Saturday, November 07, 2009

Science and religion

The recent case of the man who successfully argued at an employment tribunal that his commitment to green issues has the status of a philosophical belief as opposed to being based on mere scientific fact, prompted this wonderful piece of wit from David Mitchell (The News Quiz: Radio 4 06/11/09).

"I like the idea that his sincerely held beliefs in the environment are accorded some respect. What's annoying is that the way something gets more respect is to make it more like a religion; that people's essentially delusional beliefs in omnipotent beings is something you've really got to respect and not sack them for, but that an opinion based on science you can ignore. That seems to be the wrong way round."


  1. so Dr Nutt should just get a fancy costume, some headed notepaper for the Church of the Divine Ecstasy, and all will be well....

  2. Anonymous11:20 am

    I think this was even better put in a letter to the Grauniad from Sam Shuster (5/11: the ruling taht a be3lief is protected by religious discrimination legislation ONLY if it is " NOT an opinion or view based on the present state of information available..." is the (elevation of irrationality over reason by law)!!

  3. The ruling by Justice Burton would appear to extend the protection granted in law to religious beliefs to scientific beliefs also.

    I can't decide whether I believe this to be a good or a bad thing.

    The phrase 'Poisoned chalice' comes to mind.