Rather, as the physicist Wolfgang Pauli liked to say, "They are not even wrong. That is, their arguments are useless and even detrimental to the pursuit of further knowledge."" http://cabalamat.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/superstition-schools-teach-superstition/ Religious Education (RE) Dorset For You. SALED, NASACRE, SACRE. RE Search – Agreed Syllabus. "Children, I’ll argue, have a human right not to have their minds crippled by exposure to other people’s bad ideas – no matter who these other people are. Parents, correspondingly, have no god-given licence to enculturate their children in whatever ways they personally choose: no right to limit the horizons of their children’s knowledge, to bring them up in an atmosphere of dogma and superstition, or to insist they follow the straight and narrow paths of their own faith. In short, children have a right not to have their minds addled by nonsense. And we as a society have a duty to protect them from it. So we should no more allow parents to teach their children to believe, for example, in the literal truth of the Bible, or that the planets rule their lives, than we should allow parents to knock their children’s teeth out or lock them in a dungeon." ‘What Shall We Tell The Children?’ ‘Amnesty Lecture’ Oxford – Nicholas Humphrey. http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/humphrey/amnesty.html
There is a school of thought that holds that no person is evil, that only acts may be properly considered evil. Psychologist and mediator Marshall Rosenberg claims that the root of violence is the very concept of "evil" or "badness." When we label someone as bad or evil, Rosenberg claims, it invokes the desire to punish or inflict pain. It also makes it easy for us to turn off our feelings towards the person we are harming. He cites the use of language in Nazi Germany as being a key to how the German people were able to do things to other human beings that they normally wouldn’t do. He links the concept of evil to our judicial system, which seeks to create justice via punishment — "punitive justice" — punishing acts that are seen as bad or wrong. He contrasts this approach with what he found in cultures where the idea of evil was non-existent. In such cultures, when someone harms another person, they are believed to be out of harmony with themselves and their community, they are seen as sick or ill and measures are taken to restore them to a sense of harmonious relations with themselves and others, as opposed to punishing them. Psychologist Albert Ellis makes a similar claim, in his school of psychology called Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy or REBT. He says the root of anger, and the desire to harm someone, is almost always one of these beliefs:
- That they should/shouldn’t have done certain things
- That someone is an awful/bad/horrible person for doing what they did
- That they deserve to be punished for what they did
He claims that without one of the preceding thoughts, violence is next to impossible.
The curious case of Sex, Faith and Government Denial
We’ve been working hard on the Children, Schools and Families Bill, especially on PSHE, which includes Sex and Relationships Education (SRE). Ken Purchase MP, member of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group, had already tabled amendments to the Bill to make it even stronger and that sought to promote children’s rights, to stop parents being able to withdraw their children from SRE, and to ensure that all schools must teach PSHE in ways that promote equality and diversity. Although they didn’t pass, there was a lot of support from MPs for our position.
So we were aghast last week when we noticed that the Government had tried to slip through a last minute amendment of its own. This amendment effectively exempts “faith schools” from having to teaching SRE accurately, in ways that are balanced, promote equality and respect for diversity, and reflect different views. This was a u-turn from the original commitment in the Bill.
Together with the Accord Coalition and the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), the BHA broke the story to the press, with a fantastic response in the broadsheets, online and broadcast media. Andrew’s article on the Guardian’s Comment is Free site remained in the top most-viewed articles for days!
Within hours, the Government had “tweeted” its denial that it was making such disgraceful concessions to religious groups (the Catholic Education Service had taken the credit for this amendment being tabled). It then made formal responses to our condemnation of its proposals in the papers and on Radio 4’s Today. None of their excuses held up to the reality that their amendment did not just “clarify” the law but significantly changed it in favour of faith schools and against the rights of children and parents to have full SRE taught.
It wasn’t just us, or even our allies in Accord and CRAE, that made the difference. Well over 1000 (over 700 in the first 24 hours!) of you responded to our special e-bulletin asking you to use our facility, set-up exclusively to allow you to email your MPs and ask them to oppose the Government’s move. That is the kind of joint-working that forced the Government to make a statement in the House of Commons about the subject, and although their amendment has gone through we will continue to fight for its removal, and the huge public support and media coverage our actions precipitated have been a powerful statement in themselves.
