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Richard Dawkins under fire for comments about rape

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posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 11:54 AM
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I've never been a big fan of Dawkins' work however I do lend him some of my respect for his field of work, and he will continue to have it so long as he doesn't capitulate and offer an apology for his words. He said nothing wrong in my opinion.




posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 11:56 AM
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a reply to: InTheLight

First of all it tells me using conservapedia as a source is a really bad plan.

When he published scientific papers he includes research ( i don't believe he has published in journals for some time but happy to be corrected). When he gives an opinion or publishes a non science book he doesn't. Not sure why anyone would have problem with this unless they have another reason for disliking him.

on the subject of this threat i don't 100% agree with him but I do think his opinion is a perfectly valid one to have.



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 12:03 PM
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originally posted by: ScepticScot
a reply to: InTheLight

First of all it tells me using conservapedia as a source is a really bad plan.

When he published scientific papers he includes research ( i don't believe he has published in journals for some time but happy to be corrected). When he gives an opinion or publishes a non science book he doesn't. Not sure why anyone would have problem with this unless they have another reason for disliking him.

on the subject of this threat i don't 100% agree with him but I do think his opinion is a perfectly valid one to have.


So you consider the source when I post something, but not when Dawkins' does, that's telling. Anyway, you are free to accept his ill logic, just as I am free to not accept it.

jezebel.com...



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 12:19 PM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost




A backlash of abuse on Twitter followed a tweet where Dawkins suggested that “mild date rape” is not as bad as violent rape. He goes on to say that anyone who thinks the comparison is an endorsement of date rape should “go away and learn how to think”.


I agree with Dawkins, there was no endorsement of date rape.
But suggesting that "Date rape" isn't violent? As he certainly does
here, by setting date rape apart from "Violent rape". Is crackers,
because rape is a violent crime no matter what degree.

Then he seems to jump at the first opportunity to bring pedophilia
into the conversation? But I'm gonna credit him and say we all mouth
off with confidence when we've been hit'n the sauce.

He friggen had to be toasted to mess up so bad.

edit on Rpm73114v332014u06 by randyvs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 12:23 PM
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a reply to: InTheLight

I criticised conservapedia as a source for your claim that Dawkins does not use research. As i stated before agree or disagree with his point of view but base it on the claim not an inaccurate rightwing view if who Dawkins is.



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 12:31 PM
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originally posted by: InTheLight

originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: InTheLight

Why does he need to collect data on the topic anyways? Why would he need to talk to rape victims to come to the conclusion that some rape is worse than others? It's clearly obvious, if you are drugged and passed out while getting raped, the emotional toll would be less than if someone forced you down with a knife and raped you while you are conscious. Not to mention, there is a widely held belief in America that male rape either doesn't exist or is even made fun of when people talk about going to prison.

You can also look at legal precedent to gain this opinion. Like I've stated earlier in the thread, other crimes (murder being one of them) have different legal severities with the penalties for each being different depending on the situation (1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree murder). In the case of murder, the victim is still dead. They aren't in a different state of being dead. Dead is dead, but we still look at the actions of the perpetrator to determine the severity of the event. Therefore, the mentality of the victim who was raped would be just one part of a puzzle when determining if different types of rape are more severe.

ETA: To be honest, I would say that interviewing or talking to rape victims about this would be a bad idea. Talking to them can lead to emotional toll and you could end up sympathizing with them and skew the results of your claim because of your own emotions.


Not unless you were a well educated and trained scientist in that field.


??? What part of that three paragraph post that I made is this one liner referring to?



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 12:34 PM
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a reply to: randyvs

I think the problem with his tweet as it treats the whole crime as rape. If rape at knifepoint is worse than date rape it is because there is an additional threat of harm rather than the rape itself being worse. All rape should be viewed as the crime it is but that shouldn't prevent a judgement on what else was involved such as threats of death or other harm.

i think the severity of the overall crime can vary, not so much the rape itself.



