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Richard Dawkins loses award for wrongthink

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Was the AHA right to revoke Dawkins' award?

Yes.
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No.
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Other.
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Total votes : 208

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Glorious Hong Kong
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Richard Dawkins loses award for wrongthink

Postby Glorious Hong Kong » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:10 am

Richard Dawkins loses ‘humanist of the year’ title over trans comments

The American Humanist Association has withdrawn its humanist of the year award from Richard Dawkins, 25 years after he received the honour, criticising the academic and author for “demean[ing] marginalised groups” using “the guise of scientific discourse”.

The AHA honoured Dawkins, whose books include The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion, in 1996 for his “significant contributions” in communicating scientific concepts to the public. On Monday, it announced that it was withdrawing the award, referring to a tweet sent by Dawkins earlier this month, in which he compared trans people to Rachel Dolezal, the civil rights activist who posed as a black woman for years.

“In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, a white chapter president of NAACP, was vilified for identifying as Black,” wrote Dawkins on Twitter. “Some men choose to identify as women, and some women choose to identify as men. You will be vilified if you deny that they literally are what they identify as. Discuss.”

Dawkins later responded to criticism, writing: “I do not intend to disparage trans people. I see that my academic ‘Discuss’ question has been misconstrued as such and I deplore this. It was also not my intent to ally in any way with Republican bigots in US now exploiting this issue.”

Among his critics was Alison Gill, vice president for legal and policy at American Atheists and a trans woman. She said Dawkins’ comments reinforce dangerous and harmful narratives. She said: “Given the repercussions for the millions of trans people in this country, in this one life we have to live, as an atheist and as a trans woman, I hope that Professor Dawkins treats this issue with greater understanding and respect in the future.”

In 2015, Dawkins also wrote: “Is trans woman a woman? Purely semantic. If you define by chromosomes, no. If by self-identification, yes. I call her “she” out of courtesy.”

In a statement from its board, the AHA said that Dawkins had “over the past several years accumulated a history of making statements that use the guise of scientific discourse to demean marginalised groups, an approach antithetical to humanist values”.

The evolutionary biologist’s latest comment, the board said, “implies that the identities of transgender individuals are fraudulent, while also simultaneously attacking Black identity as one that can be assumed when convenient”, while his “subsequent attempts at clarification are inadequate and convey neither sensitivity nor sincerity”.

“Consequently, the AHA Board has concluded that Richard Dawkins is no longer deserving of being honored by the AHA, and has voted to withdraw, effective immediately, the 1996 Humanist of the Year award,” said the organisation.

The Guardian has reached out to Dawkins for comment.

Last year, the author JK Rowling returned an award given to her by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organisation, after its president, Kennedy’s daughter Kerry Kennedy, criticised her views on transgender issues. “I am deeply saddened that RFKHR has felt compelled to adopt this stance, but no award or honour, no matter my admiration for the person for whom it was named, means so much to me that I would forfeit the right to follow the dictates of my own conscience,” said Rowling in a statement at the time.


Richard Dawkins: cancelled for woke heresy


The world’s most celebrated living atheist, Richard Dawkins, has been rebuked by the American Humanist Association, one of America’s leading atheist organisations, for an act of heresy.

He hasn’t been shamed and cast out for saying something offensive towards Christianity or Islam or any of the world’s other ancient faiths, of course – but rather for offending contemporary, secular, ‘liberal’ sensibilities around gender and identity, which the bigwigs at the AHA apparently cling to just as closely.

He has had his Humanist of the Year Award, conferred on him by the AHA in 1996, formally rescinded. Apparently for the crime of posing a question on Twitter. Namely, why is it that when a man identifies as a woman, that is accepted by polite society, but when a white person identifies as a black person, it is not?

Last week, the celebrated scientist and author posted: ‘In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, a white chapter president of NAACP, was vilified for identifying as Black. Some men choose to identify as women, and some women choose to identify as men. You will be vilified if you deny that they literally are what they identify as. Discuss.’

