Richard Dawkins defends “mild pedophilia,” says it does not cause “lasting harm”

by chrisuk 320 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • cofty

    I want to underline what Qcmbr has said - and admire his bravery for saying it.

    Child protection is not helped by public displays of hatred for the perpetrators. In my role as football coach I have completed courses on child protection 5 or 6 times over the years. I am head of youth development for a club of over 100 children from aged 5 to 16. The protection of the children is the number 1 priority - ahead of every other objective of the club.

    All of the stereotypes of what a pedophile is like are total nonsense. There are people of all sorts, of all occupations, levels of income and education who are attracted to children. To protect children you have to understand that the really nice, well-spoken dad who is great with the children might be sexually attracted to them. Without being paranoid or unduly suspicious you need to follow good practice all the time so that warning signs can be picked up on. In the club's 20 year history we have never had a child protection issue. I am sure that at least part of that is because potential offenders see that our recruitment porcedures, mentoring and mutual accountability creates an environment where they could not succeed.

    There are reasons why some people - male and female - are attracted to minors. If they need to be in prison in order to protect children then so be it. Perhaps one day the causes will be understood. It may be genetic, epigenetic, pre-birth development, childhood experiences or, more likely, a combination of all of these.

  • KateWild

    Perhaps one day the causes will be understood. It may be genetic, epigenetic, pre-birth development, childhood experiences or, more likely, a combination of all of these.-Cofty

    IMO It think it's selfishness, greed, lack of consideration and lack of empathy that drive peadophiles to do what they do........peadophilia, no matter how mild, hurts kids and they just don't care. Kate xx

  • bohm

    Funny how everyone who has posted on this thread woke up this morning recognizing some forms of child abuse are more severe than others, half of the posters then seem to have forgotten the fact when dawkins put it in words and cried out in mock outrage, and when we go to sleep this evening, we will all recognize the distinction again!

  • Magnum

    Thank you, Outlaw, for posting that. I will respond in detail later; have to leave to go somewhere now.

    Quick comment for now:

    To the lurker. Your writing is indicative of a lack of intelligence that, to me, disqualifies you from this discussion.

    For those who disagree that Dawkins spoke out of line (and, given his stature in society, it certainly was out of line, but I, for one, am glad he DID because it shows his imperfection which many don't seem to see, or want to see, which is not surprising, but, given the "perfection" of say, religious leaders, even atheists should be glad the man is HUMAN), the problem is their lack of empathy and "natural" affection (evidently, for children, but probably for animals, too). Or they are, as someone said, pedophiles themselves.

    It's hard to follow that attempt at writing, but I can sort of decipher it. So it seems that in the quote above you're saying that I have "lack of empathy and "natural" affection (evidently, for children, but probably for animals, too)" or that 'I am a pedophile myself'. At the end of your post, you say that some ex-JWs scare the hell out of you; well, people like you scare the hell out of me - people who can say such about me based solely on comments I've made on this thread. Your kind are the fanatical, unreasonable witch-hunters.

    If my wife knew what you said, she would be livid. She is a witness to the fact I live in depression over the horrors and suffering in the world - suffering of children, adults, and animals. It is a constant, daily concern of mine. If you were familiar with my posting history, you'd know I'm a lover of animals. It infuriates to me know for a fact that I spend vastly more time and money caring for needy animals than you do. I spend at least a thousand dollars a month on animal welfair. I take care of about 100 stray animals. I go every single night at midnight to feed about fifteen homeless cats at a local truckstop. Yet, you, in your great wisdom and all-knowingness, say that I probably lack empathy for animals.

    As far as caring for children (and adults), it's a daily topic of conversation at my house. Recently I was riding down the interstate alone in my car with tears streaming down my face because I heard something on the radio about a young blind girl, and I was thinking how horrible for her to live in a world of darkness.

    But to say that what occurred, with Mr. Dawkins, his friends, of even one poster here, was not wrong "because" they weren't (lastingly) harmed by it, is stupid. Ridiculous. UNintelligent.

    Actually, you're the one who's stupid, ridiculous, and unintelligent. You totally lack comprehension. NOBODY has said that what occurred wasn't wrong - Dawkins didn't say it, I didn't say it, nobody on this thread has said it. I do say, however, that it is reasonable to say that some forms or incidents of pedophilia can be milder than others just as some forms of torture can be milder than others. Do you believe that all forms of torture are equal? You don't agree that some forms could be worse than others? You don't agree that fondling of breasts or genitalia could be viewed by some as being milder than brutal sodomy?

