Or do I mean irreligion in the public square? Same thing really.
I refer to the open discussion of religious ideas in the “public square.” That means ideas can be put up for consideration and subjected to open support or criticism. The same as our ideas on politics and sport. I am using the dictionary, not literal, definition of “public square” as “relating to or concerning the people at large or all members of a community.”
Don’t we already do that? Yes, I agree. But some people are unhappy about it. There is an idea around that religion doesn’t get a fair go. That it should be able to promote its claims and ideas without being subjected to criticism. The United Nations has passed a resolution against the “defamation of religion”. Ireland has reintroduced a blasphemy law. You get the picture.
Posted in agnostic, agnosticism, atheism, belief, culture, diversity, faith, human rights, New Zealand, religion
Tagged Anglicanism, Daniel Dennett, Francis Collins, Ireland, Islam, Ken Miller, Lawrence Krauss, Michael Ruse, Michael Shermer, National Statement on Religious Diversity, New Zealand, religion, Religion and Spirituality, Religious belief, Richard Dawkins, United Nations
Recently in Afghanistan we had the sight of two sets of protesters opposing each other but both chanting “God is great.” (See Women protesting at ‘pro-rape’ law attacked by Afghan men and video: Afghan women protest against marriage law). Obviously both the women who were opposing new legislation limiting their sexual and human rights, and the men who were supporting the legislation (and opposing the sexual and human rights of women), thought they had their “God on their side.”
Posted in agnostic, agnosticism, atheism, belief, Christianity, culture, diversity, faith, god, human rights, Islam, politics, religion, slavery, supernatural, superstition, terrorism, tradition
Tagged aparthied, defamation of religion, segregation, UN, United Nations
It worries me that as we approach the 60th anniversary of the the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the world seems to be facing a new threat to freedom of expression. This freedom is basic in democratic societies. It’s also vital to exposing, and overcoming, violations of human rights throughout the world.
I have commented before about attempts by some international Islamic organisations to restrict freedom of expression when it comes to issues involving violation of human rights in Islamic countries. This has extended to preventing criticism of religion in UN organisations. Other religions have extended a degree of support for this position internationally, and within some European countries.
Posted in Christianity, human rights, interfaith, Islam, Jewish, politics, religion, supernatural, superstition, terrorism, tradition, Uncategorized
Tagged Amman, censorship, Danish cartoons, defamation of religions, Denmark, Fitna, Geert Wilder, Holland, Human Rights Council, Jordan, Muhummad, United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Over the Solstice/New Year holiday, and while blogging activity is low, I am reposting some of my previous articles. Comments are still welcome.
The United Nations Organisation can do it. The Norwegians can do it. But the USA can’t. Neither can we in New Zealand. I refer to the ability to recognise the common values of humanity, irrespective of religious belief, and therefore the possibilities of common action to overcome social and political problems.
Posted in agnosticism, atheism, belief, Buddhism, Christianity, culture, diversity, faith, god, Hindu, human rights, interfaith, Islam, Jewish, New Zealand, politics, religion, theology, tradition
Tagged National Statment on Religious Diversity, Norway, religious diversity, United Nations
Matt Cherry, at the Institute for Humanist studies, has been commenting on the 2007 annual report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief. For the first time this report includes a section devoted to the situation of atheists and other non-theists. Many of the concerns found by the report’s writer (Asma Jahangir who was placed under house arrest by the government of Pakistan earlier this week) are relevant to the non-religious in New Zealand.
Posted in agnostic, agnosticism, atheism, belief, brights, diversity, faith, human rights, interfaith, news, politics, religion
Tagged humanist, non-religious, United Nations