Monday, December 22, 2014

Peshawar Pakistan massacre 16/12/14 - Richard Dawkins equates Taliban to Nazism

 On 16th December 2014 the Taliban attacked a school in Peshawar killing 141 students and teachers.

What we know:

Violent faith-heads really believe what they say they believe. You think you know what they believe better than they do? How patronising.
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) December 18, 2014

In 2001 after 9/11 Dawkins said:
'Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that. Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense. Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers to killing others. Dangerous because it teaches enmity to others labelled only by a difference of inherited tradition. And dangerous because we have all bought into into a weird respect, which uniquely protects religion from normal criticism. Let's now stop being so damned respectful!'

Michael Shermer said:

More Tweets on 'faith' and 'Peshawar' 

Thursday, December 04, 2014

'Humanity Education Council' (HEC) cf 'Religious Education Council'


Help get Humanism into GCSE and A Level RE -
Respond to consultation request/
(Government proposals for GCSE would permit 75% of the time to be spent on one religion, and 25% on another religion).
But what we really need is to replace RE with a course on Humanity - including the role of religion.

Chris Street Allan Hayes - I think the new 'Humanity' subject should have 75% of time spent on Humanism and 25% on Naturalism!

I propose we establish a 'Humanity Education Council' (HEC) cf 'Religious Education Council' (REC).

HEC Members would comprise: academics,atheists, educationalists, freethinkers, humanists, naturalists, philosophers, scientists, secularists, skeptics, teachers, teenagers etc.

The main criteria of HEC membership: a naturalism worldview. Those members or groups with a supernaturalism or religious worldview would not be permitted to become full HEC members with voting rights.

The function of HEC would be to develop a new 'Humanity' National Curriculum (as suggested by Allan Hayes)

HEC would campaign for Government proposals for GCSE Humanity to permit 75% of the time to be spent on Humanism, 25% on Naturalism (to include Atheism and the historical role of Theism).

HEC would campaign for an Act of Parliament to end the compulsory subject of Religious Education in all UK schools. Humanity would compete with Religious Education for teaching time in all schools.

Moving Naturalism Forward

I'm a Naturalist - not a naturist!

I have two main philosophical worldviews: Naturalism & Humanism. (world view: "a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world*")

Naturalism is "the philosophical belief that everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted*"

(I think of atheism as a conviction rather than a worldview. I prefer 'conviction' to 'belief' because for me 'belief' has religious undertones, Although in English Law 'belief', as in 'religion and belief', refers specifically to a non-religious belief.)

Naturalism is a worldview that covers morality - Sam Harris makes the case that morality can be based on science.

*Oxford Dictionary (3rd Edition) 

h/t Neil Davies (April 2014) at Swindon Humanists for reminding me about the 'Moving Naturalism Forward' conference back in October 2012.

Attendees included Richard Dawkins, Sean Carroll, Dan Dennett, Alex Rosenberg, Jerry Coyne, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Massimo Pigliucci, Steven Weinberg.

Discussions were about: Naturalism, Morality, Meaning, Purpose, Epistemology, reductionism, Consciousness, Evolution, Determinism, Free will.