Richard Dawkins Can’t Condemn ‘Mild Pedophilia’

The blogosphere is all a twitter over comments Richard Dawkins made about pedophilia. Personally, I don’t understand the outrage. Dawkins and his fawning acolytes are atheists. An atheist doesn’t have a basis to condemn anything as right or wrong. Consider that evolutionists like Dawkins contend that kill-or-be-killed is the operating premise of survival of the fittest. What’s a little evolutionary pedophilia when you’re talking about “nature, red in tooth and claw”?

Just a few years ago London buses were outfitted with the following banner ads: dawkins-bus-advertisement

There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Life.”1

The sponsors hoped the postings would get people to question the existence of God: “This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think — and thinking is anathema to religion,” the promoters argued.

“[Richard] Dawkins said that as an atheist he ‘wasn’t wild’ about the ad’s assertion that there was ‘probably’ no God.”2 He wanted the ads to say “There is no god.”

If there is no God, then who gets to say what constitutes enjoying life? Are there any restrictions on enjoying life? If there are, then who gets to set the restrictions and why? By what standard and by whose authority is pedophilia ultimately wrong?

So let’s get back to Dawkins and his comments about pedophilia:

In an interview in The Times magazine on Saturday (Sept. 7), Dawkins “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.”

Mild or otherwise, given the operating assumption “there is no god,” who’s to say that pedophilia of the most severe kind is wrong? The instructors were just “enjoying life” because there is no god to condemn their behavior.

If Dawkins had been writing back then, they could have quoted him: “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good.”

Dawkins recalled how one of his (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.”

There is no such thing as “harm” in a world made up exclusively of atoms. Morality is arbitrary. It changes with the times, a point that Dawkins makes in the article. What’s considered moral today may become immoral in ten years and vice versa. We’ve see it happen with abortion and homosexuality. Who’s to say what might be arbitrarily moral or immoral in 20 years?

Peter Watt, director of child protection at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, called Dawkins’ remarks “a terrible slight” on those who have been abused and suffered the effects for decades.

Watt and his intellectual comrades have most likely embraced the inherent nihilism of atheism. Given what we know about evolutionary theory, children were probably killed and eaten for the greater evolutionary good.

Dawkins is only being frustratingly consistent.

  1. See Gwynne Dyer, “The Atheist Buses” (February 8, 2009). []
  2. Atheists Plan Anti-God Ad Campaign on Buses” (October 23, 2008). []