Posts Tagged ‘humanism’

Is it
a) the priest, an adult, educated, experienced and cosseted in an organisation with billions to spend on a secure environment, protected by states and secrecy.
b) a vulnerable child, often from broken or dysfunctional backgrounds lacking security, education, or experience.

Got it yet? Need some help? Well that’s ok the Bishop of Tenerife can help you there (I say help, I suspect in much the same way the church helped tens of thousands of vulnerable young people)

As he says…

His comments were that there are youngsters who want to be abused, and he compared that abuse to homosexuality, describing them both as prejudicial to society. He said that on occasions the abuse happened because the there are children who consent to it.

He goes onto to equate the widespread priest abuse at the hands of malicious young children with homosexuality

The Bishop claimed that both abuse of children and homosexuality would lead to future problems in society ‘as has occurred in other civilisations’.

That’s right. It’s not the innocent priests faults at all, it’s all down the gays and malicious minors corrupting society.

Where to begin?

To start with, this hateful bastard should be hounded until the day he dies in penniless obscurity. Then the assets of the church, secured by threats of eternal damnation and lies, bolstered by tax avoidance and political machinations should be forcibly removed and used for good, not hoarded to pay for golden churches, pensions and legal advice for paedophiles.

We should turn every religious building into a school or library. Tear down and sell their golden trinkets and spend it educating young people. It would be a start at putting right the damage this superstitious rubbish has wrought. Turn their legacy of threats, lies, secrecy and division at last into the force for good they always claimed to be.

hat tip to Old Holborns tweets for highlighting

I read today the sad news of the death of Christopher Hitchens. If you’ve never had the chance to read anything by him search the net there’s plenty out there and discover for yourself the wonderfully abrasive, unapologetic world of a truly thinking mind.

In fact, if there is one thing to take from his works it is that. Think. Truly set aside presumption and privileged position and look at things for what they are.

I’ve had some fun reading the comments on some of the obits, you can see the vitriol in the opponents of his point of view, the glee with which they celebrate his passing. I am sure the irony will be lost on them that their mocking now only serves to highlight their inability to argue against him in life.

One in the New York times

Where be your japes and gambols, now, Chris? I suspect he looks quite differently today on the “Albanian dwarf,” Mother Theresa. And this would be a propitious time for Chris to reconsider “the God myth,” too, wot! Blaspheme in haste, repent at leisure. Eternity is a long time. Plan accordingly, atheists. – Charles

In fact nothing was further from the truth. He held his conclusions to the grave, steadfastly refused to convert on his deathbed.

He was criticised for his support of the Iraq war, and for being an Islamophobe. Reading his works it is clear that he saw Islam and just another oppressive religion, albeit currently the most successful at stifling freedoms of speech, thought, science and equality, and as a result the biggest threat to a free way of life. When you actually read his works, his conclusions are hard to deny.

He took on the accepted truths. He dared to criticise Mother Theresa publically

“[Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.”

He embraced the things that undoubtedly contributed to his death, smoking, drinking and his “bohemian” lifestyle. He took responsibility for his life and expected to have to live (or not as the case may be) with consequences. Fully self aware when insulted his reply was

“He says that I am an ex-Trotskyist (true), a ‘popinjay’ (true enough, since the word’s original Webster’s definition is a target for arrows and shots), and that I cannot hold a drink (here I must protest).”

Probably what I most admire him for is his willingness to participate in the debate. He not only argued a position, but was willing to change his mind. In his life he both admitted and was accused of being communist, fascist, Trotskyite, imperialist, but I think the only label in anyway appropriate was thinker. Without even considering his prodigious intellect for this reason alone his works should carry more weight than any religious text. Because they were considered, supported, and not merely a means to a social control ends.

He was a libertarian although I suspect he would not use the term. He believed in freedom of thought, freedom of action, equality of race, sex and creed. In the improvement of the species through scientific endeavour. He certainly did not believe in apologists molly-coddling hateful or spiteful religions, or that anyone who demands a belief system to have any sort of control should be immune from criticism. Probably his most famous quote was…

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

I think the final word should go to him, when those that promise eternal salvation or damnation demand you live according to their fairy tales or bow before their ridiculous rituals and idols, consider this…

“The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.”
― Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-believer

In case you missed the cause of the furory the Beeb had a program made by Sir Terry Pratchett witnessing a man being helped to die.

