Bay City Bound

And that's all from me for now. Only a Game will return in two weeks, after I get back from San Francisco. In the meantime, there's plenty of material already submitted to the Ethics Campaign for your perusal and comment - just scroll down to where it says 'Philosophy: Ethics' in the sidebar, and take your pick! Have fun!


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more to read:

thoughtful commentary on the "religious debate" and the recent popularity of "atheists'" or rather anti-religious (Dawkins et al.) books attacking religion in the US


Thanks for the link, translucy! You know this is an area that greatly interests me.

Aronson raises some interesting points. I'm intrigued by his assertion that the ID decision was forced through by a minority - this question is key to me in how to react to the issue, as a majority expressing their wishes is a different situation to a minority enforcing theirs.

Aronson is instantly forgiving of the New Atheist writers, however, and seems to take Dawkins objections seriously which I find perplexing giving his manifest confusion on issues of both God and religion, and presumably reveals Aronson's personal bias here.

For me, I know there are problems in the Christian right-wing we desperately need to work on, but I don't see how outright ideological conflict will do anything but entrench their position. If anyone can reach the Christian right-wing, I suspect it is Christian moderates - although persuading them to try may be tricky.

I have pieces "in the hopper" which address this matter further - principally one on "Ethics of Metaphysics" that's a week away at least. I am also in two minds whether to try again at responding to "The God Delusion", this time with dispassion - since last time I was just furious at his blatant bigotry. (Am the only one who remembers that not that long ago it was fashionable to view homosexuality as a mental disorder, and what that entailed...?)

I've examined Dawkins' issues, and am not finding anything sensible in his case (although there's nothing wrong with his chapters promoting "atheist pride") so I'm wondering if exposing the weakness of Dawkins' theological position is useful or simply distracting. Opinions welcome.

Conversely, I have a piece about how Biblical Literalists can't have it both ways which will probably pop up at some point, as I've not tried to work on this side of the conflict since the piece on Ussher which caused such consternations from the atheist lobby! :)

As ever, I appreciate your recurring interest on this issue - if only because it justifies my continued indulgence in it. :) And it's clear that further philosophical work is needed in this area, so perhaps it is acceptible for us to return to it. Perhaps I should get the "Ethics of Metaphysics" in place first, so provide some bedrock for discussion.

If you have time for some personal commentary, it would be welcome!

Best wishes!


I understand the Aronson piece as trying to encourage/endorse debate of religion/belief systems even if an author puts himself way beyond the media-amplified US mainstream. Any level of debate is better than no debate ;-)

I'm very curious to learn more about your view on "ethics of metaphysics". As you may remenber I already claimed in a previous conversation that a community of free citzens should give (Meta-)Ethics priority over Metaphysics - or in short: Before you choose your metaphysical beliefs consider what ethical consequences that choice might entail - in terms of virtue/agency, laws/rights, and practical consequence.

Having said this it comes to my mind that it might be Dawkins' (and his fellow "hard-science faithfuls") blatant disregard for / denial of the negative real-world consequences of their position that annoys me most.


I agree with you that any degree of informed debate is valuable, especially on these issues which are traditionally presumed "out of bounds".

Like you, what shocks me about Dawkins attitude is his refusal to even consider the consequences of his position. It seems that, since he has complete confidence that his position is correct he feels he doesn't need to consider this further. So now, I look online and find things such as a poll in which about half the respondants consider it child abuse for parents to raise children in their own religious tradition. Another victory for intolerance...(!)

I'm very interested to explore this idea of "Ethics of Metaphysics" myself. It's an interesting area, and although I have some idea of how I will approach this, there is still much that is up in the air.

Incidentally, I tried to email you, but the email address I have for you is dead. Can you drop me a line so I can have your new address? Thanks!

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