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Geck-o-Lizard
18-01-09, 20:11
http://www.politics.co.uk/news//opinion-former-index/legal-and-constitutional/politicians-back-call--darwin-day--$1261115.htm

MPs are being asked to support a move to have Charles Darwin's birthday made a public holiday in Britain.

The campaign is timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the biologist's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin the Species, the seminal text which explained evolutionary theory for the first time.

Andrew Copson, director of education and public affairs at the British Humanist Association (BHA) said: "Charles Darwin is one of the greatest and most influential thinkers who ever lived and one of Britain’s greatest scientists.

"In the middle of February we could all do with an extra public holiday and recognition of this particular day would be a great way of celebrating Britain’s great contribution to science, reason and free thought."

Darwin’s birthday was on February 12th.

The campaign is being supported by Ashok Kumar, the Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, who has tabled an early day motion in the Commons.

The motion already has the support of ten MPs.

It reads: "That this House notes the extraordinary achievements of Charles Darwin; notes that 2009 marks both the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species; welcomes proposals for the creation of a Darwin Day in recognition of the ground-breaking work of the British scientist responsible for the theory of evolution by natural selection; and calls for Darwin's birthday, 12 February, to be designated a public holiday in honour of one of the fathers of modern science and one of Britain's greatest, if not the greatest, scientific minds."

The current campaign follows a similar effort in 2003 when over 40 highly-regarded academics, philosophers, scientists and writers called for a new public holiday, including philosopher Simon Blackburn, biologist Richard Dawkins, co-discoverer of DNA Francis Crick, author Philip Pullman and writer Claire Rayner.

The Darwin Day initiative follows several high-profile campaigns by atheist and secularist groups, including the now-infamous atheist buses currently operating around the country which feature the slogan: "There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

Cochrane
18-01-09, 20:53
Why him? As an example, Isaac Newton is probably far more important. There's not really a history for scientist's birthdays being holidays, so I don't really see the point here. Unless it's meant to specifically annoy creationists and the like, but do they pose a credible threat in the UK?

Forwen
18-01-09, 20:55
Yay for another holiday, eh? :D

The paragraph about them buses is redundant, however. That's why creationists dig their heels ever deeper into the ground and continue on threatening scientific research - because the perception of science necessarily negating religion is being reinforced so strongly. That's where the comeback of wretched creationism comes from in the first place, methinks. Believers feel threatened.

Punaxe
19-01-09, 17:19
Why him? As an example, Isaac Newton is probably far more important. There's not really a history for scientist's birthdays being holidays, so I don't really see the point here. Unless it's meant to specifically annoy creationists and the like, but do they pose a credible threat in the UK?

I think the UK has a big problem with religion. For example, there are sharia courts with the same legal power as regular courts and I hear from many of my UK friends that they have never even been taught about evolution.

A Darwin-holiday would be a symbolic step forward, I'd say.

Mad Tony
19-01-09, 17:27
I think the UK has a big problem with religion. For example, there are sharia courts with the same legal power as regular courts and I hear from many of my UK friends that they have never even been taught about evolution.

A Darwin-holiday would be a symbolic step forward, I'd say.That's the first I've heard about sharia courts. There have been calls for them, but I don't think there are any. Needless to say, sharia law has no place in this country.

How would a Darwin-holiday be a step forward? Is it somehow backwards not to believe in evolution?

Encore
19-01-09, 17:31
Yay for another holiday, eh? :D

The paragraph about them buses is redundant, however. That's why creationists dig their heels ever deeper into the ground and continue on threatening scientific research - because the perception of science necessarily negating religion is being reinforced so strongly. That's where the comeback of wretched creationism comes from in the first place, methinks. Believers feel threatened.

Wow I couldn't have said it better myself. Personally, I regard the agressiveness of certain evolutionists against religion as a modern form of messianism and blind faith in itself... But whatever...

jackali
19-01-09, 17:32
Well... I think we could do with another public holiday at any rate. I don't think we have nearly enough.

Mad Tony
19-01-09, 17:33
Well... I think we could do with another public holiday at any rate. I don't think we have nearly enough.I agree. I definitely think St George's Day should be made a public holiday.

TRhalloween
19-01-09, 17:34
Is it somehow backwards not to believe in evolution?

It's backwards not accepting people believing in evolution.

+We already have religious holidays.

Geck-o-Lizard
19-01-09, 17:39
That's the first I've heard about sharia courts. There have been calls for them, but I don't think there are any.

http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page17960

I agree. I definitely think St George's Day should be made a public holiday.
We've got enough religious holidays. Come on Darwin Day!

Mad Tony
19-01-09, 18:03
http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page17960


We've got enough religious holidays. Come on Darwin Day!So will Sharia law be introduced or not? :confused:

It's backwards not accepting people believing in evolution.

+We already have religious holidays.I never said it wasn't. However, I do find that some evolutionists can be just as closed minded and aggressive with their views as some creationists are.

