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Seriously considering a PGCE

Michael Gove is apparently in favour of atheist schools: Answering questions from MPs on the Commons education select committee on Wednesday, Mr Gove said: “One of the most striking things that I read recently was a thought from Richard Dawkins that he might want to take advantage of our education legislation to open a new school, which was set up on an explicitly atheist basis. “It wouldn’t be my choice of school, but the whole point about our education reforms is that they are, in the broad sense of the word, small “l”, liberal, that they exist to provide that ... Read More »

Humanist Symposium #51

Welcome to the 51st Humanist Symposium, coming to you on a truly auspicious day on which we celebrate two unarguably excellent things. Firstly, over here in the UK it’s Mother’s Day. Not to be confused with Mothering Sunday, which is a deprecated Christian festival that just happens to coincide with Mother’s Day in Europe – but not in the US. It gets confusing. Mothers, though! I think we can all agree they’re pretty great. Secondly, over there in the US it’s Pi Day. 3.14. Without pi we wouldn’t have the hula-hoop, Stargate or Quidditch, and wedding rings wouldn’t work, so it’s ... Read More »

Oxford Think Week starts this Monday

I promised to mention the upcoming Oxford Think Week, which looks pretty entertaining. It starts this Monday, and runs through next Sunday. There are lots of speakers and events, but some of my highlights: Stephen Law is a philosopher and author of The Philosophy Gym (philosophical questions ostensibly for children, but just as interesting for adults) and The War for Children’s Minds (one of my favourite atheist books, but sometimes difficult to get hold of). His God of Eth argument – that the non-existence of an omnipotent, benevolent god is actually obvious – takes a while to explain, but is ... Read More »

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my Skepchick gave to me…

Twelve happy humans, Eleven Sagan sayings, Ten Lords repeals, Nine Godless carols, Eight God Delusions, Seven heathen buses, Six Graylings dancing, Ben Goldacre, Phar-yng-u-la, Three God Trumps, Two Darwin fish, and The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas. Not that I have a Skepchick. But, you know, in theory. Read More »

Don’t you know my donation was ironic?

This is my favourite argument ever: Some religious, and specifically Christian, commentators are indignant that the money from the Atheist bus campaign has been rolled over to support another poster drive which raises questions about the religious identity of children in the context of faith schools. Why should they care how Humanists spend their money? Usually it’s the other way around. Humanists are deeply unhappy that Christians get their proselytism funded through tax relief on charitable donations. The reason is that when the original poster campaign was launched, some Christians thought it would be a clever move to make a ... Read More »

The Atheist Billboard Campaign

The Atheist Billboard Campaign launched today. It’s the second phase of the Atheist Bus Campaign, and sees large billboards in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast. Here’s the London one: Isn’t it cool? The message will be familiar to anyone familiar with Richard Dawkins’ writings: it’s wrong to label children with concepts beyond their understanding. The labels shown in the background – ‘Catholic child’, ‘Muslim child’, ‘Atheist child’, ‘Post-modernist child’ etc. – should all stick in the throat, as there are no such things (the BHA’s campaign page goes into more detail on the divisive and coercive nature of labelling children ... Read More »

Atheist Thriller on the Plinth – Part 2

It was a gorgeous afternoon – as sunny and warm as the One and Other team had seen it – and Trafalgar Square was full. This was great. Anything that wasn’t rain was just fine with me, and I found myself pretty excited by all the people. Hopefully we’d get a crowd, at least. The cherry picker moved slowly towards the plinth, the security guard shooing passers-by out of the way, and I started to spot familiar faces. I was, by this point, grinning like an idiot. I was lifted high above the plinth, and I took the opportunity to ... Read More »

Christian comebacks to the Atheist Bus Campaign

The Atheist Bus Campaign adverts are coming down in the next few days, after an amazingly successful month. They’ve been a remarkable talking-point1, similar adverts are going up all around the world, and they annoyed, then embarrassed, Christian Voice. All great results, but they’re also apparently the vanguard for a wave of god-related banners: A trinity of Christian groups have created their own series of advertisements to run across London buses Fair enough, let’s see what they’ve got. Here’s the first, from the Christian Party: There definitely is a God. So join the Christian Party and enjoy your life. Quite the ... Read More »

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