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 12:56 PM
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originally posted by: ScepticScot
a reply to: randyvs

I think the problem with his tweet as it treats the whole crime as rape. If rape at knifepoint is worse than date rape it is because there is an additional threat of harm rather than the rape itself being worse. All rape should be viewed as the crime it is but that shouldn't prevent a judgement on what else was involved such as threats of death or other harm.

i think the severity of the overall crime can vary, not so much the rape itself.


Seems like you're just calling attention to an obvious, universal fact of life tho.
There are various degrees of any action aren't there?



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 01:05 PM
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a reply to: randyvs

I agree. Very few things are an absolute. However i think some of the criticism of Dawkins seems based round a view that rape is an absolute regardless of what else happened to the victim. Where i disagree with Dawkins is in his generalisation and i think "date rape" is a particularly unhelpful and misleading term.



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 01:47 PM
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originally posted by: ScepticScot
a reply to: randyvs

I think the problem with his tweet as it treats the whole crime as rape. If rape at knifepoint is worse than date rape it is because there is an additional threat of harm rather than the rape itself being worse. All rape should be viewed as the crime it is but that shouldn't prevent a judgement on what else was involved such as threats of death or other harm.

i think the severity of the overall crime can vary, not so much the rape itself.


Hmm, tricky one for me when I think of the sexual acts I mentioned previously that I was forced into through fear and domination by two different females in my life. I am male.

Apologies for the following depth of detail but it appears mainly in society that females dismiss any idea of dominant women forcing men into sex when they don't want it. It is real no matter how rare.

The first was when I was 17 and my first decent job after nearly 6 months sleeping on the streets as a vulnerable runaway when I was 16.
50 something fat and leather-faced predatory female director of the company grabbed me in the stationary store and kissed me forcing her tongue into my throat, I threw her off me and she was raging, threatening to call the police accusing me of sexual assult if I didn't comply. Words like 'you'll go to prison and back to sleeping on the streets so just do as I say or I will ruin your life' classic power dominance, I was terrified of going to prison and being accused of something I didn't do so when ordered to take my trousers down I didn't push her away again.
I hated it, I didn't want to do it, and only performed because I was scared, and the only way I managed it was by closing down into my head with eyes shut and pretending I was with someone else.
I was effectively owned by this woman for a while and complied through fear until I found work elsewhere.
Was that rape? Turn it around, change our genders around and I'm sure we would all consider a vulnerable 17 year old girl being blackmailed to have sex by a 50 something employer who is controlling them through fear as rape.

The second was aged 20/21 when I was involved in a very dark underground drug/violence social circle and an alpha female in the circle (who I thought was a friend I could trust) suddenly turned it on it's head one night at a party wanting us to have sex. I pushed her off because the ultra violent alpha male in the group was under the impression that she was his partner, no way did I want to risk a severe beating or much worse.
She then turned off-her-head nasty and threatened to tell him we had sex even if we didn't, so I may as well # her because if he thinks I have I'm #ed anyway, so just do it. Again I complied through fear of a threat, this time it was violence. I did not want to have sex with her but did not resist, and when erectile tissue responded to my blackmailer I complied and did as she wanted.
Again, switch our genders around and consider a girl feeling she has no other choice but to have sex with a man who is threatening that she will be knifed/glassed/beaten or whatever by someone else if she doesn't comply then do we not consider that rape? Sex obtained through fear and control?

Now if the argument is that rape is sex either physically forced without consent, or while unconscious, or through compliance forced through fear of a threat, then my experiences were both rape, no matter how unusual you may think female on male rape is, it is rape when a person says no to sex but then is forced to comply through fear.

