The future as at best a haze. We can make or break it. My rants, visions, ideas and dreams hope to make a better future. Lets learn to live a better life. Raise your glasses (no it doesnt have to be alcohol - I am using orange juice!), and toast the future!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Justifying accusations of violence

Recently, there have been a number of statements accusing the Muslim faith of standing for hatred, violence and inhumanism. Some came from Cartoonists, and politicians ("murderers, women mutilators and limb amputators"), and one also came from the Pope, quoting ancient texts.

The interesting fact is the timing of such a quote, as is expanded upon here.

The first thing to bear in mind is that this kind of violence is not unique to the Muslim world, and the Christians and Jews have been both as horrific - although this neither mitigates nor justifies the actions of the Muslims.

The Muslim world should learn something. When accused of violence, when Mohammad is caricatured with a bomb for a turban, then shooting people, burning stuff and blowing people up only justifies such an image. If accused of murder and violence, demonstrating exactly such qualities only makes more people stand up and agree.

The Jewish world is also (in Israel) demonstrating the cheapness with which it views human life, and that it is prepared to kill many, many innocents for purposes of an ideal.

The group who I really fear, right now, are the far Christian right groups who seriously believe it is the end of days, and as such, are happy to supply bombs to Israel to blow us all to kingdom come. The BKs (Brahma Kumaris) also beleive in the end of days, ready for the next cycle, but they refuse to use violent means to acheive such a thing.

Not all Jews, or Muslims or Christians are extreme, dangerous, and violent, only a minority, and those who are riot inciters. I strongly suggest that the peaceful majority representations of each religion take such cases, and put them in the straight jackets and padded cells they belong in. These violent people are sick, dangerous and need psychiatric care.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Euston Manifesto

I have recently heard about this particular concept, and I have to say, after reading it thoroughly, I am a subscriber.

As a humanist, I firmly beleive that there should be no apology for tyranny. Be it that of the Terrorists, that of the Baath Regime, or that of Isreal's oppression of Palestine, and that of the Palestinians using terrorism as a method of retaliation. I will show no apology for Bush and Blair removing the Baath Regime (which did need removal) with a show of extreme force and continued aggression, I will find no valid reason for the murderers of 400 children in a Russian School, the torturers of many possibly innocent muslim prisoners in Abu Graihb and secret US prisons in European countries. I will see no excuse for the allowing of every and all such practices, be they instigated by Christians, Muslims, Jews or atheists (I not include Bhuddists as they seem to stay very far from such violence). I will not excuse the violent yob culture that plagues the UK (so called 'chavs') as being a product of their poverty, such that the poverty may have contributed - but they are human, and should still understand enough to take responsibility for their actions. I will not excuse the offensive comments of the current Pope, nor the violent reaction of some Muslim groups. I will not use one act of tyranny to justify another, a simple principle that is taught to school children at a very young age, and seems to be forgotten as they reach adulthood or gain any amount of power.

I will not excuse any radical or racist elements (racists of any creed, culture or colour - white men are not the only racist), tyranny does include enforcing segregation on ones children or peers, tyranny definately includes any form of the abhorent "honour killings" which may never be excused, tyranny includes the Falun Gong's statements concerning multicultural relationships.

I will not defend the tyranny that was the British Empire, while I am a UK citizen, we did pillage many countries, I will also not defend the witch hunts or crusades or the mass raiding of other cultures. Ok - some items that may have been destroyed by radical governments were preserved in the British Museum (which I do see as a good thing, I despise lost teaching, art or artifacts), but that does not justify flooding countries with Opium to steal them. I will not defend our part in our coming to the America's and destroying the natives, nor our part in taxing the settled people to the point of war.

I will defend democracy, and hope for freedom of opinion and pluralist government to take hold globally. I reject the Chinese Governments form of voting, where only members of The Communist Party may actually vote on any items. I reject any election tampering. I reject that our representation in the Uk is truly democratic, and with it reject the constitutional monarchy system. I would support a concept that is slightly different from the current democracies, in that there will not be a "figurehead" who takes all the power and responsibility, and where different functions such as education, defence, health, road maintenance are inividually given votes for which party gets the "controlling" stake as such, and functions such as treasury are managed by equal representation. I do however reject any party who puts tyranny at their core, such as the BNP.

I strongly support open source, and try to use it at every juncture. I reject the tyranny of monopoly, and anti-competative behaviour. I support an interplay/a balance of community led projects and a tapestry of corporate software with them.

Probably the most important aspect of this document to me is the Freedom of Ideas. Quoting from the manifesto:

Freedom of ideas.
We uphold the traditional liberal freedom of ideas. It is more than ever necessary today to affirm that, within the usual constraints against defamation, libel and incitement to violence, people must be at liberty to criticize ideas — even whole bodies of ideas — to which others are committed. This includes the freedom to criticize religion: particular religions and religion in general. Respect for others does not entail remaining silent about their beliefs where these are judged to be wanting.

I strongly suggest people read this document. I view as a noble set of ideals indeed.
The Euston Manifesto