“The doctors asked if I had been suffering from stress, and I had to say yes I had, and they keep advising me not to get involved in…controversy. And I had to tell then that not getting involved in controversy, that controvery is not one of those things I can. I told them I had been distressed, that on the 28th of January, I was disinvited from conference to which I had previously been asked, this upset me very much. I’m used to getting hate from religionists, from creationists, but when I get hate from my own people, from left, liberal feminists and so on, that actually hurt me.”
Dawkins said later on that the stroke actually occurred after he heard some good news, but high levels of chronic stress are associated with stroke and many other health problems.
Look, Dawkins says some really ignorant things on Twitter. Some of this, I believe, is due to Twitter being an awful medium to discuss nuance. However, some of it is simply from ignorance on Dawkins part. He’s not immune to biases that we all suffer from. I will also say I’ve seen many people say really nasty things to Dawkins online. It’s not just calling him out for his sexism or other biases, but calling him all sorts of names and wishing harm upon him. I don’t think that kind of behavior is ever acceptable.
I hope Dawkins continues to make a full recovery and I also hope that some of his words from this interview can impact people. 1) It’s another reminder how precious life is and how we should cherish every moment. and 2) It’s also a reminder that we should try to be decent to one another even when we disagree. Perhaps the many Dawkins fans who scoffed at the harassment women face online can take note how serious such behavior can be.
[Featured image from Wikipedia]