So, if you say rape is rape and always of equal severity, then consider that I would choose my own rape experiences again before being held down by 3 or 4 men ignoring my cries for them to stop. And thinking of that horrible example I would choose being raped by the same men while drugged and waking up with no memories or injuries over being forced while conscious.
Of course rape has different levels of severity which will damage us physically and psychologically/emotionally to differing degrees, but if you disregard my forced sex through fear by two different women in my life then you are arguing that 'rape is rape' but not if the dominant aggressor is receiving the penetration.
I call that contradictory, but hey what do I know, I'm just a bloke sharing my own anecdotal stories.

*Edit*
ScepticScot, just to clarify, everytime I used 'you' in this reply I meant 'anyone reading this' not you personally.
edit on 31-7-2014 by grainofsand because: (no reason given)

edit on 31-7-2014 by grainofsand because: Typo this time... 'severety' to 'severity'



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 07:33 PM
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a reply to: beezzer its not the same as having your hand hit with a hammer. That comparison only works if its rape that causes physical pain and physical damage and not all rape does. Psychological responce to rape depends on how that person views rape as well as how others around them react. Obviously a person with their worst fear is being raped if they get raped they will be even more effected for any kind of rape than they would if they saw different kinds of rape as different levels of severity. Does that help?


originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic
He did not tell rape victims to shut up! You're making things up now.
im not making anything up. I was paraphrasing. He told them to "go away" which really isnt different much from telling them to shut up. He also told them to learn to think which means he thinks his thought is superior and that they are idiots. Its not about needing to learn to think its that peoples social and emotional reactions prevent rational questioning of such reactions and he by no means conveyed that.



posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 12:39 PM
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a reply to: ScepticScot

I just find it hard to be opportunistic and chastise anyone
for a G-D tweet. He could have been leaving the hotel bar
on his way up to his room or anything. I don't see any official
statement here. Not even a clarification of his stance on the
subject for the sake of only that conversation. So it isn't even
hard for me to defend this guy at all. My opposition to his
views and his attitude towards mine. Don't have the first
thing to do with it. I mean just for the record Scot, not that
you insinuated any such thing.

edit on Rpm80114v462014u30 by randyvs because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: randyvs

I think the tweet concept is stupid...it's just a way for mindless bombs being thrown on purpose or not on purpose...

Anyone who gets their ass handed to them for a tweet deserves it...

Another form of "social media" that dumbs down the population...



posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 12:49 PM
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a reply to: coastlinekid




nother form of "social media" that dumbs down the population...


I do agree.




posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 12:59 PM
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a reply to: coastlinekid
I agree.
I often see people on ATS emotionally chewing their teeth into one sentence or single word choice of a reasonably explained post, even when the thrust of the message is obviously not what the person replying is being a drama queen about.
I can see why it is even worse on a communicative tool which enables expression in only 140 characters of text.

It is why I often type an essay when I'm making a point, and choose my words carefully to avoid those silly and emotional people who probably hate me for not leaving many openings for them to shoot me down with their uninformed self-righteousness.

*Edit*
I also note that out of all the emotional and passionate posters in this thread who have cried 'rape is rape and always equally bad' not one has felt as inspired to comment so vociferously in defence (or against) my posted female-on-male 'forced sex through fear' experiences, previously in the topic.
This is the best I got, in reply to a direct question:


As a previous poster has said, rape is rape, not sure I am in a position personally to give any other answer - and I don't profess to be.


It would seem that the outraged posters angry at any suggestion that there are varying degrees of rape are uninterested in any examples when the forced sex involves a female dominating a male through fear. I find that interesting.
edit on 1-8-2014 by grainofsand because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 01:47 PM
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Talk about blowing something way out of proportion... Dawkins' opinion on the matter is pretty straight forward and rational, but since its an emotional hot-topic i guess that gives anyone carte-blance to freak out and be completely irrational.

There are different levels of severely for any action taken that deprives a person of their liberty. Trespassing vs Breaking and entering, Assault vs Attempted Murder, Manslaughter vs 1st degree Murder. Why should rape be any different and why should a person get attacked for the mere suggestion?

