Saturday, 2 May 2009

The Truth Delusion of Richard Dawkins

The most famous atheist in the world, biologist Professor Richard Dawkins, poses as the arch-apostle of reason, a scientist who stands for empirical truth in opposition to obscurantism and lies. What follows suggests that in fact he is sloppy and cavalier with both facts and reasoning to a disturbing degree.

I previously wrote about the remarkable debate (which can be seen at this website) between Dawkins and John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics and Fellow in the Philosophy of Science at Oxford. Lennox is the author of God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? which demolishes Dawkins by showing not only that there is no inherent conflict between science and faith but that the argument for faith is now being bolstered enormously by the remarkable developments in science. Dawkins was on the back foot because Lennox was attacking him from his own platform of science. He was on safer ground only when, in a further debate between the two at Oxford’s Natural History Museum last October, he attacked Lennox for his Christian faith which he could more easily ridicule. But to Lennox’s core arguments, he seemed to me to have no convincing response.

In a lecture earlier this month to the American Atheists’ Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, Dawkins chose to attack Lennox (about 15 minutes into this video) from the safety of an unchallenged speaking spot in front of a sycophantic audience – but in a manner which inadvertently revealed rather more about himself than he bargained for. Describing Lennox belittlingly as a ‘Christian apologist’ and an ‘Irish mathematician’, he took a comment Lennox had made at a meeting two days after the Oxford debate and tried to debunk it by claiming that Lennox had misrepresented him.

Lennox had observed that, in the Oxford debate, Dawkins appeared to have made a stunning admission by saying that ‘a good case could be made for a deistic god’(a generalised kind of deity as opposed to the personalised God of the Bible). Lennox observed that acknowledgement of a deistic god was the position arrived at recently by the celebrated former atheist philosopher Anthony Flew; and that saying a good case could be made for such a god ‘knocked the heart out’ of Dawkins’s core contention that complex life forms had derived from simple ones.

In response, Dawkins tried to maintain that Lennox had grossly misrepresented him. Pointing out that he had gone on to say that he didn’t accept the deistic argument – which indeed he had said – he claimed that Lennox had selectively quoted him to give an entirely false impression. To make his point, he drew an analogy with the conceit, once employed by a particular astronomer, of ironically disdaining authoritative sources purely as a rhetorical device to underscore the truth of an argument. Just as it would be dishonest to treat such ironic disdain as if it was seriously meant, he said, so by analogy Lennox was being dishonest by treating Dawkins’s remark about deism as if it was seriously meant when in fact he had merely been

making the concession about deism to show up the fatuousness of his [Lennox’s] belief.

But it was Dawkins’ argument which was surely disingenuous. Read more
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Atheists target UK schools

The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS) plans to launch a recruitment drive this summer.

Backed by professors Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling, the initiative aims to establish a network of atheist societies in schools to counter the role of Christianity.

It will coincide with the first atheist summer camp for children that will teach that religious belief and doctrines can prevent ethical and moral behaviour.

The federation aims to encourage students to lobby their schools and local authorities over what is taught in RE lessons and to call for daily acts of collective worship to be scrapped. It wants the societies to hold talks and educational events to persuade students not to believe in God.

Chloƫ Clifford-Frith, AHS co-founder, said that the societies would act as a direct challenge to the Christian message being taught in schools.

She expressed concern that Christian Unions could influence vulnerable teenagers looking for a club to belong to with fundamentalist doctrine.

In particular, she claimed that some students were being told that homosexuality is a sin and to believe the Biblical account of creation.

"We want to point out how silly some of these beliefs are and hope that these groups will help to do that," she said. Read more
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Friday, 1 May 2009

We are all suspects in the new inquisition's eyes

In these straitened times, it's good to know that jobs are still being created. A quango called the Independent Safeguarding Authority, which will open this October, already has a well-staffed helpline and is advertising for ICT (information and communication technologies) and finance specialists.

Never heard of it? You soon will. If you are one of the 11.3 million people who might, in the course of your work, come into contact with children or “vulnerable adults”, you will be paying for the privilege of being vetted by this new authority. Its net will catch almost everyone in the NHS, even cooks. It will encompass accountants and board members of charities. It will include anyone generous enough to offer work experience to a teenager, or a bed to a foreign-exchange student. It will vet a quarter of the adult population.

Just think: any one of those 11.3 million people could be a paedophile. And think again: this gargantuan system would not have prevented Ian Huntley from murdering two schoolgirls in Soham in 2002, even though that awful murder was what prompted the invention of the Independent Safeguarding Authority. Read more
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Tuesday, 28 April 2009

BNP Updates Language & Concepts Discipline Manual

Ed: In the light of recent media criticism, the British National Party has revised its 'Language and Concepts Discipline Manual'. This is important reading for those who wish to understand and challenge the party. You can download it as a pdf here, but for convenience I duplicate it below, and would draw particular attention to Rule #13 and its first paragraph.

