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Comments by Follow Peter Egan

Go to: Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists

Follow Peter Egan's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Follow Peter Egan

It's enormously brave of DeWitt and others to make this decision, and they must be applauded.

I remember in my own small way having to tell my mother that enough was enough and I was making an adult decision to no longer attend church when I was 15. It caused hurt and bad feeling that reverberated for a few years, but I knew I had to face it at some point and got it out of the way with.

Many degrees of magnitude less than the grief DeWitt and others must get from the believers they leave behind.

Well done to all involved.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 09:24:32 UTC | #947355

Go to: The Dawkins Challenge

Follow Peter Egan's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by Follow Peter Egan

"William Carroll is Thomas Aquinas Fellow in Theology and Science, Blackfriars, University of Oxford"

What a waste of a mind.

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 09:16:13 UTC | #947351

Go to: Conversion on Mount Improbable: How Evolution Challenges Christian Dogma

Follow Peter Egan's Avatar Jump to comment 55 by Follow Peter Egan

As others have rightly said, this is a beautifully-written piece (perhaps inspired by some of Dawko's beautifully-written prose?).

Religion doesn't stand up to close examination because it's based on wishful thinking. In Richard's recent exchange with Cardinal Pell, the Catholic cleric explained why he thinks hell exists. Because otherwise, he argued, Hitler would just have got away with it. Far better to imagine he's being tortured after death.

A rationalist would note that Pell was only elucidating his opinion, and we were invited to believe him because of his authority (a high-ranking Catholic). His opinion is based on what he personally wishes was the case. You would seriously have to be religious to find that a credible argument for anything.

Well done Mike Aus, the author of this piece, for breaking free of that sort of non-thinking.

Tue, 08 May 2012 13:01:52 UTC | #940529

Go to: Richard Dawkins on Beautiful Minds - BBC Four Wed April 25

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Hurrah! I'll be sure to tune in and feast on Richard's mind.

Beautiful literary style, wife and knitwear too if you ask me. Scratchy handwriting could do with some work.

Thu, 19 Apr 2012 12:02:32 UTC | #935714

Go to: Who would rally against reason? [Also in Polish]

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Blockquote We now know the age of our universe (13-14 billion years), the age of the Earth (4-5 billion years), what we and all other objects are made of (atoms), where we come from (evolved from other species), why all species are so well adapted to their environments (natural selection of their DNA). We know why we have night and day (Earth spins like a top), why we have winter and summer (Earth is tilted), what is the maximum speed at which anything can travel (two thirds of a billion mph). We know what the sun is (one star among billions in the Milky Way galaxy), we know what the Milky Way is (one galaxy among billions in our universe). We understand what causes smallpox (a virus, which we have eradicated), polio (a virus, which we have nearly eradicated), malaria (a protozoan, still here but we’re working on it), syphilis, tuberculosis, gangrene, cholera (bacteria and we know how to kill them). We have built planes that can cross the Atlantic in hours, rockets that safely land men on the moon and robot vehicles on Mars, and might one day save our planet by diverting a meteor of the kind that - we now understand - killed the dinosaurs. Thanks to evidence-based reason we are blessedly liberated from ancient fears of ghosts and devils, evil spirits and djinns, magic spells and witches’ curses.

An excellent summation Richard. It's what I invariably take an age to say whenever having to explain to affronted people why I don't believe in their god.

Thu, 22 Mar 2012 13:06:32 UTC | #929591

Go to: Heaven Can Wait - Was I wrong about the afterlife? No.

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Comment 9 by aroundtown :

Much appreciated and noted. I hope to "pass" as bravely, and as staunchly adamant in my non-belief. I recently lost the best friend I ever had in this life and by odd coincidence it just happened to be a small little dog that nobody wanted. He became the friend I never expected. I tried to keep him going but he just became to sick and in an effort to ease his suffering I took him to the veterinarian to have him put to sleep but within minutes of arriving there he simply stayed in my arms and died right there with a beautiful gaze on his face. The reason I tell this tale for the first time is this - I made a pact to myself that if I could die as bravely as he did I will have won the game. Oh how I miss him.

aroundtown I know exactly how you feel. I lost my best friend just before Xmas. She died in my arms looking at me after 12 years of the best friendship. Wish I could say something to help, but I do know how painful it is.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 13:33:38 UTC | #927465

Go to: Dress-wearing 73 year-old unmarried celibate man vehemently supports thing he has no experience of

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Superb! And spot on. I just hope Tory Dave doesn't heed this discredited rabble with the pointy hats, dresses and kiddie-raping history.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 19:22:18 UTC | #924371

Go to: IN FULL: Atheist in memory lapse and slavery shock

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Curse you Dawkins! I just went out and bought the magazine.

