Freethought 14 October – 3 November 2023

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The Israel-Palestine conflict; secularism in India; ethics of AI

Dear reader,

The Israel-Palestine conflict has been in the headlines for most of the last month. Our leading article this week, by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid, is an analysis of the role played in obstructing any prospects for peace by Hamas, Islamists and fellow-travellers on the far left. Of course, in such a politically and morally complex situation, the role of religious ideologies of different kinds forms only part of the story. We hope to reflect more on this role in future articles.

From India, journalist Puja Bhattacharjee reports on a project to arrange home visits between Hindus and Muslims, with a view to fostering a better understanding between their communities.

Why are the Silicon Valley billionaires seemingly obsessed with science fiction? How far will artificial intelligence pose an existential threat, and what are they (or we) going to do about it? Rahman Toone, a writer and technology worker, reports.

I recently discussed free thought on the Humanism Now podcast, while Daniel Sharp, our assistant editor, appeared on Atheism UK's Freethought Hour. For more information, see our round-up of free thought and secularist talks, which also includes the National Secular Society's Bradlaugh Lecture and a talk by NSS historian Bob Forder at Conway Hall tomorrow.

Bloodshed in Gaza: Islamists, leftist ideologues, and the prospects of a two-state solution, by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid
Campaign ‘to unite India and save its secular soul', by Puja Bhattacharjee
Ethical future? Science fiction and the tech billionaires, by Rahman Toone
Freethinkers in conversation – round-up

I hope you enjoy our latest articles, and if you do, please share them with others. If you have any comments, feel free to send me an email at the address below.

Best wishes,

Emma Park
Editor, The Freethinker
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