Death of the Emperor

There has been a lot of news coverage over the shooting of the red deer stag known as the Emperor of Exmoor. I have been to Exmoor many times and have seen the hunters out with their guns and, I admit, they represent one aspect of humanity that I am none too impressed with (aside from anything else, they just look ridiculous). But I am curious over the outrage at this shooting which, incidentally, is perfectly legal. The anger is a moral one, and so I am wondering what the moral arguments are here. One newspaper argued that it is wrong because the Emperor is ‘wild and beautiful’, but is this a good reason to not shoot it? Lots of things are ‘wild’, and should we really base our preferences on whether we find something beautiful or not? There is certainly no shortage of red deer roaming around Exmoor. Perhaps the standard utilitarian response works here: the pleasure of seeing this animal roaming around alive (not to mention the pleasure of the Emperor itself?) is much greater than that priovided by its antlers danging from the wall of someone’s stately home?


New for Christmas: Religion?

This picture was in the Boots Christmas Catalogue.. Ignoring the annoying ‘trend expert’ nonsense, and not even daring think what the hell ‘rockstar edge’ means: I was struck by the brand-name – ‘Religion’…

What is the thinking behind the use of this word here? I feel vaguely mystified…

RPE208 Day-Trip to Oxford

For students on the Indian Religions module:

The plan…

We go to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford ( ) on Friday November 5th.

We will meet on the museum steps, at 12:45.

You can get the bus from Cheltenham – the Swanbrook 853 Service leaves at 11am from Chelt (Royal Wells Bus Station) and gets in around 12.30.

It leaves Oxford to return at 6pm (the Museum shuts at 6 anyway) – from St Giles (Taylorian Institute) – where it drops off on the way in…. (near Ashmolean) Back to Chelt 7:35pm.


A day return costs £10. The museum is free.

A couple of hours in the museum should leave you with time to explore Oxford / shop / eat…

You can of course drive – but I would advise using the park and ride – as Oxford seems to have no public parking left…

Students not on this module can come, but need to let me know..


Plato and Love

Students across RPE, but especially those on RPE301 (Love, Sex and Death) may be interested in the following talk, offered by Gloucestershire Philosophical Society:

Wed. Nov. 10th 7.30.p.m. FCH Room HC203. Dr.Angie Hobbs, Associate Professor, University of Warwick. ‘Plato and Love’.

Dr. Hobbs is one of the country’s leading classical philosophers, and has become the U.K’s first Senior Fellow in the Public Understanding of Philosophy.

More details on the GPS website at

Our students are very welcome at their meetings..


Meeting re Field Trip to Spain – room/time/etc


If you are interested in coming on the field trip to Cordoba (and Seville) in March 2011, you need to attend the meeting tomorrow:

Thursday 14th October at 12 noon, HC201 (FCH)

if you cannot make the meeting – just send me an email – – and I will register your desire to come on the trip…