Notes and Comments: No. 4


Another excellent article on Atheism by AC Grayling. However, I do think he misses out on making explicit the way that believers conflate the two different meanings of ‘belief’ when they make the spurious claim that atheism is just another form of belief akin to religious belief, but in the comments does do an excellent good job of explaining this.

It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilisation,” wrote Kenneth Clark, who devoted much of his life to a famous study of the subject. “We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs.” Or, he might have said, by wilful neglect of what our civilisation has given us, which is a form of cynicism; the most deadly form of all.

Michael Henderson in the Telegraph.


Labour needs a woman at the top

My comment:

Well, no. If women are so superficial as to only want to vote for someone who happens to go through the same public toilet door as them, then perhaps they shouldn’t be trusted with a vote at all?

Of course, I jest. However, it is this contemporary obsession with image over substance and pandering to spurious identity politics that is part of the problem, not the solution.

Just appointing someone because of their gender will be seen for what it is – mere tokenism and image manipulation. Whoever is made leader of any party will be – whatever their sex – still only a mere modern politician. The main error in this article lies in the bland assumption that people who have a certain identity – however defined: sexual, religious, cultural, skin colour or whatever – have, somehow, an inherent insight into that identity denied to those who do not share it. This leads to this notion that you need someone of a specific sex to represent those of the same sex, which just – ultimately – leads to absurdities. For, if women need one of their own sex to represent them, then is the converse also true that men also need someone of their sex to represent them? Because if a constituency has a male MP that (somehow) leaves the women of his constituency unrepresented in somewhat, the surely the same must apply with a women MP and the men in her constituency. So each constituency – to be fair – must have a man AND a woman candidate.

Then what about lesbians, gays – they will need a representative for their interests too. Then Christians, Muslims, Wiccans, Spaghetti-Monsterists and so on and on, right down to us over-opinionated middle-aged fat white blokes with computers and too much time on our hands.

What we could do with is some decent, intelligent, wise and thoughtful folks of any sex, sexual persuasion, hair colour or any other distinguishing feature in parliament, rather than the current woeful crop of dullards, ego-maniacs, time-servers, party sheep, intellectual pygmies, mediocrities and lightweights that populate the benches on both sides of the house and, especially, the leadership of all the parties.

I won’t suck up to the Boss

My comment:

There was a time when I would get all in a huff if anyone criticised my favourite rock music. However, I realised a long time ago that such music was not really worth taking seriously, and – consequently – opinions about it were not worth bothering with all that much.

Springsteen, though, is one of the bare handful of rock musicians that has, over the years, seemed to have something to say still worth listening to. To dismiss that body of work using these tired old clichés such as those describing ‘Born in the USA’ in this piece displays a lack of knowledge of the subject and the typical shallow and shoddy ‘journalism’ that has – unfortunately -become the hallmark of the Guardian these days.

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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