All entries by this author

Deeply Cherished Dogmatism

Dec 10th, 2005 6:11 pm | By

An article by Bruce Bawer in Reason raises some very basic issues.

For many Europeans, the murder of one of the Netherlands’ most outspoken public figures underscored the importance of protecting freedom of expression…Many members of Europe’s fast-growing Muslim communities, however – along with more than a few non-Muslims eager to keep the peace in an increasingly anxious and divided continent – draw a very different lesson: the need to curb freedom of expression out of respect for Muslim sensitivities…Iqbal Sacranie of the Muslim Council of Britain agreed. “Is freedom of expression without bounds?” he asked. “Muslims are not alone in saying ‘No’ and in calling for safeguards against vilification of dearly cherished beliefs.”

Safeguards against vilification of dearly cherished … Read the rest

Xians and Muslims Join Hands Against Materialism *

Dec 10th, 2005 | Filed by

How touching – ID brings God-huggers together.… Read the rest

Dawkins Interview *

Dec 10th, 2005 | Filed by

The universe doesn’t owe us consolation.… Read the rest

Tolerance or Else *

Dec 10th, 2005 | Filed by

Defenders of many-fronted assault on free speech routinely tag critics of Islam as racists. … Read the rest

Like All of Us, Experts Violate the Linda Problem *

Dec 10th, 2005 | Filed by

Plausible detail makes us believers.… Read the rest

They’re Getting Closer, and Closer…

Dec 9th, 2005 5:51 pm | By

So – is it a human right now not to have to be exposed to, or even run the risk of being exposed to, ‘any statement or act showing a lack of respect towards other people’s religion’? Has that been decided? Officially? I ask because the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is ‘concerned about a Danish newspaper’s caricatures of the Muslim prophet Mohammed and has ‘appointed UN experts in the areas of religious freedom and racism to investigate the matter.’ Uh oh. Experts in the areas of religious freedom are investigating cartoons about the prophet? So – what is religious freedom then? Does it mean the ‘freedom’ of religious people to call the cops (or the UN) whenever anyone … Read the rest

Amartya Sen Receives Award from USAID *

Dec 9th, 2005 | Filed by

Thinking deeply about the age-old scourges of humanity: famine, disease, and poverty.… Read the rest

Jane O’Grady Reviews Nicholas Fearn *

Dec 9th, 2005 | Filed by

This book is not for those who seek the easy and emollient mind-massage.… Read the rest

UN Investigates Newspaper Cartoons *

Dec 9th, 2005 | Filed by

Arbour deplores any statement showing lack of respect towards other people’s religion.… Read the rest

Secularists, Gays, Other Rowdies Fight Back *

Dec 9th, 2005 | Filed by

Sainsbury’s and Woolworths may have caved in too early.… Read the rest

Oh Now What *

Dec 9th, 2005 | Filed by

Christians pitch a huge fit over baby Jesus, Xmas, Happy Holidays, whine fuss moan.… Read the rest

Trading Faith for Spirituality: The Mystifications of Sam Harris

Dec 9th, 2005 | By Meera Nanda

Spirituality at Faith’s Funeral

There is something decidedly weird about this business of spirituality. Just say the word “spiritual,” or, if you prefer more gravitas, “mystical,” and you will witness a strange phenomenon. You will find many tough-talking, God-is-dead rationalists morph into Mahesh Yogi lites, peddling sweet-nothings about merging the “self” into the universe, and promoting world peace and reason while they are at it.

In his much acclaimed The End of Faith, Sam Harris declares the death of faith, only to celebrate the birth of spirituality. He wants to convince us of the proposition that “Mysticism is rational…religion is not” (p. 221). Traditional Judeo-Christian and Islamic conception of God who heeds your prayers is a mere leap of … Read the rest

Quality What for All?

Dec 8th, 2005 9:09 pm | By

There’s a passage in Ray Bradley’s ID article -

Science, I came to realize, doesn’t rule out the possible existence of a supernatural world. It isn’t logically committed to metaphysical naturalism. But it is committed to methodological naturalism, the view that, in our attempts to understand how the world works, we should look for naturalistic explanations rather than taking easy recourse to supernatural ones. The successes of science in bridging the gaps that used to be plugged by the gods creates a strong presumption in favour of the idea that gods not only aren’t needed but don’t exist. It doesn’t prove, but it does probabilify to a high degree, the truth of metaphysical naturalism. And by the same token, it

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Dec 8th, 2005 6:31 pm | By

One more dig at I mean comment on Steve Fuller. I think it’s the last for the moment, but who knows. The spirit bloweth where it listeth, etc.

It’s a point about arguing from authority. We’ve noted the arrogance of his tone in the thread at Michael’s – the way he seems to take for granted that he is The Expert in the subject and everyone else is some kind of supplicant or mendicant or rank outsider (an assumption not borne out by the comments, which would seem to reverse the equation – everyone commenting seems to be far more knowledgeable and clear-thinking than he does).

I’m sorry if this sounds patronising but I’d hate you to think you’ve been

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Culture Wars More Serious Now Than in ’80s *

Dec 8th, 2005 | Filed by

Calls for reasoned debate can take away the role of academics in asking hard questions.… Read the rest

Paul Mirecki of University of Kansas Assaulted *

Dec 8th, 2005 | Filed by

Religious studies professor fails to take ID seriously. Naughty.… Read the rest

Betraying the Left *

Dec 8th, 2005 | Filed by

In classic socialist terminology, we are seeing a fight between ‘anti-imperialists’ and ‘anti-fascists’.… Read the rest

Witch Hunts in Northern Ghana *

Dec 8th, 2005 | Filed by

Crops fail, someone is ill – must be the fault of elderly women, who must be witches.… Read the rest

Roger Scruton Interview *

Dec 8th, 2005 | Filed by

‘Many of our most important forms of life involve withdrawing what we value from the market.’… Read the rest

Scott McLemee on Althusser *

Dec 8th, 2005 | Filed by

Sartre’s radical freedom countered by Ideological State Apparatuses.… Read the rest