Posts in December 2011
Weekend web stuffFriday, Dec 2, 2011Some of the stuff you could have found for yourselves, if you’d wanted to (that’s what Google is for), but I saved you the bother, OK? Sam Scott Perry was on Channel 4’s 4thought.tv, where he opined that men and dinosaurs were alive at the same time, and that Creationism should be taught in schools. Whoever taught Sam didn’t do a very good job. His science isn’t up to much.
Religion should be abolished?Saturday, Dec 3, 2011This week’s National Secular Society e-newsletter quotes Irish writer Jennifer Johnston saying, “Personally I think that religion should be abolished and I think when you look around we’re doing not too bad a job of it in this country at the moment. It’s all just moving and about time, too.” This was in an interview with the Irish Independent. Johnston’s attitude is understandable, when you read about her own and her family’s experience of Catholicism, but abolishing religion isn’t the answer.
Dinosaurs in Noahs Ark?Saturday, Dec 3, 2011We’ve been visited by a creationist. Feel free to join the debate on whether there were dinosaurs in Noah’s Ark, and if scientists made up the theory of evolution. See the comments on Jesus and a baby dinosaur.
Ark logisticsSunday, Dec 4, 2011With reference to our discussion about the ark (see previous post), and thanks to Tony Sidaway.
UN Day CelebrationFriday, Dec 9, 2011Every year the local UN Association organises an inter-faith Celebration of the Universal Charter of Human Rights. This years theme is the family, based on Article 16: (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
December meeting 10-minute topicsFriday, Dec 9, 2011The popular format where everyone comes with suggestions for topics for discussion, then write them on bits of paper, and the pieces of paper go in a hat, is back. Is there something you want to talk about? As usual, guests are welcome and there’ll be refreshments. Note that we’ll be in our new venue at University Campus Suffolk. [Click here for printable maps and directions (pdf).](http://www.suffolkhands.org.uk/files/1/SH&S at UCS - maps and directions.
January meeting a game of DiversityFriday, Dec 9, 2011We’ll be playing Diversity, a non-competitive educational game devised by Suffolk Inter-Faith Resource that teaches you about the different faiths and beliefs practiced in the county, including humanism. Long term members may remember playing it a few years ago, but you can always learn more. The game tends to prompt lots of discussion, so no one ever seems to finish it. Click here for more about the game. Click here to see it being played by a group of 6th form students.
United Nations event in IpswichSunday, Dec 11, 2011**The local United Nations Association group organises an annual inter-faith Celebration of Human Rights in Ipswich. This year the event was on the 10 December and the theme was ‘The Family’, based on Article 16:3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” This was my contribution (MN). What do we mean by the family?
Americans (and Brits) and GodSunday, Dec 11, 2011Interesting piece in the New York Times by Eric Weiner, on Americans and organised religion. For a nation of talkers and self-confessors, we are terrible when it comes to talking about God. The discourse has been co-opted by the True Believers, on one hand, and Angry Atheists on the other. What about the rest of us? The rest of us, it turns out, constitute the nations fastest-growing religious demographic. We are the Nones, the roughly 12 percent of people who say they have no religious affiliation at all.
Ipswich Science in the Pub Radiation risksMonday, Dec 12, 2011Monty Guest runs Suffolk Radiation Technical Services Ltd which provides advice on radiation protection to companies and organisations throughout the UK.
Brain foodThursday, Dec 15, 2011If you haven’t seem these sites, they’re worth exploring: The Secular Web has pages and pages of food for thought. Thay say: The Secular Web is owned and operated by Internet Infidels, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to defending and promoting a naturalistic worldview on the Internet. Naturalism is the “hypothesis that the natural world is a closed system” in the sense that “nothing that is not a part of the natural world affects it.
Hitchens: Good with words, but fallibleFriday, Dec 16, 2011The Internet has been flooded with obituaries to Christopher Hitchens today, since the news of his death. One of the so-called ‘New Atheists’, his book, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, upset lots of religious people and delighted many fellow atheists. True, he was exceptioanally gifted with the written and spoken word (there are some examples in the Guardian), and wrote lots of thought-provoking copy for Vanity Fair, among other publications, but I wasn’t a fan, especially because he thought that invading Iraq was a good idea, regardless of the consequences – who were mostly civilian.
What God wantsSaturday, Dec 17, 2011I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
Cameron fails Bible studyMonday, Dec 19, 2011Last week, during a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible in Oxford, David Cameron said “the Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today,” and that a “return to Christian values” could counter the country’s “moral collapse”. Admitting that he’s a “committed but vaguely practising Church of England Christian” might explain Cameron’s ignorance of what the Bible actually says.
It only takes a girlMonday, Dec 19, 2011It only takes a girl
PrayerMonday, Dec 19, 2011The most odious of concealed narcissisms – prayer.