Sunday 19 June 2011

Philip Pullman CBE

Philip Pullman the author of the trilogy of childrens' books "His Dark Materials", was chosen by The Independent in 2006 for its ‘Good List of 50 campaigners, thinkers and givers’: the panel of experts at The Independent cited the worlds this ‘campaigning atheist’ creates ‘in which children see good as a matter of choices that are within their control. Pullman wants children to realise they are the inheritors of philosophical, artistic and scientific and literary riches’.

Speaking on ‘faith’ schools, Philip Pullman has said:‘What I fear and deplore in the 'faith’ school camp is their desire to close argument down and put some things beyond question or debate. It's vital to get clear in young minds what is a faith position and what is not – so that, for instance, they won't be taken in by religious people claiming that science is a faith position no different in kind from Christianity. Science is not a matter of faith, and too many people are being allowed to get away with claiming that it is, and that my 'belief' in evolution is a thing of the same kind as their 'belief' in miracles. What we need in schools, really, is basic philosophy.

In an interesting interview on the Christian website Third Way, he said:
‘This is the mistake Christians make when they say that if you are an atheist you have to be a nihilist and there’s no meaning any more. Well, that’s nonsense, as Mary Malone discovers. Now that I’m conscious, now that I’m responsible, there is a meaning, and it is to make things better and to work for greater good and greater wisdom. That’s my meaning – and it comes from my understanding of my position. It’s not nihilism at all. It’s very far from it.’

Philip Pullman, a longstanding supporter of the BHA. is today to be given an award for services to Humanism at the British Humanist Association’s annual conference in Manchester. 

From BHA article here.

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