Saturday 29th of November 2014

operation secular democratic humanism...

st marys

[ABC religion and ethics] Editor's note: Few topics are as contentious today as the role of religion in political debate and public deliberation. Rival positions rely on differing accounts of history, conceptions of "religion" and convictions about the role of the state. Russell Blackford (University of Newcastle) and William Cavanaugh (DePaul University) have both written extensively on this topic, and thus their wide-ranging exchange represents an uncommonly sophisticated treatment of the issues at stake and why they matter.


The Moral Neutrality of the Secular State

Russell Blackford,

read on: http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2014/06/24/4031567.htm

 

Gus note: The editor, Scott Stephens, of this section called Religion and Ethics at the ABC appears to be himself a very committed religious person. The actual link to this ABC section Religion and Ethics is: http://www.abc.net.au/religion. As you can note the "Ethics" part does not appear in the link. It's petty of me to point this out but it needs to be addressed. 

This is what Scott Stephens has to say on the subject of religion in regard to Waleed Aly and Andrew Bolt:

 

And yet there is no denying that Waleed Aly and I belong to the two religious traditions on account of whose hypocrisy "the name of God is blasphemed" throughout the West. The terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 and the torrent of revelations of clerical sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in the first half of 2002 produced the ideal conditions of possibility for the emergence of the stridently antitheistic rhetoric and materialist reductionism that would come to be synonymous with the "New Atheism."

I am at least consoled that, within the vast folds of the Islamic and Christian intellectual traditions, the inherent potential for repentance, reform and rebirth is always present, as the unending internal struggle to reflect the Divine beauty in common life goes on. But what resources, I wonder, exist within secular liberalism for the struggle against human ego?

Scott Stephens is the Religion & Ethics Editor for ABC Online.

So on with Gus' rant:

 

I will start by analysing what Cavanaugh writes at the end of his diatribe:

In the United States we face a secular state, armed to the teeth, that frequently goes to war to defend "freedom" and other secular ideals. The secular state I live in is often no less ambitious in domestic affairs. Blackford rejects the idea of state imposition of Christian or Muslim teachings on contraception, as do I. At the present moment in history, however, such an imposition is not even remotely possible. What is real is the Obama administration's determination to force faith-based organizations - like Catholic charities - to provide artificial contraception to their employees regardless of any beliefs that such practices are wrong. The administration's position is based precisely on the kind of argument that Blackford makes: only secular reasons like health and hygiene count when the issue is a "worldly" one. Religion is essentially otherworldly and religious reasons should not matter when it comes to public policy.

The trivialization of Christianity and other faiths is thus accompanied by the "religion of secularism" that Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart warned about fifty years ago. That is insufficiently neutral for me, and it ought to be even for atheists like Russell Blackford.

Russell Blackford is Conjoint Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle. He is the author of Freedom of Religion and the Secular State and Humanity Enhanced: Genetic Choice and the Challenge for Liberal Democracies.

William Cavanaugh is Research Professor at the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University, Chicago. He is the author of The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict and Migrations of the Holy: God, State, and the Political Meaning of the Church.

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Gus: of course, William Cavanaugh is mistaken. He lives in a fish bowl with pretty plastic flowers and an oxygenator at the bottom that makes pretty bubbles. According to the Huffington Post there is not a single professed atheist in the US congress, though of all "congressmen" there could be as much as 19 hidden atheists. That is to say that their constituents would not vote for them should they know their non-religious position. The US state maybe "secular" but 90 per cent of its constituents are "religious" and so strongly religious that more than 50 per cent do not ascribe to the theory of evolution but most accept that guns to kill is a way of life. 

Secularism is not a religion. Atheism is not a religion. There is no god attached to either. Clear?. A religion is a belief in A GOD of some sort. Clear?

There is no trivialization of faith. There is only the exposure of conflicts within a faith, conflicts between faiths and conflicts that do not fit our acceptance of comforts brought in by sciences which do conflict with adherence to a faith. 

 

thieves and con-men ruling the roost...

 

From Russell Blackford

.....

By appropriate secular standards concerning the relevant things of this world - such as individual and public health - there might be reasons for the state to take some action to encourage certain kinds of sexual behaviour rather than others. But the best policy for the purpose might involve sex education in schools, the encouragement of "safe sex" and other relatively non-coercive steps, rather than blanket criminal bans of supposedly illicit sexual behaviour - let alone bans on an obscure religious cult's sex rites.


More generally, the Lockean model tends to separate the reasons for state action, not only from religious morality, but also from any traditional morality that does not actually assist in protecting civil interests. Locke could, of course, bite the bullet and accept this point; in strict logic, it does not undermine his model. It is not, however, an implication that would have been welcomed in 1689 by either Locke or his critics. Nor is it a welcome conclusion to modern-day religious conservatives and legal moralists.


In a sense, therefore, the Locke created a ticking bomb: his approach had radical implications for the role of the state in imposing moral legislation. Even today, these are playing out in our political debates. Three centuries after John Locke's death, the Lockean model of the state is philosophical dynamite.


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From Gus: yes, the Lockean model of the state is philosophical dynamite. It underpins a model of trusting liberalism between parties of "supply and demand", but, "unlike Thomas Hobbes, Locke believed that human nature is characterised by reason and tolerance" which to some extend is also contrary to Gus' belief that "we all have the ability to be psycho-sociopath"...

 

Locke did not skirt this uneasy concept and talks at length about the value of "education", but also related this concept in a religious sense as the devil, rather than, as Gus sees it, a natural extension of our animalistic desire to survive while under threat. Psycho-sociopathy, a derivative of this natural trait, is used by individuals whether they are under threat or not. Thus to some extent Locke is an "idealist" about "human nature" with a lingering godly influence — though he doubted the godly value of Christ.


In a modern world which is presently ruled mostly by greed, this idealism would not work too well due to many factors — including the sheer numbers of individuals, of religious influences and of political systems. The extension of Locke's beliefs and visions into today's world could actually increase the power of greed a few hundred fold.

 

Thus this is the only way the Lockean model could become explosive, in which, despite the value of work and for "men" of good-will trading the value of work, it can only massively plunge the social construct into thieves and con-men ruling the roost — which is presently the case in Australian politics.

 

Note: Gus is an expert on deceit. 

According to some people, Locke was the inspiration for the American Declaration of Independence which founded human rights on the biblical belief in creation: "All men are created equal, (...) they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, (...) life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

 

The defining word here being "certain" which in modern lingo can mean uncertain or undefined or "limited"...

 

the democratic ideal...

 

"Nothing's perfect". 


 


A group of people, a country, a pod, is an assemblage of variegated individuals of a species who have been conglomerated by accident of history. For many years since the year dot, chieftains have risen to control the group. Few groups have avoided this "evolution". This process has led to kingdoms, Empires, dictatorship and eventually some various democratic models.

The systems of government are always in a flux, swaying from small variation to another, though modern democracies are more or less stable. The ruthless battles between kings, within realms and outside realms have been fought and hopefully we will never see the likes of Charles the first fighting others, including Cromwell, for a throne of sort, under religious pretence... 

In a democracy, the group itself, through ballot, decide their government, mostly based on their feelings, on various information (true or false) and on the main engines — relationships in which trade, sex, family and other factors, such as ownership, are defined under the desires of the people into laws and attached accepted values.

Whatever style of democracy we create, there will be whingers and people who won't benefit like others. Thus a democracy needs a certain flexibility and some system of lawful compensation for the trodden — even in "accepting" that some people are going to rort the system — at the top, in the middle and at the bottom — as long as the system itself is the fairest possible for all (most) to benefit. Even the Chinese know this. 

This is why there are poor people on benefits and multi-billionaires in most countries, including China. This does not mean that either of those are rorting the system, but generally this could be due to various education level, the will to become rich, the know-how to make money by trade and also of risk-taking (which is often related to our psycho-sociopathy). There are of course many grey areas in which the system allows for "trickery" and "robbery" including in taxation "loopholes", various means such as "trusts" and charity for the poor. 
Presently, the Christian democratic system which exist in Germany and most of Western Europe, seems to serve its people well, as long as people are prepared to toil for a defined amount of rewards. But at best, democracy is still fragile because it can be easily manipulated and/or trumpeted by the government propaganda and the media for the benefit of a few, against the "greater good" while claiming the opposite, eventually stealing from the poorest...

The differential between toil and reward is a big part at the core of the modern democratic system.

But there are convoluted mechanisms that make us accept a given value of our toil, but these mechanisms are so varied that they often lead to what is perceived as unfairness and inequity. 
These mechanism do overlap but can be defined simplistically as follow:


Democratic Rectitude :
Balance and judgement between our altruism and our psycho-sociopathy, socially and personally is paramount... Most of our social constructs though giving a lot of leeway for some people to become "richer" than others, the system still has to help the helpless to survive, albeit not very well — or too well should we believe some of the most ardent adherent of the law-of-the-jungle, in general those who make it rich, though they use philanthropy as a way to regain a certain moral ground — or have a genuine concern which they express through charity. It's not my cup of tea in ideal of democracy. 

Humanity cannot survive well in its own mind, with a system where we do not care about the next person, including the weak. The speech of Graeme Innes today as the retiring disability discrimination commissioner was poignant and brought tears to many by the end. His job has been cancelled by the, may I say heartless, Abbott regime. Though this regime is "committed" to the NDIs scheme, it is now placing more hoops and hurdles in front of the people most unable to jump, especially the mentally ill...

Sure there are fakes and "bludgers" and thieves at all levels of the social ladder, but our desire to flush them out by modify and/or garrotting this aspect of the system, often destroys the very fairness of the entire system. So democratic rectitude is not a belief in dogma or into hammering those who are hard done by, but in our necessity of care. 

This democratic rectitude also includes the protection of the personal freedoms and the duty to the group. There are of course conflict within such concept of freedom, for example the protection of women's rights versus freedom of religion that demands punitive submission. 

So how much can we benefit from the group while being selfish — or presently what can be described as a social disease  —our growing individualistic narcissism: 

"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country." 
This variation on theme has been one of the main flux of the matter, though the definition of country is limited in regard to the greater humanity and its moires and its greater relationships.... We can only hope. 

It is the role of government to create and maintain democratic rectitude. The present Australian government which I call "the Abbott regime" has abandoned this democratic aspect by lying overtly to get elected and by lying continually to achieve an advantage for the rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of the population.

