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Chris.Holden's Avatar Joined over 7 years ago
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Go to: Top 10 books of 2011

Chris.Holden's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Chris.Holden

What about Stephen Pinker's awesome The Better Angels of our Nature?

Thu, 15 Dec 2011 12:21:31 UTC | #899168

Go to: Compulsory GCSE Religious Education

Chris.Holden's Avatar Jump to comment 56 by Chris.Holden

I had similar concerns a couple of years ago. I visited the school and examined the RE curriculum with my daughter's teacher. To be honest with you, it wasn't too bad. The subject dealt with philosophical and social issues such as abortion, life-after-death and mortality. The sources for study were quite varied: for example, my daughter studied Hume on miracles! If we could just grow up and call RE philosophy it would be a subject of immense value. I'd like to teach it myself. Like anything though, teachers with an agenda might easily interpret the curriculum and teach the matter in an unbalanced way. As I tell my daughter whenever we discuss her lessons in RE, the only intellectually honest response to any of the issues examined must be based on EVIDENCE: life-after-death, for instance? What does the evidence say? The correct starting point for anything is scepticism. In the end though, I quite like her having this lesson. The only subject that produces more conversation at mealtimes in our house is history, which my daughter particularly enjoys. I would love to debate with her about Shakespeare, Dickens and Milton too, but her eyes glaze, so I'll take Hume in RE quite happily.

Fri, 14 Oct 2011 08:02:08 UTC | #880767

Go to: Christopher Hitchens assaulted in Beirut

Chris.Holden's Avatar Jump to comment 82 by Chris.Holden

Perhaps Prof Dawkins could pass on our best wishes to Christopher? And tell him to take more care. Losing him would be a bitter blow!

Thu, 19 Feb 2009 09:36:00 UTC | #327487

Go to: Anti-atheist bus campaign launched in London

Chris.Holden's Avatar Jump to comment 234 by Chris.Holden

I've just complained to the Advertising Standards Agency. The key word here is 'definitely'. The difference in intellectual honesty between 'There definitely is a God' and 'There probably is no God' is startling. Please all Brits complain. You simply go here: http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/how_to_complain/complaints_form/

And complete the form.

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 00:58:00 UTC | #320489

Go to: The Return of Religion

Chris.Holden's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Chris.Holden

I tend to disagree with just about everything Scruton says. But this makes him a vital philosopher. Contrary opinions must be encouraged and engaged with. Scruton performs this function admirably (fox hunting anyone?). J.S. Mill described the importance of allowing 'unorthodox' views. It is as vital to heed Scruton's words as it is vital to point out that most of them are bullshit.

Do you remember the Four Horsemen discussion? Hitchens shocked Dawkins by asserting that he had no wish for the religious dialogue to disapear. I laughed out loud at Richard's astonishment. But thinking about, Hitchens was completely right. I would never have understood the strength of atheistic arguments if those that hold religious views were suddenly to evaporate. Similarly, I would never understand the theory of natural selection as well as I do now (albeit I remain no expert) if dissenting voices did not exist.

Long live Scruton and religious apologist bullshit!

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 09:06:00 UTC | #200895

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