Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

You mean women can talk?!

Aug 22nd, 2014 5:16 pm | By

Brilliant move. Have a panel to discuss expanding leadership opportunities for Buddhist women and…well, take a look.

Featured panelists – James Coleman, Gary Gach, Charles Prebish, Christopher Queen, Paul David Numrich, Justin Whitaker, Eisel Mazard. Photos go: man, man, man, man, man, man, man.

Hmm.

Rita Gross, an author and dharma teacher, wonders what they were thinking.

Earlier this week the website Patheos published a panel on the topic “2014 Religious Trends: Expanding Leadership Opportunities for Buddhist Women—Which Way Forward?” The panel introduction ended with this question: “What are the risks and benefits of opening Buddhist leadership to women?” As a Buddhist-feminist scholar who has watched and participated in the rise of female leadership in the Buddhist world for

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Get a good look before you buy

Aug 22nd, 2014 4:49 pm | By

One of those zany Islamic “scholars” in Egypt has issued a very useful bit of advice in a video. (Is it still called a fatwa if it’s on a video? Is there some different word for it if it partakes of the novel technology? Is there a fatwa for that?)

Men can spy on women in the shower, an extremist cleric has argued in Egypt, prompting outrage from other Islamic scholars.

According to Osama al-Qusi, a Salafist or ultraorthodox preacher, peeping toms can watch a woman wash as long as they are interested in marrying her.

“If you were really honest and wanted to marry that woman, and you were able to hide and watch her in secret,

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A bit of Yes Minister

Aug 22nd, 2014 4:15 pm | By

“It’s simply subsidized self-indulgence.”

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgDxvaCsZMIRead the rest

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Guest post: Because their religion demands it

Aug 22nd, 2014 1:01 pm | By

Originally a comment by Eric MacDonald on Guest post on Sam Harris and the duties of public intellectuals. (So yes, a meta-guest post.)

I think there are two sides to this story, and Atran’s claims cannot be taken as scientifically confirmed. For example, in the article Ophelia links entitled: “Here He Goes Again: Sam Harris’s Falsehoods,” Atran makes claims which, while true in terms of his own research, do not necessarily subvert some (at least) of Harris’s conclusions.

For example, Atran says: “Harris’s generalizations of his own fMRIs on belief change among a few dozen college students as supportive of his views of religion as simply false beliefs are underwhelming.” This is unquestionably true, as I have said before … Read the rest

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Choose your victims well

Aug 22nd, 2014 12:41 pm | By

The Deputy Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists remembers James Foley.

He was already well known to CPJ staff, who along with many other groups and individuals had advocated for his release when he was captured by pro-Qadaffi forces in Libya in 2011 and held for six weeks.

Foley had been with three other journalists when they came under fire near Brega. One, Anton Hammerl, a freelance South African photographer, was killed.

Captivity in Libya, and the death of a colleague who was working on a shoestring budget, seem to have intensified Foley’s passion to help fellow journalists, particularly those risking their lives in conflict zones without the training, equipment, and finances afforded by major news organizations.

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What can cure Ebola

Aug 22nd, 2014 11:56 am | By

What can cure Ebola? Apparently if it’s prompt enough and intensive enough, aggressive supportive care has a good chance of curing it. The better the hospital, the better the cure rate. Poverty is key here.

The two American Ebola patients, medical missionaries Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, have walked out of Emory University Hospital in Atlanta infection-free.

They were the first human beings to receive an experimental drug called ZMapp. But they are not the first people to have recovered from Ebola, and good hospital care is likely more responsible for their recovery than any mysterious “serum,” as the charities they work for termed it.

“They are the very first individuals to have ever received this agent,” Dr.

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Setting a place for emotion

Aug 22nd, 2014 9:44 am | By

I’ve been very critical* of Richard Dawkins’s recent Twitter dictats on abortion and Down syndrome, but now I get a chance to defend him, and from some of his own ardent supporters at that.

