Author Topic: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award  (Read 524 times)

AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« on: April 30, 2021, 10:59:06 AM »
I'm a bit surprised no one has posted about the kerfuffle between Richard Dawkins and the American Humanist Association. This is the tweet Dawkins posted which causes the AHA to take action:



The AHA's decision to take back their award has created a conflict among atheists, some who think the AHA was justified in supporting transgendered people and some who think they are "succumbing to a Woke mob." I generally agree with the comments made in the video below by Rationality Rules. For one thing, Dawkins is comparing Dolezol, who was vilified for lying about her race to gain an occupational advantage, to trans people, who are not lying and currently have multiple laws being passed to limit their rights. Another issue I have is Dawkins, like many people, takes to Twitter to broadcast his controversial opinion to the world on a medium that profits from outrage and doesn't lend itself to nuanced discourse. If anyone sincerely wants to discuss a serious topic and doesn't want guaranteed backlash they don't post it to Twitter or Facebook. Also, Dawkins clearly lives in an ivy tower if he believes people are vilified if they don't use preferred pronouns. According to Pew Research, 47% of Americans say they would be somewhat or very uncomfortable using preferred pronouns.

That said, I disagree with the AHA revoking his award over this tweet. For one thing, publically punishing someone for a bad tweet isn't a very humanistic way of dealing with a conflict. A better solution would have been to invite Dawkins to have a conversation with someone well-versed in transgender issues and publish it in The Humanist or on YouTube. People might actually learn something. The other problem is if the AHA or other organizations are going to revoke awards years down the road because someone eventually says the wrong thing, they aren't really awards for deeds done but incentives to stay in line.




"Discuss."

Offline SGOS

Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2021, 12:45:44 PM »
That was an interesting video.  I really can't take a side on the issue.  Dawkins made a mistake.  The AHA probably should have jumped on the chance to have an open discussion, or even a debate if it came to that.  Taking back a 25 year old award is an action.  It gets attention, and maybe that's what they really wanted.  I doubt that Dawkins cares much about the award, and the action loses some punch by the odd nature of it.  After all, how many quarter century old awards have been ungiven?  I have no idea, but I'm guessing it falls under the heading of "strange."

On the Dawkins side of the debate, comparing Rachel Dolezal to transgender people, also falls under the heading of "strange."  I can kind of understand it superficially, but there are too many loose ends left by the comparison and the circumstances around it.

The situation is more interesting to me than controversial.  I think the guy that did the  video did a good job.

Online Shiranu

Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2021, 01:59:00 PM »
I cant say I have a real opinion, simply because over the last couple of years RD has been a massive douchebag.

Too biased to give an objective opinion.

Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2021, 02:36:08 PM »
Don't really care much one way or the other, but I'm very disappointed in Dawkins. He's gone the way of J.K. Rowling and lost all of his credibility and respect.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Offline SGOS

Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2021, 02:38:01 PM »
I cant say I have a real opinion, simply because over the last couple of years RD has been a massive douchebag.

I actually had to google that because I haven't heard anything about it.  I did pull up one article that does paint an ugly picture, and I don't think it was from theist with an axe to grind about Dawkins.  Has anyone else heard these kinds of things?

Blackleaf posted that last post milliseconds before this one, so there's another comment.  So what's gotten into that guy?
« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 02:40:05 PM by SGOS »

Online Shiranu

Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2021, 03:49:55 PM »
I actually had to google that because I haven't heard anything about it.  I did pull up one article that does paint an ugly picture, and I don't think it was from theist with an axe to grind about Dawkins.  Has anyone else heard these kinds of things?

Blackleaf posted that last post milliseconds before this one, so there's another comment.  So what's gotten into that guy?

The last thing I had heard that annoyed the shit out of me was him and Neil DeGrasse Tyson talking and them both straight up telling the college student audience, "Look, if you are a smart person and you go into the field of philosophy, you are wasting your brain. It's absolutely useless."

I've only seen a few stupid remarks of his (like the one above), but if he thinks learning how to question your own beliefs is a waste of time then it doesn't shock me at all that he holds terrible ones.

Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2021, 04:11:49 PM »
Dawkins has a pattern of making insensitive or provocative statements, often on Twitter, and then coming back with explanations of what he really meant. That is why I side Hemant Mehta that Dawkins ending his tweet with "discuss" signals an intent to slight trans people. It's a cue: "Are Democrats evil or merely stupid? Discuss." Later. "Oh, I didn't say Democrats are evil or stupid, I'm merely asking a question. Now we can't even ask questions without offending people?! Why it's censorship!"

