Jumalaton kulttuurilehti

Tammikuu 2015

Suomen ainoa kulttuurilehti

Sisällysluettelo

Loogista empirismiä ei koskaan kumottukaan

Suomalaiset filosofit käänsivät takkia itsekkäistä syistä

Erkki Hartikainen 31.1.2015

Olen toisaalla tässä lehdessä ilmoittanut kirjoittavani englannin kielistä kirjaa loogisesta empirismistä. Olen myös kertonut, että filosofialla rahastetaan armotta myös Internetissä.

Kun ryhdyin etsimään Internetistä esimerkkejä loogisen empirismin pääväitteen (ei ole apriorisia synteettisiä lauseita) vastaisia esimerkkejä, yllätykseni oli, että mitään uusia sellaisia väitteitä ei oltu esitetty.

Vanhat kantilaisten, pragmatistien sekä Arthur Papin väitteet kyllä löytyivät, mutta ne ovat 60-100 vuotta vanhoja.

Arthur Papin vastaväitteet osoittautuivat päin vastoin kuin melkein kaikki suomalaiset filosofit väittivät, pätemättömiksi. Itse asiassa Arthur Pap ei edes esittänyt tarkasti ottan loogisen empirismin vastaisia väitteitä vaan määritteli ns. funktionaalisen a priorin, joka on aivan eri asia kuin loogisen empirismin käsite a priori. Onneksi tämän vuosikymmenen filosofit olivat vaivautuneet miettimään sitä, mitä Arthur Pap oikein tarkoitti.

Minä ja edesmennyt dosentti Pertti Lindfors olemme olleet  koko ajan oikeassa siinä, ettei loogista empirismiä Eino Kailan esittämässä muodossa ole koskaan kumottu.

Olen tilannut myös Eino Kailan Inhimillisen tiedon englanninkielisen käännöksen, jotta voin kirjassani esittää Eino Kailan ajatukset  mahdollisimman hyvin käännettyinä.

Tiede näkyy tuottavan koko ajan tekniikkaa, jota puoli vuosisataa sitten ei voitu kuvitellakaan. Toisaalla tässä lehdessä on kerrottu englanniksi miehestä, joka on värisokea mutta näkee värejä päässä olevan antennin avulla. Mahtavatko värit vielä osoittaa loogisen epirismin virheelliseksi?

Viron uusi arkkipiispa Viilma: ”Kirkko on riskibisnes”

Lisätty 31.1.2015

Uutinen julkaistu 27.1.2015 Klo 8:26
Uutisen julkaisija: Suomen Lähetysseura ry (Hae uutistuottajan muut uutiset)

Viron evankelisluterilaisen kirkon uusi arkkipiispa Urmas Viilma asetetaan virkaansa 2. helmikuuta. Lähetysseuran vt. toiminnanjohtaja Rolf Steffansson osallistuu virkaanasettajaisiin.

Vasta nelikymppinen Viilma on ehtinyt tehdä jo yli kaksikymmenvuotisen työuran kirkossa. Hän kertoo olleensa aina ”nuorin” lähes kaikessa. Itse hän ei ole kristitystä perheestä vaan oli 15-vuotias käydessään ensimmäistä kertaa elämässään kirkossa – kirkossa, joka toimi museona. 19-vuotiaana hänet vihittiin diakoniksi eli apupapiksi.

– Virosta puhuttaessa käytetään paljon sanaa maallistunut, koska vain noin 16–17 prosenttia väestöstä on aktiivisia kirkossakävijöitä. Kirkon jäsenmäärä on pysynyt kuitenkin melko vakaana. Tuo aktiivisten prosenttimäärä saattaa olla samaa luokkaa Suomessakin. Suomessa enemmistö väestöstä kuitenkin kuuluu vielä kirkkoon, joten todellinen kuva ei näy samalla tavalla. Kirkko on riskibisnes, Urmas Viilma arvioi.

Viron kirkossa on 167 seurakuntaa ja 140 pappia. Luterilaisia on noin yhdeksän prosenttia väestöstä.

Pastori hoitaa usein kaiken kirkon siivoamisesta ja lämmittämisestä jumalanpalvelusiin. Muita palkattuja työntekijöitä ei ole. Seurakuntien voimavarat eivät riitä paljon muuhun kuin jumalanpalvelusten hoitamiseen, esimerkiksi nuorisotyötä ei kaikkialla tehdä. Pyhäkoulu- ja musiikkityötä tehdään vapaaehtoisvoimin, mutta kun tavalliset ihmiset joutuvat tekemään kahta tai kolmeakin työtä elääkseen, ei heillä ole aikaa seurakunnalle kuin sunnuntaisin.

Perhetyöstä tuli ilmiö

– Lähettäkää meille apuvoimia, tuleva arkkipiispa pyytää suomalaisilta. 

Suomen Lähetysseuralla on Virossa viisi työntekijää. He ovat mukana seurakuntien maallikkokoulutuksessa, lapsi- ja nuorisotyössä, musiikkityössä, vammaistyössä sekä perhetyössä. Erityisesti kirkon perhetyö sai viime vuonna paljon huomiota ja Lähetysseuran työntekijä Pia Ruotsala sai kirkolta Vuoden teko -palkinnon perhetyön kehittämisestä.

Suomen Lähetysseura ja Viron evankelisluterilainen kirkko solmivat yhteistyösopimuksen vuonna 1998. Ensimmäiset työntekijät lähetettiin vuonna 2003.

– Neuvostoajan perintönä virolaiset ovat tottuneet siihen, että valtio vastaa sosiaalityöstä, koulutuksesta ja terveydenhoidosta. Ja niin se tekeekin. Kirkon on turha yrittää kilpailla valtion kanssa samalla alueella olemattomine resursseineen. Mutta jos yhteiskunta jättää jotain tekemättä, silloin kirkko voi yrittää paikata aukkoa. Perhetyössä oli tällainen aukko, ja kun kirkko alkoi sitä tehdä, se suorastaan räjähti esille.

Papin palkka puolet opettajan palkasta

Virolaisten maaseurakuntien jumalanpalveluksissa käy vähän väkeä. Ei pelkästään maallistumisen vuoksi, vaan siksi, että maaseudulla on yleensäkin vähän väkeä. Ihmiset ovat muuttaneet kaupunkeihin ja paljon myös ulkomaille. Maaseudun palvelut ovat hävinneet. Lisäksi on suuri joukko, joka käy töissä Suomessa, vaikka virallisesti asuukin Virossa. Kaupunkiseurakunnissa sen sijaan kirkossa käy väkeä, lapsiakin.

Papin palkka riippuu seurakunnasta. Parhaimmillaankin se on vain puolet opettajan palkasta, vaikka papeillakin on korkeakoulukoulutus.

Kirkot ovat huonossa kunnossa, mutta valtio ei anna varoja kirkkojen kunnostamiseen. Se vähä raha, mitä seurakuntalaisilta tulee, menee kirkkorakennusten ylläpitoon.

Niillä seurakunnilla menee paremmin, missä pastori on lähtenyt ulos kirkosta ja pääsyt yhteistyöhön esimerkiksi koulun, lastentarhan tai musiikkikoulun kanssa tai on muuten tunnettu hahmo yhteisössään. Siksi monet papit ovat mukana kunnallispolitiikassa, niin oli Urmas Viilmakin 16 vuoden ajan.

Hän myös toimi 20 vuotta opettajana lukiossa ja sai sitä kautta paljon nuoria mukaan rippikouluun. Yleensä rippikoululaiset Virossa ovat jo keski-ikäisiä, jotka etsivät vastauksia elämänkysymyksiinsä.

Useimmissa seurakunnissa ei ole resursseja tehdä nuorisotyötä, eikä seurakunnissa ole mukana nuoria. Nuoret eivät totu käymään kirkossa, eivätkä saa tietoa kristinuskosta koulussakaan. Vapaaehtoista uskonnonopetusta on vain kahdessa prosentissa kouluista. Urmas Viilma onkin huolissaan siitä, minkälaisen arvopohjan saavat nyky-Viron nuoret, tulevaisuuden päättäjät

Seksuaali- ja sukupuolivähemmistöt jäävät koulussa näkymättömiksi

Lisätty 30.1.2014,
STT

Seksuaali- ja sukupuolivähemmistöihin kuuluvat nuoret kokevat usein jäävänsä näkymättömiksi ja vaille tukea. Tämä käy ilmi Nuorisotutkimusseuran ja Setan tutkimushankkeesta.

lesbian

Esimerkiksi kouluissa seksuaali- ja sukupuolivähemmistöistä ei nuorten mukaan puhuta tarpeeksi paljon tai monipuolisesti. Oppimateriaalien lisäksi puutteita on nuorten mukaan koulun henkilökunnan osaamisessa. Esimerkiksi terveydenhoitajien ja koulupsykologien tietämyksessä seksuaali- ja sukupuolivähemmistöistä on nuorten kokemusten mukaan puutteita.

Nuoret toivovat, että koulussa vähemmistöistä puhuttaisiin oppituntien lisäksi myös vanhempainilloissa.

VAPAA-AJATTELIJAIN LIITON VALTIONAPUA LEIKATTIIN (27.1.2015)

Lisätty 29.1.2015

http://www.ateistit.fi/uutiset/uuti150127.html

Filosofia on kaikkein pahimmin rahastava "tiede"

Erkki Hartikainen 29.1.2015

Kuten olen toisaalla maininnut, kirjoitan kirjaa loogisesta empirismistä.

Valitettavasti filosofia on kaikkein pahimmin rahastava "tiede". Jos näin ei olisi, kirjani loogisesta empirismistä olisi jo valmis.

Loogisen emprismin runko löytyy lähinnä Jaakko Hintikan totuuta käsittelevistä tutkimuksista. Tarvitse niistä uusinta tietoa, jota löytyy muualta kuin Hintikan omista artikkeleista. Valitettavasti haut Internetistä vaatisivat isoa pankkitiliä.

Yritän saada kirjan valmiiksi ensi kesään mennessä. En julkaise siitä mitään alustavia vedoksia. Linkki kirjaan ilmestynee kesäkuussa.

Ruotsissa on enemmän ateisteja kuin uskovaisia

Lisätty 28.1.2014

Lähde:

http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/

WVSOnline.jsp

Vasemmanpuoleinen keltaisen pylväs kuvaa niitä, jotka eivät usko jumalaan, ja vasemmanpuoleinen sininen pylväs kuvaa niitä, jotka uskovat jumalaan.

ateismi-ruotsissa

Professori: Teologiaa ei pitäisi opettaa veronmaksajien rahoilla  

Lisätty 27.1.2014, Kaleva

Valtio-opin professori Matti Wiberg Turun yliopistosta hämmästelee poliitikkojen koulutussektorille antamia lupauksia.

– Johtavien poliitikkojen on vastuutonta sitoa käsiään lupaamalla asioita, joita he eivät voi lunastaa. Eivät puoluejohtajat vielä tiedä koko ensi vaalikauden säästötarpeita. Sopeutustarpeet voivat olla yllättävänkin suuret.

Wiberg viittaa lauantaina Educa-messuilla Helsingissä järjestettyyn puheenjohtajapaneeliin, jossa muun muassa demarien Antti Rinne, keskustan Juha Sipilä ja kokoomuksen Sanni Grahn-Laasonen lupasivat, ettei koulutuksesta leikata tulevalla vaalikaudella.

Suomen talous on pahasti alijäämäinen, ja tuleva hallitus on miltei pakotettu julkisen sektorin leikkauksiin nykyisellä talouskehityksellä.

– Koulutusmenot vievät niin suuren osan julkisista menoista, että jos valtio ja kunnat joutuvat säästämään, koulutussektorikaan ei voi jäädä koskemattomaksi.

Wibergin mukaan muu julkinen sektori ei vain katsoisi vierestä, jos koulutussektori jätettäisiin leikkausten ulkopuolelle.

Valtio-opin professorin mielestä Suomen koulutusmenoissa olisi vielä selvästi karsimisen varaa. Hän haluaisi muun muassa karsia sellaista koulutusta, josta valmistuu paljon opiskelijoita työttömäksi.

– Kaikki koulutus, jolle yhteiskunnassa ei löydy aitoa kysyntää, on tuhlausta. Mesenaatit rahoittakoot mitä haluavat, mutta julkisin varoin ei pidä ylläpitää koulutusohjelmia, joita yhteiskunta ei tarvitse.

– Koulutuksen pitää johtaa työllistymiseen. Jonkun pitää haluta palkata koulutuksesta valmistunut. Ellei palkanmaksajaa löydy, kyse on koulutuksellisesta virheinvestoinnista.

Wibergin mielestä kaikilla koulutusasteilla esiintyy tuhlailua, varsinkin ylikorostunutta byrokratiaa. Professorin mielestään esimerkiksi yliopistojen hallintohenkilökuntaa voisi leikata rankalla kädellä.

– Byrokratia on viime vuosikymmeninä yliopistoissa nopeimmin kasvava henkilöstöryhmä. Yliopistobyrokraattien määrä voidaan puolittaa ilman haittavaikutuksia varsinaiseen toimintaan. Siitä ei koidu kansakunnalle mitään haittaa. Sama pätee ammattikorkeakouluihin.

Professori jatkaa, että koko teologinen tiedekunta pitäisi poistaa julkisin varoin kustannetuista yliopistoista.

– Teologiset tiedekunnat joutaisivat kokonaan privatisoiduiksi. Jos pitää säästää, kannattaa aloittaa kaikilla tavoin hyödyttömimmästä.

Teologiaa opetetaan Suomessa Helsingin yliopistossa, Itä-Suomen yliopistossa ja Åbo Akademissa.

Ateistinen Harry Potter Kreikan johtoon

Lisätty 27.1.2015

tsipras

The Timesin mukaan Tsipras on ateitinen Harry Potter.

Triprasia sanotaan itsensä määrittelemäksi ateistiksi.

Keitä ISIS-muslimit aikovat tappaa

Lisätty 26.1.2015 Reuters

Suuria alueita Syyriasta ja Pohjois-Irakista hallinnassaan pitävä äärijärjestö Isis on levittänyt julkisuuteen tietoa tiukoista käytännöistään, uutisoivat brittilehdet.
Independent-lehden mukaan ohjesääntöjensä julkistamisella järjestö haluaa muistuttaa hallitsemiensa alueiden asukkaille, minkälaista käyttäytymistä näiltä edellytetään. Ohjesäännön julkistaminen toimii näin ollen varoituksena julmista rangaistuksista, joita sääntörikkomuksista on odotettavissa.

Ohjesäännöt julkistettiin sen jälkeen, kun tiedotusvälineet kertoivat Irakissa viime viikonloppuna tapahtuneesta julmasta teloituksesta. Kaksi sidottua miestä pakotettiin hyppäämään kerrostalon katolta kymmenten silminnäkijöiden todistaessa näiden syöksyä kuolemaan.

Independent kertoo asiakirjan alkavan muistutuksella siitä, että muslimien tulisi noudattaa toiminnassaan islamilaista sharia-lakia. Rikoksista, kuten homoseksuaalisesta käyttäytymisestä tai vakoilusta vääräuskoisille rangaistaan kuolemantuomion langettamisella.

Lähi-idän mediatutkimuksen keskuksen (Middle East Media Research Institute) mukaan ohjesääntöjen julkistaminen osoittaa Isisin sitoutumista julmien rangaistusten täytäntöönpanoon.

Brittilehtien kooste sääntörikkomuksista seuraavista rangaistuksista:
  1. Jumalan pilkkaaminen: kuolema
  2. Profeetta Muhammedin pilkkaaminen: kuolema
  3. Islamin pilkkaaminen: kuolema
  4. Aviorikos: Kivittäminen kuolemaan saakka, jos avionrikkoja on naimisissa. 100 raipaniskua ja maastakarkotus, jos avionrikkoja on naimaton
  5. Homoseksuaalisuus: Kuolema molemmille osapuolille
  6. Varkaus: Käden leikkaaminen
  7. Alkoholin juominen: 80 raipaniskua
  8. Kunnianloukkaus: 80 raipaniskua
  9. Vääräuskoisille vakoilu: kuolema
  10. Uskosta luopuminen: kuolema
  11. Ryöstömurha: Kuolema ja ristiinnaulitseminen
  12. Murha: Kuolema
  13. Ryöstö: Oikean käden ja vasemman jalan leikkaaminen
  14. Ihmisten terrorisointi: Karkotus
Independentin haastatteleman ääriliikkeiden tutkijan, Charlie Winterin mukaan Isisin julkaisema lista vaikuttaa autenttiselta. Winter uskoo, että lista on koottu viime vuoden joulukuussa. Hän kuitenkin muistuttaa, että osa rangaistuksista on ollut islamilaisessa maailmassa käytössä jo ennen kuin Isis perusti kalifaatin Syyrian ja Pohjois-Irakin alueelle.

Independentin mukaan Isis käyttää samaisia rangaistuksia myös omiin jäseniinsä, jotka ovat toimineet sharia-lain vastaisesti.

Lähteet: Independent, Metro.

Internetistä

Hautausmaamonopolia vastaan

Lisätty 25.1.2014

Useinhan nuo hautausmaat ovat nimenomaan kirkolle sosialisoitua omaisuutta, joten en näkisi kovin suurena ongelmana, jos ne sosialisoitaisiin pois kirkolta. Lisäksi hautauspalveluiden järjestämiseen saisi minusta tulla muutenkin muitakin ja mahdollisesti halvempia malleja kuin nykyinen kirkon lobbaama, missä kirkko vaatii käytännössä, että ruumiit ja heidän tuhkansa täytyy käytännössä väistämättä haudata juuri kirkon hallussa oleville maille.

Osa noista kirkkojen maista tiedetään päätyneen kirkolle sillä tavalla, että esimerkiksi kerettiläisenä tai noitana roviolla tapetulta on riistetty omaisuus ja kirkko on ollut mukana tässä riistämisprosessissa.

Suurin osa omaisuudesta on kuitenkin tullut valtiolta kirkon käyttöön.

Perustuslakivaliolautakunta on kuitenkin katsonut useampaan otteeseen, että perustuslain omaisuudensuoja ei koske tällaista kirkon omaisuutta, jonka valtio on antanut kirkon käyttöön, vaan se voidaan tarvittaessa myös ottaa takaisin kirkolta.

Kirkkoja taas on rakennettu pakottamalla paikallista väestöä pakkotyöhön, korotetuilla pakkoveroilla ja pakolla otetuilla luontaissuorituksina. Tuohon aikaanhan kirkkoon kuuluminen oli kaiken lisäksi pakko ja jopa kirkkoon menemättömyydestä rangaistiin ankarasti.

Käytännössä lievimmillään sidottiin kaakinpuuhun ja sitten näitä täysin puolustuskyvyttömiä uhreja pahoinpideltiin mitä mielikuvituksellisimmin tavoin.

Mitä tulee yhteisöveron riittämättömyyteen, niin kannattaa muistaa, että kirkot ryhtyivät kaikenlaisin kirjanpidollisin kikoin kasvattamaan hautausmaiden ylläpidon kustannuksia.

Alle kymmenessä vuodessa, vuosituhannen vaihteen tienoilla, kustannukset nousivat tämän kikkailun takia yli kaksinkertaisiksi aiempaan verrattuna.

Tämä alkoi tapahtua siinä vaiheessa, kirkko huomasi, että alkoi kohdistua yhä enemmän paineita kirkon yhteisövero-oikeuden poistamiseen.

Ja tämä siitä huolimatta, että samaan aikaan esimerkiksi valtio alkoi hoitaa entistä täysipainoisemmin väestörekisterin yhteiskunnallisista syistä, kirkon sijasta.

Kirkko on kuitenkin kovasti pitänyt kiinni suorasta yhteydestä väestörekisteriin, vaikka kyse on kaksinkertaisesta työstä ja lähinnä saa näyttämään kirkon hyödylliseltä yhteiskunnan kannalta, vaikka tosiasiassa valtio tekee pitkälti työt kirkon hyödyksi ja kirkon puolesta.

Samalla kirkko saa kuitenkin pidettyä yllä omaa jäsenrekisteriä, mihin saadaan merkittyä kastamiset, kummit, rippikoulut ja konfirmaatiot.

.....

Kovasti kirkko yrittää rakentaa omaisuudelleen jotain erityissuojaa erilaisin verukkein, jottei vain ansiotta saatuja maita tarvitsisi palauttaa...

.....

Kruunu on antanut kirkon julkisoikeudellisen tehtävän hoitamiseen maata ja se voidaan aivan yhtä hyvin siirtää kirkolta poiskin. Valtionhallinto voi ja usein siirtääkin omaisuuksia sektorilta toiselle, esimerkiksi erilaisten yhtiöittämisten yhteydessä.

Se, että maat kirkon määrätarkoitukseen antaessaan valtio on asettanut rasitteen käyttötarkoitukselle, sitoo vain kirkkoa, eikä maat antanutta valtiota. Ja se, että kirkko on sisäisesti monimutkaistanut päätöksentekoa, ei sido valtiota, vaan ainoastaan kirkkoa sisäisesti.

Osassa tapauksia edes omistusoikeutta ei ole siirretty kirkolle, vaan omistusoikeus on pysynyt valtiolla (tai kaupungilla) ja kirkko on saanut vain rajatun käyttöoikeuden, kuten Hietaniemen hautausmaan osissa:

http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hietaniemen_hautausmaa


"Kaupunki luovutti alueen seurakunnan käyttöön, mutta omistaa maan edelleen."

On myös syytä muistaa, että julkisyhteisöillä ei ole perustusoikeudellista suojaa omaisuudelle. Esimerkiksi kuntien verotuloja tasataan kuntien välillä, kuntien omaisuudensuojasta välittämättä. Ja tämä tapahtuu tavallisella lailla, eikä millään perustuslain säätämisjärjestyksessä säädetyllä lailla.

Ja vaikka kirkko olisi säätiö, mitä se ei ole, ei tämä olisi este omaisuuden palaamiselle takaisin valtiolle. Jos muissakin säätiöissä käy niin, että valtio asettaa lain tai muusta vastaavasta syystä ei voida enää toteuttaa säätiön tarkoitusta, säätiö purkautuu ja omaisuus palautuu takaisin antajalle.

On syytä muistaa, että lähes poikkeuksetta kirkko ei ole itse ostanut maitaan, vaan saanut ne ansiottomasti käyttöoikeudella määrätarkoitusta varten. Oikeushistoriassa tunnetaan myös kirkolle testamentilla tai lahjoituksella annetun omaisuuden palauttaminen antajien perillisille.

.....

Tarkoitus onkin poistaa kirkolta julkisyhteisöluonne yhdessä julkisyhteisötehtävän hoitamiseen annetun omaisuuden kanssa. Nämä julkisoikeudelliset tehtävät siirrettäisiin muualle, tarkoituksenmukaisiksi katsotuilla tavoilla. Oli järjestäjänä valtio, kilpailutetut yksityistahot tms.

Tällöin kirkonkaan ei tarvitse enää itkeä, ettei muka veronmaksajien antamat rahat riitä hautausmaiden hoitoon.

Kirjoitan sittenkin englannin kielisen kirjan loogisesta empirismistä

Erkki Hartikainen 24.1.2014

Viitisentoista vuotta sitten Heikki Partanen kirjoitti uudestaan Eino Kailan kirjan "Inhimillinen tieto". Joiltain osin Heikki Partasen esitys ei tarvitse mitään parantelemista, mutta mielestäni loogisen empirismin ydin voidaan esittää nykyisen tietämyksen toisin. Toisin sanoen oikein käsitettynä loogisen empirismin ytimessä ei ole mitään vikaa.

Se loogisen empirismin ydin, jonka aion esittää, esittelee inhimillisestä tiedosta kaiken sen, mitä voidaan sanoa todellisuuden ja inhimillisen tiedon vuorovaikutuksesta.

Olen aikoinaan vahingossa opiskellut matematiikkaa, teoreettista filosofiaa, tietojenkäsittelytiedettä, tilastotiedettä jne., ja vaikka en ole koskaan opetellut mainittuja aloja ulkoa, minulla on ollut tilaisuus kuunnellä ihmisiä, jotka tietävät, mitä nämä alat oikeasti ovat.

Eino Kailasta poiketen aion nostaa erityisesti esiin kybernetiikan, joka ei ole harha, ja todistuksen taakkaan liittyvän ihmisen ja todellisuuden välisen vuorovaikutuksen.

Loogisen empirismin kannattajan minusta teki aikoinaan edesmenneen filososofian akatateemikko Oiva Ketosen luennoilla esitetty loogisen empirismin arvostelu.

Venäjän ortodoksinen kirkko on syypää seksuaalivähemmistöjen vainoon

Venäjän seksuaalipolitiikan kiristyminen näkyy myös vastaanottokeskuksessa

Lisätty 23.1.2015, YLE

Lappeenrannan Konnunsuon vastaanottokeskuksessa on tällä hetkellä kaksi Suomesta turvapaikkaa hakevaa venäläistä homomiestä. Vastaanottokeskuksen johtaja jari Kähkösen mukaan Suomen eduskunnan päätökset sukupuolineutraalista avioliittolaista saattavat lisätä Suomen houkuttavuutta ja määrä saattaa kasvaa.
Kotimaa

Konnunsuon vastaanottokeskuksessa on tällä hetkellä kaksi venäläistä homomiestä, jotka hakevat turvapaikkaa Suomesta. Vastaanottokeskuksen johtaja Jari Kähkönen

– Venäjältä ja muista maista on meille tullut aika ajoin homoseksuaaleja ja trans-ihmisiä, jotka hakevat turvapaikkaa ja suojelua. Aivan tavallista se ei ole, mutta näitä tapauksia meillä on, Kähkönen kertoo.

Venäjällä seksuaalivähemmistöjen asema on viime vuosien aikana kiristynyt ja esimerkiksi homoja on jopa vainottu. Siksi monet homoseksuaalit ovat päätyneet hakemaan poliittista turvapaikkaa ulkomailta.

Boko Haram kertoo kaupungin hävittämisen syyksi Koraanin sanan

Lisätty 22.1.2015
STT–AFP

Äärijärjestö Boko Haram kertoo tehneensä Nigerian Bagaan hyökkäyksen, josta sitä on aiemmin syytetty.

Amnesty Internationalin mukaan kuun alussa maan koillisosassa tehdyssä iskussa kuoli peräti 2 000 siviiliä. Muut lähteet ovat puhuneet vähintään sadoista uhreista, ja viranomaisten mukaan käytännössä koko kaupunki tuhottiin.

Boko Haramin johtaja Abubakar Shekau sanoo videopalvelu Youtubessa julkaistulla videolla, että järjestö tappoi ihmiset Bagassa Koraania mukaillen.

"Tapoimme Bagan ihmiset. Todellakin tapoimme heidät, kuten Herramme on ohjeistanut meitä kirjassaan", Shekau sanoi videoviestissä AFP:n mukaan.

Lisäksi järjestö uhkasi videolla Nigerian naapurimaita Tšadia, Nigeriä ja Kamerunia, jotka yhdessä Nigerian kanssa suunnittelevat perustavansa Keski-Afrikan joukot Boko Haramin tuhoamiseksi.

"Olette myöhässä, Afrikan kuninkaat. Hyökätkää heti, olen valmiina", Shekau uhosi videolla.

Ääri-islamilainen Boko Haram perustettiin vuonna 2002 vastustamaan länsimaisia arvoja ja koulutusta, mistä juontuu sen hausankielinen nimi, joka tarkoittaa väljästi käännettynä "länsimainen koulutus on kiellettyä".

Järjestö on runsaan vuosikymmenen aikana kasvattanut terroriaan niin, että Britannian yleisradioyhtiö BBC arvioi tuoreessa artikkelissaan jo noin kolmen miljoonan ihmisen kärsivän siitä suoraan tai välillisesti.

Boko Haramin toimintaan on kuulunut muun muassa summittaista ihmisten tappamista, raiskauksia, koululaisten ampumista sisäoppilaitoksen sänkyihin, kranaattien kylvämistä jalkapalloa katsovien ihmisten niskaan, raskaana olevan naisen tappaminen kesken synnytyksen, sieppauksia, orjuutusta. Lista on synkkä ja loputtoman pitkä.

Järjestö aloitti aseellisen taistelun islamilaisen valtion luomiseksi vuonna 2009. Yhdysvaltojen terroristijärjestöjen listalle se päätyi vuonna 2013.

Looginen empirismi ja englannin kieli

Erkki Hartikainen 21.1.2015

Toisalla tässä lehdessä on kerrottu, että loogisen empirismin pääteos, Eino Kailan Inhimillinen tieto (1939), on viimeinkin käännetty englanniksi. Monet ovat todenneet, että filosofian historia olisi toinen, jos teos olisi käännetty englanniksi v. 1940 (Rudolf Carnap toivoi tätä Eino Kailalta).