Still, the mad Bryan Appleyard article is worth the cover price alone. What a hoot!

Thu, 01 Mar 2012 17:36:06 UTC | #923500

Go to: Why we need college degrees more than we need faith

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Krauss writes and communicates brilliantly. I really must read one of his books.

Wed, 29 Feb 2012 08:58:56 UTC | #923060

Go to: No blood on the carpet. How disappointing. [Also in Polish]

Follow Peter Egan's Avatar Jump to comment 102 by Follow Peter Egan

An excellent summation, Richard. Thank you.

The only surprise would be if right-wing rags like the Daily Mail reported events accurately and painted you in a fair and truthful light.

Even the Telegraph has become a comic book of late.

It's good to see your side of the story. That's the one that'll go into posterity.

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 12:20:55 UTC | #922411

Go to: Richard Dawkins - The Census Research Explained

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The churches claim people as their own all the time. I'm almost certainly quoted by the Vatican in the number of UK catholics, simply because that was the faith of my mother and that was the church I was forced into as a child.

So the religionists' argument, "it's up to people to self-identify, if they want to call themselves Christians they can" is a bit one-sided. Fine, let them self-identify, but grant me the same privilege!

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 18:00:20 UTC | #921166

Go to: Richard Dawkins in ‘single-celled ancestor’ shock

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I won't be purchasing any more of Dawkins' books until he promises to relinquish all his slaves.

A great bit of satire, thanks for posting.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 13:05:12 UTC | #920358

Go to: Is Britain a Christian country?

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I watched this with my Sunday morning coffee like many others here. I also suffered the boiling blood whenever the sweaty glasses man spoke and Odone interrupted.

Richard didn't get at all flustered and was very on-topic. Perhaps sitting next to the cool-as-a-cucumber, erudite, eloquent and calm Andrew Copson aided his confidence? Copson was outstanding on this show, and on the BBC this week talking about the nonsense behind Warsi's "militant" secularism.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 09:42:42 UTC | #920300

Go to: "The nature of human beings and the question of their ultimate origin"

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Comment 18 by BenS :

I think the noble Professor should wear a tie subtly sporting question marks for some light hearted comedy value. From what I've seen the AofC would probably take it in good humour.

Richard would look like a 1980s Dr Who! I'd be all for that. Might give Lalla some unwelcome flashbacks.

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 09:38:30 UTC | #920297

Go to: How Religion is Like a Penis

Follow Peter Egan's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by Follow Peter Egan

Ha! A fine analogy. Anything left in the coffers for another bus campaign?

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 16:44:16 UTC | #919275

Go to: The Sins of the Fathers [Also in Polish]

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At the end of a week of successfully rattling cages...

And there you have it, Richard. The RDFRS Mori poll has given real evidence that the UK is anything but a Christian nation. In return, the right-wing gutter press has gleefully exposed the fact that Professor Richard Dawkins lacks the power of total recall (we, of course, claim you're infallible) and in a devastating expose, a Torygraph hack has unearthed the explosive revelation that some of your ancestors once did things hundreds of years ago that we don't find morally acceptable any more. Counter that one, Richard so-called Dawkins!

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 16:40:14 UTC | #919271

Go to: Richard Dawkins celebrates a victory over creationists

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That's why we love ya, Dawko!

Congrats to Richard and the BHA. Some rare good news in the battle against the deluded.

Sun, 15 Jan 2012 10:59:00 UTC | #908506

Go to: Evolution, Christmas and the Atonement

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He's right for the first three and a bit paragraphs, when he's talking about evidence. The rest of the speculative Mumbo-jumbo is plain ridiculous.

Sun, 25 Dec 2011 23:01:49 UTC | #902693

Go to: Forced Merriment: The True Spirit of Christmas

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Wonderful article. Sums it up nicely.

Some of the comments underneath from insufferably arrogant and sanctimonious Xtians have to be read to be believed.

Sun, 25 Dec 2011 22:59:59 UTC | #902692

Go to: A very atheist Christmas

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"Christmas is only ‘Christian’ because ancient winter pagan celebrations were incorporated by the Church."

Yes, that's what I always say. Though personally I loathe xmas only a little bit less than I loathe the faux jollity of new year. Purely for emotive reasons. It's a time of year loved ones die, and I feel much more interested in reflection than ostentation.

