2007-08-07

Religious fundamentalism meets humanist ethics

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by Neil Godfrey

Although the reason many religious fundamentalists are opposed to abortion and euthanasia is really strictly doctrinal (God says don’t kill), they ironically find themselves couching their arguments in other ways entirely, even if it means they must deny and manufacture facts to do so. It is as if they know that their doctrinal reasons have no real basis and that morality truly is grounded right where humanists know it is, after all. Continue reading “Religious fundamentalism meets humanist ethics”


2007-08-06

The questionable ethical standard of the Sermon on the Mount

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by Neil Godfrey

Why is the Sermon on the Mount so often upheld as the ultimate in ethics? Surely we have progressed ethically in 2000 years. Continue reading “The questionable ethical standard of the Sermon on the Mount”


Our moral instincts?

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by Neil Godfrey

Before I write anything more myself on this I have to link to two discussions of some of the research: Continue reading “Our moral instincts?”


2007-07-31

“Sin”, genes and human nature

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by Neil Godfrey

Some brilliant programs have been broadcast recently on ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind program.

I’ve learned far more about why “good people do bad things”, why some people are more prone to violence or sex crimes in just one or two of Natasha Mitchell’s programs than anyone can ever hope to understand from all the holy books and revelations that have ever existed. And even better, what science has learned gives good reason to be hopeful for future treatment and preventive programs — if only primeval ignorance about human nature can give way in enough of society to make room for the facts.

Four of my favourites linked below — (recent programs still have podcasts available) Continue reading ““Sin”, genes and human nature”


2007-07-27

Violence and (the Muslim) religion — some real data (for humanists) to chew on

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by Neil Godfrey

In 2007 34% of Lebanon’s Muslim respondents to a Pew survey felt suicide bombings could be justifiable.

One in three people sounds horrific, but compare with the survey 5 years earlier.

In 2002 74% of Lebanon’s Muslim respondents to a Pew survey felt suicide bombings could be justified.

The figures are taken from the Pew Global Attitudes report released 24th July 2007. (Interestingly the second largest Muslim population in the world, that of India, is not included in the survey.)

Had Lebanese Muslims become any less devout between 2002 and 2007? That is what some popular literature against religion, and the Moslem religion in particular, would lead us to logically infer.

Rather, as I have attempted to point out in some of these posts, religion is a Protean beast that adapts itself to the social and politico-economic issues of the day. I recently wrote in The Problem with Some Muslims something like:

Christianity has both practiced and condemned slavery and racism, supported and fought against war and oppression of women and children, argued both sides of capitalism and socialism, according to the time and society in which it found itself.

Could it be the same with the Moslem religion? Continue reading “Violence and (the Muslim) religion — some real data (for humanists) to chew on”


2007-07-11

Gentle Jesus meek and mild or Macho-Man Jesus?

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by Neil Godfrey

If Islam is “quivering with male sexual insecurity” should the same verdict be handed down on the “macho-Jesus” type of Christianity? Continue reading “Gentle Jesus meek and mild or Macho-Man Jesus?”


2007-07-10

The problem with some Moslems

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by Neil Godfrey

The second largest Muslim population in the world lives in the world’s largest democracy, India. How democratic? Professor Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Professor of Law and Ethics at Chicago University, explains the success of Indian democracy:

Yes, I think the founding fathers set up a political structure that’s very stable, that is very wisely designed, so political structure is part of it. They also guaranteed a free press and all the institutions that make it possible for voters to really feel empowered, such as local village councils, which was one of Gandhi’s big ideas. So you know, it’s a very successful democracy. It has higher voter turnouts by far than the US.

But there is a problem. India’s Muslims are not violent enough. They haven’t produced a raft of international terrorists. They just want to live at peace with their Hindu neighbours. They don’t even want to overthrow their nation’s democratic government and institute Sharia law for all. And they are the second largest conglomeration of Muslims after Indonesia. Continue reading “The problem with some Moslems”


The problem with Moslems in the world’s largest democracy

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

The second largest Muslim population in the world lives in the world’s largest democracy, India. How democratic? Professor Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Professor of Law and Ethics at Chicago University, explains the success of Indian democracy:

Yes, I think the founding fathers set up a political structure that’s very stable, that is very wisely designed, so political structure is part of it. They also guaranteed a free press and all the institutions that make it possible for voters to really feel empowered, such as local village councils, which was one of Gandhi’s big ideas. So you know, it’s a very successful democracy. It has higher voter turnouts by far than the US.

But there is a problem. India’s Muslims are not violent enough. They haven’t produced a raft of international terrorists. They just want to live at peace with their Hindu neighbours. They don’t even want to overthrow their nation’s democratic government and institute Sharia law for all. And they are the second largest conglomeration of Muslims after Indonesia. Continue reading “The problem with Moslems in the world’s largest democracy”


2007-07-07

Is this a mentally ill person?

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by Neil Godfrey

Imagine a person who withdraws from the world and unrealistically wants things “just so” — to be perfect. This person cannot accept reality and demands to live in their own view of paradise, seeing the real world as hostile to their fantasy of the ideal. This person will go to strident lengths to oppose anything that comes between them and their ideal existence. Continue reading “Is this a mentally ill person?”