    I've got to go now, but I'm infuriated over your saying that I lack natural affection or that I'm a pedophile just because of my reasonable, logical comments made on this thread. I'd love to have a live public debate with you - one with good moderators who are unbiased, logical, and reasonable.

    edit: KateWild, cofty might not bite, but I'm capable of it. I usually don't. I hate discord, disagreement, etc. I'm a lover of peace. However, the lurker's comment has brought me to the biting point.

  • Magnum

    Still in a hurry, have to be somewhere, but have to respond to this one, too.

    Lurker, can't get past your first sentence. You're another one who lacks comprehension. This thread is not about whether "Pedophilia on ANY level is wrong". As I said in my last post, NOBODY has said it's not wrong - nobody. If you want to preach about the wrongs of pedophilia, then go find an audience. We all know and believe it's wrong - all of it, no matter whether it's a milder form or a more serious form - it's all wrong. It's all wrong. It's all wrong. It's all wrong. It's all wrong. It's all wrong. It's all wrong.

    How many times do I need to repeat that to keep another comprehension-lacker from coming along and saying it?

    As I said, lurker, I didn't read past your first sentence; you disqualified yourself at that point with your lack of comprehension.

  • Witness My Fury
    Witness My Fury

    Outlaw, how exactly are "lurkers" conveying that information to you? Lurkers who dont have accounts cant pm you, if they have accounts then they can post themselves.

    Magnum, you have my admiration and respect. Dont let the idiots get you down. Go do something useful instead of engaging with them here. The grief just isnt worth it when all they want is blood and view you as the enemy if you dont agree with them in their black and white thinking.

  • Magnum

    Witness My Fury - Thank you. I needed your comment. This thread is actually depressing me for several reasons. One is that I like healthy discussion, but this is not healthy. I truly am a friendly, caring, compassionate person, but this thread is forcing me to be harsher than I like to be.

    I think I'll heed your advice and try to use will power and leave it. I like your suggestion about doing "something useful". I've wasted time on this thread that I could have used better. I have a number of animal enclosures to build for homeless animals. That's ironic considering that lurker #1 said I probably don't have empathy and natural affection for animals.

    Anyway, thanks again. Good advice. I'm going to try to stick to the types of threads that are the reason for my coming here - those having to do with analysis of JW doctrine, trends, and history; history of the Bible and religion; how the Bible books were chosen; Biblical archaeology; etc.

  • Giordano

    GL Tirebiter had a good response in my opinion. " The 'touching' Dawkins described (in the OP's link) is an act of grooming, gradually crossing moral boundaries to test the intended victim's resistance and, if weakness is found, to break down that resistance. It is not innocent, it is not harmless, it is in no way excusable."

    Since there were other classmates involved It looks like this teacher was hunting for a child or two he could use as a sex toy.

    I do think the newspaper headline was self serving as Dawkins wasn't defending mild pedophilia but he didn't display any insight into what the 'grooming process' is about. He's had decades to think about his experience and he has been out spoken about the Catholic Church's Pedophilia scandal so I found his comments surprising. His apology was more a doubling down on his first statements.

  • problemaddict


    Its the old "I apologize if you were offended" nonsense though isn't it? I think he is aware he overstated, and that is a good thing. Still, the general suggestion, while I can agree is being a bit blown up, is still pretty reprehensible (TM).

  • fulltimestudent

    By a coincidence, the UK Independent ran this story in today's web edition.

    Can paedophiles be good people? We flinch, but there are varying degrees


    Here's some extracts:

    To help figure out what you think about it, consider this analogy, drawn by Dr Jackie Craissati, a leading psychologist in the field. "If I were to say to you, all violence is the same, and all violent men are persistently violent, and you can't categorise by degrees of severity, you'd say: hang on a second. There's a difference between the bombmaker, and the man who tries to kill his partner, and the man who attacks someone in the pub, and all of these cases need different approaches. But if you make the same point about child sexual abuse, people say, how dare you?"


    The mere acknowledgement that they are not all the same is dangerously close to an act of imaginative sympathy, and therefore best made quietly, lest people think you are on their side.

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