TRhalloween
19-01-09, 18:15
I never said it wasn't. However, I do find that some evolutionists can be just as closed minded and aggressive with their views as some creationists are.

But one evolutionist holiday wouldn't be close minded of creationists.

Tihocan9
19-01-09, 18:20
Although I don't really see it as necessary I am fine with it, maybe not to look at it as a holiday but just as a day to remember him. I may be a creationist but I believe in evolution, well I believe that God created the universe and the earth and then natural selection has caused creatures to change over time therefore I believe in evolution so its not that I am against it.

jackles
19-01-09, 18:20
I think the UK has a big problem with religion. For example, there are sharia courts with the same legal power as regular courts and I hear from many of my UK friends that they have never even been taught about evolution.A Darwin-holiday would be a symbolic step forward, I'd say.


tbh I don't know of anyone in the uk who has been taught anything but evolution. Creation stories are taught in RE.

Punaxe
19-01-09, 18:27
That's the first I've heard about sharia courts. There have been calls for them, but I don't think there are any. Needless to say, sharia law has no place in this country.

How would a Darwin-holiday be a step forward? Is it somehow backwards not to believe in evolution?

I would be very happy (though somewhat embarrassed) if you could tell me these sites are telling nonsense:

Revealed: UK’s first official sharia courts (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article4749183.ece)

Islamic sharia courts in Britain are now 'legally binding' (http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/article-1055764/Islamic-sharia-courts-Britain-legally-binding.html)

tbh I don't know of anyone in the uk who has been taught anything but evolution. Creation stories are taught in RE.

Admittedly I don't know many people, but none of them have been properly taught about evolution ("it's just random chance lol") and one of them even goes to a quite strictly religious school - without wanting to. :/

Mad Tony
19-01-09, 19:06
I would be very happy (though somewhat embarrassed) if you could tell me these sites are telling nonsense:

Revealed: UK’s first official sharia courts (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article4749183.ece)

Islamic sharia courts in Britain are now 'legally binding' (http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/article-1055764/Islamic-sharia-courts-Britain-legally-binding.html)Oh dear, it's even worse than I thought. Why the hell are the government letting Sharia law have a place in this country?

Geck-o-Lizard
19-01-09, 19:13
For "cultural diversity", duh. Regardless of the fact that if we were truly culturally diverse it'd be anarchy.

Catapharact
19-01-09, 19:21
I would be very happy (though somewhat embarrassed) if you could tell me these sites are telling nonsense:

Revealed: UK’s first official sharia courts (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article4749183.ece)

Islamic sharia courts in Britain are now 'legally binding' (http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/article-1055764/Islamic-sharia-courts-Britain-legally-binding.html)

And you should be embarrassed because the sites seem to be emphisizing the Arbitration Act of 1996 which ONLY places the Sharia court system as "ABRITRATORS!!!" I have to keep emphisizing that since it blows off people's heads and Mad Tony throws a hissy fit even though I explained the concept multiple times.

The Arbitrator's decision HELPS the final decision. It FACILITATES a decision but it does not makes the decicion. The local bylaw is still in effect. The Sharia system only acts like mediators in helping to resolve a decision.

Now... Are we all clear on the subject? Or will I be hearing people whine about this again in the future?

Mad Tony
19-01-09, 20:10
Don't I have a right to be annoyed? There is absolutely no reason why it should be used in this country in any shape or form.

Forwen
19-01-09, 20:14
Wow I couldn't have said it better myself. Personally, I regard the agressiveness of certain evolutionists against religion as a modern form of messianism and blind faith in itself... But whatever...

Mind you I see nothing wrong about the concept of this holiday. What is wrong is pitting science against religion and therefore pulling science into the area of social/political issues, which then results in social/political pressure on it. This applies to all problems (like gender studies and racial studies), not only religion. I support the theory of evolution, but above all I support purity of science.

http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page17960

Whew.

Sharia tribunals? Way to spoil my day completely. Christ, I can't believe what I've just read, I'll have to let it sink in first.

OK I've made up my mind, I'm officially horrified.

Tyrannosaurus
19-01-09, 20:39
How would a Darwin-holiday be a step forward? Is it somehow backwards not to believe in evolution?Yes. But I'm not sure this Darwin Day would help given the people behind it. What would happen on Darwin day? Would public schools and buildings be closed? Would it just be an excuse for atheist groups to annoy the religious with banners, slogans, and rallies? I would have no problem with Darwin Day if it weren't obviously linked to the vocal and insecure atheist groups who feel threatened by religious holidays in the first place.

jackles
19-01-09, 20:42
Yes. But I'm not sure this Darwin Day would help given the people behind it. What would happen on Darwin day? Would public schools and buildings be closed? Would it just be an excuse for atheist groups to annoy the religious with banners, slogans, and rallies? I would have no problem with Darwin Day if it weren't obviously linked to the vocal and insecure atheist groups who feel threatened by religious holidays in the first place.