Like Jesus, though, I love my mince pies.

Wed, 21 Dec 2011 21:47:03 UTC | #901792

Go to: When the magic of reality collides with the magic of childhood

Follow Peter Egan's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by Follow Peter Egan

What a lovely piece. Enough to give one hope.

I too shamefully preserve the myth of Father Christmas with my nephews. Sadly I'm also expected to say nothing on the subject of the veracity or desirability of the Catlick god.

Wed, 21 Dec 2011 09:03:50 UTC | #901587

Go to: [Update 11-Nov another video]Video tribute and toast to Christopher Hitchens

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I pop up in the second video there. A toast to the great man is fitting indeed. Cheers Hitch. He introduced me to JWBL, though I'd already worked out that the colour of wine is red.

Mon, 14 Nov 2011 06:57:56 UTC | #889962

Go to: A Christian child?

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Comment 9 by Stevehill :

Having first become a father in my fifties, I've lived on both sides of this fence. I always used to be infuriated by people who put "Baby on Board" stickers on the backs of their cars. I used to translate it as "Look at me! I'm fertile!", laced with a dose of wishful thinking that a driver likely to crash into the back of them might drive a bit better if he got close enough to read the sticker...

As a father of two toddlers, I still refuse to use such a sticker! But I digress.

Bravo! I agree entirely. I get so irate seeing those smug stickers that it actually makes me drive even more recklessly than normal. Even more mawkishly nauseating are the "princess on board" variety. It's the sanctimonious assumption that the driver behind is worse than them that's the issue; and the fact that emergency services regularly place their lives in danger at the scenes of accidents looking for non-existent "babies on board".

Sorry, just a particular bug-bear of mine.

Thu, 03 Nov 2011 09:49:42 UTC | #886759

Go to: Tue, Oct 4 - Richard Dawkins book tour schedule

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Why isn't Dawkins coming to Todmorden, or even Luddenden Foot, that's what I want to know? I love the new book, though. Stunning images. I'm itching to try it out on my nephews, who are children of Catholic parents.

Tue, 04 Oct 2011 06:40:42 UTC | #877687

Go to: Cardinal Bagnasco attacks Italy elite over scandals

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Comment 16 by Mrkimbo :

Like a fart complaining about the smell of a drain.

Perfect description. What a hypocrite.

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 11:01:56 UTC | #875615

Go to: The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins (illustrated by Dave McKean)

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Meh. What an idiot.

I much prefer my review: http://www.entertainment-focus.com/book-article/richard-dawkins-the-magic-of-reality

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 11:24:09 UTC | #874321

Go to: Exhibition - Migration

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The noblest Romana of them all...

Beautiful work, Lalla.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 09:17:26 UTC | #872498

Go to: Who Says Science has Nothing to Say About Morality?

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Ha! Spotted myself in the crowd.

Yes, that it the most important thing to say...

Tue, 24 May 2011 15:26:07 UTC | #630289

Go to: Happy birthday, Christopher Hitchens

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Belated Happy Birthday indeed to the Hitch. He shares his birthday with Peter Davison, arguably one of the better Doctor Whos.

Thu, 14 Apr 2011 08:18:05 UTC | #615345

Go to: Condescension and intolerance from adults

Follow Peter Egan's Avatar Jump to comment 69 by Follow Peter Egan

Hello Shawn,

I don't have anything new to add, but would also like to lend sympathy as your story touched me, reminding me of my own similar situation.

My mother is Catholic, and dragged me to church every Sunday for the first 14 years of my life. When I was 15 I caused a massive stink by refusing to go any more, citing (fairly) that the time it took out of Sunday morning could be better spent on my studies.

It proved, however, a wound that has never healed, though both parties have learned to live with the pain. Religion truly poisons everything. But at least my adult relationship with my mother is honest; and I prefer this to the situation my brother-in-law has ended up in. He is a chemist, but to please his mother attends church every Sunday and even participates in the services in some capacity. How awful it must be for a man with a BSc in chemistry to sit through the rotten pretence of transubstantiation each week.

Sure, my rejection of my mother's cherished beliefs caused and still causes problems, but I wouldn't swap my honest relationship for my brother-in-law's capitulation to filial expectation.

Good luck, anyway. Would like to hear an update if there are any fresh developments. Sorry, I'm very nosey!

Thu, 16 Dec 2010 07:58:12 UTC | #564045