R.J.Hoffmann on “Movement humanism”, while Mary Beard writes against attempt to limit smut for kiddies

Two interesting posts came in via my RSS feed.

The first, via eChurch blog, is by atheist R.J.Hoffmann, and entitled Movement Humanism.  What he describes is what most of us experience, when we encounter atheists or atheist writing:

While often claiming the protective cloak of science and reason as their aegis for intellectual rectitude, movement humanism was really all about creating straw-men, stereotypes and bogeymen and unfortunately came to believe in its own anti-religion discourse. …

To be blunt, movement humanism with its straw men and reductive techniques, its stereotyping and bogeymen, is not just stuck in the past but stuck in a religious past of its own making. It is a past that an authentic and fully inclusive humanism would want to reject. It is a past that many religious thinkers have already rejected.

That many of these headbanger atheists are precisely this kind of animal — the religious bigot — is what some of us have observed for some time.  The main religious hate one will encounter online is from atheists. 

This can come as a shock to those of us whose encounter with older atheism was in the form of J. S. Mill.  Such a realisation from a modern atheist like Hoffmann can only be welcome.

Less welcome is an article from classicist Mary Beard, who writes for the Times.  In Young minds … and the dirty bits (in Aristophanes), we get the following observations.

Of course, you will object, sexualised clothing and sexualised images near schools are not the same thing as the naughty bits in an ancient Greek dramatist. In some ways they are not — and in some ways they are. Both of them, in their different ways, are a nice illustration of the “BAN IT” culture that we have come to accept. If you dont like something, if you think — even more –that its presence could harm young minds and bodies, then BAN IT — as if that was effective, and the only strategy of change that there was.

Isn’t this cute?  Doesn’t it remind you of the hippy age?  Haven’t we all heard this kind of things for decades, as an excuse for filth?

The arguments all seem rather empty, to me.  We live in the age of the “Human Rights Commission”.  We know of writers like Ezra Levant dragged through legal proceedings for expressing an opinion.  We know of Christian street preachers lured by gay agents provocateurs to condemn unnatural vice and then denounced to the police.  Every week brings a new report of some family whose breadwinner has lost his job because he accidently expressed a non-politically correct opinion.  We live in an age of Stalinist-style repression of free speech.  But none of this features in the post.

Those who write like this — I don’t know about Dr. B personally — are almost never opposed to a BAN IT culture.  They’re in favour of it, so long as it is under their control, and will happily defend the most outrageous Gestapo-like tactics.  They object to the ban on filth because it is not a ban that they have advanced and feel comfortable that they control.

Heaven forbid, it might lead to condemnation of themselves.

2 thoughts on “R.J.Hoffmann on “Movement humanism”, while Mary Beard writes against attempt to limit smut for kiddies

  1. She’s living in a past when “banned in Boston” meant pornography, not nativity scenes.

  2. Nice phrase!

    The UK government is going to have a new censorship initiative, it is true. Apparently it will increase state control over the internet. Not something I want to see.

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