After two days of online outrage, Dawkins made clear in a follow-up tweet that he in no way intended to ‘disparage trans people’: ‘I see that my academic “Discuss” question has been misconstrued as such and I deplore this. It was also not my intent to ally in any way with Republican bigots in [the] US now exploiting this issue.’
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Going on his previous statements, this looks entirely genuine. In 2015, he said: ‘Is trans woman a woman? Purely semantic. If you define by chromosomes, no. If by self-identification, yes. I call her “she” out of courtesy.’ Which is a perfectly reasonable and humane position to take.

But this wasn’t enough for the AHA, which accused him of ‘impl[ying] that the identities of transgender individuals are fraudulent, while also simultaneously attacking Black identity as one that can be assumed when convenient’. According to this nonsensical take, he’s not only transphobic, but racist too.

Unintentionally, the AHA underlined the point Dawkins was getting at: why is one form of self-identification celebrated where the other is not? There are good-faith responses to that question. But rather than try to answer it, the AHA and others simply condemned Dawkins for even asking it. As one prominent atheist blogger put it: ‘It’s not merely a question. There’s nothing to “discuss”.’

Those scare quotes say it all. Discussing the basis on which we understand trans identity does nothing to undermine the dignity, rights and respect that should be afforded to trans people, as they should any human being. But wokists, even atheist ones, those who pride themselves on their opposition to blind faith, seem incapable of even ‘discussing’ these questions.



Dawkins’ great crime here is being a reasoned thinker in an increasingly religious age. You don’t have to agree with him on everything – we at spiked, despite being humanists and atheists, have had our disagreements with him over the years – to recognise his sincere commitment to getting to the facts of the matter, and to the meat of moral questions.

Indeed, many of the controversies he has walked into over recent years reflect a willingness to say what he thinks in the most unvarnished way possible – regardless of who it might upset. Almost to a fault. Indeed, his scholarly contributions have been almost eclipsed by needless controversies he has provoked by wondering out loud on social media about sensitive issues.

Still, the answer to someone you disagree with is to argue back. To debate. To reason. This is surely essential to anyone who thinks of themselves as an atheist. But the cancellation of Dawkins from within the atheist world confirms what has been clear for some time – that many Western atheists are fuelled not by scepticism, reason and humanism, but by a sense of moral superiority over ‘dumb’ conservative and religious folk.

It is a sense of superiority which is very much misplaced. As the rage against Dawkins reveals, some leading atheists are gripped by precisely the same kind of rigidity and religious fervour that they condemn in others. All they have done is replace one form of religious dogma with another.


Here's the offending tweet in question:

In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, a white chapter president of NAACP, was vilified for identifying as Black. Some men choose to identify as women, and some women choose to identify as men. You will be vilified if you deny that they literally are what they identify as.

Discuss.


This. Has. Gone. Too. Fucking. Far.

For the record, I, like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, am firmly supportive of trans rights and recognize trans people for who and what they are. I also recognize Rachel Dolezal's right to identify as a black person despite her ancestry, whether she "chooses" to do so or not. I also recognize my right not to identify as "Chinese" despite my ancestry until such time as the Chinese Communist Party is overthrown. I recognize everyone's right to freedom of expression, voluntary or otherwise.

I disagree with the notion that there are only two genders, or the idea that trans people are all just cross-dressing rapists who deserve to be misgendered and driven to commit suicide en masse. I strongly disagree with the notion that trans people have no right to exist and deserve to be rounded up and burned at the stake and I believe such calls to violence and discrimination are indeed hateful and bigoted and not in keeping with the values of a tolerant, civilized society.

But I also disagree with the idea that Dawkins, Harris, J.K. Rowling, et al. are all "transphobic bigots" simply for daring to ask pertinent questions or for daring to assert that "there are only two genders", or for failing to phrase a certain sentence correctly. I strongly disagree with the practice of hounding foreign immigrants who speak little English simply because their staff are not trained to wax a trans woman's balls and such services are not advertised at all. I believe such spiteful, hateful conduct by a tiny minority of extremely outspoken trans activists as well as other influential, non-trans SJWs does ordinary trans people a huge disservice by antagonizing those who would otherwise be sympathetic to their cause.

"You call yourself pro-trans? You can't use the word "choose". If you say the words "choose" and "Rachel Dolezal" in the same sentence, even if you don't actually believe trans people have a choice, you are canceled. You're not pure enough for us and we will shut you down just because we can. So STFU, bigot."