On hyvä, että teos on viimeinkin käännetty englanniksi. Olisi hyvä, jos samasta asiasta saataisiin ajantasainen englanninkielinen esitys. Valitettavasti englannin kielestä ei löydy sanastoa ajantasaiselle esitykselle.

Erityisesti olisi selitettävä, mitkä asiat olivat loogisessa empirismissä määritelmiä ja mitkä ovat normeja. Eino Kaila oli selvillä siitä, että eräät asiat ovat määritelmiä, mutta hän ei oikein ymmärtänyt sitä, mitkä asiat olivat normeja.

Filosofian käsitteistö on missä tahansa kielessä puutteellinen. Mielestäni olisi syytä luoda uudistettu käsitteistö, jossa yllä mainitut asiat olisi huomioitu.

Jos minulla olisi paljon rahaa ja jos olisiń 50 vuotta nuorempi, kirjoittaisiń itse englanninkielisen kirjan (tietysti Internetissä ilmaiseksi), joka esittäisi täsmennetyn loogisen empirismin. Tämän loogisen empirismin pitäisi olla entisestä poiketen selvästi realistinen. Valitettavasti minun voimani eivät enää riitä sellaiseen.

Raimo Tuomelan ja Ilkka Niiniluodon realismin puolustukset ovat aiheuttaneet Suomessa Eino Kailan perinnön tuhoutumisen. Realismia voidaan ja pitää puolusta, toisin kuin em. herrat ovat tehneet, loogisesta empirismistä käsin. Pahoin pelkään, että ihmiskunnalta jää tämä asia tekemättä.

Presidentti Sauli Niinistö jumaluusoppineena

20.1.2015

Presidentti Saulu Niinistö on antanut Tasavallan presidenttinä rukouspäiväjulistuksen, jossa hän selittää Raamattua.

Älä äänestä Niinistöä seuraavissa presidentin vaaleissa!

Voit lukea julistuksen napauttamalla tästä.

Markkinoille on tullut uusi masennuslääke

Erkki Hartikainen 20.1.2014

Aine on nimeltään vortioksetiini. Lääke vaikuttaa - toisin kuin entiset masennuslääkkeet, monikanavaisesti. Lääke on tehokkaampi kuin aikaisemmat, ja se haittavaikutukset esimerksiki seksiin nähden ovat vähäisemmät kuin vanhoilla masennuslääkkeillä.

Lääkettä valmistaa tanskalainen Lundbeck, jota on sakotettu sen yrityksistä estää vanhan masennuslääkkeen sitalopraamin rinnakkaistuotteiden markkinoille tulon jarruttamisesta.

Valitettavasti uusi lääke on hyvin kallis, hinta lienee 200-300 euroa kuukaudelta. Kela maksaa peruskorvauksen, mikä hieman alentaa potilaalle tulevaa hintaa.

Helsingin Sanomain olisi hyvä kirjoittaa nyt siitä, että uudella lääkkeellä rahastetaan liikaa eikä siitä, ettei masennusta ole olemassakaan.

Köyhät voivat syödä vaikka ikivanhaa halpaa amiptriptyliiniä, sehän vaikttaa monikanavaisesti, vaikka síllä on edellä lueteltu sivuvaikutus.

Oletko huomannut kunnallisen päiväkodin kasvattavan kaikkia lapsia kristityiksi?

Kantelupukki neuvoo oikaisemaan laittomuudet

Lisätty 20.1.2015

Kohteleeko koulu kunnioittavasti ja yhdenvertaisesti oppilaita, jotka eivät halua osallistua luterilaisiin tilaisuuksiin?

Rukoilutetaanko iltapäiväkerhossa kaikkia lapsia ennen välipalaa? 

Kantelupukki auttaa kaikkia, joiden mielestä päiväkoti, koulu tai iltapäiväkerho loukkaa lasten tai oppilaiden uskonnonvapautta tai yhdenvertaisuutta.

Kantelupukki neuvoo, miten päiväkotien, koulujen ja iltapäiväkerhojen tulisi toimia, jotta kaikkien perheiden kohtelu olisi näiden vakaumusta kunnioittavaa.

Kantelupukki kertoo myös, mitä voit tehdä, jos sinusta tuntuu, ettei näin toimita.

Kantelupukin löydät napauttamalla tästä.

Helsingin Sanomissa taas huuhaata

Erkki Hartikainen 19.1.2014

Tämän päivän Helsingin Sanomissa ns. tiedetoimittaja väittää, että masennus on tulehdusta ja että masennuksella ei ole mitään tekemistä serotoniini- nimisen aivojen välittäjäaineen kanssa.

Odottakoon, kun Helsingin Sanomat tekee konkurssiin ja toimittaja menettää työpaikkansa! Eiköhän eräs masennusken oikea syy paljastu sitten.

Pikemminkin voisi väittää, että tulehdukset ovat serotoniinin vajausta, koska aivojen serotoniinitasapainon palauttaminen poistaa tulehdusten aiheuttamia kipuja.

Tosiasiassa useimmat heikotkin tulehdukset johtuvat yhä vastustuskykyisemmiksi käyvistä mikrobeista. Minulla sattuu olemaan tällä hetkellä hoidossa kahden bakteerin ja yhden sienen sisältävä tulehdus, jossa näin on laita.

Mitä tulee masennukseen, se on periytyvä taipumus. Ihmisapinain nokkimisjärjestys valitettavasti sortaa alavireisiä (ja usein kaikkein tervejärkisimpiä) ihmisiä, ja erilaiset maanikot johtavat yhteisöjä, ja tämän seurauksena tulee ruumiita ja raunioita.

Onko liikkuva krematorio mahdollinen

Erkki Hartikainen 19.1.2015

http://www.blcremationsystems.com/N20SA.html

Esimerkiksi yllä olevan linkin krematorio  on mitoiltaan seuraava:

Pituus: 3.51 m
Leveys: 1.85 m
Korkeus 2.49 m with Doorcap)
Paino 9,071.85 kg

Se tarvitsee 220 V sähkövirtaa 30 ampeeria ja kaasua (propaania tai luonnonkaasua). Sähköä löytyy kaikkialta Suomesta, ja kaasun toimittaminen krematorion mukana ei ole ongelmallista.

Tässä on krematorio matkalla rekan lavalla:

krematorio

Mielestäni ainoa ongelma liikkuvalle krematoriolle on, että se vaatii suurenpuoleisen rekan perävaunun siirtämiseen paikasta toiseen. On luultavaa, että ruumiiden kuljettaminen on joka tapauksessa halvempaa.

Suomalaiset filosofit yllättivät

Erkki Hartikainen 18.1.2015

Olen pitkään pitänyt nykyisiä suomalaisia filosofeja pikemmin haitallisina kuin hyödyllisinä.

Hyödyllisistä súomalaisista oli viimeinen Eino Kaila.

Nyt nykyiset suomalaiset filosofit ovat yllättäneet minut täysin. He ovat kääntäneet Eino Kailan ja loogisen empirismin pääteoksen "Inhimillinen tieto" (1939) englanniksi.

Teoksen voi tilata osoitteesta

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Human-Knowledge-Classic-Statement-Empiricism/dp/0812698487

Suomalaisia filosofeja teos ei luultavasti viisastuta, sillä viisaus vaatii paljon ns. terveen järjen käyttöä.

Toivon teokselle lukijoita englantia käyttävästä maailmasta. Toivottavasti sieltä löytyy viisautta ymmärtää, mitä loogisen empirismin normit (eivät teesit) tarkoittivat.

Jos elän vanhaksi, aion kirjoittaa loogisesta empirismistä jotain englanniksi tähän lehteen.

Jos dosentti Pertti Lindfors vielä eläisi hän olisi Suomen viimeisenä loogisena empiristinä mielissään.

VAPAA-AJATTELIJAIN KUSTANNUSYHTIÖLLÄ TAAS KAKSI YHTIÖKOKOUSTA SAMANA PÄIVÄNÄ (15.1.2015)

Lisätty 18.1.2014

http://www.ateistit.fi/uutiset/uuti150115.html

YHTEISÖVEROTILITYKSET SEURAKUNNILLE KASVOIVAT 10,3 PROSENTTIA (12.1.2015)

Lisätty 17.1.2015

http://www.ateistit.fi/uutiset/uuti150112.html

Turkissa Charlie Hebdo, Twitter ja Facebook sensuurin kourissa

Lisätty 16.1.2015

Turkin viranomaiset uhkasivat Twitterin ja Facebookin estolla Syyriaan liittyvän tietovuodon takia. Charlie Hebdon etusivun julkaisseille nettisivustoille pääsy on estetty tuomioistuimen päätöksellä.

YLE

Turkissa internetiä valvovat viranomaiset ovat urakoineet toden teolla keskiviikon mittaan. Ensin tuli tieto, jonka mukaan sekä Twitteriä että Facebookia uhkasi esto, ellei palveluista poisteta aineistoa, joka käsittelee Syyrian kapinallisten ja Turkin tiedustelupalvelun suhteita. 

Keskiviikkona tuli myös ilmoitus, jonka mukaan paikallinen tuomioistuin oli päättänyt laittaa eston nettisivuille, joissa näkyy Charlie Hebdo -lehden etusivu. Etusivulla on kuva profeetta Muhammedista. Sensuuripäätös perustuu Kaakkois-Turkissa Diyarbakirissa toimivan tuomioistuimen päätökseen. Paikallinen asianajaja oli kääntynyt tuomioistuimen puoleen.

Muun muassa turkkilainen Cumhuriyet-lehti julkaisi tämänpäiväisessä paperiversiossaan kuvia uusimmasta Charlie Hebdosta. Joidenkin muslimien parissa erityistä pahennusta herättänyt kansikuva profeetta Muhammedista näkyi vain mustavalkoisena lehden sisäsivuilla. Lehden jakelu viivästyi aamulla, kun poliisit tutkivat lehtiä kuljettavia kuorma-autoja. Turkin poliisi on tehostanut lehden toimituksen vartiointia, ja toimituksen edustalla näkyi päivällä panssariajoneuvo.

Rikosoikeuden professori: Nykymaailmassa aika vähän sijaa säännökselle uskonrauhan rikkomisesta

Lisätty 15.1.2015

Helsingin yliopiston rikosoikeuden professori Kimmo Nuotio sanoo, että Suomessa korostetaan pitkälti sananvapautta. Silti uskonnollisen yhdyskunnan pyhänä pitämän asian räävitön käsittely voi kuulua uskonrauhan rikkomista koskevan säännöksen piiriin.

Säännöksen nojalla uskonnollisen yhdyskunnan pyhänä pitämän julkinen häpäisy ja herjaaminen on rangaistavaa, ja kysymys on professorin mukaan siitä, kuinka paljon sanavapauden käyttöön liittyvät näkökohdat kaventavat säännöksen soveltamisalaa.

– Tässä tasapainotellaan näiden kahden intressin välissä, ja itse kyllä kuulun heihin, jotka näkevät nykymaailmassa aika vähän sijaa säännökselle uskonrauhan rikkomisesta.

Aikanaan jumalanpilkkapykälät ovat olleet rikoslain ydintä satoja vuosia. Euroopassa hyvin monessa maassa säännökset on kumottu, ja Pohjoismaista Suomi on ainoa, joka yhä soveltaa julkiseen pilkkaamiseen pykälää uskonrauhan rikkomisesta.

Millainen pilkka sitten johtaisi Suomessa syytteeseen, on professorin mielestä avoin kysymys. Herkästi Suomessa ei uskonrauhan rikkomisesta syytteitä nosteta. Sen voi päätellä siitäkin, että Suomessa ei nostettu syytteitä, vaikka tiedotusvälineet vuosia sitten esittelivät tanskalaisen Jyllands-Postenin pilkkakuvia profeetta Muhammedista.

– On vaikea sanoa, missä kynnys voisi olla.

Professori sanoo, että kiinnostavaa on se, mitä kuvitellaan tapahtuvaksi, jos säännöstä ei olisi. Kiihotus kansanryhmää vastaan on säädetty rikoslaissa rangaistavaksi teoksi, ja se tavoittaa paljon tätä samaa sisältöä, sanoo professori.

– Suuressa osassa Eurooppaa luotetaan siihen, että kiihottaminen kansanryhmää vastaan -lainsäädäntö riittää hoitamaan suojan tarpeen.

Professori ymmärtää, että vanhastaan on ollut tarve suojata uskonnolliset tunteet. Yhteiskuntajärjestys tuskin kuitenkaan romahtaisi, jos nykyihmisen uskonnollisia tunteita loukataan, hän arvioi. Asioiden symbolisen suojan tarve on vähentynyt.

– Ihmiset uskovat yhtä lailla kuin ennenkin, mutta kykenemme erottamaan henkilökohtaisen uskon ja julkisen keskustelun toisistaan.

Hallituksen esitys eduskunnalle laiksi valtion rahoituksesta evankelis-luterilaiselle kirkolle eräisiin yhteiskunnallisiin tehtäviin

Lisätty 14.1.2015

Esityksessä ehdotetaan säädettäväksi uusi laki valtion rahoituksesta evankelis-luterilaiselle kirkolle eräisiin yhteiskunnallisiin tehtäviin. Laissa säädettäisiin kootusti valtion rahoituksesta niihin yhteiskunnallisiin tehtäviin, jotka on lailla osoitettu evankelis-luterilaisen kirkon hoidettavaksi. Nämä yhteiskunnalliset tehtävät ovat hautaustoimi, väestökirjanpitotehtävät ja kulttuurihistoriallisesti arvokkaiden rakennusten ja irtaimiston ylläpito.

Valtion rahoitus myönnettäisiin vuosittain kirkon keskusrahastolle. Kirkkolaissa ja kirkkojärjestyksessä säädettäisiin erikseen korvauksen jakamisesta seurakunnille ja seurakuntayhtymille. Ehdotetun rahoituksen tasolla on tarkoitus korvata kohtuullinen osuus lakisääteisistä yhteiskunnallisista tehtävistä. Rahoituksen määrä on laskennallinen ja kattaa seurakuntien kirjanpitoon perustuvien laskelmien mukaan noin 80 prosenttia tehtävien kokonaiskustannuksista. Kirkolle myönnettävän rahoituksen määrä sidottaisiin kuluttajahintaindeksiin.

Koko esitys löytyy napauttamalla tästä.

Hallituksen esitys eduskunnalle laeiksi tuloverolain, verontilityslain sekä Verohallinnosta annetun lain 30 ja 31 §:n muuttamisesta

Lisätty 14.1.2015

ESITYKSEN PÄÄASIALLINEN SISÄLTÖ

Esityksessä ehdotetaan muutettavaksi tuloverolakia siten, että yhteisön ja yhteisetuuden tulosta ei suoritettaisi verovuodesta 2016 lähtien veroa enää seurakunnalle, vaan ainoastaan valtiolle ja kunnalle. Verontilityslakia ehdotetaan muutettavaksi siten, että evankelis-luterilaiset ja ortodoksiset seurakunnat eivät saisi osuutta yhteisöveron tuotosta verovuodesta 2016 lähtien, mikä lisäisi valtion osuutta yhteisöveron tuotosta. Lisäksi Verohallinnosta annetusta laista kumottaisiin viittaukset seurakuntien osuuteen yhteisöveron tuotosta sekä seurakuntien asemaan yhteisöveron saajana.

Esitys liittyy ehdotettuun uuteen lakiin valtion rahoituksesta evankelis-luterilaiselle kirkolle eräisiin yhteiskunnallisiin tehtäviin.

Lait ovat tarkoitetut tulemaan voimaan 1 päivänä tammikuuta 2016, ja niitä sovellettaisiin ensimmäisen kerran vuodelta 2016 toimitettavassa verotuksessa.

Lue koko esitys napauttamalla tästä.

Loukkaavatko lumiukot islamia? – "joku haluaa aina viedä kaiken ilon"

Lisätty 14.1.2015

Saudi-Arabiassa käydään kiivasta väittelyä lumiukoista.

Saudi-Arabian pohjoisosat peittyivät viikonloppuna harvinaiseen lumivaippaan. Monet paikalliset intoutuivatkin rakentamaan lumesta muun muassa lumiukkoja ja lumikameleita.

Lumirakennelmat eivät ole kuitenkaan kaikkien mieleen.

Saudiarabialaisen uskonoppineen Mohammad Saleh Al Minjedin antaman fatwan mukaan ihmis- tai eläinhahmojen rakentaminen lumesta loukkaa islamia.

Al Minjed totesi, ettei mistään elävästä olennosta saa valmistaa lumiveistosta. Hänen mukaansa islam sallii vain elottomien asioiden, kuten laivojen, hedelmien tai rakennusten kuvaamisen.

Gulf Newsin mukaan Al Minjedin lausuntoa on jaettu ahkerasti sosiaalisessa mediassa. Sen kerrotaan johtaneen paikoin kiivaisiinkin väittelyihin.

Monien Al Minjedin puolelle asettuneiden mukaan lumiukkojen rakentaminen on länsimaisen kulttuurin imitointia.

"Sillä ei ole mitään arvoa meidän perinteessämme ja niiden, joita länsi kiehtoo, tulisi omaksua heidän keksintöjään ja tiedettään eikä heidän kulttuuriaan", eräs bloggaaja kirjoitti.

Toinen bloggaaja piti puolestaan Al Minjedin fatwaa järjettömänä.

"Meillä on lunta vain joidenkin päivien tai ehkä jopa tuntien ajan. Joku haluaa aina viedä kaiken ilon. Ainoa asia, joka meillä taitaa olla jäljellä, on istuskelu ja kahvin juominen."

Kataja poistaisi uskonrauhan rikkomisen laista – Kalli valmis harkitsemaan

Charlie Hebdo -lehden julkaisu Suomessa olisi vaikeaa, sillä ääriuskonnollisuutta arvostelevien pilakuvien julkaisu voisi johtaa syytteeseen uskonrauhan rikkomisesta

Lisätty 13.1.2015

Kansanedustaja Sampsa Kataja (kok.) on sitä mieltä, että uskonrauhan rikkominen on poistettava lainsäädännöstä. Keskustan Timo Kalli on myös valmis harkitsemaan asiaa. Uskonrauhan rikkominen on noussut esille, kun on käynyt ilmi, että terroriteon kohteeksi joutuneen ranskalaislehti Charlie Hebdon julkaiseminen Suomessa voisi olla ongelmallista, koska lehden uskonnollista fundamentalismia räväkällä satiirilla kommentoivat kuvat voitaisiin tulkita uskonrauhan rikkomiseksi.

Kansanedustaja Sampsa Kataja (kok.) olisi valmis poistamaan uskonrauhan rikkomista koskevan lainsäädännön.

Terrorihyökkäyksen kohteeksi joutuneen ranskalaisen Charlie Hebdo -lehden julkaisu Suomessa olisi vaikeaa, sillä ääriuskonnollisuutta arvostelevien pilakuvien julkaisu voisi johtaa syytteeseen uskonrauhan rikkomisesta.

Katajan mielestä Suomen on syytä pohtia lainsäädännön muuttamista, sillä sananvapauden käyttöä ei pitäisi suitsia. Hänen mielestään sananvapauden vaaliminen on erittäin tärkeä osa esimerkiksi ääri-islamismin ja muiden ääri-ilmiöiden vastustamista.

Uskonnot ja muut vakaumukset eriarvoisessa asemassa

Charlie Hebdo -lehden julkaisu Suomessa olisi vaikeaa, sillä ääriuskonnollisuutta arvostelevien pilakuvien julkaisu voisi johtaa syytteeseen uskonrauhan rikkomisestaKatajan mielestä ongelma on, että uskonrauhan rikkomista koskeva lainsäädäntö asettaa uskonnot erilaiseen asemaan kuin esimerkiksi uskonnottomat. Katajan mielestä lainsäädännössä on otettava huomioon erilaiset arvot.

– Kaikenlainen kritiikki ja arvostelu on sallittava. Se ei saa loukata yltiöpäisesti muita ja totuudessa on pysyttävä. Mutta uskontoon kohdistuvaa kritiikkiä on tarkasteltava muun lainsäädännön puitteissa. Meidän on pysyttävä mukana maailman muutoksessa, Kataja sanoo.

Oikeusministeri Henrikssonin mielestä lakia uskonrauhasta ei tarvitse muuttaa

Lisätty 12.1.2014

Vihreiden puheenjohtaja Ville Niinistö on ehdottanut jumalanpilkkapykälän poistamista lainsäädännöstä.
Kotimaa

Oikeusministeri Anna-Maja Henriksson pitää nykyistä lainsäädäntöä uskonrauhasta tarpeellisena. Hänen mukaansa niin sanottua jumalanpilkkapykälää rikoslaissa ei ole tarpeen poistaa.

Toivottavasti tällaista ihmisoikeuksia vastustavaa ministeriä ei enää nähdä seuraavassa hallituksessa. Miksi hallituksessa yleensäkään pitää olla aina RKP. Eihän Ruotsin hallituksessakaan ole SKP.

evolution-muslim

SUOMEN HUMANISTILIITTO HAKEE VALTION YLEISAVUSTUSTA (9.1.2015)

Lisätty 12.1.2015

http://www.ateistit.fi/uutiset/uuti150109.html

Mistä islam tunnetaan

Lisätty 12.1.2015

Puu ja hedelmät

33 "Jos puu on hyvä, sen hedelmäkin on hyvä, mutta jos puu on huono, sen hedelmäkin on huono. Hedelmästään puu tunnetaan. 34 Te käärmeen sikiöt, kuinka teidän puheenne voisi olla hyvää, kun itse olette pahoja! Mitä sydän on täynnä, sitä suu puhuu. 35 Hyvä ihminen tuo hyvyytensä varastosta esiin hyvää, paha ihminen pahuutensa varastosta pahaa."

http://www.evl.fi/raamattu/1992/Matt.12.html

Silmien sulkeminen ilmiöltä

Lisätty 12.1.2015

Lue Jussi-Halla-ahon blogi islamista napauttamalla tästä.

Saippuaoopperan tekijät nörttisarjan tuottajina

Erkki Hartikainen 11.1.2015

Joku oli nauhoittanut minulle pätkän nörttisarjaa. Sen olivat mitä ilmeisimmin tehneet tavalliset saippuaopperoiden käsikirjoittajat.

Eivät nörtit ole mitään autisteja. Nörtit ovat ihan tavallisia retaleita, ja valitettavasti olen tuntenut heitä suurin joukoin siirtä lähtien, kun Helsingin yliopisto sai ensimmäisen tietokoneensa.

Nörtit ovat siis aivan tavallisia ihmisiä kaikkine ihmillisen pahuuden ilmentymineen.

Jos nörtit olisivat edes autisteja, maailma olisi paljon nykyistä parempi, ja minäkin voisin tehdä tätä työtä kunnollisilla voimavaroilla.

Voidaan pikemminkin sanoa, että nörtit ovat kaavamaisuudessan ja ennakkoluuloissaan pahin este maailman järjelliselle hallinnoinnille.

Grönlanninvalas voi elää yli 200 - vuotiaaksi

Lisätty 11.1.2015

Oheisessa englanninkielisessä artikkelissa kerrotaan, että Grönlanninvalas voi elää yli kaksisataavuotiaaksi edes vanhenematta.

Asiasta kertoi myös YLE:n Avara luonto 17.11.2014 .

Ranskan terrori-isku lisännyt vaateita jumalanpilkkapykälän poistosta Suomessa

Lisätty 11.1.2015, YLE

Uskonrauhan rikkomisesta voi tuomita Suomessa sakkoihin tai vankeuteen enintään kuudeksi kuukaudeksi. Harvoin käytetty pykälä nousi viimeksi esille vuonna 2009, kun perussuomalaisten Jussi Halla-aho tuomittiin sakkorangaistukseen blogikirjoituksestaan.

Ranskalaiseen satiirilehtii Charlie Hebdoon keskiviikkona tehty terrori-isku on kasvattanut vaatimuksia uskonrauhan rikkomisen poistosta Suomen rikoslaista.

Ajatusta kannattivat Suomen Julkisen sanan neuvoston puheenjohtaja Risto Uimonen ja Suomen Penin puheenjohtaja, kirjailija Sirpa Kähkönen Ylen Radio 1:n Ykkösaamussa.

– Toivoisin, että myös Suomen laista poistettaisiin jumalanpilkkapykälä. Se on kyllä vanhentunut, ei kuulu enää nykyiseen lakikäsitykseen, sanoi Kähkönen.

– Näin on. Minulle se kyllä sopisi, totesi Uimonen.

Ortodoksinen kirkko näyttää mahtiaan

Uusi venäläislaki: Transsukupuoliset eivät saa ajokorttia

Lisätty 10.1.2014, YLE

Laki listaa lukuisia psyykkisiä ja fyysisiä häiriöitä, jotka ovat vastedes este ajokortin saamiselle, kertovat BBC ja Buzzfeed. Esteiksi mainitaan muun muassa aikuisiän persoonallisuus- ja käytöshäiriöt, joihin lasketaan esimerkiksi transsukupuolisuus ja transvestisuus.

Venäjällä säädetyn uuden lain mukaan esimerkiksi transsukupuoliset ja transvestiitit eivät enää voi saada ajokorttia, kirjoittavat BBC ja Buzzfeed.

medvedev

Pääministeri Dmitri Medvedevin allekirjoittamassa, 29. joulukuuta päivätyssä asiakirjassa luetellaan Buzzfeedin mukaan useita psyykkisiä häiriöitä ja fyysisiä vammoja, jotka estävät vastedes ajokortin saamisen. Esteiksi on mainittu muun muassa kansainvälisen tautiluokituksen mukaiset "aikuisiän persoonallisuus- ja käytöshäiriöt".

Tähän luokkaan lasketaan Maailman terveysjärjestö WHO:n mukaan esimerkiksi transsukupuolisuus, transvestisuus sekä lukuisia muita käyttäytymismuotoja.

Venäjän psykiatrien ja ihmisoikeusasianajajien liitot ovat BBC:n mukaan tuominneet lain.

Homous on kristinuskon lähtökohta

Lisätty 10.1.2015

Kristinoppin perustaja, profeetta Jeesus oli homo. Neitseestä, ilman yhdyntää syntynyt, lapseton ja poikien, opetuslasten ympäröimä.

Naiset kelpasivat jalkojen pesuun.

Kristilliset näin ollen hyväksynevät homouden, uskonsa lähtökohdan perustan sukupuolisen suuntauksen.

Islamilaiset militantit tehneet verilöylyn Nigeriassa

Lisätty 9.1.2015, YLE

Islamilaiset joukot ovat ottaneet valtaansa 16 kylää ja kaupunkia, ja polttaneet ne, kertovat paikalliset viranomaiset. Kaupunkien kaduilla kerrotaan olevan joukoittain kuolleita.

Ulkomaat

Islamilaisen äärijärjestö Boko Haramin joukot ovat tuhonneet Koillis-Nigeriassa viime päivien aikana 16 kylää ja kaupunkia, kertovat paikalliset viranomaiset. Tiedot tapahtumista ovat hajanaiset, mutta Boko Haramin uskotaan surmanneen joukoittain ihmisiä.

Kylät ja kaupungit on poltettu maan tasalle, kertoo Bornon osavaltion paikallisviranomainen uutistoimisto AFP:lle. Yksin Bakan kaupungissa olisi surmattu ainakin sata ihmistä, kertoo uutistoimisto Reuters.

BBC:n haastattelema virkamies sanoo, että kuolonuhreja voi olla jopa 2 000. Uhreja lojuu kaduilla joka puolella, virkamies kertoo.

Bornon osavaltio on kärsinyt eniten islamistiterroristien hyökkäyksistä. Osavaltioon julistettiin hätätila jo vuonna 2013.

Nigerian hallituksen joukot pakenivat Bakasta lauantaina ja jättivät tukikohtansa islamisteille.

Boko Haram pyrkii luomaan hallitsemalleen alueelle islamilaisen hallinnon. Brittiläisen Independent-lehden mukaan järjestö on hiljattain julkaissut Youtube-videon, jossa se uhkaa laajentaa toimintaansa naapurimaahan Kameruniin. Lehden mukaan Kamerunissa onkin jo ollut väkivaltaisia yhteenottoja.

Onko satunnaisuutta oikeasti olemassa

Erkki Hartikainen 9.1.2015

Ei ole. Satunnaisuus on inhimillinen käsite tapahtumien luokittelussa.

