The Tolerant Gene

at | 79 Replies

“You learn by being challenged, by being placed in an uncomfortable position…”

Gad Saad (above right), Lebanon-born, Canada-based ‘evolutionary psychologist’ and popular YouTuber takes apart the reasoning behind the withdrawal by Trinity College’s Hist debating  society of an invite to Richard Dawkins (above left) to speak at the college.

Reasons given by the Hist were Mr Dawkins’ views on Islam and his attitude to sexual assault.

Previously: Where Is Your God Now?

79 thoughts on “The Tolerant Gene

  1. Lilly

    Hear hear! Anyone know, did David Irving speak at the Hist in the 80s? Also, why is he suggesting that Samuel Beckett would be deplatformed if he were around now?

    Reply
    1. Clampers Outside

      On Beckett, it might be that he objected to female theatre groups putting on Waiting for Godot.
      It is claimed he was being sexist for objecting.

      On the other hand… “One of Beckett’s main arguments was that women don’t have prostates: Vladimir frequently has to leave the stage to urinate because of his prostate problems, and Becket thought that a woman couldn’t play Vladimir because she would disregard the character’s main traits.” from Vintage News https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/03/07/samuel-beckett-objected-to-female-theater-groups-staging-his-play-waiting-for-godot-because-women-dont-have-prostates-and-couldnt-portray-the-characters-accurately/

      Reply
        1. bisted

          …Beckett was uncompromising about all his work but he loved and respected women…he would never be deplatformed by the Hist because he would never agree to be platformed in the first place…

          Reply
  2. Rob_G

    “Reasons given were Mr Dawkins’ comments on Islam and his attitude to sexual assault.”

    I’ve not read Dawkins’ views on sexual assault, but I presume his musings on the issue are of an abstract sort; David Norris, VP of the Hist, made representations of a very real, and non-abstract sort, in a statutory rape case on the behalf of the defendant, his former lover, so the notion that the Hist are taking issue with something that Dawkins wrote in a book or a magazine about sexual assault ring somewhat hollow.

    Reply
    1. Lilly

      Dawkins said he was inappropriately touched as a schoolboy, but that it didn’t have any lifelong effects. Was he supposed to lie and claim he was forever traumatised?

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      1. Nigel

        Well, no, he talked about ‘minor pedophilia’ being fairly harmless in general terms as well as his own. He also dismissed and downplayed claims of sexual assault and harassment at seculatr and atheist events. There was a massive blowout over something called elevatorgate, if you want to go down that rabbit hole. He also did this weird thing where he sort of ranked different sorts of rapes that creeped a lot of people right out. There was a lot of ugly onlne abuse of his critics and detractors, though he always condemned it in no uncertain terms, but the whole atheist subculture had a nasty, misogynistic element. I’d have honestly lived a long and happy life without veer being reminded of any of this.

        Reply
        1. Rob_G

          “Well, no, he talked about ‘minor pedophilia’ being fairly harmless in general terms as well as his own”

          David Norris has made some remarkably similar claims, and he is a VP of the Hist.

          “He also did this weird thing where he sort of ranked different sorts of rapes that creeped a lot of people right out”
          – do judges not do this all the time with sentencing?

          “There was a lot of ugly onlne abuse of his critics and detractors, though he always condemned it in no uncertain terms, but the whole atheist subculture had a nasty, misogynistic element”
          – I’m sure you are correct, but is it right to hold Dawkins accountable for the actions of a wide group of people?

          Tbh, the reasons you are listing seems kind of like a backwards rationalisation for why someone whose views on Islam you disagree with (which I see you have now moved on from in favour of pastures new) should not be invited to talk at an event.

          Reply
        2. Nigel

          David Norris also gets heavily criticised for those views. How the Hist reconciles this is up to the Hist.

          The legal system has its own well-known long-standing issues with the way it treats rape, though. On the other hand it’s one thing to see a Judge solemnly calculate sentencing in court and another to see a famous intellectual with form play Rate You Rape on Twitter.

          To be clear – I’m not holding him accountable for it, he has repeatedly condemned it, to his credit. However the secular and atheist subculture of which he was a part had serious probems with misogyny, and women who reported abuse and assault were treated incredibly badly, and in that context Dawkins himself made remarks dismissing or belittling their claims, and it is those remarks that are held against him.

