The disgraceful Telegraph article on Dawkins

The Telegraph hit piece on Dawkins is out (as many of you already know; it’s nearly 5 in the afternoon in the UK, while it’s only a fresh-faced nearly 9 in the morning here on the west coast of the US). It’s even worse than I expected it to be, and that’s saying something. It’s vicious slavering bullshit. It’s a disgrace to journalism.

He has railed against the evils of religion, and lectured the world on the virtues of atheism.

Now Richard Dawkins, the secularist campaigner against “intolerance and suffering”, must face an awkward revelation: he is descended from slave owners and his family estate was bought with a fortune partly created by forced labour. [Read more...]

You did ask

I was asked what I think of the quotes from the NO God Blog and Al Stefanelli quoted in Chris Stedman’s most recent Letter to the Atheists. Ok; what I think.

The first one is from a post titled “A Point was missed” on what appears to be a blog on the website of American Atheists. It’s not signed. It’s short. It’s dated April 29, 2010. It seems about as random, as an “example” of anything, as one could get. The bit quoted is very badly and stupidly worded; no disagreement there; but so what? I don’t even know who wrote it. I certainly don’t take it as representative of anything. It’s nearly two years old. What on earth is the point of dredging up an old obscure anonymous blog post as part of what is called a “sampling of comments from prominent atheists about Islam and Muslims”? Yes of course you can find people of any point of view or faction or party or any other category, saying stupid things, but what of it? [Read more...]

The edification of both sides

The chief rabbi and Charles Taylor got together recently to say stuff about “The Future of Religion in a Secular Age.” Both are big fans of religion, so the stuff they said was in that vein.

For Taylor and Rabbi Sacks, religion should act as a counterpoint and antidote to the rampant solipsism and breakdown of sociality that characterize the secular world. Religion, unlike the market, science, or politics, exists in its own realm beyond materiality and simple solutions, and even beyond the self. According to Taylor, religious practice entails a transcendence of the self that is desperately needed in a culture as self-obsessed as our own. Rabbi Sacks added that on one hand, religion must stand at the vanguard of the “redemption of solitude” and on the other, strive to establish real community beyond the alone-togetherness of this virtual age. [Read more...]

No billboard for YOU

Mid Ohio Atheists had a contract with Lind Media Company for two billboards (of the atheist variety, of course). At the last minute Lind Media Company dropped Mid Ohio Atheists a line to say “Oops we changed our minds sorry thx bye.”

No fair.

 Granted, if I were putting up an atheist billboard in Ohio I would start smaller than that. I would start with something it’s easier to defend on a billboard*. But Lind Media Company shouldn’t string them along and then go “ha ha HA ha” at the last second.

 See that one’s much better. Less dogmatic. Easier to defend. Also offering solidarity in place of a scolding or command. Better billboard material. But either way Lind Media Company shouldn’t play nasty tricks.

*I said that before I saw the churchy billboards that Lind Media is happy to display. I take it back.

 

Dude – Title II of the Federal Civil Rights Law of 1964

The Center for Inquiry reports:

Prejudice against atheists manifested itself again when The Wyndgate Country
Club in Rochester Hills, Michigan (outside of Detroit), cancelled an event with
scientist and author Richard Dawkins after learning of Dawkins’s views on
religion. The event had been arranged by the Center for Inquiry–Michigan (CFI), an advocacy group for secularism and science, and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. [Read more...]