All entries by this author

China Tries to Silence Public Intellectuals *

Dec 9th, 2004 | Filed by

By charging them with elitism.… Read the rest

Theistic Politicians a bit of a Worry *

Dec 9th, 2004 | Filed by

Especially when they think they have a hotline to the deity.… Read the rest

V a n t r ú

Dec 8th, 2004 5:22 pm | By

For our many, many readers who read Icelandic (hey, maybe we do have a lot, I don’t know: we have one more than I was aware of), here is a little treat – you can read one entry from the B&W version of the Fashionable Dictionary in Icelandic every day at Vantrú. Vantrú is, the editor tells me, a skeptical/atheist magazine, so all the more reason for our Icelandic-reading readers to hasten right over there and start reading.… Read the rest

A Law Against Incitement to Religious Hatred

Dec 8th, 2004 | By

Home Secretary David Blunkett wants to make incitement to religious hatred a crime. A good many people are queuing up to express doubts, as they did last July, when Blunkett was flogging the idea on ‘Today’ by saying that people would still be allowed to express opinions about religion – as long as they were sensible. Johann Hari said many good (even sensible) things then:

One of the unfortunate side-effects of multiculturalism is that it has made even the left reluctant to criticise religion. Any attack on other belief systems is seen as tantamount to racism – a trend that David Blunkett seeks to reinforce with his proposals to criminalise ‘incitement to religious hatred’. This is a false link: we

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Rowan Atkinson at Index on Censorship *

Dec 8th, 2004 | Filed by

Is a tolerant society one which tolerates injustices simply because they are perpetrated in the name of religion?… Read the rest

Blunkett Faces Revolt Over Religious Hatred Law *

Dec 8th, 2004 | Filed by

MPs, legal experts, comedians and others point out obvious flaws in idea.… Read the rest

Where is the Argument to be Found? *

Dec 8th, 2004 | Filed by

Philosopher reviews Harold Bloom book on wisdom, asks questions.… Read the rest

He Sounded White Over the Phone *

Dec 8th, 2004 | Filed by

BNP hires black DJ for party; revellers feel unable to speak views openly; party a dud.… Read the rest

Stupid Dino Tricks *

Dec 8th, 2004 | Filed by

A visit to Kent Hovind’s Dinosaur Adventure Land in Florida.… Read the rest

With Socrates on the Sofa *

Dec 8th, 2004 | Filed by

Or Kant on the couch, Hume on the hideabed, Locke on the loveseat.… Read the rest

And Don’t Mention the Deity *

Dec 8th, 2004 | Filed by

Hollywood adaptation of Philip Pullman’s trilogy will omit anti-religious sentiments.… Read the rest

Return of the Repressed

Dec 7th, 2004 6:31 pm | By

It’s back, as the saying goes. The incitement to religious hatred law.

The bill extends the offence of incitement to racial hatred, under the Public Order Act 1988, to religious hatred, so that multi-ethnic faith groups are covered, as Sikhs and Jews are at the moment. Sadiq Khan, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, said the bill closed a loophole which meant those who incite hatred against Christians and Muslims could not be prosecuted. “The law will not mean that comedians like Rowan Atkinson cannot take the piss out of religion,” he added.

Well why not? How do you know? How do I know? How do comedians like Rowan Atkinson, and bloggers like OB and journalists like Christopher … Read the rest

Homa Arjomand Interview

Dec 7th, 2004 5:38 pm | By

For those of you who can get Ontario TV – Homa Arjomand of the campaign against Sharia courts in Canada is going to be on the interview show Person2Person today at 8:30 p.m. (20:30) Ontario time. The show repeats at midnight, then again tomorrow Wednesday at 3 p.m. (15:00).… Read the rest

Well Done, Bladders *

Dec 7th, 2004 | Filed by

Rowan Atkinson and others criticise religious hatred clause.… Read the rest

Wot’s Proactive Translatology? *

Dec 7th, 2004 | Filed by

Discoursal practice implies social commitment. Etc. [link fixed]… Read the rest

Were Enlightenment Deists Paper Tigers? *

Dec 7th, 2004 | Filed by

Was deism a mere bogey invented by bishops to frighten waverers?… Read the rest

New Offense of ‘Inciting Religious Hatred’ *

Dec 7th, 2004 | Filed by

Via words that are abusive, insulting, likely to stir up racial hatred.… Read the rest

When Diversity Meets Islamism *

Dec 7th, 2004 | Filed by

And when tolerance meets violence against women.… Read the rest

Yet More Words

Dec 6th, 2004 9:38 pm | By

I’ve been thinking about one particular idea in the argument over that recurring (or ‘really tedious’) subject of the conflation of race and religion and how that conflation works to head off and prevent criticism. This idea:

whilst attacks on religions can be merely the stuff of enlightenment rationalism, they can also be the cover for nasty attempts to marginalise whole groups of people.

Well, yes, they can be, but then ‘attacks on’ or criticisms of pretty much anything can be that. Including, for example, attacks on atheism and secularism. I would in fact say that there is a concerted effort under way in the US right now to do just exactly that – to criticise or attack atheism and … Read the rest

‘The Delusional is no Longer Marginal’ *

Dec 6th, 2004 | Filed by

Bill Moyers on the environment and the ‘rapture index.’… Read the rest