Satunnaisuus voidaan ristiriidattomasti määritellä todennäköisyyslaskennassa, mutta määritelmistä ei voida päätellä sitä, esiintyykö todellisuudessa satunnaisuutta.

Satunnaisuuden käsitettä käytetään tilastotieteessä, mutta tilastotieteen satunnaisuuskäsite on karkeistus. Karkeistukset eivät ole todellisuutta vaan inhimillisiä käsityksiä todellisuudesta.

Ei tunneta mitään matemaattista keinoa tuottaa täysin satunnaisia lukuja. Matematiikalla voidaan kyllä tuottaa satunnaislukuja muistuttavia lukuja, mutta ei tunneta yhtään algoritmia, jonka voitaisiin osoittaa tuottavan satunnaisia lukuja. Voitanee osoittaa, että sellainen algoritmi on mahdoton.

Satunnaislukuja ei voida tuottaa liioin kokeellisilla tieteillä, sillä on mahdoton sitovasti osoittaa, että jokin olisi ehdottoman satunnaista.

Matematiikan ja tilastotieteen satunnaisuuskäsitettä ei pidä sotkea inhimilliseen puheeseen tavanomaisesta satunnaisuudesta, joka on karkeistettua puhetta ihmisen havaintomaailmasta.

Ateistien on tärkeää muistaa, että meidän jokaisen elämän tapahtumat ovat äärimmäisen epätodennäköinen tapahtumasarja. Sen nimittäminen mahdottomiksi olisi kuitenkin virheellistä puhetta.

Mitä tulee fysiikkaan, se ei todista mitään todellisuuden satunnaisuudesta, koska fysiikka on vain eräs inhimillinen käsiterakennelma inhimillisine havaintokeinoineen ja rajoituksineen (joista pahin on ihmisen havaintojen riippuvuus säkömagneettisesta säteilystä).

Kotimaa24.fi muuttui maksulliseksi

Erkki Hartikainen 8.1.2014

Korkeakirkollisen Kotimaa -lehden sivusto muuttui eilen maksulliseksi. Kaksi kuukautta luvattiin ilmaiseksi, mutta en ota riskiä siitä, että minulta yritetään periä maksua. Sivusto poistuu tänään kirjainmerkeistäni.

Jumalaton ei muutu maksulliseksi.

Jumalaton toivoo, että Suomen kirkollisasioita lukevat ateistit lähettävät pikku-uutisia lehteemme.

Lapsipsykologian professori Woolley: joulupukkiuskomuksesta irtipääsy on hyödyllinen prosessi lapselle

Suomen Ateistiyhdistys: Jumaluskosta irtipääsy on hyödyllistä lapselle

Lisätty 7.1.2014

Jumaluskosta irtipääseminen tukisi lapsen kognitiivista ja emotionaalista kehitystä. Todistamattoman (oikeastaan mahdottoman) olemassaoloon uskomisesta poisoppiminen harjoittaa lapsen vaihtoehtoista ajattelutaitoa.

Se, että miettii miten jumala muka voisi olla sekä hyvä että samalla kaikkivaltias (eli tässä maailmassa jotakin mahdotonta), voi olla samanlaista ajattelua jota tarvitaan, kun yritetään keksiä ratkaisua ilmaston lämpenemiseen tai tapaan parantaa sairauksia.

Mahdottoman ja mahdollisen rajan kyseenalaistaminen on usein kaikkien tieteellisten keksintöjen alku ja juuri, olipa kyse sitten lentokoneista tai internetistä.

>Lapsen kuvitelma satuhahmon (jumalan tai joulupukin) olemassaolosta, kehittää myös kykyä kerätä ja hyödyntää erilaisia todisteita lapsen päätellessä, mikä on totta ja mikä ei.  Uskon loppumisesta hyöty on suuri.

Esimerkiksi, professori Jacqueline Woolley Texasin yliopistosta arvioi että hyvin suuri hyöty lapsen kehitykselle voi tulla siitä, että lapsi oivaltaa, ettei joulupukki ole oikea fyysinen henkilö. Woolley ei näytä uskaltaneen puhua irrationaalista jumaluskosta kuitenkaan mitään.

Uskonnon uskomuksia koskevan epäilyn herääminen on yleensä asteittainen ja tapahtuu pitemmällä aikavälillä. Jotkut lapset voivat jopa kerätä todisteita todistaakseen epäilynsä oikeaksi. Aikuinenkin voi tällöin auttaa hölläämällä hieman peitetarinoita. Lopuksi lapsi voimaantuu siitä, että on saanut salaisuuden selville itse. Hoksaamalla asian oikean laidan hän pääsee osalliseksi aikuisten maailmasta - nyt hänelläkin on salaisuus. Uusi salaisuus on: Mielikuvitusolentoa ei olekaan olemassa.

Lapsen ei pitäisi sitten joutua pettämään muita ihmisiä:  on kyseenalaista, onko hyvä asia se mitä monet papit jne tekevät eli esittävät roolia, jossa suojelevat jumalan olemattomuuden salaisuuden paljastumista niiltä, jotka vielä uskovat jumalaan (tai joulupukkiin).

Psykologian professori Woolley Texasin yliopistosta käsitteli julkisuudessa (kirjoitus Huffington Postissa) tätä samaa ilmiötä esittämällä näitä näkökulmia kohdistuen lasten joulupukkiuskoon.

"Mahdottomaan uskominen voi harjoittaa lapsen vaihtoehtoista ajattelutaitoa. Se, että miettii miten joulupukki voi yhdessä vuorokaudessa kiertää kaikkien maailman lasten luona voi olla samanlaista ajattelua jota tarvitaan, kun yritetään keksiä ratkaisua...",

"Mahdottoman ja mahdollisen rajan kyseenalaistaminen on Woolleyn mukaan kaikkien tieteellisten keksintöjen alku ja juuri".

Eräs myyty kirkko Suomessa

Lisätty 7.1.2015

Helsingin Sanomat unohti, että myös Vaaralan kirkko myytiin vähän aikaa sitten.  Ehkä sitä ei haluttu mainita, pilaahan kirkko koko kulmakunnan ulkonäön.  Parempi olisi ollut, jos kirkko olisi purettu. 

Kirkko harmittaa vaaralalaisia, mutta myös Hakunilaan ja Kuninkaanmäkeen matkustavat joutuvat katselemaan sitä bussin ikkunoista.  Yleensä he kuitenkin kääntävät päänsä pois päin, kun rakennus ohitetaan.

Kirkkoa kutsutaan nyt Vaaralan kappeliksi.  Aika hiljaista siellä on.  Viime aikoina siellä on ollut silloin tällöin joku venäjänkielisten ihmisten tilaisuus, mutta en tiedä onko kyse uskonnosta vai ihan jostakin muusta. 

Kappelin edessä on ständi, jossa on tekstiä ainoastaan venäjäksi.  Kirkkona rakennus oli homeiden ja sienten valtaama.  Toivon, etteivät venäjänkieliset käyttäjät sairastu. 

Hyvin huonoja uutisia ateisteille

Planet atheism lopettaa

Lisätty 6.1.2014

Jumalaton jatkaa, mutta jotkut linkit eivät ehkä toimi vanhoissa kirjoituksissa.

Kirkoista baareja, kauppoja ja skeittihalleja – sadat kirkot odottavat ostajaa maallistuvassa Euroopassa

Lisätty 5.1.2015
Juhani Saarinen, Helsingin Sanomat

Euroopassa satoja kirkkorakennuksia odottaa myynti ja käyttötarkoituksen muutos, kertoo sanomalehti Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Kristityt käyvät jumalanpalveluksissa yhä harvemmin. Esimerkiksi Irlannissa, Saksassa, Ranskassa ja Britanniassa kirkossa säännöllisesti käyvien kristittyjen osuus on tällä vuosisadalla WSJ:n mukaan vähentynyt tasaisesti.

Muutos johtaa kirkkojen hylkäämiseen. Saksassa katolinen kirkko on sulkenut noin 515 kirkkorakennusta vuosikymmenessä, ja Englannissa kirkkoja suljetaan noin 20 joka vuosi.

Erityisen nopeaa muutos on Hollannissa. Maan katolinen kirkko uskoo, että jopa kaksi kolmasosaa sen 1 600 kirkosta suljetaan tulevan vuosikymmenen aikana. Neljän seuraavan vuoden aikana protestanttien kirkoista 700 panee ovensa pysyvästi kiinni.

Osa kirkoista on jäänyt tyhjilleen, ja osan käyttötarkoitusta on muutettu. Hollannissa kirkosta on WSJ:n mukaan tullut muun muassa ruokakauppa, kirjakauppa, kuntosali ja skeittihalli.

Eräästä skottikirkosta on tullut Frankenstein-teemainen baari. Englannissa Bristolissa eräs kirkko on muuttunut sirkuskouluksi – korkea sali sopii hyvin ilmavien temppujen harjoitteluun.

Suomessa kirkkojen myynti on harvinaista, mutta viime vuosina ainakin kaksi kirkkoa on vaihtanut omistajaa.

Vuohijärven kirkko Kouvolassa on muuttumassa kirkosta kulttuuritaloksi. Savonlinna-Säämingin seurakunta myi Savonlinnassa sijaitsevan kirkon ortodoksiselle kirkolle vuonna 2012 talousvaikeuksien vuoksi.

Islamia vastustava liike laajenee nopeasti Saksassa

Lisätty 5.1.2015

Pegida-järjestö on järjestänyt Itä-Saksan Dresdenissä lukuisia mielenosoituksia muslimeja vastaan.

Saksan poliittisessa liikehdinnässä alkoi tapahtua viime syksynä, kun Itä-Saksassa perustettiin Pegida-järjestö. Kansalaisliikkeen nimi kertoo Merkelin huolesta kaiken. Suomeksi se on "Patrioottiset eurooppalaiset länsimaiden islamisaatiota vastaan".

Pegidan nousu on ollut nopeaa. Liikkeen perusti Dresdenissä lokakuussa 12-jäseninen ryhmä.

Järjestön mielenosoituksessa oli joulukuun alussa marssijoita 7 500 ja viikkoa myöhemmin 17 500.

Järjestöllä on Facebookissa jo yli 100 000 seuraajaa

Peruskoulun uusin (2016) elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelma alkaa luomisopilla

Erkki Hartikainen 4.1.2014

Sieltä löytyy seuraava lause:

Perehdytään kertomuksiin maailman synnystä.


Huomaa, ettei opetussuunnitelma sisällä ollenkaan taietoa siitä, miten maailma on nykyisen tähtitieteen käsityksen mukaan syntynyt.

Tässä lehdessä palataan tähän surkeaa opstussuunnitelmaan vielä monta kertaa ennen sen voimaan tuloa.

Näihin sivustoihin kuuluvat elämänkatsomustiedon oppikirjat päivitetään niin, että niistä löytyvät kaikki opetussuunnitelman asiat. Luomiskertomuksia lukuunottamatta ne löytyvät sieltä jo nyt. Kaikki aineisto kuitenkin ajantasaistetaan kevään aikana.

Mitä tulee luomiskertomuksiin, aineostoissa esitetään ensin, miten maailma on oikeasti syntynyt ja sitten ihmetellään sitä, miten vieläkin jotkut amerikkalaiset pitävät maailmaa noin kuusituhatta vuotta vanhana.

Pääset lukemaan opetussuunnitelmaa pdf - muodossa napauttamalla tästä.

Word- ja Libre Office - muodossa löydät sen napauttamalla tästä.

Html muodossa opetussuunnitelman löydät napauttamalla tästä.

Egypti ajaa homoseksuaaleja ahtaalle – homoja "tunnistetaan" kiistellyillä testeillä

Lisätty 4.1.2015

Anna-Sofia Nieminen, Helsingin Sanomat / AFP

Egyptiläinen tuomioistuin tuomitsi marraskuussa kahdeksan miestä vankeuteen homohäävideolla esiintymisen takia.

Egyptissä homoseksuaalit ovat pelänneet poliisin puuttuvan heidän elämäänsä yhä tiukemmin sen jälkeen, kun poliisi hyökkäsi Kairossa kylpylään ja raahasi ulos ryhmän lähes alastomia miehiä joulukuun alussa.

Uutistoimisto AFP:n mukaan 26 miestä on pidätettynä väitetystä irstailusta julkisessa kylpylässä. Kairon tuomioistuin pitää tapauksen toisen käsittelyn sunnuntaina.

Poliisi hyökkäsi kylpylään sen jälkeen, kun tv-juontaja Mona al-Iraqi vihjasi poliisille, että kylpylästä on tullut "miesten välisen seksikaupan pesä". Joitakin päiviä myöhemmin al-Iraqi näytti videokuvaa poliisin hyökkäyksestä The Hidden -nimisessä tv-ohjelmassa.

Poikaystävänsä kanssa Kairossa asuva mies pelkää poliisin iskuja Egyptin homoseksuaaleja vastaan.

"Pelko ja ahdistus on jatkuvaa. En ole koskaan tuntenut mitään tällaista. Nyt olen peloissani omassa kodissani",
Hassan Sherifinä esittäytynyt mies sanoi uutistoimisto AFP:lle. Hän ei kertonut oikeaa nimeään rangaistuksen pelossa.

Aktivistien mukaan poliisi on tehostanut toimiaan homoseksuaaleja vastaan Abdel Fattah al-Sisin tultua presidentiksi kesällä 2014.

Marraskuussa egyptiläinen tuomioistuin tuomitsi kahdeksan miestä vankeuteen homohäävideolla esiintymisen takia. Videolle kuvattuja juhlia on väitetty maan ensimmäisiksi homohäiksi, ja video levisi laajasti internetissä.

Miesten välinen avioliitto ei ole Egyptissä laillinen, mutta videolla joukko miehiä juhlii miesparin häitä jokiristeilyllä Niilillä. Miespari suutelee, vaihtaa sormuksia ja leikkaa kakkua.

Homoseksuaalisuutta ei ole yksiselitteisesti kielletty Egyptin lainsäädännössä, mutta siitä voidaan rangaista monien muiden moraalisäännösten nojalla. Syytteet ovat vaihdelleet uskonnon halventamisesta Islamin vastaiseen seksuaalisuuden harjoittamiseen.

Viranomaiset ovat myös säännöllisesti teettäneet kiisteltyjä lääketieteellisiä testejä, joilla viranomaisten mukaan tunnistetaan homoseksuaalit.

Egyptissä on pidätetty yli 150 homoseksuaalia väitetystä irstailusta ja prostituutiosta marraskuun 2013 jälkeen.

"Meneillään on systemaattinen tehoisku homoseksuaalien turvallisuutta kohtaan",
sanoo tutkija Dalia Abdel Hameed egyptiläisestä Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights -ihmisoikeusjärjestöstä.

Hänen mukaansa se voi olla valtion yritys osoittaa islamilaisuutta, tai se voi olla viesti poliisin voimien paluusta.

Hassan Sherifin mielestä homoseksuaalit ovat valtion nyrkkeilysäkki.

"Valtio yrittää näyttää, että se on islamin vartija",

Sherif sanoi uutistoimisto AFP:lle.

Pew-tutkimuslaitoksen mukaan vain kolme prosenttia egyptiläisistä hyväksyy homoseksuaalisuuden.

Pohjattoman ahneet ja moraalittomat

Erkki Hartikainen 4.1.2015

Olen äskettäin lukenut Väinö Tannerin muistelmat vuosilta 1900-1914. Jos eläisimme järjellisessä yhteiskunnassa, tämä kirja olisi pääsyvaatimuksena valtiotieteellisiin tiedekuntiin.

Kirjassa kuvataan tarkasti ja hyvin asiantuntevasti sitä, miten rikkaat ja vaikutusvaltaiset kohtelivat ihmisiä Suomessa sata vuotta sitten.

Nyt olisi uuden herätyksen aika. Yhteiskunnan menoja paheksuvien ja ennen kaikkea haitallisen presidentin olisi syytä kuulla Sulo Vuolijoen ohje Suomen ensimmäisten eduskuntavaalien edellä: Otetaan rikkaiden pussista.

Monopolikapitalistisen imperialismin ostama palvelunestohyökkäys ainoaa osuustoiminnallista pannkiryhmää osuuspankkeja on ymmärrettävä.  

Sen sijaan Nordean palvelujen takkuilu johtuu johtoon nostetun Björn Wahlroosin pohjattomasta ahneudesta ja moraaliittomuudesta. Nordean asiakkaita rahastetaan raa'asti, ja palvelut toimivat huonosti.

Ruotsalaispappi vankilaan lapsen raiskauksesta

Lisätty 3.1.2015

Uppsalalainen pastori on tuomittu teini-ikäisen rippikoululaisen raiskaamisesta. Pastori kajosi rippikoululaiseen useaan otteeseen keväällä 2014.

Uhri oli 14-vuotias lapsi, joka oli ollut noin 30-vuotiaan nuorisopastorin omassa rippikouluryhmässä, kertoo Upsala Nya Tidning -lehti.

Pastori tuomittiin 2,5 vuoden ehdottomaan vankeuteen. Hän raiskasi uhrinsa useaan otteeseen keväällä 2014.

- Ei ole väliä, onko rikos luokiteltu seksuaaliseksi ahdisteluksi vai raiskaukseksi, se on joka tapauksessa täysin hyväksymätöntä pastorilta. Meillä on nollatoleranssi seksuaaliseen hyväksikäyttöön, sanoo Uppsalan hiippakunnan piispa Ragnar Persenius.

Tuomitun pastorin tulee maksaa uhrilleen 110.000 kruunua, eli noin 11 600 euroa. Pastorin asianajajan mukaan on todennäköistä, että tämä tulee valittamaan tuomiosta.

TIIA-MARIA TAPONEN
tiia-maria.taponen@ilmedia.fi

Kirkostaeroamistilastot

Lisätty 3.1.2015

http://eroakirkosta.fi/static/ek-tilastot/

RAY EHDOTTAA TAAS: VAPAA-AJATTELIJAIN LIITON PROJEKTILLE EI AVUSTUSTA (31.12.2014)

Lisätty 2.1.2015

http://www.ateistit.fi/uutiset/uuti141231c.html

VAPAA-AJATTELIJAIN LIITTO HAKEE KULTTUURILEHTITUKEA (31.12.2014)

Lisätty 2.1.2015

http://www.ateistit.fi/uutiset/uuti141231a.html

SUOMEN HUMANISTILIITTO HAKEE KULTTUURILEHTITUKEA (31.12.2014)

Lisätty 2.1.2015

http://www.ateistit.fi/uutiset/uuti141231b.html

Jumalolennon väitetty olemassaolo on järjettömyys eikä selitä maailmaa

Lisätty 1.1.2015

Ajatus jumalolennon olemassaolosta tuntuu niin järjettömältä, että koko kysymyksen voi ohittaa saman tien

Mitään järjellistä maailmanselitystä ei tarjoa usko jumalan olemassaoloon.

Näillä todellisuudentajuisilla ajatuksilla on hyvä lähteä uuteen vuoteen.

Kun tietokoneita mitattiin näppäimistön ulkoasulla

Erkki Hartikainen 1.1.2015

Usko tai älä, mutta näin tehtiin vielä alle neljännesvuosisata sitten.

Kirjoitan silloisten arvioiden mukaan hyvällä Keytronicin vaaleanharmalla näppäimistöllä. Tämä näppäimistö vastaa sen ajan konekirjoittajien käyttämää näppäimistöä sormille sopivasti muotoiltuine ja täsmällisesti toimivine näppäimineen.

Toivottavasti tämä näppäimistö toimii vielä vuosikymmeniä, sillä yhtä hyviä näppäimistöjä ei ole valmistettu enää vuosikýmmeniin.

Tietysti silloisen arviot tehtiin virheellisillä perusteilla kuten ne tehdään myös nykyään. Silloin alkeellisia ja yhteensopimattomia mikrotietokoneita valmistanut Nokia oli lahjonut julkishallinnon.

Sen jälkeen ilmaantuivat suuremmat lahjojat IBM, Intel ja Microsoft. Näistä IBM on vetäytynyt, ja viime vuosina on ilmaantunut tilalle iso joukko uusia monopoleja, jotka me kaikki tunnemme.

Elämme monpolikapitalistisen imperialismin aikaa. Valitettavasti poliisimonipoli on Yhdysvalloilla, joka näköjään on alkanut enenevässä määrin käyttää sotilaallista voimaa kauppasodissa.

Jos löydät näitä vanhoja näppäimistöjä, älä heitä niitä pois, jos ne toimivat. USB - liitännän ja PS2-liitännnän liitoskappaleita löytyy vielä, ja pane myös ne talteen, jos niitä on liikaa.

fractal

Laskuharjoitin lapsille Löytyy osoitteesta

Laskuharjoitin

Gravitation

This is a link. Updated 5/7/2013.

Ateismin määritelmä

George H. Smithin ontologinen ateismin määritelmä:

Ateismi on väite: jumalaa tai jumalia ei ole olemassa

Tässä määritelmässä on määritelty olemassaoloa koskeva eli ontologinen käsitys. Jumala joko on olemassa tai ei ole olemassa. Mitään olemassaolon ja olemattomuuden välimuotoa ei ole.

Teismi on väite: jumala tai jumalia on olemassa

Deismi (jumala on olemassa, mutta ei puutu maailmanmenoon) ja panteismi (jumala on sama kuin maailmankaikkeus) ovat tämän mukaan teismiä

Inhimillinen tieto siitä, mitä on olemassa, on vajavaista. Joku saattaa pitää varmana, että jumalaa tai jumalia ei ole olemassa. Joku toinen saattaa pitää varmana, että jumala tai jumalia on olemassa. Joku kolmas voi olla epävarma siitä, onko jumalaa tai jumalia olemassa vai ei.

Ateistin määrittelemä

Ateisti on henkilö, jonka mielestä ateismi on tosi.

Agnostikon eli jumalaongelmaisen määritelmä

Agnostikko eli jumalaongelmainen on henkilö, joka ei mielestään tiedä, onko ateismi tosi vai onko teismi tosi.

Uskonnon määritelmä

Uskonto on järjestäytynyttä teismiä.

Ne käsitykset joissa ei ole jumalia, eivät ole tämän määritelmän mukaan uskontoja.

Raamatun ristiriidat

Lukeaksesi napauta tästä

Godless Culture Magazine

January 2015

Contents

Julkaisija Suomen ateistiyhdistys ry
Sähköposti: info@ateismi.fi
Publisher: Atheist Association of Finland
E-mail: info@ateismi.fi


Last uppdate 01/31/2015.
Tämä on viimeksi päivitetty 31.1.2015.

Member of

http://www.atheistalliance.org/secular-world/current-issue

Editor of the net magazine: Erkki Hartikainen
Verkkojulkaisun vastaava toimittaja Erkki Hartikainen

