Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Like sleeping furiously!

A C Grayling was talking to to Decca Aitkenhead about his new 'secular bible' called The Good Book, in an interview reported in The Guardian.  He says that he has been compiling the book since he was a young man.

When asked whether he thought there was any truth in the assertion that the new atheist movement has offended potential sympathisers by being too outspoken or militant he is said to have answered like this.

"Well, firstly, I think the charges of militancy and fundamentalism of course come from our opponents, the theists. My rejoinder is to say when the boot was on their foot they burned us at the stake. All we're doing is speaking very frankly and bluntly and they don't like it," he laughs. "So we speak frankly and bluntly, and the respect agenda is now gone, they can no longer float behind the diaphanous veil – 'Ooh, I have faith so you mustn't offend me'. So they don't like the blunt talking. But we're not burning them at the stake. They've got to remember that when it was the other way around it was a much more serious matter.

"And besides, really," he adds with a withering little laugh, "how can you be a militant atheist? How can you be militant non-stamp collector? This is really what it comes down to. You just don't collect stamps. So how can you be a fundamentalist non-stamp collector? It's like sleeping furiously. It's just wrong."

This article brightened up my Monday morning.  I suppose now I have to add yet another book to my pile of important things to read.  The list never gets any shorter.

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