Nick Cohen on reforming Islam: don’t look to faith to fix itself

Why Evolution Is True

 We don’t have Orwell around any longer, but we do have Nick Cohen, who instantiates many of Orwell’s values: a hatred of totalitarianism, an overweening need and respect for the truth, and plain writing about the truth. He’s one of the few journalists whom I agree with down the line, though of course I haven’t sworn fealty to the man.

Cohen’s new piece in the Guardian, “Don’t look to the Pope for enlightenment values“, is his usual good stuff, criticizing the Vatican for calling Charlie Hebdo anniversary cover “blasphemous,” and especially for the hypocrisy of a Church whose history showed and whose scripture still shows approbation for awful crimes. But there’s one bit of the piece that struck me strongly.

First, though, we have Cohen’s definition of the Enlightenment, taken from Kant. It’s as good as any I’ve seen:

Kant provided a guide for the uninitiated. What is Enlightenment? he asked in 1784…

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