This is, of course, the way the cookie crumble. We get told porkies by propaganda, via media — especially the merde-och media which got hammered in Graeme Innes speech as being slanted against disabled people —  then we vote, we get a result — a slut of an Abbott government. Sad. Very sad.


Religious Beliefs :
Religious beliefs muddle our understanding of our place on this planet. Religious beliefs do not want to take into account our "natural" history in evolution and have little interest in our physical construct. Sure the psychology of humans resides in the upstairs department, which is the brains and what we do with it, rather than in angel dust and demonic beings. All of our behavioural traits stem from the simple nature of the animals that we are.

Science thus easily debunks a lot of erroneous religious beliefs. But in the end we are facing a simple question: what do we want from this planet? The answer to this are complex and basically only science (and biomathematics) can give the closest result to it. The answer resides in the juxtaposition of many equations that all are related in a giant matrix of the same equation repeated millions of times over and all inter-dependent:

x [next] =rx (1-x) 
x [next] =rx (1-x) 
x [next] =rx (1-x) 
etcetera a million times

This very simple equation is the most power equation in our relative small universe. It basically expresses how we can and are destroying the planet by not recognising the LIMITS of the planet (mostly the limits of its thin surface and of its atmospheric gradient), the bio-limits and the resources limits. But even if we recognise (or not) the LIMITS in the system, the system at one stage WILL collapse before we can do anything about it.
The x value is a number between 0 and 1, where 0 is absence of population and 1 is maximum possible population in the system, but as one can see in the equation, this MAXIMUM CAN NEVER BE REACHED... There is an assured collapse of population due to overshooting the supply, despite all efforts to increase production in regard to humanity's survival. This is why some clever people call for a SUSTAINABLE future.  

There are of course some survival and population growth variations due to the parameter n which in my small head reflects the state of the environmental factors and availability of supplies, which can soon be dwindling at a rate of knots. 

Paralleling the same equation over and over in a matrix represents the various living creatures scope with which we share the planet. As we, humans, modify our environment and increase our occupation of space, the space for other species to live is inevitably reduced (the r factor is diminished greatly) and or is "polluted" — all leading to population stress and extinction. No magic here, no angels, just clear and justifiable unforgiving numbers. The same goes with global warming. 

Religion is imbued with hocus pocus in fantasy land and, at worse, is totally psycho-sociopathic in its application — but religion is powerful nonetheless, because we are all prepared to believe anything of arcane value, especially when considering we are often brainwashed from a very young age in this religious cocoon. And religion is designed to give men power over women. 

"Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own."



Here president Kennedy caught on the idea of humanity being in charge of itself, not by godly decrees, but by trying to be its own future maker. But Kennedy had his demons, the same used by George W Bush, basically pandering to an unhealthy competition between nations.

We are seeing a resurgence of humanity's dumbing by religious decree, in ISIS taking over parts of Iraq under an extremist banner and calling for all Muslim to be part of the Jihad... This is not going to end well, unless drastic actions are taken — some contrary to our good nature. 
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-to-understand-the-isis-threat/

Religions, under whatever formats, have been the main source of human conflicts, no matter how much the religious people deny it.

Scientific understanding is the only way to go, though some sciences can also be associated with our psycho-sociopathy, personal and communal, or become entwined with greed. We need to be alert...
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In the next instalment I will develop the concept of :

greed :
This also included risk taking, gambling. 

rights :

defence :

and action (toil)/reward :
Capitalism is not a religion. Capitalism is an pseudo-arbitrary exchange system that evolved from some humans deciding capitalism would manages the values of toil, of rewards and of risk.

 

 

 

Gus Leonisky

 

Your local backstage gofer...

greed and compassion in a democratic construct...

 

greed :
When we see footballers on a field, there are three main characteristics that make the game: possession, brute force and deceit. Without possession you cannot play the ball. Brute force allows you to shoot into the goal or pass with power. Deceit needs precision and ability to swerve around, hide the ball and dazzle the opposition. There are also rules and referees to avoid bloodshed — items which often goes missing in full blown competitive conflicts: wars.

Greed works on the same principles and is very strongly allied to, you've guessed it, my view of psycho-sociopathy, which is an extension of the natural necessity for animals to survive in the wild. One cannot allow a rival on one's territory. Some people call this "competition". But to me the word competition does not encompass the essential ingredient of instinctive brutal reactivity to individually survive.  Resources are limited and these are yours not-to-share, except in some "social" species where abundance of resources removes the need for such competition of supply, but there could still be some sexual competitive practices.

May be I should not call it psycho-sociopathy, but it's the only concept that I can find to describe the process that fits the bill. It is eventually our ability to care more about ourselves than care about others, which in humans becomes an inflated major problem in our social relationships. This has led to slavery, to apartheid, to exploitation, to crime, to realms and to dictatorships. 

Greed is this mechanism applied to possessions and becomes an end game rather than a means. We thus have had to create rules and appoint referees to limit its scope in a social construct otherwise, it is believed pandemonium and gun fights would reign. But there again deceit can alter the resultant game by corrupting the refereeing process.

