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); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Friday, May 06, 2011

Scribble, scribble, scribble

Posting here has been a bit sparse this week. It should pick up next week, but the last few days have been busy as I'm trying to knock one book-length manuscript into shape (more on that later if anything comes of it)...

... while also doing some intense work for another one. As to the latter, I previously reported somewhere on this blog that Udo Schuklenk and I are contracted to write (not edit, write) a book with the title 50 Great Myths About Atheism. We've done a fair bit of planning, and the way things have turned out May is a very good month for me to get down some draft material at my end. I'm going to be doing that with some intensity over the coming weeks, as indeed I have been over the last few days.

I'm hoping that during the next couple of months we'll get a much clearer idea of what the book will eventually look like. We're due to submit the manuscript toward the end of the year, so we have some solid months of writing, rewriting, identifying problems, replanning, rewriting, etc., ahead of us, but I think we're going to get a terrific book out of it in the end.

Occasionally someone asks us, or we ask ourselves or each other, are there really fifty worthwhile "myths" we can tackle? Well, depending on how you count them and what you consider a "myth" ... yes. Obviously there are various ways of grouping them, consolidating them, teasing them out, and so on, so we need to be sure as we go that fifty really is a sensible number for packaging them all up. At the moment, though, we have a working list that's somewhat longer than fifty, so I don't think that's going to be a problem.


Scote said...

Scribble, scribble...toil and tribble?

(Sigh, the Bard need not worry...)

Anyway, I'm looking forward to your new endeavor. Now if only we could get theists to read it and understand one of my pet peeves, that Atheists don't "hate god." Many theists just can't relate to lack of belief and have to imagine atheism as hate. It is really annoying.

Chem said...

I heard atheists like to eat babies. But not the skin, it's too fattening. It's tough looking this good

Russell Blackford said...

The "hate God" one is on our list. There may not be a lot to say about it, but we'll see.

Darrick Lim said...

Don't mean to start a 'guess the 50 myths' thread here, but one myth that I'd love to see addressed (and furiously debunked) in your book Russell is that atheists want to force everyone to become atheists too.

No, we don't. Sure, we'll fight tooth and claw to uphold secularism, but if privately believing in sky fairies gets you through life, more power to you. Weirdo.

Gareth McCaughan said...

Scote, it's a reference not to Shakespeare but to Edward Gibbon. The Duke of Gloucester was given a copy of the latest volume of his "Decline and fall", and said: "Another damned thick book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh, Mr. Gibbon?".

Russell Blackford said...

Yes, the atheists want to force other people to give up religion myth is on our list. But keep 'em coming coz ya never know if there's something that we really should address but have overlooked so far.

Brian said...

Atheists are only moral because even if you don't believe in god, he gave us morality.
Or if atheists are correct and there is no god then it's a Darwinian free for all of smashing in skulls and eating the gooey stuff inside.