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Richard Dawkins talks about "mild pedophilia"

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by Anonymous, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. Anonymous Member

    Why would you want to?
  2. Anonymous Member

    If your cuz is 14 an u get a boner and you're 22, you're a pedo.
  3. CarterUSP Member

    You do realise that you seem to be trying to defend someone who thinks 'mild pedophilia' is no big deal and was acceptable years ago?

    Am I claiming that he is lying about his experience? No, read my post, I did not write that
    Ami I claiming that he is lying about others experiences? No, read my post, I did not write that
    Am I reading into his words something he did not say? No, read my post, I quoted him for what he did say.

    Let me spell it out for you:
    He got touched up by an abuser and considered it to be no big deal. He knew that others got touched up by an abuser and claims that was no big deal either.
    Can you not see how wrong that is?
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Mr Dawkins' expressed views on his experience are mildly crass, IMHO.

    The teacher who molested him, mildly, committed a mildly criminal act and should have been punished according to the severity of the offences. He was certainly not fit to be in a position of trust, and should have been banned from teaching children, mildly, and for evermore.

    Mild child molestation is child molestation. And mild. And child molestation.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Anonymous Member

    The underlined and bolded portion above is false, which should be clear if you read his comments fully.
    All you are doing is giving the least charitable interpretation to his words, and then using that a basis to attack. He said the incident happened and that he (and his classmates) did not appear to have suffered harm – if you want to read more into that then feel free. But it just seems a pointless and debate-stifling exercise to me.
  6. ohai TSA booster

    The way you think (if you want to call it that) is the reason why we can no longer have nice things.

    Let me translate what Dr. Dawkins said for you:
    "It wasn't that bad for me. Maybe others had it too, and maybe it wasn't as bad as it gets made out to be."

    I didn't see you shitposting when Ozzy Osbourne came out about his own experiences in childhood.
    I think EVERYONE'S been felt up the wrong way at one time or another, so get off your high horse.

    Dawkins isn't liked much because he's an outspoken atheist.
    Haters gonna hate.
  7. Knee jerk Anon jerked his knee (not saying you're a jerk, CUSP).

    Some people, even here in this forum, have yet to abandon Aristotelian 'black-white' logic.

    If the VICTIM said, "It wasn't so bad for me, really," who is anyone to second-guess him?

    I remember when I was 14, packed into a NYC subway on my way home from school. It was sardine city in there, and I know some perv took advantage of the opportunity to grab me. I would've punched the fuck in the face, but the subway was so stuffed you couldn't move more than from the wrist.

    BTW, I wasn't traumatized for life, but thanks for the good looking-out, yo. I've moved on. Shit happens.
  8. Anonymous Member

    The knee-jerk reactions are understandable, but imo that doesn’t make them any less contemptible when you realise the ignorance they represent. This is probably going to be a good old fashioned rant, but fuck here goes nothing.

    When someone is ‘abused’ it is NOT the physical act itself (assuming it wasn’t rough or violent) that fucks them up. It is the psychological aspect that leaves them in a bad way. The whole feeling of helplessness as another imposes their will on you, the feeling that they can do this at any time while you feel powerless to be able to stop it, to be utterly dominated and made completely subservient to another – THAT is what fucks people up.

    The act of groping, in and of itself, doesn’t do much – but if it is part of power game where another is forcing you into situations against your will where you are fully aware that you cannot fight back or meaningfully resist then it will leave you fucked.

    None of this should be surprising or difficult to grasp, and yet there always seems to be no shortage of folks so dripping in self-righteousness while simultaneously so seemingly unaware or blissfully ignorant of the dynamics that make abuse so fucking harmful and damaging. This unawareness, ignorance and complete lack of understanding isn’t helpful in any way to those who have suffered and have been damaged by this shit.

    It pisses me off to see folks decry someone like Assange as a ‘rapist’ because of a broken condom. Doing that cheapens those who experience actual rape, something that has incredible potential to damage those who have experienced it.