In this country I doubt it..most people will be too busy spending their cash in the new churches i.e shopping centres. ;)

Mad Tony
19-01-09, 20:42
Yes. But I'm not sure this Darwin Day would help given the people behind it. What would happen on Darwin day? Would public schools and buildings be closed? Would it just be an excuse for atheist groups to annoy the religious with banners, slogans, and rallies? I would have no problem with Darwin Day if it weren't obviously linked to the vocal and insecure atheist groups who feel threatened by religious holidays in the first place.Why's that?

Forwen
19-01-09, 20:45
Yes. But I'm not sure this Darwin Day would help given the people behind it. What would happen on Darwin day? Would public schools and buildings be closed? Would it just be an excuse for atheist groups to annoy the religious with banners, slogans, and rallies? I would have no problem with Darwin Day if it weren't obviously linked to the vocal and insecure atheist groups who feel threatened by religious holidays in the first place.

jackles basically said it. In America it would probably be that way, but if you go on a raving atheism trip you'd probably want to drop UK as your destination. Brits only like their tea hot ;)

Tyrannosaurus
19-01-09, 20:49
Why's that? Because the evidence for evolution is overwhelming, despite what the desires of individual creationists might be, or the means by which they mislead and obfuscate the truth by ignoring and discarding evidence they don't like. There is no intellectual merit whatsoever behind intelligent design, and no reason for anyone to believe in if they didn't harbor the conciet that accepting evolution would somehow invalidate their religious beliefs. Creationists do a disserve to science and religion alike, reinforcing the notion that they need to be at war.

Punaxe
19-01-09, 20:55
And you should be embarrassed because the sites seem to be emphisizing the Arbitration Act of 1996 which ONLY places the Sharia court system as "ABRITRATORS!!!" I have to keep emphisizing that since it blows off people's heads and Mad Tony throws a hissy fit even though I explained the concept multiple times.

The Arbitrator's decision HELPS the final decision. It FACILITATES a decision but it does not makes the decicion. The local bylaw is still in effect. The Sharia system only acts like mediators in helping to resolve a decision.

Now... Are we all clear on the subject? Or will I be hearing people whine about this again in the future?

Please explain. They are indeed arbitrators, but it quite clearly says that they can rule on cases, i.e. "make a decision".

Cochrane
19-01-09, 21:54
And you should be embarrassed because the sites seem to be emphisizing the Arbitration Act of 1996 which ONLY places the Sharia court system as "ABRITRATORS!!!" I have to keep emphisizing that since it blows off people's heads and Mad Tony throws a hissy fit even though I explained the concept multiple times.

The Arbitrator's decision HELPS the final decision. It FACILITATES a decision but it does not makes the decicion. The local bylaw is still in effect. The Sharia system only acts like mediators in helping to resolve a decision.

Now... Are we all clear on the subject? Or will I be hearing people whine about this again in the future?

As I understood the links, it seems that these arbitration courts can pass legally binding decisions which may be contrary to british law. I would guess that these can then be challenged in a completely ordinary court, of course. Please correct me if I got things wrong here.

Geck-o-Lizard
19-01-09, 22:14
As I understood the links, it seems that these arbitration courts can pass legally binding decisions which may be contrary to british law. I would guess that these can then be challenged in a completely ordinary court, of course. Please correct me if I got things wrong here.

They can't pass any rulings that breach ordinary law. Pardoning wife-beaters if the beating happens within Islamic law, for example.

Catapharact
20-01-09, 04:15
Don't I have a right to be annoyed? There is absolutely no reason why it should be used in this country in any shape or form.

Then neither should a Christian Aribrtation system then, or A spiritualist Arbitration system, or the like. Either you include all forms of religious arbitration that fall within the parameteres of local bylaws or they all go.

Please explain. They are indeed arbitrators, but it quite clearly says that they can rule on cases, i.e. "make a decision".

What the article seems to make a big deal out of is the fact that during the arbitration period a family could be convinced to take in a decision as the final ruling and come to concensus on a civil litigation without the use of the local bylaws.

Well that's kinda idiotic considering that if a given family can come to consensus without getting into civil litigations (i.e. law suits, etc.) and can do it within the parameters of local bylaws, then I say its a good thing (no duh!)

They can't pass any rulings that breach ordinary law. Pardoning wife-beaters if the beating happens within Islamic law, for example.

Well I'll pardon that bigoted statement since it might your attempt at sarcasam ;), but good to know that someone atleast understands what's going on here.

Mad Tony
20-01-09, 06:10
Because the evidence for evolution is overwhelming, despite what the desires of individual creationists might be, or the means by which they mislead and obfuscate the truth by ignoring and discarding evidence they don't like. There is no intellectual merit whatsoever behind intelligent design, and no reason for anyone to believe in if they didn't harbor the conciet that accepting evolution would somehow invalidate their religious beliefs. Creationists do a disserve to science and religion alike, reinforcing the notion that they need to be at war.The thing is though, some evolutionists can be similar. They always have to be at war with religion. Not everyone who doesn't believe in evolution is a creationist anyway.

