Prominent atheist: What’s wrong with a little “mild pedophilia”?
posted at 11:26 am on September 11, 2013 by Guy Benson
Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, has a message for you scolds out there: Stop getting so worked up over “mild” adult-on-child sexual abuse. After all, he asserts, it doesn’t inflict any “lasting harm” upon the
victim recipient. Really, who needs God when we have Dawkins’ finely-tuned moral compass to guide our values?
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.” Dawkins went on to say that one of his former school masters “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts,” and that to condemn this “mild touching up” as sexual abuse today would somehow be unfair. “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. Plus, he added, though his other classmates also experienced abuse at the hands of this teacher, “I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm.”
Note that he’s not referring to, say, a 22 year-old dating a 16 year-old, or some such. He’s talking about a grown man — a teacher, in fact — deliberately and repeatedly violating young children. Yes, children; there were multiple victims of this particular pedophile, and Dawkins presumes to speak for all of them. No harm, no foul. We mustn’t judge. I wonder, whom would Dawkins consider the greater threat to society: The child predators of decades past, or today’s judgmental Christians who might castigate them? And at what point, in his expert opinion, does “mild” sexual abuse graduate to “moderate,” or “harmful” conduct? Finally, who sets the “earlier era” moral statute of limitations? Inquiring minds must know — though one wonders if Dawkins would deign to respond to questions from pious simpletons who foolishly crowd our little minds with trifling concerns like moral relativism.