Heretical Thinking

Sue Blackmore reports on a pledge which I hadn’t heard of but certainly will comply with, undertaking to write to the BBC and request that they allow atheists, humanists and “brights” (sorry, cannot bring myself to use that term unironically) to speak on Thought for the Day.

The difference between Blackmore’s sensible approach, and the rather more incendiary wording of the pledge itself, is what I’m getting at when I express my wariness about “new” atheism. I’m all for forthright views, but not angry ones. The Atheist Bus Campaign is great because, fundamentally, it is a lighthearted response to something quite genuinely offensive. Blackmore’s emphasis is not on banning Thought for the Day but expanding it – and in the process appraising what it is there to do.


  1. I haven’t commented on your recent atheism posts, mostly because I agree with you and where’s the fun in that.

    Having been an avid fan of Dawkins’ popular biology works like River out of Eden, The Extended Phenotype and the brilliant Ancestor’s Tale, it took me a couple of years to get round to looking at his work on religion (it might have been quicker if that “bright” nonsense he and Dennett dreamed up hadn’t put me off).

    I’m about as firm an atheist as there is – based on evidence (or lack of it) I’ve come to the conclusion that a whole bunch of things I once believed in, from God to ghosts, aren’t real.

    But I don’t buy into Dawkins’ equating religion and child abuse, or the somewhat hackneyed idea that religion is responsible for all the ills of the world. I don’t think it’s my business to evangelise for atheism, nor do I believe that a world without religion would be much better than the one we have now.

    And I’ve emailed the Today programme.

  2. Er, I thought they already have someone from the Secular Society or the Humanist Association (or something similar) give the TotD frome time to time.

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