Tag Archives: New Atheism

A Nation of Shopkeepers?

So Napoleon famously mocked the English, or so it is said. Actually the phrase came from Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations, where he wrote — “”To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a people of customers may at first sight appear a project fit only for a nation of shopkeepers. It is, however, a project altogether unfit for a nation of shopkeepers; but extremely fit for a nation whose government is influenced by shopkeepers.” Napoleon may have taken up the phrase, and used it, but I seem to recall that actually his tone may have been rather more respectful than is general believed. Still, whatever the truth, has anyone wandered down the Regent Arcade, Cheltenham recently? It was Lisa who pointed out to me the large number of empty shops — when this happens to Cheltenham, you have to wonder. I think I might try soon to interview either the Town Centre Manager or the Economic Development Officer for the borough, though to be fair they probably have rather more important things to do. Cheltenham has weathered the recent economic storms quite well, but the changes are visible on the High Street, and a host of innovative new shops appear to be opening to offer the cheapest of the cheap to the once prosperous shoppers of this fine city. I’m not moaning, as I say, Cheltenham is still much more prosperous than most places, even if that prosperity is rather unequally divided among its citizens, with areas of (in 21st century terms) deprivation, but nothing like the real poverty of some cities districts. Continue reading

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Dawkins.net Meltdown — New Forum for Exiles; rationalskepticism.org

A brief post for me, but a very important one. I know (from emails and comments) that a large number of ex-Richarddawkins.net forum members are passing this way in search of information. After a few days of gracious hosting from … Continue reading

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In Praise of Josh Timonen…

So, the anger and outrage about recent events at RichardDawkins.net continues unabated. I think it’s two days no since I jokingly posted a thread at Rationalia.com called “In Praise of Josh Timonen”, the rather feeble joke being that I could not find anything to say.

Well now I have, so I’ll say it. I have never met Josh, and i have no idea who he is., apart from Richard Dawkins dedicated book to him I’m sure he is lovely, kind and well meaning. He has on this occasion shown a VERY sick sense of humour, rickrolling people trying to back up the database of posts. He has acted incredibly poorly in his dismissal of the forummods after repeated assurances they would be consulted on the new forum. Continue reading

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There’s probably no Forum – Now relax and enjoy your Life: Richard Dawkins on changes at the forum

OK, OK, I know I said I would not write on this tedious topic any more. But the despondency of this morning at seeing a lot of hurt unhappy people and musing over ‘rationalist’ websites ability to explode has no turned to mild good humoured amusement. Richard Dawkins managed to cheer me up – not because I agreed with him or anything he says on this topic, but because it was good old bellicose belligerent Dawkins coming out fighting, and because know we know not to blame Josh. PZ Myers has washed his hands of the matter, not wanting to get dragged in, but Richard has posted on his forum (shame nobody else can!)
http://forum.richarddawkins.net/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=110356 Continue reading

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Death of an Atheist Forum; the lessons of history

Following the bizarre collapse of the Richard Dawkins forum, I posted this on the excellent Rationalia and Thinking Aloud Forums. It will be my last blog entry on atheist forum politics :( I am after all not actually an atheist!

OK, I think I’m giving up on the whole atheist forum thing. I’ll tell you why, then move on to other topics tomorrow…

Firstly, I am still shocked, saddened and miserable about the demise of the wonderful RichardDawkins.net/forum. The problem is I have seen it ALL before, and not so long ago. If I thought this was Josh Timonen’s fault, or Dawkins, I could just laugh and move on, and help fight. The thing is I can’t any more. It’s something fundamental and deeper. Continue reading

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The End of an Era: Richard Dawkins forum to close

Unfortunately I popped over to RD.net to see what was going on, and found that an announcement had been made that the forum is to close. It will remain live for 30 days to allow us to retrieve anything we want to save: given I had written over 10,000 posts (7,000+ remain after an earlier purge) and I guess many million words as I am not known for my brevity, that will prove immensely difficult. Given that the search has not worked for months, in order to protect other parts of the website and keep the bandwidth manageable, well it will be next to impossible. Continue reading

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The Second Sermon of the Rev. Jerome

More silliness from the Dawkins forum, from my series of sermons. This one was much misunderstood at the time!

In this, the second of my Sunday sermons, I would like to take a moment to thank you all for the stunned silence which met my first sermon. At least I would like to think it was stunned silence — I suspect in reality it was either utter indifference, or an unwillingness to sit through a lengthy exposition. With these thoughts in mind I will now ask Mr Grimble on organ to play “Anarchy in the UK“, and for us to reflect deeply on the moving sentiments of that 20th century divine, the Rev. J. Rotten. Continue reading

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