    It likewise pisses me off to see folks decrying what Dawkins’ has said here for much the same reasons. I just don’t get the need for many to try putting abuses of varying and unequal severity all under one convenient label just to make it easy to brand all of it as being ‘bad’. No one is arguing any of it is ‘good’ or that it should be allowed to happen. Different levels of abuse, from the power struggle and dominance perspective, have different capacities to cause harm and long-lasting damage. Recognising that such a gradient exists is neither uncaring to victims of real abuses nor is it in any way defending any kind of abuse. The fact that in this rant I feel the need to have re-emphasise that no one is defending abuses in the (likely vain) hope that the knee-jerk brigade don’t (deliberately) accuse me of doing such is indicative of the extremely low-level of discourse that knee-jerk brigade seems to engage in.

    The over-simplifying and refusal to apply base fucking logic and thinking to this topic just astounds me – such an attitude, steeped in ignorance and misconception, that will do more fucking damage to any victim of real abuse than anything Dawkins has said here.
  9. Anonymous Member

    No one can decide for another what is mild. No one can decide for another what is major. Calling one kind of abuse "mild" dismisses the pain of another.
    Hawkins' point was about the damage that religions cause, he minimized another persons pain while doing it.
    He makes controversial statements, it's part of his shtick, this is one that generated a lot of press so it met his needs. (Hurting some people in the process.
    How come others in this thread can make their points without insulting their opponents?
    • Like Like x 1
  10. CarterUSP Member

    "Mild pedophilia" is an exact quote. And the fact that he dismisses the abuse as having no lasting effect means that it wasn't a big deal.

    And you are giving the most charitable interpretation to his words.
    Dawkins knows that he is often under public scrutiny, knows that his words are often quoted by fans and haters in equal measure, knows that his words can cause controversy, knows that his words can influence - And he spoke dismissively about child abuse to a whole group of people.
    I'll repeat my previous point - How does he know that the abuse had no lasting effect on the others? Where is the evidence? Where is his expertise? Even a layman should know that abuse at childhood age can have deep affects beneath the surface, a simple dismissive denial of events as no big deal is no guarantee that the abuse had no effect. Dawkins is no expert on child abuse.
    To even suggest that an adult serially abusing children (even in a "mild" way) is something that should not be condemned is disgusting.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. I agree. Reactions to the same or similar life event may carry different gravities of pain for different folks.

    At the same time, please recognize differences. Getting groped on the subway = / = being raped as a child. It just isn't the same.

    It's Dawkins. Try to pay attention, though you've never heard of him prior to the Fluffington Post.

    Some people are just too fucking sensitive. I notice that oftentimes it's Americans who complain the most vociferously. How about personing up? (OK, I coined that).

    Any statement about atheism or challenging man's concept of a god will seem controversial, because you (I'm guessing), like most of us bipedal ants on this dirtball, choose to believe in the Spirit in the Sky. Some of us are more scientific in our thinking and don't blindly swallow whatever pabulum is force-fed us in childhood. We have grown up, you see.

    Project much? He's a scientist. He does not have a "shtick'. I know this is a very abstruse concept for you to grasp. He is not one of the celebutards you're more accustomed to reading about. Do you pound nails with that head?

    How come you're so easily offended?
    Try some introspection sometime. It won't hurt... much.
  12. Anonymous Member

  13. Right, which makes you both extremists, and maybe should both STFU? LOL
    I don't think you really know what's in Dawkins' head, though you try.
    E for effort, F for fail.
    This is your opinion. I don't believe he was being dismissive at all.
    Your TR-3 is outstanding, PASS.
    There are a lot of people who lived through this and a lot worse, and they don't carp on and whine about it. Were you abused as a child?
    To even think for a moment that a 'born-again' like yourself could give Dawkins a fair day in your court is too much for anyone, even the mythical Jesus, to believe.