Then neither should a Christian Aribrtation system then, or A spiritualist Arbitration system, or the like. Either you include all forms of religious arbitration that fall within the parameteres of local bylaws or they all go.But we are a Christian country. Although to be fair I wouldn't mind really, just as long as sharia law is never used in this country I'm fine.

Lara's Backpack
20-01-09, 10:09
I hope you all get another holiday, but seriously: "There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." That is just awesome! :vlol:

Geck-o-Lizard
20-01-09, 10:37
But we are a Christian country.

No it's not. Archbiship of York agrees. (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article402188.ece)

31 - 44% of UK population is agnostic/atheist (http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_atheist.html)

IceColdLaraCroft
20-01-09, 10:43
If it's going to be Feb 12 then it might not happen because it would seem more like you're getting Valentines Day off.

Punaxe
20-01-09, 15:25
(...) What the article seems to make a big deal out of is the fact that during the arbitration period a family could be convinced to take in a decision as the final ruling and come to concensus on a civil litigation without the use of the local bylaws.

Well that's kinda idiotic considering that if a given family can come to consensus without getting into civil litigations (i.e. law suits, etc.) and can do it within the parameters of local bylaws, then I say its a good thing (no duh!) (...)

Many people think, and I agree, sharia has no place in the western world, not even as voluntary settler of small disputes. I think what people rightly fear is that this court will not be voluntary at all, especially for women, who may not be given a choice other than accepting the tribunal's ruling, which may well be biased towards the male's perspective given that it is not based on local laws, but sharia law. The thing is, as far as I understand, that local law has nothing to do with it. They come to this tribunal because they don't want to involve the actual law.
And doesn't the second article I posted say that once (perhaps involuntarily) accepted by both parties, the ruling is legally binding?

Even if it was all voluntarily, I think this whole thing encourages segregation, and what's worse, segregation at the very fundamentals of society: the law. Everyone is equal, and the law should treat everyone as such. This means that there is no place for different law systems for different people.

Trigger_happy
20-01-09, 15:30
^ I totally agree.

Anyway, Why are we bothering with a Darwin day? We don't even get St. George's day off! Why bother introducing new holidays if we aren't even allowed to celebrate the ones we have now?

Neteru
20-01-09, 15:55
And what nobody seems to be kicking up a fuss about, least of all Mad Tony, is that there have been Beth Din 'courts' running in this country for over a hundred years - if you take the time to actually read the articles posted without selective attention. Let's hear you kick up an anti-Jewish fuss about that eh? Or is it simply more fashionable (and so 'acceptable') to be anti-Islamic like some rabid nutcase with selective judgement?

Sure enough, there is an over-emphasis upon religious matters and despite the structure of our goverment and law, religious institutions still have too much of a say in law and the general structures of our society. Despite this, I wouldn't much be in favour of a Darwin day, because frankly I think he is as much a religious icon (for devotees of the god of science) as any other.

Mad Tony
20-01-09, 16:47
I hope you all get another holiday, but seriously: "There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." That is just awesome! :vlol:Why is it awesome? It's just telling people what to think. For the record, I don't think an advertisement saying "There probably is a God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" would be good either.

Forwen
20-01-09, 17:16
Then neither should a Christian Aribrtation system then, or A spiritualist Arbitration system, or the like. Either you include all forms of religious arbitration that fall within the parameteres of local bylaws or they all go.

Huh? The principle is the opposition to development of any parallel legal system alongside the one provided by the state. Islamic, Judaic, Christian, Jedi, it makes no difference. The comparison to Beth Din isn't entirely valid simply because of the fact that the British Muslim minority is much larger than the Judaic one and it grows, threatening to strengthen the sharia system and turn what little exists now (and if it's an exploitation that makes the alternative rulings legally binding, it's already too much) into a parallel state. Obviously no country respecting its own legal tradition will have that. And as Punaxe said, there's no place for sharia in the West.

Mona Sax
20-01-09, 17:17
At least there's a 'probably' in there. That's a level of relativism I've never, ever seen in religious ads. ;)

Seriously, though, I think trying to push people in either direction when it comes to a deeply personal matter like religion is just wrong.

Forwen
20-01-09, 17:21
Seriously, though, I think trying to push people in either direction when it comes to a deeply personal matter like religion is just wrong.

I draw a clear line between "religion" and "faith". Religion is a social matter and as such concerns me (an atheist) just as much as any other person, and I'm entitled to saying whatever I want about it. Faith sits in your head and just as I don't want you to dig into my head, I won't dig into yours (not directed at you Mona ;)).

Mona Sax
20-01-09, 17:31
I see your point, but I wouldn't give (any) religion too much social significance. It would only strengthen theocratical tendencies (separate laws and courts, 'Christian' ['Jewish', 'Muslim'...] culture). If we abandon the idea that we're all the same and that the same rules apply to everyone... Parallel societies and democracy don't mix at all, theocracies and democracy even less.