Sisällysluettelo
  1. Jumalaton kulttuurilehti
  2. Tammikuu 2015
  3. Suomen ainoa kulttuurilehti
  4. Sisällysluettelo
  5. Loogista empirismiä ei koskaan kumottukaan
    1. Suomalaiset folosofit käänsivät takkia itsekkäistä syistä
  6. Viron uusi arkkipiispa Viilma: ”Kirkko on riskibisnes”
    1. Perhetyöstä tuli ilmiö
    2. Papin palkka puolet opettajan palkasta
  7. Seksuaali- ja sukupuolivähemmistöt jäävät koulussa näkymättömiksi
  8. VAPAA-AJATTELIJAIN LIITON VALTIONAPUA LEIKATTIIN (27.1.2015)
  9. Filosofia on kaikkein pahimmin rahastava "tiede"
  10. Ruotsissa on enemmän ateisteja kuin uskovaisia
  11. Professori: Teologiaa ei pitäisi opettaa veronmaksajien rahoilla  
  12. Ateistinen Harry Potter Kreikan johtoon
  13. Keitä ISIS-muslimit aikovat tappaa
  14. Internetistä
    1. Hautausmaamonopolia vastaan
  15. Kirjoitan sittenkin englannin kielisen kirjan loogisesta empirismistä
  16. Venäjän ortodoksinen kirkko on syypää seksuaalivähemmistöjen vainoon
    1. Venäjän seksuaalipolitiikan kiristyminen näkyy myös vastaanottokeskuksessa
  17. Boko Haram kertoo kaupungin hävittämisen syyksi Koraanin sanan
  18. Looginen empirismi ja englannin kieli
  19. Presidentti Sauli Niinistö jumaluusoppineena
  20. Markkinoille on tullut uusi masennuslääke
  21. Oletko huomannut kunnallisen päiväkodin kasvattavan kaikkia lapsia kristityiksi?
    1. Kantelupukki neuvoo oikaisemaan laittomuudet
  22. Helsingin Sanomissa taas huuhaata
  23. Onko liikkuva krematorio mahdollinen
  24. Suomalaiset filosofit yllättivät
  25. VAPAA-AJATTELIJAIN KUSTANNUSYHTIÖLLÄ TAAS KAKSI YHTIÖKOKOUSTA SAMANA PÄIVÄNÄ (15.1.2015)
  26. YHTEISÖVEROTILITYKSET SEURAKUNNILLE KASVOIVAT 10,3 PROSENTTIA (12.1.2015)
  27. Turkissa Charlie Hebdo, Twitter ja Facebook sensuurin kourissa
  28. Rikosoikeuden professori: Nykymaailmassa aika vähän sijaa säännökselle uskonrauhan rikkomisesta
  29. Hallituksen esitys eduskunnalle laiksi valtion rahoituksesta evankelis-luterilaiselle kirkolle eräisiin yhteiskunnallisiin tehtäviin
  30. Hallituksen esitys eduskunnalle laeiksi tuloverolain, verontilityslain sekä Verohallinnosta annetun lain 30 ja 31 §:n muuttamisesta
  31. Loukkaavatko lumiukot islamia? – "joku haluaa aina viedä kaiken ilon"
  32. Kataja poistaisi uskonrauhan rikkomisen laista – Kalli valmis harkitsemaan
    1. Charlie Hebdo -lehden julkaisu Suomessa olisi vaikeaa, sillä ääriuskonnollisuutta arvostelevien pilakuvien julkaisu voisi johtaa syytteeseen uskonrauhan rikkomisesta
    2. Uskonnot ja muut vakaumukset eriarvoisessa asemassa
  33. Oikeusministeri Henrikssonin mielestä lakia uskonrauhasta ei tarvitse muuttaa
  34. SUOMEN HUMANISTILIITTO HAKEE VALTION YLEISAVUSTUSTA (9.1.2015)
  35. Mistä islam tunnetaan
    1. Puu ja hedelmät
  36. Silmien sulkeminen ilmiöltä
  37. Saippuaoopperan tekijät nörttisarjan tuottajina
  38. Grönlanninvalas voi elää yli 200 - vuotiaaksi
  39. Ranskan terrori-isku lisännyt vaateita jumalanpilkkapykälän poistosta Suomessa
  40. Ortodoksinen kirkko näyttää mahtiaan
    1. Uusi venäläislaki: Transsukupuoliset eivät saa ajokorttia
  41. Homous on kristinuskon lähtökohta
  42. Islamilaiset militantit tehneet verilöylyn Nigeriassa
  43. Onko satunnaisuutta oikeasti olemassa
  44. Kotimaa24.fi muuttui maksulliseksi
  45. Lapsipsykologian professori Woolley: joulupukkiuskomuksesta irtipääsy on hyödyllinen prosessi lapselle
    1. Suomen Ateistiyhdistys: Jumaluskosta irtipääsy on hyödyllistä lapselle
  46. Eräs myyty kirkko Suomessa
  47. Hyvin huonoja uutisia ateisteille
    1. Planet atheism lopettaa
  48. Kirkoista baareja, kauppoja ja skeittihalleja – sadat kirkot odottavat ostajaa maallistuvassa Euroopassa
  49. Islamia vastustava liike laajenee nopeasti Saksassa
  50. Peruskoulun uusin (2016) elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelma alkaa luomisopilla
  51. Egypti ajaa homoseksuaaleja ahtaalle – homoja "tunnistetaan" kiistellyillä testeillä
  52. Pohjattoman ahneet ja moraalittomat
  53. Ruotsalaispappi vankilaan lapsen raiskauksesta
  54. Kirkostaeroamistilastot
  55. RAY EHDOTTAA TAAS: VAPAA-AJATTELIJAIN LIITON PROJEKTILLE EI AVUSTUSTA (31.12.2014)
  56. VAPAA-AJATTELIJAIN LIITTO HAKEE KULTTUURILEHTITUKEA (31.12.2014)
  57. SUOMEN HUMANISTILIITTO HAKEE KULTTUURILEHTITUKEA (31.12.2014)
  58. Jumalolennon väitetty olemassaolo on järjettömyys eikä selitä maailmaa
  59. Kun tietokoneita mitattiin näppäimistön ulkoasulla
  60. Laskuharjoitin lapsille Löytyy osoitteesta
  61. Gravitation
  62. Geometria
  63. Ateismin määritelmä
  64. Ateistin määrittelemä
  65. Agnostikon eli jumalaongelmaisen määritelmä
  66. Uskonnon määritelmä
  67. Raamatun ristiriidat
  68. Godless Culture Magazine
  69. January 2015
  70. Which European Leaders Are Atheists?
  71. Egypt’s War on Atheism
  72. Turkey invokes law to protect the ‘prophet’
  73. These are the Most Toxic Places on Earth
  74. Belief in god in Sweden
  75. Russian pollster shows 90% in Russia condemn attack on Charlie Hebdo
  76. Atheism in U.S. congress
  77. Culbert Olson: the California Governor Who Wasn’t Afraid to Admit He Was an Atheist
  78. Lunatics replace sea god with a cross
  79. Why the French Embrace “Freedom From Religion” and Distrust “Community” — And Why That’s a Problem
  80. Strange fossils from China don't seem to fit any known hominin species
    1. Could they be something new?
  81. Dead bodies in NATO uniforms, US weapons recovered from under debris of Donetsk airport
  82. Buddhist monk labels UN official ‘a whore’
  83. Orthodox church and nature conservation
  84. Children's Human Rights in USA
  85. Makayla Sault, the Child Who Refused Chemotherapy in Favor of Faith-Based Alternatives, Has Died
  86. A Classic Statement of Logical Empiricism
  87. 'God and country' recruit poster axed from Army office in U.S.
  88. Twitter Backlash after Pope Steps in to Blasphemy Row
  89. Suicide Bomber Kills 11 in Gombe
  90. Ulvila justicemurders in English
  91. The Netherlands has more atheists than believers in god
  92. Last issue of Charlie Hebdo
  93. What is an axiom
  94. Muslim teen must marry her rapist
  95. Over 2000 people have been massacred in Nigeria, but do you care?
  96. Authors advised: Avoid the ‘P’ word
  97. Raif Badawi’s Lawyer, Waleed Abu Al-Khair, Sentenced to a Full 15 Years in Prison
  98. Egypt: 3-Year Sentence for Atheist Convicted Under Blasphemy Laws
  99. What is wrong with “multiculturalism”?
  100. Saudi cleric condemns snowmen as anti-Islamic
  101. The new religion of madness
    1. How the Christian concept of mental illness still infests psychiatric treatment
  102. Atheist Alliance International Condemns Brutal Attack in France
  103. A real international solidarity of the Free Thought
  104. Mumbai (India) police act against CH images
  105. Egyptian Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Admitting on Facebook That He’s an Atheist
  106. Another blasphemy killing in Pakistan
  107. Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens Speak About Their Supreme Court Case
  108. NYC Atheists Bus Campaign
  109. ‘Support same-sex unions, get sacked’
  110. The Atheist Foundation of Australia is excited to be bringing Robin Ince – Happiness Through Science to Australia in April 2015
  111. Is there real randomness
  112. Hindu nationalism suppurts population explosion
    1. Indian MP says Hindu women must have four kids
  113. Comment: Can you help raise awareness of homophobia in Uganda?
  114. The bowhead whale lives over 200 years: Can its genes tell us why?
  115. Bill Maher: “There Are No Great Religions. They’re All Stupid and Dangerous”
  116. At last! An explanation for why Muslim men must wear beards
  117. “Traditional Values” Are Losing Ground with Voters and We’re All Better Off as a Result
  118. Happy birthday, Stephen Hawking
  119. The Orthodox Chuch has much of power in Russia
    1. Russia says drivers must not have 'sex disorders'
  120. AFTER THE CHARLIE HEBDO MASSACRE, SUPPORT THOSE FIGHTING THE RELIGIOUS-RIGHT
    1. ATTENTION
    2. READ MORE AND SEE SIGNATORIES HERE:
    3. FOR CHARLIE HEBDO: RAGE AND SOLIDARITY
    4. 7 FEBRUARY 2015 SHARIA LAW, APOSTASY AND SECULARISM DAY-CONFERENCE WILL PAY TRIBUTE TO CHARLIE HEBDO AND THE MANY PERSECUTED FOR CRITICISING ISLAM AND RELIGION
    5. SEE SCHEDULE, SPEAKER BIOS AND INFORMATION ON HOW TO REGISTER HERE:
  121. ‘Religion deserves fearless disrespect’
  122. The Cowardly State of  Mainstream Media in U.S.:
    1. Obscuring Charlie Hebdo Cartoons To Avoid Offense
  123. Atheism Leads to Moral Decay: Once Again, the Big Lie
  124. International Association of Free Thought (IAFT)
    1. Solidarité
    2. Solidarity,
    3. Solidaridad
  125. ISIS beheads popular street magician
  126. Offices of Charlie Hebdo, French Magazine Often Critical of Islam, Barraged with Gunfire; A Dozen Are Dead
  127. It’s Time to Abandon the Irrational Concept of a Soul
  128. Kuwaiti with the big cigar advocates ‘joy’
  129. If peace on earth is our goal, atheism might be the means to that end
  130. Explanations
  131. Santa Fe Atheist Community
  132. Atheist books
  133. Very bad news
    1. The End
  134. Spotting Bad Science
  135. Anti-Islam 'Pegida' march in German city of Dresden
  136. Physicist Sean Carroll Explains Why There’s No Life After Death
  137. Christian god
  138. Firing God Paperback – November 7, 2014
  139. Priest arrested for child rape
  140. Präst häktad för våldtäkt mot barn
  141. Ireland reneges on blasphemy promise
  142. French Mayor: ‘It’s pork or nothing’
  143. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH—THE WELL-RENOWNED INTERNATIONAL CHILD RAPING ORGANIZATION: “Catholic Hitler”
  144. Pakistan named most dangerous country for journalists in 2014
    1. Fourteen journalists were killed in Pakistan in 2014
  145. In God we trust...
  146. Simulated meteorite impact produces RNA bases
  147. Venus Gets Weirder: CO2 Oceans May Have Covered Surface
  148. Filosofia ja elämänkatsomustieto
    1. Elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelma 2016
  149. Filosofi och livsåskådning
  150. Philosophy and Life View
    1. Constructed language misil
  151. Katsomusaineiden didaktiikkaa
    1. Yleistä didaktiikkaa
    2. Kristillinen dogmatiikka
    3. Filosofian, elämänkatsomustiedon ja uskonnon didaktiikkaa
  152. Lukion filosofia, Filosofi i gymnasiet
    1. Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa
    2. Ilmaiset filosofian oppikirjat
    3. Filosofian ylioppilastehtävät
  153. Elämänkatsomustieto, livsåskådning
    1. Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa
    2. Peruskoulu Grundskola
      1. Ilmaiset oppikirjat
      2. Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa
    3. Lukio Gymnasium
      1. Ilmaiset oppikirjat
      2. Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa
    4. Elämänkatsomustiedon ylioppilastehtävät
  154. Syksyn 2014 ylioppilaskirjoituksiin valmistautuminen
  155. Elämänkatsomustieto ainereaalissa
  156. Muuta tietoa
  157. Ehdotus lukion opetuksen järkiperäistämiseksi

Which European Leaders Are Atheists?

Added January 31, 2015

europe-atheist

Egypt’s War on Atheism

Added Janyary 30, 2015

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/opinion/mona-eltahawy-egypts-war-on-atheism.html?_r=0

CAIRO — It took one session on Jan. 10 for a court in the Nile Delta province of Beheira to sentence Karim al-Banna, a 21-year-old student, to three years in prison for saying on Facebook that he was an atheist. The student’s lawyer complained that he was denied the right even to present a defense, but an equally chilling aspect of Mr. Banna’s case is that his father testified against him.

Also telling is that Mr. Banna was originally arrested, in November, when he went to the police to complain that his neighbors were harassing him. This was after his name had appeared in a local newspaper on a list of known atheists. Instead of protecting him, the police accused him of insulting Islam.

Such tag teams of family, media and state are not uncommon in cases against atheists. Because atheism itself is not illegal in Egypt, charges are laid under laws against blasphemy or contempt for religion. In 2012, a 27-year-old blogger, Alber Saber, received a three-year sentence on charges of blasphemy for creating a web page called “Egyptian Atheists.” In 2013, the writer and human rights activist Karam Saber (no relation) was convicted of defaming religion in his short story collection “Where Is God?”

Similar charges have been used for political purposes against Egypt’s Christian minority. In 2013, a Coptic Christian lawyer, Roman Murad Saad, was sentenced in absentia for “ridiculing” the Quran. From 2011 to 2013, Egyptian courts convicted 27 of 42 defendants on charges of contempt for religion.

It is no surprise that Mr. Banna’s conviction occurred on the watch of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the former army general who led the ouster of Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood to become president. Regardless of which way the seesaw of power in Egypt tips — toward the Islamists or toward the military — it is always a heterosexual, conservative Muslim man who heads the moral hierarchy. The further from that identity you are, the more vulnerable you are.

<>If anything, Egypt’s nominally secular ruler is more Catholic than the pope, to borrow a metaphor from another religion. Assuming the role of defender of public morality is a deliberate reminder that the Islamists do not hold the copyright on piety. This is not new: The regime of the ousted President Hosni Mubarak often vaunted its religiosity to outdo its Islamists rivals.

Nowhere is this morality power play exercised more vehemently than in curbing perceived religious and sex crimes. Hence Egypt’s witch hunt against gay men. Rights activists say that 2014 was the worst year in a decade for gay people in Egypt, with at least 150 men arrested or put on trial. Same-sex relationships are not illegal, but gay men are targeted under “debauchery” laws.

Last month, 26 men were arrested in a televised police raid on a public bathhouse in Cairo. The men should never have been arrested, but the surprise was that they were all acquitted on Jan. 12. Understandably upset at their loved ones’ ordeal, the families of the acquitted men chanted “Here are the real men!” — ever-keen to reassert their relatives’ identity as heterosexual, conservative Muslims.<

After the outcry that followed the men’s humiliation, the court’s ruling perhaps reflects a tacit acknowledgment of prosecutorial overreach. But why all this hullabaloo over already marginal groups like atheists and gay people?

Dar al-Ifta, the institute for the study of Islamic law that is responsible for issuing religious edicts, was deservedly derided after it published a report in October saying that Egypt had the highest number of atheists in the Middle East: exactly 866— hardly a plausible number in a nation of 87 million. Yet the pro-government media and religious officials are waging a “war on atheism.” Atheists are described alternately as threats to national security or as carriers of a dangerously contagious virus.

Turkey invokes law to protect the ‘prophet’

 Added January 29, 2015

Following reports that Turkish prosecutors were investigating the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet for publishing a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of Mohammed comes news that Facebook has complied with a Turkish court order demanding the blocking of a page it said offended the ‘prophet’.

If the social media platform had refused, the court had threatened to block access to the entire site.

Facebook is believed to have around 40 million members in Turkey.

Facebook declined to comment but it does have a policy of blocking access to content within a country if it breaks local law.

Said cybersecurity expert Prof Alan Woodward from Surrey University:

These companies might be US-based but their users are global – they have to respect local traditions and customs.

This report claims that Turkey is one of Facebook’s more vexing territories, at least where censorship is concerned. The country represents a huge potential audience for US tech companies, with its growing population of young digital natives and its rapidly transforming economy.

But according to Facebook’s latest transparency report, which covered the first six months of 2014, Turkey asked Facebook to censor 1,893 pieces of content in that timespan — the second-most of any country.

Many of the requests sprang from local laws that prohibit criticism of Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, or the President or the Turkish state.

The Cumhuriyet investigation centres on of two journalist – Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya – who produced a four-page Charlie Hebdo pull-out translated into Turkish including cartoons satirising Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in Istanbul.

The edition did not include the controversial front cover of the Prophet Muhammad that has angered Muslims around the world, but a smaller version of the cartoon was included twice inside the newspaper, on pages 5 and 12, to illustrate columns on the subject by Cetinkaya and Karan.

The investigation came as Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu condemned the publication of cartoons of the Muslim prophet as an “open provocation”, warning that Turkey would not tolerate insults against Mohammed.

The investigation of the Cumhuriyet appears to have been sparked by a group of 60 demonstrators who staged a protest in front of the Caglayan courthouse in Istanbul and lodged a complaint against the newspaper. The zealots ominously chanted:

Ceyda and Hikmet will be brought to account.

These are the Most Toxic Places on Earth

Added January 28, 2015

http://newszoom.com/index.php/toxic-places-world/

Belief in god in Sweden

Added January 28, 2015

usko.ruotsissa

Russian pollster shows 90% in Russia condemn attack on Charlie Hebdo

Added January 27, 14:22 UTC+3

Most of the respondents blamed the tragic incident on an insult made to religious feelings of Muslim believers (30%) and an excessively mild politics of the French authorities to the mass media.

MOSCOW, /TASS/. The overwhelming majority of respondents (87%) polled by the All-Russia Center for studies of public opinion (VTSIOM) have condemned the armed attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris and the assassination of its journalists, the Russian pollster said, citing the results of a public opinion poll released on Monday.

Twelve people were killed and eleven wounded at the office of the Charlie Hebdo magazine after it had published caricatures of Prophet Muhammad.

Most of the respondents in Russia blamed the tragic incident on an insult made to religious feelings of Muslim believers (30%) and an excessively mild politics of the French authorities to the mass media allowed to publish materials which infringe on the dignity of religious believers (25%). The pollster quoted a number of respondents ( 11percnet ) as saying that the French authorities had admitted too many immigrants into France; eight percent of Russian respondents blamed the incident on a handful of Moslem extremists who demonstrated excessive cruelty and violence; six percent of respondents blamed French secret services for poor performance.

A total of 1, 600 people on 45 territories were interviewed by the VTSIOM pollster on January 17-18 with a statistical error margin of no more than 3.

Atheism in U.S. congress

Added Janyary 27, 2015

The 114th Congress was just sworn in, and the faith stats look even worse than the last batch. Out of 535 members in the collective House of Reps and the US Senate, only one, only one single member is self proclaimed as religiously unaffiliated.

According to a recent Pew Study, only 73% of Americans are Christian.

condoms

Culbert Olson: the California Governor Who Wasn’t Afraid to Admit He Was an Atheist

Added January 27, 2015
by

At an event sponsored by the California State Library and California Archives this week, Debra Deanne Olson spoke about her grandfather and former California governor Culbert Olson.

Olson, who died in 1962, was notable for being that rare atheist in public office. Not only did he skip the “So help me God” part during his oath, he didn’t even swear in on the Bible. He affirmed his oath in 1939 with a hand in the air and the other in his pocket:

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/#ixzz3PutY6uBu

Lunatics replace sea god with a cross

Added January 26, 2015, The Freethinker

lunatic

Christian fundamentalists are believed to be behind the theft of a statue of a Celtic sea god from a Binevenagh Mountain above Limavady in Northern Ireland.

According to this report, a 5ft wooden cross bearing the words “Thou Shalt Not Have False Gods Before Me”  was left behind after the thieves took an angle grinder to the base of the statue of Manannán Mac Lir.

The statue was one of five scattered across the Roe Valley as part of a Sculpture Trail aimed at boosting tourism in 2013. The remaining four pieces of artwork were left unscathed.

Former Limavady Mayor Gerry Mullan said the theft was premeditated and was not a random act of vandalism.

Local people are extremely angry that this statue has been taken. It really enhanced what is already a beautiful spot from which visitors and residents alike can sit and enjoy the view and I would appeal to whoever took the statue to give it back.

The BBC reports that sculptor John Sutton, who has worked on the award-winning Game of Thrones series, has spoken of his shock over the removal of his work.

He said it would have taken a number of men with angle grinders several hours to remove the figure from its base.

I’m very disturbed by this. It’s unreal. Some statues are stolen for their bronze. But this was cut down at the base and the materials would not have been worth stealing.

I made it out of clay first and then a silicone mould, before I cast it. It took me months and months to make and five or six men to carry it up there and install it. It was very heavy and would have taken a long time to remove.

Manannán Mac Lir is a sea deity in Irish mythology and is also said to have been the first ruler of the Isle of Man.

Manand is the old Irish name for the Isle of Man and as his surname suggests, he was the son of Lir, meaning sea.

Sutton’s £10,000 creation overlooked Benone Beach, Magilligan, Limavady and Donegal. He said:

I was very proud of this. It was very popular with photographers.

According to Limavady Borough Council’s website, people in the area believe that the spirit of Manannán Mac Lir is released during fierce storms.

Some elderly folk in the area are still heard to remark “Manannán is angry today” when the River Foyle is rough and refer to the angry waves as “Manannán’s seahorses.”

According to mythology, Manannán had many magical possessions.

He had a horse that could travel over land and sea and owned a metal boat, which obeyed the thoughts of its sailors.

The police said they were notified of the theft at about 10:25 GMT on Wednesday. Constable Nelson said:

This statue of Manannán Mac Lir was in the area of Gortmore viewing point and is part of the Myths and Legends sculpture trail. Anyone with any information about this theft is asked to contact Limavady police station on the non-emergency number 101.

Why the French Embrace “Freedom From Religion” and Distrust “Community” — And Why That’s a Problem

Added January 25, 2015
by Terry Firma
In France, laicité, or secularism, is a big deal. Public Radio International’s Daniel Estrin, an American who has relatives in France and likes to spend time there, observes

… that we [come] from starkly different societies. If the U.S. enshrined freedom of religion, France seemed to be embracing freedom from religion. People’s religious affiliations should not be present at all in the public sphere, my cousins said.

When Estrin (pictured below) joined his cousins for the historic march in Paris on January 11, this difference came to the fore again.

“I am here because I want the religion and the religious people to stay away from the Republic,”

Ivan said.

“If we want to live together, we have to respect the laws of the Republic and keep the religion at home.”

My cousin Katya mentioned a recent train ride she took.

“A lady came with a black dress [presumably, a burka]. Only her face was not covered … and she had black gloves,”

she said.

“It hurts me. And the same for Jewish people with the [yarmulke] and the hat. I can’t stand that.”


If I’m honest, especially extravagant or ostentatious public displays of religion bother me, too. A yarmulke, a crucifix pendant, a Muslim skull-cap? No problem, those barely even register.

But a shtreimel or a spodik (the big furry hats worn by a lot of ultra-Orthodox Jews), those irritate me – not only because they speak of a misogynistic, extremely conservative, anti-gay value system that I can’t get on board with, but also because they represent this utter nonsense:

They are worn because a 18th-century sage, the Baal Shem Tov, learned from Elijah the Prophet that wearing five fox tales on one’s hat on the Sabbath was a special practice that would help one’s children be easy to raise.

Oh, for fox fuck’s sake.

The same is true of Muslim women’s face veils and burkas. In a truly free country, those ought to be allowed (désolé, French friends). But I don’t see such articles of clothing as anything resembling “modesty”; I see them as Stockholm-syndrome-type endorsements of a horrible kind of patriarchy.

I don’t want these objects banned at all — but I’ll confess that I have to actively marshal my reserves of live-and-let-live tolerance to stop me from mocking the wearers in a feisty interior monologue.

Back to Estrin and his exchange with Katya:

    “What does that say to you?”

I asked.

“What message are those people putting out?”

“‘I’m different and I’m showing it’,”

she said.

“They want to belong to community, which I understand, but why showing it to others? This I don’t understand.”

Estrin then puts his finger on a fundamental difference between France and America:

We often talk in America about the Muslim community or the Jewish community, taking for granted that our ethnic or religious identities don’t negate our identities as Americans. But in France, I’ve learned that “community” is something of a dirty word.

The French Republic rests on the notion of secularism, that your “community” is France itself. To many, belonging to a community in France carries the connotation that you wish to be apart from French society.

The chief rabbi of France told me that there are “no communities in France.” So did the editor-in-chief of Bondy Blog, which features bloggers from the immigrant suburbs.

I get the point. Modern France aims to be a melting pot; modern America is a salad bowl. The latter is healthier, I think — but then, as an (albeit immigrant) American, that may just be the bias of my adopted country shining through.

The odd thing about France’s apparent dislike of the word “community” is that identity is not a zero-sum game. We all slip in and out of many identities: parent, sibling, co-worker, soccer fan, modern-art enthusiast, Star Wars aficionado, devourer of manga, resident of the world, citizen of ______ (fill in your country), activist, atheist or believer, progressive or conservative, and many more.

It makes little sense that in that litany, only “believer” is viewed with widespread dislike and suspicion. Sure, tribalism can be toxic – but insisting that Frenchness should obliterate others’ self-identification as adherents of Islam of Judaism or another faith is just another form of tribalism, one that substitutes nationalism for religion.

Estrin thinks that among the sub-30 French population, there may be a greater willingness to consider the meaning of “community” as something positive.

Imane Youssfi, a 27-year-old editor for Bondy Blog who is a practicing Muslim, said she believes denying community in France only creates conflict among people of different backgrounds. “Saying there is no community is a way to erase their identity,” she said. Sophie Gherardi, a French journalist who edits a website about religion, argues that many French youth actually feel “a longing for belonging,” which could explain the younger generation’s embrace of religion.

One of my French cousins recently became religious himself, embracing Judaism and moving to Israel. And after spending a week in Paris, I understand him a little bit more.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/
2015/01/23/why-the-french-embrace-freedom
-from-religion-and-distrust-community-and
-why-thats-a-problem/#ixzz3Pio4GDKl

Strange fossils from China don't seem to fit any known hominin species

Could they be something new?

Added January 25, 2015
BBC, Presented by Melissa Hogenboom

They're not quite Neanderthals and not quite modern humans. They're something else, but no one is sure what.

Newly-examined fossils suggest that an unknown species of human was roaming parts of northern China between 60,000 and 120,000 years ago. Alternatively, the fossils could be the result of interbreeding between two of the known species.

We know there were as many as four other early humans living on Earth when modern humans were still confined to Africa. The Neanderthals lived in Europe, the Denisovans in Asia and the "hobbit" Homo floresiensis in Indonesia: plus there was a mysterious fourth group from Eurasia that interbred with the Denisovans.

The new findings suggest the picture is even more complicated.

Teeth are a useful way to look at species differences.

The fine details on the surface of teeth are good markers of a species. he Chinese remnants were first discovered in a cave in the Xujiayao site in 1976. They consist of some skull fragments, and nine teeth from four individuals.

A comprehensive analysis of the teeth has now been published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

María Martinón-Torres of the National Research Centre on Human Evolution in Burgos, Spain and her colleagues looked at the size and shape of the crown and root system, the grooves, cusps and crests, and their positions relative to each other. These were then compared to a pool of over 5,000 teeth representing nearly all the known hominin species.

"Teeth are like 'landscapes in miniature',"
says Martinón-Torres.

"Each of those slopes, grooves, valleys define a pattern or combination of features that can be distinctive of a population."

It was clear that the teeth did not resemble those of modern humans, H. sapiens. Instead, they have several primitive features, some of which look like the older species H. erectus, while some look more like Neanderthals.

Other skeletal parts found at the same site, described last year, don't neatly fit the known species either.

Nevertheless, Martinón-Torres is reluctant to claim that the teeth represent a new species.

"What we have seen is an unknown group for us,"

she says.
 
"It's not H. sapiens and it's not H. neanderthalensis. They have a mixture of something very primitive, which is currently unknown. We cannot go further to say it's a new species because we need to compare it to other things."

They might actually fit an existing species.

"They could even be Denisovans,"
adds Martinón-Torres.

The Denisovans co-existed and even interbred with us. But hardly anything is known about them. The only fossils come from a cave in Siberia and consist of two teeth and a tiny finger bone. DNA analysis revealed that they were distinct from both Neanderthals and modern humans but had aspects of both.

Not everyone agrees. While the sample is small, it

"strongly suggests the presence of a previously unrecognized species,"
says Darren Curnoe of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

"There's little doubt in my mind that these teeth stand out as something unique."
The surface features on the teeth alone should be enough to argue for a new species, he says.
   
Curnoe previously described another set of mysterious hominin fossils from China, the "Red Deer Cave People", though these lived more recently than the Xujiayao hominins.

Others echo Martinón-Torres' caution. Matthew Skinner of the University of Kent, UK says fossil samples from Asia are so sparse that it is hard to infer species status.

Fred Spoor of University College London in the UK agrees with Skinner. He says the remains show a mix of modern and primitive features.

"What it means is another matter."
Conceivably the remains come from a hybrid of modern humans and Denisovans,

"but that is pure speculation".

Many of the supposedly separate Homo species might just be variants of a single species, says Erik Trinkaus of Washington University in St Louis, Missouri.

"As the fossil record fills in, most of the purported gaps between such 'species' are gradually disappearing,"
he says.

"Real species in the real world, especially for large bodied animals like us, are widespread and variable."

On that view, finding teeth that don't fit the known "species" just isn't surprising.

More bones would help, and they might turn up soon, as parts of Asia are turning out to be rich in fossils.

But it may be that only DNA evidence will offer definitive answers, says Matthias Meyer of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

"It would be great to get more data from east Asia, but obviously, this is difficult."

"There was probably more than one species of early human in Asia, which wouldn't be surprising considering the size of the continent and how isolated it is,"
says Martinón-Torres. Last year she helped describe some teeth from the same time period in east China, which also did not neatly fit the known species.

Some of these populations could even have been ancestors of modern Europeans, according to some researchers. Most think Africa was the cradle of modern humans, so this is controversial. But Martinón-Torres thinks people will return to the idea, as more and more Asian fossils are analysed.

Curnoe agrees.

"We've neglected East Asia for far too long,"
he says.

"Now we're starting to get a few surprises that don't fit with conventional wisdom based on fossils from Europe and Africa."

Dead bodies in NATO uniforms, US weapons recovered from under debris of Donetsk airport

Added January 24, 2015

“While examining the building of the Donetsk airport, we found a great number of American firearms”

spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed DNR said.

DONETSK, TASS/. Dead bodies in NATO uniforms and a great number of US-made weapons have been recovered from under the debris of the Donetsk airport, Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Thursday.

“While examining the building of the Donetsk airport, we found a great number of American firearms, assault rifles and hand mortars, equipment and communications devices,”
he said.

“We also found publications in European languages, including on religious matters.”

Apart from that,

“we found dead bodies in NATO uniforms under the debris in the new terminal. Personal belongings indicated that these people were foreign citizens contracted by private military companies who operated under the disguise of Ukrainian subversive groups,”

he said.

Buddhist monk labels UN official ‘a whore’

Added January 23, 2014

Myanmar’s government is investigating a speech by a Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu in which he called a UN rapporteur a ‘whore’.

But at a protest against the visit, monk Wirathu told Lee she should have sex with members of the Muslim Rohingya minority if she liked them so much.

Wirathu is a Buddhist nationalist who spent almost a decade in jail for inciting anti-Muslim violence.

Buddhist nationalism, largely led by monks including Wirathu, has been energised since the end of military rule in 2011.

In 2012, scores of people died and thousands were left homeless after violence broke out between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine state, mostly from the Rohingya minority. Violence has flared several times since then.

The UN says the Rohingya are being persecuted, and last week passed a resolution calling on Myanmar (also known as Burma) to give them citizenship.

But the Myanmar government views the Rohingya as foreign migrants, and there is widespread public hostility towards them.

During her visit, Lee said Myanmar was in danger of slipping backwards in its transition to democracy since the end of military rule in 2011.

She criticised proposed laws on race and religion which would among other things impose state regulations on religious conversions and restrict interfaith marriages. Activists say these would disproportionately affect Muslims.

She said many people were still living in “abysmal conditions” in camps in Rakhine state after the 2012 violence, and that “collective punishment” of all Muslims in the state for the deeds of a few in the unrest was “not the answer”.

In a speech at the rally against Lee last Froday – which was widely shared online – Wirathu told Lee:

    Don’t assume you are a respectable person, just because you have a position in the UN. In our country, you are just a whore.

Monks have been at the forefront of anti-Muslim sentiment in Myanmar

He later defended his comments, telling the AFP news agency:

    If I could find a harsher word, I would have used it. It is nothing compared to what she did to our country.

Wirathu was jailed in 2003 for inciting anti-Muslim violence but was released in 2012 as part of a prisoner amnesty.

He is a leader of the 969 movement, which says Myanmar should remain a Buddhist country and calls for restrictions and boycotts on Muslims.

Information Minister Ye Htut said on his Facebook page that he had asked the ministry of religious affairs to investigate the monk’s comments.

He added that he believed religious leaders should recite speeches reflecting love, compassion, empathy and good ethics.

