Over on marrog‘s journal, there’s a poll and discussion on whether Jesus existed. Jesus mythicism, the position that Jesus never existed, seems popular among atheists, but I think it’s unwarranted, for the reasons that I allude to in this comment.
- Eurozine – Multiculturalism at its limits? – Kenan Malik, Fero Sebej Managing diversity in the new Europe
- Kenan Malik seems pretty sensible: "we need to make the distinction between diversity as lived experience and multiculturalism as a political process", "what I'm attacking is not simply multiculturalism, but also anti-immigrant sentiment, which are two sides of the same coin. Both sides of the debate confuse peoples and values." Via andrewducker.
(tags: europe multiculturalism society politics)
- Man shot dead for eating popcorn too loudly during Black Swan – Telegraph
- I feel we should encourage this sort of thing: even in the Arts Picturehouse, which is relatievly free of chavs, you occasionally get people giving their hilarious running commentary. For example, at a recent screening, when baddie character was lying mangled at the foot of a cliff at the end, a voice behind me said "That's what happens if you're naughty". I was too slow to murmur "That's what happens when you talk in the cinema", alas. L'esprit d'escalier, as they say.
(tags: news popcorn random film death shooting guns)
- The Real Fort Smith: The Fact & Fiction Behind True Grit
- How much of True Grit was true?
(tags: western film true-grit history)
- Who is Ray Preaching To? | Unreasonable Faith
- Unreasonable Faith, via Jesus Needs New PR, present the standard evangelical gospel, "God has made you sick and commands you to be well", presentation from Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron (as a commenter on JNNPR says, Jesus likes C-list celebs, L Ron Hubbard has the A-listers). Vorjack notes Ray is utterly unconvincing wonders who Ray's talking to: my guess is cultural Christians who vaguely accept Ray's premises. Even so "Have you ever told a lie? What does that make you?" invites the response "Have you ever told the truth? What does that make you?", I suppose… Perhaps Ray needs a Bad Arguments post of his own.
(tags: evangelicalism evangelism ray-comfort kirk-cameron christianity religion sin)
- On What God Would Do
- A popular response to arguments which say that suffering and evil in the world is evidence that God does not exist is to say that we're not in a position to know that God doesn't have good reasons for allowing the evil/suffering. In "On What God Would Do", Rob Lovering shows that that sort of response to the problem of evil ends up creating problems for arguments in favour of God's existence, since they generally rely on claims about what God would do. Hume got there first, as usual, but Lovering makes it rigourous.
(tags: philosophy religion theodicy evil rob-lovering)
- 5 Amazing Things Invented by Donald Duck (Seriously) | Cracked.com
- Donald Duck invented the plot to Inception and a method of raising sunken ships using ping pong balls, apparently.
(tags: comics cracked cartoons inception disney duck)
- Paul Haggis Vs. the Church of Scientology : The New Yorker
- Just in case you were in any doubt that Scientology is a massive con.
(tags: religion scientology cult)
- Clergy told to take on the ‘new atheists’ – Telegraph
- The Archdruid is going to fight the Dawkinsator. This will be epic.
(tags: atheism uk anglicanism anglican cofe rowan-williams new-atheism richard-dawkins)
- What “socalized healthcare” is really like
- Not perfect, but pretty good at treating urgent stuff.
(tags: uk nhs health medicine)
- Terry Jones Adapting Good Omens Into A TV Series Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movies and TV News and Rumors
- Should be good, if it happens.
(tags: terry-pratchett pratchett neil-gaiman books television fantasy)
- On ableist language
- Why you shouldn't call the Conservative cuts "crazy". I found this very helpful.
(tags: satire identity-politics disability politics)
Over on Less Wrong, an interesting post on ordinary skills that readers happent to lack has developed into an interesting sub-thread about guys asking women out at dancing. I’ve contributed a bit. As I’m male, though, I may be completely wrong, so if any dancing women want to comment, I’m sure it’d be appreciated.
PS: Read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. It’s great!
