All entries by this author

Changes in Religious Hatred Bill Urged *

Jan 30th, 2006 | Filed by

Peers voted to restrict to threatening words or behaviour, but ministers want to include insults and abuse.… Read the rest

Iqbal Sacranie Hoist With His Own Petard *

Jan 30th, 2006 | Filed by

What was that he said about Kilroy-Silk in 2004? Oh yes…… Read the rest

Vatican Nervous About Inquisition Publicity *

Jan 30th, 2006 | Filed by

Campaigns to root out error and unorthodoxy by torturing and killing thousands not so bad.… Read the rest

Threats of Violence Fail to Disrupt Lahore Marathon *

Jan 30th, 2006 | Filed by

‘You can’t reason with these people,’ notes race co-ordinator. Crowds cheer as women and men run.… Read the rest

ID is Breathtaking Inanity *

Jan 30th, 2006 | Filed by

Matt Ridley, Steve Jones answer Telegraph editorial (scroll down to end).… Read the rest

I Cannot Tell a Lie, Mostly

Jan 29th, 2006 9:48 pm | By

I call this unfair. Andrew Sullivan commented on Norm’s reply to my comment on a post of Norm’s. (Hey that’s one of those tests. One of those levels things. We can only go so many levels before our puny primate brains go all sideways-bent and can’t function. I think she thinks you think he thinks – and that’s about it, or maybe it’s one more. Four, or five, I think, and no more. After that we just unhook and can’t follow any more.) So what did he say? (Sullivan. Come on, that’s level one, you’re supposed to be able to manage that far. Get a grip.) He said Norm is an honest atheist – in implied contrast to people who … Read the rest

Keith Ward

Jan 29th, 2006 5:45 pm | By

I’ve been re-reading Keith Ward’s God, Chance and Necessity, which I mentioned in a disrespectful fashion that annoyed at least one commenter the other day. Now that I’ve read some of it again, I’m all abashed. I’m ashamed and sorry. I must apologize. I wasn’t nearly disrespectful enough. The book is so stupid I can’t read it without squirming.

I’m short on time at the moment, so what I’ll do is, I’ll just give you a few extracts to ponder.

Page 80:

One may think of God as having a universe-long intention to bring conscious beings into a community of freely chosen loving relationships. This intention will shape the initial laws of the universe and the emergence of more

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Bullying Women in Afghanistan *

Jan 29th, 2006 | Filed by

Men line up to call woman a prostitute, bitch, un-Islamic whore – for taking a driving test.… Read the rest

Pakistani Women Run in Race Despite Pressure *

Jan 29th, 2006 | Filed by

MMA opposed the mixing of men and women and had urged protesters to disrupt the race. … Read the rest

Last-ditch Effort to Bury Religious Hatred Bill *

Jan 29th, 2006 | Filed by

Labour now plans to make it an offence to incite religious hatred through use of insulting or abusive words.… Read the rest

Bad Arguments for Theism *

Jan 29th, 2006 | Filed by

Lots of things are intolerable; that doesn’t make them untrue. You can’t eat a stone by believing it is cheese.… Read the rest

The Mysterious Death of Samira Munir *

Jan 29th, 2006 | Filed by

Anti-assimilation sentiment as oppressive pressure on those most easily controlled, girls and women.… Read the rest

Faith is a Moral Failing

Jan 29th, 2006 | By George M Felis

Let’s be brutally honest. To describe FAITH as a “failure of reason” is a half-truth at best.

There are those who assert that their religious convictions are grounded in reason and evidence alone. But I’ve never actually met such a rare creature myself. Even the most cunning Jesuitical sophistry seeking to rationally justify religion does not entirely leave out faith as a component. And not faith in the sense of “hope” or “confidence” or any other wishy-washy alternate definition. By “faith” in this context, I mean (and honest believers also mean) believing something because one chooses to believe it, without regard to the absence of evidence/reasons to believe. (Sometimes, faith even entails believing something without regard to the presence of … Read the rest

Bérubé on the Place of Plebiscites in the Classroom

Jan 28th, 2006 7:43 pm | By

I want to scribble a little more on all this about religion, and is the glass half full or half full of wormwood, and what’s so wrong with ‘faith’ – though I’m not sure I need to after G’s eloquent and incisive summation. I probably will anyway though, because I like trying to scrape down to the bottom of things. Besides, the discussion is prompting some brilliant replies, so why stop now.

But that will take me awhile, and in the meantime I want to point out some great stuff in a talk on academic freedom Michael Bérubé gave on Thursday and then posted on his site.

The principle of academic freedom stipulates that “teachers are entitled to full

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Clive James Has not a Blog but a Website *

Jan 28th, 2006 | Filed by

Books go out of print but websites can be archived. Writers like that.… Read the rest

Bastards Burn Down Schools in Afghanistan *

Jan 28th, 2006 | Filed by

Officials blamed Taleban for burning down newly-built schools which serve 1,000 boys and girls. … Read the rest

Kofi Annan Condemns Holocaust Denial *

Jan 28th, 2006 | Filed by

UN Secretary General says world must challenge those who deny the Holocaust happened.… Read the rest

Saul Kripke: Not ‘What Am I?’ but ‘What Is I?’ *

Jan 28th, 2006 | Filed by

Naming and Necessity is among the most influential philosophy books of the last 50 years.… Read the rest

Michael Bérubé on Academic Freedom *

Jan 28th, 2006 | Filed by

Decisions about academic affairs should be conducted by means of peer review rather than by plebescite.… Read the rest

Undoing Roe v Wade Bit by Bit *

Jan 28th, 2006 | Filed by

No need to overturn it outright if you can just make it unavailable.… Read the rest