Topic RSS | Reply to topic
Author Post

ysabella


Member

Posted Tue Mar 13th, 2007 1:49am Post subject: Stephen Fry the Skeptic
I got the impression from a couple of quotes here and there that Mr.Fry is of a skeptical nature, and I'm wondering if he has written anything along those lines. I've gathered from a post here that I'd enjoy his appearance on Room 101 so I'm looking for that, but perhaps some of you fans can point me towards which of his books to read first, or other things he might have written?

Thanks very much.

Back to top

Betsie


Member

Posted Tue Mar 13th, 2007 3:32am Post subject: Stephen Fry the Skeptic
Try "Making History." You think it's all gonna work out, but does anything ever, really? Might fit your bill, fiction-wise.

Enjoy!

Back to top

ysabella


Member

Posted Tue Mar 13th, 2007 4:58am Post subject: Stephen Fry the Skeptic
Thanks, Betsie. I'll put it on my list, although I figure I should read Moab is My Washpot before his other books.

In searching, I found some enjoyable things. I figure I'll bookmark skeptical-type things here.

Excellent mp3 (search on 'fry' on that page and you'll find it) of Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens discussing the Incitement to Religious Hatred Bill ("Blasphemy Debate," Hay Festival, 2005). I enjoyed it immensely. I like Christopher Hitchens too (in fact I've met him once).

A few nice quotes:

When asked what sign he'd be if he could make up his own zodiac -
Skepsis: I am a true skeptic, born under the noble sign of Skepsis, the sign of the man who knows that all astrology is absolutely and without reservation the bullest of bullsh*t that ever there was. It is a senseless delusion that does not even have the benefit of being harmless fun. It is a harmful bore. Harmful to the human spirit, harmful to the dignity and wonder of the real universe and the real power of the mind to think for itself. I hate astrology with a fervor that is almost frightening.

When asked about his least favorite words -
Hopefully' and 'disinterested' are nearly always used wrongly and, although it's silly to be pedantic, it annoys me. But the worst is 'energy' when used in a meaningless, new-age sort of way, as in 'positive energy' and all that arse-wallop.

Regarding Dan Brown's novel, The Da Vinci Code -
Complete loose-stool-water. Arse-gravy of the very worst kind.

Back to top

AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Tue Mar 13th, 2007 1:36pm Post subject: Stephen Fry the Skeptic
I love Hitchens as a concept, but as a person I find him rather irritating, which I suppose is precisely the image he works to cultivate.

Fry is definitely a skeptic, although I recall reading something about him "flirting with Deism" or something of the sort when still a green stripling after reading "The Screwtape Letters." But then I guess he didn't. (I like the Screwtape Letters myself, but there's a distinction to be made between what is our best-informed description of the "objective reality given us" and what just sounds like a nifty idea.)

Back to top

trouser material


Member

Posted Tue Mar 13th, 2007 6:10pm Post subject: Stephen Fry the Skeptic


A few nice quotes:

When asked what sign he'd be if he could make up his own zodiac -
Skepsis: I am a true skeptic, born under the noble sign of Skepsis, the sign of the man who knows that all astrology is absolutely and without reservation the bullest of bullsh*t that ever there was. It is a senseless delusion that does not even have the benefit of being harmless fun. It is a harmful bore. Harmful to the human spirit, harmful to the dignity and wonder of the real universe and the real power of the mind to think for itself. I hate astrology with a fervor that is almost frightening.

When asked about his least favorite words -
Hopefully' and 'disinterested' are nearly always used wrongly and, although it's silly to be pedantic, it annoys me. But the worst is 'energy' when used in a meaningless, new-age sort of way, as in 'positive energy' and all that arse-wallop.

Regarding Dan Brown's novel, The Da Vinci Code -
Complete loose-stool-water. Arse-gravy of the very worst kind.

Those quotes are fantastic.

ARSE-WALLOP!!!

Back to top

ysabella


Member

Posted Tue Mar 13th, 2007 6:19pm Post subject: Stephen Fry the Skeptic
Hello, AxmxZ! I do agree, I think Hitchens likes to be considered contrary. But when I met him he was actually very nice, willing to talk to anyone and listen to what they wanted to say.

I personally don't think atheism is required to be a skeptic, although some would disagree. I think deism is quite compatible, and sometimes describe myself as one.

Back to top

AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Wed Mar 14th, 2007 1:01am Post subject: Stephen Fry the Skeptic
Hello, AxmxZ! I do agree, I think Hitchens likes to be considered contrary. But when I met him he was actually very nice, willing to talk to anyone and listen to what they wanted to say.

Then I guess I've only seen him on shows when he was in a particularly foul mood.

Back to top

ysabella


Member

Posted Wed Mar 14th, 2007 1:52am Post subject: Stephen Fry the Skeptic
Those quotes are fantastic.

ARSE-WALLOP!!!

And

ARSE-GRAVY!!!

I actually had that quote as my signature line at a skeptic forum for a long while. The arse-gravy one.

Back to top

amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Sat Mar 17th, 2007 6:55pm Post subject: Stephen Fry the Skeptic
Those quotes are fantastic.

ARSE-WALLOP!!!

And

ARSE-GRAVY!!!

I actually had that quote as my signature line at a skeptic forum for a long while. The arse-gravy one.

The arse gravy quote is classic. Another classic is "Religion - shit it."

You can watch the Room 101 episode on youtube. He puts new age, astrology, dream catcher type stuff into Room 101.

Assuming direct control...

Back to top

ysabella


Member

Posted Sun Mar 25th, 2007 9:06am Post subject: Stephen Fry the Skeptic
Thanks for the tip - I watched it today, amyl_nitrate! That was great! I can't remember if I've ever watched that show before, although I've heard of it.
I enjoyed the bit with the new-age stuff. Also loved the commemorative plate they made with his face on it - very amusing.
Mr.Fry mentioned on the show how much he disliked horoscopes. They irritate me, too. Very few newspapers in the States are without them, and in particular, magazines and websites that are meant to be for women nearly always have them and push them as a positive feature. I subscribe to BUST magazine (aimed at women), and I'm happy to say they don't run horoscopes.

Speaking of New Age crap, great article on Slate: The Hostile New Age Takeover of Yoga. Very snarky article, I enjoyed it.

Religion - shit it! That reads weirdly. I guess I'd have to see how he said it to really get it.

Back to top

amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Sun Mar 25th, 2007 3:55pm Post subject: Stephen Fry the Skeptic
I hate horoscopes too. They're always full of rubbish, especially the ones where they say things like lucky colour of the week or lucky clothing or lucky pet or something equally stupid. All the girls at high school were obsessed with reading them.

Assuming direct control...

Back to top