Forwen
20-01-09, 17:49
I see your point, but I wouldn't give (any) religion too much social significance. It would only strengthen theocratical tendencies (separate laws and courts, 'Christian' ['Jewish', 'Muslim'...] culture). If we abandon the idea that we're all the same and that the same rules apply to everyone... Parallel societies and democracy don't mix at all, theocracies and democracy even less.

Mona, do you realise that you've just demonstrated exactly the same kind of cultural absolutism that religious extremists do? :D That is, firm belief that there are universal rules that "apply to everyone" regardless of who they are. Well imho there aren't. Human rights are a product of Western culture, and democracy isn't natural - it has extremely high civilisational requirements, and even if those are fulfilled it doesn't have to surface.

As for the social significance of religion, there IS undeniably a huge one, if not in the present then in the past. Monotheistic religions shaped the very basics of our mentality, the way we form our thoughts and see the world as opposed to other cultures, and I admit that as an atheist. We may debate the presence of religion in the public life now, but its historical significance is not a matter of opinion, it's a fact.

Mona Sax
20-01-09, 18:00
Mona, do you realise that you've just demonstrated exactly the same kind of cultural absolutism that religious extremists do? :D That is, firm belief that there are universal rules that "apply to everyone" regardless of who they are. Well imho there aren't. Human rights are a product of Western culture, and democracy isn't natural - it has extremely high civilisational requirements, and even if those are fulfilled it doesn't have to surface.
I partly agree, and I don't deny being extreme in my views. Point is, my views are extremely liberal, religious extremists' usually aren't. While religions tell you to follow their rules or be punished for it, liberalism only tells you to be yourself, to do what you want, with the sole rule being that you have to grant everyone else the same privilege. Human rights allow everyone to follow their own path to happiness, and that's why I think they have to be universal. I realize that some cultures (or rather, cultural elements) favor the dominance of some people over others, thus denying the latter the possibility to shape their own lives. I consider myself a tolerant person, but people preying on others I can't accept. Even if democracy isn't natural, it doesn't mean we can't aspire to be better than our instincs tell us to be.

Tyrannosaurus
20-01-09, 18:23
The thing is though, some evolutionists can be similar. They always have to be at war with religion. Not everyone who doesn't believe in evolution is a creationist anyway. Please keep in mind that I despise militant atheists and people who use evolution as a vehicle for attacking religion. That's ideology, not science, and they're shooting themselves in the foot and destroying the credibility of their own field in the eyes of those people who most desperately need to have their eyes opened. I particularly hate Richard Dawkins for this reasons. He deserves to be sent back in time to Mongolia some 80 million years ago so that he can be mauled to death by a pack of ravenous Velociraptor mongoliensis, his remains torn apart a great distance from any flood plain, so that he suffers the eternal damnation of not being fossilized.

But more to the point: Can you name some examples of people living in this century or in the later half of the 20th who have rejected evolution purely on scientific grounds then? Can we find atheistic, agnostic, or deistic scientists who rejected evolution? Keep in mind that I lump creationism and I.D. together.

Some of the earliest and most pivotal paleontologists of the 19th century, such as Georges Cuvier, Sir Richard Owen, and Edward Drinker Cope, rejected evolution, but we must keep in mind that all of them lived at a time in which evolution was not completely understood or accepted by the scientific community as a whole.

Don't you notice how everyone who rejects evolution also has at least one of the following concerns?

1) An assumption that evolution necessitates atheism, usually coupled with a general mistrust of science; i.e. that scientists are eager to promote their interpretation of the facts in order to disprove God. We aren't living in the enlightenment any more, so that part of history is over. Well over half of all scientists are religious. Are they just having their cake and eating it too?

And if you vitiate the reliability of science in this one department that you don't like, why not subject all other fields of scientific inquiry to the same scrutinty? More importantly, what about your own beliefs regarding creationism and I.D.? Are they not just a loose collection of intellectual conciets to justify rejecting evolution? This brings us to our second point:

2) Theological objections (i.e. that it presents a history which contradicts a tranquil and painless earth before original sin or that the lack of a literal Adam and Eve negates the need for vicarious atonement). I would argue that evolution does not necessitate any of these things, but this is a theological argument, so I won't go into depth about it here.

3) A fear that widespread acceptance of evolution will lead to societal deterioration, usually coupled with an assumption that evolution implicitly negates our justifications for moral behavior (The evidence is not in favor of this argument at all, and I would argue the opposite--humans have evolved to be moral animals).

4) A feeling that accepting evolution while worshipping faithfully is in and of itself hypocrisy, and a compromise to one side or both.

All of those objections, whether valid or not, are ideological, not scientific. Since evolution is a scientific theory, the objections we raise to it should be on scientific grounds, not philosophical or theological onces. The scientific community pretty much unanimously accepts evolution at this point, and does not do one much good to argue that it is soley on account of scientific "dogma", "scientism", or any similar nonsense. The scientific community has been mistaken on many occasions, but it always takes pains to correct itself as new evidence comes in.

So if you reject evolution, then you need to ask yourself the following questions:

1) What evidence would it take to convince me that evolution is true?

