How to chart the decline of the once mighty Richard Dawkins? Time was, he was a feared, powerful voice for atheism, but his all-too-frequent nonsensical Twitter rants have brought his reputation down to rubble, and this morning’s was a particular doozy. In a series of tweets that don’t seem to exist for any real reason, Dawkins waxed poetically on which sorts of rape and pedophilia are worse than others, noting that “Mild pedophilia is bad. Violent pedophilia is worse” and that “date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think.”

He’s been defending himself against wild backlash ever since, seemingly unable to comprehend why anyone would be upset by his simple, “logical” observation, in which he did not define exactly what he means by “‘mild’ pedophilia” and whether or not he has any authority to speak on various categories of rape. As Salon notes, “let’s thank God he’s not the one who actually does get to decide whose rape was worse than anybody else’s” …

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