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Dawkins disinvited but defended here


File:A small cup of coffee.JPG With your coffee … At “TGIF: Dawkins disinvited to science conference”:

Professor Richard Dawkins has had an invitation to speak at a science event withdrawn by organisers for sharing a “highly offensive” video mocking feminists on Twitter.


Make a point of seeing it while it is up. Big Social Media like Facebook and Twitter have taken to censorship of speech that offends whoever complains.

If WordPress gets into the act, there’ll probably be some fragile consciousness out there wittering to the new media censors about Uncommon Descent. After all,

If someone who has political cachet makes a big to-do about feeling attacked or threatened, their target has committed an offence.

So, even if we are nothing more than your daily two-minute hate, stand with us in this . 😉

Anyway, from Seversky at 5,

The NECSS is entitled to “de-platform” whoever it chooses but it sends entirely the wrong message. The proper response to offensive speech is more speech expressing offense and exposing the offender to criticism.

Unfortunately, there are many in the UK, including members of Parliament, who ought to know better. They seem to have forgotten – or perhaps they have never read – the principles of a free society set out by the nineteenth century English philosopher John Stuart Mill in On Liberty. In none of the great bills or charters or declarations of human rights is there a right not to be offended. There is, however, a right to say things that some might find objectionable.

If I were asked, I would tell the NECSS that, while the video linking Islamists and feminists might well be offensive to some, so is the “de-platforming” of Richard Dawkins to others. So whose sense of offense trumps whose?

It’s not just Britain. As a free speech journalist in Canada, I can tell you it’s everywhere in the Western world.

And the point of the vid Dawkins retweeted is spot on: Progressives (including feminists) and Islamists do get along fine with each other (though distantly). I suspect that’s because neither group believes in intellectual freedom or thinks facts matter.

A Canadian journalist found it hard to cover an honour killing in 2010, for example, not so much because of Islamists but because of feminists.

Yes! some feminists are such priorities-challenged people that they equate certain types of guys whose pants aren’t long enough to keep their trotters from showing with homicide!

It’s easy to see how such trends play into authoritarianism: Authoritarians honestly believe that the whole world needs protection from stuff that offends us, whereas they are pretty much the only adult people who do.

During recent free speech battles in Canada, I remember explaining to a young journalist: As an Irish Catholic granny, I see and hear stuff that offends me all the time. So?

Good grief. Where are the real feminists when we need them? The ones who got women like me the vote and the right to own property? And made assault and battery a crime, even if the victim is one’s spouse?

When the Islamists and the feminists fall out, we pretty much know who’ll win. And like I always say, in a row between a king cobra and a Great Western Diamondback,

All that said, Dawkins does get himself into some pretty silly situations, due mainly to his private war on religion. See, for example, Dawkins vs. the Flying Horse.

My best guess is, he’ll soon have to choose between that and making any further contributions to science. Meanwhile, let’s hope other NECSS speakers suddenly discover a subsequent engagement (Oscar Wilde’s phrase) for the same day.

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If freedom of speech means something it means freedom of speech from those who want to censor you. Otherwise freedom of speech is meaningless as a concept to refute control. if we are free we are free indeed. Punishing dawkins is meant to punish a famous person and so all the people. We have not given the right to be punished by anyone other then the government on speech. and the gov't is famously denied it also. not in Canada with these illegal hRC courts yet historically. Struart Mill is fine but John Locke is better. We are free in thought and speech. Nobody is to stop or punish us especially as a bigger statement of control on society. They are not the boss and mostly they attack the conservative side.Robert Byers
January 31, 2016
07:55 PM
Dawkins does get himself into some pretty silly situations, due mainly to his private war on religion.
That's a sufficient reason for any organization to keep Dr. Dawkins from speaking at their so called "scientific" conference. To me it doesn't have to do with anyone being offended, but with someone wrapping science with totally unrelated issues as if they all were related. That's confusing and misleading to say it nicely. As Oxford University mathematics professor Lennox said, nonsense remains nonsense even when spoken [or written] by famous scientists. Hopefully professor Dawkins will understand someday that there's no conflict between serious science and belief in God. Kopernik is a good example, but there are others. Also, apparently Nobel prizes in science have been given to both atheist and Christian scientists, among other worldview positions. A textbook on human development used in some medical schools was coauthored by a Muslim professor at a Canadian university. Dr. Dawkins may continue to do whatever he likes to do without being bothered, or could choose to take his outdated "selfish gene" along with all his hatred and move to Turks and Caicos, Montserrat, or another British territory overseas, to have a comfortable retirement on a beautiful beach, enjoying succulent meals prepared with fresh fish, while trying to figure out how he would have made a fish assuming he could have all the necessary functional components at hand. Who knows? He could arrive at a very surprising and unexpected to him conclusion. :) God loves Dr. Dawkins, the Islamists, the feminists, the NECSS organizers, Dr. PZ Myers, Dr. Coyne, Dr. Moran, and each of us here in this forum. I know this because He has proven that He loves me, and I'm not better than anybody else. That's why He has offered us The Way to be reconciled with Him eternally, despite our rebellious attitude. Unfortunately many choose to keep ignoring or rejecting that uniquely gracious offer. But some will humbly recognize that Christ's "agape" love is the only hope we have. As the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, the cross is foolish to the perishing world, but it's the power of God to those who have been graciously rescued from our deserved eternal separation from our Maker. Hallelujah! May you all have a good weekend.Dionisio
January 30, 2016
09:51 AM

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