Offline SGOS

Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2021, 04:55:12 PM »
In the last couple of years, if I thought at all about Dawkins, it was along the lines of why has he fallen off the radar?  I guess he has only fallen off science's radar.


Offline aitm

Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2021, 06:43:44 PM »
they aren't really awards for deeds done but incentives to stay in line.

I hereby... given the authority of the internet gods of.......such things....do grant ten thousand  internet.....er....thingies,,,or do-hickies.....or whatever the fuck they are called......to you.....blessed be thy name...
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Draconic Aiur

Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2021, 07:21:25 PM »
Thing is I can see Richard Dawkins point, and although it is a little off and cringy based on facts. This is because even though I am all for transgenders rights, who's to say that a person might lie about their gender to gain access. It's a valid point that most people put down because they say it's an oppresive stereotype and because it's carried by right wing assholes.

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2021, 05:35:55 AM »
I want to say let's skip the putting people in some sacred places part, but it is useless at where we've arrived I guess. I mean, what Richard Dawkins think about what has little importance to me personally because my rationality is not based on some figure, historical or otherwise. It's based on me. But this man is some sort of a hero for many people. I have interacted with a few of them, I have an idea of the madness.

Having said that, do we think Richard Dawkins doesn't understand the difference between Dolezal woman and transgender people? Do we think that he thinks transgender people are lying? Considering his field, do we even think he recognises 'races' in a traditonal sense? Do we think that he can't see his own public posting pattern of saying something provocative and then going with an explanation after the reactions...  I don't.

What I see here is his usual way of provocating people to blunt their 'public sensitivity' -pretty much like Gervais as an example- in specific issues which is actually the root of traditional norms; which has strong links with ego; race, gender, class, religions...etc. If you look from the other side, the demand of sensitivity in E: 'I'm offended' context is strongly associated with a tradition, traditional norms; religious norms, heteronorms...etc. Religious people demand sensitivity and respect for their belief. Heterosexual people demand sensitivity and respect to the heteronorms. Because these groups consider; define themselves as the norm; the City Hall. Nonwhite groups and LGBTQ+ groups demand basic rights. 

I might be wrong. But in this case, for all that's worth good or bad his tweet seems akin to say, "Stop getting hung up on race and gender identities already." This man has no notion of defined objectivity either. His way of looking to races, genders do not have any emotional layer. It's genus or taxonomy...if you will.

I don't know. But you know what, there is a big difference between the amount of lgbtq+ people who felt ashamed and guilty with their identity just a few decades, two decades ago...etc and today. Honestly, I personally wish transgender people would refuse to drown in this 'real' women and men bullshit and just laugh at it. It's ridiculous. I was born as a female and never given birth. I won't. So I am not a woman? What does that mean?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 05:10:14 PM by drunkenshoe »
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Offline LoriPinkAngel

Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2021, 12:08:45 AM »
Dawkins has a pattern of making insensitive or provocative statements

I remember a thread on WWGHA a few years back titled "Dawkins is no longer my hero" about when he blasted Rebecca Watson, a young atheist activist who wrote about feeling sexually harassed at a freethought conference.

Online Shiranu

Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2021, 12:19:12 AM »
I remember a thread on WWGHA a few years back titled "Dawkins is no longer my hero" about when he blasted Rebecca Watson, a young atheist activist who wrote about feeling sexually harassed at a freethought conference.

I had missed that one... the quote itself...

Quote
Dear Muslima

Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and ... yawn ... .don't tell me yet again, I know you aren't allowed to drive a car, and you can't leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you'll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.

Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep 'chick', and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn't lay a finger on her, but even so...

And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.

Richard[

Yeah, Richard Dawkins can have that award taken away... and if they make a physical copy of it, they can shove it so far up his ass it's head pokes out his mouth for all I care.

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2021, 04:12:14 AM »
(I wrote a post and then accidentally closed all the browsers. Go figure. I'll do it when I have energy. There is a bigger picture about New Atheism, right wing...etc and Dawkins being an asshole here. )

"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: AHA revokes Richard Dawkins Humanist of the Year Award
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2021, 03:16:17 PM »
Dawkins has always been seriously out of touch with social issues. This is, unfortunately, nothing new for him.
Black lives matter, feminism is good, religion is bullshit, and if you disagree with me on any of these points you are a fucking moron.

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