04/2/12

Animals have morality

Anybody who’s been close to animals in their life isn’t going to be surprised about this…
Animals can tell right from wrong – Telegraph

Scientists studying animal behaviour believe they have growing evidence that species ranging from mice to primates are governed by moral codes of conduct in the same way as humans.

Until recently, humans were thought to be the only species to experience complex emotions and have a sense of morality.

But Prof Marc Bekoff, an ecologist at University of Colorado, Boulder, believes that morals are “hard-wired” into the brains of all mammals and provide the “social glue” that allow often aggressive and competitive animals to live together in groups.

Continue reading at the link above.

10/28/11

Heresy means “Choice”

I made an interesting discovery today, courtesy of the WHAT REALLY HAPPENED website. It turns out that the word heresy’s roots are in the Greek αίρεση, which means “choice”. So the religious “crime” of heresy is really the “crime” of choosing to believe something different from the religious powers. So I guess an heretic like me is just a chooser. I choose to examine the evidence and choose my own conclusions about the likelihood of an invisible man in the sky who watches over us and doesn’t want us to worship other gods (a tacit admission that there were other “gods” around back then, some of whom were the models for Jesus.

I’m so glad I chose, since I would have a hard time being convincing as a religious believer.

03/7/11

Hey! Look! Muslims are the same as Christians!

Muslim academic and imam Usama Hasan forced to retract evolution claim | People in the News | People | The First PostDeath threats from Muslim fundamentalists have forced a British imam to retract his claim that Islam is compatible with Darwin's theory of evolution. Dr Usama Hasan, a science lecturer at Middlesex University and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, caused controversy in January when he delivered a lecture at an East London Mosque entitled "Islam and the theory of evolution".

In the lecture at the Masjid al-Tawhid mosque in Leyton Dr Hasan – whose erudite and liberal views are often expressed in the media – outlined why Darwin’s theory and Islam were in harmony. But his opinions weren’t well received by some of the audience with a vocal minority denouncing Hasan and accusing him of “blasphemy”

At the time Hasan dismissed his critics as “fanatics” and told the Independent: “One man came up to me during the lecture and said ‘You are an apostate and should be killed’… [but] I hope my positive contribution will outweigh their feelings towards me.”

Unfortunately Hasan has since received numerous threats and a planned return to the Mosque to lead last Friday’s prayers was cancelled on the advice of police who expressed fears for his safety. Instead the doctor’s father, Suhaib, head of the mosque’s committee of trustees, issued a humiliating statement on his son’s behalf which read: “I seek Allah’s forgiveness for my mistakes and apologise for any offence caused.”
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Isn’t that interesting? Have someone say that their religion and evolution are compatible, and you get the same reaction from the religious nuts on both “sides”!

When is humanity going to grow up?  Probably never, since we spent a one-time bonanza of fossil fuel energy on growing “out” (more and more people) rather than using it to increase knowledge and provide for the long term comfort of many, many, many fewer people. That was a stupid decision. And it was caused in large part by religions seeking more and more power by increasing their “flock” in numbers to beat out the next religion. I mean, why else would most religions consider contraception a “sin”?