          My attitude has been that the Hist is perfectly entitled to invite or not invite whoever they want for whatever reasons they want – not inviting or even disinviting someone for whatever reason is neither an attack on free speech nor a death knell for the debate of all ideas. People here claiming these things are themselves attacking the right to free association of the Hist and its members. (Inviting then disinviting is obviously poor form, no question there, but mostly that’s bad manners.)

          I also think there is a lot of focus on the anti-Islamic thing, and thought to balance it with some of the sexual assault stuff, just for the full picture.

          (Oh, and those were the stated reasons, so it’s a bit odd to call it a backward rationalistion.)

          Reply
        3. Sham Bob

          @Nigel Sounds like the kind of thing that would have the GO’D squad out with their anti-peddo placards – if they weren’t already there in support of Dawkins’ views on Islam. When the great reckoning happens, will they lock him up or give him a medal?

          Reply
      2. Toby

        None of this stopped your ilk holding him up as a hero when you were spouting on about catholic’s and gay marriage, abortion etc. He was a handy stick to beat Catholics with. Fickle hypocrites.

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        1. Nigel

          Me? Nope. Was never into Dawkins, and the fact that a lot of his followers grew into an arrogant, militant, trollish, misogynistic online atheist subculture has always kept me clear of that ilk. I really hope they’ve mellowed by now.

          Reply
          1. Clampers Outside

            “Arrogant, militant, trollish, mysoginistic” you say….

            Hasn’t kept you clear of that ilk when advocating Self-ID, and / or, attacking JK Rowling. In fairness.

          2. Nigel

            I have never attacked JK Rowling, nor do I advocate attacking her, certainly not in the way victims of sexual assault and trans people get attacked routinely. I do wonder if the overlap between atheist and misogynist would agree with me on the issue of trans people or you and JK? We may never know.

    1. scundered

      He has a great channel, he encourages people to really stop and think about the decisions they make instead of following the mainstream narratives or doing what might make you look popular, I like Hawkins too though he can be a little too closed minded for my liking, probably because I am agnostic instead of atheist

      Reply
  3. Verbatim

    Great headline
    “I want to thank everyone who pointed out this valuable information to me”, O’Donnell added. “I truthfully hope we didn’t cause too much discomfort and if so, I apologise and will rectify it.”
    I wonder who pointed out this valuable information to her and who is discomforted and to whom is she apologizing? We know the rectification.
    Why is free speech no longer allowed, and who are these people who feel discomfort? They should be named. We are going backwards under the cloak of “wokeness” – Pathetic

    Reply
  4. kerryview

    Fair play, Gad Saad, surely the correct approach, free speech, subject to the stricture of a few relatively students?
    The auditor Bríd O’Donnell had not heard of Mr. Dawkins’ sins when inviting him to the debate. I think that says an awful lot about the mis-education of Ms. Donnelly and her colleagues. Invite someone based on their name without any investigation whatsoever? Seem to be ideal candidates to lead our glorious republic.
    Mr. Dawkins should speak, if he deigns to.

    Reply
    1. Clampers Outside

      Her predecessor invited Dawkins.
      Brid said students brought Dawkins past to her attention….

      Brid then moved to “protect” the “comfort” of these children, rather than doing her job and moving to bring the children to a level of adulthood where difficult topics can be discussed.

      She is infantalising and patronising, at best. Its pathetic for a college to do this.

      Reply
      1. Nigel

        Or she’s demonstrating that if you think someone is horrible and you don’t actually want to listen to them, you don’t have to, nor are you obliged to provide them with a venue and a microphone. ‘Would you shut up, man,’ to put it in other terms.

        Reply
        1. Clampers Outside

          She assumes to speak as a comforter and protector of children from views she deems to be uncomfortable which is not what a Liberal education is designed for, in fact, to do so, is to act against such.

          Like I said, it’s pathetic.

          Reply
          1. Nigel

            A lot of past and current behaviour to the contrary, there is nothing intrinsic to a Liberal education that requires you to put up with someone who has been dismissive of victims of sexual assault.

      2. Toby

        Should we deplatform Muslims in that case? They condone some horrible stuff. They are anti homosexual and same sex marriage? Should they be cancelled?

