John Gray: stresses the point some atheist thinkers inherit their beliefs from western monotheism and spend very little time developing their own philosophies.

John Gray is a self-described atheist who thinks that prominent advocates of atheism have made non-belief seem intolerant, uninspiring and dull. At th(...)

Amy Chua, author of the best-selling ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’

Parenting is a tough business, not least because of the plethora of contradictory advice. Should you be a “Tiger mother”, or a “helicopter father”? Or(...)

John Stuart Mill: “If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error”.

After almost two decades, perhaps Google’s famous motto, “Don’t be evil,” is due for an update.How about, “Don’t question anything”? Or perhaps, “Don’(...)

“Stock markets suffer frequent declines, but the long-term trend has always been an upward one.” Photograph: Reuters

Stock markets don’t rise all of the time but they do gain most of the time. It generally pays to take the optimistic view, so why are so many financia(...)

Paul Krugman, field-marshal of an American left, wailed of Trump’s voters: “I don’t fully understand this resentment.” Why don’t the poor blame the conservatives? Photograph: Getty Images

I have no tribe. I have no comfort blanket, no default button that enables me to join the prevailing hysteria and cry in unison, “Of course, it’s all (...)

A young protestor holds a placard to demonstrate against the EU referendum result outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

David Cameron sleepwalked into allowing a referendum. The supine Jeremy Corbyn sleepwalked through a campaign with which he obviously did not agree. (...)

Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

I inadvertently offended someone online recently. It can be hard to avoid. Twitter allows you a 140-character limit. Within those parameters it is al(...)

Brendan Smyth: told doctor after his arrest he may have abused 50-100 children, and that ‘number could even be double or perhaps even more’. Photograph: Pacemaker

Even before he was ordained in 1951 there were serious concerns about Fr Brendan Smyth’s sexual proclivities, the North’s Historical Institutional (...)

Independent women: Beyoncé asks the big question

What does it mean to be a feminist these days? The centuries-old battle cry for women’s freedom has been absorbed into a more general appeal for ge(...)

Queen Elizabeth II’s understated but significant words of insight on the troubled history of Anglo-Irish relations at a state dinner in Dublin in 2011 are included in the new edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations: “With the benefit of historical hindsight, we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

As Scotland goes to the polls today to decide on its independence, it is interesting to leaf through this week’s newly published eighth edition of (...)

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