This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Blair vs Hitchens: the dress rehearsal

Is religion a force for good? That's the subject of a long-awaited debate tonight between the former PM and one of the world's leading secularists. We asked two leading writers to set out the rival arguments in advance

Christina Patterson: You really can't blame us. From the moment we slithered out of the primordial sludge, or sprang to life from a rib, or hauled ourselves upright and watched the hair drop from our stomachs and arms and legs, and were faced with a planet full of food, most of which was in a form that galloped away when we went near it, and told to help ourselves, it was always going to be hard. Nobody explained why we urgently wanted to stick bits of ourselves into bits of other creatures like us, or why, when we did, tiny, screaming versions of us emerged that also demanded hunks of mammoth, as if it wasn't already knackering enough getting hold of them for ourselves. Nobody explained why the tiny creatures sometimes died, and so did the creatures we'd been sticking our bits in, which seemed to suggest that one day we might, too.
Read on

Roger Scruton: Just as there are bad people with religious beliefs, so there are good people without them. So what does religion add to morality and why is the addition good? The first thing that religion adds is the idea of the sacred. This idea is a strange sediment in human consciousness; it might have an evolutionary cause, but the cause does not tell us what it means. The second thing that religion adds is communion.
Read on



Viewpoints: Why is faith falling in the...

- - BBC News Comments

A new poll suggests that atheism is on the rise in the US, while those who consider themselves religious has dropped. What's the cause? Two writers debate.

Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The...

- - human rights first Comments

Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The Consequences of Criminalizing “Defamation of Religions”

Update - Too crazy even for the...

Ed Kilgore - Political Animal Comments

update - too crazy even for the evangelical right
Barton’s Fall From Grace

David Barton says his documents prove that the Founding Fathers were deeply religious men who built America on Christian ideas - but do his sources check out?

Pussy Riot's closing statement

Cory Doctorow - BoingBoing Comments

Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich has given a tremendous closing statement, which is a masterful summary of Russian oligarchy

Refuting Richard: Dawkins Doesn’t “Get”...

Graham Veale - Saints & Sceptics? Comments

Refuting Richard: Dawkins Doesn’t “Get” God

Witchcraft-based child abuse: Action...

- - BBC News Comments

The government has launched an action plan to tackle child abuse linked to witchcraft or religion in England.





Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment