The Sly Circularity of the Kalãm Cosmological Argument


‘The universe has a cause.’ The claim seems uncontroversial enough. David Hume was perhaps more right than he could have known when he wrote of the human mind’s proneness to associate cause with effect regardless of whether it has a rational basis for doing so (which it ultimately does not); increasing evidence suggests that the principle of causality may well be something not learned through experience, as he had suggested, but biologically and psychologically inherited, which would render us creatures made naturally uncomfortable by the prospect of a cause occurring without its corresponding effect, or, more relevantly, the reverse. It is upon this intuitive inclination—an inclination which, it is worth repeating, has no basis in rational thought—that rests one of the most popular and persuasive arguments for the existence of a supernatural first mover (or, more bravely, a god): the kalãm cosmological argument.


A Statement on the Upcoming Anti-Theism International Convention

Sometime last year I agreed to speak at a conference being held in Brighton in 2020 called the Anti-Theism International Convention, after being invited by John Richards, the principal organiser. You may have seen the controversy surrounding Lance Gregorchuk, who was (is?) one of the funders of the event, taking part in a horrific interview, in which David Worley asked why the conference had invited Lawrence Krauss to speak, considering the allegations of historic sexual misconduct against him (something which I am not commenting on here).

Should Vegans Go To KFC?


There are always, in a person’s life, some meals consumed that will remain in their memory for years at least, if not for life. These will commonly include such rare culinary delights as an engagement dinner, or the last meal a beloved family member prepared before their death, or perhaps one that facilitated some unforgettable conversation, the recollection of which cannot detached from the food. Pathetically, my first mighty bucket from KFC was one such ineffable experience.


Love Island, Ollie Williams, and Viewer Hypocrisy (Cherwell Online)

Opinion – Love Island, veganism, and viewer hypocrisy – Cherwell

When I was younger, I used to have no reservations about killing innocent animals simply for enjoyment. My dad used to drive me in his truck to have a fun day out off the backs of murdered creatures; it was a fantastic way to bond with each other and was something he had done with …

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Putting the Dog in Dogma: Is Meat Eating A ‘Personal Choice’?


When Goethe wrote what would evolve into the familiar adage, ‘He who knows one, knows none,’ he wished to express that the capability to understand language requires a point of comparison. It is a compelling conviction that to attempt an understanding of our own language is a wasted project if we are simultaneously confined by it, unable to step outside of it and approach it with any kind of objectivity. The intuitive truth of this observation was subsequently recognised by Max Müller, who in 1873 invoked these words when founding his ‘science of religion’, applying it to belief systems more broadly and arguing that to analyse an ideology requires an acquaintance with alternative perspectives on the world and the labour of their comparative study.


Yes, I’m a Vegan


New to the world and suitably confused, an intelligent, breathing creature is dragged from its mother, never to see her, or anything, again. A result of forced impregnation, this living being exists only as a byproduct of the milk which exists to serve its nourishment, too expensive even to be sold to a slaughterhouse, let alone kept alive. Naturally unwilling to face the savagery herself—this would be too much—the dairy farmer throws some coins into the bloodied hands of a knackerman, after he kills and disposes of the biological waste. (Had the calf been female, she might have been spared this fate in order to serve as her mother’s successor, but those males slaughtered early are probably the lucky ones in this regard.) The mother is left with no one to provide her milk to except those who on that farm need it least: members of our own exigent species. She is sucked dry up to three times per day, before being re-impregnated or sent to be butchered. The resulting milk then begins a long journey from the distributer to the supermarket to the shopping basket to the plastic carrier bag, before finally ending up in a cup of tea, which I do not finish.


Standing On Their Own Tail: Islam And Its Guardians


Efforts to define Islam by the actions of its individual devotees are generally frivolous. If a single Islamic fanatic blowing himself up at a children’s concert is not indicative of Islam being a religion of violence, then a single Islamic moderate helping to carry the resulting corpses from the rubble is not indicative of it being one of peace. If we continue with this kind of situational point-scoring rather than pursuing a conversation about the core values of its agreed-upon teachings, the political, journalistic and artistic paranoia surrounding Islam will never be resolved.


A Note on the Niqab


Recently, perhaps due to Facebook’s overtly partial organisational algorithm, or perhaps due to the well-intentioned yet misguided efforts of those in my ‘friends’ list of a far left-wing or theocratic inclination, I have found myself continually stumbling across a particularly grotesque yet entirely unsurprising attempt by the obnoxiously prolific BBC Three to normalise that most egregious of crimes against the sound moral conscience: the monotonisation and deindividualisation of the female of the species.