If only there had been a friendly conversation

So, this is the fruit of the merger between CFI and Dawkins’s foundation: Dawkins gets to use CFI to add a bit of respectability to his statement on NECSS.

That’s good for him, not so good for them. (Remember the good old days when he used to say that his debating William Lane Craig would look good on WLC’s resumé, not so good on his? This is that.) This ties his Twitter persona to CFI. It ties his ridiculous statement to CFI.

I woke up this morning to see a public announcement that my invitation to speak at NECSS 2016 had been withdrawn by the executive committee. I do not write this out of concern about my appearance or non-appearance at NECSS, but I wish there had been a friendly conversation before such unilateral action was taken. It is possible I could have allayed the committee members’ concerns, or, if not, at least we could have talked through their objections to my tweet. If our community is about anything, it is that reasoned discussion is the best way to work through disagreements.

Ok, our community is about [the idea that] reasoned discussion is the best way to work through disagreements. Ok, then why does Dawkins spend so much time having unreasoned discussions on Twitter? If he approves of reasoned discussion, why does he do so much angry blurting on Twitter? If he’s a fan of reasoned discussion, why does he so often find himself having to explain his latest angry blurts on Twitter? If he’s keen on reasoned discussion, why did he approvingly retweet that vulgar, mendacious, ugly video?

I might mention that, before receiving any word from NECSS, I had already deleted the tweet to which they objected. I did it purely because I was told that the video referenced a real woman, who had been threatened on earlier occasions because of YouTube videos in which she appeared to her disadvantage. I have no knowledge of the authenticity of the alleged death and rape threats. But to delete my tweet seemed the safest and most humane course of action. I have always condemned violence and threats of violence, for example in this tweet, which I also posted the day before the NECSS decision.


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t EVER threaten anyone with violence. We should be free to use comedy/ridicule without fear it may inspire violence

There. That’s it right there. That’s it and he doesn’t even notice that that’s it. No, we shouldn’t be “free” (morally free) to use ridicule of individuals, especially when we’ve got all the power. No, even though we do and should have the legal right to ridicule individuals, doing so is still a morally shit thing to do. No, famous bestselling Richard Dawkins should not be using Twitter to ridicule random women he dislikes. No.

I hate it that Dawkins can now drag CFI down with him.


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