BNP Language & Concepts Discipline Manual
BNP Policy Research, UPDATED APRIL 2009
This document replaces all previous versions.

Politics requires propaganda, and effective propaganda requires self-discipline. It is essential that all official (and preferably unofficial, i.e. public comments by party members) BNP communications stick to the party’s true message and convey it to the voting public in a clear and consistent way.

The enemy wants us to be misunderstood — this is why they deliberately lie to the public about what we stand for — so we must do everything possible to make it impossible for the public to misunderstand us.

Therefore, BNP Policy Research has compiled the following rules of language and concepts discipline:

Rule #1: The BNP is not a ‘racist’ or ‘racial’ party. It should never be referred to as such by BNP activists, and anyone else who does so must be politely but firmly corrected. The precisely correct description of what we are, in the standard terminology of international comparative politics, is a ‘patriotic’ or ‘ethno-nationalist’ party. That is, we espouse, like many political parties all over the world, the interests of the particular ethnic groups to which we belong. If you are accused of being a ‘racist’ then do not try and get into a definition of what is meant by that. The answer is simply “no, the BNP is not racist” and that is all. Do not fall into the media trap of trying to debate what racism is — as soon as you hedge the question, you are giving them an opportunity to exploit. See the 2008 booklet Folk and Nation: Underpinning the Ethnostate for more details.

Rule #2: Do not hesitate to repudiate bad aspects of the BNP’s past. Point out that all parties have some people who have said and done silly things. The important issue upon which to focus is what is being said and done now. People can and do change, and this has happened to the BNP as well. There is no comparison between the BNP of ten or fifteen years ago, in the same way that there is no comparison between the Labour or Conservative Parties of now and twenty years ago. All parties evolve, mature, and change, and we do not have to be on the defensive for things said and done twenty years ago which have no relevance to the modern BNP.

Rule #3: The BNP’s core principle is one of Britain and British people first, and we do not hesitate to announce this from all public platforms. This is not an extreme position — in fact it is one which any normal country would have. If you are questioned on this, and there might be some people mad enough to call it into question, point out that the Japanese government always acts in the interests of the people of Japan etc., and that almost all nations in the world act in the interests of their own people first. This does not mean that the Japanese “hate” anybody else, merely that they have the good sense to put their own interests first. In this way, the BNP makes no secret of the fact that it seeks to put British people and British interests first, and this includes putting measures in place to ensure that the majority population of this nation remains ethnically British. This is not a policy to hide — on the contrary, it is one to
discuss openly, as it differentiates the BNP from all the other political parties who seek the exact opposite.

Rule #4: The BNP campaigns in a totally lawful manner. Our experience has shown time and time again that agent provocateurs who suggest nonparliamentary means of political activity are most often extreme left infiltrators who seek to create situations wherein the media can portray the BNP in a bad light. Any member hearing any such language or suggestions must immediately report it to their party senior who must then pass the information upwards, never outwards, so that it can be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Rule #5: Always remember that the BNP’s policies are basic common sense, and mainstream. Repeated opinion polls show that on our core issues, the majority of the public agree with us and the extremists are the establishment politicians. Do not let interviewers or opponents get away with using the words ‘extreme’ or ‘far right’ or such terms. Challenge such statements immediately by asking what is so ‘extreme’ about any of them. The interviewer
or opponent will quickly be put on the spot to justify his position, and will be hard-pressed to show that a policy (such as) “Britain for the British” is extreme. (You can point out that everyone agrees Tibet should be for the Tibetans, and that is not regarded as ‘extreme’.)

Rule #6: The BNP is not ‘anti-European’. We are ‘anti-EU’ or ‘anti-European Union’ or ‘anti-Brussels’. Do not criticise Europe per se — only the institution of the EU, which is a liberal/fascist monstrosity designed to destroy national borders, identities and cultures, and which poses the greatest threat to the continued existence of individual nations since the end of the Communist empire.

Rule#7: The BNP is not ‘anti-Polish’ or ‘anti-Eastern European’. The Eastern European nations have the right to protect their own workforce — in exactly the same way that Britain does. If you are in a discussion about Polish or Eastern European workers, do not end an argument by saying “how terrible it all is” but point out that Poles would object if a million British, or a million Vietnamese descended on Poland and took away jobs from Polish people by
working for less than the living wage in that country. There is nothing wrong with such a policy position, and all intelligent people will understand this — Poles and other Eastern Europeans included. Finally, point out that it is the EU “Freedom of Movement” rules, introduced by the Tories, which are ultimately responsible for recent demographic changes, and not the people themselves.

