Link blog: islam, christianity, office, solitude

When people ask why I have a problem with religion, it’s hard to come up with a single answer… – Imgur

(tags: christianity islam religion)

Worrying developments for freedom of expression in the UK – Various – Various – RichardDawkins.net

“This thread combines a number of examples where atheists, humanists and/or secularists have been threatened or coerced into silence, both by Muslims and by institutions or other groups apparently subscribing to the view that ‘If someone believes it, you must respect it’. All these examples have happened in the UK in the course of the last week or so. … But the key thing to note in all these cases is that it is no longer just the religious who would inhibit our freedom of expression: increasingly, secular bodies are buying into this invidious idea too, all in the name of ‘tolerance’ or ‘community relations’ or ‘respect’.”

Fuck it, I’m joining the EDL.

Just kidding, I don’t have the beer belly or the conviction for football hooliganism and I’ve never seen a “Muslamic raygun”. Still, it is alarming to see these things happening in Britain. Who are the reasonable opposition? Can’t leave something that important to the Nazis.
(tags: sharia speech freedom islamism uk islam)

Atheism isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship … with reality | Unreasonable Faith

A summary of blogged responses to that “I hate religion but love Jesus” video that’s been doing the rounds. I made a comment at the bottom. Also good for the comment thread on Atheismo, the diety for atheists.
(tags: relationship with god video atheism religion)

Driscoll & Brierley on Women in Leadership « Cognitive Discopants

Well known complementarian and fan of big strong manly men, Mark Driscoll, recently did an interview with Justin Brierley of Premier Christian Radio. Driscoll came out with a few choice quotes about Christians in the UK (“guys in dresses preaching to grandmas”).

He then had a go at Brierley for going to a church run by a woman (Brierley’s wife!) and not believing in penal substitutionary atonement and eternal conscious torment in Hell (Brierley is an annihilationist: we unsaved will be told off and then vapourised rather then being tortured forever). Fun times.
(tags: homosexuality premier christian radio complementarianism mark-driscoll religion church mark driscoll christianity women sexism markdriscoll)

The Rise of the New Groupthink – NYTimes.com

“Most of us now work in teams, in offices without walls, for managers who prize people skills above all. Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in.

But there’s a problem with this view. Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption.”
(tags: flow solitude groupthink team office work creativity)

Link blog: science, humour, homosexuality, politics

Preventing Lesbianism and “Uppity Women” in the Womb? No. | Focal Point | Big Think

That story that's been doing the rounds about about a pill to prevent your kid being a lesbian turns out to be bullshit.
(tags: homosexuality medicine science)

What I think about global warming : Stoat

What Dr Connolley thinks of global warming: the science is well established, the sceptics want to argue it isn't because they don't like many of the suggestions for what we should do about it.
(tags: science global-warming climate)

http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/

The 2010 Bulwer-Lytton contest results are out! Read the worst first line of a story that people have been able to come up with this year.
(tags: writing literature funny language humour fiction bulwer-lytton)

What isn’t wrong with Sharia law? | Law | guardian.co.uk

"To safeguard our rights there must be one law for all and no religious courts."
(tags: islam feminism islamism secularism uk religion politics sharia)

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

Spotting the "instinctive drowning response". People who are drowning don't look distressed or yell, apparently, as their bodies are working too hard at staying afloat.
(tags: health drowning safety swimming death)

The Archbishop is a Harsh Mistress

Poor old Rowan. In an interview and speech characterised, in a very real sense, by his habitual turgid sesquipedalianism, someone managed to find the statement that Sharia law “is unavoidable” in the UK. If you think my ability to provoke religious flamewars is impressive, you should see the BBC’s Have Your Say forums (or, you know, don’t), or the Graun‘s Comment is Free, right now.

Unexpectedly, the same bunch who voted in favour of the religious hatred legislation a few years ago suddenly found something wonderful, and opined that they weren’t sure public beheadings were such a good idea (though I’m not sure that position is a vote winner: Daily Mail readers would probably be in favour, as long as it wasn’t the Muslims doing the chopping).

All of which is beside the point, really, because ++Rowan (that’s “1 more than your current Rowan”, geeks) wasn’t advocating any of that stuff. After struggling through all 8 pages of his grey prose, I can tell you that Rowan’s a sci-fi libertarian of the sort you sometimes get in Ken Macleod’s books, or maybe Heinlein’s, or Neal Stephenson‘s. What he wants is for people to be able to voluntarily affiliate with a court system for the resolution of some disputes. In an attempt to preserve his right-on lefty image, Rowan claims he’s a little nervous about the unpleasant whiff of the free market about this, but I think we all know he’s secretly itching to set up ++Rowan’s Greater Anglican Communion franchulates all over the world (er, hang on a minute…), strap on a katana and set out on his motorbike for a showdown with Dawkins.

What’s less clear is what he wants for Muslims which isn’t already available. In an article about Jewish courts in the UK, the BBC says that “English law states that any third party can be agreed by two sides to arbitrate in a dispute”. Does anyone know whether there’s anything stopping Muslim courts doing something similar to the Jewish ones?