About a week ago, the head of the Catholic Church in Mozambique claimed that some European countries intentionally manufacture condoms which are infected with HIV. He went on to say that the aim of this secret policy is to wipe out Africans, an evil new form of colonialism. He wouldn't name the countries, so it's currently nigh on impossible to investigate his claims, but I'm pretty sure that he's wrong. In fact, I'm pretty sure that he's lying in a way which he knows might cause people to become infected with HIV, just to support a particular article of Catholic dogma. And this isn't some crazy soapbox fanatic. This is an Archbishop, the spiritual leader of 3 million people… a well respected man.
Meanwhile, on The Guardian's Comment is free, Theo Hobson condemns atheism via a poorly written critique of Richard Dawkins. He claims, among other things, that:
The definition of an atheist, as opposed to an agnostic, is someone who has the chilling arrogance to say that the world would be a better place if I ceased to say bedtime prayers with my children.
- a fallacious claim, because an atheist is someone who lives without god or religion. To attach a single political ideology to atheists is totally incorrect. I reckon that he forgot the distinction between atheism and secularism… and that's a pretty big distinction. He goes on:
And Dawkins wonders why such people are disliked. May God save us from such people.
Dawkins doesn't wonder why at all. It's theists like Hobson who, when their mystical beliefs fail them slip into fallacy and untruth, do all they can to make atheists unpopular. But it's a fairly self-defeating position: when the choice is between the reasoned, arguable words of Dawkins and Hobson's confused ramblings, rational people aren't offered a tough decision.