Sep 102012
 

Once more “assisted suicide is in the news. A new health minister criticises law on assisted suicide as ‘ridiculous’ and calls for Britain to be ‘more honest’ about issue. Predictably there have been criticisms of her views, yet none of those criticisms attempt to address the views of the most important people involved – the ones who want to die. The ideology and/or religion of the critics can’t let them study the evidence, and especially not the views of the central person. According to the New Testament, and Christian doctrine, about 2000 years ago Jesus Christ knew he had to . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 052012
 

I hope this doesn’t become a regular occurrence. Jennifer McCreight, aka BlagHag, aka @jennifurret on Twitter, has been bullied and verbally abused into giving up blogging. When Rebecca Watson suffered like this, I posted in my Message of support for Rebecca Watson: “I hadn’t thought that supposedly rational people would even think such nasty things. But publishing those views, in such a sustained and apparently coordinated manner, suggests that “enlightenment” is not an aspiration for those people. That is the biggest condemnation I can think of.” The same applies in this case. As I said there to Rebecca Watson: Illegitimum . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 242012
 

There is a persistent cynical claim that changing the law to permit assisted dying would diminish disabled people. (Variations include “it would make disable people more  vulnerable” and “it would suggest that disabled peoples’ lives are less valuable“). Wrong! It would empower disabled people, and enable them determine for themselves the value of their lives! The argument from “Ability” Able-bodied people can die if they want to. (Suicide is legal). They have autonomy. Tony Nicklinson’s fate demonstrated his dependence on others and the unwillingness of the law to help him overcome this particular aspect of his disability. His own opinions . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 222012
 

So after 2 years of a legal struggle for a relatively painless and dignified death, Tony Nicklinson had to starve himself to death. What a cruel system we have! And what cruel people there were opposing his death! I hope that they will reflect on what their opposition achieved, or rather failed to achieve. If they have sufficient empathy even to appreciate what they did. Some quotes from (BBC) Tony Nicklinson’s legal fight for right to die: “The condition left him unable to speak or move and relying on a computer to communicate….  Mr Nicklinson said he did not want . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 222012
 

It is good to have wider acceptance that “atheism” isn’t an end-point, and that much more is needed. Here are some of the recent posts about “Atheism+”: Jen McCreight: Atheism+ Jen McCreight: Atheism+: It’s time to walk the walk Jen McCreight: Why Atheism+ and not Humanism? Greta Christina: Atheism Plus: The New Wave of Atheism Greta Christina: Is “Atheism Plus” Just Secular Humanism? Greta Christina: Why Atheism Plus Is Good for Atheism Ashley Miller: The difference between “atheism+” and humanism But why isn’t the discussion under one of the following names? Secular Democracy + Humanism + Social Justice + Human . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 202012
 

Let’s remind ourselves: Suicide (and assisted suicide) is legal! You don’t need to justify it. You don’t need to ask permission. If you are able-bodied, you just do it! The question “whose life is it anyway?” was answered decades ago: if you are able-bodied, it is your life. What is special for Tony Nicklinson and others is that their disabilities stops them doing it for themselves. In any enlightened country, we would help disabled people achieve what able-bodied people can legally achieve. Mostly the UK aims for that. In this case the UK falls short. What sort of person could . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 122012
 

The two links below provide the background to this post. I’ll just quote enough to lead into what I want to say. I believe the sources below show that I haven’t significantly distorted the original statements by taking them out of context. Peter Kirkwood (article) & Chris Mulherin (video): Why atheists are wrong about science and religion Eric MacDonald’s response: Science and Religion Again! Chris Mulherin [is] an Anglican clergyman with a substantial academic background studying and lecturing in science and the philosophy of science. He is now doing his doctorate on the relationship between scientific and theological ways of . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 032012
 

There is a lot of publicity about the Muslim women who are competing for the last remaining countries to have women in their teams. Much of the publicity is positive, of course. But there are also views that those countries are behaving unacceptably by making it so hard for those women, and it would have been better to ban the countries, or at least not accept the restrictions imposed on those women. The bravest women at the Games: Muslim athletes who battled to get to London – and for whom the taking part really does mean more than the winning . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jul 282012
 

I don’t think I would be writing this without half-a-bottle of wine inside me! But I can’t resist the logic of it. Russian Religious Activists Seek to Ban Facebook for ‘Flirting With Sodomites’ There are various meanings of sodomy, but I believe most of the people who object to it don’t want men to stick their penises into other people’s bottoms. So they are opposed to gay sex/marriage, and probably typically associate this with man-man sex/marriage. But why should they believe that man-woman marriage rules out “penis into bottom” sex? (I believe this has sometimes been made illegal, although I . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jul 262012
 

I’m just making a point of logic here, using the following case. (The details don’t matter). Muslim leader loses Sharia law fight over divorce settlement You can’t use sharia law in divorce deal: Muslim hospital consultant told to pay ex-wife maintenance despite claims he owes her nothing under Islamic rules Dr Al-Saffar said after the case: …. ‘Family law in this country is biased against Muslim people.’ No! In this case, UK Family Law was in favour of equality for Muslim women. It is often a case that equality laws are biased against specific religious positions, and so can be . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]