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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The new atheism rocks part two

This post is just to let readers know that my article "The New Atheism rocks" (warts and all) is now available online.

And see here for (alas, so far very limited) discussion on Richard Dawkins' site. Feel free to comment here or over there.


Brian English said...

Hi Russell. I liked the article. If I could write that well, then have my work edited poorly and still read that well, I'd be a happy little humanist.
I thought you presented quite a thorough examination of the issue. I've been reading a few articles by Barney Zwartz on the Age website (I gave up posting on his blog because underneath his "let's reason together" schtick he seems very dogmatic) and he repeats the claim that keeping religion out of politics is undemocratic. On the surface this claim would seem, and probably is true. I don't think that's the point however, and reading your article made that more clear. If our society was just majority rules in politics, then any minority that didn't tow the majority line would be in for a shellacking. Put another way, unfettered democracy is problematic in a society that doesn't have roughly equal groups of mutually dissenting view holders. Imagine if we all had to accept publicly the shared views of the majority Catholic and Anglican population.
I think it's important to keep religion out of politics as much as possible. Pray all you like, and knock on people's doors (not mine!) if that gets your rocks off. But leave religion out of politics (that means you Cardinal Pell!)
Make any sense?

Russell Blackford said...

I thought of responding to Zwartz. It's a never-ending battle, though, and just trying to get published takes up so much energy.

Once this thesis is finished ...

To be fair, to Australian Rationalist, maybe it wasn't badly edited ... but it was too intrusive for my comfort. It's the "moksa" becoming "motsa" change that especially annoys me, because that change is actually embarrassing - and it came out of nowhere. It makes it hard for me to hold this article up to potential publishers, etc., as an example of my work.