luckyme0: Selfish downing, Britain by Catholic Church. Cathnik (Beatniks of Equality Bill) Parliament Party http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8546345.stm And, luckyme0: A message to the Bishops in the House of Lords to become part of our modern democracy, or get out of it! http://www.power2010.org.uk/faith And, "The Pope not only opposes the right of women to have an abortion but also their right to contraception to prevent the need for abortions. He also opposes women’s access to IVF fertility treatment to give childless couples the chance of parenthood. He condemns potentially life-saving embryonic stem cell research. Pope Benedict denounces the use of condoms, even to stop the spread of HIV, as well as claiming falsely that condom usage “increases” the rate of HIV infection. This puts millions of lives at risk. He opposes legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and their full protection in law against homophobic and transphobic discrimination. The Pope has authorised the Catholic Catechism, which condemns same-sex relationships as a “grave depravity” and “contrary to natural law.” In 1992, he criticised gay sexuality as a “tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil.” While condemning loving, consenting adult same-sex relations, the Pope played a role in shielding Catholic clergy guilty of child sex abuse from prosecution, as revealed in the 2006 BBC Panorama programme, Sex crimes and the Vatican." "Pope Benedict has written a pastoral letter to the Catholics of Ireland with guidelines on preventing and punishing sexual abuse of children by priests. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8575734.stm Or, Trevor Baylis, the inventor of the wind-up radio, has revealed that he was sexually abused by a curate at an Anglican church as a child. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House, he described how he thought he had been taking part in a "religious ritual", and called the man responsible for his abuse "absolute scum". The Catholic church has been hit by revelations of child sex abuse in a number of countries recently, with the Pope apologising to victims of abuse in a pastoral letter to Irish Catholics. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8591534.stm?ls
Protest the Pope!
The Pope is planning to visit the UK on a Papal visit later this year. The Pope’s opposition to women’s reproductive rights, gay equality, embryonic stem cell research and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV has a huge effect on the human rights of millions of people across the globe. We want to make sure that the UK government understands our concerns, takes the opportunity to speak out against these practices and does not make the taxpayer cover the cost of the visit. You can: Sign a petition calling on the Prime Minister to act Join the facebook group on this issue
Love, Sex, and God.
The only thing we can do is to hazard a hypothesis, to create a mythological figure, call it Human Personality, and hope that circumstances will not, by destroying us, prove our imaginative guesswork too hopelessly wrong. But myth for myth, Human Personality is preferable to God. We do at least know something of Human Personality, whereas of God we know nothing and, knowing nothing, are at liberty to invent as freely as we like. If men had always tried to deal with the problem of love in terms of known human rather than of grotesquely imagined divine interests, there would have been less `making of eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake, less persecution of ‘sinners’, less burning and imprisoning of the heretics of ‘unnatural’ love, less Grundyism, less Comstockery, and, at the same time, less dirty Don-Juanism, less of that curiously malignant and vengeful love-making so characteristic of the debauchee under a Christian dispensation. Reacting against the absurdities of the old mythology, the young have run into absurdities no less inordinate at the other end of the scale. A sordid and ignoble realism offers no resistance to the sexual impulse, which now spends itself purposelessly, without producing love, or even, in the long run, amusement, without enhancing vitality or quickening and deepening the rhythms of living. Only a new mythology of nature, such as, in modern times, Blake, Robert Burns, and Lawrence have defined it, an untranscendental and (relatively speaking) realistic mythology of Energy, Life, and Human Personality, will provide, it seems to me, the inward resistances necessary to turn sexual impulse into love, and provide them in a form which the critical intelligence of post-Nietzschean youth can respect. By means of such a conception a new fashion in love may be created, a mode more beautiful and convenient, more healthful and elegant, than any seen among men since the days of remote and pagan antiquity. ‘Do What You Will’ (1929) Aldous Huxley. Ref, create: ‘Global Love Index’ – Viagra for Warlords http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/25/AR2008122500931.html ‘Global Web Index’ & ‘Social Web Involvement’ http://www.globalwebindex.net/ Global interconnectedness is lethal against mass religions, nationalism, racism, sexism, and other destructive memeplexes. Let us connect everybody; they hate it in restrictive regimes and many organisations, including religions, as they see their power and their people move away from the many tentacle like grasps.
"The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) must close at the end of 2011 for up to a year to address design issues, according to an LHC director." http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8556621.stm
‘World’s Apart’. "US Vice-President Joe Biden says there must be no delay in resuming Mid-East peace talks, despite a row over Israeli plans for new homes in East Jerusalem." http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8561998.stm "Brutalizing Palestinian Children – by Stephen Lendman. As an isolated incident, it would be appalling and criminal. As a regular occurrence, it’s state-sponsored terrorism against defenceless children, subjected to barbarism by Israeli soldiers committing crimes against humanity to crush their will for wanting to live free on their own land – what Westerners take for granted; what Palestinians since 1948 haven’t had, and since 1967, under military occupation denying their very humanity." http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/03/brutalizing-palestinian-children.html
Hi, I just sent a message to the Bishops in the House of Lords calling on them to provide principled leadership to take us through our current political crisis. You should ask them too: http://www.power2010.org.uk/faith Thanks! I support the Power Pledge because it is an advance (a growing up) of the relationship between science (anthropology, infrastructural determinism, globalization and interconnectedness, by it’s very reasoning leading to greater egalitarianism and redistribution – hopefully, within the scientific based restraints that is set by our Earth’s vulnerability, climatic, and those of its limits to many basic resources) and politics.