2) If evolution is true, what does that mean for me personally, and my beliefs?

The second is more important to consider than the first, I think. If your reasons for rejecting evolution are mostly rooted in 2), then you'll find ways to circumvent anything that could help answer 1).

I hope you all get another holiday, but seriously: "There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." That is just awesome! :vlol: I don't know which is more idiotic:

1) The assumption that the issue of is God's existence merely hinges on whether God is probable rather than whether God is actual. Of course God is improbable. But so is the universe, this planet, life, my species, and yours.

2) That this statement crassly ignores the fact that belief in God does indeed play a major role in the lives of most people, their thinking, and in the moral, social, and philosophical cohesion of civilization as a whole. No, you can't just "enjoy" life by removing God and refusing to acknowledge that this creates a problem. If you've underminded all religious authority, including the basis for replacing it, then you won't be able to provide an alternative that can compete with the depth and richness of religious experience. My guess is that whoever wrote this statement failed to understand that Nietzsche's cry of "God is Dead" was a cry of despair, not of triumph.

You'd have better luck convincing mankind that they can survive without art, literature, or music, because these things are a waste of time, draw us away from being practical, can contribute to public corruption, and because we can find all the truth, beauty, and meaning we need from life elsewhere, by living it for it's own sake, since it justifies it's own existence. Perhaps this is true, but no one can make this argument without sounding like a shallow, ignorant, small-minded jackass.

Mona Sax
20-01-09, 18:56
Actually, I've found that art, music and literature can provide extremely deep and rich experiences, much like love, meditation, nature, love or sex. I'm sure there's an infinite amount of experiences that moves certain people in ways nothing else does. If faith or religion has that meaning to you, that's great - I wouldn't assume it's the same for anybody else, though.

Forwen
20-01-09, 18:58
Oh be quiet, you shallow, ignorant, small-minded jackass you ;)

Tyrannosaurus
20-01-09, 19:09
Actually, I've found that art, music and literature can provide extremely deep and rich experiences, much like love, meditation, nature, love or sex. I'm sure there's an infinite amount of experiences that moves certain people in ways nothing else does. If faith or religion has that meaning to you, that's great - I wouldn't assume it's the same for anybody else, though.
But don't you see the horrid cycle we're in now? Clearly there are people who can find meaning in their lives without religion. I don't intend to contest that. There are also people who can do so without art, music, literature, love, meditation, and sex. If all of these people were to mount some sort of campaign telling you that you can manage without these things because they can do so (and if they have a firm and biased conviction that the world would be a better place without them), wouldn't that seem idiotic to you? Insecure? Small-minded?

A reasonable person on either side of the fence would simply say, "Good for you, then. You have your way and I have mine." "There's probably no God, so stop worrying and enjoy life," doesn't communicate that message.

Mona Sax
20-01-09, 19:22
That's my point exactly. I don't think there's one 'right' path, I think each person has to have the possibility to find their own. I don't support that ad campaign - I appreciate one effect, though (which was apparently the actual goal): it made people discuss about religious-themed ads and the motivations behind them.

Forwen
20-01-09, 19:25
I partly agree, and I don't deny being extreme in my views. Point is, my views are extremely liberal, religious extremists' usually aren't.

And my point is extremism itself, and the dynamics it creates. Regardless of what particular ideology this extremism supports, it aims to eliminate other extremities and moderate versions of many ideologies ("moderate Islam" isn't the same thing as "moderate Christianity", is it?), so as far as ideological spectrum is concerned, it isn't any different. Of course, real life implications of particular extremisms can vary (but at the same time they share more traits than they'd admit to).

While religions tell you to follow their rules or be punished for it, liberalism only tells you to be yourself, to do what you want, with the sole rule being that you have to grant everyone else the same privilege. Human rights allow everyone to follow their own path to happiness, and that's why I think they have to be universal.

So you just admitted to cultural imperialism in my view ;)

The problem with liberalism is that it isn't self-sustainable. Liberal families tend to have less children, and so impart their ideology on fewer new community members than the followers of ideologies that restrict personal freedoms for the sake of demographics (because I personally find religion to be exactly that - an elaborate birth rate safeguard).

I realize that some cultures (or rather, cultural elements) favor the dominance of some people over others, thus denying the latter the possibility to shape their own lives. I consider myself a tolerant person, but people preying on others I can't accept.

Tolerance means you tolerate - therefore accept the continuity of - cultural traditions that are contrary to your even most fundamental beliefs. Like stoning. You can't deny it has traditional roots. You don't agree with it, you fight it? Then you aren't tolerant.

Even if democracy isn't natural, it doesn't mean we can't aspire to be better than our instincs tell us to be.

What does "better" mean? Who decides that? Is it us? Then it becomes a vicious cycle, because those who live in democratic tradition obviously mostly decide theirs is best. So do those born to inherently autocratic societies about their own.

