All entries by this author

Humour is Reason’s Greatest Ally *

Jul 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

A racist assumption that we should privilege the beliefs of a minority.… Read the rest

UN Condemns Bulldozing of Zimbabwe Slums *

Jul 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Kofi Annan said ‘catastrophic injustice’ had been done to Zimbabwe’s poorest. … Read the rest

Iran Executes Gay Teenagers *

Jul 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

‘The latest barbarity by the Islamo-fascists in Iran,’ says Peter Tatchell.… Read the rest

Ian McEwan Felt Sickened With Anger *

Jul 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

What keeps getting forgotten is that the people committing massacres in Iraq belong to al-Qaida. … Read the rest

Polly Toynbee on the Death Cult *

Jul 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

This is not about poverty, deprivation or cultural dislocation.… Read the rest

On the Run *

Jul 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Up to four disappointed bombers.… Read the rest

Two Observers

Jul 22nd, 2005 3:55 am | By

Ian McEwan, July 19.

Inevitably, we’re going to start seeing around the preposterous political correctness that allows us to have radical clerics preaching in mosques and recruiting young people. We have been caught too much by a sense that we can just regard these clerics as being like English eccentrics at Hyde Park Corner.

So being ‘devout’ isn’t enough then? Huh.

I don’t buy the arguments in the Iraq war. What keeps getting forgotten here is that the people committing massacres in Iraq right now belong to al-Qaida…But the massacres in Iraq now are being conducted by al-Qaida against Muslims. I also think it’s extraordinary the way in which we get morally selective in our outrages. When there was

Read the rest

Roots *

Jul 21st, 2005 | Filed by

What to do about pupils suspended from school?… Read the rest

Bang Bang *

Jul 21st, 2005 | Filed by

Detonators set off on two tube trains and bus. Celebrate Grievance Day.… Read the rest

New Incidents in London *

Jul 21st, 2005 | Filed by

Early reports suggest not on the scale of two weeks ago.… Read the rest

‘Animal Rights’ Arsonists Torch Oxford Boathouse *

Jul 21st, 2005 | Filed by

Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility on Bite Back magazine website.… Read the rest

Famine Threatens Niger *

Jul 21st, 2005 | Filed by

Bad harvest, locust infestation, slow response.… Read the rest

Eve Garrard: ‘Not Just, and Not Tidy Either’ *

Jul 21st, 2005 | Filed by

There’s no guarantee that good things will receive a welcome in the world.… Read the rest

Disaffected Young Men *

Jul 21st, 2005 | Filed by

‘The evil programs on TV, the music, the literature, the magazines are all responsible.’… Read the rest

The Booklet Advocates Killing ‘Refusers’ *

Jul 21st, 2005 | Filed by

‘The booklet could not have been published without the ministry’s knowledge and approval.’… Read the rest

Norman Geras on Apologists *

Jul 21st, 2005 | Filed by

Note the selectivity in the way root-causes arguments function. … Read the rest


Jul 20th, 2005 11:32 pm | By

Wait – what?

It is 97 per cent certain that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead – based on sheer logic and mathematics, not faith – according to Oxford professor Richard Swinburne…This conclusion was reached after a complex series of calculations. In simplified terms, it began with a single proposition: the probability was one in two that God exists. Next, if God exists, the probability was one in two that he became incarnate.

A single proposition – that the probability is one in two that God exists. Um.

We talked (or wrangled) about this last year, when this article on a similar but not identical theme appeared.

A scientist has calculated that there is a 67% chance that God

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Jul 20th, 2005 8:42 pm | By

The trouble with the ‘rage, injustice, grievance, violence inflicted on Muslims, marginalization’ approach is that it takes the action being explained too seriously, too politically, too as-if-rational-y, too as-if-adult-ly, and above all, as an instrument, a tool, a means, rather than as an end in itself, which is what it is. It is not a case of: bang: redress our grievances lest we do it again; it’s a case of: bang: hooray, ha ha, nyah nyah, take that, suffer, die, hooray. Period. The killing is the goal. 7/7 is not October 1917 or the Easter Rising, it’s Auschwitz and Rwanda and Srebrenica.

Along with a huge element of childish fun and games. It’s important not to overlook that. It’s necessary … Read the rest

97% Odds That God Raised JC From Dead *

Jul 20th, 2005 | Filed by

Richard Swinburne: probability that God exists 1 in 2, ditto that he ‘became incarnate.’… Read the rest

Economist I G Patel 1924-2005 *

Jul 20th, 2005 | Filed by

Thatcher asked him: ‘How is it that LSE always has foreigners at its head?’… Read the rest