Sunday, 19 June 2016

Do we need to understand religion to have an understanding of the world?

My discussion on 'do we need to have an understanding of religion to understand the world?' with Prof John Brewer from QUB on the Sunday Sequence on BBC Radio Ulster 12 of June 2016.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Would that be Atheist Ireland or Pegida? (or the LBJ approach to getting ahead)

Following on from my last blog, where I pointed out a pattern emerging where Atheist Ireland was increasingly being associated a violent rhetoric, it was pointed out to me that it was not Atheist Ireland who were the instigators of the violence in these tweets, but Pegida and that Atheist Ireland were the uninterested/uncaring bystanders to this violence (as if this makes this better somehow).

But that analysis will only stand if a distinction is being made between Atheist Ireland and Pegida. Is it? 

Is it heck as like.

Let me leave you with a story that most of you will already have heard. 

"“This is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in politics. Every hack in the business has used it in times of trouble, and it has even been elevated to the level of political mythology in a story about one of Lyndon Johnson’s early campaigns in Texas.
“The race was close and Johnson was getting worried. Finally he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumour campaign about his opponent's life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his barnyard sows.
“Christ, we can’t get away with calling him a pig-f****r,” the campaign manager protested. “Nobody’s going to believe a thing like that.”
“I know,” Johnson replied. “But let’s make the sonofab****h deny it.”

Friday, 10 June 2016

The new level of violent rhetoric that is now being associated with Atheist Ireland.

I hadn't planned to write anything about the latest defamatory smears that are being levelled at Atheist Ireland as an organisation at at specific members of the organisation. I even went so far, for personal reasons, to request from Peter Ferguson that I be untagged from any further tweets which he had agreed to do, and I want to thank him for that. I had planned not to comment any further on this, it was just becoming too exhausting. But last night I made the mistake of putting 'Atheist Ireland' into a search on Twitter. Damn my curiosity.

As I read though the tweets I noticed a pattern emerging. A level of violence in the tweets that I had not previously noticed. Or was it that I had become so de-sensitised that I had stopped noticing.

Michael Nugent has written about this latest round of defamatory smears and John Hamill has written on the very damage these smears can cause. But when did it become acceptable to link Atheist Ireland and a individual member of Atheist Ireland with such violence? 

The tweets in order by date:

So, are we all ok with this? I really hope not.