Greed is the action of acquiring more possessions than others in a social context and far more than what we need to survive at an individual level, while caring little about others... We can justify greed as a need but it's nothing more than an inflated want with bells and whistles. The entire social construct — especially capitalism — is geared to be greedy and make us want more than what we need and to some extent this is how evolution of comforts have come to be. This is house improvements. This is refined cooking. This is money in the bank. This is glorified consumerism with its new products — 99.9 per cent of them being unnecessary. This is supposed to provide comforts to be shared by all, but some of us will get away with more of the loot.

Where this process becomes a major problem is two folds: a) we stop caring about others, especially the less fortunate, making elegant excuses about this and b) we stop caring about the planet on which we live.

There are many gradings of greed. There are gradings of psycho-sociopathy. These issues are not plain black or white. We're not all psychopath but we all have the ability to be psychopath. There are various learned mechanisms that can suppress this "instinct of survival in which we value our life (far) more than others": mostly courage, compassion, drugs. 

With greed, often comes power. With greed comes possession. Deceit often becomes the refinement of brute force and in many circumstances deceit can defeat others' brute force, but not always. We often talk about brains and brawn... But this does not mean that all brainy people do not possess the ability of brute force, nor that all brawny people do not have the ability of deceit. Most of us have the want of greed. Our modern social construct demands this — that we participate in the socially organised greed: consumerism.

The cleverer amongst us often use a mix of deceit and brute force to "achieve". Not all of us have a full blown greedy attitude, and there is a social-formula at which we, as individual, stop "wanting more than what we need" but everyone of us do not stop at the same level and some will push on and on. 

When by accident or luck we manage to acquire more than what we need, the pathway next divides into pure greed when we still want more and a form of generosity in which we share the excess acquired. 

Greed is considered a sin in the Abrahamic religions. This has not stopped many popes and all kings (and queens), to amass fortunes under the banner of religious fervour for power and control. Compassion, one of the limiter of greed, is strongly valued in these religions. 

Most religious adherents though, from the suicide bomber who hopes for a better life in heaven to a Tony Abbott who destroys the social moires by lying, do not abide by their religious principles. Sure an Abbott will pedal for "compassionate" charity but he will send the bill to the government and lie to be elected. That my friends is greedy and dishonest. Tony Abbott will protect his privileges while destroying yours with a plethora of explanations that are no more than excuses for fudgey tricks.

Our social construct such as a democracy, tries hard to limit the scope of such rampant greed with pitiful success. Corruption and inadequate rules "make sure of that". As well powerful interests that profit from greed will make sure the "information" channels (the mediocre mass media de mierda) are also encouraging deceit and greed. The channels are also deceitfully showing fairness as a "problem"... by overstating the importance of "bludgers and loafers" at the low social-economic scale... while idealising the greedy robbery committed by the high end of town.

Sustainability is a form of compassion. Compassion rarely appear as a necessity. And presently sustainability may not appear to be a necessity, but soon the crash of species, including our own, will tell us that we've been too greedy. But the greedy will never see that.

Gambling is a form of greed, in which we justify an "investment" with the possibility of some higher return but combined with the risk of losing the original investment. Most of the stock market is a gambling den where the general investment is more or less guaranted but individual investments are not. This means that usually the general kitty grows and has to grow for investors to be enticed to place their bets. The stock market has a relative value to the world GDP, while the derivatives market is pure gambling by financial institutions, with no real reserves and no limits. This is where mathematics and greed marry at best, otherwise the whole edifice would collapse. 

For the ordinary punter, the illusion of gain will often send him/her bankrupt. The very enticing gains at Lotto are a billion to one in the odds. All in all, the system of gambling is not so much for the gamblers to gain but for the organisers of the game to profit. In the derivatives market the organisers and the betters are one and the same. 

And our present biggest gamble is that we're risking the future of the surface of this planet with our greed. The inevitable result is that we will lose.

Gus leonisky
Your local cleaner...

 

the rights to be...

 



Human rights is a more complicated issue than just declaring "we all have rights"... Well... it should really be as simple as this.
But because we're not all at the same stage of cultural development, psychopathy, deviousness, religious beliefs, scientific knowledge, gender identification, strength and age at the same time, the issue of rights becomes very complicated. 

Same with the "rights of nature" which are mostly altruistic imposts from us — our gift to nature. The inference in the declaration of human rights is based on vague human natural rights and strong godly decrees...

The first codified appearance of human rights in human history seems to be that inscribed in the "Cyrus Cylinder", presently stored at the British Museum... These edicts were engraved around 600 BC for King Cyrus after his conquest of Babylon (ancient Baghdad, see also Blood Rivers of Babylon...)
These definitive engravings decreed freedom of religion, the end of slavery, choice of profession and for the expansion of the empire. Nothing new and even a bit less in the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. 

But the constant need to remind each others of "Our Human Rights" decries that we flaunt them too often. Look at Abbott-the-Miserable-Sod.... He has a human rights' bypass in dealing with asylum seekers to the point he's become a dangerous man if he was not already. 
Human rights definitions apparently go beyond King Cyrus — even back to around 2400 BC. 

Most social construct, even a family developed a scale of "rights", acquired by ways to rule the roost or minimise harm to the group from within. This notion of rights was eventually extended to most of humanity quite recently in the history of humankind.
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We hear or read that "our rights end where someone else's begins". But the boundary between them and us is very very fuzzy. 