I fail to see where or how Dawkins "demeaned" trans people and he made it perfectly clear in a follow-up tweet that that was not his intention. Is a tiny little wording error so incredibly offensive to a tiny minority of disproportionately influential, professionally-offended snowflakes that he deserves to have his entire character assassinated and his reputation destroyed simply because he failed to word his tweet correctly?

Simply because he dared to ask a question? This is what cancel culture is. This is why these far-left wokists and cultural Marxists must never be allowed to hold any position of authority, let alone run a country. Thank god for Boris Johnson and his Conservative supermajority. At least liberalism is holding out in the United Kingdom, but I digress.

The American Humanist Association, much like the ADL, the ACLU, the SPLC, and other formerly-respected NGOs, has lost ALL credibility and moral authority on pretty much everything to do with everything and if anyone deserves to be canceled, it's these woke vigilante groups who have taken it upon themselves to act as a kind of morality police, supplanting the medieval religious police of centuries past.

Many atheists, short of abandoning religious dogma, have merely substituted one form of dogma with another, namely wokism AKA cultural Marxism. The Elevatorgate scandal that broke out ten years ago and the emergence of Atheism+ were some of the early signs that the once firmly united atheist community was already slowly being infiltrated and divided by woke feminists and far-left SJWs who believe themselves to be morally superior to everyone else and expect normies like us to "decolonize our minds" and "check our privilege" or some such nonsense. Shame on Matt Dillahunty and the Atheist Community of Austin for ironically selling their souls to pander to these intolerant wokists.

For many years, Richard Dawkins, together with the late, great, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, gave atheists like us a voice and shone a light on religious bigotry and intolerance around the world. Dawkins, like his fellow Horsemen and Horsewomen of the Non-Apocalypse, has consistently refused to cave to wokeness in all its hideous forms.

This is a man who has refused to spare Islam and Muslims from the kind of harsh, unrelenting criticism that Jews and Christians and their faiths have been rightly subjected to. As a non-Muslim who lives in a deeply racist, chauvinistic, Muslim-majority country, I can't tell you just how much this kind of criticism and support means to me. While the woke Left has abandoned non-Muslim minorities like me for not fitting their simplistic narratives of Muslims always being the oppressed victims while non-Muslim minorities who dare to push back are labeled as racist bigots, Dawkins and Harris have never, ever let me down. Not even once.

When the Elevatorgate scandal involving a certain Rebecca Watson shaming men for the "crime" of awkwardly asking a woman out on a date broke in 2011, Richard Dawkins, in an open letter titled "Dear Muslima", sharply criticized the hypocrisy of white, middle-class, Western feminists and juxtaposed their hyperinflated victimhood complex with the actual struggles of Muslim women residing in the Muslim world. He stood up for men's rights when many others, atheist and religious alike, refused to do so for fear of being labeled racist and sexist.

He has refused to jump on the "you're a racist, fascist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic POS" SJW bandwagon for years and years. He has been a staunch bulwark against woke political correctness and cancel culture for years and years and this latest move by the AHA shows just how determined the woke Left is to try to cancel and slander a man who has given us so much for so long. He and Sam Harris are not transphobic or "Islamophobic" in any way. The many years of dishonest smears and defamation that have been building up against them will not succeed.

I stand with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and the late, great, Christopher Hitchens. These New Atheists of the Intellectual Dark Web have been and remain my biggest idols to date and much of my worldview has been influenced by their works and commentary. I deplore attempts by certain segments of society to defame these individuals and falsely smear them as bigots. I abhor attempts by anti-intellectual, authoritarian SJWs to divide and pit different groups of atheists against one another so that they may rule over us in perpetuity. People like Laurie Penny, Rebecca Watson, Big Red, Reza Azlan, Glenn Greenwald, Ezra Klein, and all manner of radical Islamists are a threat to public discourse and an open society and a threat to the atheist community. May these small-minded haters never succeed in destroying us. One does not just fuck with the atheist community. As a New Atheist and a staunch, anti-woke liberal, I stand proud.

(I also stand with J.K Rowling and the authors of the HarperCollins open letter decrying cancel culture. I notice that the first DuckDuckGo search suggestion that pops up when I type in her name is "JK Rowling transphobe", which tells us just how powerful these SJWs have become. Rowling, however, is Christian.)

