Archive for April 2008

Perpetual Minors *

Apr 24th, 2008 | Filed by

HRW draws on interviews with Saudi women to document the effects of these discriminatory policies.… Read the rest

Saudi Women Appeal for Legal Freedoms *

Apr 24th, 2008 | Filed by

Women forced to live as children, denied basic rights and confined to a suffocating dependency on men.… Read the rest

Thanks, but no

Apr 23rd, 2008 4:23 pm | By

Do atheists crave a replacement for church?

Atheism’s great awakening is in need of a doctrine. “People perceive us as only rejecting things,” says Ken Bronstein, the president of a local group called New York City Atheists. “Everybody wants to know, ‘Okay, you’re an atheist, now what?'”

Nah, thanks – I’m not in need of a doctrine. In fact the very idea is kind of…how shall I say…idiotic? Part of the point of being an atheist is not having to sign up to a ‘doctrine.’ It’s not a matter of thinking those other doctrines are no fun but our doctrine is just the ticket. It’s a matter of not liking doctrines in the first place.

The most successful movements

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Trying to Herd Atheists *

Apr 23rd, 2008 | Filed by

In the larger war against supernaturalism, it doesn’t help to fraternize with the enemy.… Read the rest

Religion a Threat to Rationality and Science? *

Apr 23rd, 2008 | Filed by

Imperviousness to reason is the property that we should most fear in religion.… Read the rest

Mary Warnock on The Politics of Religion *

Apr 23rd, 2008 | Filed by

It is essential to hold on to the fact that in this country we are not a theocracy, but a democracy.… Read the rest

Science Shows Mecca is the Center of the Earth *

Apr 23rd, 2008 | Filed by

The meeting in Qatar is part of a popular trend of seeking Koranic precedents for modern science. … Read the rest

David Edgar Ponders ‘Defectors’ from ‘the Left’ *

Apr 23rd, 2008 | Filed by

His version of it anyway, which of course is the only orthodox one.… Read the rest

The search for meaning

Apr 23rd, 2008 11:36 am | By

Martha Nussbaum talks to Bill Moyers.

[I]f you look into the religions, they have this deep idea of human dignity and the source of dignity being conscience. This capacity for searching for the meaning of life. And that leads us directly to the idea of respect. Because if conscience is this deep and valuable source of searching for meaning, then we all have it whether we’re agreeing or disagreeing. And we all ought to respect it and respect it equally in one another.

Hmm. I would say, as usual, it depends what kind of ‘respect’ is meant. There are, as usual, different possible levels of respect – recognition respect, substantive respect, and so on. In one way I agree … Read the rest

Andrew Anthony on David Edgar’s Defective Logic *

Apr 22nd, 2008 | Filed by

Edgar is arguing is that unless you sign up to his vision of the left, you have by definition joined the ranks of the right.… Read the rest

Is Martha Nussbaum too Optimistic? *

Apr 22nd, 2008 | Filed by

Conservative Xians ‘should look more closely at the ethical reasoning of people who are agnostics and atheists.’… Read the rest

Life at Haut de la Garenne *

Apr 22nd, 2008 | Filed by

‘It wasn’t a children’s home, it was a children’s prison.’… Read the rest

Free Speech and Clash of Cultures *

Apr 22nd, 2008 | Filed by

‘On the Media’ talks to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ian Buruma, Flemming Rose, Ibrahim El-Houdaiby.… Read the rest

Manipulation of Medical Research *

Apr 22nd, 2008 | Filed by

Doctors often sign studies in medical journals that were actually written by pharmaceutical companies.… Read the rest

Milk Teeth Found at Haut de la Garenne *

Apr 22nd, 2008 | Filed by

Officers have been searching four cellars referred to as ‘punishment rooms’ by alleged victims. … Read the rest

Hedges on sin

Apr 21st, 2008 12:18 pm | By

One more bit of Hedges, because Eric mentioned that his (Hedges’s) theological training left him befuddled by the idea of ‘original sin,’ and I was planning to quote him on sin anyway if I got the time. Pp 13-14:

We have nothing to fear from those who do or do not believe in God; we have much to fear from those who do not believe in sin. The concept of sin is a stark acknowledgement that we can never be omnipotent, that we are bound and limited by human flaws and self-interest.

Stark, staring bullshit. Could hardly be more wrong. Obviously there is no need whatever to believe in ‘sin’ to be aware that we can never be omnipotent and … Read the rest

Reason Flunks ‘Expelled’ *

Apr 21st, 2008 | Filed by

The Wedge document makes it crystal clear what comes first for IDers, and it isn’t evidence. … Read the rest

Ben Stein’s Way With the Truth *

Apr 21st, 2008 | Filed by

Expelled has some problems of its own with honest, open presentations of the facts about evolution.… Read the rest

Rowntree Survey: Religion as Social Evil *

Apr 21st, 2008 | Filed by

Many said religion divided society, fuelled intolerance and spawned irrational policies. … Read the rest

All Pope All the Time *

Apr 21st, 2008 | Filed by

More sycophantic coverage of Ratzinger. You’d think everyone in the world was a Catholic.… Read the rest