Often in order to be true to our psychopath-self, we trespass... and make excuses.

This is part of the Lord's Prayer: "And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us..."
Here is a clue: We demand the Lord to forgive our trespasses but we do not beg forgiveness from those on whose toes we walk(ed) upon... We don't go and say : "Sorry man, I just walked on your toes so I could get ahead in my own life..." Do we? But we do trespass. We walk on people toes, in obvious and covert ways to gain an advantage and we don't apologise — or if we do, it's completely hollow.

But when people walk on our toes, it's often war. Turning the other cheek? You've got to be kidding... And the more religious we are, not so strangely, the more we seem to seek revenge and then beg for god's forgiveness. Or we decide it is (was) god's will to impose our beliefs on more mugs than the next guy.

This is where this edifice of godly ritual ventures into massive hypocrisy. Yes, most of the time, we go to war. We do not forgive. We seek revenge. We may wish a confrontation to assert that we are right in our beliefs that trespass is "necessary", then we beg god's forgiveness for having sorted out things our own way — with "righteous violence". God obliges then, in our own mind, by "telling us" we did the right thing... We delude ourselves.

With the concept of rights should come the unavoidable need for trust. And most of the time we have suspicions instead. We know deceit because we even deceive ourselves by praying to god for forgiveness because we do not have the guts to apologise to the person(s) we've offended... or repair what we broke.

More often than not, we seek to offend deliberately for whatever reason or excuse. This hypocritical trait is more pronounced with religious people who hold the high moral ground of godly beliefs and who want to impose their views on what your life should be... 

I do not pretend not to trespass when I do. I have an intent and I do not beg for forgiveness. I state my intent. I will not attack someone for being religious unless that someone attacks me for being an atheist. But I won't make two bones about attacking the concept of religion. 
Why?

I mostly attack the concept of "enforced" submissiveness within all its forms: religious, gender, sexual, political. This enforcement can be violent or subtle control of our thoughts.
I attack submissiveness because essentially it is foregoing our rights, for whatever "justification". This can start with brainwashing, victimisation, weak laws, personal weakness, fear. Unless strong laws are there to defend our rights, we can be crushed, unable to respond, and unable to even forgive because we may not understand why we need to forgive as we cannot see we are victimised or that our rights have been taken away by a slanted system with decrees. These religious, political, familial pressures on our rights are enforced with punishments and victimisation, that are presented to us as the only way we shall live...

And then there are conflicts between the rights of group and individuals within: the right of religion beliefs that crushes or define women into a specific subservient role. A self-contained decreed abuse of human rights, enveloped in "tradition".

This is why Brandis should not downgrade the present vilification laws under the obvious excuse that one of his mates got hit for six for attacking the rights of white-looking aboriginal people. I heard in horror, a couple of days ago, a whitefellow, I guess, being interviewed on Radio Koori (Live and deadly Aboriginal radio in Sydney) saying that if you are verbally abused and you feel gutted, you have to learn to cope with it or respond in kind. Not a good look. This views make rights second rate compared to the freedom of perpetrating abuse, verbal and physical. Verbal abuse can translate into physical abuse within. That is to say verbal abuse can hurt the "spirit" of another person and induce real medical conditions — anxiety, anger which we do not need, and depression.
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But now, the abuse of rights and the absence of negotiations in the face of such abuses, there is an uneasiness seemingly growing in the human world on this planet... There were various world conflicts last century, two which were on a massive scale and fought in various regions under different justifications: WWI and WWII. Most parties presently agree that any conflicts on such scale would even be more catastrophic. 

The little conflicts that are simmering here and there — in Syria, in Iraq and in Africa, and the territorial disputes between China and Japan  — need to be contained and resolved. Yet again our General-in-Turd (four stars Orstralyan Dork) Tony places his mouth on his foot. He has no understanding that things in history are best left alone and cannot be whitewashed. Nasty conquests have no redeeming features, unless you think Hitler was a good man.

Defence of rights and of freedom is soon muddled into aggression in such climate.
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Humans are mad enough to drive their own follies beyond the pale — religiously and politically. So, in the end, it is the right of nature that I am mostly concerned with...  This recognition of rights of nature should be our sense of belonging to this planet. Our gift to nature — a simple recognition that nature exists not to serve us but because it simply exists. Unfortunately, in most people's mind, we are just transient, travelling to another better world. It's sheer lunacy. Atheism has long let go of this concept of going to a better world... Some "religions" like Buddhism let you come back to the same place, the earth, as a better or worse entity — a worm, a dog or a human — according to your having mucked things up not too much, in your previous "incarnations". But this is fanciful wishful thinking. We are mucking up the place nonetheless.

With our ability to take over the finite surface on this planet and reduce the habitats for other species — plants and animals — with our carbonisation of the atmosphere and of the oceans, with our impressive scientific ways to pollute and poison the four corners of this unique sidereal pebble, we are doing a disservice to "nature", our originator — and should we believe in god, we are mucking up "his" design... Imagine, people are mutilating babies and females with genital "modifications" that are nothing more than painful tampering with the rights of some humans to be "integral", under the idiocy of traditions...

Human rights have a long way to go before we know what real rights are... Too much emphasis is placed on protecting abusers of rights, under the banner of freedom and of traditions in religion, and culture. More often than not, even under the best of human rights, the rights of women come second.