In Choosing to Die, the 63-year-old author – who has Alzheimer’s disease – went to Switzerland to see a British man with motor neurone disease dying.

There is the inevitable conglomoration of pro-life, anti-choice, religious, charity types who are now screaming at the BBC for allowing it to be televised.

Not that I think it is right for everyone. I’m not even convinced it is a good solution to problems. What I am firmly convinced of is that what people decide to do with their life, and the ending of it, is no-ones business but their own. I am not pro or anti, I am not in the position where I would contemplate that choice. What I am strongly in support of is the rights of the sufferer to be able to decide for themselves.

It is not for me, you, some charity, religion or a government department to force someone to live with a disease or condition they find unbearable. If you did it to a dog you would rightly be prosecuted so why do it to a person fit to make thier own decision?

If you disagree with assisted suicide, or even just plain suicide then great, it’s your life, live it how you will. You have the freedom to believe what you like, you have the freedom to express your thoughts, you have the freedom to die how you choose.

You do not have the right to enforce your will and prejudices on another person. How they decide to die is the ultimate liberty, it is tantamount to fascism to forcibly remove that choice from them.

You are free to be offended all you like. you can rant and wail about the sanctity of life, you can believe whatever you want. By seeking to prevent them even having the choice you would deny them that same freedom of belief.

Is it uncomfortable? Certainly, and rightly so. It should not be made into a trivial matter. Support should be available to sufferers at every opportunity. but that support should be even handed and unbiased. It is up to the sufferer to ultimately decide the course of action.

What sort of person puts their own beliefs above the pain and suffering these unfortunate people have to endure? Why do we make it so difficult and fraught? Every anti-choice campaigner is seeking to compund the agony and mental anguish of a person who wishes to put dignity of life before sanctity.

It is the high minded arrongant assumption that they know best, that only they are right, that they can tell you how and when you should die.

That cannot be right.

Or as the daily Mash more eloquently puts it, pro-choice is opposed by…

“Pro-life groups who want to watch you die screaming”

Uber-mind and one of the leaders of the Human Resistance*, Prof Hawkings, has once again launched into the fray on the “Heaven, is it a more valid theorum than a celestial teapot?” scrap…

Not the first time either! Considering that he has been wheelchair bound for decades, diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21 and given a matter of years to live, he maintains an unfailing logic and dedication to reasoned thought that allows him to say

“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first,”

Needless to say the pixie peddling, thought for the day gang have launched a fight back drawing on all their academic resources as the Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathon Sachs, (who played manuel in fawlty towers**) mustered all his books and wittily pointed out Prof H had made an “elementary fallacy” of logic.

Chief Rabbi yesterday

Really? A failure of logic? I know there are plenty of things that Prof H may fail at, the high jump or swimming the channel for instance, but logic?

This is the man that reasoned to a conlusion how black holes emit radiation, and then designed experiments to back up his theory which have all subsequently confirmed the expected results. There can be few other men for whom the word genius is so apt. But yet for failing to find any evidence or rational reason to believe is a giant sky creature that creates universes out of boredom, who then goes on to invent such marvellous conditons as say, Motor Neurone Disease for the amazingly intricate creatures he sets forth in the aforementioned universe, for failing to do that, he has failed at basic logic…

I think General Woundwort would do better to keep quiet and not prove himself such a fool.

Chief rabbi today

Secularists are becoming more vocal and to put it simply refusing to put up with this rubbish any more. So be thankful for your tax breaks and being allowed to try to brainwash children in schools, lest Prof H turn his mighty intellect towards crushing religion full time… now wouldn’t that be awesome?

*true for a given value of true
**again, possibly…

If you fancy a quick dip in a hate fuelled stench pit of insantity, try the comments section of the daily mail for this story regarding 2 gay men and the B&B that refused them a double room.

This is a cracking story really, as people try to cover their homphobic views with the thin veneer of religious moral rectitude.

Basically it boils down to this. A couple used their house as a business and wished to pick clients on the basis of religious intolerance. Simple really. Now a court has said you’re not allowed to do that. Cue frothing at the mouth by “annoyed of tumbridge wells” et al about the infingement on their rights to hold klan meetings or some such nonsense.