Larapink
20-01-09, 19:26
12th of February, right? I never heard about Charles Darwin Day on the news oh well there's always next year. :p
What do we do on that day, all go down to the Natural History Museum to take a look at his work? I know the entry to the Museum is free. :vlol:

Mona Sax
20-01-09, 20:00
Tolerance means you tolerate - therefore accept the continuity of - cultural traditions that are contrary to your even most fundamental beliefs. Like stoning. You can't deny it has traditional roots. You don't agree with it, you fight it? Then you aren't tolerant.
Tolerance has its limits, I don't debate that. Remember how I said everyone has the right to pursue their own vision of happiness as long as they grant others the same right? I'm sure a pedophile or an arsonist would very much like to freely pursue their desires - if being tolerant meant letting them have their way, we would have to take responsibility for the suffering of their victims. It's the same with stoning. Just because it's been done for centuries doesn't mean it's not an inhumane and needlessly cruel punishment. That it can only be 'justified' by quoting tradition and religious scripture proves that, IMO.
What does "better" mean? Who decides that? Is it us? Then it becomes a vicious cycle, because those who live in democratic tradition obviously mostly decide theirs is best. So do those born to inherently autocratic societies about their own.
I don't think democracy is automatically better than other systems (I do think it has better, but not infallible, safeguards against tyranny, though). If you prefer to live in an autocratic society, be my guest. What's important is that you can make that choice, that it's not made for you by someone else. I think Bush made a huge mistake by trying to force democracy on countries that didn't want it. That's another thing that doesn't mix with democracy - violence.

Catapharact
21-01-09, 04:49
Many people think, and I agree, sharia has no place in the western world, not even as voluntary settler of small disputes. I think what people rightly fear is that this court will not be voluntary at all, especially for women, who may not be given a choice other than accepting the tribunal's ruling, which may well be biased towards the male's perspective given that it is not based on local laws, but sharia law.

.... Which only makes me wonder as to if people know the true values of Sharia and Islamic laws in general. Its sad that people usually are quick to jump over conclusions on a system that does to an extent gets misinterperted due to gimpy Jurists who emphisize Hadiaths over the Quranic teachings.

Islam was actually the first vaild attempt amoung all three Ibrahamic religions to give Women more equal rights and say in financial and governce matters. Where as other religions prohibited women from owning property, the right to divorce, and compensation for martial disputes, etc. And they ALWAYS had an equal voice in the matter. Don't confuse cultural values with religious and faith based ones. That is a dangerous connection.

So if by any chance the woman in question feels that the tribunal's decicion is invalid, she has the right to appeal that case... FULLY! And like I said (and will emphisize again) this is only an ARBITRATION system. The By-law is still in effect and takes precidence over the arbitration system.


And doesn't the second article I posted say that once (perhaps involuntarily) accepted by both parties, the ruling is legally binding?

IF its accepted by both parties for CIVIL litigations only (i.e. Property disputes, marital compensation, etc.) In the case of assault, or the like, it becomes a criminal matter and criminal law takes over and obviously in that case, Arbitration does not apply anymore.

Hopefully that should clear things up.

Even if it was all voluntarily, I think this whole thing encourages segregation, and what's worse, segregation at the very fundamentals of society: the law. Everyone is equal, and the law should treat everyone as such. This means that there is no place for different law systems for different people.

Then like I said, either all religious based arbitration systems go or they all stay.

Huh? The principle is the opposition to development of any parallel legal system alongside the one provided by the state. Islamic, Judaic, Christian, Jedi, it makes no difference. The comparison to Beth Din isn't entirely valid simply because of the fact that the British Muslim minority is much larger than the Judaic one and it grows, threatening to strengthen the sharia system and turn what little exists now (and if it's an exploitation that makes the alternative rulings legally binding, it's already too much) into a parallel state. Obviously no country respecting its own legal tradition will have that. And as Punaxe said, there's no place for sharia in the West.

Again people are confusing an arbitration system (i.e. a system of self-assessment and dispute handling with CIVIL litigations only) with a full fledged parallel legal system which IMO is nothing more then hyterical paranoia as the articles Punaxe posted clearly show. Minority population means little since the bylaw in question is completely secular and will always take precidence over any arbitration system. Larger group of minority or not, the Beth Din system is still religious based and to not include another Arbitration system which clearly does respects the rulings of the given bylaws is obvious case of discriminaiton.

So either the Sharia Arbitration system stay or they all go. Simple as that.

Forwen
22-01-09, 09:04
Forgot about this one :o

IF its accepted by both parties for CIVIL litigations only (i.e. Property disputes, marital compensation, etc.) In the case of assault, or the like, it becomes a criminal matter and criminal law takes over and obviously in that case, Arbitration does not apply anymore.

Or does it?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6190080.stm

Again people are confusing an arbitration system (i.e. a system of self-assessment and dispute handling with CIVIL litigations only) with a full fledged parallel legal system which IMO is nothing more then hyterical paranoia as the articles Punaxe posted clearly show.

Just to clear up your own confusion (what a convenient ad personam argument it is!) domestic violence which has also been handled by those courts is criminal, not civil. The man who came up with those courts has also stated he expected "more" criminal cases to be handled in the future.