But the BBC’s Jonah Fisher in Yangon says criticism of the comments has been muted because no politicians want the powerful monks to turn on them.

Orthodox church and nature conservation

Added January 22, 2014

Source: Conservation Biology, Abstract

The collapse of socialism in Russia in 1991 caused a major socioeconomic shock, including a sharp increase in poverty.

We analyzed population trends of 8 large mammals in Russia from 1981 to 2010 (i.e., before and after the collapse).

We hypothesized that the collapse would first cause population declines, primarily due to overexploitation, and then population increases due to adaptation of wildlife to new environments following the collapse.

The long-term Database of the Russian Federal Agency of Game Mammal Monitoring, consisting of up to 50,000 transects that are monitored annually, provided an exceptional data set for investigating these population trends.

Three species showed strong declines in population growth rates in the decade following the collapse, while grey wolf (Canis lupus) increased by more than 150%.

After 2000 some trends reversed. For example, roe deer (Capreolus spp.) abundance in 2010 was the highest of any period in our study.

Likely reasons for the population declines in the 1990s include poaching and the erosion of wildlife protection enforcement.

The rapid increase of the grey wolf populations is likely due to the cessation of governmental population control.

In general, the widespread declines in wildlife populations after the collapse of the Soviet Union highlight the magnitude of the effects that socioeconomic shocks can have on wildlife populations and the possible need for special conservation efforts during such times.

Children's Human Rights in USA

Added January 22, 2015

On November 20, 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a landmark for human rights.

Here for the first time was a treaty that sought to address the particular needs of children and to set minimum standards for the protection of their rights. It is the first international treaty to guarantee civil and political rights as well as economic, social, and cultural rights.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely accepted human rights treaty - of all the United Nations member states, only the United States and Somalia have not ratified it.

Makayla Sault, the Child Who Refused Chemotherapy in Favor of Faith-Based Alternatives, Has Died

Added January 21, 2015

by Hemant Mehta

By now, you’re familiar with Makayla Sault an 11-year-old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The disease is treatable with two years of tough chemotherapy and has a nearly 90% survival rate… but Makayla wanted to stop with the chemo and her Ojibwe/First Nations parents were more than happy to oblige, seeking out useless faith-based treatments instead.

Makayla was allowed to quit receiving chemo, but we learned a couple of months ago that her condition had worsened.

At the time, the Ontario Court of Justice ruled that Makayla’s family had every right to decide her treatment and outsiders couldn’t override their wishes.

This was effectively a death sentence for Makayla. She had a strong chance of survival with chemotherapy, but with that option off the table, there was little hope of a recovery.

And now the inevitable has happened: Makayla has died.

Her parents released this statement:

    After a valiant fight, almost a year from diagnosis, our daughter, Makayla Sault suffered a stroke on Sunday morning that she just couldn’t recover from.

    Surrounded by the love and support of her family, her community and her nation — on Monday, January 19 at 1:50 PM, in her 12th year, Makayla completed her course. She is now safely in the arms of Jesus.

    Makayla was on her way to wellness, bravely fighting toward holistic well-being after the harsh side effects that 12 weeks of chemotherapy inflicted on her body.

    Chemotherapy did irreversible damage to her heart and major organs. This was the cause of the stroke.

    We continue to support Makayla’s choice to leave chemotherapy. At this time we request privacy from the media while we mourn this tragic loss.”

The National Post points out that Makayla’s parents appear to be flat-out wrong when it comes to blaming chemotherapy for her death:

    There appears to be little to no clinical precedent for chemotherapy drugs prompting a childhood stroke several months after treatment has ceased.

    A stroke could be consistent with leukemia, however. As a blood disease, leukemia can form clots that cause stroke. Oncology sources contacted Monday night by the National Post, however, said that Makayla’s specific cancer is not consistent with a fatal stroke — unless the cancer had spread to her brain.

It’s sad, and it could have been prevented. But her parents refused to allow the one option that would have given Makayla the greatest chance of survival.

As I said before, I’m not suggesting her parents didn’t care about her, only that their cultural methods of dealing with disease were ineffective. All the experts knew it. When it comes to the health and safety of children, harmful cultural traditions shouldn’t get to trump sound science. If you’re making the decision for yourself, so be it. But when you’re putting someone else’s life in danger, you’ve crossed the line.

Makayla is only the most recent in an all-too-long line of children who have died because their parents opted for faith-based remedies that (obviously) never panned out. Unless governments step in to punish parents who send their children to an early death, I’m afraid she won’t be the last.

A Classic Statement of Logical Empiricism

Added January 21, 2015
by Ádám Tamás Tuboly

Source:
http://berlinbooks.org/brb/2015/01/
a-classic-statement-of-logical-empiricism/

Eino Kaila’s recently translated Human Knowledge: A Classic Statement of Logical Empiricism from 1939 is an important document both in the history of analytic philosophy and the history of logical empiricism in particular. Kaila discusses all the relevant topics that featured in the discussions of the Vienna Circle in the early 1930s and provides a neat summary with his own historical narrative and critical remarks.

The book was first published in Finnish as Inhimillinen tieto: Mitä se on ja mitä se ei ole (Human Knowledge: What it is and what it is not), then in Swedish and has only now been translated (by Anssi Korhonen) and edited (by Juha Manninen, Ilkka Niiniluoto and Georg A. Reisch). As Human Knowledge: A Classic Statement of Logical Empiricism it constitutes the sixth volume in the series Full Circle: Publications of the Archive of Scientific Philosophy. The editorial work of the book was carried out with great care and has resulted in a well-rounded edition with a very fluent translation. It contains a 15-page introductory article by Juha Manninen and Ilkka Niiniluoto which summarizes the content of the book and gives an overview of Kaila’s life and work, thereby helping the reader to contextualize Human Knowledge.

Human Knowledge was conceived as “an academic textbook in scientific philosophy as well as a systematic introduction to ‘logical empiricism’ for professional philosophers” (p. xxv.). As Rudolf Carnap noted in a letter to Kaila in 1940, “[…] the book is very suitable as an introduction to the conceptions of empiricism […]” (p. x.), but it should be mentioned that Kaila’s book fulfills also its other goal, namely to be a viable academic textbook.

Kaila’s treatise divides into three main parts, each of which builds on the previous one, but since Kaila always summarizes his achievements, the parts and their chapters also stand on their own feet if one is interested only in one of the three main topics. The goal of the first part (“Theory Formation”) is to show that “[t]he entire development of European science can be considered a […] compromise between the demands of reason and experience, whereby these two lines of thought, whose origins are to be found in quite opposite directions, increasingly converge and finally coincide […] within the movement known as logical empiricism” (p. 30.). Therefore in the first part of the book Kaila develops a systematic narrative about the history of philosophy and science relying on the notion of invariance.

Invariance is a sort of regularity and lawfulness in nature and it is the “aim of the human pursuit of knowledge” (p. 3.). Kaila shows that, in most cases, knowledge is concerned with the variously depicted invariances in nature – i.e., sameness between phenomena – like physics’ laws of nature, the biological laws of biology, equations in mathematics; but even in our everyday, pre-scientific life, “perception is constantly on the lookout for these invariances […]” (p. 4.).

After introducing the notion of invariances in the first chapter of Part 1, Kaila frames his investigations with some general remarks. He links the notion to Ernst Mach’s methodological principle about the ‘economy of thought’ according to which the aim of formulating scientific theories and laws is to provide continuously more parsimonious – i.e., more economical and simpler – descriptions of the world we are dealing with. As it turns out, invariances are the best candidates for economical and structured descriptions, and with the detection of regularities predictions also become much more simple and reliable. Kaila also demonstrates the links between the notion of invariance and the ideas of rationalization and isomorphism – the former is a pre-requisite for theory formation (a certain abstraction from empirical data) with the latter being the “[…] invariance of logical structure” (p. 13.) At this point, while Kaila seems to rely heavily on the structuralist point of view of Carnap’s Der logische Aufbau der Welt, he actually transcends it in some respects when he claims (after introducing the epistemological ideas of Kant, Schopenhauer and Bergson) that “it is wrong to say that we know nothing of things-in-themselves; after all, we do know their structure” (p. 14.).

The rest of Part 1 is a systematic investigation into history of ideas, philosophy and science. Kaila shows (in chapter 2) ‘how the search for invariances created Greek science’, and he does so by analyzing the underpinnings of Euclidean geometry and its axiomatic system, astronomical systems from the Greeks to Newton, the invariance postulates of British empiricism (which he calls “psychological empiricism” (p. 27.)), and the mechanistic conception of nature (from the ancient atomists to Newton).

In chapter 3 and 4 Kaila introduces various conceptions of knowledge. In the case of Plato, we find for the first time “[…] philosophy in the strict, scientific sense of the word” (p. 37.) since in all of his dialogues he was after invariances and took the subject of philosophy knowledge itself. The insights and aims of Plato, according to Kaila, could also be found in Galileo, Kepler, Descartes and Leibniz, all of whom were struggling with the Aristotelian conception of nature and knowledge. Plato and all of his intellectual successors were relying on mathematics and the importance of numbers for knowledge, both of which are connected to structures and invariances. By contrast, Aristotle denied the possibility of the mathematization of nature since he thought the mathematics is just another branch of science which deals with a definite feature of beings; hence the method of mathematics could not coincide with the method of nature.

This Aristotelian attitude set back the search for invariances until the new astronomical Platonist has appeared in the sixteenth century. As these scholars used the insights of Plato they often made the same assumptions: they thought that being is identical with ‘being unchanging’ and their efforts usually resulted in the duplication of the world: invariances are to be found in a different, more real, but hidden, transcendent realm. “These reminds us that we are still far away from Leibniz and logical empiricism and their insight that reason reveals not the Real Being ‘behind’ illusions, but rather invariances that exist in the relations between them” (p. 59.).

Instead of re-telling Kaila’s narrative in every detail, let us just mention his conclusion: logical empiricism seems to be the culmination of two different traditions, whether these be dubbed empiricism/rationalism or Platonism/Aristotelianism, all of which have put too much weight either on sensation or reason. Kaila also investigates Kant at various points, but as it turns out, since logical empiricism rejected the Synthetic A Priori, Kant was not much of a particular influence. (Actually, as the recent rehabilitation of Carnap and logical empiricism has shown, Kant was a much more important influence than has traditionally been thought.) Logical empiricism, after all, is just the tradition that showed how we can combine the demands of reason and sensation; that is, mathematical invariances and empirical invariances.

Part 2 of Human Knowledge subsequently is concerned with the formal truth of theories, while Part 3 is about the empirical truth of theories. Formal truth divides into two subclass, namely logical truth (chapter 6) and mathematical truth (chapter 7). Kaila is following the well-known logical empiricist conception that the statements of logic and mathematics are analytic and a priori. To support this idea, he starts with the definition of analyticity, which states that “a sentence is analytical if it follows from mere definitions” (p. 119.). At this point we find what is, in many respects, one of the most outstanding sections of the book.

First of all, Kaila disentangles the definition of analyticity with great care and in a comprehensive and systematic way: he devotes one section to each of the core concepts, namely “follows” (= entailment), “sentence” and “definition”. Secondly, when Kaila is about to define the notion of “follows”, he introduces in a textbook-like manner both propositional and predicate calculi, their semantical features and all the usual problems associated with them: decidability, completeness, soundness, etc. These sections of the book (pp. 92-116.) are of great value for anyone with an interest in modern formal logic who is looking for a short introduction and overview.

Last but not least, Kaila presents a picture of LE, and mostly of Carnap and his Logische Syntax der Sprache (1934), that is very close to the rehabilitated picture of logical empiricism which has recently been put forward by historians of philosophy. Analytic sentences are the ones which follow from definitions: but with respect to definitions we are free to create them any way we like. (There are, of course, certain constraints from the side of philosophy of science and methodology: we need the best tools for the search of invariances and prediction.) This means that (i) from different definitions we can derive different sentences, and (ii) from the same definitions we can derive different sentences if we define the notion of “follows” in a different manner.  So what counts as analytic depends on our definitions, logic and language. As Kaila puts it:

Insofar as logical truths are analytical sentences, they become relative truths, in a sense. There is not just one logic; there are many logics – even in principle, indefinitely many logics […]. (p. 117.) Which one is correct, classical or intuitionistic propositional calculus? – This is an improper question. […] We cannot ask which interpretation is correct, because it is a matter of arbitrary decision which meaning we give to a sign. (pp. 119. Italics added.)

In these passages Kaila revives the words of Carnap from his Syntax book, where he claims: “In logic there are no morals. Everyone is at liberty to build up his own logic, i.e. his own form of language, as he wishes.” (§17)

Kaila appears to admit another undervalued aspect of Carnap’s theory of analyticity – i.e. in different languages different sentences counts as analytic. In his “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” (1963), Willard von Orman Quine characterized the logical empiricist view as treating analytic sentences as those “which we held true come what may”. Quine has shown, however, that analytic sentences, if needed, are also revisable. Interestingly, as has recently been noted, Carnap also pointed out in Syntax that analytic sentences are not immune to revision (§82), and the same follows from Kaila’s presentation: if need be, we can revise our definitions (= logic and language), and accordingly the range of analytic sentences will also vary.

In the final part of the book (Part 3) Kaila considers the empirical truth of theories. He deals with the notions of verification and falsification and points out how these ideas changed during the 1930s, mainly in the works of Carnap. Kaila’s sensitivity to these changes and the detailed presentations of the historical evolution of logical empiricists are important in themselves, but we will note here only one aspect of them.

Quine was notorious about his holism, namely that “[…] our statements about the external world face the tribunal of sense experience not individually but only as a corporate body” (“Two dogmas”, p. 41.). Accordingly, empirical meaningfulness comes into the picture not on the level of isolated sentences but of the whole system, the whole theory. Therefore experience could not refute any particular sentence on its own – “Any statement can be held true come what may, if we make drastic enough adjustments elsewhere in the system” (“Two dogmas”, p. 43.).

Anyone who is familiar with the history of twentieth century analytic philosophy has heard of the story of how Quine refuted logical empiricism and especially Carnap. In Human Knowledge, Kaila appears to accept the points of Quine’s criticism (p. 154. Italics added):

‘Experimentum crucis’—crucial experiment—was the term that people often used to refer to such singular instances that they took to be decisive. Strictly speaking, however, there are no such experiments. Suppose, for instance, that we have derived from some physical theory an empirical consequence and then come to see that experience does not correspond to the theory; in such a case we have always made a number of assumptions falling outside the sphere of the theory itself and concerning, say, the construction of the instruments we use in the experiment or the reliability of the observer himself. A negative test result can always be put down to such factors. We should note in particular that insofar as we can speak of experience refuting a theory, what gets refuted is the entire theory, and not just some particular statement belonging to it.

What we should bear in mind is that this passage is from 1939, while Quine formulated his ideas in the early 1950s. But we should not therefore think that Kaila was the one who first refuted Carnap and logical empiricism, since Carnap had formulated just the same ideas in his 1934 Syntax with which Kaila was familiar and which he used as a main reference point. Carnap claims (§82) that “[…] the test applies, at bottom, not to a single hypothesis but to the whole system of physics as a system of hypotheses (Duhem, Poincaré).” (For completeness, one should perhaps also mention at this point the naturalism of Neurath.)

In the remaining portions of Part 3, Kaila discusses the so-called protocol-sentence debate (though he does not say so explicitly) which is about whether the phenomenal or physical language should be taken as fundamental in epistemology and science. Contrary to the later conception of Carnap (from “Testability and Meaning”), Kaila contents himself with the idea of translation between these two types of languages and their relative merits. Chapter 8 contains some well-known remarks about the meaningfulness of metaphysics, while Chapter 9 takes on the particular problems of physical theories, such as the philosophical questions of the theory of light and quantum theory, determinism vs. indeterminism and how we can handle all of these from the point of view of logical empiricism.

Chapter 9, finally, touches upon the problem of “other minds”. Kaila shows that the logical behaviorism of logical empiricists is not the same as the usual “quite primitive, mechanistic and materialistic behaviorism” (p. 205.) which would like to claim that there is no consciousness or mental sphere:

That the sentences of psychology are interpreted as f-sentences [physical-sentences] in this way means that all intersubjective knowledge of reality speaks one and the same language everywhere; this language is f-language [physical-language], the language whose expressions refer to things, their properties, and relations in ‘physical reality’. (p. 205)

That is, if one is to talk about the mental states of others in a scientific manner and would like to make cognitively and factually meaningful statements, then one has to formulate one’s claims in our intersubjective world and discourse where anyone can test the relevant scientific statements so they can acquire the requisite public weight: a physicalist/behaviourist theory of other minds is capable of just that. It could not do more than this, but that is enough for Kaila and the logical empiricists.

In the final passages of the book, Kaila imagines some possible objections against this view and formulates his responses. The third objection in particular is worth mentioning (pp. 207-208):

Q: I do understand that the principle of logical behaviorism is a necessary consequence of the requirement of intersubjectivity, that is, the postulate that my sentences describing my own experiences must have some factual content for other people. […] But I do not see that this postulate itself of intersubjectivity has been given any justification. It seems to me that I am free to deny it. In that case, what would you do? What would you do, if I now tell you that I want to talk to myself, in a monologue and not to you, in a dialogue?

A: What you renounce in your words, that you accept in your deeds. I may learn about your theoretical rejection of the principle of intersubjectivity only if you execute it in practice. You can renounce this principle in one way only, by remaining silent. At most you can say, with Prince Hamlet: ‘The rest is silence’.

This passage shows that if one were to refute intersubjectivity as a prerequisite of science and philosophy one has two options: either one tries to argue against it – in which case, one is already engaged in intersubjective-scientific discourse – or (ii) one remains silent. So according to Kaila, logical empiricism is simply that tradition which embraced the idea of intersubjectivity (and also the correlative requirement of testability) in its most strict sense and explored all its consequences.

In summary, Human Knowledge, and the fact of its recent translation into English, is of great importance. For one, it is an interesting document of the logical empiricist movement from 1930s Finland and demonstrates Kaila’s remarkably systematic and comprehensive style. (As Carnap already put it in a letter: “I especially welcome the fact the you [Kaila] pay attention to the historical connections. For many readers this will be very welcome, since our existing publications the historical connections are almost ignored.”, p. x.) Yet, the recent translation is also important in a different sense.

In the 1930s several books about logical empiricism appeared in the English-speaking world. Two of them – Susan Stebbing’s Logical Positivism and Analysis (along with her reviews of Carnap) and Julius R. Weinberg’s An Examination of Logical Positivism – were quite close to the current and rehabilitated picture of loigcal empiricism and Carnap, but they were simply forgotten. The third one, Alfred J. Ayer’s Language, Truth and Logic made its way into the history of analytic philosophy and shaped prevalent views about logical empiricism and Carnap for several generations – it contributed much to the unified, simplistic, but erroneous received view which a lot of scholars are now trying to revise. However, if Kaila’s book has been translated in the 1940s, as Carnap was suggesting at the time (p. x), perhaps the history of twentieth century analytic philosophy, and of logical empiricism and Carnap in particular, would have been quite different.

Kaila’s book, now available in English, is a remarkable historical document, which is finally receiving wider dissemination, and which will no doubt have a detectable influence on the philosophy of science, language and epistemology, and its historiography.

Eino Kaila: Human Knowledge. A Classic Statement of Logical Empiricism
(Transl. by Anssi Korhonen, ed. by Juha Manninen, Ilkka Niiniluoto & George A. Reisch)
ISBN-13: 978-0-8126-9848-0
Price: US$ 49.95
Chicago: Open Court, xxvii+217 pages, paperback. 

Ádám Tamás Tuboly is a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy, University of Pécs, Hungary; he mainly works on problems in the history of analytic philosophy, especially in the historical reception of Rudolf Carnap.
- See more at: http://berlinbooks.org/brb/2015/01/a-classic-statement-of-logical-empiricism/#sthash.z20QuIJg.dpuf

'God and country' recruit poster axed from Army office in U.S.

Added January 20, 2015

A poster with the phrase "On a mission for both God and country" on display outside a Phoenix recruiting station was removed Friday morning, an Army Recruiting Command spokesman said, hours after the unapproved display was brought to the command's attention.

Twitter Backlash after Pope Steps in to Blasphemy Row

Added January 19, 2014

http://uk.sputniknews.com/world/20150117/1013373878.html

The Vatican had to step into after the Pope caused a furore on Twitter by saying there are limits to freedom of speech when it comes to faith – effectively giving some backing to the Paris attacks last week which killed 17 people.

Asked by reporters about the first attack on the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo — in which 12 people died — the Pope said:

"One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people's faith, one cannot make fun of faith. There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity… in freedom of expression there are limits.

"You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others."

While joking with members of the press, he turned to his assistant Alberto Gasparri and said:

"If my good friend Dr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,"

Francis said, at which the Pope mockingly threw one in Gasparri's direction.

However, his comments — which came on the day hundreds of people queued up in British newsagents to buy copies of the first post-attack edition of the magazine — were quickly seized upon as giving some justification to the shootings, in which a total of 17 people, as well as the three terrorists were killed. The Twittersphere was alive.

New Orleans criminal defence attorney C.J. Murdoch said:

"If the Pope is horribly wrong on economics and free speech, why does he have an authority on matters of faith?"

Burning at the Stake?

British politician Dr Evan Harris was outraged. He tweeted that the Pope's comments — also coming as several of the Paris victims were being buried — were trite and offensive.

"The Pope said ‘people's faith must not be insulted'. Or else what, your holiness? Burning at the stake? Astonishing outburst from Pope,"

he wrote.

Suicide Bomber Kills 11 in Gombe

Added January 18, 2015

– Not less than 11 people were killed Friday evening when a female suicide bomber detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at a mini market near Gombe State University.

Total number of casualty is not clear, with some sources claiming that between 11 and 15 people were killed in the incident.

“It was a suicide bombing,” Head of National Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Ahmed Minin, said adding that six people were killed including the bomber while 11 others were injured.

Ulvila justicemurders in English

Added January 18, 2015

http://helsinkitaxidriver.com/

The Netherlands has more atheists than believers in god

Added January 17, 2015

The number of atheists in the Netherlands has now outstripped the number of people who believe in god, Trouw said on Friday. Research by the Ipsos institute found just over a quarter of the population describe themselves as atheists while 17% believe in the existence of a god, the paper said.

Read more at DutchNews.nl: The Netherlands has more atheists than believers in god http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/01/the-netherlands-has-more-atheists-than-believers-in-god.php/

Last issue of Charlie Hebdo

Added January 17, 2015

Dear fellows and friends,

For your archives :
Here in pdf a copy of the last issue of Charlie Hebdo.

Enjoy reading.

Secular regards,
Philippe Besson

To read click here.

What is an axiom

Erkki Hartikainen January 17, 2015

An axiom is not a selfevident or a true proposition.

The axiom is only a string which defines  used concepts indirectly.

If we have a set of the axioms we need a set of rules to create theorems.

There are systems which have only rules (Patrick Suppes's logic).

Calculus by  Walter R. Fuchs

Basic string (axiom)

          Paperclip

                   U

Rule 1:

You can add the match for both sides of the string.

                   IUI

Rule 2:

You can add a match to the end of the string.

                   UI

The set of axioms and rules is not contadictory if there is a string which is not possible to derive from the axioms using rules.

The string

          IU

is not possible to derive. The calculus above is not contradictory.

Exercise

Write a computer program which creates all valid string wit the lengt les or equal to 100.

Binary numbers as a calculus

We define natural binary numers as follows.

Basic string (axiom)

          One

                   1

Rule 1:

You can add zero to the end of string.

                   10

Rule 2:

You can add one to the end of the string.

                   11

The set of axioms and rules is not contadictory if there is a string which is not possible to derive from the axioms using rules.

The string

          01

is not possible to derive. The calculus above is not contradictory.

In this calculus 0 is not valid. We concludet that natural numbers do not include 0.

Muslim teen must marry her rapist

Added January 16, 2015

The Nigerian father of a 13-year-old who was gang-raped in December last year has forgiven the attackers and agreed to allow one of them to marry her.

According this report, four men men were arrested in Kano province for the crime. Three confessed to raping their victim, who had been lured into a partially-completed building.

One of the rapists, Usiani Ja’afar  then pleaded to be allow marry the girl.

The father, Malam Ya’u, a mechanic, said that he was at his garage working when officials came with the news that his daughter had been raped.

Ya’u said he wanted all of them to be tried and sent to jail for their crimes but changed his mind:

When all of them showed remorse, especially the one pleading to marry her, Ja’afar, I decided to temper justice with mercy.

Ya’u said that Ja’afar indicated his seriousness of marrying his daughter by carrying out the customary tradition of coming with his family to formally ask the hand of the girl in marriage.

He came with his uncle, who it turned out I already knew and had a cordial relationship with. So I accepted the request and will marry her off to him. In fact, the date for the wedding has been fixed since. I decided to allow him marry the girl because our consultations with our Malams (Islamic clerics) showed that there is nothing wrong about that.

He also revealed that his daughter had undergone medical tests and result showed that she is okay.

A Kano-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Fadlu Dan Almajiri Fagge, said that the Islam religion allows for a rape victim to marry the man who raped her provided certain conditions are met.

One is that:

The girl has to observe Istibira’i, a month period to ensure absence of pregnancy.

Over 2000 people have been massacred in Nigeria, but do you care?

Added January 16, 2015
By Leo Igwe

bokoharam

A female student stands in a burnt classroom at Maiduguri Experimental School, a private nursery, primary and secondary school burnt by the Islamist group Boko Haram to keep children away from school in Maiduguri, northeastern Nigeria. PHOTO: AFP

As world leaders gathered at the French capital to march in solidarity with France following a brutal attack on its citizens by terrorists, something far more atrocious and horrifying in scale and severity unfolded in north-east Nigeria. Boko Haram militants massacred over 2000 persons, mainly women, children and elderly people.

While in France, the militants attacked to avenge the publication of the cartoon of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), in Nigeria, Boko Haram militants have a different agenda: to implement Sharia law and turn the country into an Islamic state. For the latter, the motive is much stronger and hence, much more vicious.

But this campaign is not a new development in Nigeria. Boko Haram is not the first militant group to mobilise for Sharia.

At independence, Nigeria inherited an extremist Islam. This radical form of Islam is a legacy of Sheikh Uthman Dan Fodio, a Muslim scholar-turned-militant who founded the Sokoto Caliphate. Ever since, the quest for Sharia and formation of an Islamic state has haunted the people of the country.

Since independence, northern Nigeria has witnessed campaigns and clashes by state and non-state actors with a competing political Islamic agenda. In the 1980s, an Islamic militant group known as the Maitatsine launched violent attacks in different states in northern Nigeria to enforce its purist form of Islam. Other militant groups have carried out similar attacks which the government succeeded in neutralising.

But this has not been the case with Boko Haram.

The group remains the most brutal terrorist organisation in the history of Nigeria. Its attacks have claimed more lives and caused more havoc and mayhem than all other past uprisings combined. Nigeria is at the end of its wit in terms of finding ways and means to tackle Boko Haram. This is mainly due to local and international politics. Nigeria has asked for and received international military support and intelligence, but still the attacks have not reduced.

Instead the militants have become more vicious and deadly in their operations. The international campaign to bring back over 200 girls kidnapped by the militants has not brought effective military or political solution to the problem. The combined regional efforts of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and other neighbouring countries have yielded very limited results.

Why is this case?

Let us try to dissect the issue a bit.

Boko Haram is not an ethnic militia group with an agenda for ethnic domination or for self-determination. It is not a local gang like those in the Niger Delta, fighting for resource control. Boko Haram is a militant group with a religious agenda linked with other militant groups around the globe. Boko Haram is fighting an ‘Islamic’ cause. The link between Boko Haram and their version of Islam is very strong and that is why the group has been operating mainly from and within the Muslim majority communities in the country.

Some people may disagree with the Islamic character of Boko Haram, but the group has made its mission and objective clear: it is Islamic – period. It is either that Boko Haram militants and sympathisers are in the majority in these areas or they are a minority with a major influence. Whatever the case, Boko Haram commands a significant influence among the Muslim population in north-east Nigeria.

There is a clear link between Boko Haram and the political establishment in northern Nigeria. This link needs to be broken. The Sultan of Sokoto once urged the Nigerian government to initiate a dialogue with the terrorist group and to consider granting amnesty to the militants which the Nigerian government did. The current Emir of Kano once attributed the bloodletting campaign of Boko Haram militants to abject poverty and marginalisation of northern Nigeria.

