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Damn, Ólafur Grímsson, President of Iceland, is getting cocky.   For good reason of course.  Keeping the people that run your country and businesses educated and healthy = productivity and innovation.

 

Shocked I am.  Positively aghast.  :)

 

Us humans seem to have trouble keeping the big picture in focus while we faff about feeling important about ourselves.  Mother Nature just doesn’t have time for us or our problems.   It is nice to be reminded of that periodically.

un-words-eng

 

I’m a big fan of the German word – whenever I pick up tools, verschlimmbessern is often the result. :>

[Source]

Ah, the joy of the free press down in the US.  Let’s catch up with Noam as takes us through some possible solutions to the Palestine/Israel conflict.

 

Dirtywars    You know what Remembrance Day should be for?

1.  Remembering all those who have died in war.  Precedence on the civilian deaths, because they die at far higher rate than any established military force.

2. Educate yourself as to what war is and how it is waged.

3. Take action to prevent future war and the inevitable human suffering that goes along with the organized murder we like to call warfare.

Today I’m all about the second bullet point.

Full Documentary

Have your minute of silence.   Then take an additional hour and a half to get a glimpse of what the war on terror looks like.

Statistics is an area that I’m interested in.  I’m not keenly interested enough to take a stats course, but I do like learning about some of the basic concepts.  Thanks Youtube.. :>

 

children   Religion doesn’t just happen in the 21st century in the West.   Religion must be instilled into children, magic and fable must be taught to be revered and most darkly, the fear of eternal punishment must be enshrined in young minds.

Hell for children is a very real fear – it torments their thoughts and causes a great deal of unnecessary anxiety.  My question to the religious is simply this:

Why make your children fearful?

Isn’t there enough to worry about life with regards to food, shelter, and security to add another imaginary layer of anxiety to the mix?  Is that a responsible action to take as a parent?

Of course it isn’t.

Being afraid for yourself is not a great motivator for ethical action, and yet that is the implicit lesson that resonates through so much of religious teaching.  Consider also how the fallacy inducing mode of binary thinking is encouraged and reinforced.  You are good with Jebus and bad the the Devil… etc.  Serious ethical actions and thoughts require moving past that first easy binary of good and evil because almost every encounter we have as individuals in society is a mixed bag of ethical and unethical choices and behaviours.

Stating moral relativism here always leads to the conclusion that somewhere down the line – anything and everything will be permissible.  Given that the last 1700 hundred years or so of religious dominance in the field of ethical behaviour I would have to say that absolute morality path isn’t exactly a slam dunk either, as far as worthwhile moral systems are concerned.

I’m always here on Sundays giving both barrels to religion and its antiquated notions of how the world is – seldom do I offer what I would like to see happen instead of the religious tomfoolery so easily demarcated and dispatched.

The vision I have is one that requires a society that understands how ill equipped our species is for rational, logical thought.  Bearing that in mind no expense must be spared to raise children in a safe, welcoming, and stimulating environment in which the only worry they will have is what new thing they will learn after lunch.

How far off is this goal?

Too damn far away.  Every time I’ve been called to a kindergarten or pre-k class some of the children there have come to school hungry.  Nothing defeats curiosity and learning like an empty belly.  Too many times I’ve been empty handed at lunch, because I’d already distributed my lunch to other children, yet there was yet another to feed.  (Don’t worry we always find something).

I need my society to realize how important it is for all children to have the basics of life taken care before I can start helping them explore and comprehend the world around them.

Bringing this back to religion and the insecurity it supposed to soothe – how about some more focus on doing ‘good works’ rather than all the political nonsense currently dominating the religious sphere.  How awesome would it be to have another volunteer (religious or not) in every classroom there to support learning and socialization?

There are so many ways to help children.  The problem being that the outlay of time and emotional investment (for both the secular and religious) is prohibitive; and that, sadly,  is structural feature of society.

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