Minority population means little since the bylaw in question is completely secular and will always take precidence over any arbitration system.

How can one say that the British law "takes precedence" if it is often never involved at all? No, the rulings don't actually have to respect the British law. It's another - this time seriously - convenient argument here, and it overlooks several factors that aren't written down as a law. Why don't you dispel those:

- Punaxe's correct observation that those courts encourage further segregation. The point that both parties have to agree to the ruling or simply go to the British court bears little weight if we're talking about people who can't speak English and/or live their lives entirely within ghettos and/or are subject to the pressure of their own tightly knit environment to accept the ruling.

- If none of the above comes into play, there's another thing - the fact that sharia courts pass religiously "correct" rulings gives a perfect psychological leverage not to have the Muslims concerned dismiss them.

- Intimidation can't be ruled out if no outside observers are involved.

It's a large legal loophole that allows this kind of excesses, one that obviously doesn't take the growing amount of cultural minorities into account. And my opinion applies to absolutely any court established under the cloak of "arbitration", but I find the sharia courts most alarming for reasons I mentioned earlier.

British sharia courts are little known, little controlled, little investigated. If anything, the absolute minimum that has to be done is ensuring they never rule against the British law.


So either the Sharia Arbitration system stay or they all go. Simple as that.

In my opinion any parallel legal system should go. I know using proper vocabulary is crucial in the legal world, but sometimes it's worth calling a spade a spade.

Catapharact
22-01-09, 09:15
Forgot about this one :o



Or does it?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6190080.stm

Lets quote the article it self shall we?

While religious leaders in the UK's Jewish and Muslim communities have not sought to enforce their own versions of criminal law, they have steadily built up their capacity to deal with civil matters within their own religious codes. What's more, they are doing it with the help of English law.

DING DING DING! My point exactly in one perfect little sentence.



Just to clear up your own confusion (what a convenient ad personam argument it is!) domestic violence which has also been handled by those courts is criminal, not civil. The man who came up with those courts has also stated he expected "more" criminal cases to be handled in the future.



How can one say that the British law "takes precedence" if it is often never involved at all? No, the rulings don't actually have to respect the British law. It's another - this time seriously - convenient argument here, and it overlooks several factors that aren't written down as a law. Why don't you dispel those:

- Punaxe's correct observation that those courts encourage further segregation. The point that both parties have to agree to the ruling or simply go to the British court bears little weight if we're talking about people who can't speak English and/or live their lives entirely within ghettos and/or are subject to the pressure of their own tightly knit environment to accept the ruling.

- If none of the above comes into play, there's another thing - the fact that sharia courts pass religiously "correct" rulings gives a perfect psychological leverage not to have the Muslims concerned dismiss them.

- Intimidation can't be ruled out if no outside observers are involved.

It's a large legal loophole that allows this kind of excesses, one that obviously doesn't take the growing amount of cultural minorities into account. And my opinion applies to absolutely any court established under the cloak of "arbitration", but I find the sharia courts most alarming for reasons I mentioned earlier.

British sharia courts are little known, little controlled, little investigated. If anything, the absolute minimum that has to be done is ensuring they never rule against the British law.

You are throwing in conversarly placed "What ifs" amoung the factual proposition of freedom of action. The venues are open to everyone to place their proposed disputed out amoung a tribunral. The tribunral however itself is bound by criminal law to report plausible cases of assault, abuse or the like since witholding that information makes them an accessory to the crime since they are hindering the investigation. If the procecutors do feel that the crime in question is infact a criminal one then they have every right to pursue it to their fullest extent.

A CIVIL dispute might be resolved but if the state feels that charges need to be laid in a criminal manner, then they have every right to follow it through and that BTW can happen even when a civil ruling has been placed on the case.

Like such, the victims of the crime can come forth and testify. To not do so would be hindering a given investigation and therefore they can be charged for that.

Forwen
22-01-09, 09:34
Lets quote the article it self shall we?



DING DING DING! My point exactly in one perfect little sentence.

This quotation in particular is outdated. Look at the year, and then read this:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article4749183.ece

Siddiqi said he expected the courts to handle a greater number of “smaller” criminal cases in coming years as more Muslim clients approach them.

Catapharact
22-01-09, 09:38
This quotation in particular is outdated. Look at the year, and then read this:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article4749183.ece


He hopes. Rest assured, he should know that the arbiration clause is limited to just that and will remain at that. The Supreme court will see to that. To do so otherwise will be an infirgement of rights of other religious based systems and in no way the UK government would let that happen.

rowanlim
22-01-09, 09:42
I don't think it should be a holiday, I always thought holidays should somehow bring people closer together, not widen the gap between people with different beliefs...But another holiday would be nice, I suppose ;)

Gianni Bartoli
22-01-09, 13:47
Sharia Law should not be used in ANY court in Britain because this is Britain. Islamic Law is HIGHLY inappropriate for this country. :(

Anyway, Darwin day FTW. Simply because, I want another holiday. :p