There has been reluctance on the part of the political establishment to call these radical militants by their name. Boko Haram militants are described as ‘insurgents’ who are posing security challenges to Nigeria. Many people have been misrepresenting the situation and using evasive language to portray these terrorists. This has hampered efforts to comprehend and eradicate the problem.

Boko Haram and many Muslim politicians in northern Nigeria are united in the goal of implementing Sharia law and turning Nigeria, or at least the Muslim-majority states in northern Nigeria, into an Islamic state. The local political connection has not helped the situation.

Boko Haram wasn’t always this prominent. Its activities and agitations were localised in Borno where it all began. But the mishandling by politicians in the home state apparently turned this group into the national vampire it is today.

Boko Haram has been politicised greatly, so much so that now it has become a liability, a national albatross hanging on the neck of Nigerians. Some people have attributed the attacks and kidnappings by this group to be the work of those who oppose the government of President Goodluck Jonathan. But Boko Haram started waging its campaign way before Jonathan came to power.

The elections are just around the corner, and Boko Haram is now a campaign issue. One of the candidates vying to become the president has pledged to bring an end to the attacks if he is elected. The candidate did not state clearly how he would deal with the issue; assuming he has the magic wand to neutralise the militant group, why can’t he make it known? Why has he not made it known until now? Why is he waiting to be elected as president before putting forward the proposal to end these vicious attacks? Why is he not assisting the current government? Are elections more important than people’s lives?

Unfortunately, this situation is not just local – the international community is just the same. At the peak of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, many western countries pledged to assist Nigeria in finding the girls and ending the attacks and killings by Boko Haram. But that has not materialised yet. Instead Nigeria has witnessed more killings and kidnappings since then.

And my question is: why is this so?

Why has the international community failed in giving Nigeria the robust urgent support it needs to address this problem?

Why have the western countries not assisted Nigeria in tracking down these militants the way they are supporting France to tackle the terrorists who attacked and killed French citizens? Are French lives more important than Nigerian lives?

Why has the US not supported Nigeria in dealing with Boko Haram the way it dealt with those who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing?

Thus, anyone can see that the Boko Haram issue is plagued by a lot of political motives – pertaining to local, national and international politics. It is a politics of hypocrisy, double standards and insensitivity. It is a politics of the vulture – a politics that feeds on the corpses of dead bodies that litter the streets and roads of northern Nigeria.

This politics is costing lives and exposing the wretchedness of our acclaimed sense of humanity and international solidarity. This politics is hampering efforts to effectively degrade and neutralise Boko Haram. This politics does not speak well of Nigeria and the world.

I am appealing to the world that we put an end to these dirty politics now so that we can bring a swift end to Boko Haram’s attacks. They need to be stopped, and they need to be stopped now.

Authors advised: Avoid the ‘P’ word

Added January 16, 2015

The words ‘pig’ and ‘pork’ and even ‘sausages’ are to be avoided if one is writing schoolbooks for the Oxford University Press as they might offend Jews or Muslims.

The ban came to light on Monday – according to this report – on Radio 4’s Today programme during a discussion about free speech.

Presenter Jim Naughtie, whose writer wife Eleanor Updale is in talks with Oxford University Press over an educational book series, said:

I’ve got a letter here that was sent out by OUP to an author doing something for young people. Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP was the following: ‘Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork’.

He added:

Now, if a respectable publisher, tied to an academic institution, is saying you’ve got to write a book in which you cannot mention pigs because some people might be offended, it’s just ludicrous. It is just a joke.

The OUP says its guidelines exist because it needs to make its educational material available to as many people as possible.

A spokesman said:

Many of the educational materials we publish in the UK are sold in more than 150 countries, and as such they need to consider a range of cultural differences and sensitivities.

Our editorial guidelines are intended to help ensure that the resources that we produce can be disseminated to the widest possible audience.

The London Evening Standard quoted Muslim Labour MP Khalid Mahmood as saying:

That’s ludicrous. That’s absolute, utter nonsense and when people go too far that actually brings the whole discussion into disrepute.

Jewish leaders said their religion prohibits pork being eaten – not the mention of the word.

Raif Badawi’s Lawyer, Waleed Abu Al-Khair, Sentenced to a Full 15 Years in Prison

Added January 15, 2015
by  

Just days after Raif Badawi was given the first 50 of his 1,000 lashes for the “crime” of blasphemy, his lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair got some bad news, too: His 15 years prison sentence (of which five years had been knocked off) was reinstated in full:

On 12 January 2015, the Specialised Criminal Court in Riyadh held a session in which it sentenced prominent human rights lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair to serve 15 years in prison; previously this had been 15 years in prison, with five years suspended, but the court removed the suspension and ordered the full sentence should be served. Throughout the hearing his legs were shackled.

On 6 July 2014, he had received the primary sentence of 15 years in prison, with five years suspended, and a travel ban of equal duration as well as a fine of 200,000 SR. (approximately $53,300).The Public Prosecutor has appealed the primary sentence at the Court of Appeal in Riyadh, which said that he should serve the entire 15 years sentence, as he had not retreated or apologized to the court.

Multiple trumped up charges were brought against him including ‘antagonizing international organisations against the kingdom’, relating to his engagement with international human rights mechanisms including the UN system and ‘incitement of public opinion against authorities’, ‘setting up and supervising an unlicensed association’ referring to MHRSA, and “Preparing, storing and disseminating what would prejudice public order.”

Abu Al-Khair has perhaps one of the hardest jobs in the world: a human rights lawyer in Saudi Arabia. But the work he has done has been remarkable. He’s dedicated his life to defending those whose voices were taken away and I hope he gets continued support from the international community.


Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/01/13/raif-badawis-lawyer-waleed-abu-al-khair-sentenced-to-a-full-15-years-in-prison/#ixzz3OloNUxsJ

Egypt: 3-Year Sentence for Atheist Convicted Under Blasphemy Laws

Added January 14, 2015

(New York) – An Egyptian minor offenses court on January 10, 2015, sentenced a student accused of writing Facebook posts that insulted Islam to three years in prison. The sentence, one of several handed down on blasphemy charges in recent years, came amid a coordinated government crackdown on perceived atheists.

Authorities arrested the student, Karim Ashraf Mohamed al-Banna, with a group of other people at a café in the Beheira governate in November 2014, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression reported.

“Atheists are one of Egypt’s least-protected minorities, although the constitution ostensibly guarantees freedom of belief and expression,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director. “Egyptian authorities need to be guided by the constitution and stop persecuting people for atheism.”

Al-Banna’s sentencing is part of a wider government push to combat atheism and other forms of dissent. It came after police closed a so-called atheists café in downtown Cairo on December 14, and one of the country’s highest Sunni authorities issued a survey that purported to document what religious officials described as a worrying number of atheists in Egypt.

Ishak Ibrahim, a researcher for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), told the Agence France Press (AFP) news agency that a local newspaper identified al-Banna as an atheist after his arrest, and that neighbors had subsequently harassed him. Al-Banna’s lawyer, Ahmed Abdel Nabi, told AFP that al-Banna’s father had testified against his son and accused him of “embracing extremist ideas against Islam.”

A court will hear al-Banna’s appeal on March 9, 2015, and his bail has been set at 1,000 Egyptian pounds (US$140), his lawyer told AFP.

Since Egypt’s 2011 uprising, authorities have increasingly investigated blasphemy allegations stemming from both private complaints and government prosecutions. The majority of those investigations, documented by the EIPR, have concerned alleged insults against Islam, though at least two men have received prison sentences on charges of insulting Christianity. Cases of alleged blasphemy often arise out of personal or unrelated disputes.

Recently, the authorities have targeted perceived atheists. Police said the café shut down on December 14, 2014, in Cairo’s Abdeen district was popular with suspected atheists, and District Administrative Chief Gamal Mohie told the Mada Masr news website that the coffee shop was unlicensed and “popularly known as a place for Satan worship, rituals and dances.” He said police had raided the café in November. The Al-Monitor news site reported that a previous owner said he closed the café and leased it to a new owner in June because security forces had targeted the café as a hub for political activists.

On December 10 the Dar al-Ifta, a Justice Ministry wing that issues religious edicts, released a survey claiming that Egypt was home to 866 atheists, the highest number of any country in the Middle East. Two aides to the Grand Mufti – the head of the Dar al-Ifta – described the supposed increase in atheism as “a dangerous development” that “should ring alarm bells,” Mada Masr reported.

In March, the Interior Ministry official in charge of security in Alexandria said he would form a task force to arrest atheists. In June, following the election of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s youth and religious endowments ministries announced a joint campaign to confront the spread of atheism.

From 2011 to 2013, courts convicted 27 of 42 defendants on charges of contempt for religion, according to the EIPR. Judges acquitted three defendants and rejected charges against 11 others for lack of standing.

Egypt is party to human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which require its government to respect and protect freedom of religion and belief and freedom of expression, without any discrimination.

Article 64 of Egypt’s constitution states that “freedom of belief is absolute” but guarantees “freedom of practicing” only to followers of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

In many blasphemy cases, according to the EIPR, government prosecutors and private plaintiffs have invoked article 98(f) of the penal code, which prescribes a sentence of six months to five years and a fine of 500 to 1,000 Egyptian pounds for anyone who uses religion to propagate “extremist ideas” to incite strife, insult a monotheistic religion, or damage national unity.

Blasphemy prosecutions continued in 2014. On December 27, prosecutors filed charges against author Fatima Naaout for allegedly writing sarcastic comments on her Facebook wall about the slaughter of animals for the Eid al-Adha holiday. In June, an appeals court in Beni Suef governorate upheld a five-year sentence in absentia for Karam Saber, who was charged in 2010 after publishing a short story collection entitled, “Where is God?”

Also in June, separate courts in Luxor governorate imposed blasphemy sentences of up to six years on four Coptic Christians. A minor offenses court sentenced Kirollos Shawki Atallah to six years for posting photos on Facebook deemed defamatory to Islam. A minor offenses appeals court upheld a conviction and imposed a six-month sentence on Dimyana Obeid Abdel Nour, a primary school teacher whose students had accused her of ridiculing Islam. The same appeals court issued six-month blasphemy sentences for Shahira Mohamed Ahmed Suleiman and Khalifa Mohamed Kheir, according to the EIPR.

In June 2013, a court in Assiut governorate sentenced a Coptic Christian lawyer, Roman Murad Saad, in absentia to one year in prison with hard labor for “ridiculing” the Quran at a Lawyers Syndicate meeting.

In December 2012, a blogger, Albert Saber, was sentenced to three years in prison. He was accused under article 98(f) and other provisions of establishing web pages including “Screwing the Gods” and “Egyptian Atheists.” Critics had also claimed he posted the film “Innocence of Muslims,” a film considered anti-Islamic, on his website. He was released on bail pending his appeal and fled Egypt.

Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10118-3299
USA
Tel: 1-(212) 290-4700

What is wrong with “multiculturalism”?

Added January 14, 2015
by Jerry Coyne


That depends on how you define it. If you mean “tolerating or celebrating the customs of people from another land,” it’s fine — and desirable. The U.S. would be bland and uniform without its many immigrants, their celebrations and holidays, their food, their politics, their philosophies, and so on.

But when multiculturalism involves importing antidemocratic ideas into a democratic culture, then it becomes problematic. The kind of “multiculturalism” that Charlie Hebdo opposed, and wished to be dissolved by “French” values, was Islam’s veneration of sharia law, its institutionalization of the subjugation of women, its calls for the death of apostates, gays, and adulterers, its belief in corporal punishment for criminals, and the Muslim habit, in some places, of patrolling the streets, looking to find and admonish young Muslims partying, drinking, listening to music, dancing, and associating with members of the other sex. Fun is a no-no.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/#ixzz3Od1aZuV7

Saudi cleric condemns snowmen as anti-Islamic

Added January 14, 2015
Reuters

lumiukko
DUBAI (Reuters) - A prominent Saudi Arabian cleric has whipped up controversy by issuing a religious ruling forbidding the building of snowmen, described them as anti-Islamic.

Asked on a religious website if it was permissible for fathers to build snowmen for their children after a snowstorm in the country's north, Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid replied: "It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun."

Quoting from Muslim scholars, Sheikh Munajjid argued that to build a snowman was to create an image of a human being, an action considered sinful under the kingdom's strict interpretation of Sunni Islam.

The new religion of madness

How the Christian concept of mental illness still infests psychiatric treatment

Added January 14, 2015
The Freethinker

Emerging from the subway in San Francisco, before the sight of the city strains into view, you are hit with the smell of it – a bit of marijuana, a bit of smog, and an unavoidable nasal punch of urine and feces.  There are few places in the civilized world that smell so distinctly and regularly of human feces as the exit ramp of a San Francisco mass transit line.

And the explanation why is not long in coming – in every direction, wherever you care to cast your glance, you’ll see the city’s homeless, sleeping in doorways or huddled together in groups expansively relating tales of police brutality and the indifference of humanity.

Some are down on their luck but many, too many, are clearly not functioning at full mental capacity – wandering around in circles, having detailed conversations with nobody, beating their heads rhythmically against a nearby wall – people who, 40 years ago, had a governmental support system, and who now wander, lost and forgotten, victims of a new approach to mental health.

In the Christian era, madness was binary. Either your heart was full of God and you were sane, or the Devil had touched you, and rendered you insane.  It was the continuation of that grand tradition of antiquity by which trembling humans were the victims of the whims of the gods, paper creatures liable to burst into tragic flame when caught in the crossfire of divine conflict.
A depiction of treppaning from the painting Cutting the Stone (circa 1494) by Hieronymus Bosch. (See

A depiction of treppaning from the painting Cutting the Stone (circa 1494) by Hieronymus Bosch. (See The History of Mental Illness: From ‘Skull Drills’ to ‘Happy Pills’)

Whereas for the Homeric Greeks, however, divine fate could be railed against but never overcome, the Christians founded themselves on a system of divine emergency services that could be called upon at any time, by any one. Exorcism and ritual, a high mass and the clang of a full donation box, all assured the proper intervention against the Devil’s machinations.

If a person remained insane even after the intercession of a priest, it was taken as a sign that they had not yet truly renounced the Devil.  At that point, it was their problem, not the priest’s, and therefore they deserved their ultimate fate of familial scorn and societal cruelty.

Fortunately, this outlook had within it the germ of its own destruction, and with the religious excesses of the17th century, Europe finally started settling down to the idea that mental illness was organic, not divine, in origin. That idea, of a simple one-time cure-all that worked if you were a good person but failed if you were still somehow evil, gave way for the next three centuries to the notion of care and understanding.

At the same time as Europeans were philosophically prepared to entertain a biological portrait of mental disease, the continent was economically developing a service sector that specialized in taking over for the family unit its most intense tasks.  Just as you no longer educated your child at home, but rather sent him off to a school if you had the money, so were you no longer expected to handle your unbalanced family members, but instead paid for their professional care at any of the private health asylums lurching unsteadily into existence.

Some were good, some were thoroughly awful, but governmental regulation throughout the 18th and 19th century was working towards curbing the worst excesses, and establishing public mental hospitals that had some notion of transparency.

Each nation had its own focus.  While the Germans concentrated on the cellular and bacteriological origins of mental illness at the expense of recognizing the humanity of the person carrying the disease, the French developed a cacophony of therapeutic techniques seeking to either ease the patient back to normalcy, or shock him there, all at the expense of knowing what was actually underlying the phenomenon on a biochemical and anatomical level.

An amalgam of those two approaches, a mental hospital system that upheld a strong focus in fundamental research while still preserving and affirming the basic humanity of its patients, was on the horizon.

And then we out-clevered ourselves.

First through surgery (one doctor, armed with an ice pick placed in the eye socket, could bang out a hundred lobotomies a week) and then through medication (brain chemistry altering drugs are currently the most frequently prescribed of all medicines in the Western Hemisphere), the idea that mental illness was binary planted itself again in the imagination.  A pill took the place of the priest, and the world celebrated.

Most of that celebration is, I think, justified.  The slow and anguished unlocking of the brain’s plasticity and associative regions is one of the great triumphs of the 20th century, and a towering argument for our essentially chemical and mechanical nature as organisms.  It has allowed us wholly new vistas from which to appreciate the complexity of mental illness, and provided new tools to manage our most debilitating of neural diseases.

The vocabulary of this new psychiatry, however, has had some disastrous consequences.  Conservative politicians who had been aching with a desire to shut down the public mental health system seized upon their apparent efficacy, and declared the public mental hospitals dead.  Under Thatcher and Reagan, funding was cut by 80 percent under the cavalier notion that people would be fixed on an outpatient basis using pharmaceuticals.

A health system that had been slowly learning how to do its job in fostering recovery was gutted to make way for a pharmaceutical system of huge promise but just in its infancy. It was the binary religious spirit reborn – here is a cure, if you take it and get better, you’ll rejoin society, and if you don’t get better, you’re irredeemable and so to the streets with you.

That vast intermediate zone, between those successfully cured by the wonder product and those untouched by it, was snatched away, and so likewise was the ability to treat anybody who fell on the wrong side of the pharmacy’s graces.  And so they roam, intentionally lost by a society that had yearned to do away with them for centuries as the Devil’s Lot, and that only found the ability to do so when a new vocabulary arose to add a secular gloss to its medieval conceptions.

As Complicated Things go, the brain is the monarch of the natural realm. We gave public institutional care a mere century and a half, interspersed with World War and nuclear panic, to master handling the vicissitudes of that monarch before casting it away in favor of something that sounded comfortably like the exorcism that allows us to disregard continued sufferers as beyond the scope of our sympathy.

Someday, we shall understand that brain so well, and design medications to nurture its wendings so cheaply and effectively that, indeed, everyone who wants it might well have the level of cognitive functioning they desire regardless of their economic or social position.  Someday, we might even be comfortable enough as a society to consider somebody who foregoes the option of “normal” neurochemistry as part of our fabric, and not some Other to be collectively acted upon.

For now, however, if we can at least check our impulse to religiously binarize the spectrum of mental illness, and to import that polarization into our personal judgments and governmental policies, then we shall be doing our small part in hastening the arrival of that day, and the richness of mutual comprehension it promises.

Atheist Alliance International Condemns Brutal Attack in France

Added January 13, 2015

In light of the recent terrorist attack in which twelve French journalists were executed by a group of religious  zealots, Atheist Alliance International (AAI) wishes to express its sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased journalists and staff at Charlie Hébdo.
 
“These types of attacks are the most extreme expression of the global anti-blasphemy movement. They are trying to suppress criticism of religion by any means necessary,” said AAI president Christine Shellska. “Since they weren’t able to suppress the editorial staff at Charlie Hébdo’s right to free speech via legal harassment, they instead used violence.”
 
AAI will hold a special edition of its magazine, Secular World, in memory of the newest victims of Islam and to help raise awareness of the dangerous trend that seeks to suppress criticism of Islam by legal (or violent) means in the whole world.

“AAI will keep working against the current line of blasphemy laws that are promoted by different groups around the world that try to use the legal system to silence secular citizens, as is the case in most of the developing world”.

AAI stands in solidarity with Charlie  Hébdo,  and more  broadly,  with  cartoonists, satirists, comedians, journalists and others who endorse freedom of expression – heroes who identify social injustices, uphold human rights via the power of words, and speak truth to power via their art. In the spirit of upholding thebasic human right to freedom of speech, AAI wishes to endorse the Center for Inquiry’s (CFI) initiative to publish one of the images, and invites you to visit their page to view it. Further, the Huffington Post has also published some heartbreaking responses from cartoonists, and we encourage you to  view them here.

“Paraphrasing the words that the French people have taken as their banner,”

says Shellska,

“let me say, ‘We all are Charlie Hébdo’

A real international solidarity of the Free Thought

Added January 13, 2015

On the very day after the barbarian and obnoxious attack against the journalists of Charlie-Hebdo, the international association of Free Thought released the following statement:

Solidarity,

The International Association of Free Thought (IAFT), of which the National Federation of the Free Thought is a member, declares itself horrified by the murderous attack committed in the premises of Charlie-Hebdo, French satirical newspaper.

It is a barbaric act which can only disgust any democrat, any advocate of freedom of conscience and freedom of expression
The IAFT insures the journalists and the staff of Charlie-Hebdo of all its solidarity.

The IAFT informs all the associations of the Free Thought on all the continents.

Paris, January the 7th, 2015

Quite Naturally, the IAFT also paid tribute to all the victims of the murders that were perpetrated and caused 17 victims

Within hours and the following days, the appeal for solidarity of the International Association of the Free Thought was widely echoed by the associations of Free Thought across the world.

Messages and announcements of the following countries have reached us : Ireland, Poland, Italy, Portugal, USA, England, Ulster (Northern Ireland), Canada, Uruguay, France, Germany, Australia, Norway, Austria, Turkey, Lebanon, Argentina, Spain, Belgium, Quebec, Scotland.

Faithful to their historical tradition, Free Thinkers around the world, in complete independence, have marked their solidarity to the victims of barbarity.

Paris, January 12th,2015.

Mumbai (India) police act against CH images

Added January 13, 2015

The Freethinker

Mumbai police have blocked over 650 posts and pages ‘on a popular social networking site’ featuring some of Charlie Hebdo‘s cartoons.

According to this report, Mumbai police spokesperson Dhananjay Kulkarni said that that they are blocking every controversial post that “they come across”.

He added that the police:

Are constant touch with the authorities managing the servers of a popular USA-based networking site to immediately block such controversial posts and provide us with IP address of the account holders.

The report also says that Mumbai Police’s social media lab was directed to search through various posts in a bid to hunt down people posting the cartoons.

This suggests that whoever posts Charlie Hebdo cartoons online would be in trouble with the law under the controversial section 66A of the IT Act, which provides wide ranging powers to police to arrest people for “causing offence” on social media sites.

In the past, there have been several controversial arrests under this act. In fact, there have been instances of arrests even for merely “liking” Facebook posts.

According to the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, the UK is no less scared of offending Muslims than India. He claimed today that the UK’s fear of criticising Islam has led to a “de facto blasphemy law”.

Writing in the Sunday Times after the terror attacks in Paris that left 17 people dead, he said journalists “live in fear” of speaking against Muslims and
he urged the media to publish controversial material even if some parts of society would find it offensive.

Blasphemy laws were “unjust and outdated”, he said, and he urged journalists to ignore what had become an unwritten rule about offending religions.

We need not worry about taking the vast majority of Muslims with us. They are much more offended by violence committed in their name than by cartoons or images of their prophet.

His words came a day after a 10-year-old suicide bomber killed at least 20 people  and injured a further 18 at a market in the Muslim majority town of Maiduguri, Nigeria.

The former archbishop also called on Muslim leaders to make it clear that blasphemy rules do not apply to people of other faiths and none.

Meanwhile, we learn from this report that Paris made Charlie Hebdo “an honorary citizen” and that French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin said the government was ready to grant journal one million euros:

So it can continue next week and the week after that and the week after that.

Egyptian Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Admitting on Facebook That He’s an Atheist

Added January 13, 2015, by  

According to the international news agency Agence France-Presse, 21-year-old Karim al-Banna was sentenced to three years in prison for the “crime” of saying on Facebook that he was an atheist:

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/#ixzz3Oa0iKdU0

Another blasphemy killing in Pakistan

Added January 12, 2015, The Freethinker

The bullet-riddled body of a man arrested then freed after being jailed for blasphemy was found this week in deserted area near Usman Khattar Railway Station in Peshawar. He had been shot in the chest and head at close range.

According to this report, the victim, identified as 52-year-old Aabid Mehmood, alias Aabid Kazzab, owned a hotel and lived in Kamra village. He had reportedly claimed to be a “prophet” in October 2011 and blasphemy complaint was lodged against him by his son-in-law, Sadaqat Ali.

Aabid was sent to jail after his mental condition had been examined by a board of doctors at the Rawalpindi District Headquarters Hospital. He was released from Adiyala jail after about two years because of his mental and physical condition.

On Tuesday, some masked men took him from his house in Ahatta area and his bullet-riddled body was found on Wednesday.

When Mehmood’s body was brought to the village, “a group of enraged people” prevented his relatives from burying it in the local graveyard. He was later interred in the courtyard of his house.

Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that a German newspaper that reprinted Charlie Hebdo Mohammad cartoons has been the target of an arson attack.

A police spokesman said:

Rocks and then a burning object were thrown through the window. Two rooms on lower floors were damaged but the fire was put out quickly.

The regional tabloid daily, the Hamburger Morgenpost, had splashed three Charlie Hebdo cartoons on its front page after the Paris massacre, running the headline:

This much freedom must be possible!

No one was hurt in the attack in the northern port city, which police said occurred at about 1.20 am this morning.

Two people were detained and an investigation has begun, police said, adding said it was too soon to say whether there was a connection between the attack and the newspaper’s publication of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens Speak About Their Supreme Court Case

Added January 12, 2015, by Hemant Mehta

Last October, the plaintiffs in the Town of Greece v. Galloway Supreme Court case, Susan Galloway (who’s Jewish) and Linda Stephens (who’s an atheist), spoke at the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s convention. It was a few months after the Court’s bone-headed 5-4 decision to allow sectarian invocations at government meetings. Still, for their efforts, they were awarded with the title “Freethinkers of the Year”:

Read more:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/#ixzz3OWDLp5c5

NYC Atheists Bus Campaign

Added January 12, 2015

bus-poster
You asked for it. You anticipated it. You waited for it! This month, some two dozen buses will roll through Manhattan, debuting our 12-foot long, three foot high message, "You don’t have to believe in god to be a moral or ethical person".

‘Support same-sex unions, get sacked’

Added January 12, 2015

Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski has sent a memo to all church employees warning that any expressions of support for gay marriage – even if it’s only a tweet or Facebook post – could cost them their jobs.

The Atheist Foundation of Australia is excited to be bringing Robin Ince – Happiness Through Science to Australia in April 2015

Added January 12, 2015

Best known for presenting the BBC radio show The Infinite Monkey Cage with physicist Brian Cox, Robin’s recent tours include the Uncaged Monkeys Tour with Simon Singh, Brian Cox and Ben Goldacre, and The Importance of Being Interested.

Robin organised Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People in the UK and co-wrote the Australian movie Razzle Dazzle. He has won the Time Out Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy (2006), the Chortle Award for Best Compere (2007) and the Sony Radio Awards Gold Award for Best Speech Programme (2011).

In Happiness Through Science Robin asks whether you can be happy and rational at the same time … covering Schrödinger cats, multiverses and evolutionary conundrums, Robin traverses the landscape of evolution and the depths of his own murky consciousness, all without the aid of a safety net.

You can see Happiness Through Science in:

Tickets are available for purchase at:
http://atheistfoundation.org.au/robinince

Is there real randomness

Erkki Hartikainen January 12, 2015

random

No. The randomness is a human concept to classify events.

The randomness is defined by the probability calculus. The definition does not imply that there is randomness in the reality.

The statistics is using the concept of randomness but the statistical randomness is a coarsening. Coarsenings are human conceptions, not a part of the reality.

There is no mathematical method to produce real random numbers. Mathematics can create only quasirandom numbers. There is no algorithm to produce really random numbers. It is possible, that the creating of the random numbers is logically impossible,

The experiments of the sciences can not create random numbers. It is impossible to prove that an experimental number is real random number.

The concept of the randomness in mathematics and in statistics is different from concept in the ordinary speech. The objects of the ordinary speech are coarsenings.

We atheists must remember that the events of our life form a sequence which is very improbable but not impossible.

Physics will not prove something of the outer reality. The physics in only the human coarsening of human observations. The physics will not tell something of the randomness of the reality. The physics is only a human conception with human restrictions (the worst restrictions are the electromagnetic waves).

Hindu nationalism suppurts population explosion

Indian MP says Hindu women must have four kids

Added January 11, 2015

A lawmaker from India's ruling party has called for Hindu women to have at least four children to "protect" their religion, sparking calls for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rein in his hardline supporters.

maharaj

Sakshi Maharaj.

Sakshi Maharaj, who represents a seat in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh for Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said in a speech Tuesday that Hindus should see it as their duty to have large families.

"The time has come when a Hindu woman must produce at least four children in order to protect the Hindu religion," Maharaj said at a religious congregation in the city of Meerut.

Comment: Can you help raise awareness of homophobia in Uganda?

Added January 11, 2015

Homophobic western evangelicals from the UK and US have been preaching hate in Uganda over the past decade which has led directly to anti-gay legislation and extreme persecution of the LGBT (LGBT is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgende) community in the form of evictions, mob violence, rape and murder.

The bowhead whale lives over 200 years: Can its genes tell us why?

Added January 11, 2014, Science Daily

whale

A whale that can live over 200 years with little evidence of age-related disease may provide untapped insights into how to live a long and healthy life. In the January 6 issue of the Cell Press journal Cell Reports, researchers present the complete bowhead whale genome and identify key differences compared to other mammals.

