All entries by this author

Hitchens Attends Arendt Centenary Conference *

Nov 6th, 2006 | Filed by

‘What an awful season of pseudo-fights and distractions.’… Read the rest

‘Faith’ Schools Allowed to Discriminate *

Nov 6th, 2006 | Filed by

Government drops long-standing legal bans on discrimination against staff who have different or no religion.… Read the rest

Multiculturalism Discussed *

Nov 6th, 2006 | Filed by

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Candace Allen, Ted Cantle, Dreda Say Mitchell.… Read the rest

Lack of Clarity About Multiculturalism *

Nov 6th, 2006 | Filed by

Many anti-racists are so used to resisting attacks on minorities that they will defend all differences.… Read the rest

Grayling Puts Religion on the Stage *

Nov 6th, 2006 | Filed by

Grayling and director Mick Gordon co-wrote play with contributions from theologians, clerics, atheists.… Read the rest

The Christian conscience

Nov 5th, 2006 7:45 pm | By


In a startling warning to the Government, senior church and political figures have backed a report advocating force to protest against policies that are “unbiblical” and “inimical to the Christian faith”.

The Telegraph cites the ‘menacing language’ of the report and says ‘Lord Mawhinney, the Tory peer, Andy Reed, the Labour MP, and the Rt Rev Peter Forster, the Bishop of Chester, helped to produce’ it.

The report from the Evangelical Alliance says “violent revolution” should be regarded as a viable response if government legislation encroaches further on basic religious rights. The church is urged to come to a consensus that “at some point there is not only the right but the duty to disobey the state”…Proposals to

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We feel special today

Nov 5th, 2006 6:47 pm | By

More pondering on this question of what is good and for whom. Compassion is an important human virtue, but would it be an important virtue, or a virtue at all, if humans were different kinds of entities? If we were conscious but immortal and perfect, if we never suffered, if we had no vulnerability of any kind (and didn’t know of any entities that did), would compassion be a virtue? Would we see it as a good thing? I tend to doubt it.

I had similar doubts and questions about some things Keith Ward said in a discussion with Anthony Grayling in Prospect last year.

The scientific perception of the cosmos is that it is an intelligible, law-like, mathematically

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Anti-Censorship Conference at National Theatre *

Nov 5th, 2006 | Filed by

Appignanesi, Mortimer, Hytner, others to confront growing danger to theatre in the UK.… Read the rest

Muslims Join Xians to Bully Gays in Scotland *

Nov 5th, 2006 | Filed by

‘There is a momentum building against the secular parties’ says founder of ‘pro-family’ ‘pro-life’ party.… Read the rest

Church Group Report Offers Threats *

Nov 5th, 2006 | Filed by

Tory peer, Labour MP, Bishop of Chester helped to produce the menacing report.… Read the rest

Blair Criticizes ‘Anti-science Brigade’ *

Nov 5th, 2006 | Filed by

Condemns ‘outrageous distortion’ of campaigners against pioneering technologies.… Read the rest

Haggard Fired for ‘Sexually Immoral Conduct’ *

Nov 5th, 2006 | Filed by

Noisy opponent of gay marriage admits having a massage from a gay masseur, denies inhaling. … Read the rest

Lords Report on Science Decline in Schools *

Nov 5th, 2006 | Filed by

Psychology, media studies, photography considered more fun, also easier.… Read the rest

Mock Mock Mock *

Nov 5th, 2006 | Filed by

Rationalists on crusade. Very droll.… Read the rest

U-turn on ‘Faith’ Schools Explained *

Nov 5th, 2006 | Filed by

Incompatible goals meet, tangle, thrash about, retire to corners again.… Read the rest

Whither virtue?

Nov 4th, 2006 10:21 pm | By

I’ve been pondering (off and on, mostly off) this question of suffering and compassion – this idea that you can’t have one without the other, or that the one makes the other worthwhile, or acceptable, or the world that includes it more attractive. Swinburne said, as we saw:

Theodicy provides good explanations of why God sometimes – for some or all of the short period of our earthly lives – allows us to suffer pain and disability. Although intrinsically bad states, these difficult times often serve good purposes for the sufferers and for others. My suffering provides me with the opportunity to show courage and patience. It provides you with the opportunity to show sympathy and to help alleviate

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Anthony Giddens on Climate Change and Greens *

Nov 4th, 2006 | Filed by

Many greens are hostile to science and technology, which are needed in responses to climate change.… Read the rest

Jesus and Mo Take Moses to Meet the Barmaid *

Nov 4th, 2006 | Filed by

He’s an outgoing guy.… Read the rest

Bad Science on a Pricey Cure for Dyslexia *

Nov 4th, 2006 | Filed by

What was wrong with the paper? Quite a few things.… Read the rest

On Hannah Arendt *

Nov 4th, 2006 | Filed by

Seyla Benhabib, Michael Hardt, Martin Jay, Julia Neuberger, Ilan Pappe, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, others.… Read the rest