Green Room

Prominent atheist: What’s wrong with a little “mild pedophilia”?

posted at 11:26 am on September 11, 2013 by

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.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Esthier on September 11, 2013 at 4:59 PM

“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 paedophilia, and can’t find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today.”

http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/9/7/the-world-according-to-richard-dawkins-the-times

mags on September 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM

mags on September 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM

What is your point? The islamists are doing the same things now.

Mimzey on September 11, 2013 at 5:10 PM

mags on September 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM

My gosh…you are defending this pervert who is defending molesting children! And that is a load of crap to say that 50 years ago people would have winked at it and looked the other way. It may have been the case in Mohammedan circles, but not in British or American circles. I would wager the vast vast majority of parents would have beat the teacher to a pulp if they’d suspected. What a sicko you must be, along with this sicko pervert Dawkins.

Truly, this explains a lot about Dawkins.

pannw on September 11, 2013 at 5:53 PM

mags on September 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Yeah, I’m the one who read it. You apparently didn’t.

to condemn this “mild touching up” as sexual abuse today would somehow be unfair.

Also…

and because we attach the label ‘paedophilia’ to the same things when they’re just mild touching up, we must beware of lumping all paedophiles into the same bracket.”

Note the use of present tense. For Dawkins, apparently there are paedophiles and “paedophiles in name only”.

Esthier on September 11, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Truly, this explains a lot about Dawkins.

pannw on September 11, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Is your need to stereotype integral to your religion? What do you have to say for the handful of evil Catholic priests? Christian devotion did not save their victims.

Muslim-hating is anti-Christian. But the current crop of “Christians” leave a lot to be desired. Doug Dannger, a gay journalist, told me that Jesus delayed his rapturous return to avoid dealing with you phonies.

Longtime Listener on September 11, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Sounds like all the priests and preachers out there. The “god”(which is a lie embraced by the morally bankrupt and the intellectually vapid) squad hate all life and love raping children.

Your Mamma loves me on September 11, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Truly, this explains a lot about Dawkins.

pannw on September 11, 2013 at 5:53 PM

.
Is your need to stereotype integral to your religion? What do you have to say for the handful of evil Catholic priests? Christian devotion did not save their victims.

Muslim-hating is anti-Christian. But the current crop of “Christians” leave a lot to be desired. Doug Dannger, a gay journalist, told me that Jesus delayed his rapturous return to avoid dealing with you phonies.

Longtime Listener on September 11, 2013 at 6:21 PM

.
Dawkin’s quotes put him way past “stereotyping”.

“Hating” people … is wrong for Christian believers, but that’s not the same thing as being “anti-Christian”.

Jesus is not “delaying His rapturous return”, for any sin on anyone’s part … period.

Jesus, and the Heavenly Father are more than capable of dealing with ALL of us, including ‘phony baloney, plastic Christians’, without breaking a sweat.

There’s nothing wrong with Doug Dannger or yourself criticizing Christian believers for hypocrisy, but if they have truly accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord, then they have a relationship with Him that no one else tamper with. Their “hypocrisy” will not break that bond.
If you (and Doug Dannger) don’t accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, then it won’t matter how “non-hypocritical” you have been in your daily walk of life. You have no relationship with God, so you’ll join the “fallen angels” in the place prepared for them.

listens2glenn on September 13, 2013 at 12:06 AM

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