"Tributes have been paid to the Labour MP Ashok Kumar, who has been found dead in his home, aged 53. Mr Kumar was also a supporter of the British Humanist Association. Chief executive Andrew Copson said: "Ashok was especially interested in education, and was opposed to the divisive and discriminatory faith schools system, preferring inclusive schools and objective religious education, not religious instruction. "In fact, Ashok spoke of the dangers of segregation and religious indoctrination consistently over the last decade, and in almost every Education Bill."" http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8568583.stm
OOOO! There is a difference, and letting the side down! Monkeys pay more attention to females than to males, according to research. Scientists studying wild vervet monkeys in South Africa found that the animals were better able to learn a task when it was demonstrated by a female. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8571318.stm Ref, Mothers are better at helping children with prep and homework; women are better teachers, but can be ‘toxic’ to boys. "Females are core group members with higher social status than males, and more knowledge about food resources in the home range," explained Ms van de Waal. She said the results revealed valuable insights into "the evolution of traditions and culture in species living in stable groups, including humans". "To our knowledge, [this is] the first experimental field evidence for social learning in primates," she added. ‘Boys, brains and toxic lessons’ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/education/article3234354.ece Feminism and Antiscience ‘Science, Materialism, And The Study Of Culture’, "The corpus of positivist-scientist theories about gender issues was impoverished when not counterfactual prior to the rise of feminism. Feminists, therefore, tended to identify science with androcentrism. They saw scientific theories as male concoctions designed to confuse and disempower women (Gross and Levitt 1994, 108ff.)." Ref, Amazing amount of ‘superstition’ and religiosity in Primary Education UK, which I thought, was purely down to the, ‘wonders of the new-born’ – parent and teachers alike; gullibility, and invasive Church – Religion / religious – cultural propaganda, so on…, ‘feminisation in the nursery’, because of the inherent belief (Catholic Church, its appalling record and its involvement in Education UK, and the prevalence of child abuse of the 1950’s and 1960s’, and many other times in the past) in male wickedness, Original Sin – sexual, or otherwise. ‘The Genius of Charles Darwin’ Richard Dawkins. Channel 4 – TV. "Poor Richard Dawkins. He took a bunch of kids from a school science class to the seaside to collect fossils, hoping to enthuse them about evolution and to persuade those who were afflicted by religion to think again. There’s the problem. How can you think again, when you haven’t done much thinking in the first place? Dawkins waved his hand at the cliffs, mentioning how many million years ago they’d have been under water, while one or two of the kids seemed to be wondering where Adam and Eve fitted into this story". http://theanswers42.blogspot.com/2008/08/evolution-and-stupidity.html Sexism and sexualisation (Bible) in the Nursery Shool UK. ‘Are You Even Half Educated. Not Totally Stunted Just Ignorant’ – Hardly any of our country’s schools give our children more than the haziest outline of the history of our planet. Because ignorance is such a delicate exotic fruit and like all fruits a means of dispersal the ignorance fosters itself. This is why the almost complete absence of Geology from Schools continues to be accepted with such phlegm by the Great British Public. They have never heard of it. However it seems to me that where the planet came from, how long it took to get here, what happened on the way, and how life evolved on it, is every bit as serious as the parallelogram of forces, the properties of nitrates, the manufacturing out put of Sweden or the interior decor of some luckless earthworm. Geology faces issues which other sciences cannot reach. Asks some of the profoundest questions humankind can ask. Questions that cannot be answered anywhere else. Without at least outline knowledge of its tenants, no one in this century can consider themselves even half-educated." An extract from an article by Ted Nield in ‘New Scientist’ 6 March 1986 – Read, ‘The Earth’ or ‘Life’ Richard Fortey.
40 Years Of Foreign Aid – Ring Fenced http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4209956.stm "The tragedy of aid, as been shown in numerous evaluations and by World Bank research, is that donors are part of the problem of corruption; aid often underpins corruption, and higher aid levels tend to erode the governance structure of poor countries." Childcare UK – Not Ring Fenced (appalling) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8574591.stm