Today I was saddened to hear of the death of Paul Kurtz. The American Humanist Association provided an announcement:
Humanists and atheists are mourning the death of humanist Dr. Paul Kurtz, former editor of the American Humanist Association’s Humanist magazine and founder of the Council for Secular Humanism, who died on Oct. 21, 2012 at the age of 86. His death means the loss of one of secular humanism’s most prominent advocates.
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At Bible Funmentionables, Michael Morris points out some of the Bible’s advice on child rearing:
The Bible has been held up as the pinnacle of moral authority, so when the Bible says, “Do not lie,” we don’t lie. When the Bible says, “Do not steal,” we don’t steal. So when the Bible says,”Kill your juvenile delinquents,” do we really have any other choice?
The Bible delivers many examples of bad parenting. Lot offers his daughters to the rapacious mob of Sodom, so that the mob would be okay with not having their way with his male house guests. Thoughtful host, worst parent ever.
This is the same Lot that impregnated two of his daughters, and according to Wikipedia, “Christians and Muslims revere Lot as a righteous man of God.”
In the famous story of the sacrifice of Isaac, God at the very last minute stops Abraham from killing his son Isaac.
Along with the above advice on child raising, I offer the follow Bible advice regarding family values (this is a posting on Facebook–I cannot determine the original creator of the image):
Morris offer much more advice from the Bible, all of it reprehensible, including the requirement that we kill people who gathers sticks on the sabbath —Numbers 15:32-36.
With regard to all of the above advice, the bottom line would seem to be this: Don’t obey the Bible.
I’m sick of the undeclared drone war that the U.S. (led by President Obama) is waging against thousands people in the Middle East who have not been shown to be guilty of anything at all. Who are all these people we are killing? The Obama Administration says “Trust Us,” but I don’t. I’m tired of hearing the U.S. claim that these drone attacks are killing “insurgents” while more reputable sources show the bodies of civilians and children. This reckless use of drones is causing millions of people to HATE the United States. The drone wars are thus contrary to our national interest. Even if you very much prefer Obama to the insane GOP alternative this November, please speak up against the drone wars. The following cartoons were drawn by a friend of mine, Ray Gregory, who is no fan of the drone wars.
George Lakoff writes about the actual Republican war on women and the supposed “war on religion”
A recent Gallup Poll has shown that, in the US, 82 per cent of Catholics think that birth control is “morally acceptable.” 90 per cent of non-Catholics believe the same. Overall, 89 per cent of Americans agree on this. In the May 2012 poll, Gallup tested beliefs about the moral acceptability of 18 issues total, including divorce, gambling, stem cell research, the death penalty, gay relationships, and so on. Contraception had by far the greatest approval rating. Divorce, the next on the list, had only 67 per cent approval compared to 89 per cent for contraception.
On September 13, 2012, the Dalai Lama wrote the following on Facebook:
All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.
For more, see this post on “Before it’s News.”
From Glenn Greenwald’s new platform, the U.K. Guardian:
[A]ttacking rescuers (and arguably worse, bombing funerals of America’s drone victims) is now a tactic routinely used by the US in Pakistan. In February, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism documented that “the CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals.” Specifically: “at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims.” That initial TBIJ report detailed numerous civilians killed by such follow-up strikes on rescuers, and established precisely the terror effect which the US government has long warned are sown by such attacks. . .
It is telling indeed that the Obama administration now routinely uses tactics in Pakistan long denounced as terrorism when used by others, and does so with so little controversy. Just in the past several months, attacks on funerals of victims have taken place in Yemen (purportedly by al-Qaida) and in Syria (purportedly, though without evidence, by the Assad regime), and such attacks – understandably – sparked outrage. Yet, in the west, the silence about the Obama administration’s attacks on funerals and rescuers is deafening.
Salon presents a young adult’s description of how Ayn Rand destroyed her family. This vivid and intensely personal article by Alyssa Bereznak exposes the ugly underbelly of objectivism, summed up by the following words by Ayn Rand:
My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.
I disagree with those who believe that Rand offers a path to a meaningful life. I see life as a yin-yang dynamic, a struggle we all have trying to balance our own needs and wants with the needs of the group. [More . . . ]
Glenn Greenwald spells out the real problem with Guantanamo:
What made Guantanamo controversial was not its physical location: that it was located in the Caribbean Sea rather than on American soil (that’s especially true since the Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that U.S. courts have jurisdiction over the camp). What made Guantanamo such a travesty — and what still makes it such — is that it is a system of indefinite detention whereby human beings are put in cages for years and years without ever being charged with a crime. President Obama’s so-called “plan to close Guantanamo” — even if it had been approved in full by Congress — did not seek to end that core injustice. It sought to do the opposite: Obama’s plan would have continued the system of indefinite detention, but simply re-located it from Guantanamo Bay onto American soil. Long before, and fully independent of, anything Congress did, President Obama made clear that he was going to preserve the indefinite detention system at Guantanamo even once he closed the camp.