The article quotes Hotel owner Hazelmary Bull: ‘Much is said about “equality and diversity” but it seems some people are more equal than others’

Nope wrong again you rancid old bigot. The law says you must treat everyone equally. You cannot pick and choose which law abiding citizens (who contribute taxes to your health care, pensions, public services, education, [ad nauseum] ) you think should be able to access your business. You also cannot put up signs saying no Dogs, Blacks or Irish, as I suspect some of the commenters on the Daily hate remember as they go all misty eyeed about the “good old days”.

The articles further rails against this polictical correctness gone mad as…

The laws prevent discrimination against homosexuals by businesses and state organisations, but have had the knock-on effect of requiring Christians who run small concerns to set their principles and beliefs aside if they wish to stay in business.

No it doesn’t at all. Wrong again. You may believe, and indeed you have the right to believe enshrined in law, in whatever pack of lies and nonsense you wish. You may for Instance choose to wish that Fridays are for beer, and wenches are the angels of the noodly lord. What you cannot do is use your religion as an excuse to act in a racist, sexist, homophobic, or even ageist way.

There is evidence that the whole episode was a sting by gay activists. Well? So what? If you wish to run a business that offers hotel rooms to the public then as long as they behave in a suitable manner, all of the public should be able to use it. They were not trying to bugger each other in the lobby or hold a gay rights march in the garden. Just book a room. No-one would complain if a sting was used to protect pensioners from discrimination, or ethnic minorities from racism. Why should homosexuals be different?

Neeless to say, a sky pixie peddlar defends their need to be bigots as

Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, said: ‘This ruling is further evidence that equality laws are being used as a sword rather than a shield. Christians are being sidelined.’

Excellent. If we can replace christians with christianity,(as christians are entitled to just as much protection as any other person), I hope he’s right. If we can also include Judaism, Islam and any other mythical klan then so much the better.

Think again. I was reading an article on Pravda the Beeb about US referendums and the subjects, when a particular quote struck me…

The author of the law, Republican state representative Rex Duncan, told the Edmond Sun newspaper the measure was a “pre-emptive strike against Sharia law coming to Oklahoma”. It would prevent what had happened in the UK, he said, where experts in Islamic and UK law sit on a number of Muslim arbitration tribunals.

Eh? Since when? Surely the law is the law and this was case of some dumb yank trying to sell the anti-islam story and using the UK as a bad example. So I checked it out. The Muslim Arbitration Tribunal exists, and they…

“…believe in the co-existence of both English law and personal religious laws. We believe that the law of the land in which we live is binding upon each citizen, and we are not attempting to impose Shariah upon anyone. Shariah does however have its place in this society where it is our personal and religious law. What a great achievement it will be if we can produce a result to the satisfaction of both English and Islamic law!”

WTF? There is something other than UK law (and it’s devolved aspects, EU Law blah blah I know) that effects us? Since fucking when? When was the referendum? When did MPs put this in manifestos that we are becoming a quasi-religious state? Shariah is a backward clusterfuck of an attempt at social control. it is there to preserve power of unelected unaccountable religious adherents. Name a single progressive, representative country governed by Shariah, go on I challenge you… no, neither can I.

In case you think I am over stating the case, their remit covers

•Forced Marriages (already illegal under UK law)
•Domestic Violence (already illegal under UK law)
•Family Disputes (Family courts and law already apply)
Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 (already covered under UK law)
•Notes to the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 (already covered under UK law)
•Commercial and Debt Disputes (already covered under UK civil law)
•Inheritance Disputes (already covered under UK civil law)
•Mosque Disputes (well, seriously, it’s your ball, you decide who gets to play with it, otherwise employment law already covers it)

There is simply no need for this crap, UK law had all of this covered and it is there as a sop to a religion that refuses to intergrate and join a society that on the whole is tolerant and welcoming. They have repaid this tolerance with intolerance, refusal to submit to societies lawa and conventions and are now inch by inch looking to change the way we live.

You would not believe how angry this shit makes me. The law should be universal for the population. No if’s, no but’s, no “God says it’s really ok to hate gays and women”, no “God tells me what you can do”, not even “God lets us hide abusers since they said they’re really really sorry”, no “you cannot say that, or wear that or do that” on grounds of religion.

