"With the Royal Commissions into Child Rape within churches, we're now more aware of the legal privilege of confession - but it's just the start. The Catholic Church controls some very important parts of the law - we're not all equal before it; it's a betrayal of the separation of Church & State, with echoes of Sharia Law." said John August, President of the NSW Humanists. More...
How to achieve a steady-state economy: Growing Growing Gone! Dick Smith with Richard Heinberg: It may be possible to mitigate the disastrous effect of global warming on our descendents if we learn to live without economic growth. Dick Smith will introduce one of the best brains to help us do this: Richard Heinberg, author of "The End of Growth". Tuesday September 18, 6.30pm, Guthrie Theatre University of Technology Sydney, 702-730 Harris St (between Broadway and ABC Ultimo Centre) Ultimo
Entry by donation $10/$5 suggested
British Humanist Association YouTube video about what is Humanism. Speakers include Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling:
Another High Court challenge to be pursued againt the Commonwealth this time against their anti-democratic, anti-rule-of-law grab of executive power to do what they want! Read Chrys Stevenson's blog account. This challenge will cost big money - ca. $300k please donate!
Outside events relevant to Humanist interests: German court rules religiously motivated childhood circumcision is child abuse.
Victor Bien who attended the Sustainable Population Australia symposium on 14 April has written a short account of what was presented on our Facebook site Click here. Look for posting by others - Victor Bien - and the topic Sustainable Population Australia symposium...
Humanist celebrant Dally Messenger received a solid media coverage about the abuse the civil celebrant program received from the Federal Attorney General in 2008 by flooding the market with about 1000 celebrants ignoring consultation greatly compromising the quality and viability of the program. The abuse has led to many unsatisfactory celebrants offering their services. Click here for the story from ABC RN.
Click here for YouTube videos of an International Womens day 2012 celebration 8 March held at Parliament House Macquarie St
Read our submission to the recent parliamentary inquiry as to whether ethics classes in public schools should be allowed to continue Click here
The idea of infanticide soon after birth being morally the same as abortion conveyed in this news item in the SMH 02.03.12 has been rejected by some NSW Humanists Philosophers' claim over moral right to kill newborns sparks outrage One member, Angela L expressed this thus: "I think this is a (deliberate) blurring of 'where do you draw the line' by the far right.
It is also a misuse of the English language, ignoring the distinction between between abortion and infanticide.
Biologically speaking the two situations are radically different; before birth the foetus is parasitic on the mothers body, afterwards it is a separate entity.
After birth, although dependent, the child is not necessarily dependent on the mother or her sole responsibility. (I have willingly carried a child and nevertheless would not object to the term parasitic, although some mothers may prefer symbiotic.)
So where is the philosophical equivalence?
How to deal with non viable babies becomes the responsibility of the society or the culture, as well as the patients, and is hopefully humane.
And furthermore some disabled babies, downs syndrome for example, are eminently adoptable in our society. The stigma against adoption could be usefully lessened.
Yesterday's newspaper reported a long term methadone dependant couple, who had recently stepped up their dosage, the woman having seven children, who were on trial for the death of the youngest baby, found dead with an empty methadone bottle in the crib and methadone in its bloodstream (possibly could be from breast feeding). Todays newspaper carries the story of Sam from 'My kitchen rules', abandoned at age 11 by her drug dealer mother who went overseas, and left Sam to care for 5 younger siblings including two babies, until authorities discovered them by chance.
Why don't the far right philosophers concern themselves with such? All along it seems that the concern is for the foetus and once it is born its life and welfare is not an issue."
Another member, Ian B, showed there is no philosophical equivalence with a graph of rising sentience from conception to birth and beyond. At birth there is a quantum leap in sentience - a big discontinuity!
International Ethical Union News magazine interviews Prof Anthony Grayling Download the particular issue of this magazine. This issue, like all issues, carries several articles. Amongst these is one entitled White House Holds First-Ever Policy Briefing with Nontheists by Karen Frantz followed by an article by Liz Heywood whose leg had to be amputated as a child because her Christian Science parents would not seek medical attention for her at the time because they believed "prayer" was the only appropriate action to take!
Richard Dawkins has a children's book for 11 years and up published. ABC Radio National Breakfast item 3 Jan.
Journalist Adele Horin incredulous about new ethics classes inquiry. SMH article on 3 Dec.
AC Grayling speaks about his "Good book" a secular bible? at the Sydney Writers Festivel 2011.
Doubts about the future of ethics classes makes news again. Check out this SMH article.
Chrys Stevenson's reports about the High Court challenge against the National School Chaplaincy Program.