearing internet repubs please stop generalizing and assuming who speaks for who. Look within before passing judgment.

Quoting susan115:

To all the "Hip atheist internet liberals".  This is who speaks for you.  You should be ashamed, but you won't. 


Pema_Jampa
by 2HotTacoTini on Sep. 11, 2013 at 12:59 PM
5 moms liked this

For Susan :

Avatar
Miss M  BDayag 

If Dawkins represents all atheists then I guess Pat Robertson represents all Christians.

Gosh, life is much simpler now!

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 1:15 PM
1 mom liked this

Back at you, PJ.


Quoting Pema_Jampa:

To all the God fearing internet repubs please stop generalizing and assuming who speaks for who. Look within before passing judgment.

Quoting susan115:

To all the "Hip atheist internet liberals".  This is who speaks for you.  You should be ashamed, but you won't. 




SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Both bad assumptions.

When you assume, you make an a$$ out of U and me.


Quoting Pema_Jampa:

For Susan :

Avatar
Miss M  BDayag 

If Dawkins represents all atheists then I guess Pat Robertson represents all Christians.

Gosh, life is much simpler now!



Pema_Jampa
by 2HotTacoTini on Sep. 11, 2013 at 1:20 PM
1 mom liked this

Of course. It's what I try to do.

Quoting SallyMJ:

Back at you, PJ.


Quoting Pema_Jampa:

To all the God fearing internet repubs please stop generalizing and assuming who speaks for who. Look within before passing judgment.

Quoting susan115:

To all the "Hip atheist internet liberals".  This is who speaks for you.  You should be ashamed, but you won't. 





Pema_Jampa
by 2HotTacoTini on Sep. 11, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Yep. Thanks for the support.

Quoting SallyMJ:

Both bad assumptions.

When you assume, you make an a$$ out of U and me.


Quoting Pema_Jampa:

For Susan :

Avatar
Miss M  BDayag 

If Dawkins represents all atheists then I guess Pat Robertson represents all Christians.

Gosh, life is much simpler now!




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