Dawkins Retracts Apology

A week or so ago, several of us were shocked to see New Atheists actually stand on principle and distance themselves from Dawkins and his creepy views about pedophilia. Hundreds of atheists signed petition stating:

We, the undersigned atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, and other non-believers, hereby condemn Richard Dawkins’ continued comments trivializing what he termed ‘mild’ sexual abuse of children. Dr. Dawkins is seen by many as a representative of the atheist community — but when it comes to his dismissive comments on the incredibly serious topic of sexual abuse, the atheist community emphatically does not stand with him.

Yet, just a couple of days later, the atheists closed the petition, with the following excuse:

Richard Dawkins has clarified his statements, and issued an apology. I would like to thank him for taking time to realize how what he said could be harmful to victims of sexual abuse.

Yet Dawkins never clarified his use of the term “mild pedophilia” nor did he apologize for using the term. Nevertheless, the atheists were convinced that he issued some apology.
Well, I hate to rain on their parade, but it looks like Dawkins has retracted his apology.

In yet another interview promoting himself, Dawkins was asked:

And when you were 11, an instructor molested you briefly, along with other classmates, and you doubted he “did any of us any lasting damage.” In follow-up interviews you’ve used the term “mild pedophilia” and said, “We must beware of lumping all pedophiles in the same bracket.” People took offense.

Dawkins wants to change the topic:

I hope you won’t press down on that issue, but if you mention it, I did write a longer and I hope more reflective piece on my website, which I’ll refer you to. Are you on a computer now, by any chance?

The interviewer replies:

I think I read it. It ends with a qualified apology.

Dawkins then clarifies:

Well, that’s the least important part. I don’t want it to seem like it’s an apology.

Huh?! Well what do we have here? The atheists took down their petition because Dawkins supposedly apologized yet Dawkins himself thinks the”apology” is the least important part and then he doesn’t want it to seem like an apology. Okay, I’ll oblige and interpret that as a retraction. It doesn’t seem like an apology (actually, it never did seem like an apology to me).

So the next time a Dawkins Fans tries to distance Dawkins from his creepy views about pedophilia with his notpology, let them know he doesn’t want his apology to seem like an apology. It is Dawkins who wants to distance himself from those words.

So what does he want it to seem like? The massively swollen ego of the extreme narcissist steps forward:

I want it to seem like a vindication.

Of course he does! In his mind, it’s probably the 778,758th time in a row he has been vindicated. So the atheists took down their petition thinking that they got some apology somewhere, someplace, and not only does Dawkins retract it, he insists he was the one who was vindicated.

But then he really gets going:

The key paragraph I suppose is, umm … [reads a long paragraph from the blog post, which you can find here] ” … Should I have lied, and said it was the worst thing that ever happened to me? Should I have mendaciously sought the sympathy due to a victim who had truly been damaged for the rest of his life? Should I have named the offending teacher and brought down posthumous disgrace upon his head? No, no, and no … ”

LOL! He actually went and read his paragraph to the interviewer. And it looks like he was itching to do this. My guess is that the night before, his wife coached him on how to read it with great flare.

Throughout all this, don’t forget the Gnu atheists think this guy is some type of super-genius. That’ll put a smile on your face.

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3 Responses to Dawkins Retracts Apology

  1. TFBW says:

    There are a few other bits from that interview which are worth mentioning.

    But you also made a relativist cultural argument — that it was hard to “condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours.” Yet you knock down that argument all the time when it’s used to defend religious practices.

    But if you take something which is — I mean, really, having a grown man shove his hand down your trousers for half a minute, on the one hand, and on the other hand almost in the very same week, we had a news story from Yemen, where a 40-year-old man was legally married to an 8-year-old girl and raped her to death, he literally raped her to death. Now, there are people out there who think that those two things are both as bad as each other. And that makes me sick.

    This is Exhibit A for failing to answer the question that was asked. It uses the “create a diversion” tactic. Presumably there’s no way to answer that question without either admitting that he was wrong to use a relativist argument, or branding himself a hypocrite.

    There’s more, but I’d probably wind up quoting most of it if I went on. Suffice it to say that this link is a keeper.

  2. TFBW says:

    Another Dawkins interview at Salon has some choice bits. For one, he considers himself quite a gentleman.

    I think I hope that my memoir will show the sort of person I really am. And I have been painted as a rather controversial figure. Words like “aggressive,” “trite” and “shrill” have been used. I’m not. I’m not any of them. I think. And I’d like to think that my memoir, my autobiography, will certainly shed more light on who I am, which is actually quite a gentleman.

    Has an attack by someone you respect ever made you reevaluate your positions?

    Um, probably. You’ve challenged me to think of an actual example, I’ll probably draw a blank. But it has probably happened.

    Maybe you can get back to us on that one, Richard. It shouldn’t take too long: “people you respect” is a pretty short list.

  3. Michael says:

    This is Exhibit A for failing to answer the question that was asked. It uses the “create a diversion” tactic. Presumably there’s no way to answer that question without either admitting that he was wrong to use a relativist argument, or branding himself a hypocrite.

    Great catch. Here is a solid example of Dawkins responding like a politician, not a scientist.

    Maybe you can get back to us on that one, Richard. It shouldn’t take too long: “people you respect” is a pretty short list.

    LOL!

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