    You should have put a bias disclaimer in your post.
    I don't in mine, because what religion proposes is utterly ridiculous on its face, and sophistry and hypocrisy as one delves deeper. There is, by contrast, a solid, scientific basis for atheism.

    Have a nice Universe.
  14. Butthurt?
  15. Anonymous Member

    He stated it had no lasting effect and, presumably, you are not disagreeing with that. So why append the bold above to your comment as your way to, yet again, attack something he didn’t say? What’s the point of doing that?
    As a general rule it is a courtesy of debate to do just that, otherwise we end up attacking strawmen, mischaracterisation and misrepresentations that do not reflect the opinion of the person we are discussing.
    And here you are, yet again, choosing to interpret what he wrote in the least charitable manner possible. As I asked above - what’s the point of doing that? So you can get in your moral indignation? What’s the point.
    Presumably, as is implied in the article, he talked to them. I am somewhat bemused as to your assistance that he (and, by extension they) are lying. Again – what’s the point?
    Clearly, from your words here, I have little reason to suspect that you such an expert either.

    As I wrote in my rant previously (although, to be fair, it wasn’t obvious it was the same poster) it is the physical act but the domination, the challenge to a person’s self-worth, etc. that leads to the harm. From the description Dawkins has given, which for reasons that baffle me you seem determined not to take at his word despite no fucking evidence to the contrary, there was no psychological aspect to what occurred to him. Whether a kid is raped, beaten, locked in a cupboard or whatever - it is the control forced over them and the psychological aspects that appear to cause the harm. This isn’t something a ‘layman’ (to use your phrase) who is utterly unfamiliar with damaging abuse understands.
    Now this is just way off-base and a gross distortion of the comments the article attributed to him. What’s the point of distorting his comments like this? I don’t get it.
  16. mongrel Member

    Hey guys did you hear about.............oh........

    xag0VWs.gif
    • Like Like x 2
  17. CarterUSP Member

    As I already commented, Dawkins actually called it "mild pedophilia" - he acknowledged it as abuse. He then actually said he didn't think it had any lasting effect.
    - Dawkins is a not a trained psychologist. Dawkins is not an expert on how abuse affects a child long term.
    - Abuse, especially at an early age, can have long lasting, deep, hidden effects.
    - Therefore he has no right to make ANY claim that known abuse did not affect a group of people that he knew had had spoken to. Not only is it illogical, but also very irresponsible.
    Courtesy yes, but there is a limit.
    If some man jumps out on me with a gun and tells me to give him my money or he will shoot me, shall I give him the most charitable interpretation of what he said until we can enter into further debate? Or shall I call it what it is, until any evidence to the contraty is offered?

    I appreciate the point you're making here - about trying not to come into a debate with assumptions, with taking care not to attribute that which wasn't said to someone who didn't say it, to avoid getting whipped up into the emotional frenzy of ths issue and falling into logical fallacies etc. I get that. But I don't have the time, inclination or opportunity to deeply discuss, debate, investigate and deconstruct every newspaper article I read. Yes I will be careful to look for actual quote and not hearsay, for selective reporting, for political bias, for manipulative use of emotional language etc. But, until I am offered evidence to the contrary, I will call it as it comes.

    Anon, you write intelligently elsewhere in your post but this one is naive and falls into a number of traps:
    You argue that I am saying things that Dawkins didn't say yet try this on me? You accuse me of accusing Dakwins of lying. Not true, I didn't say it, that is an assumption, an 'uncharitable' interpretation of my words, an unnecessary attack... etc
    Again, Dawkins lacks this expertise. Surely you understand that a common response to abuse or any trauma is denial? A common coping method is to deny that an event took place, to deny that it had any effect, to belittle the consequences of it...
    Yes yes yes! The psychological control and domination is a major factor in this, I'm glad you make that point - this is important.
    Yet somehow you then assume (despite no f-ing evidence to the contrary) that "there we no psychological aspect to what occured to him".
    An adult put his hand inside a child's shorts and touched him - an adult acted in such a way that the child's body was fair game, that it could be intimately touched or interected with at the behest of an outsider. How possibly could this not have any psychological effect?
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Pretty much in complete agreement with you, CUSP.

