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The French Government has just told its Ministers on vacation in southern France to keep away from the corridas. The Powers That Be are under enough attack as it is without exposing themselves to criticism about their blood-lust.

I am not going to open Pan’s or Dora’s box here and defend or attack the noble, beautiful, barbarous, inhuman art of bravely and esthetically taunting, torturing and sacrificing bovine gladiators which even if they win are moritori, but which would have been slaughtered anyhow. I just want to ask whether there is any point in arguing the point, and apply the same question to the raison d’être of this Blog.

By their fans, Richard Dawkins or Cardinal Pell may be declared victor in one of their debates (a.k.a. dialogues of the deaf), but no one expects either protagonist to be won over by the other’s arguments. I can’t imagine anyone convincing anyone else that they are wrong about bull-fighting. So why bother ? For the audience, of course ! It’s Entertainment. You don’t have to enter the arena yourself; you don’t even have to ask a question. You can just enjoy the show and watch Richard and George – Frank and Jim – try to score points. The reason we do it, of course, on the Tube and in the Blog is, more importantly, for the undecided. My guess is that there are few Believers on the Brink when it comes to bull-fighting, but their name is Legion in the domain of God, faith and religion. I have never heard or read a new argument pro or contra the corrida, but I would like to think that some of my Reflections about blindfaithblindfolly here offer, occasionally at least, teasers and ticklers not previously formulated in quite the way I do. Only readers can tell me whether I am wasting my time and theirs.