Are we reversing out of the scientific enlightenment? The frenzied scenes from Sussex University this week suggest that we might be. This should worry everyone. When a professor of philosophy is hounded by a mob for supposedly having the wrong opinions, the age of reason is in danger.
Sir, As transsexual people, we deplore the continuing attacks on Professor Kathleen Stock (Times Oct 9 & 11). We are appalled that trans rights — our rights — are being used to excuse an unprincipled campaign of harassment and abuse. Like any other group, trans people hold a range of opinions. Attacks on the freedom of expression are not progressive and do nothing to fight against actual prejudice or win better services for trans people. If bullies manage to silence Kathleen Stock, they will not stop there.
Dissenting arguments went missing at this weekend’s conference
When Liz Truss confirmed that the government was committing itself to banning LGBT conversion therapy, there was some bemusement: is the middle of a pandemic really the time for this? The decision was announced back in May, and Truss – who serves as equalities minister – conceded that ‘many forms of the practice are already prevented under current legislation’. But this ‘new ban’, she added ‘will ensure that it is stamped out once and for all.’
At her employment tribunal, two years ago, Maya Forstater was told that her views ‘were not worthy of respect in a democratic society.’ That was after Forstater had been cancelled by the Centre for Global Development think tank, an institute that had employed her, when she was caught preaching the gospel of science and reason on the internet. Some of her colleagues grumbled about her gender critical beliefs, and Forstater’s contract was not renewed.
Has Police Scotland misunderstood the purpose of policing? A recent crackdown on ‘controversial stickers’ appears to suggest as much.
La ideología de la identidad de género es una nueva religión. Sus fieles denuncian a los no creyentes, consiguen estigmatizarlos socialmente y los llevan al tribunal de la fe. La última víctima de la inquisición es el conocido crítico de la fe religiosa Richard Dawkins, a quien la la Asociación Humanista Estadounidense despojó ayer de su premio ‘Humanista del año’ de 1996.
Not everyone wants to trumpet their gender dysphoria
As part of new guidance on transgender issues, lecturers at Edinburgh University have been told to avoid using ‘microinsults’ like: ‘I wanted to be a boy when I was a child’. It’s probably a good thing that I do not teach there, since I certainly wanted to be a girl.
Richard Dawkins – the biologist, humanist, and author – is a well-known critic of religious faith. As he once put it, ‘Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.’
Traditional religion may have loosened its grip on society, certainly in the United Kingdom, but new quasi-religious ideologies are taking root in spaces that the churches have vacated.