    Dawkins is an eminent scientist and thinker. How he could have published such a shoddy piece is a mystery to me - it smacks of the ivory-towerism that has led many others in eminent positions to pontificate about matters outside their field without much, if any, of the insight one might expect from someone in such positions.

    His view is identical to all those fine gentleman of previous generations who insisted that beatings never did them any harm. If such opinion prevailed, children would still be subject to beatings in schools today (as I was, with tiresome regularity, when I was a kid).

    If groping kids entrusted to your care didn't cause any harm back then, why should anyone make a fuss about it happening now? That is the logical consequence of Dawkins' argument.

    Any efforts to dissect such arguments is to be applauded - with just as much passion for the truth as Dawkins has shown within his own fields of expertise.

    At best, his opinion might be regarded as a warning against hysterical overreaction, but it is so clumsily expressed as to be worthless.

    He's a good lad, Dawkins. Who knows what he might have achieved if he hadn't been molested as a kid.;)
    • Like Like x 2
  19. Random guy Member

    It obviously had an effect on him, since he still remember it many years later. The question is whether it had a lasting damaging effect. The way I understand Dawkins is that it did not. You are at liberty to disagree with him, I for one believe he knows his own mind well enough to make that assessment.

    Children are as different from each other as adults are. Some are robust and can go through hell and come out fairly unscatched, others will spend their whole life coming to terms with having been been told "no" in a stern voice at the wrong occasion. What type of experience will trigger lifelong emotional trauma varies, the same does the age at which the experience take place. The social context is also extremely important.

    Mild sexual abuse like Dawkins describe do not always lead to lasting psychological trauma in children, but it will often do so, hence it is illegal. Do not project the absolutism of morality and law into the extremely complex and variable functions of the human mind.
    • Like Like x 2
  20. OK, Random Guy, but Dawkins' piece is nothing more than the kind of anecdotal 'evidence' that he, in common with most scientists, would regard as worthless. He would be entirely right in that assessment.
  21. Random guy Member

    When there is no useful statistics, anecdotes is all we have to go by. That goes for science too. I am sure Dawkins would tell you his sample of one is not sufficient to draw any conclusion on commonality of different psychological reactions, bit it does allow us to draw the conclusion that light sexual abuse will not automatically lead to lifelong psychological trauma.

    Now, Dawkins have a sample that is larger than one, as he appears to have talked with others he went to school with. I personally know a couple of people who have come unscatched through similar experiences. On the other hand, I know a similar number of people who do have traumas from (what I would consider) similar events. Again, my numbers are too small to draw any useful interference on commonality, but at least it shows that Dawkins case is not unique, and it also show why abusing children should still remain unlawful.
  22. Anonymous Member

    This is bizarre. You are, in essence, claiming that people cannot know their own mind is such circumstances. Moreover, given that the sentiment expressed seems to have come from a group of people (taking Dawkins’ at his word), you are going further to brand an entire group of people as being utterly unreliable as to the state of their own mind.

    Think about what you just did here. Nothing is being endorsed here or being claimed that such should not be allowed to happen. All that is being claimed is that ‘X’ happened and the result was not ‘Y’. In your apparent zeal regarding this issue you are fully prepared to brand an entire set of people completely unreliable to give an accounting of their own minds (as it pertains to harms) when it comes to this issue.

