Religious freedom or human rights for babies?

20 07 2012

Guess what, I opt for human rights for babies.

This was in the news last week:

A court in Cologne, Germany has ruled that removing the foreskin of young boys for religious reasons amounts to bodily harm. European Jewish and Muslim groups have joined forces to protest against the decision and defend their right to perform the act on religious grounds.

I read this heartbreaking article which a friend put up on face book.

Babies who get circumcised go into coma, deep depressive sleep and suffer health problems. They connect less with the mother, often drink badly or not at all for a while, and there is a marked psychological effect on them as adults. And there is the number of babies who die, but that is just collateral damage. There is also a detrimental effect on the penis, the now unprotected tip will become much less sensitive, And as the foreskin contains the highest number of nerves in the male body this is lost too. For women sex can be less pleasurable as well. The foreskin has a distinct function also during the sexual act. No foreskin should not be removed without real medical need.

I do not think that parents have any right to mutilate their children. It’s not a right of parents. But children do have rights here, the right to remain intact until hey decide as well-informed adults if they need to cut important pieces of their bodies. Parents have a job, and that it to protect their children from harm. Not to cause it!

If you belong to one of those religions where the invisible skydaddy expects you to worship him by offering up your foreskin you can do so as an adult, when it is your own informed decision.

A baby is not asked, and it will be many years before he is old enough to decide for himself is he likes to have a dangerous unnecessary and harmful procedure done on his most sensitive parts. But that is for me the only acceptable form of circumcision. An adult male, who has first been well informed about the uselessness and the effect on his sexual feelings, and who still wants to have the most sensitive bits cut off?
Fine.
Go for it. But don’t mutilate your baby. Wait 20 years and see what he decides.

I fully agree with the German court, intelligent modern rational people should not cut up, damage, traumatize and endanger the lives of their babies. And if they do they should be punished.

And read this article about how male circumcision harms women.

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Aafke’s wager versus Pascal’s wager

11 03 2012

Pascal’s wager:

For those who do not know, in the seventeenth century the mathematician Blaise Pascal formulated his infamous pragmatic argument for belief in God in his ”Pensées”. The argument runs as follows:

If you erroneously believe in God, you lose nothing (assuming that death is the absolute end), whereas if you correctly believe in God, you gain everything (eternal bliss). But if you correctly disbelieve in God, you gain nothing (death ends all), whereas if you erroneously disbelieve in God, you lose everything (eternal damnation).

How should you bet? Regardless of any evidence for or against the existence of God, Pascal argued that failure to accept God’s existence risks losing everything with no payoff on any count. The best bet, then, is to accept the existence of God. There have been several objections to the wager: that a person cannot simply will himself to believe something that is evidently false to him; that the wager would apply as much to belief in the wrong God as it would to disbelief in all gods, leaving the the believer in any particular god in the same situation as the atheist or agnostic; that God would not reward belief in him based solely on hedging one’s bets; and so on…

I find Pascal’s wager stupid and supercillious, here is a better alternative, which btw I do not take much credit for, as I formulated the basics of it when I was about 8 years old.

Aafke’s wager

If you are, due to nonexistent evidence, not convinced that there is an all loving, compassionate, all-powerful invisible skydaddy, then you should not waste your time with silly immoral religions, but you should spend your life spreading sweetness and light and trying to make the world a better place.

How should you bet? On the ”Spreading Sweetness and Light” bit. If there is an all-loving, compassionate, all-powerful, invisible sky daddy you lose nothing, but gain everything, the invisible sky daddy will not mind you never believed for he/she never put out any proof and you have been a good caring human being so you will always be in.

But if you have been doing bad things, even though they were endorsed in some holy book, a truly good and honest invisible sky daddy would take you to task for it, so you gained nothing, and lost everything, by following rules which you knew  were immoral but you liked them anyway and you justified them because some bronze age barbarian brute wrote them in some book.

So whose the clever thinker here?

Me, not Blaise!

More about what is good and what is bad in the next post.





Excellent lecture

18 12 2011

Take some time to look at this lecture. I am on the point of moving to America, one of the very few countries who still mass-medicate their population with the neuro-toxin Fluoride. Fluoride decreases the IQ of a population with 10%. Besides other bad effects on your health. Something to think about.
Oh, and taking in fluoride does not improve your teeth.

 

These are only the first three, but you really should see them all.

 

 

 





This is our home

23 11 2011

This is our place in the universe. Just contemplate how unimportant all our squabbles are. How silly leaders and generals are to kill for territory. How silly to kill for a religion, which last only for an instance in celestial time as they come and go over the millennia. This is all we have got, and it could be paradise. It should be paradise.

Let’s all be nice to each other.





