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Search found 262 matches

by Dan
August 2nd, 2009, 8:12 pm
Forum: Humanism, secularism, freethought...
Topic: Should Skeptics Send Their Kids to Church on Sundays?
Replies: 79
Views: 4640

Re: Should Skeptics Send Their Kids to Church on Sundays?

Isn't this just kneejerk sub-postmodernist relativist irrationalism? That depends. What exactly is kneejerk sub-postmodernist relativist irrationalism? :) It does what it says on the tin. I would just be careful to acknowledge that they are subjective opinions, not objective facts. This is the trou...
by Dan
August 1st, 2009, 8:26 pm
Forum: Humanism, secularism, freethought...
Topic: Should Skeptics Send Their Kids to Church on Sundays?
Replies: 79
Views: 4640

Re: Should Skeptics Send Their Kids to Church on Sundays?

I think we have to show children that there are many different ways of looking at the world. Mine were introduced to the Golden Rule early on. They understand that "fine" is dependent upon adherence to it :) Is this the negative version of the "Golden Rule", or the positive version? You've made the...
by Dan
August 1st, 2009, 7:58 pm
Forum: Humanism, secularism, freethought...
Topic: Should Skeptics Send Their Kids to Church on Sundays?
Replies: 79
Views: 4640

Re: Should Skeptics Send Their Kids to Church on Sundays?

The reason to emphasize the subjectivity of your own viewpoint is to show that you are a freethinker, and to teach freethinking to your children. Isn't this just kneejerk sub-postmodernist relativist irrationalism? "Subjectivity" is no more favourable to freethinking than "Objectivity" is. What imp...
by Dan
August 1st, 2009, 12:07 am
Forum: Humanist Ethics & Morality
Topic: Debbie Purdy won!
Replies: 10
Views: 2186

Re: Debbie Purdy won!

Dr Irwin has been trying to get himself arrested for years. His secular/humanist track record is public domain - he was on the National Secular Society council for a spell, and sponsors their "Secularist of the Year" award. I was a member of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society for years, and still tend...
by Dan
July 31st, 2009, 11:58 pm
Forum: Humanism, secularism, freethought...
Topic: Should Skeptics Send Their Kids to Church on Sundays?
Replies: 79
Views: 4640

Re: Should Skeptics Send Their Kids to Church on Sundays?

Yes, Maria, it was awful. It came from a playground conversation with a child whose family were of the hellfire and brimstone brigade. Neither child clearly had any real understanding. However, once she had cried the emotion out, I told her that just like we have different hair, eyes, skin, accents...
by Dan
July 27th, 2009, 2:09 pm
Forum: Sciences and pseudo-science
Topic: Placebo effect - Mind power: any connection?
Replies: 26
Views: 2901

Re: Placebo effect - Mind power: any connection?

Thanks Paulo; when Dan asks, what is an emotion anyway, I wonder if he has read for example, Antonia Piontelli"s book 'From Fetus to Child" which shows through ultrasound, foetii in utero acting emotionally to each other from something like 16 weeks gestation. Her studies largely involved twins, be...
by Dan
July 27th, 2009, 1:49 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Militant Atheism: Neither use nor ornament?
Replies: 21
Views: 2202

Re: Militant Atheism: Neither use nor ornament?

No, Dennett's point is somewhat different. Mind explaining what you see as the differences? I’ll try. My point was that hypocrisy and apathy undermine the political solidarity of atheists. As you note yourself, Dennett’s article seemed a bit mangled – it’s about distinct things – but is urging thos...
by Dan
July 27th, 2009, 11:45 am
Forum: Religion
Topic: "God is absolute truth" (split from Did Jesus exist?)
Replies: 41
Views: 3536

Re: "God is absolute truth" (split from Did Jesus exist?)

1. truth is subjective. Truth is what we really believe. TRUTH is what lies beyond our limited ability to perceive. Truth is not subjective. I really believe that. By your lights, that's the end of the debate. However, ask yourself, what do you really believe? Is it true that you believe it? If wha...
by Dan
July 27th, 2009, 11:23 am
Forum: Religion
Topic: Sarkozy the burqa
Replies: 23
Views: 2079

Re: 'Re Launch' of Al-Muhajiroun

The burka is not just an article of clothing, it is a violation of freedom of expression. Would we tolerate a religious sect that required its women to be gagged in public? Why don't we answer your question? Would we tolerate that or not? And what would not tolerating it mean, exactly? Of course th...
by Dan
July 27th, 2009, 11:14 am
Forum: Religion
Topic: Sarkozy the burqa
Replies: 23
Views: 2079

