Atheist Richard Dawkins Offends with 'Damaging' 'Mild Rape' and 'Mild Pedophilia' Comments

( [email protected] ) Jul 31, 2014 02:35 AM EDT
Richard Dawkins
Professor Richard Dawkins is one of the most influential atheists of today (AP)

Atheist Richard Dawkins has once again provoked anger after making offensive "mild date rape" and "mild pedophilia" comments on social media.

Following his Twitter posts, campaigners for women and child abuse victims slammed his posts as "offensive and damaging."

The 73-year-old scientist, who has over one million followers on Twitter, attempted to illustrate a type of a logical argument in which a comparison does not act as endorsement.

However, his illustrations did not go over so well.

Dawkins began: X is bad. Y is worse. If you think that's an endorsement of X, go away and don't come back until you've learned how to think logically.'

Then he added: 'Mild pedophilia [sic] is bad. Violent pedophilia is worse. If you think that's an endorsement of mild pedophilia, go away and learn how to think.

The controversial scientist continued: "date rap is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that's an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think."

Although thousands of Twitter users responded with horror to Dawkin's comments, he continued to rant.

"Mild date rape is bad. Violent date rape is worse. Is it really so hard to understand that doesn't constitute endorsement of either?"

Finally, the professor concluded his argument, expressing disgust at the commenters.

"What I have learned today is that there are people on Twitter who think in absolutist terms, to an extent I wouldn't have believed possible," the professor tweeted and withdrew from the argument. 

However, Peter Saunders, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said the scientist had made light of the 'devastating' effect of sexual abuse.

"'What staggers me is that for such a self-proclaimed intelligent man to even talk in these terms is to completely miss the point," Saunders told the Daily Mail.  

'There is no such thing as mild or serious pedophilia. There is child abuse, and the consequence for the victim is that they can be scarred for life.'

Holly Dustin, co-director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, agreed:

"Richard Dawkins is not just engaging in light-hearted philosophical discussion when he talks of "mild date rape" and "mild pedophilia", but minimizing these serious offences,' she said.

Religious leaders responded to Dawkin's comments as well, saying his atheist beliefs are apparent in his views concerning sensitive issues.

"Dawkin's comments were insensitive and ignorant," says pastor Eric Phillips of New Life Presbyterian Church in Detroit, Michigan.

"Because he does not believe humans are created in the image of God, and thus does not see the value of a human life, he does not understand the severity of horrible crimes like rape and pedophilia."