Richard Dawkins, Can We Please Just Not?

Richard Dawkins wants the logical people of the world to use hypothetical constructs instead of actual facts:

Two miners are trapped underground by an explosion. They could be saved, but it would cost a million dollars. That million could be spent on saving the lives of thousands of starving people. Could it ever be morally right to abandon the miners to their fate and spend the money on saving the thousands? Most of us would say no. Would you? Or do you think it is wrong even to raise such questions?

Of course it’s wrong to raise such questions. In the real world, we have more than one million dollars. It’s not logical to engage in discourse where we exclude knowledge about the real world. If you don’t believe that, why have you spent so much time and energy refuting religious nonsense?

Your hypothetical situations are not logical puzzles. They provide no axioms from which logical conclusions may be attained. They are, on the contrary, psychological trickery designed from the get-go to instigate despair by removing us from a universe in which reason is useful.

This whole conversation started because you were on twitter demanding the right to talk about what kinds of rape are worse than what other kinds of rape. And then twitter did what twitter does and now you feel the need to explain yourself.

So let me ask you.

As an atheist and a rational thinker, do you believe in human sacrifice?

I ask because, maybe, if you could demonstrate how you would actually use your knowledge of comparative rape badness to help real non-hypothetical people in the real non-hypothetical world, some of the people blowing you up on twitter would come forward to help you make those determinations.

But instead you’re giving us a laundry list of fantasy worlds where some people have to be sacrificed. Most of us followed your twitter because we wanted to get away from that shit.