Recently, in order to explain how syllogistic logic works, Richard Dawkins used two examples which need to be critically analysed.
A. "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."
B. "Mild paedophilia is bad. Violent paedophilia is worse. If you think that's an endorsement of mild paedophilia, go away and learn how to think."[i]
There are contradictions in his statements which need to be analysed. In his teachings, if he did not mean to argue that the circuit of life is a closed circuit between bad and worse and only wanted to teach about syllogistic logic, or as he said, to teach relativism, then he encounters major contradictions.
First, calling date rape “bad” and rape by a stranger “worse” is a subjective judgement. It happens that date rape might be worse because it can also be a betrayal of trust. He [Dawkins] might respond that in this case date rape becomes “worse” than rape by a stranger, but he would be ignoring the [more general] fact that a mind which creates hierarchies of badness is the mind of an absolutist and determinist.
Second, the closed circuit of bad and worse also inclines in one direction from bad to worse. As someone who teaches syllogistic logic, he knows that such a deduction is used to make the acceptance of a conclusion inevitable. This is why such a closed circuit is part of syllogistic logic.
Third, [both the] “bad” and “worse” of badness are negations of right. To rank such things does nothing but justify the bad and make it “acceptable”. He accepts mild paedophilia as bad, and from the view of someone else it is worse. If he had read [the Persian poet] Hafiz, he would not have thrown himself into the trap of syllogistic logic:
Judging the poor and rich "less" or "more" is evil.
It is an absolute to avoid such indiscretion.
In order to remove this contradiction, we need to realize that [both] “bad” and “worse” are anti-right. This is why they create a closed circuit. Dawkins, who is introducing syllogistic logic, should not neglect that he has also created such a closed circuit. His response to critiques was: “What I have learned today is that there are people on Twitter who think in absolutist terms, to an extent I wouldn’t have believed possible.” It shows that he does not realize that it is he who thinks in absolutist terms. This is because when one traps himself [or herself] in a closed circuit of choosing between “bad” and “worse” there is no choice -- only one way from “bad” to “worse” and from there to “worst”. In other words, to relativize badness is [a] damaging form of submission to the absoluteness of badness, and a result of becoming prisoner within a closed circuit of “bad” and “worse”.
However, if we consider that he knows a result of syllogistic logic is that one has to submit to a “bad” [option] in order to escape a “worse” [one], then the analogy he develops reveals that he is a determinist. We can see this in the sentences which follow his analogies: “If you think that's an endorsement of date rape/mild paedophilia, go away and learn how to think". Obviously, these sentences are written to ward off any accusations that he approves of date rape or mild paedophilia. For the sake of argument, if we accept that he does not think that date rape or mild paedophilia are good, we can ask whether, by developing these scenarios, he does not want to say that if one is forced to “choose” between “bad” and “worse”, there is no option but to “choose” the “worse”. If he did not have this intention, why did he create the circuit? Does the theoretician of the “Selfish Gene” not want to say that the survival of the fittest is a closed circuit of ‘bad’ and ‘worse’ and that these two analogies reflect his theory? Or when he says, “go away and learn how to think”, does he not want to say that the choices people make and even see as good are nothing but a fated outcome of choosing between ‘bad’ and ‘worse’?
If the answers to these questions are affirmative, then his two analogies suffer from three further contradictions.
First, it is also possible to commit neither rape nor paedophilia. Therefore, there is not a closed circuit in reality. However, as Dawkins is a fatalist, he neglects this possibility of independence and freedom, or the relation of “right” with “right”, and sees only the relation of “power” with “power”. He therefore creates closed circuits between mild paedophilia and violent paedophilia, and date rape and violent rape. Despite saying: “go away and learn how to think", he can’t see the relation of “right” with “right” and he makes [a relation of] “either this or that”. To acknowledge that the relation between “right” and “right” is natural and innate would destroy the foundation of his theory.
Second, the crux of these two analogies is that within them any sexual relation is regarded as a power relation. This is based on the negation of human beings as right-oriented. The fact is that not all sexual relationships are power relations, when they are spontaneous and there is no force involved. To acknowledge spontaneous relationships between people is to acknowledge the open horizon of human intellects, which in turn is to acknowledge the connection between humans and God. In other words, Richard Dawkins would need to acknowledge that by denying God it is he who has been captivated in delusion.
Third, if we assume that Dawkins’ two examples are closed circuits of bad and worse, even though the “bad” is not “good” there is no option other than to act upon it. These analogies tell us that the reason for making a “bad” choice is that we want to avoid a “worse” one. If he wants to convey this meaning to his readers, he does not know that in a closed circuit there is no such a thing as choice and that by choosing [(or rather submitting to)] a “bad” [option], then “worse” and “worst” [ones] also are chosen. He and all the people who create closed circuits of bad and worse, or who trap themselves in them, ignore the fact that what makes a person commit paedophilic acts or rape is the authentication of power and act through it. It is this characteristic which makes a person violate rights, and as soon as someone submits to the fatalism of power they constrain themselves to a one-way path that moves only from “bad” to “worse” and from there to “worst”.
The fundamental question which our biologist needs to answer is this: If the circuit of the life of living beings was a closed circuit of bad and worse, would they have become living beings at all?
When we eliminate the contradictions, then spontaneous relations ([those of] independence and freedom) become relations in open circuits, and such circuits and relations make life possible.