The first taste of their own rhetorical medicine reduces the godly to frothing rage.… Read the rest
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Not the one in Isaacson’s cozy patronizing mythology.… Read the rest
New bill will call for mandatory counselling and a seven day wait before any abortion.… Read the rest
The ferocity of the clerics’ language is important.… Read the rest
Is it possible to oppose the oppression of women without challenging specific religious laws?… Read the rest
What a paradox is and why philosophers should be interested in them.… Read the rest
Good physics, bad arguments that science is ‘the friend of faith.’… Read the rest
‘Faith seeks to purify reason so that we might be able to see more clearly, not less.’… Read the rest
There are already tens of thousands of children from temporary marriages whose fathers deny them.… Read the rest
The academy is the arena for debate; the sharper that is, the more likely that truth is what will emerge.… Read the rest
About the theist four-step again – I’ve been pondering the fact that 2) and 4) are a tricky combination. What would it even mean to have reliable knowledge that ‘God’ is ‘good’? It’s not really even possible to know that. It’s possible to believe it in a sense, but not to know it.
It’s possible to imagine having reliable knowledge that God exists – and that God is all-powerful and all-knowing, and that it wants us to do certain things and not others. But that it is good? No. Because that’s not knowable in principle.
Imagine it. There’s been some global mass revelation that puts it all beyond question. Included in that is God’s own declaration that God is good. … Read the rest
Part of a wider attempt to roll back the values of secularism and impose religious views on everyone.… Read the rest
An intrinsic feeling for religion.… Read the rest
‘Religious faith has no quarrel with science. It seeks a spiritual truth, not a scientific or historical fact.’… Read the rest
Otherwise the plane might fall down, you see.… Read the rest
Is this true?
What is missing from the book is much sense of what a world without religion, or one that had not had religion in it, might look like. Lots of the principles that Mr Hitchens holds dear, like tolerance and justice, are secularised versions of religious ideas.
Are tolerance and justice secularised versions of religious ideas? What does that in fact mean? I suppose that the ideas originated in religion and that no one ever thought of them independently of religion, though they have now become partially secularized, but only partially since there are always people saying they are in fact religious. But is that true? I don’t believe it. I think people were able to and did … Read the rest
Something I wonder about – Jonathan Derbyshire commenting on something Chris Dillow said:
… Read the rest
“I should stress here that my beef is not with religion as such. It’s about the role it should play in politics. In an egalitarian polity, in which people should be persuaded rationally of policies, religion should have no place – even if it is true. Religion might motivate political beliefs, but it shouldn’t, and needn’t, be the public justification for them.”
In other words, the truth or otherwise of religious beliefs is irrelevant to the question whether they should play a role in public deliberation. So the putatively religious roots of Gordon Brown’s egalitarianism oughtn’t to worry us so long as they play no role
These are dark times for those of us who believe that the free exchange of ideas is a prerequisite of democracy.… Read the rest
The resolution cited ‘the complicity of Israeli academia’ in the occupation of Palestinian lands.… Read the rest