On slavery and rape

23 06 2011

Watch this video:

This woman is only repeating what the scholars say, which is what Islam says.
The problem starts with religion. By the way, Christianity, including Jesus, also condones slavery. The bible condones the murder of entire tribes ”but keep the young girls who have not known a man unto yourselves”. Pretty close to what Islam says of course.
So close as to make it clear where they got it from.
As long as religions have these primitive misogynist views on women and slavery and rape in their holy books this type of stuff will come back at us.

Islam and Shariah allow for genocide and enslavement and rape of slaves. And the example of the prophet an his followers doing all these things solidifies this ”divine concept”. And so it will come back to us.
Ali had 18 slave girls when he died. He liked booty. And remember he traded them for new ones. He could afford it, so he could do it.

And this woman is not the only one, the followers of Anjem Choudary in England always come back with this: ”We will conquer you and make slaves of your women. ” I have heard Anjem say it himself on a video. It’s not one person. This stuff is fundamental in Shariah, the rules are defined, how to take slaves, what to do with them, etc. It’s not made up, it all in the religion.

Dogma stops you from thinking clearly. It stops you from applying real morality. it stops morality itself from developing and advancing to a higher level.
The problem is religion itself. Religion forces you to believe stuff which you know is not right. This slavery and rape issue is a very good example. Once you have to believe and follow what your religion says, while you know it says things which are morally wrong, you start eroding your own mind, and your own morals.
These bronze age religions come from a time when war and slavery and ownership and rape of women were ”normal”. These things are now considered evil. But the holy books still follow these backwards concepts.

So what happens is that you either have to go into Intellectual Acrobatics mode, the ”It was really different and slaves had lots of rights and were treated really well” or ”This is taken out of context” or ”You must see it in it’s own time” or ”This is misunderstood” etc. etc.

Or you keep it simple and follow scripture, like this woman, like the scholars in Saudi and Kuwait, and England and everywhere, and simply state: the book says it’s ok, the prophet and his companions did it so it’s super ok, so we should do it.

And make no mistake: Christianity has no problem with slavery and rape either, so when Christiantity gets back into power all what is needed is for a strong leader to quote all the proper bible verses, make them into laws and we are back where we started: in the dark ages.





The rise and fall of knowledge

1 06 2011

We are under attack, we are always under attack, we are always in danger of losing our freedom, our knowledge, and our future.

Wisdom and knowledge have been accumulated and destroyed before. Dogma and religion are the worst enemies of humankind. They have set us back by millennia. Humanity has risen to great heights several times, and Dogma and religion have tumbled us back into ignorance and darkness several times.
This is a lesson we should never forget. Our current height of learning and technology are not safe. Right now religious factions are trying to take science out of school classes and replace it with religion and the bible, and it’s flawed primitive nonscience. The creationists in America (and they are gaining in Europe) attack science on a daily basis. In Islamic schools, also in the west, children are being drilled into ignoring reality and only believing the flawed archaic nonscience of the Quran.

Watch this chilling video of the destruction of one of the wonders of the ancient world: the Library of Alexandria.

This happened long ago, but it can happen anytime today.

 





Why Women can’t Drive!

31 05 2011

Manal Al-Sharif is currently held in prison for the ”crime” of….

Driving a car!!!!!

Besides imprisonment and torture the further repercussions on her life could be severe! Manal is a professional woman, with a good job and a good salary. She is divorced and has a son. She is risking everything for the right to drive for herself and her fellow Saudi women.

Please support Manal by signing this petition!

So what are the official clerical reasons for this absurd gender based ban disabling women to drive their own cars and forcing them to be in Khalwa with unrelated foreign men?

    • removal of hijab (face veil)
    • loss of modesty in women
    • women leaving their homes, driving around because they enjoy driving
    • women rebelling, they may go out of the house and drive to place where they can find peace. As young men do, but young men are able to put up with more than women.
    • driving is a cause for fitnah, immoral men will take advantage of her when she is in need of help
    • When women drive it leads to overcrowding in the streets, or it deprives some young men of the opportunity to drive cars when they are more deserving of that.
    • it will cause the fitnah to flourish, because women will buy a new car because it’s a new model or because they will be the first one to drive it.
    • Women are too emotional to drive cars or deal with any problems they might encounter.
      Also, women’s hearts are too weak to survive the stress of driving a car.

They are all hilarious, especially the weak heart.

Women driving will deprive some young men of the opportunity to drive cars when they are more deserving of that.
Why?
Why would young men have more right to driving a car than a woman? Where does that come from? I’d say the person who really needs the car for something useful is the more ”deserving”.

And last but not least:
Women will buy a new car because it’s a new model or because they will be the first one to drive it.
Let’s have a look at the cars Saudi men buy:

Sorry but ”cars” are really more of a man-thing. Now there may be the odd woman here and there who will go further to get something flashy, but I don’t think the majority of women will outdo the majority of men in the utter bad taste demonstrated above.