23 April 2008

The Guardian calls me part J. S. Mill, part Melanie Phillips

Who is Melanie Phillips? She's a British journalist, commentator, author of Londanistan, and a fierce critic of Islamism in the U.K. Apparently the reviewer for The Guardian didn't care for The Secular Conscience's message about the fecklessness of secular liberals, including reviewers in The Guardian:
Not surprising given the reason for the book's sense of urgency, which is the incipient Islamist apocalypse: "In the face of a challenge to the future of European values, the official ideology of multiculturalism has become a pact for mass cultural suicide." By this point near the book's end those who believe that our civilisation depends on the freedom to publish racist cartoons will be nodding energetically.
I'm convinced Mill would be with Phillips, and me, on Islamism. Of course, neither of us would be with her in her doubts about evolution, which she has called "a theory with holes in it."

Tomorrow I drive east for a Barnes & Noble outside of Detroit, Michigan and then a late night of writing a piece tentatively titled "New Religious Discoveries Confirm Ancient Secular Wisdom."


Anonymous said...

No need to be *feel uneasy* about criticism from those whose sense of moral prompting is not as strong as your own. It's obvious you've chosen to be a spokesperson for your conscience.

On another topic, regarding Melanie, what is with this strange fetish of people to say that evolution "may be wrong" or "has holes in it" or is the "dogma" of the day? And why are people like Ben Stein in this clique now? I haven't done my homework. I think Tooby and Cosmides put it best by saying that evolution is simply a physical process, understood as well as say, convection or electricity, that unfolds when self-replicating structures are interacting with selection pressures.

Anonymous said...

Melanie says:
"What Emmanuel questions in its religion classes, and may question in its science classes, is scientism, the doctrine that says the only questions worth asking are the ones that science can answer. This is an extremely dubious doctrine which many scientists themselves think is anti-science."

Melanie, what is science other than simple disinterested inquiry? If science can't answer (which sometimes it can't, at least tentatively), then that doesn't mean you must turn to hucksters to fill the explanatory gap in your mind.

"It [evolution] does not explain human self-consciousness;"
Professor Dennett might disagree with you.

"it does not explain altruism;"
Game Theory?

What's with the apparent ulterior motive here?

Hume's Ghost said...

Melanie Phillips is also a global warming denialist.

In addition, she believes that there is a US conspiracy to cover up the fact that Saddam Hussein did have WMDs. Her source for that belief appears to be a Christian White supremacist.

Hume's Ghost said...

I just read an article from Phillips saying that war with Iran is inevitable but that we should go ahead and start it so that we can begin on our terms. War with Iran is inevitable because it is the central point of the threat to civilization that Islamism poses, is the gist.

I have been reading your book and agree with its central premise, but I'm not sure I want to be considered on the side of Phillips.