Where do you stand? Do you stand with Richard Dawkins and the atheist community, or do you stand with the woke, cultural Marxist SJWs who would attempt to silence, divide, and bury us for wrongthink? Poll included.

EDIT: Will adopt Nak's suggestion and update the poll.
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Nakena
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Postby Nakena » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:13 am

He is suspected to have comitted heresy against the Church of Progressive Wokeism and thus was preemptively excommunicated.
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Postby Trollzyn the Infinite » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:16 am

Alright so ignoring the usual propaganda spiel you regurgitate from whatever far-right echo chambers you visit it sounds like he misspoke and they overreacted. But I understand why they did considering the way he phrased the question.
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Postby Ifreann » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:22 am

It is entirely correct to revoke an award for humanism when the recipient has shown themselves to be a transphobe.
Glorious Hong Kong wrote:...Richard Dawkins and the atheist community...

Please do not presume to associate me with Richard Dawkins just because we both do not believe in any god or gods.
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Postby Borderlands of Rojava » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:23 am

I mean he won the award fair and square. His views on other stuff are null.
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Postby Trollzyn the Infinite » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:27 am

Ifreann wrote:It is entirely correct to revoke an award for humanism when the recipient has shown themselves to be a transphobe.
Glorious Hong Kong wrote:...Richard Dawkins and the atheist community...

Please do not presume to associate me with Richard Dawkins just because we both do not believe in any god or gods.


Wait, what!? All atheists don't work together with the secret atheist club to advance the atheist agenda? Next you'll tell me Muslims and Jews don't all work together even though they're both religious! And that, of course, would be silly. ;)
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Postby Kilobugya » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:29 am

I'm somewhere in the middle.

I greatly enjoyed some of Richard Dawkins book, I think he made major contributions to our understanding of evolution and genetics and he has a brilliant way of explaining it, but he also made several comments about transgenders (but also about Muslims and other minorities) that are hurtful and predictably serve as weapons for the biggots wanting to oppress them. I don't think he's actually trans-phobic or racist, but he's blunt, clumsy and disregarding of consequences such reckless comments can have. I understand that for a "humanist society" honoring someone making regular problematic comments is troublesome. They probably over-reacted a bit, but I definitely understand why they felt they had to.
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Postby Open Secrets » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:30 am

I'm sorry that it took something this petty to tell you that Humanism is a religion just like any other. Religions do not need gods to be considered religions. Atheism =/= Humanism.

That being said, I disagree with Dawkins and Rowling on this issue.

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Postby Hot Skitty on Wailord Action » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:30 am

Shite poll is shite. Speaking as an atheist, I have more in common with a Christian trans person than a transphobic atheist.
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Postby Vassenor » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:32 am

Oh, I see it's time to do the SJWS BAD dance.
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Postby Arisyan » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:33 am

Ah yes, there goes GHK making one of their biased polls again.

Honestly, I think it was an overreaction but he really should have phrased that tweet better. Saying this as an Atheist mind you.
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Postby Nakena » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:34 am

Arisyan wrote:Honestly, I think it was an overreaction but he really should have phrased that tweet better.


The thing is a tweet is quickly written and sometimes badly too. It shouldn be reason to "cancel" someone, specifically after he clarified later. It's not that he has some sort of rowling-esque campaign that keeps going on and on.
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Postby Kubra » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:37 am

I'll be frank, I always vote the evil option in biased polls out of spite.
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Postby Kowani » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:38 am

Hot Skitty on Wailord Action wrote:Shite poll is shite. Speaking as an atheist, I have more in common with a Christian trans person than a transphobic atheist.

Dontcha know that as atheists we must automatically and always stick with the tribe ?
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Postby Nakena » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:39 am

Kowani wrote:
Hot Skitty on Wailord Action wrote:Shite poll is shite. Speaking as an atheist, I have more in common with a Christian trans person than a transphobic atheist.

Dontcha know that as atheists we must automatically and always stick with the tribe ?


