Monthly Archives: April 2011
Greta Christina has already taken William Lane Craig down for his defence of genocide, but it seems to me that a bit more needs to be said, if only to keep alive the spectacle of the smug Christian apologist William Lane Craig trying to justify genocide. Genocide is alright, says Craig, so long as God commands it, for the simple reason that God is the source of all value, and if God commands genocide then, not only is it okay, it is an obligation! The interesting thing is that Craig calls his website “Reasonable Faith”! Who does he think he’s kidding?
Craig’s answer is to two questions, one having to do with Islam and violence, the other having to do with the commandments of God to slaughter the Canaanites. Craig thinks that the problem with Islam is that they’ve got the wrong god. Well, since there isn’t one, there’s no right one either, so the really interesting question is how he sets about trying to justify the wholesale murder of whole populations, men, women, and children, combatants and non-combatants. He might have added livestock as well, since this was also often required, that all human beings and their domestic animals should be consecrated to destruction (to use the language of the Bible).
By: Bethany Lindsay, ctvbc.ca
Date: Friday Apr. 29, 2011 7:00 PM PT
Family and friends who travel to Switzerland to be with their loved ones as they commit assisted suicide enter legal limbo when they return home — they may have committed a crime, but have no way of knowing if the police will come calling.
British Columbians Lee Carter and Hollis Johnson filed suit against the federal government this week for legal changes that would allow doctor-assisted suicide for people suffering from incurable diseases. As it stands, helping anyone commit suicide is a criminal offence punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Read more …
I like Roger Scruton. I don’t always agree with him, but I like him; he writes clearly, and very often insightfully about philosophy, art and society. I think his support for blood sports is completely off the wall, but his introduction to modern philosophy is a little masterpiece for anyone looking for an engaged survey of philosophy since Descartes. A few years ago he wrote an interesting book on the state of play in the “clash of civilisations” entitled The West and the Rest: Globalisation and the Terrorist Threat. In the course of this insightful little book Scruton points out in some detail the difference between representative democracy and the kinds of theocracies which still dominate much of the world, and the problem that people who have known only theocratic forms of life face when they come to countries governed by representative democracy.
Templeton looks for value for money. For every dollar spent, it expects to get some benefit for its message that god and science belong together, that belief in god is not only harmonious with science, but that science actually provides support for belief in god. In prosecuting this mission it has grown more and more cautious when awarding the £1,000,000 Templeton Prize. This year it was awarded to Lord Rees, the Astronomer Royal, a position in the Royal Household which was first awarded to John Flamsteed in 1676 by King Charles II.
The New Oxonian has a new guest post by Stephanie L. Fisher, who quotes from D.H. Lawrence words that I have repeated again and again over the years. I choose the words that still resonate with me, fifty years after I first read them (especially the words in italics):
For man, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive. Whatever the unborn and the dead may know, they cannot know the beauty, the marvel of being alive in the flesh. The dead may look after the afterwards. But the magnificent here and now of life in the flesh is ours, and ours alone, and ours only for a time. [my italics]
Of course, for Lawrence, the word ‘man’ refers almost entirely to the male sex, and for him woman is, in a very real sense, as St. Paul held, the glory of man. But even allowing the word ‘man’ to range over women as well, the words are still powerful. They point out the importance of humanity and human vitality, and the beauty and wonder that at least some of those who live will know. Sadly, this wonder will not be known by all who live, and for all who live it is known, as Lawrence knew, only for a time.
Vancouver— From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Apr. 26, 2011 2:56PM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Apr. 26, 2011 10:45PM EDT
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association – along with a daughter who helped arrange her elderly mother’s death – announced the lawsuit at a news conference in downtown Vancouver Tuesday morning. In a notice of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, the parties argued that Criminal Code provisions against physician-assisted death are unconstitutional because they deny individuals the right to control their physical, emotional and psychological dignity.
Read more …
By GREGORY S. PAUL – RDFRS
Added: Monday, 20 December 2010 at 7:04 PM – An RDFRS Original
This is the first of several semi-abstracts from an upcoming book about the history of the Catholic church.
While working on a manuscript on the dark side of the Catholic patriarchy, which I hope will become a book, I realized that the modern anti-abortion campaign is the misogynist descendent of the Inquisitions that are supposed to have ended in the 1800s. To understand why, we need to take a look back at when the Holy See operated a system that enforced a state of terror upon the good peoples of Europe. The below consists largely of extracts from the manuscript.
Read more …. — a must read!
Why the empty pretence that there is more than this,
when the answer should be that there is at least this much?
Instead of imagining glorious realms that transcend the world
let us flourish by living life fully in this one.
Let us care for other people who suffer,
but not demand that they stay beyond their endurance.
Let us cherish the world enough
that we do not overwhelm it with our children.
Spurn those who would bind you with false promises
and triumph in your own freedom and reason.
Life is wonderful and terrible
and nowhere else but here and now.
by Discovered Joys