Sunday, 27 January 2008

The startling inconsistency of Christopher Hitchens

From straight off the back cover of God Is Not Great: The Case Against Religion (London: Atlantic Books, 2007):

Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not hold our convictions dogmatically. We believe with certainty that an ethical life can be lived without religion. [Emphasis mine, of course]
Chuckle. No dogmatically-held convictions, then. Just belief with certainty. So, Hitch, what if you turn out to be wrong about the possibility of "an ethical life [...] without religion"? Being so entirely undogmatic, you ought to hold your belief a little more tentatively, I feel.

Of course, anyway, his point is besides the point. The real question is whether ethics is at all meaningful given a naturalist ontology. As always for this discussion, I refer readers to my human rights post. Just please don't try telling me people are valuable because money is valuable...

Friday, 11 January 2008

The powers that be, eh?

FBI wiretaps cut for unpaid bills (BBC)

Dear reader, for all I know you're worried about sinister government forces watching your every move, eroding hard-won liberties on a fast track to a totalitarian state. Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't. Worry away. But you should at least permit yourself some light relief from these dark concerns every once in a while. I suggest the above article as the perfect opportunity. You can rest assured that the FBI employs its share of bunglers like any other organisation.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Raskolnikov turns 1

It has been one year now since this blog kicked off with an awesome statement of intent (ahem). Many, many thanks to everyone who's commented or lurked on here during that time.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and a great '08!