I am concerned by all the irresponsible, selfish and stupid parents of the world. The ones that upon reading this would be moved to comment along the lines of “you’re not a parent, so you don’t know anything” – because that is how arrogant and self-righteous the sort of parents I am thinking of are.
Being a parent does not make you immune from criticism, it does not make you an expert in rearing children and it does not make you medically qualified, intelligent or well informed. It may, however, make some people more selfish, overly-defensive and irrational. Not only do some parents think that society owes them for having children (I for one didn’t ask them to have unprotected sex), but they also seem to think that their ‘little darlings’ are beyond reproach and any trouble that they get into is somebody else’s fault. Continue reading →
I thought I’d write a piece on humanism because it seems to have a lot of confusion surrounding it. Some view it as a religion or cult, others see it as an organised anti-religious sect of militant atheists. The confusion arises because the term “humanist” can be used to describe a variety of philosophical approaches both contemporary and historical.
I am a Secular Humanist, which effectively means that I am an atheist with beliefs about the ability of people to improve their lives and the lives of others (including other species) by behaving in a rational and socially responsible way. Humanists subscribe to the ‘Golden Rule‘ (don’t do things to others that you wouldn’t like to have done to yourself) as a simple moral guideline and rather than relying on the supernatural as the source of moral principles, humanists rely on rational consideration and those human values that have arisen as part of the evolution of human social behaviour. In short, humanism is explicitly being good without god. Continue reading →
Pick a number to tell your story, a single measure to summarise your life’s worth. What’s it to be? Height? Weight? How about your salary? For some, that would do it nicely. Most would feel cheapened. How about your personal tally of wives or husbands? Or maybe longevity captures it? Up to a point, perhaps, until someone asks what you did with all those years.
The Tiger That Isn’t (page 88). Blastland & Dilnot, 2008.
If one number could possibly summarise Mary’s life’s worth it would probably be the number of people who attended her funeral. Continue reading →