I might be ashamed to call myself a philosopher, after this from philosopher AC Grayling. It is an illogical and ridiculous rant against faith schools that gives atheists a bad name (an atheist agrees). I half wonder, in fact, if it is meant as an ironic bash at the kind of articles that find their way to places like Comment is Free.

I might be ashamed, but I know that being a member of a kind does not mean that you share all characteristics with other members, or responsibility for what they do. We don’t criticise all wheeled vehicles for polluting, just because cars pollute (bikes don’t).

But Greyling writes that religious people:

traditionally employ and always threaten torture and execution for those who do not accept their theories, who to gain their ends sometimes engage in war, massacre and murder, and at other times use bribery, brainwashing, and techniques of preying on the poor, sick, depressed and traumatised

…and so ‘religious’ people should not be involved in running schools. Apart from the above being just false as it is put (‘always threaten torture’?), these are also accusations that you might make against white people, so does that mean white people shouldn’t run schools? Or people in general, for that matter, perhaps we should have schools run by robots…

It’s the kind of argumentative fallacy that I teach first years to avoid. (But then, as I said, perhaps it not supposed to be anything more than a silly rant.)