The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Being an Atheist Is Bad. Being an Obnoxious Atheist Is Worse.

Posted on | July 29, 2014 | 76 Comments

Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) is inarguably obnoxious:

Prominent atheist and professional provocateur Richard Dawkins has sparked a fierce debate on Twitter after he classified certain types of rape and paedophilia as “worse” and milder than others.
“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,” Dawkins tweeted on Tuesday morning.
He had earlier tweeted: “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.”
He followed it up with: “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.”

Am I the only one who notices that Dawkins was not merely demonstrating a logical principle, but that both of his examples were attempts to diminish the wrongness of sexual crimes? That is to say, if he had merely wished to demonstrate the principle, he could have said, “Armed robbery is bad. Murder is worse,” etc. But he didn’t do that, did he? No, it is specifically in the area of sex offenses that The Great Darwinian insists that we must learn to see gradations of moral relativity.

He insists that we mere mortals have misunderstood his genius.



  • NeoWayland

    I think you’re showing signs of an ideologue.

  • TroubleAtTheMine

    Although I despise Dawkins’ lack of imagination and his despotism – he wants to ban not only the Bible but also fairy tales – I admire his willingness to stand up to the mad feminists, which is what this is about. He’s not trying to relativise sexual perversions. He’s just explaining that saying one this is worse than another isn’t saying or implying that the less bad thing is good. He’s trying to pound some logic into their little brains. He probably chose sexual examples because that is the main feminist battleground for rabidly demonising everythng everyone else says, no matter how reasonable.

  • TroubleAtTheMine

    I think it’s terribly unfair to call Angry Harry a pederast just because you disagree with him, it’s unworthy of you. Dawkins and Angry Harry are taking on the feminists all the time, it’s not easy work.

  • DeadMessenger

    How about you actually read the Bible before offering “contradictory” evidence?

    Although…I guess that wouldn’t help. 2 Corintians 4:4: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

    Maybe it’s wiser not to comment on things you do not and cannot understand.

  • PeterP

    One wonders why Mr. Dawkins finds the need to justify “mild pedophilia.” Perhaps a vice squad investigation is in order?

  • Quartermaster

    If we ban fairy tales, we’d be banning most of what he calls his work. The man is simply a preening fool educated beyond his abilities.

  • Quartermaster

    He has a moral code. But, you wouldn’t understand the difference.

  • Quartermaster

    You are one of the few that is trying to categorize theists in one lump. There is “variety” among atheists because they have nothing on which to base a moral code.

  • Quartermaster

    You would first have to have a point to make. He really isn’t making one, unless showing more than a trace of stupidity is his point.

  • Geoff Boulton

    How about you read the thread. The original assertion, and the one which was being addressed, was that atheists cannot attain justice because of their relativism. This assertion is contradicted by the fact that this is exactly the system which is used throughout the majority of the world. In the majority of justice systems, each case is judged on the particulars of that case and judgement made based upon those particulars. Nobody has addressed that fact yet, instead all I get is a bunch of ad hominems. If you’re going to argue then at least present an argument instead of simply calling names.

  • Zohydro
  • Zohydro

    Dawkins is a victim himself… That’s no excuse, mind you!

  • Geoff Boulton

    Maybe he’s addressing remarks by the like of Aldridge and other GOP members who clearly do think there are different types of rape and different consequences.

  • TroubleAtTheMine

    I agree, I loathe the man. But that’s not the point. He’s willing to take on feminists, and that’s what he’s trying to do with these twitters. In my opinion.

  • PeterP

    If one of my male teachers played with my pee pee when I was 6, I’d probably hate God, too.

  • NeoWayland

    I’m curious what he has to say for himself. It is, after all, an accusation that he uses himself fairly often.

  • NeoWayland

    Thinking about it just now, that raises a fascinating question.

    Which is worth more, a moral code handed to you or one earned through personal experience?

  • RichFader

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

    “But you *do* endorse mild atheism, Doctor.”

    “…Oh, my. Look at the time.”

  • Quartermaster

    I don’t think you care about the answer to that anyway.

  • NeoWayland

    I do, or I wouldn’t have asked the question.

    I think I know how people here would answer. And yes, it’s a big part of the point I would like to make.

  • Dennis Mahon

    Moral codes are not earned, they are observed.

  • NeoWayland

    Well, I didn’t expect that.

    I disagree, but let’s go on as if.

    Who made the first code and how did they do it?

    What happens when your morality doesn’t match your moral code? Can you make a new code, or are you stuck with the old one?

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