As you all no doubt know, he posted an apology plus explanation yesterday. What I want to take issue with here is not the post but a comment replying to a pair of comments pointing out the importance of emotions and persuasion in discussions of moral issues.

Do you have a list of topics at hand about which we should avoid talking logically? That would be most convenient for everyone concerned. Even if you can’t see the absurdity of that, consider that your list would differ

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Guest post on Sam Harris and the duties of public intellectuals

Aug 21st, 2014 6:02 pm | By

Guest post by Simon Frankel Pratt.

I think that Harris is good at presenting a kind of naive though not completely stupid position that many thoughtful but poorly informed secular Western liberals are likely to arrive at. In a sense, his positions should be the challenge or the foil against which informed experts and public intellectuals frame their answers. For example, Harris’s views on the links between religion and violence are almost entirely wrong, as scholars such as Atran have shown, but they are understandable.

The problem is, of course, that Harris does not engage with the experts.

He does not frame his views as naive or as questions in need of answering, but as the obvious answers. … Read the rest

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Like a trucking company

Aug 21st, 2014 4:58 pm | By

Cardinal Pell is another one vying for the Zero Empathy Remark of the Year Award.

Cardinal George Pell has strongly defended the so-called Melbourne Response as Australia’s first comprehensive redress scheme for victims of clerical sexual abuse at the royal commission.

Appearing at the commission via video link from the Vatican in Rome on Thursday night, Cardinal Pell likened the Catholic Church’s responsibility for child abuse to that of a ”trucking company”. If a driver sexually assaulted a passenger they picked up along the way, he said, ”I don’t think it appropriate for the … leadership of that company be held responsible.”

What’s wrong with that analogy? Well let’s see…

  1. The Catholic church doesn’t pick up passengers along the
  2. Read the rest

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Trending

Aug 21st, 2014 12:38 pm | By

Dawkins is trending on Facebook again, thanks to his Most Recent Tweet of Infamy. At the top of the list I see (I assume the list is different for different people, because of their different Facebook histories) there are a lot of mainstream media stories and some Facebook posts by friends, and then after that…there is a long stream of right-wing, Christian, anti-abortion links.

Fabulous. Very very helpful.

There’s The Blaze.

There’s Christian News Network.

There’s Life Site News.

There’s Alan Colmes.

There’s Life News.

There’s Ray Comfort.

Richard Dawkins is being consistent again–with his Darwinian/Nazi ideology of “survival of the fittest.” This time he suggests that down syndrome children aren’t fit to

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Muslim “community leaders” churned out televised obfuscations

Aug 21st, 2014 12:02 pm | By

Maajid Nawaz wrote a piece for the Times yesterday. It’s behind a paywall, but even the extract posted by Quilliam contains good stuff.

The Isis man who apparently beheaded James Foley had a British accent. He is likely to be among the one out of every 800 British Sunni Muslim men of fighting age — around 500 of them — to have joined these jihadists in Iraq and Syria. This does not emerge from a vacuum. We in Britain have a deeply entrenched problem. Islamist extremism is poisoning our community relations, hijacking our youth, and we are doing very little to address it.

Throughout the Nineties our communities grew together, apart. This was applauded instead of being seen for what

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Those defections do not have legal effect

Aug 21st, 2014 11:26 am | By

J P O’Malley learns that the Irish Catholic church will not let you leave.

From aged 12, I had no belief, whatsoever, in the concept of a divine being.

By the time I was in my 20s, I was a militant-atheist.

And after my close reading of the ‘Ferns’, ‘Murphy’, and ‘Ryan Reports’, I was fully convinced that this was not an organisation I wanted to be associated with in any way.

It came as a huge surprise to me, then, last October, after I wrote to Reverend Fintan Gavin, the assistant chancellor of the Dublin Dioceses, asking if I could formally leave the Catholic Church, to be told that it was impossible.

There’s this 1983 Vatican “law,” you … Read the rest

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Not a vessel

Aug 21st, 2014 11:01 am | By

There was a big turnout for a protest over Ireland’s abortion laws on O’Connell Street in Dublin yesterday.

