All entries by this author

Press Releases from HRC of Pakistan *

Nov 15th, 2006 | Filed by

Lots of news there.… Read the rest

Africans React to Gay Marriage Bill *

Nov 15th, 2006 | Filed by

In Uganda, Faridah Kenyini said South Africa had set a good example for rest of continent.… Read the rest

Pakistan Votes to Amend Rape Laws *

Nov 15th, 2006 | Filed by

A woman is raped every two hours and gang-raped every eight hours in Pakistan, according to HRC.… Read the rest

Frank Kermode on Haffenden on Empson *

Nov 15th, 2006 | Filed by

He just thought that people who took what he regarded as ‘disgusting’ views should be corrected.… Read the rest

More from Humpty Dumpty

Nov 15th, 2006 12:11 am | By

More of the old let’s redefine atheism so that we can declare it illegitimate ploy. This one just runs and runs and runs.

In practice, it is possible to reject religion with a reforming, missionary zeal. This of course is [Grayling’s] position, and that of Dawkins. There is indeed a faith dimension to their non-belief. By contrast it is possible to reject religious belief in a less ardent way: this is known as agnosticism. What distinguishes the atheist from the agnostic is his belief that religion ought to be eliminated, that the world would be radically better off without it. Atheism entails a certain narrative about historical progress: we can move to a new and better age once we have

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Is Feminism a War Against Boys? *

Nov 14th, 2006 | Filed by

No: the ‘war against boys’ is a war against feminism.… Read the rest

South Africa Legalizes Same-sex Marriage *

Nov 14th, 2006 | Filed by

SA constitution the first in the world to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual preference. … Read the rest

Michael Dirda on Robert Irwin on Orientalism *

Nov 14th, 2006 | Filed by

‘Irwin has, to use his own highest accolade, tried to get things right.’… Read the rest

Carlin Romano on Philosophical Detective Novels *

Nov 14th, 2006 | Filed by

Combine profundities of truth and meaning with fast-paced narrative ratiocination and be another Eco.… Read the rest

Fears for Lesbian Facing Deportation to Uganda *

Nov 14th, 2006 | Filed by

She is being deported tonight, despite facing persecution and a jail sentence of up to seven years.… Read the rest

The no true Scot move

Nov 13th, 2006 11:32 pm | By

Nigel Warburton has a new blog. This post grabbed my attention the other day. It’s something I’ve wondered about often, I think. Is Anthony Grayling right to say that no truly intelligent mind can lack a sense of humour?

This sounds like a case of what Anthony Flew in his book Thinking About Thinking labelled ‘The No True Scotsman Move’. If someone says ‘No Scotsman could commit a gruesome murder’ and then is confronted with evidence that someone who was born in Scotland had committed such a murder, they explalin ‘Ah, but if they committed a murder like that, they’re not a true Scotsman’. Similarly if I manage to dig up some examples of very intelligent people who completely

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Clive James Interview *

Nov 13th, 2006 | Filed by

Peace and freedom not natural states, but a construction that needs constant maintenance.… Read the rest

Religion and Politics: Overlapping Magisteria? *

Nov 13th, 2006 | Filed by

We should not feel obliged to agree with people whose reasons for their political views are religious. … Read the rest

Ralf Dahrendorf Asks Why Religion Has Returned *

Nov 13th, 2006 | Filed by

Enlightened countries have become unsure of their values, even of the Enlightenment itself.… Read the rest

A C Grayling on Religion’s Last Bloody Fling *

Nov 13th, 2006 | Filed by

Media amplification makes religion seem ubiquitous, but it’s fighting a rearguard action.… Read the rest

NWFP Passes Taleban-like Law *

Nov 13th, 2006 | Filed by

Musharraf denounced a similar bill last year as a breach of fundamental human rights. … Read the rest

A Bastion against Irrationalism

Nov 13th, 2006 | By Robert Wilcocks

Crews, Frederick. 2006. Follies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays. Emeryville, CA: Shoemaker & Hoard. Pp. 405.
ISBN (10) 1-59376-101-5
ISBN (13) 978-1-59376-101-1.

Freud, Sigmund. 2006. Lettres à Wilhelm Fliess 1887-1904. Traduit de l’allemand par Françoise Kahn
et François Robert. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France (Bibliothèque de Psychanalyse). Pp. 763.
ISBN 2-13-054995-0.

The other week my mailbox received the serendipitous joint arrival of — from America — the latest collection of Frederick Crews’s critical essays in book-form, and — from France — the long-awaited and long-delayed uncensored French edition of the complete letters of Freud to Wilhelm Fliess (published in English by Harvard University Press in 1985 and in German by S. Fischer Verlag in Germany in1986). If ever an instance … Read the rest

Job schemes

Nov 12th, 2006 11:25 pm | By

The ‘religious big cheese guys say religion is good and important and necessary‘ thing again. It occurs to me that I forgot to say well they would, wouldn’t they. I mean it’s a pretty funny story and headline, if you think about it. ‘Leaders back faith in public life’ the BBC has it – presumably because it would look too silly to say ‘Clerics back faith in public life’ and lead to a deafeningly raucous chorus of ‘No, really?!’ You might as well have a news headline saying ‘Shoe sellers back shoes on public feet’ or ‘Car makers back cars on public highways’. I mean what else would a couple of topp clerics say? ‘Clerics declare religion a … Read the rest

One thought too many

Nov 12th, 2006 8:07 pm | By

No. Wrong. Quite, quite wrong.

Brown responded to the BNP verdict by saying Griffin’s description of Islam as a ‘wicked, vicious faith’ would offend ‘mainstream opinion in this country’. He said: ‘If there is something that needs to be done to look at the law, then I think we will have to do that.’

Brown may have said more than that; the Observer may be being unfair to him; but all the same, that selection from what he did say is somewhat alarmingly (if you’ll forgive a foreigner for saying so) wrong if it is meant as a justification for the selection that follows. If it’s just a statement of fact, it may or may not be accurate but it’s … Read the rest

Discussion of Women and Veiling *

Nov 12th, 2006 | Filed by

Radio Netherlands has an exchange of views.… Read the rest