Category Archives: God

The TLS gets better

The TLS seems to have got a new philosophy editor, Tim Crane, and his influence on this week’s issue is remarkable. For a start there is his own long, excellent essay on what religion is and isn’t, exposing the inadequacies … Continue reading

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Scientism and fundamentalism (in honour of Jerry Coyne)

Below the fold is a piece I wrote for Zia Sardar’s magazine Critical Muslim. It’s rather long, partly because it contains an insertion on Sam Harris and torture. Although younger readers will not remember the new atheists this is a … Continue reading

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Jack Chick and hell

This may be the secret of the appeal of Chick-type fundamentalism. It’s paranoia as entertainment, since no one could possibly be frightened of most of the things that terrify him. Continue reading

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A sermon for Terry Pratchett

Many years ago, I was asked to preach a sermon at Wadham College. I hemmed and hawed a bit, saying this really wasn’t my line of work, but they were pressing. So I wrote something, and spoke it. When Pratchett … Continue reading

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Small moment of pleasure

Yesterday my colleague David Shariatmadari was commissioning a comment from Richard Dawkins. “I’m so glad you’re not the notorious Andrew Brown” said RD and added, eagerly, “Has he been fired?” No: sorry to disappoint you, Richard.

Posted in Blather, God | 4 Comments

Plugging Marek

I had to call Marek Kohn the other day, because I was thinking about the Chief Rabbi’s eugenics, and this led me to reread A reason for everything. It really is good. The discussion of Bill Hamilton in particular is … Continue reading

Posted in God, Literature, Science without worms | 1 Comment

on being told by PZ to fuck off

PZ posted a tremendous rant about me and Michael Ruse last week, which concluded with a heartfelt exhortation to both of us to “fuck off” (his emphasis). The cause was a piece I did on the grauniad site about Ruse’s … Continue reading

Posted in God, USA | 51 Comments

undiscriminating reads

on trains in and out of London Ken MacLeod, the Night Sessions: very good and tightly imagined account of what a war on religion would actually mean; and what a secular Scotland would be like. Written with great sympathy for … Continue reading

Posted in God, Journalism, Literature, Sweden | 8 Comments

Sisters, not parent and child

An interesting and important point from John Barton’s essay on conceptions of the afterlife in the current TLS (not online): Jews and Christians do not of course believe the same things, but the structures of the two faiths are much … Continue reading

Posted in God, Journalism | 3 Comments

An excellent discovery

Chris Hedges’ book I don’t believe in atheists. My copy has been pre-owned, as they say (I ordered from Powells, since it isn’t published in this country) by a believer in scientism, whose pencil annotations are most illuminating. The book … Continue reading

Posted in God, Literature, USA | 27 Comments