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Richard Dawkins in Doctor Who

Weirdest news of the day: Richard Dawkins is apparently guest starring in Doctor Who this series. His wife Lalla Ward is an ex Doctor’s-companion, but Russell T. Davies is an atheist and fan, too. Could be entertaining, one way or another. Mainly posting this to warn against reading the explanatory Independent article, which is full of spoilers. Bastards. It would have killed them to put a warning at the top? Read More »

Overanalysis

I just discovered Overanalysis – a blog describing itself as “Dispatches from a personal educational journey on philosophy, religion, atheism and history”. Full of skepticism, atheism and general rationality, it’s definitely worth a look. Full disclosure: it’s (well) written by my Sydney-based cousin, who’s apparently another fan of The Skeptics’ Guide and therefore a classy chap. He’s currently relating his adventures infiltrating the Hillsong Church. Read More »

Evil atheist fundamentalists are going to upset us all

The Archbishop of Wales: Any kind of fundamentalism, be it Biblical, atheistic or Islamic, is dangerous. I think we can agree that fundamentalism, suitably defined, is indeed horrible. I’m not sure what atheistic fundamentalism is meant to refer to, but helpfully he spells it out. Here’s what we’re going to do: let’s pretend for a minute that it’s real. It’s not, of course, but we’ll give him a pass as he can’t be expected to research his Christmas messages and perform all his Archbishop-y duties. Here is his list of the things fundamentalist atheists are supposedly doing: Forcing councils to ... Read More »

Carol-singing atheists

Meant to be Christmas shopping, but instead getting annoyed by the radio. The Jeremy Vine show is incredulous that Richard Dawkins, avowed atheist, enjoys singing Christmas carols. They interview him. He explains that singing is nice and means nothing. Vicar retaliates that singing is inherently an act of worship. Which is stupid. Penn Jillette put it well: I’m not in your club, so I don’t have to follow your rules. Rumour has it that senior Freemasons wear special rings – junior members are not permitted such jewellery. But I’m not a Freemason, so I can do what the hell I ... Read More »

Jonathan Edwards an atheist

I managed to miss this one. Jonathan Edwards, the evangelical olympic athlete who famously refused to compete on Sundays, has revealed he is now an atheist: “Once you start asking yourself questions like, ‘How do I really know there is a God?’ you are already on the path to unbelief,” Edwards says. “During my documentary on St Paul, some experts raised the possibility that his spectacular conversion on the road to Damascus might have been caused by an epileptic fit. It made me realise that I had taken things for granted that were taught to me as a child without subjecting ... Read More »

Criticisms of The God Delusion, and what comes next

The last eight months have seen many critical reviews of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, and the most consistent criticisms, once you get past dull relativism, unthinking accusations of ‘fundamentalism’, and seemingly unending debates over what ‘agnostic’ and ‘atheist’ mean, boil down to two points: We’re told RD hasn’t addressed the sophisticated theology1 behind the belief in a divine being. He instead concentrates on the points that are easy to shoot down – Aquinas etc.. This argument appears to implode, however: this supposedly sophisticated theology is incredibly difficult to find. It’s continually referred to, but is never actually clarified. When ... Read More »

The Star Trek universe vs. reality

Earlier tonight I was watching a BBC4 documentary which explored some of the effects science fiction has had on modern society. One interviewee described what he saw as the impressive moral values of Star Trek: tolerance of other races and kindness towards all are important aspects of the show. I knew that this wasn’t surprising as Gene Roddenberry was both an atheist and humanist, and the Star Trek universe is very much based around humanist philosophy. The interviewee who mentioned this turned out to be a vicar. Obviously there’s not necessarily any conflict here, and I’m sure I would have ... Read More »

‘The Trouble with Atheism’

The National Secular Society says: Former Today editor Rod Liddle is set to launch a broadside against atheism in a programme for Channel 4 entitled The Trouble with Atheism – which will be broadcast on 18 December. Mr Liddle says he will demonstrate how similar atheism is to religion. Sounds interesting. However, this is the guy who recently wrote, in the course of a Spectator interview with Richard Dawkins: Which brings me to the difficult stuff — and Darwinism. It is a creed to which Dawkins cleaves with the fervour of the fundamentalist, the true believer. And it is the ... Read More »

Evil atheists on Silent Witness

Tonight’s Silent Witness is doing its bit for a sensical worldview. The editors of a philosophy magazine fell out over differing religious opinions; one a Christian who writes articles about the astonishing philosophical impact of the resurrection, the other an atheist who writes articles saying that the universe is indifferent to us all. Christian guy turns up dead, and the pathologists figure it must be the atheist because in an indifferent universe why should he adhere to any kind of moral values? They’re right – we’ve seen the guy committing at least one murder. The female pathologist is having something ... Read More »

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