Richard Dawkins Made a Huge Mistake While Railing Against "Social Justice"

Richard Dawkins Made a Huge Mistake While Railing Against "Social Justice"
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The world's most famous atheist found himself in hot water Monday after tweeting out a digitally altered image of his popular book The God Delusion. Instead of the actual cover, however, this version was titled The Social Justice Delusion, and it railed against political correctness. 

"We don't believe in ruining a stranger's professional life over an opinion, but that means that we can't punish your actions," reads the fake book's back cover. "We believe that the rightness of our actions should speak for itself. You believe in bullying, even as you claim to love the oppressed." It concludes with this delightful nugget: "Eat shit and die. All I asked was to be left alone."

As Business Insider points out, however, it wasn't the book itself that caused the ruckus. It's the small, square QR code — an automated barcode — on the back corner that presented a wee bit of a problem for Dawkins.

When entered into a QR reader, the code takes you to "14 Words," a popular white nationalist movement slogan. Oops.

Dawkins eventually deleted the tweet — it's probably safe to assume he wasn't aware of the code before tweeting it out to his 1.35 million followers — but he did acknowledge its existence in an interaction with Business Insider reporter Rob Price.

Dawkins has a history of tweeting anti-PC propaganda. Last week, the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism withdrew its invitation to Dawkins after he retweeted a video comparing Islamists and feminists. He subsequently deleted those tweets, too, after apparently realizing "the woman in the joke song is a real person who has been disgracefully threatened with violence."

Yet while he seemed rather miffed at the conference's decision, author Lindy West pointed out that his retweet would likely make waves — and not in a good way.

"Posting this video implies an endorsement of her abuse (and will definitely amplify it)," West tweeted. West was right: The skeptic and atheist communities are notorious hotbeds of sexism and harassment, and Dawkins' presence is virtually guaranteed to stir up negative sentiment.

The God Delusion author has been slammed for other tweets too, including a string of posts about the apparent difference between "mild" and "violent" pedophilia and others that criticized Islam.

h/t Business Insider 

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Sophie Kleeman

Sophie is a staff writer at Mic covering the intersection of tech and culture. She's based in New York and can be reached at sophie@mic.com.

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