    Ffs you are trying to claim that Dawkins’ recounting of something that happened to HIM and him giving HIS interpretation of that is an incorrect interpretation – despite no evidence in the dude’s behaviour that evidences lasting harm. To completely and wantonly dismiss group testimony in this way, particularly given an utter absence of evidence to the contrary and that the only data point we have (Dawkins’ himself) doesn’t appear to have suffered harm, is (to use your phrase) illogical and irresponsible. A protip for you: moral indignation =/= being logical.
    You do realise that the fact you had to reach for such an extreme analogy here kind of demonstrates just how uncharitable you seem prepared to go with Dawkins’ comments. In the scenario you describe you have additional evidence (the gin and the physical act of jumping on you). In the present case you have the evidence of Dawkins’ himself appearing not fucking up.
    So you, apparently, get the point regarding not coming to this with assumptions and how care should be taken not to false attribute things not said and that care should be taken not to get whipped up and how logical fallacies should be avoid….but don’t seem to have gotten that point sufficiently to have avoided falsely attributing things not said (something I’ve called you out for doing) or for falling for logical fallacies (take your pick – false analogy, false equivalency, fallacy of the excluded middle, false generalisation, etc.).
    Because moral indignation is just so much more satisfying for the quick fix huh? The line about ‘evidence to the contrary’ seems utterly bizarre and, frankly, is just another logical fallacy in a long line. Let’s explore why it’s a fallacy.

    You have no evidence whatsoever, and you can look at all the pages of research you care for in a vain and hopeless search to find it, that what Dawkins’ describes as ‘mild abuse’ always leads to harm. That very premise is at the heart and core of your argumentation – the claim that such ‘mild abuse’ always and inextricably leads to harm.

    When Dawkins’ claims I experienced ‘X’ and it did not lead to ‘Y’, on what basis are you challenging that? It can’t be the person himself being fucked up since there appears no evidence of fucked-up-ness, and the leading of a highly successful academic and public life I would think constitutes strong evidence against the fucked-up-ness. So on what other basis are you challenging this claim? You are doing so on your unspoken premise that the occurrence of X always leads to Y, a premise with no support in the research literature whatsoever.

    This context makes the claim “until I am offered evidence to the contrary” a highly pernicious fallacy. On the hand you are making a public statement to be receptive to evidence, but in reality all it has done is to cover up your use of a blatant evidence-free research-unsupported premise that (in a completely shifting of the burden of proof) you expect others to rebuke for you. There is no one fallacy here – it’s a toxic mix of them all dressed up to seem reasonable.
    You are indeed accusing Dawkins’ of lying. This is demonstrated in the very follow-up in your posting:
    Surely you understand that a common response to abuse or any trauma is denial? A common coping method is to deny that an event took place, to deny that it had any effect, to belittle the consequences of it...

    You’re challenging what Dawkins’ wrote, and the method of doing such is to claim he lacks expertise or is in denial or is belittling consequences. Each of these constitutes a reason that you are offering for why Dawkins’ is lying (lying does not, afaiaa, require intentionality btw).

    Surely you can follow this logic. If I present argumentation that person X is conveying untrue information or an untrue interpretation, and I also present reasons to explain the conveyance of those untruths – then how I am not accusing X of lying???
    Are you fucking kidding me???? Are you seriously trying to fucking claim that the person who had this happen to them, in their own fucking words as first-hand testimony, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE EVIDENCE AS TO THE NATURE OF THAT ACT????? Are you fucking kidding me????

    No, that is not the logical consequence of his argument because the first portion of what you wrote is not an accurate reflection of the argument he presented – but you would have to have read the argument with a fair eye to have seen that.
    Do you think the fallacious, illogical and misrepresentative dross that has been offered so far to dissect the argument should also be ‘applauded’?
    This is the type of comment that bemuses me. It contains within it such a gross miscomprehension of the context that led to Dawkins’ interview and comments in the first place that it practically self-refutes itself.

