A. C. Grayling vs noemon - Speech @ Cambridge University "Against All Gods" - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Reichstraten wrote:Why do you need a god to have children?

Grayling apparently found a reason:

no one said "need."

However, that the religious, especially those of the more orthodox and fundamentalist sects, tend to have the highest birth-rate while the least religious have the lowest birth rate is no secret.

The "darwinian" implications of this demographic reality being the most amusing irony of all in this regards.
1) He said that as a secularist he supports the right of everyone to exist in an open society but then he said that people should combat(exact word he used) the Catholic and Protestant Faith schools in the UK. He said that the campaign against Christian Faith schools in the UK is headed by a Rabbi and that "proves" that you can be secular and religious at the same time.

To some extent, I agree with this position, especially in an Islamic context, That is combating Islamism.
Religion, when its followers become radical and to a large extent fanatic in their believes, finds it self in direct opposition to a free and open society; As such, freedom of religion should exist, yet limited to personal life.
People should be able to adhere to any and all religions as long as they do not infringe on the rights and freedoms of others in their beliefs and personal lives.
I don't think this needs many examples for everyone to get the point I'm aiming at.

2) He said that atheism is not anti-theism and that atheist people are metaphysically neutral, they do not make any claim on whether God exists or not and they do not either deny or affirm such a metaphysical position but then he turned around and said that faith in God is irrational and lacking evidence which requires indeed a metaphysical position.

Again, I agree in most sense.
I don't necessarily identify as an atheist, rather agnostic; I don't know whether a god exist or not; And if a god does exist, I don't believe our religions do justice in representing hem or it, rather it would be a god that created a system, the universe, and everything afterwards is the logical extension of that system, rather than a god that gets angry or interferes directly in everything, or atleast interfere in the way that many religious people believe he does.

4) He claimed that goblins and fairies are ontologically the same thing as God.

Here, it depends on how you interpret the statement.
If a god exist, in the sense religions proclaim, then the metaphysical realm is wide open for all sort of forms of existence and there would be no way of counting or discounting any.

a) I truly believe in God and I truly consider the utility of believing in God as well as the utility of prayer of great importance to human beings. Every day I witness people combating depression and I am of the opinion that faith in God can heal them and restore to them confidence in themselves and their lives. I believe in the virtue of humility and the protection it affords to the individual from the vices of arrogance.

This is reasonable only until you start considering the potentials of abuse in this regard.
The examples of religious thought leaders' abuses are countless and dangerous.
As such, nothing should be absolute.

b) I consider the attack on religion as an attack against ethnic-identity and diverse traditions, I believe that these attacks are very insidious and they attack the right of various ethnic-groups to exist. Atheists wish to make everyone an amorphous nihilist mass with no identity and no spiritual connection to their own ancestors, nation and tradition and if they do not explicitly wish such a thing, that is in fact the natural conclusion of their ideology.

Thats just wrong, religions are rarely limited to a specific ethnic group; And even in religions that do restrict mixing and are, in principle, limited to a specific ethnic group, that is still rarely fully adhered to.
You can take Judaism as the biggest example of this; It has many restrictions on mixing with other groups and is, technically, limited to an ethnic group, yet a large portion of Jews are not Levantine semites, rather of various decent with pretty much non existing connection to semites.

c) I believe that attacking church-going in an era where most people attendance to social groups is confined to Facebook groups, WhatsApp groups & fortnite sessions as extremely hypocritical. The argument that among all those things the greatest danger is apparently going to church and meeting well-mannered people that are most happy to help you without any material return is extremely pathetic.

From a logical point of view, when considering the subject of social and ideological groups, you should build limitation on these groups not based on what the average follower believes, but rather what the extreme minority does, since more often than not, that extreme minority will not only be the loudest but also the most likely to take power eventually and guide the path which its entire community will have to follow.

For point of reference, look at many current day Islamic societies and you will easily be able to see an example of this.
The loudest and most extreme minorities are the ones in control, overshadowing everyone else, and laying the rules which must be followed.

e) In the era of youtube, netflix, porn, and basically anything goes the collective energy of supposed intellectuals is apparently against the 0.000000001% of religious themes that exist across popular media, like television, music, radio, streaming, youtube.

There is a clear difference between an ideological media and the regular entertainment media of everyday.
Religious media is always an ideological media with the goal of gaining followers or intimidating non-followers.
And when religious groups do take power, that turns from just another video or article or book into the rule of law.
Again, you can take the Islamic world as a reference point, or to that matter, large sections of the US where religious theocrats are in power.
The same rule is applied regarding hardline capitalist, communists, fascists, etc

f) The weaponisation of atheism to attack Muslims and engage in racism and Islamophobia is at this point a very popular undercurrent of pop culture in youtube and TV. Muslims have become the target of the era but this weaponisation can and will be used against Jews and Christians as well.

It is indeed a problem when the attacks spread to far, and turn from targeting the extreme minority to the overall population; However, since we don't live in an ideal world where we can do everything smoothly and perfectly efficient, it should be expected that these things will happen.
The extreme minority in the Islamic world is oppressing and persecuting millions of people, active in outright old style slavery, and commits massacres against non followers or dissidents on a routine basis.
The extreme minority of Jews is actively committing ethnic cleansing, and is oppressing and persecuting millions of people; even if on a lower scale than those in the Islamic world, it still is happening.
The extreme minority of Christians, especially in countries like the US, is constantly playing key role in starting wars that kills millions of people, destroys the lives of 10s of millions of people, and impoverishes many more. And prior to the modern day when that minority was in charge in Europe, it committed countless crimes as well.
The same can be said about Buddhist extremists whether now or in prior stages in history, and many others.

It is unfortunate, but attacking those extreme minorities in an attempt to curve their powers and influence will, on occasion, spill over to the regular folks, but the price of not containing and curving their powers is far far more dangerous and destructive.

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