Rule #8: When addressing a specific audience, arguments for our policies should always be couched in language calculated to be relevant to their interests. Do not bore a workingmen’s audience with those parts of our ideology that derive from old-school Toryism, or puzzle an affluent suburban audience with an explanation of worker ownership of industry.

Rule #9: Racial and ethnic epithets and insults should never be used. Leave the crude ethnic jokes about Chinese cockle pickers to the Tories and others. The BNP is under special media scrutiny for any such language, and it is strictly forbidden, no matter how light-hearted it may be.

Rule #10: A political party cannot succeed, or even attract new members, if it takes as its premise the hopelessness of its cause. Therefore, BNP activists and writers must, though they should strongly condemn the rotten character of the present British regime and the society it has produced, never speak of the situation in Britain as hopeless or of British
society as corrupt to the point of worthlessness. They must always remember that politics, at the end of the day, is an act of will, and our creative vision of what Britain ought to be must always be alive in our hearts and projected with confidence to the public.

Rule #11: Explanations of our ideology should be couched, whenever possible, in terms of specifically British history and the specific national identity of Britain. For example, when discussing rights, we should speak of ‘our traditional rights’ or ‘the rights of Englishmen’, not about universal human rights, which is a very different concept.

Rule #12: Successful revolutions from the right have always presented themselves as restoring older traditions. Therefore, we should couch our agenda in restorationist terms whenever possible. Ours is a populist traditionalism, not an elitist one.

Rule #13: The BNP defines British people in both civic and ethnic terms. Immigrants, and descendants of immigrants who have settled here from non-European countries, are British in the fullest civic sense of the word, and entitled to the rights of all British subjects. This includes all rights and duties (such as full protection under the law) and all other aspects of participatory society, such as national sports teams, military service, civic associations and the like.
The BNP also defines British people in an ethnic sense, in that we are the descendants of the traditional peoples of England, Scotland, Wales and the island of Ireland. In the same way, an English person might be born in China of English parents and might have a Chinese passport, but would never be ethnically described as Chinese.
This ethnic understanding of Britishness does not impinge upon the civic rights of British passport holders. It is merely an expression of the rights of an indigenous people to be recognised as such, and to have the right to remain as the majority population in their own nation.
This right is accepted as normal by almost every other nation on earth, who also define their indigenous populations ethnically. Pakistan, for example, has a law of return which guarantees children of Pakistani immigrants the right to a Pakistani passport, no matter where in the world they may have been born.

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Monday, 27 April 2009

Sex education for five-year-olds to be made compulsory in schools

The government has announced plans to make sex education compulsory for pupils aged five to 11, dividing faith groups and safer sex campaigners.

Under the plans all secondary schools will have to teach teenagers about contraception, safer sex and relationships, but faith schools will also be free to preach against sex outside of marriage and condoms.

Details of how personal, social and health education (PSHE) will be made compulsory, published today, include a clause allowing schools to apply their "values" to the lessons.

It means that all secondary schools in England will for the first time have to teach a core curriculum about sex and contraception in the context of teenagers' relationships, but teachers in faith schools will be free to tell them that having sex outside of marriage, homosexuality or using contraception is wrong. Read more

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GAYS CAN CHANGE. REPARATIVE THERAPY WORKS, An Exclusive Interview with Dr. Joseph Nicolosi

Ed: Reading this interview with Dr Joseph Nicolosi, I couldn't help being reminded of the lyrics from Elton John's Made in England

I was made in England
Out of Cadillac muscle
I had a quit-me father
I had a love-me mother


I was made in England
Out of Cadillac muscle
Face down on a playground
Crying God send me a brother

John is, of course, famously gay.

[...] I spoke at length with Dr. Nicolosi about the issues and problems he faces.

VOL: What is the central social issue?

Nicolosi: It is quite amazing how to be gay and/or pro gay is to be anti-intellectual. Intellectually, it implies an enquiring mind as to causation and the unspoken taboo is never to ask why a person is homosexual. A true intellectual inquiry always addresses causation. Once you ask why, you open it up to causation. It is amazing to me as a psychologist how my profession will spend thousands of hours and dollars asking the most minute mundane and petty questions and never ask why is this person Homosexual. How dare you ask?

VOL: Well, is there a gay gene?

