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 022012

From yesterday it is a criminal offense to squat in a residential property, hence my house. Good, and about time! This is a complicated matter, and there are claims from lawyers and people representing squatters that the change to the law is unnecessary because there were already remedies. I said why this was false in my post of nearly a year ago The law on squatting in my house in England. That post also linked to the response I sent to the Government’s 2011 “Squatting Consultation”. Here are comments from 3 points of view: real home owners; empty house owners; . . . . . . . . . . [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 092012

I have sometimes been critical of “multiculturalism“. But it is clear that I use the word in a different way from many other people, and I have probably anyway been muddled about what I mean by the word. So I’ll try to clarify how I use the word, and what my opinions are about multiculturalism. Culture and multiculture Start with “culture“. I’ll go with Wiktionary, at least for the time being: “The arts, customs, and habits that characterize a particular society or nation”. “The beliefs, values, behaviour and material objects that constitute a people’s way of life”. The single most . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jul 282012

(I’m not interested in sport, but I found the non-commentary version of the Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony fascinating). Any event that has Nimrod, Jerusalem, Tubular Bells, the Industrial Revolution, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, James Bond, Simon Rattle, Rowan Atkinson, Shami Chakrabarti, and the Red Arrows, has my vote! (I quite like “Abide with me”, but perhaps “Band on the run” would have been more appropriate than “Hey Jude”?) You can’t have everything, but perhaps James Dyson and Adele would have made things better. (And if Adele had given birth a few weeks early, at least there would have been plenty of . . . . . . . . . . [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]

Feb 112012

BBC: “Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has said the Christian faith is facing “gradual marginalisation”.” Daily Mail: “Christianity under attack” (Added on 14 February) BBC: “Militant secularisation threat to religion, says Warsi” Wrong! Christianity is not under attack.  Christian privilege is under attack! Christianity is a hobby. As long as Christianity has no fewer privileges than any other hobby, there is no justification for complaint. What Warsi calls “Militant secularisation” is really: “Stop pushing religion in our face. Treat your religion, one of 1000s that are practiced in the 21st century, as a personal and private matter, or one . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]