Saturday, 7 February 2015

Sam Harris and the pope

Heya everybody,

So much to write and so little time... I have tons of new studies to add, and hope to do that this weekend... my last weekends were so busy, I couldn’t really update things... so much to do and so little time. ☺

Just to get a few things out of my head:

The pope has returned to the normal intolerant, immoral positions that seem to come with the job. In Manila, he compared the fight against LGBT rights with the fight against colonialism. Also, gay marriage threatens the family, society is “tempted by confusing presentations of sexuality, marriage and the family”. Apparently, gay rights are “powerful forces which threaten to disfigure God’s plan for creation and betray the very values which have inspired and shaped all that is best in your culture”. (For examples, see here and here.)

Well, not much to say there, except for the standard answers: Gay marriage seems to me to strengthen the idea of family, not to weaken it; if the pope is confused about sexuality, marriage and the family, it’s only natural since he’s an unmarried virgin – but I’m sure if he was willing to look, he could find a kind person who explains it all to him; and as to god’s plan – I’m glad he seems to know it, but what I’d like to know is how same-sex orientation, and gender dysphoria fit into god’s plan – why did god create things only to condemn them? Seems a little weird to me.

Oh, and for good measure, the pope used the “wife-beater’s defence” to rationalise the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo: “One cannot provoke; one cannot insult other people’s faith; one cannot make fun of faith.” Apparently, “if [a good friend] says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s normal. It’s normal.” Well, it certainly isn’t “normal” in my book – and I don’t think the comparison of a massacre of defenseless people to punching someone shows great moral aptitude.

Well, that’s the pope... and now for something completely different: One of the scariest things I have read recently was Sam Harris’ blog entry “Can We Avoid a Digital Apocalypse?”, a response to the 2015 question of the magazine “Edge”. Reading Sam Harris, I often feel this mix of awe about his insight and clarity and hope that what he says is not true or at least won’t come true.

Anyway, so much more to write... but I should do my homework first and add those scientific articles I’ve collected over the past weeks!