Richard Dawkins: “mild paedophilia” not so bad

It seems that the young Richard Dawkins was groped by a teacher; he doesn’t think it did him any “lasting harm”. Obviously the teacher was not a Catholic priest or Dawkins would be denouncing him as a leering old villain in a frock.

He also doesn’t seem to object to having been caned. If I were of a psychological bent (I’m not), I might be tempted to consider the applicability to Richard Dawkins of Theodore Dalrymple’s question :

Is flagellation for the purposes of sexual pleasure as English as cricket and buttered crumpets?

Or, if I were given to unkindness (other than to bishops, I’m not), I might suggest that Dawkins’ calling a religious upbringing child abuse and his encounter with phalangeal meandering “harmless”, is a twisting of values that brings disrepute to respectable atheists everywhere.

Interestingly, in the last paragraph below, Dawkins tells us that ethical standards should be determined by the values of the day: very fitting for someone who calls himself a cultural Anglican.

From here:

In an interview in The Times magazine on Saturday (Sept. 7), Dawkins, 72, he said he was unable to condemn what he called “the mild pedophilia” he experienced at an English school when he was a child in the 1950s.

Referring to his early days at a boarding school in Salisbury, he recalled how one of the (unnamed) masters “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts.”

He said other children in his school peer group had been molested by the same teacher but concluded: “I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm.”

“I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours. Just as we don’t look back at the 18th and 19th centuries and condemn people for racism in the same way as we would condemn a modern person for racism, I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can’t find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today,” he said.


4 thoughts on “Richard Dawkins: “mild paedophilia” not so bad

  1. Dawkins is four years older than me; so I assume that his experience in school was similar to mine. I went to school all over Europe [dad was military] but the British system was by far the most perverted.

    The corporal punishment was brutal and often had sexual overtones; the teachers were useless [80% could not teach] and pedophiles were rampant [in more ways than one].

    Obviously, Dawkins enjoyed his experience as a British schoolboy and cannot understand to this day why he can only achieve orgasm unless he is being caned on the buttocks by a cross dressing headmaster; while the chemistry teacher looks on masturbating and playing pocket billiards.

    The British system of the fifties did everybody harm one way or the other.

  2. Oh where to begin…

    In making these statements Dawkins has now indicated that a sex crime has been committed. What will the police now do? Will they launch an investigation? Why should they? After all Dawkins, the victim, is not asking them to do anything. But what of the other alleged victims? Seeing as none of them have spoken out it is automatically assumed that they are ok with having been sexually assaulted. But what if the criminal is still actively assaulting other victims? Do the police not have any responsibility to protect anyone?

    What of the reputation of the school and ALL of the male teachers that were there at that time. Dawkins has now by his comments damaged all of their reputations! But so what? The sex offender (of what is obviously a homosexual act) is protected by his anonymity.

    So does Dawkins think that the safety of a homosexual who likes to touch young boys is more important than the reputations of law abiding teachers? Is the protection of this homosexual who likes young boys more important than protecting other people who might yet be molested?

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