        Reply
        1. Nigel

          I think your conflating all Muslims with Muslims with horrible views gets to the heart of the difference between criticising Islam and being anti-Islamic, tbh.

          Reply
          1. Nigel

            Dude, the majority of commenters on this site have horrible views – I presumably have a few of my own – that doesn’t mean we should be rounded up and put in Chinese detention centres.

          2. Nigel

            And I was rejecting the idea that that there is a uniformity of ideas and attitudes across the entirety of the Muslim world, no more than across the enitre Christian world.

      3. scundered

        +1 the kids will get quite a shock when they emerge from a safe-space into the real world, best they grow the hell up and gain the intellectual tools to deal with any manner of subject

        Reply
  5. curmudgeon

    This is great however it is wrong. The REAL reason Dawkins was canceled was so Ebun Joseph could get yet another platform.

    Reply
      1. curmudgeon

        Shes an out and out rascist! She literally is advocating that the state mandates that jobs (within the education sector) are not given on basis of merit but on skin colour.

        Reply
        1. :-Joe

          Eh, I still don’t understand how from that article you think she is racist?..

          The article literally explains that in terms of racial diversity in the education system and by comparison to britain, that Ireland does not even collect and analyze any of the statistics to be aware of, let alone try to calculate exactly how racist the system actually already is.

          You’re just proving the opposite of your original accusation towards her for being racist and you’ve also helped me to better understand that her fight against racism in an indifferent Ireland is certainly necessary and a most important one. Fair play to her, from what gets reported on a weekly basis, she has a vertical cliff to scale with it all.

          I’ve no idea what’s going on inside your head but if you’re confused about racism then I hope you sort it out… Fast.

          :-J

          Reply
          1. curmudgeon

            Absolute hogwash. Positions should be based on merit and nothing else. Not colour, creed, age, nor what lies between ones legs. What she is advocating is the exact opposite of that. It’s a dangerous ideology to view people only through their group identity.

            Her TV appeances have all been the same, she is obsessed with “whiteness”, and in calling us oppressors -seriously has she even the faintest notion of Irish history? If we are so racist as a society then why does she get such an incredible tax payer funded platform?

  6. Toby

    Whats the problem with having a virulent disagreement with a religion that has values directly in contradiction to your own moral code? Thats the point of morality and conscience. When I see men beat their women in Morocco, I have the same revulsion as I would if I saw this in Ireland. The difference is that our mores and morals forbid this, in the Islamic world it is tolerated. Id speak out about that?

    Typically here, we just kick the catholics and have no interest in the injustices in the wider world.

    Reply
    1. Junkface

      Not only that, but if you are outed in Iraq or Iran as an Atheist, you are hunted down and killed by a mob. There was a big case like this a few years ago, maybe 2017. An Iraqi woman who was a scientist and atheist had to be smuggled out of the country, followed by her family months later to Canada I think. Someone posted her atheist status and her address on line. She was lucky, many are not. There is a big movement to promote a more moderate form of Islam mainly from ex pats in USA and Canada. Let’s hope they can do it

      Reply
      1. Nigel

        Theocratic rule being authoritarian and intolerant is why we have the seperation of church and state – but we also have freedom of religion along with that. I don’t want to see those regimes used as a pretext to target Muslims living in the West for supression or persecution. Nor do I think the lovely family running the local takeaway should be made answerable for or held responsible for the actions of the cruel regimes of their co-religionists thousands of miles away.

        Reply
        1. Junkface

          The problem is that many Islamic groups bring their Theocratic cultural rules with them to Europe or America when emigrating, going completely against said countries laws on human rights. That is why you still have honour killings and female genital castration in many areas of the UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands etc. UK really has more of these cases than anywhere else in EU. This is why Islam needs to be reformed from within to something more moderate and respectful to women’s rights and human rights in general.

          Separation of religion and state is just ignored in many cases.

          Reply
          1. Nigel

            Both of those things are infringements of personal and civil rights, and no religion should have an exemption from infringing anyone’s personal and civil rights, so I really don’t have aproblem with such practices being stamped on, hard.

          2. Termagant

            But that’s the same stance as Dawkins
            If Bodge took steps to silence you expressing that view, would that be wrong?

          3. Nigel

            It would be within his rights. I’ve had a few comments deleted every now and then, so it’s not even hypotheitical.

