About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019) and AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021).

Monday, March 12, 2007

We have a choice

"I'm saying that we have a choice. Broadly speaking, we have the opportunity to ally ourselves with values such as reason, science, liberty, and Enlightenment thinking, or we can become so obsessed with the evil of offending all the people who don't have those values that we end up giving succour to misery, medievalism, and superstition."

So I said when I became involved in a debate about Ayaan Hirsi Ali, over on Richard Dawkins' website, after Dawkins and his people posted a defence of Hirsi Ali by Christopher Hitchens.

Hitchens is absolutely right on this one: Hirsi Ali is currently being subjected to a destructive and personal campaign in an attempt to discredit her and undermine her message. I don't like Hitchens' stance in support of the misguided war in Iraq, but he is still an insightful and usefully forthright contributor to public debate.

Like Hitchens, I am fed up with the trahison des clercs.

You can read the discussion here.


Blake Stacey said...


Blake Stacey said...

In unrelated developments, All In the Mind has just recently broadcast a programme called, "Prospects for a Transhuman mind?", which I haven't had time to listen to yet (the transcript should be up on Thursday). According to Mind Hacks, "[Leda] Cosmides takes the movement to task for what she sees as an oversimplification of psychology to fit with technological developments, and a naivety in assuming that human instincts can be engineered without wider consequences."

Anonymous said...

I'm crashing your party to bring you a link via a Bad Astronomy trackback in case you miss it. Not sure what to think, but you might want valium afterwards. ;-)

I am the very model of a Singularitarian.

Russell Blackford said...

No valium required - I thought it was funny, however it was actually intended.