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Go to: [UPDATE] Maintenance update moved to tomorrow Wednesday 13-July 5pm Central time

GalacticAtom's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by GalacticAtom

Comment 20 by /Mike :

Thanks for all of your suggestions.

We've had a number of e-mails suggesting putting the comments in reverse chronological order so that readers wouldn't continually need to go to the end to add a comment.

Are the emails the reason you are making the change, and, if so, were they a representative or statistically significant sample of the readership? It would be extraordinary if a site devoted to reason and science were to take decisions like this based on unrepresentative self-selected minority opinions.

Tue, 12 Jul 2011 19:50:44 UTC | #849094

Go to: Christians more militant than Muslims, says Government's equalities boss

GalacticAtom's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by GalacticAtom

Mr Phillips fails to mention that it is also fashionable for religion to attack and villify atheism and secularism, if "fashionable" is a word that can be used for a centuries-old habit. It was not an atheist who accused believers of being "not fully human", for example - that was said by the former Archbishop of Westminster about atheists.

How on Earth is religion being "driven underground" when it is being guaranteed seats in the legislature for their own nominees (something which no other social group or organization enjoys), being given more and more schools to run and being given bigger roles, with more taxpayers' money, in Mr Cameron's "Big Society"?

As for "faith groups should be free from interference in their own affairs" : Every group, "community" or organization should be free from interference provided they stay within the law; but nobody should have the right to privileged exemptions from laws which enforce the fundamental principles of human rights, liberties and equality.

I am sure that Mr Phillips doesn't really believe that churches should be unconditionally free from interference. If a church had a doctrine which demanded human sacrifice or sex with children, I am sure that he would be as keen as anyone to see the law step in prevent the doctrine being practised! Discrimination is (or should be) illegal because, by modern moral standards, it is wrong (just as child abuse and murder are wrong). So, having presumably accepted the right of the law to interfere to prevent wrong-doing, Mr Phillips needs to explain why certain sorts of wrong-doing should be allowable for certain, self-appointed, groups while being denied to the rest of us. That an Equalities and Human Rights Commissioner, of all people, should attempt to defend such inequality in the enforcement of human rights, is outrageous.

Sun, 19 Jun 2011 07:57:59 UTC | #640315

Go to: We should be thankful to Charles Darwin

GalacticAtom's Avatar Jump to comment 47 by GalacticAtom

Knowing this should transform how we treat one another, because apart from superficial differences like skin colour and facial features, we are all genetically related - and so the people of China, South America, Indonesia, North Africa, and all points in between really are my brothers and sisters. And it should also transform how we treat other animals as well as the ecosystems they reside in.

Where's the logical link between knowing that we are genetically related and treating other living beings differently (by which I presume he means "better")? Doesn't our evolutionary history teach us that different species and individuals (or their genes) are often in fierce competition with each other; that we exist because our ancestors out-competed many of their cousin species, which have now been consigned to the oblivion of extinction?

I get a kick out of knowing that I am a cousin of every living thing on the planet, and I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't treat each other and other species well. But I'm not sure that our evolutionary relatedness provides the reason for doing so.

Wed, 23 Feb 2011 10:17:07 UTC | #594873

Go to: Islamophobia is the moral blind spot of modern Britain

GalacticAtom's Avatar Jump to comment 135 by GalacticAtom

Comment 104 by alphcat :

Comment 53 from GalacticAtom asks about the lower educational attainment of the children of Muslims. However if you look I suspect you'd find that has got more to do with social disadvantage and poverty than religion so I'm not quite sure what the point is.

Yes, I agree that social disadvantage is a factor. But why is the Muslim community more socially disadvantaged than, say, the Hindu community? Did Hindu immigrants arrive here with greater wealth than their Muslim counterparts? Was racial prejudice directed more against Muslims than Hindus, even before Islamic terrorism started affecting attitudes? Or is it something within the culture and attitudes of the two communities which has affected their abilities to thrive in the west, and therefore the educational prospects of their children? For example, are Muslims poorer on average because a tendency to oppose women going out to work means that there are more single-income Muslim families? If so, where does this opposition to women working stem from?

I don't claim to know the answers, but the questions are surely part of the complexity which Mr Fraser would like us to consider.

Sun, 23 Jan 2011 12:29:16 UTC | #582878

Go to: Islamophobia is the moral blind spot of modern Britain

GalacticAtom's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by GalacticAtom

The Muslim community in this country is generally more socially disadvantaged and has less access to the levers of power. British Muslims do worse at school than any other faith group, they are more likely to be unemployed and live in poorer housing.

Dare I ask why it is that the children of Muslims, in particular, are more socially disadvantaged and do worse at school than the ethnic minority children from other faith backgrounds?

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 13:34:53 UTC | #582504

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