Why circumcision should be abhorred

A couple from the US state of Georgia was recently arrested for tattooing six of their seven children with crosses. The mother bemusedly commented: I’m their mother. Shouldn’t I be able to decide if they get one? No, madam, you shouldn’t. Children are not possessions; parents do not own them. They are human beings with […]

Faith Wars: How holiness drives the Israeli-Arab conflict

Jerusalem is an overwhelming city. In the tradition of absurdist thought, nothing is truly meaningful, and any meaning has to be somewhat arbitrarily imposed onto the world. Jerusalem poses a significant empirical challenge to this notion: every stone of every street bursts with historical significance. It is overwhelming for the psyche to become aware of […]

The Original Slacktivism

THIS past week we’ve seen the majority of Facebook’s userbase swap their profile pictures for images of cartoons from their childhood. This was part of a well-intentioned, but ultimately superficial campaign to reduce child abuse by drawing attention to the issue. So effective was it, I was prompted to comment, “I was about to punch […]

Letter from a Young Contrarian

TONIGHT UK viewers can enjoy a screening of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ – a movie dubbed ‘The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre’ by one US critic. It’s a film that: Lovingly and in detail recycles the bloody myth that all Jews are historically and collectively responsible for the murder of Jesus. These are the […]

The Meaning of Life 4

Welcome to the final part of PETER BRIETBART’S interview with Professor A C GRAYLING. Here we ask what Eutopia might look like, what lies in store for the future of humanity, where the best philosophy is to be found and whether the right to die should be a legal right. PB: In your view, and, […]

The Meaning of Life 3

Welcome to Part 3 of the Freethinker/Grayling interview. Here, we ask him why religion has stuck around so long, if we could ever be free of superstition, why humanism is good for the world, and if free will could really exist in a purely physical world. PB: Daniel Dennett talks about it in terms of […]

The Meaning of Life 2

WELCOME to the second part of our interview with PROFESSOR A C GRAYLING. Here, PETER BRIETBART asks Grayling how he’d combat extremism if he were the Prime Minister of the UK; how we can have morality in a godless world; whether circumcision is ever morally acceptable, and why religions are so common and varied. PB: […]

The Meaning of Life

This is the first of a four-part exclusive interview with Professor A C Grayling, first published in 2010 PETER BRIETBART meets world-renowned philosopher, humanist and atheistĀ A C GRAYLING, Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London and a supernumerary fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford. He is a prolific author, whose works include Against All […]

A story of revelation and rebirth

PETER BRIETBART reviews Losing My Religion by WILLIAM LOBDELL (pictured above) PACING across the bright, flood-lit stage, a faith-healer screeches Alleluiahs into the microphone, his voice echoing around the packed auditorium. As the offering buckets fill, an elderly man in a wheelchair empties what little money he has, catching the eye of the rock-star priest […]