Probably what is more meant is the sceptic community there.
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Postby Picairn » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:39 am

Biased poll is biased. I might as well become a cartoon villain and vote for the second option.
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Postby An Alan Smithee Nation » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:40 am

Is being a woke cultural Marxist SJW wrongthink?
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Postby Whitemore » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:41 am

Voted yes just because of you so writing your poll to be heavily biased, enjoy.
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Postby Galloism » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:41 am

Trash poll is trash.
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Postby Senkaku » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:45 am

Nakena wrote:
Arisyan wrote:Honestly, I think it was an overreaction but he really should have phrased that tweet better.


The thing is a tweet is quickly written and sometimes badly too. It shouldn be reason to "cancel" someone, specifically after he clarified later. It's not that he has some sort of rowling-esque campaign that keeps going on and on.

His "clarification" is fucking stupid and meaningless and just amounts to some hapless post-hoc ass covering. There's no way in Hell that he could've "not intended to disparage" trans people by comparing them to Rachel Dolezal and saying you'll be "vilified" for intentionally misgendering them. That's disparaging and there's a zero point zero percent chance that he's too stupid to realize that before he posted it. Writing "Discuss." on Twitter is not "an academic question" and it's not "misconstruing" it to see it as a snide invitation to post whatever transphobic screeds people have waiting in their drafts.

Dawkins is already a pompous dickwad with a propensity to stick his nose into business he knows next to nothing about and say offensive things, I don't see anything wrong with an organization that had given him this honor for contributions to public scientific communication revoking it when he goes and participates in stirring up a distinctly un-scientific mob frenzy.
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Postby The Huskar Social Union » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:46 am

I love that everyone is just ripping the poll to pieces for being shit lmao
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Founded: Nov 03, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby Dowaesk » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:46 am

Trollzyn the Infinite wrote:
Ifreann wrote:It is entirely correct to revoke an award for humanism when the recipient has shown themselves to be a transphobe.

Please do not presume to associate me with Richard Dawkins just because we both do not believe in any god or gods.


Wait, what!? All atheists don't work together with the secret atheist club to advance the atheist agenda? Next you'll tell me Muslims and Jews don't all work together even though they're both religious! And that, of course, would be silly. ;)

No. You're mistaken. We Muslims are in active negotiations with the supposed terrorist left. And as for Jews. I heard that they live in the clouds now.

(I hope this does not count as spam. Im just having a bit of fun)

And as for the poll. I love the democracy.
Last edited by Dowaesk on Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Open Secrets
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 2
Founded: Jul 24, 2020
Authoritarian Democracy

Postby Open Secrets » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:51 am

My stance on biased polls is to vote for whichever side is losing. The most fitting result for a biased poll is a 50-50 split.

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Picairn
Senator
 
Posts: 3872
Founded: Feb 21, 2020
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Picairn » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:53 am

Open Secrets wrote:My stance on biased polls is to vote for whichever side is losing. The most fitting result for a biased poll is a 50-50 split.

My ideal situation is a unanimous agreement on the most evil option just to show how trash it is that people want to play cartoon villains for laughs.
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Nakena
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Posts: 14755
Founded: May 06, 2017
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Nakena » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:53 am

Galloism wrote:Trash poll is trash.


Agreed.

Senkaku wrote:
Nakena wrote:
The thing is a tweet is quickly written and sometimes badly too. It shouldn be reason to "cancel" someone, specifically after he clarified later. It's not that he has some sort of rowling-esque campaign that keeps going on and on.

His "clarification" is fucking stupid and meaningless and just amounts to some hapless post-hoc ass covering. There's no way in Hell that he could've "not intended to disparage" trans people by comparing them to Rachel Dolezal and saying you'll be "vilified" for intentionally misgendering them. That's disparaging and there's a zero point zero percent chance that he's too stupid to realize that before he posted it. Writing "Discuss." on Twitter is not "an academic question" and it's not "misconstruing" it to see it as a snide invitation to post whatever transphobic screeds people have waiting in their drafts.

Dawkins is already a pompous dickwad with a propensity to stick his nose into business he knows next to nothing about and say offensive things, I don't see anything wrong with an organization that had given him this honor for contributions to public scientific communication revoking it when he goes and participates in stirring up a distinctly un-scientific mob frenzy.


tl;dr: He threw a nade in the right corner. Much?
Last edited by Nakena on Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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