Dawkins and criticism.
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17-12-2014, 01:39 PM
Dawkins and criticism.
Wow. Worst thread subject ever.

It's been a while since this "issue" was last brought up and it's been bothering me a bit so here it goes.

What do you think about all the criticism on Richard Dawkins' comments on issues such as feminism, Islam and abortion?

I feel like I'm the only one who seems to get his points. Why do people, even atheists, get so butthurt about such things? One thing I always liked about Dawkins is that he speaks his mind. Why should he censor himself just because people consider him influential?
It's quite hypocritical to attack him for being a misogynistic, heartless asshole because of a couple of tweets when it's glaringly obvious that he is not.

Why would a person here in the forum talking this way be excused, while Dawkins is harshly criticized (even though everyone knows what he means but he just doesn't word it properly) just because he's influential?

I can't help but cringe at all the "I like Dawkins, but", "Good scientist, but an asshole" and "He used to be my idol, I'm so disappointed". At the end of the day, no one should be idolized and no one should be looking for "the perfect atheist" to look up to.

And all that aside, I didn't consider any of his comments misogynistic, insensitive or uninformed. Badly worded? Sure (let us not forget that most of those comments were on twitter, which has a word limit). Enough to make him a despicable person? Not even close.

I'm not trying to say he's the perfect human being, but jeez, the reactions are ridiculous.

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17-12-2014, 01:51 PM
RE: Dawkins and criticism.
I barely follow anything regarding Dawkins, so I can't really comment directly on anything he's said or that's been said about him.

I get the impression that a lot of this is born out of theists assuming atheists are somehow this big, cohesive group. Because Dawkins is such a prominent atheist, a lot of theists seem to view him as a figure head of all atheism. This leads to them criticizing him to criticize atheism, and probably a lot of atheists trying to distance themselves from him in response.
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17-12-2014, 02:00 PM
RE: Dawkins and criticism.
I've heard controversy over things he says, but never actually seen them. Can you link to some of the statements people tend to get angry over?

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17-12-2014, 02:03 PM
RE: Dawkins and criticism.
(17-12-2014 02:00 PM)CleverUsername Wrote:  I've heard controversy over things he says, but never actually seen them. Can you link to some of the statements people tend to get angry over?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people...34572.html

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/...rome-tweet

http://www.inquisitr.com/1536943/atheist...-her-time/

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17-12-2014, 02:04 PM
RE: Dawkins and criticism.
(17-12-2014 01:39 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  (even though everyone knows what he means but he just doesn't word it properly)

I think that's the key. I've cringed at some of what he's put out not because I don't understand what he's trying to say but because he's presenting what needs to be a detailed, nuanced argument in a tweet. Without the context of the entire argument it sounds bad and that gives theists ammunition.

Atheists understand that everything he says can be questioned but theists often don't grasp that "prominent atheist" isn't the same as "authoritative atheist". That makes it seem reasonable for them to dismiss all atheists and their arguments based on a misunderstood sound bite and that makes it harder for all of us.

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17-12-2014, 02:06 PM
RE: Dawkins and criticism.
Dawkins is a human being like everyone else. I can only say if one is going to disagree with him they have to take into account he knows much more about evolution than any of us.

I don't think he'd ever frown on questioning him. I would say he'd have every right to call bullshit if you countered his arguments with invisible sky heros or unicorns or Harry Potter.

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17-12-2014, 02:15 PM
RE: Dawkins and criticism.
Quote:he's presenting what needs to be a detailed, nuanced argument in a tweet.

Nuance in a tweet? Interesting concept.

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17-12-2014, 02:18 PM
RE: Dawkins and criticism.
(17-12-2014 02:15 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote:he's presenting what needs to be a detailed, nuanced argument in a tweet.

Nuance in a tweet? Interesting concept.

he's presenting what needs to be a detailed, nuanced argument [but instead he puts it out] in a tweet

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17-12-2014, 02:19 PM
RE: Dawkins and criticism.
I can see why people are not happy about his comments on rape. I think how bad a rape was isn't for others to decide. Saying one rape is worse than another (even if for some reason it's true) minimizes the legitimate feelings of pain and suffering victims of rape should be allowed to feel, process,and deal with.

It's almost like saying "you really shouldn't feel that bad, at least you weren't raped by a stranger". For the record, I don't necessarily agree with him here. I'd think being raped by someone you possibly knew and were close to/trusted would be worse. We all have our own opinions though. I like the man, but I don't have to agree with everything he says. I also don't have to write him off completely because I don't agree with everything he says.

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17-12-2014, 02:35 PM
RE: Dawkins and criticism.
(17-12-2014 02:19 PM)Smercury44 Wrote:  I can see why people are not happy about his comments on rape. I think how bad a rape was isn't for others to decide. Saying one rape is worse than another (even if for some reason it's true) minimizes the legitimate feelings of pain and suffering victims of rape should be allowed to feel, process,and deal with.

It's almost like saying "you really shouldn't feel that bad, at least you weren't raped by a stranger". For the record, I don't necessarily agree with him here. I'd think being raped by someone you possibly knew and were close to/trusted would be worse. We all have our own opinions though. I like the man, but I don't have to agree with everything he says. I also don't have to write him off completely because I don't agree with everything he says.

That is how most people reacted to that.

He did reply to those telling him that he was "belittling" rape, and the most important part of his reply was this:

Quote:There should be no rivalry in victimhood, and I’m sorry I once said something similar to American women complaining of harassment, inviting them to contemplate the suffering of Muslim women by comparison. But maybe you get the point? If we wish to insist (in the face of judicial practice everywhere) that all examples of a sexual crime are exactly equally bad, perhaps we need to look more carefully at exactly who is belittling what.

The whole story needs a lot of context which I cannot mention here because of forum rules. If you actually look it up and see his replies to all the accusations, what he says makes sense. He really didn't mean it that way.

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