We shall see. 

Gus Leonisky
Your local simplistic simpleton

 

when religious freedom shoots itself...

Inquiry into ‘Trojan Horse’ allegation finds extremism in 13 schools


LAST UPDATED AT 08:17 ON Sat 19 Jul 2014

Schoolchildren were taught that all Christians are liars and attempts were made to introduce Sharia law into classrooms, an inquiry into an alleged ‘Trojan Horse’ plot in Birmingham schools has discovered.

The inquiry, commissioned by Birmingham City Council, found evidence of extremism in 13 schools in the city. It also concluded that the extremism went unchecked because the council "disastrously" prioritised community cohesion over "doing what is right".

Schools displayed posters warning children that if they didn't pray they would "go to hell", Christmas was cancelled and female pupils were taught that women who refused to have sex with their husbands would be "punished" by angels "from dusk to dawn".

The inquiry’s report, which was published yesterday, concluded that there was a "determined effort" by "manipulative" governors to introduce "unacceptable" practices, "undermine" head teachers and deny students a broad and balanced education.

A separate review, commissioned by the Department for Education, found that the schools were trying to impose "segregationist attitudes and practices of a hardline and politicised strain Sunni Islam".

Apologising for the council’s handling of the scandal, leader Sir Albert Bore said: "The actions of a few, including some within the council, have undermined the reputation of our great city. We have previously shied away from tackling this problem out of a misguided fear of being accused of racism.



Read more: http://www.theweek.co.uk/uk-news/59556/all-christians-are-liars-birmingham-pupils-told#ixzz37xuJhq5b

justice...

 

 

Justice
Justice is mostly a relative process to determine right or wrong, followed by a decision of punishment.
Justice has been devalued for being used too often in cases where the intent means revenge. Justice is thus very contentious in its application and too often in its selective targeting. Justice and rights often create an uneasy mix of contradictions and conflicted issues.
The religious mob often gloriously refer to King Solomon Justice — which for all we know may have been wrong, as well as to god's justice. God's revenge is also explained by the religious mob (and insurance companies) by associating destructive events such as volcanoes and tornadoes as acts of god — basically telling the flock that there are some real bad sinners amongst it. Of course, the victims in such "acts of god" are often the innocent and the helpless — while the sinners secretly confess and then go back to the sinning, feeling all cleaned up... Alleluyah...
It's the old joke:
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the danger of confessions …..

 

A Priest was being honoured at his retirement dinner after 35  years in the parish.

 

A leading local politician & member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation & to give a little speech at the dinner. 

 

However, he was delayed, so the Priest decided to say his own few words while they waited:

 

“I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set & when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss's wife, taken illegal drugs & gave his sister VD to. I was appalled. But as the days went on I learned that my people were not all like that & I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good & loving people.”

 

Just as the Priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late.

 

He immediately began to make the presentation & gave his talk: “I'll never forget the first day our parish Priest arrived,” said the politician, “In fact, I had the honour of being the first person to go to him for confession.”

 

Moral: Never, Never, Never Be Late... 
Well, I would say the real moral is don't commit crimes or don't get caught... and you won't need a priest to whitewash your soul with eternal soap.
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The behaviour of some people is appalling, dangerous and contrary to civil relationships. Some people will commit murder, will  thieve and commit rape. We all can do it.  Justice is there to show that "bad deed" cannot be got away with, after the laws have declared murder, theft, rape and such, illegal... But people still commit these "crimes". Why? Oh... and in some so-called justice system, the victim will be blamed for being aggressed...
In most codified system, the laws to stop us from being dangerous to our self and to others are clear. Or are they? Are some laws a bit too complicated because the deeds become complex as well as the laws too arbitrary — especially in the area of finance and holidays in the Bahamas?.
Our understanding of action/reward/punishment can get confused. We also have to deal with the rights of the offendees as well as the rights of the offenders. Often justice does not do justice to itself. and will punish ordinary citizens for a small contentious misdemeanour while letting dangerous criminals free on "technicalities" of the law — especially if these have "connections"...
Judges are smart people and they have an enormous amount of knowledge about the complexity of the system and at the end of the day, they often have to make a subjective decision — rarely a clear cut one —even while directing a jury.
Lawyers rarely argue about "the truth" but about contentious areas of the law — and what is allowed and what is not. These are "technicalities".
And we have to deal with the concept of who can or who cannot  get away with murder. 

There are three main justice systems around the world — all with their own idiosyncrasies, success and failures
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The contemporary legal systems of the world are generally based on one of three basic systemscivil lawcommon law, and religious law – or combinations of these. However, the legal system of each country is shaped by its unique history and so incorporates individual variations.


Civil Law

Civil law is the most widespread system of law around the world.[1] It is also sometimes known as Continental European law. The central source of law that is recognized as authoritative is codifications in a constitution or statute passed by legislature, to amend a code.

While the concept of codification dates back to the Code of Hammurabi in Babylon ca. 1790 BC, civil law systems derive from the Roman Empire and, more particularly, the Corpus Juris Civilis issued by the Emperor Justinian ca. AD 529. This was an extensive reform of the law in the Byzantine Empire, bringing it together into codified documents. Civil law was also partly influenced by religious laws such as Canon law and Islamic law.[2][3] Civil law today, in theory, is interpreted rather than developed or made by judges. Only legislative enactments (rather than legal precedents, as in common law) are considered legally binding.