- Metamagician and the Hellfire Club: Gnus can be nice
- Blackford writes good stuff: "What we do say is that it's hopelessly misleading to go around saying "Science and religion are compatible." It would be more true to say that science tends to undermine all or most traditional forms of religion, making them less plausible, putting pressure on the religious to thin out their supernaturalist, providentialist views of the world, and so on. The result is that much in the way of actual religion really is threatened by the advance of science. Claiming otherwise is, we say, likely to be disingenuous (or, to be fair, simply mistaken)."
(tags: science religion atheism accomodationism russell-blackford)
- Time to change the Dail Mail’s masthead
- "Many people are fooled by the Daily Mail’s appearance into thinking that it is something it’s not. Every week seems to bring fresh stories of people or organisations that have co-operated with it, but are then upset to find themselves misrepresented or just deliberately lied about in its pages. If they had realised that it is not a newspaper but a comic, and does not seem to be bound by any of the laws that we popularly imagine newspapers to comply with, they probably would not ever have agreed to speak to its journalists. Readers, too, are often misled by the Mail’s appearance into thinking they are reading a newspaper, which can often lead to enormous confusion on their part."
(tags: journalism media daily-mail funny)
- Why Facebook makes you sad
- Makes you think everyone else is having more fun than you.
(tags: facebook internet psychology)
- YouTube – Enemies not Allies Seminar on the far-Right and Pro-Islamist Left: Maryam Namazie
- Maryam Namazie reckons you can and should be critical of Islam without joining the EDL. Via an ex-Muslim of my acquaintance, who I'm obviously not going to name.
(tags: islam islamism politics religion maryam-namazie)
- David Cameron tells Muslim Britain: stop tolerating extremists | Politics | The Guardian
- "David Cameron will today signal a sea-change in the government fight against home-grown terrorism, saying the state must confront, and not consort with, the non-violent Muslim groups that are ambiguous about British values such as equality between sexes, democracy and integration." I agree with Dave, to the extent that it’s unfair to call Christians on their shit without doing the same to Muslims.
(tags: islam multiculturalism uk europe guardian religion politics)
- Johann Hari: Why is it wrong to protect gay children? – Johann Hari, Commentators – The Independent
- Hari lays the smackdown on Melanie Phillips, who thoroughly deserves it.
(tags: politics homosexuality education religion uk johann-hari daily-mail)
- Ethical First Principles
- A brief introduction to various sorts of ethics (virtue, deonotological, consequentialist). Some interesting comments about what causes us to reject various systematisations of morality and whether our rejections are legitimate.
(tags: morality ethics philosophy)
- "Ignostics take issue with a question so fundamental it's often overlooked: What do you mean by "God"? Is "God" a coherent or cognitively meaningful thought? Is it premature, or even possible, to have a serious discussion about a vacuous concept?" Interesting: I tend to find discussion of the evangelical Christian God meaningful, but I have no idea what it would mean for some other sorts of god to exist.
(tags: ignosticism philosophy religion god)
- Why The King’s Speech is a gross falsification | Film | The Guardian
- The Hitch reckons it's rather too kind to Churchill and a bit too kind to George. Still a good film, but worth bearing in mind that it's not history.
(tags: history uk movie film hitchens europe nazis wwII war churchill royal christopher-hitchens)
- A True Story Of Daily Mail Lies (guest post)
- The Daily Mail are lying bastards. Who knew? (OK, probably you all knew, but it's worth seeing a specific example of outright fabrication of a story and refusal to apologise).
(tags: journalism law libel media daily-mail dailymail defamation newspaper newspapers)
- Awkward ‘Christian tweet’ of the day!? | Jesus Needs New PR
- Complementarian bad boy John Piper with a warning for us all (well, those of you who have daughters, at any rate).
(tags: complementarianism john-piper funny crazy christianity religion incest alcohol)
- Did Vikings navigate by polarized light? : Nature News
- Interesting, maybe even true.
(tags: physics history science)