Alterations in bowhead genes related to cell division, DNA repair, cancer, and aging may have helped increase its longevity and cancer resistance.

"Our understanding of species' differences in longevity is very poor, and thus our findings provide novel candidate genes for future studies,"

says senior author Dr. João Pedro de Magalhães, of the University of Liverpool, in the UK.

"My view is that species evolved different 'tricks' to have a longer lifespan, and by discovering the 'tricks' used by the bowhead we may be able to apply those findings to humans in order to fight age-related diseases."

Also, large whales with over 1000 times more cells than humans do not seem to have an increased risk of cancer, suggesting the existence of natural mechanisms that can suppress cancer more effectively than those of other animals.

Dr. Magalhães and his team would next like to breed mice that will express various bowhead genes, with the hopes of determining the importance of different genes for longevity and resistance to diseases.

They also note that because the bowhead's genome is the first among large whales to be sequenced, the new information may help reveal physiological adaptations related to size. For example, whale cells have a much lower metabolic rate than those of smaller mammals, and the researchers found changes in one specific gene involved in thermoregulation (UCP1) that may be related to metabolic differences in whale cells.

Bill Maher: “There Are No Great Religions. They’re All Stupid and Dangerous”

On Jimmy Kimmel‘s show the other night, Bill Maher gave his first take on the Charlie Hebdo attacks, calling out liberals who tiptoe around the religious angle of this story:
This has to stop, and unfortunately, a lot of the liberals, who are my tribe — I am a proud liberal… I’m asking them to turn toward the truth as I have been for quite a while. I’m the liberal in this debate… I’m for free speech. To be a liberal, you have to stand up for liberal principles. It’s not my fault that the part of the world that is most against liberal principles is the Muslim part of the world.
He went on to say no religion should be off-limits for criticism:
We have to stop saying, when something like this that happened in Paris today, we have to stop saying, well, we should not insult a great religion. First of all, there are no great religions. They’re all stupid and dangerous. And we should insult them and we should be able to insult whatever we want. That is what free speech is like.
Maher’s not kidding, either, about how many millions of Muslims around the world applaud the terrorists’ actions.
I gotta say, Kimmel’s body language throughout that segment was of someone totally afraid of what Maher was going to say because he (Kimmel) didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Sure, Kimme

At last! An explanation for why Muslim men must wear beards

Added January 11, 2015

CLEAN-SHAVEN young men, according to a mad American Muslim hate preacher who was recently barred from speaking at the University of East London, tend to make Muslim males horny.

Imam Khalid Yasin. who once claimed that the US government created AIDS and asserted that “the Koran gives a clear position regarding homosexuality lesbianism and bestiality. … They are aberrations punishable by death”, raised laughter when he told an audience that:

The beard is a natural sign of manliness and it is a natural sign of distinguishing men from women. And among the companions of the Prophet, they used to not even look at a man who shaved his beard for fear they may have desire for him.

He added:

Allah cursed the women that looked like men and the men that looked like women.

l supports free speech, but he seemed extremely uncomfortable the entire time Maher talked about Islam. I don’t blame him. I understand the hesitation. But that’s exactly why we need people like Maher who aren’t afraid of tipping sacred cows or taking criticism from people who feel he shouldn’t be discussing these ideas.
The new season of Real Time begins tonight. Salman Rushdie is one of the guests. Ben Affleck is not.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/01/09/bill-maher-there-are-no-great-religions-theyre-all-stupid-and-dangerous/#ixzz3OL75Nrbm

“Traditional Values” Are Losing Ground with Voters and We’re All Better Off as a Result

Added Jamuary 10, 2015

values


Read more:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/#ixzz3OI8Ui4yA

Happy birthday, Stephen Hawking

hawking

The Orthodox Chuch has much of power in Russia

Russia says drivers must not have 'sex disorders'

Added January 10, 2015

medvedev

Russia has listed transsexual and transgender people among those who will no longer qualify for driving licences.

Fetishism, exhibitionism and voyeurism are also included as "mental disorders" now barring people from driving.

The government says it is tightening medical controls for drivers because Russia has too many road accidents.

The announcement follows international complaints about Russian harassment of gay-rights activists.

In 2013 Russia made "promoting non-traditional lifestyles" illegal.

Valery Evtushenko at the Russian Psychiatric Association voiced concern about the driving restrictions, speaking to the BBC Russian Service. He said some people would avoid seeking psychiatric help, fearing a driving ban.

The Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights called the new law "discriminatory". It said it would demand clarifications from the Russian Constitutional Court and seek support from international human rights organisations.

But the Professional Drivers Union supported the move. "We have too many deaths on the road, and I believe toughening medical requirements for applicants is fully justified," said the union's head Alexander Kotov.

However, he said the requirements should not be so strict for non-professional drivers.

Mikhail Strakhov, a Russian psychiatric expert, told BBC Russian that the definition of "personality disorders" was too vague and some disorders would not affect a person's ability to drive a car safely.

AFTER THE CHARLIE HEBDO MASSACRE, SUPPORT THOSE FIGHTING THE RELIGIOUS-RIGHT

Added Januari 10, 2014

ATTENTION

After the massacre in Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, expressing indignation, as so many are doing, is not enough. 
 
A quick look at the English-speaking media shows that whilst many condemn the violence itself, they also assert that Charlie Hebdo courted (and maybe deserved?) a strong response from “Muslims”. Charlie’s regular cartoonists did not spare Islam, any other religion, nor fanatics and bigots.
 
This trend in the media requires our attention. Apparently secularists, agnostics and atheists must keep silent and do not deserve the kind of respect that believers are entitled to; nor can they enjoy free speech to the same degree.

READ MORE AND SEE SIGNATORIES HERE:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/2015/01/07/after-the-charlie-hebdo-massacre-support-those-fighting-the-religious-right/
 

FOR CHARLIE HEBDO: RAGE AND SOLIDARITY

maryam
 
Maryam Namazie’s message to Charlie Hebdo’s editor in chief, Gerard Biard:
 
I spoke on a panel with you in November last year at the International Feminist and Secular Network in Paris.
 
I am writing to express my outrage at the cold-blooded murder of freethinkers at Charlie Hebdo today and to give my unequivocal support.
 
Freedom of expression and the criticism of religion and Islam are basic rights. Clearly, free expression without the right to criticise religion is meaningless. Throughout history, criticism of religion (that which is deemed sacred or taboo) has been intrinsic to human progress.
 
In the era of ISIS and the religious-Right, this criticism is a historical necessity and needed more than ever.
 
READ MORE HERE: http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/2015/01/07/for-charlie-hebdo-rage-and-solidarity/
 

7 FEBRUARY 2015 SHARIA LAW, APOSTASY AND SECULARISM DAY-CONFERENCE WILL PAY TRIBUTE TO CHARLIE HEBDO AND THE MANY PERSECUTED FOR CRITICISING ISLAM AND RELIGION

 
Near London Kings Cross
9am registration; 10am-5:30pm
 
The exciting day-conference will include discussions on Charlie Hebdo and freedom of expression, apostasy and blasphemy laws, Islamism and the religious-Right, Sharia in the Law, Educational System and Public Policy, as well as Secularism and Citizenship Rights. Speakers will discuss the successful campaigns against the Law Society and Universities UK and how the fight for equal rights and an end to discrimination against ex-Muslims and for free expression are integral to the urgent fight against Islamism and the religious-Right and for a secular society. 
 
Speakers at the 7 February conference will include Activist Ahmed Idris, Campaigner for Secular Education Aliyah Saleem, Spokesperson of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain Amal Farah, Activist Atoosa Khatiri, Secular Activist Chris Moos, Director of the Centre for Secular Space Gita Sahgal, Founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco Imad Iddine Habib, Spokesperson of One Law for All Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain Nahla Mahmoud, Human Rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell, Southall Black Sisters Director Pragna Patel, Founder of Ex-Muslims of Scotland Ramin Forghani, Nari Diganta’s Rumana Hashem, National Secular Society President Terry Sanderson and Women’s Rights Campaigner Yasmin Rehman.

SEE SCHEDULE, SPEAKER BIOS AND INFORMATION ON HOW TO REGISTER HERE:


http://ex-muslim.org.uk/2014/12/sharia-law-apostasy-and-secularism-event-london/
 
For more information, contact
maryamnamazie@gmail.com
www.maryamnamazie.com

‘Religion deserves fearless disrespect’

Added January 9, 2015

Author Salman Rushdie, above – who had a fatwa placed on his head after publishing The Satanic Verses in 1988 – yesterday made a statement about the attack on the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead.

On Twitter, he wrote:

Vive Charlie Hebdo!

And in a linked statement, Rushdie said that:

Religion, a medieval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry, becomes a real threat to our freedoms.

This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today.

I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity.

“‘Respect for religion’” has become a code phrase meaning “fear of religion”, Rushdie concluded.

Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.


This was artist Banksy’s response. You can see how other artists responded here.

Referring to the Rushie affair, Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, wrote:

Restrictions on criticising or satirising religion, especially Islam, have hugely increased since Salman Rushdie was burned in effigy and driven into hiding over The Satanic Verses in 1988. That he was reviled and those attempting his murder not even charged showed Governmental contempt for freedom of expression.

The abolition of (Christian) blasphemy in England in 2008 became irrelevant with the introduction of protection from criticism or mockery of all religion when ‘religiously aggravated offences’ were criminalised with a seven year tariff. These offences dangerously go beyond protecting protect individuals to protecting their beliefs.

The extremists try increasingly to terrorise us into silence and often the state conspires with them, blaming the victims for ‘bringing it upon themselves’.

But in an open society, free expression is more important than any religious dogma. Without free expression, our democracy will not function, as it does not in many Muslim countries. Religion will be permitted to go unexamined, even when it is a threat to life and limb.

We must stand together and refuse to be cowed into silence by the threats of terrorists and the cowardice of politicians. We cannot, as a society, place religion beyond the reach of satire or critical examination.

The closest the UK has to Charlie Hebdo is the satirical magazine, Private Eye. Yesterday it editor, Ian Hislop, above, issued a statement about the Paris atrocity. Among the casualties were four of France’s most celebrated political cartoonists Jean Cabu, Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac and Bernard Maris.

Hislop said:

I am appalled and shocked by this horrific attack – a murderous attack on free speech in the heart of Europe.

I offer my condolences to the families and friends of those killed – the cartoonists, journalists and those who were trying to protect them. They paid a very high price for exercising their comic liberty.

Very little seems funny today.

And, collectively, French people, stood in their thousands in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, and declared: “Not afraid”.

The Cowardly State of  Mainstream Media in U.S.:

Obscuring Charlie Hebdo Cartoons To Avoid Offense

Bloodbath at Charlie Hebdo begat another tragedy: Not since Comedy Central heavily censored an episode of South Park in 2010, to stave off reprisals from angry Muslims, has so much media cowardice been so nakedly on display.

Or maybe the previous low-water mark was set just a year ago, when Channel 4 in England, reporting on a comic-strip controversy involving Jesus and Mo, placed a censorious black blob over the Muslim prophet’s character, so as not to give “offense” to thin-skinned believers.

That kind of pusillanimity is now really getting around. From the Huffington Post:

Many outlets have censored their coverage of the publication’s depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.

The New York Daily News opted to obscure the front page of a Charlie Hebdo publication in its coverage of the attack. It blurred a cartoon from a 2011 Getty photo of Charlie Hebdo Editor Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier, who was among those killed in Wednesday’s attack. The Daily News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Telegraph took a similar approach and blurred the cover of a Charlie Hebdo paper in its live blog, then ultimately removed the image entirely, reports Politico.

A second photo on the Telegraph, in which Charbonnier poses with an edition of Charlie Hebdo, is tightly cropped.

CNN has also chosen not to show any Charlie Hebdo cartoons that could offend MuslimsIn a memo sent to staff Wednesday afternoon, CNN senior editorial director Richard Griffiths encouraged reporters to instead “verbally describe the cartoons in detail,” a separate Politico report notes.

Which is insane in an especially chickenhearted sort of way. If a visual joke could be adequately described in mere words, there would’ve been no need for anyone to draw anything in the first place.

Charlie Hebdo is all about the cartoons. You can describe some of them in a pinch, I suppose, but the exercise is about as bizarre and pointless as taking a shower in a wetsuit.

More:

A wire image of [murdered editorial director] Stephane Charbonnier released by the Associated Press also does not include the Charlie Hebdo cover. A spokesman for the AP told the Huffington Post the move is in line with the organization’s “longstanding policy that we do not move deliberately provocative images on the wire.”

Also, I couldn’t help but notice that in yesterday’s New York Times profile of Charlie Hebdo, the only two covers the U.S. paper chose to print were one lampooning the French far right, and another that made fun of president François Hollande.

Way to sidestep the issue.

This craven capitulation to fear — to terror, to be precise — is a sad indication of how our mainstream media now operate. By contrast, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs were chockablock with proudly uncropped, unpixelated Charlie covers, as were some new-media outlets such as the Daily Beast, which yesterday posted a no-punches-pulled sixteen-cartoon gallery that was heavy on Mohammed jokes. Kudos.

Ironically, the headline over the Times piece read: “Proud to Offend, Charlie Hebdo Carries Torch of Political Provocation.” It is beyond regrettable that the Times and other big news organizations go out of their way to practice the gutless opposite of that approach.

Atheism Leads to Moral Decay: Once Again, the Big Lie

Added Janyary 9, 2015
Huffington Post
Ronald A. Lindsay

A few days ago, the chancellor of a public university, Troy University in Alabama, sent students and staff an email message regarding the new year. In addition to expressing his hope that their new year would "be blessed," Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. included a link to a video, which, he said, would serve as a reminder of America's "greatness and vulnerability."

The video itself is ninety seconds of intellectual rubbish and bigotry masquerading as insight. Essentially, it's a Harvard business school professor making the claim that religious belief is essential for democracy. The professor suggests that if people do not believe in God, they will not voluntarily obey the law. The video ends with the ominous observation, "If you take away religion, you can't hire enough police."

The assertion that widespread atheism will lead to moral and social decline is a claim oft-repeated. But frequent repetition doesn't make this unsupported assertion true. Instead, it serves as a reminder of the prejudice that many have toward atheists, as well as a telling admission of the weakness of arguments for theism.

To begin, where's the evidence to support this claim? None is cited in the video. That's not surprising, because there is no evidence to support this claim. What evidence is available refutes the purported connection between disbelief in God and moral and social decline.

Widespread, voluntary rejection of belief in God is a phenomenon of only the last several decades, but there are a number of European countries, principally in Scandinavia, where a significant percentage of the population, if not a majority, no longer believes in a deity.

The sociologist Phil Zuckerman, in his book-length study, Society Without God, described how Sweden and Denmark are peaceful, prosperous democracies with generally law-abiding, civic-minded populations, whose crime rates compare favorably with the United States, a much more religious nation. Their police presence is much lower as well. So much for the supposed tumble into the abyss.

Moreover, empirical studies of the behavior of theists and nontheists have not revealed any significant causal connection between lack of belief in God and criminal conduct. If one visits our prisons, one would find the overwhelming majority of inmates are believers.

Admittedly, a few years ago, the researchers Robert Putnam and David Campbell did conduct surveys, the results of which were summarized in their 2010 book American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, which purported to show that religious Americans are more pro-social than nonreligious Americans. For example, religious Americans donate more to charities.

Leaving aside questions about their methodology (the surveys relied heavily on self-reporting), a close look at their studies shows that it's not religious belief per se that correlates with altruism, but rather being active in a religious community.

Being actively engaged in community associations may have some connection with pro-social behavior (in part, because it serves as a reminder of our obligations toward others), but there's no reason to think that civic associations cannot perform this function as well as religious groups.

In addition, the Putnam and Campbell study revealed one important aspect of conduct toward others where the nonreligious scored better than the religious, and that is with respect to support of civil liberties and conduct and attitudes toward minorities, such as gays and lesbians.

Put simply, the nonreligious are, overall, more tolerant. Bottom line: even assuming the Putnam and Campbell study is reliable, at most it shows that there are some differences in conduct between religious and nonreligious, not that a religious society is necessarily better or that a democracy cannot survive with a nonreligious population.

Of course, the most interesting thing about the assertions that atheism leads to moral decay is the motivation for such claims. Exactly who is supposed to be persuaded by these claims? It's not like atheists are suddenly going to slap their foreheads and exclaim, "My goodness, I better start believing in God." No, these claims are clearly designed to bolster the religious who may have some doubts about the soundness of their beliefs.

To put it mildly, the intellectual foundations for theism have been greatly eroded over the last couple of centuries. It is much more difficult to accept belief in invisible spirits. So, if one cannot come up with a positive argument for belief in God, try to scare people into believing. We better believe in God or chaos will result!

This viewpoint is sad enough when it's found in the ordinary believer. It's especially unfortunate when it's articulated by the head of a tax-supported public university. At the end of the day, Chancellor Hawkins's message reveals more about him than it does about atheism. Among other things, it shows he may be in more need of education than many of his students.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/01/08/the-cowardly-state-of-our-mainstream-media-obscuring-charlie-hebdo-cartoons-to-avoid-offense/#ixzz3OEe0qKuh

International Association of Free Thought (IAFT)

Asociación Internacional de Libre Pensamiento (AILP)
 
Association Internationale de Libre Pensée (AILP)

Solidarité

L’Association Internationale de la Libre Pensée (AILP), dont la Fédération nationale de la Libre Pensée française est membre, se déclare horrifiée de l’attentat meurtrier commis au siège de Charlie-Hebdo, journal satirique français.
C’est un acte barbare qui ne peut que révulser tout démocrate, partisan de la liberté de conscience et de la liberté d’expression.
L’AILP assure les journalistes et le personnel de Charlie-Hebdo de toute sa solidarité.
Elle en informe toutes les associations de la Libre Pensée sur les différents continents
Paris, le 7 janvier 2015

Solidarity,

The International Association of Free Thought (IAFT), of which the National Federation of the Free Thought is a member, declares itself horrified by the murderous attack committed in the premises of Charlie-Hebdo, French satirical newspaper.
It is an barbaric act which can only disgust any democrat, any advocate of freedom of conscience and freedom of expression
The IAFT insures the journalists and the staff of Charlie-Hebdo of all its solidarity.
The IAFT informs all the associations of the Free Thought on all the continents
Paris, January the 7th, 2015

Solidaridad

La Asociación Internacional de Libre Pensamiento (AILP), de la cual la federación nacional del Libre Pensiamento francés es miembra,se declara horrorizada por el atentado mortífero cometido en la sede de Charlie-Hebdo, el periódico satírico francés.
Es un acto bárbaro que puede sólo repugnar todo demócrata, partidario de la libertad de conciencia y de la libertad de expresión.
La AILP asegura a los periodistas y el personal de Charlie-Hebdo de toda su solidaridad.
Informa sobre eso todas las asociaciones del Libre Pensiamento sobre los diferentes continentes.
Paris, el 7 de enero de 2015
 
http://www.internationalfreethought.org/

ISIS beheads popular street magician

The Freethinker, added January 9, 2014

Lost in the avalanche of reports of the shocking terrorist attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris is a heart-rending story that shows that Islamic sensitivities stretch well beyond provocative depictions of the mad dog known as the Prophet Mohammed – source of inspiration for so many monstrous acts of savagery.

It is reported here that a street artist was beheaded by ISIS militants simply for entertaining crowds with his magic tricks in the terror group’s self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa, Syria.

After his detention, the illusionist was beheaded by militants in one of the city’s public squares because his magic tricks were deemed an insult to Islam as they created:

Illusions and falsehood.

A local activist who fled the city for Turkey that the magician’s murder was an example of:

Barbarism and butchery. The magician was a popular man who entertained people with little tricks on the street like making coins or phones disappear. He was just called ‘sorcerer’ by people and children loved him. He was doing nothing anti-Islamic but he paid for it with his life.

This is the reality of life in Raqqa, murdered in the name of Allah for performing a few tricks.

Earlier this week, ISIS fanatics reportedly executed four people for being gay in the Iraqi city of Mosul. The victims were hurled from the roof of a former government building in the city, which is under the control of the Muslim extremists.

Ever since getting back to by desk late this afternoon, I have been wading through dozens of reports of the Charlie Hebdo killings, and must doff my hat to Shane Croucher, of International Business Times, who praised the Hebdo team for refusing to yield to Islamic intimidation, which included the firebombing of their offices in 2011.

Often criticised by its targets for going too far, it [Charlie Hebdo] cites its fundamental right to free expression in a democratic society.

In that vein, it has never shied away, as others have, from satirising Islam, despite the violent reactions from extremists in the past, not only towards it but to others, like the author Salman Rushdie, the Danish cartoonists for Jyllands-Posten and the Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh.

‘If we no longer have the right to ridicule those who inflict terror on us, that’s a problem,’ said Philippe Val, Charlie Hebdo’s editorial director, in 2008.

Their brave satires of Muhammed have caused them horrific, fatal problems because of the backlash from violent Islamic fascists – but they’ve always reserved their right to keep on doing just that. Let’s hope they never stop.

Many people on social media are now urging the international press to show solidarity with Charlie Hebdo by publishing the selection of its Mohammed cartoon, but my guess is that this simply will not happen, even though it bloody well ought to.

Offices of Charlie Hebdo, French Magazine Often Critical of Islam, Barraged with Gunfire; A Dozen Are Dead

Added January 8, 2015

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/01/07/offices-of-charlie-hebdo-french-magazine-often-critical-of-islam-barraged-with-gunfire-killing-a-dozen/

It’s Time to Abandon the Irrational Concept of a Soul

Added January 8, 2015
by Hemant Mehta

While religion itself has received plenty of criticism over the past several years, the concept of the soul often gets a pass. Maybe it’s because the belief doesn’t do much damage, but it’s no more rational than a belief in God. There’s no evidence for it, you can’t sell it (I promise), and it really doesn’t weigh 21 grams.

Julien Musolino, a cognitive scientist and Associate Professor at Rutgers, has finally written a book debunking this idea that so many Americans hold dear. It’s bluntly titled The Soul Fallacy: What Science Shows We Gain from Letting Go of Our Soul Beliefs (Prometheus Books, 2015):

soul-fallacy

In the excerpt below, Musolino explains why the soul is a topic worth discussing:

WHEN THE SPIRIT MOVES YOU

What would possess someone to publicly blurt out, like the child in Andersen’s famous tale, that the emperor has no clothes, and worse, that he has no soul either?

One of my favorite answers comes from one of my colleagues who once said, when asked a similar question: “I am paid to find out the truth and announce it!” (To be fair, this remark was probably made tongue-in-cheek, and besides, not all truths are born equal.)

For those of us who are involved in the business of teaching psychology, neuroscience, or cognitive science, the soul certainly represents a perfect illustration of the proverbial elephant in the room.

We cognitive scientists routinely talk about the physical basis of mind and use phrases such as “the mind is what the brain does.” Much less often do we publicly discuss what the physical basis of mind entails for the traditional notion of personhood.

This is no doubt in large part because, as Joshua Greene pointed out, the question of the soul is a touchy issue. But just because an issue is touchy doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t talk about it.

In fact, if we really are in the business of education, we should talk about such issues precisely because they are touchy and therefore rarely discussed publicly. After all, clergymen, movie directors, and politicians openly talk about the soul, so why shouldn’t scientists?

It should go without saying (but it goes even better if we say it, as one of my high school teachers liked to remind us) that the goal of such discussion isn’t to bully people who happen to believe in the soul into changing their beliefs.

Rather, the objective is to create a free marketplace of ideas, where all points of views can be discussed without fear of censorship or discrimination, and to let people decide for themselves which set of ideas they find the most compelling.

If teachers, educators, scientists, and writers were discouraged from discussing touchy, unfashionable, or controversial topics on the grounds that they are, well, touchy, unfashionable, or controversial, then education, like Harry and Rodrick’s world, would lose much of its value and meaning.

Ironically, fairness and the recognition of different points of view is precisely what is often called for by proponents of certain “controversial” ideas in America today.

Take for example the perennial “debate” over creationism and evolution that has been raging in the United States for many decades (much to the astonishment of our European friends).

 One of the arguments often made by proponents of intelligent design (the latest brand of creationism) is that we should be fair and teach students both sides of the “controversy.” “Teach the controversy and let the students decide for themselves!” we often hear (sometimes from people as prominent as the president of the United States, in the case of George W. Bush).

Teaching the “controversy” in the evolution vs. intelligent design “debate” would be an excellent idea indeed if there actually was a meaningful controversy in the first place. To be sure, there is a huge manufactured, and largely North American, public controversy, but it has no analogue in the scientific world (hence the scare quotes when I used the words controversy and debate).

In the case of the soul, if there is a public controversy over its existence at all, it has been a pretty quiet one, at least compared to the battles raging over evolution.

Nevertheless, while a substantial majority of the American public believes in the soul and its survival after death, mainstream science has abandoned this traditional idea. So here we have two worldviews that could not be more different from one another, and if we really care about being fair and ensuring that different ideas get their share of airtime, I say it’s time to give scientists the microphone.

As the psychologist Paul Bloom put it:

“Such issues are too important to leave entirely in the hands of lawyers, politicians, and theologians.”

    This book is the rejoinder to the growing number of popular books that have surfaced in recent years, trying to make the case for the soul on scientific grounds. Examples include Life after Death: The Evidence, by conservative writer and Christian apologist Dinesh D’Souza; Life after Death: The Burden of Proof, by New Age author Deepak Chopra; The Soul Hypothesis: Investigations into the Existence of the Soul, by linguist Mark Baker and philosopher Stewart Goetz; The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul, by neuroscientist Mario Beauregard and journalist Denyse O’Leary; and Proof of Heaven, by neurosurgeon Eben Alexander. Here’s a revealing passage from D’Souza’s book:

To reclaim the hijacked territory, Christians must take a fresh look at reason and science. When they do, they will see that it stunningly confirms the beliefs that they held in the first place. What was presumed on the basis of faith is now corroborated on the basis of evidence, and this is especially true of the issue of life after death. Remarkably, it is reason and science that supply new and persuasive evidence for the afterlife — evidence that wasn’t there before.

So, according to D’Souza, science itself provides persuasive evidence for the immortality of the soul. If so, one might wonder why mainstream scientists themselves are not convinced by the kind of evidence that D’Souza claims exists. In fact, the scientific consensus goes precisely in the opposite direction: away from the soul and the afterlife — as we will discover in chapter 2.

And it’s not that D’Souza’s fellow Christians failed to notice these developments. Consider, for example, the following passage from the back cover of a 2004 book titled What about the Soul?

Neuroscience and Christian Anthropology, edited by the theologian Joel Green:

Everyone knows about the rocky relationship between science and theology brought about by the revolutionary proposals of Copernicus and Darwin. Fewer people know about an equally revolutionary scientific innovation that is currently under way among neurobiologists. This revolution in brain research has completely rewritten our understanding of who we are.

It poses fundamental challenges to traditional Christian theology. According to the scientific worldview that now dominates, it is no longer necessary to speak of a soul or spirit as distinct from the functions of the brain.
Contrary to what D’Souza and others have claimed, I passionately disagree (perhaps I should say that I rationally disagree) with the conclusion that science supports the notion of an immortal soul.

As I will argue in the pages ahead, the current scientific consensus isn’t simply a fad, nor is it fueled by antireligious sentiment (as Baker and Goetz suggest in their book). Instead, scientists have abandoned the soul because reason and evidence — the tools of their trade — compelled them to do so.

THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE

Although the world rarely comes neatly prepackaged into clearly delineated categories, and contains many shades of gray, I have come to see that people fall into roughly three categories with respect to the question of the soul.

At one end of the spectrum are my colleagues and fellow scientists, for whom the conclusions I will reach in this book will not be particularly surprising.

At the other end of the spectrum, we find people who are intimately convinced that human beings have souls and who will not consider, even in principle, that this may not be true.

I’ve often heard them politely tell me that scientists can present all the evidence they want, no amount would ever convince them to change their minds. Just like Agent Mulder in The X-Files, they want to believe.

There is also a third category.

These are people who sit on the fence regarding the existence of the soul, although they may be leaning one way or the other.

At the heart of their dilemma lies the massive asymmetry that we find in a country like the United States — for every bit of information that is released from the ivory tower and reaches the general public on the topic of the soul, there are ten gigabytes of countervailing information pouring out from all corners of popular culture.

So those undecided souls (here’s an example of usage that does not carry any metaphysical implications) end up being immersed in the traditional view, but they are only vaguely familiar with the details of the scientific view.