Scholars of comparative law and economists promoting the legal origins theory usually subdivide civil law into four distinct groups:

  • French civil law: in France, the Benelux countries, Italy, Romania, Spain and former colonies of those countries;
  • German civil law: in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Estonia, Latvia, former Yugoslav republics, Greece, Portugal and its former colonies, Turkey, Japan, and the Republic of China;
  • Scandinavian civil law: in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. As historically integrated in the Scandinavian cultural sphere, Finland and Iceland also inherited the system.
  • Chinese law: a mixture of civil law and socialist law in use in the People's Republic of China.

The purpose of codification is to provide all citizens with manners and written collection of the laws which apply to them and which judges must follow. It is the most widespread system of law in the world, in force in various forms in about 150 countries,[6] and draws heavily from Roman law, arguably the most intricate known legal system dating from before the modern era.

Where codes exist, the primary source of law is the law code, which is a systematic collection of interrelated articles,[7] arranged by subject matter in some pre-specified order,[8] and that explain the principles of law, rights and entitlements, and how basic legal mechanisms work. Law codes are simply laws enacted by a legislature, even if they are in general much longer than other laws. Other major legal systems in the world include common lawHalakhacanon law, and Islamic law.

Civilian countries can be divided into:

  • those where civil law in some form is still living law but there has been no attempt to create a civil codeAndorra and San Marino
  • those with uncodified mixed systems in which civil law is an academic source of authority but common law is also influential: Scotland and Roman-Dutch law countries (South AfricaZambiaZimbabweSri Lanka and Guyana)
  • those with codified mixed systems in which civil law is the background law but has its public law heavily influenced by common law:Puerto RicoPhilippines
  • those with comprehensive codes that exceed a single civil code, such as ItalyFranceGermanyGreeceJapanMexicoQuebec: it is this last category that is normally regarded as typical of civil law systems, and is discussed in the rest of this article.

The Scandinavian systems are of a hybrid character since their background law is a mix of civil law and Scandinavian customary law and have been partially codified. Likewise, the laws of the Channel Islands (JerseyGuernseyAlderneySark) are hybrids which mix Norman customary law and French civil law.

A prominent example of a civil-law code would be the Napoleonic Code (1804), named after French emperor Napoleon. The Code comprises three components: the law of persons, property law, and commercial law. Rather than a compendium of statutes or catalog of caselaw, the Code sets out general principles as rules of law.[7]


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Common law (also known as case law or precedent) is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals, as opposed to statutes adopted through the legislative process or regulations issued by the executive branch.[1]

A "common law system" is a legal system that gives great precedential weight to common law,[2] on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different occasions.[3] The body of precedent is called "common law" and it binds future decisions. In cases where the parties disagree on what the law is, a common law court looks to past precedential decisions of relevant courts. If a similar dispute has been resolved in the past, the court is usually bound to follow the reasoning used in the prior decision (this principle is known as stare decisis). If, however, the court finds that the current dispute is fundamentally distinct from all previous cases (called a "matter of first impression"), judges have the authority and duty to make law by creating precedent.[4] Thereafter, the new decision becomes precedent, and will bind future courts.

In practice, common law systems are considerably more complicated than the simplified system described above. The decisions of a court are binding only in a particular jurisdiction, and even within a given jurisdiction, some courts have more power than others. For example, in most jurisdictions, decisions by appellate courts are binding on lower courts in the same jurisdiction, and on future decisions of the same appellate court, but decisions of lower courts are only non-binding persuasive authority. Interactions between common law, constitutional lawstatutory law and regulatory law also give rise to considerable complexity. However, stare decisis, the principle that similar cases should be decided according to consistent principled rules so that they will reach similar results, lies at the heart of all common law systems.

One third of the world's population (approximately 2.3 billion people) live in common law jurisdictions or in systems mixed with civil law. Particularly common law is in England where it originated in the Middle Ages,[5] and in countries that trace their legal heritage to England as former colonies of the British Empire, including India,[6] the United States federal government, 49 of its 50 states, Pakistan,[7] NigeriaBangladeshCanada and all its provinces except Quebec, MalaysiaGhanaAustralia,[8] Sri LankaHong KongSingaporeBurmaIrelandNew ZealandJamaicaTrinidad and TobagoCyprusBarbados,[9] South AfricaZimbabweCameroonNamibiaLiberiaSierra LeoneBotswanaGuyana and Israel.


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Religious law refers to ethical and moral codes taught by religious traditions. Examples include Christian canon lawIslamic shariaJewish halakha and Hindu law.[1]

The two most prominent systems, canon law and sharia, differ from other religious laws in that canon law is the codification of CatholicAnglican and Orthodox law as in civil law, while sharia derives many of its laws from juristic precedent and reasoning by analogy (as in a common law tradition).



And each of these systems have some variations and unfair adaptation of the law gobbledegook — often based on the ability of people to pay — for bail, in penalty or as bribes. 

For example a Peter Greste in Egypt would have been trial-led under Sharia law. Thus anything goes.