        2. Toby

          But that muslim family is homophobic Nigel. Do you think that’s ok? Or is it just catholic homophobes you have a problem with. Thats the problem with wokeness, the inherent hypocrisy is indefensible.

          Reply
          1. Nigel

            No they’re not. They’re really atually not. My parents are Catholic, and my in-laws, all devout Catholics, and Catholcism preaches homophobia, but none of them are or were homophobic. That’s how it goes.

          2. Toby

            See! The hypocrisy. They are not Catholic, or they are homophobic. How could they be both? Unless special rules apply to them? And your Muslim friends are homophobic or they are not Muslim. Or maybe again, there is an exception.

            It’s not nice when your own standards are applied back to you is it?

          3. Junkface

            Nigel
            There are many studies on this subject. Check out Majid Nawaz the UK journalist. Most conservative Islamic families have very harsh views on homosexuals, honour killings, FGM. We’re talking many thousands of families across the UK. I’m sure if you search on Majid’s twitter channel you will find the studies. There’s also Ayaan Hirsi Ali, she’s done many interviews on this, she is also a victim of FGM.

            People who strictly follow the Qu’ran have these dangerous views. Catholics who strictly follow their religion will not kill their children or mutilate them because they are being a good catholic. There is a difference in the violence associated with Islam. UK moderates know this. Maybe listen to everyday Muslims opinions and not upper class woke professors?

          4. Nigel

            You seem to be under a fairly major misapprehension about what my standards actually are, so, uh, no.

          5. Clampers Outside

            Think on those standards of yours…..

            Intently….

            Now, double them.

            That’s them, right there.

          6. Nigel

            Junkface, on a person-to-person basis, I take people as they are. I have no issue with the criticism of religious teachings that are hateful or destructive or violent, but I know enough about people to know that not all adherents to a religion, particularly worldwide religions like Christianity or Islam, will actually have the worst teachings of their religion inculcated into them, and for most people it’s quite hard to live side-by-side in a tolerant, liberal, open society and continue to hold such extremist views without someone or some ones actively stirring them up.

          7. Nigel

            Clampers – as with Toby here, you have repeatedly shown a profound lack of understanding, or a performative refusal to understand if I’m being uncharitable, of my standards, so you’re effectively doubling nothing.

          8. Junkface

            I’m not saying that ALL muslims act in this way. I am saying that if encouraged to strictly follow their religion, they are more likely to act on the more violent parts of their holy book if certain difficulties come up in their family lives. That’s all, not Islamophobia, but trying to protect the innocent, younger muslims in EU countries which they are supposed to be safer in because we respect human rights more.

            Nobody wants to see murdered teenaged Muslim girls in the news.

          9. Nigel

            Well I’d prefer if they all let the religion thing slide, I really would, but in the meantime it’s better if more liberal and tolerant strains of Islam emerge. I’m not sure what we’re disagreeing over at this point. If we want to keep arguing we should get a load of Dawkins’ more controversial tweets and play a game of Valid Criticism Or Anti-Islamic Hate? Let’s not bother, ok? The world will keep spinning if we don’t thrash it out here.

          10. benblack

            @Nigel

            ‘Tolerant strains….emerge’.

            Is everything you don’t agree with some sort of virus or is it just Covid overload?

          11. Junkface

            @Nigel

            Okay, fair enough point. As an atheist myself I am no fan how religions treat women generally, let’s hope that a more moderate Islam emerges from within their communities over the next decade or so.

          12. benblack

            @Nigel

            I guess you’ll just have to wait for the Islam vaccine or wait for it to mutate to a more tolerant strain – which it hasn’t done for millennia.

          13. scundered

            Despite it’s huge flaws Christianity is one of the reasons the west actually progressed in the first place, pushed as a manual for how to live a good life, by encouraging all of society to agree to a set of rules, I am not religious in the slightest but you should at least have the maturity to acknowledge the good it done balanced to the bad, now that we have the benefit of scientific knowledge we can still hold onto the good things and dump the bad bits, as it certainly has it’s flaws too. And in the future we will probably be looking back at today with the same doubts, human thinking is always shifting, we are never at any point getting things perfect, all that matters is that our discussions and actions are with the intention of making things better.

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