Saturday, September 08, 2007
I find myself mildly libelled by Terry Sanderson of the National Secular Society. 'Not half as dishonest,' says Sanderson of John Humphrys' remark that the claim of militant atheists that believers know what they say is not true is dishonest, 'as the way Humphrys (or more likely Appleyard) is portraying it.' This is a professional slur implying I lied in my reporting of Humphry's words. Well, I didn't, I didn't even indicate sympathy. Sanderson also says - not libellously - that I am a 'notoriously superstition-driven journo'. Really? I am interested in superstitions, not least scientism, secularism and what Karl Popper called 'promissory materialism'. Indeed, I respect such superstitions. I am not subject to them myself, though, doubtless, I am afflicted by others. Sanderson says 'the establishment intelligentsia... have never been able to shake of their childhood indoctrination'. One wonders at the idea that belief/ superstition is an establishment attribute. One wonders further at the idea that there is some secular elite uniquely capable of shaking off childhood indoctrination. But then secular humanism was always an elitist faith, defined, primarily, by its dislike of humans.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 8:11 am