Re: 'Re Launch' of Al-Muhajiroun

The right of a tiny minority (and I think it is a tiny minority, even among conservative Muslim women) to choose the burqa is overshadowed by the need to protect the majority of women who are forced to wear it against their will. But do we best "protect" those women by making it illegal for them to...
by Dan
July 27th, 2009, 11:12 am
Forum: Religion
Topic: Sarkozy the burqa
Replies: 23
Views: 2079

Re: 'Re Launch' of Al-Muhajiroun

I read somewhere an interesting account of what happened to women in Afghanistan. Originally, they were not heavily veiled or anything, because they mixed largely with their own extended families. They would only cover up more if they were meeting strangers. But as the country modernised, and villag...
by Dan
July 27th, 2009, 10:51 am
Forum: Religion
Topic: Terry Eagleton answers "Ditchkens" (sort of)
Replies: 19
Views: 2103

Re: Terry Eagleton answers "Ditchkens" (sort of)

Eagleton is a curiosity, but he should be read. I've valued his comments on postmodernism from a marxist perspective - he's very good on the nonsense of people like Lyotard, for example. But he's always been a kind of Catholic marxist, and clearly that leads to some dialectical tensions. His big fea...
by Dan
July 27th, 2009, 10:38 am
Forum: Sciences and pseudo-science
Topic: Are Myers-Briggs Personality Tests Pseudoscience?
Replies: 84
Views: 13357

Re: Are Myers-Briggs Personality Tests Pseudoscience?

Psychometrics are probably pseudoscientific, but on the other hand they can be quite fun in classroom situations, and do encourage some thinking about the different approaches of different people to learning, for example. I remember one course I did where we were grouped according to our "learning s...
by Dan
July 27th, 2009, 10:23 am
Forum: Humanism, secularism, freethought...
Topic: Should Skeptics Send Their Kids to Church on Sundays?
Replies: 79
Views: 4640

Re: Should Skeptics Send Their Kids to Church on Sundays?

Altemeyer and Hunsberger ("Atheists", http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1591024137 ), in their study of American atheists, noted that the active atheists in their sample had mostly not had very religious backgrounds at all, though they had tended to have a religious period of some sort during their lives. ...
by Dan
July 22nd, 2009, 9:58 am
Forum: Sciences and pseudo-science
Topic: Homeopathy
Replies: 1207
Views: 186688

Re: Homeopathy

It's not an NHS site as such - it's "co.uk". It's a private site for the practice.

Compare their stuff to the actual NHS page on homeopathy (bad enough), then challenge them.

Dan
by Dan
July 21st, 2009, 2:10 pm
Forum: Sciences and pseudo-science
Topic: I'm OK. Yeah, right.
Replies: 11
Views: 1124

Re: I'm OK. Yeah, right.

To each his own! Whether NLP "works" depends upon what it is that you want to make it work. If one is looking for miracles then it obviously will not work. Very important is that if you are going to try something because it works for someone else then rest assured NOTHING will work for you (and I a...
by Dan
July 21st, 2009, 1:53 pm
Forum: Sciences and pseudo-science
Topic: Placebo effect - Mind power: any connection?
Replies: 26
Views: 2901

Re: Placebo effect - Mind power: any connection?

my point is that these are emotional states; emotion, through the action of hormones, alters our physiology. Why should not conventional medicine capitalise on this? Perhaps because it's maybe not as straightforward as that. For example, does emotion (and what's an emotion, really?) change our phys...
by Dan
July 21st, 2009, 1:33 pm
Forum: Religion
Topic: Sarkozy the burqa
Replies: 23
Views: 2079

Re: 'Re Launch' of Al-Muhajiroun

I think you have to distinguish between being critical of these religio-cultural uniforms, and seeking to forbid them. All that banning certain forms of dress will achieve - bearing in mind the sexism that sometimes lies behind it - is women not going out at all. Sarkozy's is a half-baked populist s...
by Dan
July 21st, 2009, 1:18 pm
Forum: Positive Humanism
Topic: TFTD campaign
Replies: 132
Views: 41905

Re: TFTD campaign

It's worth noting that it's the National Secular Society's complaint that has finally found its way to the trustees, to be taken alongside complaints from individuals. I don't think the BHA took this approach.

http://www.secularism.org.uk/thought-fo ... end-i.html

Dan
by Dan
July 21st, 2009, 11:09 am
Forum: Religion
Topic: Militant Atheism: Neither use nor ornament?
Replies: 21
Views: 2202

Re:

..... In which case, where are all the militant atheists? We could do with more, given that most atheists meekly go along with the religious status quo. Lots of atheists send their kids to faith schools, get married in church, take the religious oath in court, etc etc etc. A bit of "militancy" woul...