12 December 2009

UK gov't accused of treating religious faith as an "eccentricity"

According to the Daily Telegraph (a.k.a. Daily Torygraph) the Archbishop of Canterbury has accused the government of treating religious faith as an "eccentricity" practised by "oddities". Dr Rowan Williams said ministers were wrong to think that Christian beliefs were no longer relevant in modern Britain and he criticised Labour for looking at religious faith as a “problem” rather than valuing the contribution it made to society. He added that political leaders should be more open about their beliefs.

The BBC asked the following question in the "have your say" page:

Does religion have a part to play in politics?

I am happy to see that the vast majority of respondents think NO, NO and NO! This is a relief.

I checked the to 47 responses and here are the first few, the mot recommended ones:

No and I would go further and say all local authority schools should also be 100% secular. Paul Price, Carmarthen, United Kingdom

Religion and politics should stay separate.
I hate using pain and misery to make a point, but the Church in Ireland shows us the dangers. O.W.

It is absolutely right for the Government to ignore religion. This is 2009 - laws should be based on democratic values, not superstition. If you want to see what a society run according to religious rule of law is like you only have to look at Iran. Richard Lewis, Cambridge

Organised religion has caused more war than peace. Lucien Piers

an "eccentricity" practised by "oddities" Sounds spot on to me [paulmathome], London

Already we have the politicians in a so-called 'class war.'
All we need now is for 'faith war' where they needle each other about which religious sect they belong to. NO NO NO to religion in politics! Norman

The first irrational response is 48th in rank:

Strange thing – countries or states that seek to deny Christ normally end up as terrible places to be in [grainsofsand], United Kingdom
I can imagine what people would reply if the same question was asked in the U.S....


  1. There might be a problem with those who view an internet article (especially those who choose to comment or vote) not being representative of the population. There have been a lot of anti-atheist screeds in mainstream online news publications in the last year and they usually get thrashed by the readers -- I'd imagine for the print version there would be a lot more sympathetic readers.

  2. Wisely and rationally spoken. But I was feeling optimistic, you know...



What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant