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Richard Dawkins and the Last Suppurating


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Imagine that you, as a greatly liked and respected person, found yourself overnight subjected to personal vilification on an unprecedented scale, from anonymous commenters on a website. Suppose you found yourself described as an “utter twat” a “suppurating rectum. A suppurating rat’s rectum. A suppurating rat’s rectum inside a dead skunk that’s been shoved up a week-old dead rhino’s twat.” Or suppose that somebody on the same website expressed a “sudden urge to ram a fistful of nails” down your throat. Also to “trip you up and kick you in the guts.” And imagine seeing your face described, again by an anonymous poster, as “a slack jawed turd in the mouth mug if ever I saw one.”

--Richard Dawkins. Context here. Dawkins apologizes and clarifies here.

Speaking for greatly liked and respected persons everywhere, I am appalled indeed.

Edited by du Garbandier
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Wow. I am thankful that A&F hasn't had flare-ups nearly this bad. Given how intense theological and political conversation can be in the Christian context, that has been a constant surprise.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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Wow. I am thankful that A&F hasn't had flare-ups nearly this bad. Given how intense theological and political conversation can be in the Christian context, that has been a constant surprise.

Agreed. I've been on forums where the vitriol has flowed freely, and A&F has always been an oasis and refuge by comparison.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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Yes! It seems that creative invective is the true liturgy of the new atheist. It is a rich, effulgent tradition.

FWIW, I originally didn't mean my comment to be a glib, "There but by the grace of God go I." But in hindsight, I don't think it is possible to actually say that glibly.

Edited by M. Leary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Heh heh, if there have ever been flareups here, they have come most often from the tactic of responding in kind. I'm impressed that Dawkins did not. However, I sympathise with the one guy in the context article who felt like an old friend had died as a result of the closing of the response section. I still lament the lack of a Politics section. So much going on, so little opportunity for decent and orderly comment/ contention....

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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