More than 36 million people of working age have the virus.… Read the rest
Archive for December 2006
‘I thought Islam told us to do so,’ said Samar.… Read the rest
Utility sits uneasily with truth; we need an explanation of how the virtue of truth can stand opposed to pragmatism.… Read the rest
Nigel Warburton interviews Richard Norman and asks why he rejects the idea that God exists. Norman gives a good clear succinct answer that would cut through a lot of the disputes that keep turning up like clumps of dust under beds.
I believe that the onus is on those who believe in the existence of a god to provide reasons for that belief. (This is a point which the philosopher Antony Flew has well made.) I can’t prove that there is no god, but in the absence of good reasons for believing that a god exists, I live my life without belief in a god. In particular, the success of scientific explanations of the natural world makes religious explanations redundant.
Ken Livingstone offered a Millian version of multiculturalism in the Indy yesterday.
Multiculturalism versus its opponents is simply one manifestation of the age-long struggle between liberty and its opponents. It is not about personal differences of opinion but between the values of an open and a closed society.
Yes but which side is for the values of the open society and which is for those of the closed? Things don’t necessarily line up the way Livingstone claims.
The foundations of liberalism and multiculturalism were outlined with great clarity in what is justifiably the most famous political essay in British history, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty…Every individual who exists is unique, and wishes to pursue their life in a different way.
Nigel Warburton has a very interesting guest post by Richard Norman on the ‘Whether Atheists Can Appreciate Religious Art’ topos. Norman talks about Piero della Francesca’s ‘The Resurrection,’ which his comment caused me to look at again. It’s a terrifically interesting painting; I already thought so, but the discussion intensifies that thought (as such discussions tend to do, which is one huge reason art criticism and literary criticism are not footling wastes of time); it also made me think about why.
Some of what Norman said:
The assumption here is that the truth presented by a religious work of art must itself be a religious truth. That is what I want to question. Of course Piero’s painting is a depiction