The accommodationist position of the NAS and the NCSE compromises the science they aspire to defend. … Read the rest
Archive for April 2009
A ‘person who manages many immoral, anti-religious and anti-revolutionary sites’ should be executed.… Read the rest
It’s a funny thing how the ‘athests should shut up’ crowd is constantly passing back and forth this old crumbling shredding battered item labeled ‘atheists use intemperate language’ and then when you look at them turn out to be so unpleasant themselves. They’re a vituperative bunch to be giving advice to other people about not being so foghorn-like.
Look at Mark Vernon for instance. He’s always boasting of his own superlative and superior uncertainty, his better than anything else agnosticism, and yet when it comes to characterizing people he disagrees with, why, he throws uncertainty to the winds and just gets right down to name-calling.
Julian Baggini was asking militant atheists to turn down the volume in the Guardian yesterday.
Spokesman for Swat Taleban said his movement’s aim is enforcement of Sharia in all of Pakistan. … Read the rest
There is no higher authority that can legitimize the practice of torture. It is a crime under international law.… Read the rest
Do schools have a right to peer into 13-year-old girls’ underpants in search of ibuprofen?… Read the rest
Anomalies where low-paid women have lost pay have emerged across the UK. … Read the rest
Sheffield city council plans to cut the pay of many of the lowest paid workers in the name of gender equality.… Read the rest
Du’a Khalil Aswad, a 17 year old girl from Iraqi Kurdistan was publicly stoned to death in the town of Bashiqa before 1000 men. None of them did anything to stop the stoning; on the contrary they rejoiced at the killing and took footage of the carnage on their mobile phones.
Du’a wasn’t from a Muslim background, she was a Yazidi, but she fell in love with a Muslim boy. The price of this love was to be publicly stoned in broad daylight. She was stripped of her dignity and pride, her life was taken away simply for falling in love with someone outside of the Yazidi tribe. Her killers were never brought to justice and a year after her … Read the rest
G mentioned, and quoted a bit of, On Liberty yesterday. I’d been thinking of quoting it myself, and G sent me to the right bit to quote, so here is some more. From the last paragraph of Chapter 2.
Before quitting the subject of freedom of opinion, it is fit to take some notice of those who say, that the free expression of all opinions should be permitted, on condition that the manner be temperate, and do not pass the bounds of fair discussion. Much might be said on the impossibility of fixing where these supposed bounds are to be placed; for if the test be offence to those whose opinion is attacked, I think experience testifies that this
I was going to post a comment to say that things didn’t actually get all that much better but I was relieved to see that someone already had.
This isn’t necessarily a substantive change. The Afghani Constitution is written in a way that simultaneously enshrines conflicting values, leaving wiggle room to really do anything you want regarding women- or remain paralyzed in confusion. And a Western audience is particularly susceptible to not “getting” this because of the power of some of the lipservice to rights, and the common ignorance of how Islamic law actually works…“Equal” does not mean (has not meant) “identical” in an Islamic context regarding gender, especially in the realm of family and personal law. “Equal” can mean
You know how I keep saying (among other things) ‘But why are all these people calling atheists too loud too talkative too militant too out there too much too often too loud too excessive when they don’t call believers that and yet there are a lot more religious books and articles and invocations and devocations than there are of the atheist variety?’ You do know, right? So today I was at the University bookstore and I decided to do a rough quantitative study. The books on religion of course stretched to the horizon, so I made things easy for myself, I counted the space given to ‘Spirituality’ and ‘Metaphysical and Astrology’ (the two are neighbours). Three sections of shelf, four … Read the rest
‘Deplores all religious intolerance including “Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christian phobia and anti-Arabism”.’… Read the rest
The walkout by delegates from at least 30 countries happened within minutes of the speech starting.… Read the rest
This is a totalitarian shower. It permits no space for the free application of soap.… Read the rest
One is about scientific literacy: we need more people who are excited by what’s happening in science.… Read the rest
Fused external landscapes of futuristic visions with the internal workings of his characters’ minds.… Read the rest
What a novel idea.… Read the rest
Here’s the thing…It’s illiberal on the face of it to tell people to be quiet, or even to turn down the volume, in a liberal rights-based culture that places a high value on free open frank uninhibited discussion – and one that does so not arbitrarily or as a mere matter of preference but for good reasons, which can be freely openly frankly uninhibitedly discussed. The idea and the value of free open discussion is central to liberal culture, and we all depend on it very heavily indeed, perhaps more heavily than we can realize while we continue to have it. In such a culture there is a presumption against urging people to turn down the volume. That is doubly … Read the rest