Friday, 30 April 2010

Thank God for Melanie Phillips!

Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.

Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly): rationalist.org.uk

The only person who is going to be more pleased than us to find that Melanie Phillips has finally gurgitated her very own God book (it's called The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power [love those capitals, so dramatic] and is published by Encounter Books larded with glowing reviews from Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and neocon William Kristol) will be our friend comedian Robin Ince, who I'm sure could do with a fresh stock of Mel magic to keep the comedy fires stoked. Luckily for Robin our Mel has seen fit to précis her argument in this week's Spectator, so for you, Robin, and the rest of you, here is a choice nugget and a link:
"Scientific triumphalists may realise that what they saying about the origin of the universe is ludicrous. Yet they persist because of their fear of the alternative explanation – God."
I promise the rest of it is just as good (incredible as it may seem she has discovered the intimate link between environmentalism and anti-Semitism, who knew?, and thinks that Britain is, not to mince words, a tinsy bit broken). Enjoy

The only question now is who do we get to review it? Ideas gratefully received in the comments.

15 comments:

A J Irving said...

Who to review it? Hmmm.

I think it should get the respect it deserves so my vote is for Nick Griffin.

Matt Volatile said...

Errr... how about Robin Ince?

Anonymous said...

David Icke?

King George said...

Chris Hitchens?

Ruzz said...

Just read the Spectator piece - well, as much of it as I could stand before I simply had to get up and wash the vomit off my keyboard and wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes.

As for the reviewer... lemme see. The Pope? No, far too biased (and educated). Richard Dawkins? No -same reasons. I know, what about Richard and Judy!!! Or John Prescott? No. You're right. that would be silly. The book, after all, is silly enough.

Jim said...

Nobody?

Phil B said...

Shame you can't get Fred Hoyle to review it.

Michael said...

I've noticed something about the rants against secularism that all flailing apologists seem to use a template to write.

They never establish their assertion that religion (specifically their own, of course) underpins reason and is supported by evidence. All they do is attack science and secularism in the language of religion - 'science is faith based' etc. - without realising it undermines their own position. If all you can do to science and secularism is argue that it's as worthless as your own theology what argument are you really making? It's certainly not anything to do with the validity of faith.

KH said...

God should review it! He's clearly real coz she says so. No proof required :)

Grover said...

She writes:
"If only religion didn’t exist, reason would rule the world and there would be no more wars, tyrannies or murderous hatreds. It follows therefore that religious people are either stupid or unbalanced and are inimical to progress, modernity and happiness.

Well, this universal truth isn’t true at all. "
------
Eh? Who has /ever/ said that was a universal truth? Sure there would be fewer wars and tyrannies as a result of religious irrational thinking, but no one has ever said that getting rid of religion would lead to utopia.

I couldn't read much beyond that I'm afraid!

Lambert said...

"Just look at environmentalism. This defines the modern ‘progressive’ — and yet it is fundamentally irrational, illiberal and pre-modern. Based on a spiritual belief in the innate, organic harmony of the universe, it grew out of pagan and animistic ideas which not only defied reason but, in elevating emotion and subjectivity as well as downgrading mankind, were to feed directly into such regressive thinking as eugenics and fascism. "

How many bare faced assertions can she get into two sentences? Even granting the (false) one that Environmentalism is based on animism, it's not too difficult to spot the reason (which poor Melanie failed to do) for such ledges animist view: where is the adaptive advantage of pooping in your own nest? If is mind-numbingly obvious that taking care of your environment is a good thing, and it needs no fairy king in the sky to motivate you

KH said...

As I posted on Melanie's Spectator article:

So is Melanie basically saying we can't be good people if we don't believe in her man-made unproven bronze age God?

Unfortunately for Melanie it's the Bible and the Israelites who undo her argument. In 1 Samuel Chapter 15 God orders his chosen people to commit genocide: "spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass".

But luckily for humanity, the Israelites disobey God, they spare the cattle and even spare the women and children, proving that, even in Melanie's myopic God-myth, humans are more moral than this God character. And if that's the case, what do we need this God for exactly?

For nothing more than to control the peasants and plebs, which is really what aficionados of belief-before-evidence mythology consider to be civilized (albeit Bronze Age).

Melanie, you believe in your genocidal god-myth if you want to, but like the Israelites, I'll take secular freedom of the individual any day!

ukgleek said...

What an ungrateful insult to science, humanity and human advancement. Exactly how does Melanie Phillips intend to prove that with no Genesis there would have been no science, equality or human rights?
It is the factually incorrect Genesis and its proponents that have stood in the way of human advancement every step of the way, and they still do!
Does she mean to say we’re only capable of being good and civilized because of some highly doctored Bronze Age scripture that hardly anyone has read and is itself morally self-contradictory?
For the nth time, we are capable of moral good not because of some scripture hardly anyone’s read, but because our species wouldn’t survive without moral good. It is part of our evolution, of which the man-made morally self-contradictory scriptures are just one expression.
So it’s not the world that’s turned upside down, but Melanie’s little bubble of evidence denial!

(Note to censors: Feel free, Spectator editors, to silence this comment by not approving it – like you have done to countless other worthy comments.)

ukgleek said...

the comment above was posted here because the Spectator is busy censoring comments on their website: proof that Melanie's shoe is on her other foot!

Tom Rees said...

Commenting on stuff like this only encourages them to print more, anyway. What I find fascinating is that it's so popular - among a certain segment of society.