I have met many of those people myself and come to realize that they, unlike the people in the previous category, are in principle willing to change their minds if someone takes the time to carefully explain to them why it is that mainstream scientists no longer believe in the soul.

Sometimes, a little rational push is all it takes to awaken the Agent Scully within.

This book is equally suited to readers who fervently believe in the soul and will not change their minds, but who are nevertheless curious and would like to try to understand why there are people who do not believe in the soul narrative.

As for the choir of colleagues and fellow scientists to whom I would be preaching, I am reminded of my own experience with ideas that I already accept.

For example, I do not need to read any more books to convince myself of the validity of evolution, but I still read books on this topic because I find the details fascinating.

I am also a big sucker for analogies that help convey complicated or important ideas (or both) in simple and compelling ways (the philosopher Daniel Dennett calls these intuition pumps, and I will use several of them throughout the book).

So if other academics are like me in this regard, and I suspect that many are, I am sure there are many aspects of this book that they will enjoy too, even if the denouement is a forgone conclusion.

The Soul Fallacy is available online and in bookstores beginning today.

Read more:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/01/06/its-time-to-abandon-the-irrational-concept-of-a-soul/#ixzz3O6zsehzY

Kuwaiti with the big cigar advocates ‘joy’

Added January 8, 2014

Kuwaiti lawmaker Nabil al-Fadhl provoked angry reactions from fellow members of parliament when he proposed the repeal of a 2004 law that prohibited dancing at concerts and festivals.


nabil

Al-Fadhl, who last year threatened to resign from the country’s Ummah Council if bikinis were banned, further outraged conservatives this week with his response to a question posed – with apparent sarcasm – whether he would also support the legalisation of alcohol.

Fadhl, who apparently likes living dangerously, reportedly replied:

Why not?

He called his oil-rich Persian Gulf state:

A country with no joy.

He pointed out that drinking was tolerated in earlier times and that banning alcohol had led to the emergence of a black market where a bottle of spirits can be sold for more than $400.

Alcohol has been banned since 1964 and drinking has been a criminal offense since 1983, according to an account of the lawmaker’s comments on the Gulf News website.

Al-Fadhl reportedly told fellow lawmakers:

Let us put an end to this masquerade that turned Kuwait into a country with no joy. I call upon the minister of information, Shaikh Salman Al Humoud Al Sabah, to take a bold decision that brings joy and happiness back into Kuwait.

Iran’s late Ayatollah Kohmeini must today be groaning in a darkened room somewhere in paradise, for he once declared:

Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam.

There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious. Islam does not allow swimming in the sea and is opposed to radio and television serials. Islam, however, allows marksmanship, horseback riding and competition …

Media in the gulf area, where most countries have severe restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, quoted al-Fadhl as saying he had been hit with a lawsuit by fundamentalist colleagues accusing him of besmirching Kuwaiti history.

The Kuwait Times quoted lawmaker Saud Huraiji as saying:

Al-Fadhl is distorting the history and the image of Kuwait and its people who have elected him.

The newspaper said the Islamist Social Reform Society had also strongly condemned al-Fadhl’s position on behaviors that it said violated the principles of Islam.

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are the only two states with an absolute ban on alcohol, although access to liquor is restricted to hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners in much of the region. Iranian courts as recently as 2012 upheld death penalties for people convicted of drinking alcohol.

Al-Fadhl has previously stirred controversy with his challenge of the constitutionality of Kuwait’s nationality law that prohibits the naturalisation of non-Muslims.

He said that the nationality law’s blocking of citizenship for adherents of other faiths:

Is a disgrace to the law and does not in any way reflect the values of the Kuwaiti people.

If peace on earth is our goal, atheism might be the means to that end

Added January 7, 2015

The nonreligious are more liberal and more pacifist on most issues relating to violence: torture, the death penalty, corporal punishment, imperialism and more.

The quiet truth behind the inescapable headlines about man’s inhumanity to man is that the world is actually becoming a more peaceful place. Deaths from war and conflict have been declining for decades – and, if current trends continue, we can make them rarer still.

What mysterious force is sowing peace among humankind? One possible reason is that there are more atheists and nonbelievers than ever before.

In America, millennials are the largest and least religious generation in the country’s history. The trend toward secularization in the US mirrors the movement in Europe and throughout the developed world. And poll after poll have shown that the nonreligious also lean more progressive and more pacifist on a wide variety of issues relating to violence: torture, the death penalty, corporal punishment, military adventurism and more.

A Pew poll from 2009, well before the Senate released its devastating torture report last month, asked whether torturing suspected terrorists could be justified found that the non-religious were most opposed to torture, with a combined 55% saying that it could rarely or never be justified. Gallup has also found that people with no religious preference are less supportive of the death penalty than any group of Christians. The non-religious are also among the most likely to say the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. The religiously unaffiliated are also less likely than Christians to believe that the US is superior to all other countries in the world, a hyper-patriotic attitude that’s hardly conducive to careful reflection about the use of American military power.

Religion’s violent tendencies also tend to be reflected in its adherents’ personal lives. The social scientists Christopher Ellison and Darren Sherkat found that conservative Protestants disproportionately support the use of corporal punishment, such as spanking or whipping, for children. The researchers speculate that this stems from theology: Christians who promote a literal interpretation of the Bible tend to believe that human nature is inherently evil, and that sin demands severe punishment. What’s more, the Bible itself (among its many other bloody verses) specifically calls for beating children in verses such as Proverbs 13:24. (By contrast, freethinkers like the famous American orator Robert Ingersoll recognized the cruelty of corporal punishment as early as 1877.)

As long as humanity was in thrall to the violent morality of religious texts, our societies were warlike and cruel. As the American revolutionary Thomas Paine said, belief in a cruel god makes a cruel man. It’s only in the last few decades, as we’ve begun to cast these beliefs off, that we’re making real moral progress.

The influence of the non-religious shows is also evident on an international scale. The nonprofit group Vision of Humanity publishes an annual Global Peace Index, which ranks countries on a broad spectrum of indicators, including violent crime, incarceration rates, weapon ownership, and military spending. Sociologist Phil Zuckerman summarizes their results in his new book Living the Secular Life:

...according to their most recent rankings, among the top ten most peaceful nations on earth, all are among the least God-believing – in fact, eight of the ten are specifically among the least theistic nations on earth. Conversely, of the bottom ten – the least peaceful nations – most of them are extremely religious.

Of course, not every atheist is peaceful and not every religious person is violent. Avowedly pacifist faiths like the Quakers or Unitarian Universalists have played an important role in peace movements and, in the other direction, there are lamentably prominent atheists like Sam Harris or the late Christopher Hitchens who’ve been entirely too cavalier about imperialism and military aggression. But in general, the trend is that, as the world becomes less religious, we can expect it to become

Explanations

Added Janyary 7, 2015

science

Santa Fe Atheist Community

Added January 7, 2015

Santa Fe Atheist Community promotes positive and friendly atheism, provides a safe place for secular social conversation and expression of non-belief, and supports separation of church and state.  Our members include secular humanists, agnostics, freethinkers, and skeptics. Our group is an American Atheists Affiliate and an American Humanist Association Affiliate.

Meetups include friendly social gatherings, topical discussions, community service, educational outreach and activism. If this sounds like what you are looking for, welcome!

Find our facebook community page at: facebook.com/SantaFeAtheistCommunity

SFAC is a New Mexico Coalition of Reason member group.  Check out the shared calendar, group information, news and more at the website: nmcor.org

Note:  This is a sister group of The Los Alamos Community of Atheists.  Cross-over membership and attendance between these groups is encouraged!

http://www.meetup.com/Santa-Fe-Atheist-Community/

Atheist books

Added January 7, 2015

https://atheistsunited.org/books

Very bad news

The End

Added January 6, 2014

For several reasons (mostly lack of time), I have to end Planet Atheism. No, I didn't convert to anything; I still love reading atheist blogs and discussions. :) However, I really have no time at all to maintain this aggregator (which could be seen in my months-long backlog of join / change requests).

I could have "given" the site to someone else, but I don't think that would be ethical; the long list of members had agreed / asked to have their blogs aggregated by me, not by anyone else, and contacting hundreds of members to ask permission would not be viable.

You can get the final list of blogs / members as an OPML file here, which you can import into your favorite feed aggregator, or just pick from it the blogs you want to keep reading.

If you want to create a PA clone, it's relatively easy: just use WordPress and the FeedWordPress plugin.

This page will disappear on January 9, 2015, as I will not be renewing the "planetatheism.com" domain. If you see it used after that date, I won't have anything to do with it.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to or read Planet Atheism.

Spotting Bad Science

Compound Interest has produced another great infographic in their series. This one helps us to spot bad

Anti-Islam 'Pegida' march in German city of Dresden

Added January 5, 2014

Jenny Hill reports from Dresden where marchers chanted "We are the people".

About 15,000 people have taken part in a march against "Islamisation of the West" in the east German city of Dresden.

A large counter-demonstration of more than 5,000 people was also held. No major incidents were reported.

Dresden is the birthplace of a movement called "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West" (Pegida), which staged a big rally a week ago.

Physicist Sean Carroll Explains Why There’s No Life After Death

Christian god

Added January 4, 2015

christian-god

Firing God Paperback – November 7, 2014

Added January 4, 2015

firing-god

by Cheryl Abram (Author)

Cheryl Abram was also at the end of her rope: her life was falling apart on every level and she had ‘succeeded’ in making herself unworthy, incomplete and separate.

Then, one day this practicing Christian took a ‘leap of doubt’ and fired God, or at least the God she had created.

Cheryl’s outward circumstances did not miraculously improve – this is not a fairy-tale story of allowing abundance into her life.

Rather, as she puts it: I’m no longer afraid, anxious or expectant. It’s still about me, but the “me” is not the “me” that I thought it was.

It’s not a little limited human being that was born and will die. I am not that. As a human being, I can see that I am connected to everything around me. I am a whole part of the tapestry of this world.

We are all here for and as each other. To read how that came about and what it means in an everyday life for Cheryl and the implications for you and me, dive into the pages of this book.

Priest arrested for child rape

Added January 3, 2015

A priest in California was arrested  on suspicion of child rape.

The suspected crime was committed during the period from September 2013 to May 2014, Uppsala, Sweden or another part of the country. If the offense has been repeated on several occasions, it appears not. On Thursday arrested the priest at Uppsala District Court on the higher degree of suspicion, probable cause.

At the detention hearing the priest confessed that he was guilty of sexual exploitation of children, but denied that the deed should be classified as rape against children. The district court held, however, that there were sufficient grounds to arrest the man for the more serious offense.

Prosecutor Emma Häggström do not want to provide any details of the allegations:

- It is sekretssbelagda data. Now we have two weeks left before a possible prosecution shall be instituted, she says to UNT.

Neither man defender, lawyer Roger Hägg Lindquist, wanted on Thursday providing any further details of the case or his client's attitude to criminal suspicions. Also, police spokesman in Uppsala, Christer Nordström, is at present very secretive and would not comment on the case.

For the vicar of the parish priest detainees arrived Thursday's notice of criminal suspicions as a complete surprise:

- We knew nothing at all about this, but if it turns out that there is something in it so it is of course deplorable, says the vicar at UNT.

According to the arrest warrant should be criminal charges against the man to be brought later than 27 November.

Ragnar Persenius, bishop of the diocese of Uppsala, comments in an interview with 24UNT on Thursday evening.

- It is the hardest event in terms of abuse that we had in our diocese and some of the worst in the whole of the Swedish Church, he says.

He says that the suspicions of crimes come as a bolt from the blue.

- We must of course utvärdara when it comes to the priest's background, there may be something that we might have missed, where the priest previous moves have served or are now in our diocese, says Ragnar Persenius.
 
Albin Wiman
Ola Lindqvist

Präst häktad för våldtäkt mot barn

Adderad 3.1.2015

En präst i Uppsala län häktades på torsdagen, misstänkt för våldtäkt mot barn.

Det misstänkta brottet har begåtts under perioden september 2013 till och med maj 2014 i Uppsala eller annan del av landet. Om brottet har upprepats vid flera tillfällen, framkommer inte. Under torsdagen häktades prästen vid Uppsala tingsrätt på den högre misstankegraden, sannolika skäl.

Vid häktningsförhandlingen erkände prästen att han gjort sig skyldig till sexuellt utnyttjande av barn, men förnekade att gärningen ska rubriceras som våldtäkt mot barn. Tingsrätten ansåg emellertid att det fanns tillräckliga skäl för att häkta mannen för den allvarligare brottsrubriceringen.

Kammaråklagare Emma Häggström vill inte lämna några närmare uppgifter om misstankarna:
– Det är sekretssbelagda uppgifter. Nu har vi fått två veckor på oss innan ett eventuellt åtal ska väckas, säger hon till UNT.

Inte heller mannens försvarare, advokat Roger Häggquist, ville på torsdagen lämna några närmare uppgifter om fallet eller hans klients inställning till brottsmisstankarna. Också polisens presstalesman i Uppsala, Christer Nordström, är i nuläget mycket förtegen och vill inte ge några kommentarer kring fallet.

För kyrkoherden i den häktade prästens församling kom torsdagens besked om brottsmisstankarna som en fullständig överraskning:

– Vi visste ingenting alls om detta, men om det visar sig att det ligger något i det så är det förstås bedrövligt, säger kyrkoherden till UNT.

Enligt häktningsbeslutet ska åtal mot mannen vara väckt senast den 27 november.

Ragnar Persenius, biskop i Uppsala stift, kommenterar  händelsen i en intervju med 24UNT på torsdagskvällen. 

-  Det är den svåraste händelse när det gäller övergrepp som vi haft i vårt stift och något av det värsta också i hela Svenska kyrkan, säger han.

Han säger att misstankarna om brott kommit som en blixt från klar himmel.
- Vi får naturligtvis utvärdara när det gäller prästens bakgrund, om det kan finnas något som vi kan tänkas ha missat, där prästen tidigare gar tjänstgjort eller nu i vårt stift, säger Ragnar Persenius.
 
Albin Wiman
Ola Lindqvist

Ireland reneges on blasphemy promise

Added January 3, 2015

Atheist Ireland’s Michael Nugent, above, says the ruling coalition has reneged on promise from 2011 to put controversial legislation to general vote.

According to the Guardian, Irish, atheists and secularists have accused their government of breaking a promise to call a referendum over the Republic’s controversial blasphemy laws in the lifetime of the current coalition.

Atheist Ireland expressed disappointment that the government had quietly dropped plans for a plebiscite to rid the country of the legislation, which secularists have argued are incompatible with modern Ireland.

Last year, the Fine Gael-Labour coalition had promised a referendum on the blasphemy law to coincide with two other votes on gay marriage equality and lowering the age for when a citizen can become president of the state.

Last December, however, the government confirmed that referenda will be held in the spring on gay marriage and the age of a presidential candidate, but excluded a national vote on blasphemy.

Michael Nugent, a co-founder of Atheist Ireland and a Dublin-based comedy writer, said:

If they refuse to hold it at all during the term of office of the government – as an unnamed government spokesperson hinted at earlier in December – then yes that is a betrayal.

Nugent pointed out that both ruling parties pledged before the 2011 general election to reform the blasphemy law with Labour explicitly vowing to take the word out of the Irish constitution.

He said the back-tracking on the issue would:

Continue to undermine confidence in the constitution and the legislature. It will continue the ‘nod and wink’ politics of the recent past, where we are expected to believe that (politicians’) words do not mean what they say, and to not take seriously what is in our constitution.

The author of a comic opera co-written with Father Ted writer Arthur Matthews added:

Ireland’s blasphemy law will continue to give encouragement to Islamic states at the UN, as they point to a modern western democracy passing a new blasphemy law in the 21st century when defending their own blasphemy and apostasy laws.

The Republic’s blasphemy law was only introduced in July 2009 by the then Fianna Fáil-led government. Breach of the law is punishable with a fine of up to €25,000.

The law defines blasphemy as:

Publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted.

French Mayor: ‘It’s pork or nothing’

Added January 2, 2015

Marcel Mortreau, inset above, is the Mayor of a small town in the south of France  – and right now he is at the centre of a storm after refusing to provide halal meals for Muslim kids at the local school. He is reported as saying:

    It’s pork or nothing.

The Mayor’s stance means that from January 1, 2015, pupils in the little town of Sargé-lès-Le Mans in the Sarthe department of north-western France will not be offered a substitute meal if they don’t eat pork.

This will affect the 15 Muslim pupils in the school. Eating pork is also against the rules of the Jewish religion but it is not believed there are any Jewish pupils at the school.

Mortreau says his decision is based on the “principle of Republican neutrality”.

The mayor is not required to provide meals that respond to religious requirements. This is the principle of secularism.

The Town Hall has also backed its decision on the grounds of logistics claiming its new school meals provider had complained about the extra workload that comes with providing alternative meals when pork is on the menu.

The mayor bowed to their complaints even though providing a second meal costs no extra money, according to France Bleu radio.

Muslim parents and pupils have reacted angrily to Mortreau’s decision.

One pupil named Tarik huffed:

Eating two starters is not the same as eating a meat dish. Meat is something the body needs to work and to think. I need meat, it’s important.

His mother Yasmine was also upset.

Telling a small child that ‘you will eat less today because there’s pork on the menu’ is difficult to comprehend. You feel it is discrimination. You hear comments like, ‘if you don’t like it, take your children home’. It hurts.

It’s not the first time the issue of having substitute meals for Muslim and Jewish pupils has been at the centre of controversy in France.

In April this year far-right leader Marine Le Pen said schools in towns run by National Front mayors would no longer serve alternative meat dishes to pork.

We will accept no religious requirements in the school lunch menus. There is no reason for religion to enter into the public sphere.

In March 2013 the school in the village of Arveyres in the Gironde region of south-west France stopped offering an alternative meal for children who did not eat pork.  The decision affected around 30 of  180 pupils.

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH—THE WELL-RENOWNED INTERNATIONAL CHILD RAPING ORGANIZATION: “Catholic Hitler”

Added January 2, 2015

hitler

Pakistan named most dangerous country for journalists in 2014

Fourteen journalists were killed in Pakistan in 2014

Added January 1, 2015

MOSCOW, December 31. /TASS/. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Wednesday said Pakistan where 14 journalists were killed in 2014 is the most dangerous country for media work.

Pakistan is followed by Syria where 12 media workers lost their lives to violence, the Brussels-based organization said.

"Afghanistan and Palestine recorded 9 killings each while eight journalists were killed in Iraq and Ukraine,"
the IFJ said in a statement.

"The Federation warns that these new figures are a reminder of the gravity of the safety crisis in media and renews its urgent call to governments to make the protection of journalists their priority,"
the IFJ said pointing to an increase of 13 killings from last year.

In God we trust...

Added January 1, 2015

ingodwetrust

Simulated meteorite impact produces RNA bases

Added January 1, 2015

A group of Czech scientists have fired a big laser at a solution of formamide and found traces of adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil (Ferus et al., 2014). The result is reported in an article in Science [From hell on Earth, life's building blocks]. 

Here's the abstract of the PNAS article ...

The coincidence of the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB) period and the emergence of terrestrial life about 4 billion years ago suggest that extraterrestrial impacts could contribute to the synthesis of the building blocks of the first life-giving molecules.

We simulated the high-energy synthesis of nucleobases from formamide during the impact of an extraterrestrial body. A high-power laser has been used to induce the dielectric breakdown of the plasma produced by the impact.

The results demonstrate that the initial dissociation of the formamide molecule could produce a large amount of highly reactive CN and NH radicals, which could further react with formamide to produce adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil.

Based on GC-MS, high-resolution FTIR spectroscopic results, as well as theoretical calculations, we present a comprehensive mechanistic model, which accounts for all steps taking place in the studied impact chemistry.

Our findings thus demonstrate that extraterrestrial impacts, which were one order of magnitude more abundant during the LHB period than before and after, could not only destroy the existing ancient life forms, but could also contribute to the creation of biogenic molecules.

This paper addresses one of the central problems of the origin of life research, i.e., the scenario suggesting extraterrestrial impact as the source of biogenic molecules. Likewise, the results might be relevant in the search of biogenic molecules in the universe.

The work is therefore highly actual and interdisciplinary. It could be interesting for a very broad readership, from physical and organic chemists to synthetic biologists and specialists in astrobiology.

Venus Gets Weirder: CO2 Oceans May Have Covered Surface

Added January 2015, 1

by Charles Q. Choi, Space.com Contributor

venus

Read more:

http://www.space.com/28112-venus-weird-superfluid-oceans.html


Filosofia ja elämänkatsomustieto

Last update 12.1.2015

Yleistietoa, opetussuunnitelmia, oppikirjoja ja linkkejä.


Elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelma 2016

Tutustuaksesi opetushallituksenversioon elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelmasta napauta tästä (pdf) tai tästä (doc).

Html muodossa opetussuunnitelman löydät napauttamalla tästä.


Syksyn 2014 elämänkatsomustiedon ylioppilastehtävät saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä.

Kevään 2014 filosofian ylioppilastehtävät html-muodossa saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä.

Kevään 2014 elämänkatsomustiedon ylioppilastehtävät saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä.

Syksyn 2013 elämänkatsomustiedon ylioppilastehtävät saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä.

Syksyn 2013 filosofian ylioppilastehtävät html-muodossa saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä. ja pdf -muodossa napauttamalla

tästä.

Kevään 2013 elämänkatsomustiedon ylioppilastehtävät saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä.

Kevään 2013 filosofian ylioppilastehtävät saat näkyviin napauttamalla tästä.

Filosofi och livsåskådning

20 läroböcker och vokabulär

Philosophy and Life View

20 books and dictionary in Finnish

Constructed language misil

misil

Katsomusaineiden didaktiikkaa

Yleistä didaktiikkaa

Ilmaista didaktiikkaa

Kristillinen dogmatiikka

http://etkirja.pp.fi/dogmatiikka.html

Filosofian, elämänkatsomustiedon ja uskonnon didaktiikkaa

Motivaatio, kv sopimukset, totuus jne...

Lukion filosofia, Filosofi i gymnasiet

Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa

Mitä filosofia on?
Vad är filosofi?
Opetussuunnitelma
Läroplan
Yliopistofilosofian sivustot
Filosofi.fi på svenska
Svenska material
Philosophy links in Internet
Logiikan alkeet Internetissä
Palautelomake

Ilmaiset filosofian oppikirjat

FI1 , FI2 , FI3 , FI4

Normatiivinen etiikka
Sukupuolietiikka
Metaetiikka
Deskriptiivinen etiikka

Filosofian ylioppilastehtävät

S 2012 K 2012 S 2011 K 2011
Vanhoja ylioppilastehtäviä
Vanhojen tehtävien sanaluettelo lukumäärineen
Ylioppilaskirjoitusten filosofit
Ylioppilaskirjoitusten sivistyssanat
Palautelomake

Elämänkatsomustieto, livsåskådning

Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa

Elämänkatsomustieto vai uskonto?
Mitä elämänkatsomustieto on?
Miksi evankelis-luterilaiset eivät pääse et:n opetukseen
Elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelmat
Grunderna för läroplanen för den grundläggande utbildningen
Koululait ja muut säädökset
Kysymyksiä ja vastauksia
Keskeiset ongelmat opetuksessa
Elämänkatsomustiedon opetusaineistoa ja linkkejä
Ohjeita kouluille
Dosentti Jouni Luukkaisen kantelut
Elämänkatsomustiedon stipendit
Kilpailut
Uskonnottomien uutisia
Religionskunskap i Sverige
Svenska material
Palautelomake

Peruskoulu Grundskola

Ilmaiset oppikirjat

et1 et2 et3 et4 et5 et6 et7 et8 et9

Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa

Elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelmat
Grunderna för läroplanen för den grundläggande utbildningen
Opetusvihjeitä: 1-5, 5-9
Verkkomateriaalia
Vähemmistöuskontojen oppikirjat
Palautelomake

Lukio Gymnasium

Ilmaiset oppikirjat

et10 et11 et12 et13 et14

Opetussuunnitelmat ja lisätietoa

Elämänkatsomustiedon opetussuunnitelmat
Grunderna för läroplanen
Sanasto
Opinnot Helsingin yliopistossa
Uskontojen vertailutaulukko
Palautelomake

Elämänkatsomustiedon ylioppilastehtävät

S 2012 K 2012 S 2011 K 2011
Vanhoja tehtävä
Vanhojen tehtävien sanaluettelo lukumäärineen
Ylioppilaskirjoitusten sivistyssanat

Syksyn 2014 ylioppilaskirjoituksiin valmistautuminen

Sekä elämänkatsomustiedon että filosofian ylioppilaskirjoituksiin kannattaa valmentautua lukemalla tämän oppiaineiston sanastoa sanasto.

Elämänkatsomustiedon kokeeseen lue myös ainakin kerran viikossa Elämänkatsomustiedon (opetushallituksen) opetussuunnitelmaohjeen sanat aakkosjärjestyksessä.

Filosofian kokeeseen lue ainakin kerran viikossa Filosofian(opetushallituksen) opetussuunnitelmaohjeen sanat aakkosjärjestyksessä.

Elämänkatsomustieto ainereaalissa

Elämänkatsomustieto on eräs lukion reaaliaineista. Elämänkatsomustiedon ainereaalissa kokelas valitsee vastattavakseen kuusi kysymystä kymmenestä vaihtoehdosta.

Reaaliaineiden sijoittuminen koepäivien kesken: Samana koepäivänä järjestetään evankelis-luterilaisen uskonnon, ortodoksisen isen uskonnon, elämänkatsomustiedon, yhteiskuntaopin, kemian, maantieteen ja terveystiedon kokeet.

Muuta tietoa

Esitelmä ateismista 9.2.2012 (pdf)
Maailmanuskonnot
Wienin piiri
Valtion ja kirkon ero
Java kielen perusteet versio 0.7
Palautelomake
Jäsenlomakkeet ja palautelomakkeet tekstinä ohjelmoijille

Ehdotus lukion opetuksen järkiperäistämiseksi

Suomen Ateistiyhdistys ry. kannattaa kaikkien mielipideaineiden poistamista kouluista. Erityisesti oman uskonnon opetus on mielipideopetusta.

Suomen ateistiyhdistys vastustaa kuitenkin jyrkästi kaikille yhteiseen "elämänkatsomustiedon" opetukseen siirtymistä lukioissa. Se merkitsisi Ruotsin mallin mukaista uskonnon opetusta eli sitä, mitä Kulosaaren yhteiskoulussa nyt opetetaan.

Kulosaaren yhteiskoulun kaikille pakollisen opetussuunnitelman löydät napauttamalla tästä.

Koska peruskoulun järkeistäminen on Suomen äärivanhoillisessa mielipideilmastossa mahdotonta, ehdotamme että järkeistäminen aloitetaan lukiosta.

Kun oman uskonnon tai elämänkatsomustiedon opetusta on peruskoulussa 9 vuotta, on kohtuutonta, että sitä on lukiossa.

Koska lukion elämänkatsomustiedon opetus oli aikoinaan filosofian opetusta ja nykyään huuhaata, ehdotamme, että oma uskonto ja elämänkatsomustieto poistetaan lukiosta ja muutetaan filosofian opetusta niin, että lukioissa filosofian nykyiset kurssit 2, 3 ja 4 ovat pakollisia. Samalla on päätettävä, että näiden kurssien sisältöjä ei muuteta lisäämällä niihin uskontotietoa.

Koska lukioissa on paljon evankelis-luterilaisia uskonnonopettajia, ehdotan, että heitä varten luodaan lakkautuspalkkajärjestelmä siirtymisajaksi. Vastaavasti teologikoulutusta vähennetään niin, että lukioiden evankelis-luterilaisen uskonnon opettajat voivat siirtyä joustavasti evankelisluterilaisen kirkon tehtäviin.

Nykyisin pätevät elämänkatsomustiedon opettajat katsottakoon päteviksi lukion filosofian opettajiksi.

Siirtymäajaksi myös opettajakoulutusta vailla olevat, joilla on yliopistossa suorittettu vähintään keskimmäinen oppimäärä filosofiassa, katsottakoon päteviksi lukion filosofian opettajiksi.

Lakkautuspalkka lisää menoja, mutta teologikoulutuksen keskeyttäminen pienentää menoja.

Kun joukko teologian professoreja joutuu lomautetuiksi, tämä on vain osoitus siitä, että kansalaisia lomautetaan tasapuolisesti kaikissa yhteiskuntaluokista.

Todellisiä hyötyjiä ovat lukiolaiset.

Mainittakoon, että alempaa löytyvät täysin ilmaiset lukion filosofian oppikirjat.