Universal declaration of bishops’ rights

Jan 15th, 2010 12:40 pm | By

You wouldn’t think people would be in a hurry to say stuff like this.

[Bishops] warned that Harriet Harman’s Equality Bill suggests some rights are considered “more important than others”. They backed calls for a “conscience clause” to be added to the law so that the rights of religious worshippers are not ignored by attempts to protect minorities.

You wouldn’t really think they would want to say quite so bluntly and clearly that they think ‘the rights of religious worshippers’ are in conflict with attempts to protect minorities. In fact, you would think, or at least I would think, they would want to shy right away from saying that. Haven’t they read their Karen Armstrong? Aren’t they aware of … Read the rest

Science Shows: God is the Answer to all Questions *

Jan 15th, 2010 | Filed by

Anxious? Try God. Want sex? Try God.… Read the rest

UK: Government is Friends With MCB Again *

Jan 15th, 2010 | Filed by

The ‘communities secretary’ said the separation was simply too tragic.… Read the rest

Pope Blames Atheists for Copenhagen Summit *

Jan 15th, 2010 | Filed by

Moral sense comes from God; look at those materialistic and atheistic regimes; case closed.… Read the rest

Senior Member of Hizb ut-Tahrir Teaches at LSE *

Jan 15th, 2010 | Filed by

Reza Pankhurst is a postgraduate student and teaches for the course ‘States, Nations and Empires.’… Read the rest

Bishops Horrified by Equality and Rights *

Jan 15th, 2010 | Filed by

Believers must be able to insist that homosexuality is a sin and that only men and women can marry. … Read the rest

Who can answer?

Jan 14th, 2010 5:53 pm | By

On page 39 of The Dawkins Delusion Alister McGrath quotes Peter Medawar as saying, in The Limits of Science:

That there is indeed a limit upon science is made very likely by the existence of questions that science cannot answer, and that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer…I have in mind such questions as:

How did everything begin?
What are we all here for?
What is the point of living?

Doctrinaire positivism – now something of a period piece – dismissed all such questions as nonquestions or pseudo-questions…

So far so familiar. But what I really want to know is – who or what can answer the last two questions? (The first seems in principle … Read the rest

Maia Caron Interviews Udo Schüklenk *

Jan 14th, 2010 | Filed by

Religious institutions and the states they control move ever more viciously against freedom of speech to protect themselves from legitimate criticism.… Read the rest

Why Do Newspapers Report on ‘Miracles’? *

Jan 14th, 2010 | Filed by

Why are editors who are so resistant to the evidence for climate change so uncritical about this nonsense?… Read the rest

The Never-ending Horror of Pat Robertson *

Jan 14th, 2010 | Filed by

Writing horror stories in the blood of innocent victims of a monstrous natural occurrence – again. … Read the rest

Pat Robertson’s Amateur History *

Jan 14th, 2010 | Filed by

Haiti, Napoleon, pact with the devil – what’s he talking about?… Read the rest

Wendy Kaminer: No Atheists Need Apply *

Jan 14th, 2010 | Filed by

Atheists who regard all religions with equal disrespect are sometimes the most reliable defenders of equal religious rights.… Read the rest

Pat Robertson Says Haiti is Cursed *

Jan 13th, 2010 | Filed by

Because of that pact with the devil. … Read the rest

Paul Fidalgo on Karen Armstrong *

Jan 13th, 2010 | Filed by

When cornered by particularly formidable atheists and rationalists, religionists play the Socrates Card. … Read the rest

If Murder is Sincere Then it’s Not so Bad? *

Jan 13th, 2010 | Filed by

Judge refused prosecution request to bar evidence that might support a voluntary manslaughter conviction. … Read the rest

Manslaughter Charge ‘Could Justify Violence’ *

Jan 13th, 2010 | Filed by

The court ‘should not be the first to enable a defendant to justify premeditated murder because of an emotionally charged belief.’… Read the rest

Judge Rules Killer Can Argue for Right to Kill *

Jan 13th, 2010 | Filed by

Will be allowed to argue in court that he believed he was justified in trying to save unborn children… Read the rest

If quacks and bunko artists can be convicted of fraud…

Jan 13th, 2010 12:00 am | By

Daniel Dennett throws down a challenge to various pieties.

I also look forward to the day when pastors who abuse the authority of their pulpits by misinforming their congregations about science, about public health, about global warming, about evolution must answer to the charge of dishonesty. Telling pious lies to trusting children is a form of abuse, plain and simple. If quacks and bunko artists can be convicted of fraud for selling worthless cures, why not clergy for making their living off unsupported claims of miracle cures and the efficacy of prayer?

Because of the free exercise clause, that’s why, or at least it’s one reason. The free exercise clause is a very problematic little item. One can see why … Read the rest

Like champagne

Jan 12th, 2010 4:07 pm | By

After time foolishly squandered arguing with people who unflaggingly and contentedly defend sexist epithets and insist that they are entirely different from racist epithets and repeat with immovable obstinacy that of course they would not call a black person a stupid nigger but calling a woman a stupid bitch is just fine – after that it is refreshing to read less stupid more clear-sighted remarks. Remarks that are two years old, to be sure, but one gets one’s refreshment where one can.

…in the last week, I had a really retro and disheartening conversation about sexist language—a really retro and disheartening conversation about sexist language that I’ve had dozens of times before.

You and me both.

It began in

Read the rest

Why Did a British Professor Support Pol Pot? *

Jan 12th, 2010 | Filed by

The other historians went into the archives; Caldwell had very clear ideological views and the empirical basis didn’t seem to worry him.… Read the rest