    Consider this:
    Anecdotes and plausibility arguments, however, need to be backed up by systematic research, and I would be interested to hear from psychologists whether there is real evidence bearing on the question. My expectation would be that violent, painful, repeated sexual abuse, especially by a family member such as a father or grandfather, probably has a more damaging effect on a child’s mental well-being than sincerely believing in hell. But ‘sexual abuse’ covers a wide spectrum of sins, and I suspect that research would show belief in hell to be more traumatic than the sort of mild feeling-up that I suffered.

    I know this is an emotive topic but, seriously folks, that is no excuse for the shitty argumentation on offer here. If you folks were so correct and right on this issue then, surely, you wouldn’t have to be trotting out the fallacies nor having to misrepresent or uncharitably interpret his words would you? Just a thought.
    • Like Like x 1
  23. The man on the cross... There was no Christ.

    Even Hubbard knew that.
  24. Anonymous Member

    I think the definition of "mild pedophelia" would be, "sexualized contact between an adult and a child with no serious injury to the child's subsequent development."

    Therefore, arguing about whether damage happened or not in the case of mild pedophelia is a bit silly. Perhaps people are really arguing that there is no such thing as mild pedophelia. That, to me, seems a difficult position to defend. Surely there must be a range of severity and a range of consequences.
  25. Anonymous Member

    Dawkins chooses to not condemn molestation under certain circumstances.
    He pronounces it as 'mild' under certain circumstances. The conclusion is if people are damaged by 'mild' molestation then they are not as strong as he is.
  26. Anonymous Member

    There is no such thing as "mild" pedophilia, it is shocking that you would think that.
    • Like Like x 1
  27. Anonymous Member

    So wrong that I doubt a refutation would help.
  28. Anonymous Member

    Arguing about peodphilia is not "silly" under any circumstances. It is shocking that you would think that.
  29. Anonymous Member

    The mispresumptions in that post, I mean, rather what Dawkins actually said.
  30. Anonymous Member

    You could choose to define mild molestation as you did, you can't define the actor as 'mild' as you did because you don't know what he did to other children. Logical fallacy.
  31. Anonymous Member

    Reading comprehension fail.
  32. Anonymous Member

    Reading comprehension fail.
  33. Anonymous Member

    All right then. Is there such a thing as "moderate" pedophelia? Or is the damage done to the child always "11" in every case?
  34. Anonymous Member

    While I agree with the point your definition is making here, I do find it very problematic to define anything like this in terms of impact on others. A real world example of where defining in terms of impact is a clusterfuck are obscenity laws, where the entire premise of legislating for people being offended just fails horribly. Different people will react differently, and what one person may shrug of another may not be able to – something which imo makes your approach a problematic one when trying to coin a definition.
    Apparently not if some of the comments ITT are anything to go by. What you say here SHOULD be bloody obvious if not outright trivial, but when it comes to this topic you better not take anything for granted.
  35. Only want to address those points of my own which Anon quoted:

    Dawkins claims that reactions to child molestation today are overblown. He says that his teacher touching his genitals did him no lasting harm, and his former schoolmates who were similarly molested agree with his view.

    What is the inference he is asking us to draw from the above, when taken together? -- that mild sexual assaults cause no lasting harm, and that we shouldn't make such a fuss if it happened today.

    If you heard such statements from some guy down the pub, you could take it or leave it. But hearing it from the man who was the Oxford Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, it just will not do.


    It is truly bizarre for Dawkins to juxtapose those two scenarios - the sexual molestation of children and the belief in Hell. Of course, he does so in pursuit of a specific agenda, but I find it distasteful for that reason. infra dig, even, whether or not you happen to agree (as I do) that teaching children that they will burn in Hell if they are bad is indeed a form of child abuse.

    But, that aside, I fail to see the reason for your bemusement. Do you disagree that Dawkins has offered nothing more than anecdote? Do you disagree that he asks us to draw the inference I mentioned?

    Or, do you disagree that, as a scientist, he would not accept the kind of anecdotes he offers as evidence of anything? He's the one making the claims, and he ought to provide some actual evidence to back up those claims - not, as he has done, pontificate and speculate, while inviting others to provide the proofs.