Nicolosi: After 35 years of investigation, they still have not discovered the Gay gene. After 36 years since the APA dropped its diagnosis of Homosexuality and during that period of time, no credible child developmental model has emerged, to explain the homosexual condition without traumatizing the child. In other words, that fact remains that if you traumatize a child in a particular way you will create a homosexual condition. If you do not traumatize a child, he will be heterosexual. If you do not traumatize a child in a particular way, he will be heterosexual. The nature of that trauma is an early attachment break during the bonding phase with the father. Read more
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Plan to monitor all internet use

Ed: Wake up. Smell the coffee.

Communications firms are being asked to record all internet contacts between people as part of a modernisation in UK police surveillance tactics.

The home secretary scrapped plans for a database but wants details to be held and organised for security services.

The new system would track all e-mails, phone calls and internet use, including visits to social network sites.

Ministers say police need new tools to fight crime but opposition MPs and campaigners have raised privacy fears.

Announcing a consultation on a new strategy for communications data and its use in law enforcement, Jacqui Smith said there would be no single government-run

But she also said that "doing nothing" in the face of a communications revolution was not an option. Read more
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How can we change 'macho' attitudes to sex? (In the Third World)

Ed: The 'Third World' message is ABC: Abstain, Be Faithful, Condomise". Meanwhile government policy dictated sex education in this country is C: "Condomise". Makes sense - not!

The ABC safe sex message, abstain, be faithful, condom use, displayed on a car bonnet. Photograph: AFP/Fati Moalusi

Speakers at the UN's first global symposium of men and boys in Rio de Janeiro this week have argued that macho stereotypes of what it takes to be a "real" man are helping spread HIV/Aids across the world.

Newswire IRIN is running an interview with Purmina Mane, an executive director of the UN Population Fund, who says the idea that men should have multiple sexual partners, take risks, are resilient to disease, reject contraception and be too strong to ask for help continue to affect access to healthcare and reproductive health services and is increasing exposure to the HIV virus for both men and women.

"Late diagnosis and treatment means that many continue to practice unprotected sex, running the risk of reinfection and of unknowingly infecting their partners," said Mane.

The story also quotes Graca Sambo, an executive director of Forum Mulher, a women's rights NGO in Mozambique, which said the idea that men should have many different sexual partners was a major contributing factor to the country having one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world – 16%.

"A lot of men have many sexual partners because this is what is expected of them," she said. "Masculinity is very much instilled by culture and by tradition, which say that men have to be studs." Read more
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Sunday, 26 April 2009

Tolerance and the limits of acceptance

From The Guardian 'Face to Faith', David Bryant writes, "Tolerance of other faiths is not enough - we must strive for true acceptance":

[...] As we sink deeper into our private kingdoms, intolerance turns to active hostility. Disciples of other faiths are seen as potential threats, hopelessly misguided and far from God. Finally the whole religious edifice dissolves into war, fanaticism, discord and violence. At that point, the last faint glimmer of spirituality dies and only hatred remains.

Most people who believe in God take a less rigid stance when confronted with other faiths and opt for tolerance. We engage in cross-cultural dialogue and ensure that education is, as far as possible, all-embracing, not skewed towards one particular set of beliefs. We endeavour to set up a society which is broad enough to incorporate our different codes of dress, manners, customs and religious observances. On occasion faith leaders appear on public platforms shaking hands.

That is all right as far as it goes. But tolerance is an undemanding virtue, a poor effort at friendship. It often means no more than relegating to the category of irrelevant or faintly curious the deeply held beliefs of others. "So long as they don't encroach on my way of life, I'm easy." Or, "You get on with your rites and I'll stick to mine." This is a step up from religious despising, but it produces little more than an uneasy truce, an ineffectual admission that we belong to a multicultural, theologically disparate society and must make the best of a bad job.

Something far more radical and painfully sacrificial is needed if we are to ever engage meaningfully. We need to bring about a world of mutual, outward-going respect, a warmth that far surpasses mere tolerance. Read more

And from The Telegraph, Taliban gunmen shooting couple dead for adultery caught on camera:

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"Christ did not die for the sins of the people": Head of German Catholic Bishops' Conference on TV

FREIBURG, Germany April 21, 2009 ( - According to the chairman of the Catholic bishops' conference of Germany, the death of Jesus Christ was not a redemptive act of God to liberate human beings from the bondage of sin and open the gates of heaven. The Archbishop of Freiburg, Robert Zollitsch, known for his liberal views, publicly denied the fundamental Christian dogma of the sacrificial nature of Christ's death in a recent interview with a German television station.

Zollitsch said that Christ "did not die for the sins of the people as if God had provided a sacrificial offering, like a scapegoat."

