‘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.
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).
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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What follows is an open letter to my parliamentary representative, Anneliese Dodds MP. It follows the recent invitation of Marion Maréchal-Le Pen to speak in Oxford, and her advocacy for this invitation being revoked. You can find the story, and her comments, here.
The following is an open letter to Justine Greening, the current British Secretary of State for Education, on the urgent matter of faith schools.