    Let me add something we haven't touched upon. Here is Mr Dawkins, relating the tale of a teacher who has molested a number of pupils and claiming it did them no harm. If this is true, it is likely that the teacher did not stop at such 'mild' molestations, and had probably molested between 200-400 other children (average estimate).

    http://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoma...gs-You-Need-to-Know-About-Child-Molesters.htm

    Don't you find it a tad suspicious that he trots out this tale, apparently oblivious to such a probability? Does the interview give you a clear impression that he knows what he's talking about? Has he bothered to find out what grooming is?
    • Like Like x 3
  36. CarterUSP Member

    That's an extremely uncharitable look at my view. Do you dispute the idea that trauma can be suppressed? Do you dispute the idea that abused people can often downplay or dismiss the effect of the trauma as a coping mechanism? Not the use of the word "can", I didn't says "always".
    Straw man alert.
    The issue here, let me clarify, is this: I assert that Dawkins cannot state with certainty that the abuse had no effect on others. I did not say that it definitely did, I did not say that everyone is lying and don't know their own mind. I argue that Dawkins cannot reliably know what he claims about others. You are responding to something different.
    I expected better from you.
    Repeating a straw man argument doesn't lend it any strength.

    I actually agree with a lot of the points you make, and your response would certainly clearly, decisively and rigourously refute the claim that I didn't make. Should I encounter anyone in the future who claims that Dawkins and his pals are 'definitely lying and don't know their own minds' I'll be sure to send them your way. You will handle them very well.

    Anyway, there's probably little milage in continuing this, neither of us is likely to sway the other. So to save us both from the mutual logical nitpicking that eventually descends into name calling, I shall bid you a good day.
    • Like Like x 1
  37. CarterUSP Member

    Well put.
    I'd like your post a hundred times if I could.
  38. Anonymous Member

    Imagine a culture which believes a voodoo curse is real. Some voodoo practitioner then openly curses a child in a way that makes the child think he's going to suffer some vague harm for years to come.

    Now, imagine a culture that thinks voodoo is bollocks. A strange person on a street corner then says to a child, "A voodoo curse upon you! May you grow sickly and suffer ill fortune!" His father laughs and says, "Don't worry about that; you'll be fine.

    So I ask: If a child is touched on his inner thigh by an adult, backs away and says, "what are you doing?" and the adult stops, is that more likely to do lasting emotional damage

    a) within a culture that firmly believes pedophelia invariably causes lasting psychological damage
    b) within a culture that takes the pedo problem as a spectrum of severity.
  39. Anonymous Member

    He did no such thing, but you would have to read his comments to see that.

    I’ll spoon-fed you: “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.”

    The bolded portion indicates that he would indeed condemn the act today, in complete contradiction to what you have asserted above. Applying your logic you should also conclude that Dawkins’ finds claims of racism to be similarly overblown, and it was be just as false for the same reasoning given here.
    If Dawkins’ claim that he and his schoolmates did not suffer damage is true then it’s true. If you want to accuse Dawkins’ of generalising here to other cases then you’ll need to show where he in fact did that. I’ll save you the hassle: he didn’t do that, you imagined it and then used this fabrication to attack him.

    The fact that your claim that Dawkins’ is inferring that we shouldn’t make a fuss if it happened today is in complete contradiction to his own word’s as bolded previously should have clued you in to the possibility you have gone wrong somewhere. If you want to challenge what a person is saying, and the truth/falsity of that, you kind of have to pay attention to what that person actually said.
    Why will it not do? Because you seem so determined to misrepresent his words? Because your moral indignation is fucking poor excuse for reading comprehension?
    This is interesting. It seems that your motivating factor here is that you find his argumentation distasteful, rather than said argumentation being false.
    No, I do not.
    Yes I do, for the reasons mentioned in this post. It is a very poor showing on your part that, thus far, you haven’t even come close to articulate in any reasonable fashion the argument he is making.