Instead, Jesus had offered only "solidarity" with the poor and suffering. Zollitsch said "that is this great perspective, this tremendous solidarity."

The interviewer asked, "You would now no longer describe it in such a way that God gave his own son, because we humans were so sinful? You would no longer describe it like this?"

Monsignor Zollitsch responded, "No." Read more

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The Deconstruction Of Marriage and Family

It should go without saying that an open society must be tolerant towards different lifestyles among adults. However, the issue has long ceased to be that of tolerance, but of the dissolution of marriage bonds and family ties. Today’s boost in social status for homosexuality must be seen in conne ction with the social and sociopolitical tendencies towards the deconstruction and complete redefin ition of marriage and family and the dismantling and redesign of genders and generations.

The Deconstruction Of Genders

In recent years there was an increasing shift away from man and woman as basic
anthropological realities, towards heterosexual and homosexual identities which supposedly exist on an equal level. However, this, too, has now become ou tmoded. For quite a while now German universities no longer offer just “Gay -Lesbian Studies”, but “Queer Studies”.

“Queer” theories deny that humankind should fall into two gender categories. Instead of acknowledging mutually complementary manhood and womanhood, such theories hold that there are a variety of different genders which are all on a par with each other: heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, transgender sexuals, intersexuals and cross -dressers, to name but a few.

The University of Hamburg has been holding public lectures on “Queer Studies” since 1999. The declared aim of the lecture series is to “counter hetero -normativity … with something different”. The latest publication of the series gave the following definition of the word “queer”: “As a term in the political battle, queer stands against hetero-normativity, against the distinction of merely two genders and against patriarchal stru ctures.”

At the same time, the new genders are to be no rigid “pigeon holes”. Rather, it is to be a matter not just of “destabilizing the two-gender structure”, but of “removing the lack of ambiguity of gender and of sexuality”. One suggestion is to aim for the “diversification of genders” and therefore to abolish completely any references to gender as a c ategory in legal documents (e.g. in ID cards).

When requested to draft an official statement on the German Transsexuality Act, a number of leading sexologists proposed that it should be possible for people to change their registered personal status (e.g. from “male” to “female” in an ID card) if a person feels transsexual, irrespective of whether a sex change operation has taken place. A change in personal status and name should be subject to no more than a medical report and the person’s statement that their “perceived gender membership” does not match their “biological gender”. Download as pdf

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Public Resistance against Homosexualization of Society Launched in Germany with Over 600 Prominent Signers

Preparations for a conference on psychotherapy set for May in Marburg, Germany are being disrupted by an "action alliance of queer, feminist, and anti-fascist and anti-sexist" groups that want two Christian therapists removed from the roster of speakers.

In response, a group of at least 600 prominent German professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds has issued a public statement and petition to protest the "totalitarian aspirations of the gay and lesbian associations." These organizations, they said, are trying to suppress freedom of expression and academic inquiry at the upcoming 6th International Congress for Psychotherapy and Counseling in Marburg.

On March 29, the Lesbian and Gay Association of Germany (LSVD) in an open letter to the mayor of the city of Marburg and the university, attacked the management of the Congress, saying that a talk scheduled by two experts on "identity development for men and women" should be cancelled. Read more
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Psychiatrist, Therapist and Rabbi say Gays can change

A high police presence and over 100 gay activists failed to prevent participants at a two-day Sex & the City Conference from an opportunity to hear reparative therapist Dr Joseph Nicolosi; psychiatrist, author Dr. Jeffrey Satinover; and JONAH President Arthur Goldberg. The three told their audience that change is not only possible for homosexuals with same-sex attraction, but that thousands of men and women have thrown off homosexual behavior with many marrying and now living normal lives.

Joseph Nicolosi"It’s all about choice, choice, choice," said Nicolosi. "Individuals have the right to explore their heterosexual potential. It is about freedom of choice. It is about diversity, autonomy, self-determination. The language gays are using, we are using. We say ‘who are you to judge, let me decide for my life. I don’t want gays telling me I can’t change.’ All the cliches used by gay activists, we are using for ex-gays."

Nicolosi argues that, at its root, homosexuality is not a sexual problem - it is a gender-identity problem. Normal stages of emotional development have been interrupted, and this can lead to same sex bonding in order to attain affirmation. These relationships tend to implode, leaving the homosexual hurt and confused. Furthermore, Nicolosi claims that there is no such thing as a homosexual, but only heterosexuals that have a homosexual problem. "This may sound like splitting hairs, but it actually opens the door for the dissatisfied homosexual oriented person to change, because such people can begin viewing themselves as fundamentally heterosexual. We have had a great deal of success with this therapeutic approach." Read more
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