I will fight any religion that tries to tell me what I can and cannot do,and I mean fight if necessary. You want this bullshit to run your life, fine you’re free to. Do not try and impose it on me because you really won’t like the answer. Freedom to worship also means freedom from worship. The law is not perfect, but it’s better than any fairy tale books attempt at it so far.

You have freedoms, (which include the freedom to be offended by the way). What you do not have is the freedom to curtail mine. If that makes me an infidel, or a blasphemer, or non-kosher or simply as an atheist humanist or whatever else you want to label me as, fine. I do not give a shit. In fact I wear it as a badge of honour.

I guess it was only a matter of time

Chris Morris’ (of Brass Eye and Day Today fame) new film, 4 Lions, which satirises (for the posh amongst you) or takes the piss (for the rest of us) out of terrorists and terrorism in general has attracted a call to boycott it by a few families who lost loved ones in the London bombings of 7/7/05.

Now I am absolutely certain that their grief is genuine, they probably experience heartache and pain every day. But how far, if at all, do we have a right not to be offended? Exercising a “right not to be offended” conflicts directly with our freedom of speech. What should we be allowed to say, write and publish?

Certainly at one end of the spectrum we have libel and slander, the puporting of fiction as though fact in order to harm someones reputation or damage their interests (which I think should also apply to lies made to support or promote themselves). But should people be able to prevent publication of material because it upsets them? If so, where does it end? The 7/7 attacks were very visible and raw because they were a political and religious hate crime. But what about natural disasters and accidents that kill loved ones? Is those families grief of any less merit? Or murders that are inevitably similar to those portrayed in fiction?

I’m sure there are limits to good taste, but should those limits decide what I can and can’t see? People have a choice whether to watch or read. Personally I find x-celebrity-pap-idol-factor nauseating and a slamming indictment on the species, but I’m the first to admit it should not be banned. (Burnt and beaten maybe…)

In essence their call is no different from fundemeatlist muslims calling for the banning of cartoons or novels they find offensive, or the churches preaching anti-gay propaganda. They all find the respective materials offensive, and they should be free to. they should be free to get as angry as they like and produce material that promotes their biased point of view.

As for me, the only person who should be allowed to decide what I should be allowed to see, is me , and I’m free to get as angry as I like afterwards…

Want to help brighten up a bus and maybe cause someone to think for a second? Then visit the British Humanist Association and donate to their Atheist bus Campaign.

First up, I wouldn’t spout on if I hadn’t donated myself. So having already put my money where my mouth is (although nowhere near Richard Dawkins £5,500!) I urge all sane people to do likewise. As of this post they’ve raised £33,400 passing their target £11,000 at 10:00 on the day of launch!

It won’t stop religion (if only) but if it causes a few people to stop and think, maybe question a dogmatic belief or two then it’s worth it.

If you want a laugh then check out the “Christian Voice” in their reply to atheists putting forward their point of view.

“…Apparently, an atheist blogger named Jon Worth came up with the idea, but his fellow humanists, not known for their generosity, wouldn’t stump up the cash. Now Richard Dawkins, whose anti-Christian zeal knows little bounds, is to finance the doomed venture…”

So only achieving your target by in excess of 300% on the day of launch is a failure? Maybe they should update their press release there… If the God-botherers had similar success perhaps we’d see less intrusive advertising trying to make you feel guilty enough into supporting church roofs.

The Bible-bashers also reckon “….Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large”… Now whilst I’m not qualified to comment on the buses, and since they’re in London don’t overly care, Atheism to my knowledge has never led an inquisition, started wars over who imaginary friend owned a church first, denies science on principal, bombed clinics because they given women an informed choice and allowed them to decide for themselves what they want to do, or to be more current murdered an aid worker for being the wrong religion.

In short, and I am really really sincere here. I wish they would f**k off and stop ruining our planet. Unlike them I think this is all we get and wish it was a better place, with less people committing whatever atrocity they think will get them the biggest reward in the next world.

In short I agree with this bloke…

Religion is like Polonium 210. Highly toxic to humanity and there is no safe background level.

In the time it took to write this, another £1000 of donations has come in. Keep it coming!

+++UPDATE 2+++
24 hours after the start of the campaign, it has achieved 1000% of the target. Some “doomed venture”…