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July 13, 2007



Ah, the sheer physical courage that's required to mock the CofE.


It's not what Grayling says that I find disagreeable. I probably would agree with his basic sentiments about God etc, if it weren't for the mockery and lack of compassion he chooses as means of delivering these sentiments. This method is meant to belittle and frankly, to enrage. I am reminded of something Cass Sunstein wrote some time ago:

"The antonym of respect is disdain or (better) contempt; the antonym of charity is selfishness or (better) stinginess. It is much worse to be disrespectful than to be uncharitable. Politicians who show respect--Senator McCain is a good example--tend not to attack the competence, the motivations, or the defining commitments of those who disagree with him. Politicians who show charity as well as respect--Senator Obama is a rare example--tend to put opposing arguments in the best possible form, to praise the motivations of those who offer such arguments, and to seek proposals that specifically accept the defining commitments of all sides."


Francis Sedgemore

Critics of religion such as Christopher Hitchens can be trenchant, but unlike Grayling and Dawkins, for example, they generally avoid belittling individuals who hold religious beliefs unless the individuals concerned have a high public profile, and are thoroughly deserving of public scorn owing to their (negative) influence in public life.

I'm not sure why Grayling behaves as he does. I'd like to think that he's simply going along with CiF culture. I still continue to write for that site (mostly when commissioned), but I find that culture very difficult to cope with. CiF brings out the worst in me, and that may apply also to other writers such as Grayling. This is not to damn the whole exercise, which has a lot going for it.

Mick H

I'm obviously in the minority here, but I don't see why Grayling merits such criticism. So he patronises the C of E - "harmless and even admirable for the cakes they bake for the Saturday fete, raising money for developing world children and other good causes." In the great cut and thrust of debate over the question of religion, is that really so contemptible?

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