The Islamic legal system of Sharia (Islamic law) and Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) is the most widely used religious law, and one of the three most common legal systems in the world alongside common law and civil law.[11] It is the most protected divine law, because, the majority of the rulings of Sharia law are based on the Qur'an and Sunnah, while a small fraction of its rulings are based on the Ulema (jurists) who used the methods of Ijma (consensus), Qiyas (analogical deduction), Ijtihad (research) and Urf (common practice) to derive Fatwā (legal opinions). An Ulema was required to qualify for an Ijazah (legal doctorate) at a Madrasa (school) before they could issue Fatwā.[12] During the Islamic Golden Age, classical Islamic law may have had an influence on the development of common law[3] and several civil law institutions.[13] Sharia law governs a number of Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, though most countries use Sharia law only as a supplement to national law. It can relate to all aspects of civil law, including property rights, contracts or public law.
Thus anyone who has a different system of law would see Greste's conviction as a sham.
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“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a communist;


Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a socialist;


Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist;


Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;


Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”


― Martin Niemöller
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The silence of slippers is more dangerous than the clanging of boots...

― Martin Niemöller
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As we should know, religious law is still waddling in the mud of the middle ages. It has not progressed much in its barbarity and interpretation of truth. 
On the other side of the ledger, for example when a person called Slipper is found guilty for having rorted about $950 from the public purse, using Cabcharge for a tour of vineyards, we can say okay... fair enough. But we also should charge every single parliamentary representative for having done at least ten times worse.
For Turdy to do "charitable work" then charge the government for expenses, while he is exposing his budgies to the world, is a disgrace and abuse of the public purse... For Turdy to go to a wedding of a mate, then charge expenses to the government is beyond the pale...
Ah, I see, Turdy was allowed to repay the wedding trip four years later when someone pulled his pants down... When Slipper wanted to reimbursed the government, he was sent to jail... Ah I see... It was a political witch-hunt... 
Justice? Nupe... Not even the illusion of it anywhere, except of course in the merde-och press, that anti-global warming nest of deceit. 
And if you think that only Sharia law punishes victims, especially in rape cases, think again... Our own churches have got away for a long time with their Canon law to protect their own perpetrators, in such cases... Often the victims have been denigrated in their own eyes for failing to be heard or even be compensated for a life of misery. Some ended taking their own life. This is why we have a Royal Commission into institutionalised sex abuses in this county... and to uncover what has been a string of institutionalised cover-ups...

Gus Leonisky
Your local fruit "of good and evil" retailer (Note: Gus does not believe in evil...)

 

bad secrecy in justicery...

 

The erosion of the principle of open justice has been steadily ratcheted-up with each passing year. Almost on a daily basis, the courts are issuing suppression orders preventing publication of entire proceedings or aspects of proceedings. In Victoria alone, there were 1,502 suppression orders over a five year period.

Since the passage of legislation in both NSW and Victoria that purports to create a presumption in favour of openness, the opposite has been the case and there seems to be a steady rise in orders restricting reporting of proceedings. Rarely are they accompanied with judicial reasons that carefully balance the argument between open justice and protecting the administration of justice – a flexible term which means more or less whatever a judge wants it to mean.

Judges do bang-on about the importance of open justice and love to quote Jeremy Bentham:

Publicity is the very soul of justice ... it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial.

Yet, in their hearts they don’t like things being too open at all. There’s also an implicit dislike of the media trampling on their patch. 
The overriding judicial belief is that the administration of justice is a delicate flower that can all too readily wilt if reporters are telling their readers, viewers or listeners what is going on chapter and verse inside their courtrooms.

This is not to say some suppression is not be justified, including where the physical safety of witnesses is at stake; interconnected criminal trials; family law cases; victims of sexual assault; and trials involving children come to mind. National security is also a popular one for governments to trot out, particularly in terrorism cases or hearings involving security assessments of refugees. Judges have a tendency to be far too craven in the face of overblown claims for suppression on grounds of national security. 

Human Rights Watch in New York has been drawn to comment on the Victorian orders, with general counsel Dinah PoKempner saying:

The gag order published by WikiLeaks ... is disturbing on its face as it suggests the Australian government is suppressing reporting of a major corruption scandal to prevent diplomatic embarrassment. The embarrassment of diplomatic partners is not the same thing as a threat to national security, or to the integrity of the judicial process.

 

read more: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/30/wikileaks-gag-order-open-justice-is-threatened-by-super-injuctions

 

I use the word "justicery" to define meatball, secret and poisoned justice... See also: justice...

the religious moral masturbators...

 

Turkish women have posted pictures of themselves laughing on Twitter to protest comments by the country's deputy prime minister, who had urged women not to laugh in public to "protect moral values".

Bulent Arinc has criticised the media for taking his comments out of context and focusing on a small part of his speech, in which he said he advised both men and women to adopt "ethical behaviours".

"Some people criticise me by picking up only a part of a one-and-a-half-hour speech. What a baseless and disgusting claim. People who have listened to all of my comments have realised this," Mr Arinc was quoted as saying in the Hurriyet newspaper.

"I believe I have made a useful speech. If I had only said women should not laugh then I have done something irrational, but my speech was about manners and moral rules."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-31/women-in-turkey-defy-call-not-to-laugh-in-public/5637742