Dawkins' religious views are completely irrelevant here and anybody who brings them up in regards to this topic is simply doing so to gain more emotional traction. This is no way to discuss a topic rationally.

This story is also old news and I have seen multiple post on ATS related to it. I understand this is a new topic based off of a tweet, but it is still not a new debate. There was an article around September of last year that spawned a bunch of treads here and all over the internet. Each and every time the topic quickly swings in to a religious debate, or an argument over who is, and who is not allowed to have an opinion.

Nobody is defending any form or rape of molestation. Every form of sexual assault is horrible from a peeping top looking in a window, to a violent serial rapist. While every form is horrible, they are not and never will be the same and should not be treated as such. A peeping tom should, without a doubt, spend time in jail and be put on a sex offender list, but they should not face the same amount of punishment a violent rapist would.

It may also interest some of you, that Dawkins was molested as a child. He considers it to be on the lower end of the spectrum, but is in no way defending the actions taken against himself when he was a child, or defending any level of rape, molestation, or any similar action. Here is some more information related to the abuse Dawkins was subjected to straight from the horse's mouth. link

I don't see why this is so hard to understand and why there is so much controversy over Dawkins' original statement, it all seems pretty straight forward to me. Then again, I am looking at the matter rationally and keeping emotional knee-jerk reactions out of it.



posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 02:01 PM
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originally posted by: xDeadcowx
I am looking at the matter rationally and keeping emotional knee-jerk reactions out of it.

Same for me.
It is good that we have more than 140 characters to play with on ATS...the emotional knee-jerk folk are easily exposed with their emotional one-liners and back off when deeper discussion starts to evolve in a topic, certainly compared to twatter.
edit on 1-8-2014 by grainofsand because: Same words, just changed structure of sentence to avoid any possible confusion.



posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 03:37 PM
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Im probably going to see people on tumblr complain about this as well and not use their heads... Ugh



posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 03:49 PM
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Dawkins is this:
"the experiment implies that...."
"the test results infer that....."
"the analytic data suggests that...."

He's one of these people claiming that a study that involves experiments, drugs, compounds, test subjects et cetera that produces some data, which is simply the recording of measurements, proves something to be true.
This is a bold faced lie and used for laymen.
How do I know?
Because when I complete my degree, I will be in the truest sense a scientist.

I have read in the hundreds of papers that all use this deceptive language.
A test or study is conducted.
It of course generates data.
The practitioners then interpret the data in 1 of 2 ways.
It either supported the theory or it did not, period.
You will find papers from reputable sources claiming aspirin cured cancer in lab rats or blueberry skins increased muscle mass by 20%

All with the words: implied, suggests, infers and of course the biggest lie of them all, indicates

Most of Dawkins' beliefs and claims are coming from such scientific papers that are not scientific at all.
Unfortunately what is science and what is the politics of people and organizations within fields of science are interchanged because the average person is lacking in education to say the least and stupid enough that you can not tell one from the other.
Leaps of faith and Dawkins doesn't want you to know that's what most of his beliefs are.
He's not the genius the average atheist or science enthusiast believes him to be.

99.99% of people who think they are brilliant with their understandings of technology and various areas of science are independent study. They make more F ups than I can stand to read, watch or listen to and there's no correcting them as teachers have me in my pursuit of my degree.



posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 03:49 PM
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It is quite obvious that both rape and child molestation can differ considerably in severity depending on lots of variables and circumstances. So Dawkins is correct in saying that.

I dont believe it was his intention to trivialise rape at all.

As long as we want to pretend that punishment should fit the crime, these things should be evaluated rationaly and without emotional outbursts or moral panic.

Where I can see a bit of controversy is his statement that date rape is less bad than violent rape, but honestly I tend to agree with that. If you have no memory of the incident it is better than if you are violently violated. If I had to choose Id rather be date raped than violently raped.

Statement like that is not an endorsement of date rape and people should not take it as such.



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