All entries by this author

Why Republicans Shun Academia *

Dec 12th, 2004 | Filed by

It doesn’t pay well and it disapproves of gut-thinking.… Read the rest

MP Khalid Mahmood on Religious Hatred Law *

Dec 12th, 2004 | Filed by

Proposed new law could have been used to ‘edit’ Satanic Verses.… Read the rest

‘Brown-skinned Women Contradict the Party Line’ *

Dec 12th, 2004 | Filed by

Nick Cohen on Index on Censorship and Blunkett’s swell idea.… Read the rest

Steven Rose on Labour’s Experiment With Science *

Dec 12th, 2004 | Filed by

Industrialists were brought in to run universities.… Read the rest

Cool New Angel Book *

Dec 12th, 2004 | Filed by

Did you know Charlie’s are not actually real angels?… Read the rest

Antony Flew Goes Deist *

Dec 11th, 2004 | Filed by

Thinks some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created universe.… Read the rest

Flew Now a Deist *

Dec 11th, 2004 | Filed by

Famous atheist philosopher moves towards theism.… Read the rest


Dec 10th, 2004 7:55 pm | By

A little more on this argument about the proposed religious hatred law.

There is for instance number 8 in the Home Office’s FAQ:

The Government is determined to protect both the rights of free speech, which have been long respected in this country, and the right to lead a life in which one can peacefully practise one’s own religion without fear.

That sounds unexceptionable, indeed benevolent, at first blush. But what about after a little thought? The difficulty is that leading ‘a life in which one can peacefully practise one’s own religion’ covers a lot of territory. Rather too much territory. Which is not (contra at least one of our commenters) to say that the government therefore ought to … Read the rest

Marriages Made in Hell *

Dec 10th, 2004 | Filed by

Beaten, threatened, imprisoned.… Read the rest

Claims of Sex Abuse in Madrassas *

Dec 10th, 2004 | Filed by

Clerics reply with death threats.… Read the rest

Pakistan ‘Honour-killings Bill is Too Weak’ *

Dec 10th, 2004 | Filed by

But it’s progress that male-dominated parliament passed it at all.… Read the rest

Classy Cartoon

Dec 10th, 2004 2:16 am | By

Speaking of [I’d better not say what, it will spoil the joke] – Richard Chappell of Philosophy Etcetera has sent me a link to a good cartoon.… Read the rest

Bulletin on Women’s Rights in Middle East *

Dec 9th, 2004 | Filed by

Unequal divorce law in Egypt, law on honour killing in Pakistan, and more.… Read the rest

Can Epistemology Help? *

Dec 9th, 2004 | Filed by

Philosopher debunks Kentucky-fried rat and other urban and rural legends.… Read the rest

Mo Cult Studs *

Dec 9th, 2004 | Filed by

Important for nomos to be anti-anti-Mormon – and contrariwise.… Read the rest

Are Secular Jews Leaving Jerusalem? *

Dec 9th, 2004 | Filed by

Fighting for the rights of the Other or living with the Other…… Read the rest

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

Read the rest