All entries by this author

Hitchens on Belief in Belief *

Dec 31st, 2007 | Filed by

‘Faith’ is at its most dangerous not when it is insincere and hypocritical and corrupt but when it is genuine.… Read the rest

The Arranged Marriage of Bhutto and Musharraf *

Dec 31st, 2007 | Filed by

The experience of her father’s trial and death radicalised and politicised his daughter. … Read the rest

Jemima Khan on Benazir Bhutto *

Dec 31st, 2007 | Filed by

The first democratically elected female leader of a Muslim country never even tried to repeal the Hudood Ordinances.… Read the rest

Tariq Ali on the Bhutto Assassination *

Dec 31st, 2007 | Filed by

What has happened is a tragedy for a country on a road to more disasters. … Read the rest

Tariq Ali Deplores a Feudal Charade *

Dec 31st, 2007 | Filed by

The PPP is being treated as a family heirloom, a property to be disposed of at the will of its leader.… Read the rest

Lessons of Atheist Dictatorships

Dec 31st, 2007 | By Christopher Orlet

One of my favorite moments in the current series of atheist versus Christian debates occurs when the defender of the faith – confronted with contradictions and crimes in Holy Writ – drops the Christian identity and begins championing a vague form of Deism (much like the Rev. Al Sharpton in the Sharpton-Christopher Hitchens Debate). Suddenly all talk of the resurrection and the miraculous vanishes, supplanted by faith in a celestial watchmaker who created this complicated but cockeyed timepiece of a universe, wound it up and then went about His business for the next 13 billion years.

Less amusing is the part where the Christian proponent attempts to blame the worst 20th century atrocities on atheism, which, to my mind, shows … Read the rest

‘Box to Box’: Vote and You’re Dead *

Dec 30th, 2007 | Filed by

Islamist opposition to democracy is based on the claim that allowing humans to legislate is a form of sherk.… Read the rest

Hitchens on Why Bhutto’s Murder is a Disaster *

Dec 30th, 2007 | Filed by

She was pro-Taliban and pro-nukes as PM, but had changed her mind about the Taliban.… Read the rest

So Much For Higher Education *

Dec 30th, 2007 | Filed by

Texas higher ed panel recommends letting Institute for Creation Research offer degrees in science education.… Read the rest

Aziz Huq Says Bhutto Was No Mandela, But *

Dec 30th, 2007 | Filed by

Without democracy, there is scant chance the religious leaders who have backed the Taliban can be won over. … Read the rest

Moni Mohsin on Pakistan Without Benazir *

Dec 30th, 2007 | Filed by

Alone among the leadership of Pakistan, she understood the grave threat from religious extremists. … Read the rest

Political Violence is the Bane of South Asia *

Dec 30th, 2007 | Filed by

Militants and fanatics of all dogmas and grievances have assassinated leaders since independence.… Read the rest

Block that play

Dec 30th, 2007 11:01 am | By

Speaking of the combination of bullshit and bullying – consider the way the word ‘faith’ is everywhere used as a tool of that combination. It’s a bully-word precisely because it’s about bullshit; it gets to bully people on the grounds that it is about unwarranted belief. What an odd arrangement.

Look at Deborah Solomon talking to Ian McEwan for instance.

It seems to me that the impulse to atone is a religious one, and yet you are a self-declared atheist. Yes, I am an atheist, and probably Briony is, too. Atheists have as much conscience, possibly more, than people with deep religious conviction, and they still have the same problem of how they reconcile themselves to a bad deed in

Read the rest

Secular democracy is a Sin

Dec 30th, 2007 10:15 am | By

Some ideas are dangerous any way you look at them. This is one.

Over the past decade, thousands of people, from top politicians to ordinary voters, have been murdered by Islamists in Muslim countries that have held reasonably free elections (Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia). Islamist opposition to democracy is based on the claim that allowing men to legislate would be a form of sherk, that is to say associating Man with God, who is the “sole and ultimate legislator”. Man-made law cannot rival God-made Shariah.

Humans can’t and mustn’t (especially mustn’t, because in fact of course they can, so they have to be stopped) correct or review or displace or act for or … Read the rest

George Felis on Consensus and Skepticism *

Dec 29th, 2007 | Filed by

Once a conclusion is determined in advance by faith, subsequent ‘argument’ is mere rationalization.… Read the rest

The Islamist War on Muslim Women *

Dec 29th, 2007 | Filed by

It took a worldwide outcry to spare ‘Qatif girl’ and others. We have to keep squawking.… Read the rest

The Most Potent Voice for Liberalism and Change *

Dec 29th, 2007 | Filed by

Bhutto’s assassination a defining act of the politics of murder – a phenomenon that we see from Lebanon to Iraq to Pakistan.… Read the rest

Grand Opening of London Center for Inquiry *

Dec 29th, 2007 | Filed by

Paul Kurtz, Joseph Hoffmann, Julian Baggini, Stephen Law, Nigel Warburton, Polly Toynbee, Ibn Warraq, etc.… Read the rest

McGinn Did Not Like Honderich’s Book *

Dec 29th, 2007 | Filed by

But was his tone wrong? Philosophers and others discuss.… Read the rest

Where Did the Laws of Nature Come From? *

Dec 29th, 2007 | Filed by

Cosmology meets philosophy.… Read the rest