    And it’s not even a difficult argument to grasp either. He is saying that abuse exists in a spectrum, from very severe and damaging to very mild and non-damaging. He is describing his expectation that it may be possible that the damage caused by indoctrination may exceed that of what he and his classmates experienced – and he asks if those within the relevant research fields have evidence that could shed light on this. This is not a difficult nor particularly deep argument – so what is your excuse for being apparently unable (or unwilling) to represent it accurately?
    The portion you quoted just before you wrote this is so completely at odds with your representation of it that it beggars belief.

    If you cannot see the difference between what have written here the following then, frankly, I think you’ve got much more issues than Dawkins’ has:
    Anecdotes and plausibility arguments, however, need to be backed up by systematic research, and I would be interested to hear from psychologists whether there is real evidence bearing on the question. My expectation would be that violent, painful, repeated sexual abuse, especially by a family member such as a father or grandfather, probably has a more damaging effect on a child’s mental well-being than sincerely believing in hell. But ‘sexual abuse’ covers a wide spectrum of sins, and I suspect that research would show belief in hell to be more traumatic than the sort of mild feeling-up that I suffered.
    There is another implication here if what Dawkins’ wrote is true – that your disagreement with him is misplaced and inaccurate? Just sayin’.
    I don’t find it suspicious in any way shape of form. The reason I don’t find it suspicious is that I recognise the context within which the comments were made, and how those comments fit into the larger argument he has made in his written works historically. If the context of the interview was about prevalence of child abuse or similar then I would have expected the type of statistics and related discussion to arise – but since the context wasn’t that (something you really know) then it didn’t come up.
    Given the premise you used to set this question up, the answer is yes. Remember that you started this whole line of reasoning with the premise “If this [Dawkins’ anecdote] is true”? The only way your question above could be ‘no’ is if you believe it is possible for a person to state a true thing or true account and simultaneously not know what they are talking about. It’s a logical contradiction.
    Be consistent. If you are going to start this whole line of reasoning with assuming his anecdote was true, then wouldn’t the lack of harm indicate that the anecdote did not involve a groomer?

    Logical contradictions aside, try and consider how interviews work. Generally a large body of disparate topics are covered very quickly. Complaining that highly specific points, that were either tangential or irrelevant to the main body of the interview, were not covered in huge depth would be very silly. Given this, can you see who your question here is highly misplaced?
  40. Anonymous Member

    Traumas can be suppressed. But, in the absence of any evidence in the present case, your invoking of this fully justifies my complaint that “You are, in essence, claiming that people cannot know their own mind is such circumstances.”
    You have to explain why something is a strawman in order for it to be a response. Ust sayin’.
    The first sentence above can be dismissed since, by employing the very same shoddy reasoning, you can argue that nobody can be certain of anything.

    The second is a very different claim, and I would argue that Dawkins’ can indeed reliably know what he has stated about his classmates (due to having experience what they did and having talked to them about it).

    The subtle change from “cannot be certain” into “cannot reliably know” isn’t something to be ignored, and very illustrative that leaps of logic that cannot be justified are being made on your part. You may expect better of me all you want, but it doesn’t make the sort of logical mistakes I have highlighted above disappear.
    Again, you have to explain why something is a strawman in order to use the claim of strawman in an argument. Let’s take the two claims referenced here and see if they really were strawman.

    IF you claim someone is making an untrue claim/interpretation AND offer reasons to explain why the person is mistaken THEN you are indeed claiming that person is lying.

    IF the claims made by some people regarding a given incident, claims WHICH rely on an accurate knowing of their own minds, AND said claims are challenged AND reasons for why those people are not accurate about their own minds (trauma, memory suppression, coping mechanism) THEN the implication is that said people do not know their own minds to a sufficient accuracy.

    Nope, neither of these look to be strawmen to me.

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