UP TO TWO thousand people have gathered in Dublin’s city centre this evening to protest at Ireland’s abortion laws and call for a repeal of the controversial 8th Amendment of the Constitution.

Protesters held signs saying “Raped, Pregnant, Suicidal, Forced C-Section – Ireland 2014,” and “I’m not a vessel”, in reference to comments made at the UN  Human Rights Committee last month, where its chairman said Ireland’s abortion laws treat women who are raped as a vessel.

The protest was called in response to the case publicised in recent days involving a suicidal  young woman who sought an abortion after being raped.

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We cannot expect

Aug 20th, 2014 6:16 pm | By

PZ also has a post on the abortion and Down syndrome issue. In it he says this:

I recommend reading any of Michael Bérubé’s stories about having a child with Down Syndrome— he doesn’t have any regrets at all. Or you could read about how Bérubé schooled Peter Singer, and Singer did the right thing and changed his mind. He also wrote a book on the subject,reviewed in the NY Times.

I was thinking of Michael and Jamie Bérubé and of Peter Singer during all this, so I was glad to see that link, which is to a piece I read with interest at the time. (The time was December 2008.) Reading it again reminds … Read the rest

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Your majesty is like a doughnut

Aug 20th, 2014 5:07 pm | By

Oscar Wilde, James McNeill Whistler, George Bernard Shaw, and George V (or is it Edward VII?) discuss eugenics.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxXW6tfl2Y0Read the rest

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Choice is minimised

Aug 20th, 2014 4:00 pm | By

Iain Brassington comments on Dawkins’s Twitter adventure today at the Journal of Medical Ethics blog (which is a subset of the BMJ blog).

Look, I know that Twitter really isn’t the place for nuanced debate.  But, by that token, everyone else should realise that as well – especially intellectual superstars. So how, then, to explain Richard Dawkins’ spectacular foot-in-mouth moment earlier today?

Well, one leg of that explanation would be that actually Dawkins appears not to realize that. I honestly don’t know why, because 1. I know that people very close to him have told him it, and 2. it seems so blindingly obvious once you’ve been using Twitter for awhile, as he has. (Not to mention 3. doing so … Read the rest

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Searching and hoping for comfort

Aug 20th, 2014 11:50 am | By

A doctor with MSF, Gabriel Fitzpatrick, gives a heartrending account of working at the center of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.

In the suspected cases ward I saw a small child getting his nappy changed by a nurse who was wearing a full body plastic protective suit.

The child was clinging on to the nurse, searching and hoping for comfort in a place which does not allow direct skin-to-skin contact. As a father myself, this image stuck in my mind.

On the same evening, a mother and her two children were admitted to the hospital with confirmed Ebola. Within days the mother and eldest child had passed away.

It is startling how quickly this virus can kill patients.

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The cabal strikes again

Aug 20th, 2014 10:46 am | By

Oh dear. Here we go again. Another item for the big master list of things not to say on Twitter.

InYourFaceNewYorker ‏@InYourFaceNYer 2h
@RichardDawkins @AidanMcCourt I honestly don’t know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma.

Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins
@InYourFaceNYer Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.

The Independent is already on it.

Budding atheists wondering whether Richard Dawkins is in need of a little time away from Twitter to reflect on the past few weeks are about to have their (lack of) prayers answered.

The philosopher has managed to go one step further than his

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Choosing

Aug 19th, 2014 5:13 pm | By

Oh good god.

Via Godless Indian Feminists on Facebook.

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Gentle, friendly, courageous

Aug 19th, 2014 4:42 pm | By

More on James Foley.

The BBC:

The Islamic State militant group has released a video online purporting to show the killing of a US journalist.

The victim was identified by the militants as James Foley, a freelancer who was seized in Syria in late 2012.

The militants said it was in revenge for recent US air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq.

The video has not been independently verified, but the White House said if it was genuine, the US would be “appalled by the brutal murder”.

Foley’s family wrote on Facebook: “We know that many of you are looking for confirmation or answers. Please be patient until we all have more information, and keep the

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