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Archive for the ‘moral issues’ Category

A couple of A.C . Grayling’s books – recently finished

In books, ethics, freedom, good life, history, moral issues, philosophy, politics, traditions on December 14, 2013 at 14:26

The Good Book: A Humanist Bible.
I normally really enjoy books by A.C. Grayling.  I’ve got few complaints about this one.  I don’t know if it’s only fault of the audio book but I found it frustrating that I didn’t know from where the quotes were taken.

I did really enjoyed the verses chapter. It was great to recognise a piece of poetry I’ve learned at school in another language!  On the whole I think the book should not had “Bible” in the title and somehow influencing its structure. Bible is not a greatest of our ancient texts and has been completely discredited over the centuries. 

I also think that this A.C . Grayling book would benefit from inclusion of modern philosophy.

Liberty in the Age of Terror: A Defence of Civil Liberties and Enlightenment Values.
It is right to be concerned with attacks on Civil Liberties.  However I think the author didn’t really shown how much better informed we are thanks to the technology and globalisation,  how much more opportunities we have to express our opinions to the whole world and to listen to opinions of others. The feeling of interdependence and interconnection (one small world!) does helps to promote the Enlightenment values by itself.

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Peackocks, pheasants and chickens

In about me, acrylic, art, bird, ethics, legal issues, moral issues, my artworks, pets and domestic animals, philosophy, traditions, wild nature on December 11, 2013 at 17:10

A couple of weeks ago I have been doing a little acrylic miniature:

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Not very happy with the painting but at least one person liked it so I’ll let it be. When I was working on this I’ve accidently stumbled across a sad picture:

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Two freshly shot pheasants.  They looked so beautiful from close up… I know people who wish to execute anybody killing pheasants but at the same time eat their close relatives,  chickens and turkeys every day. .. Which just shows how our attitude to animals (and sometime to humans) depends on pretty looks and “cuteness”. It shouldn’t be this way.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with eating animals: lots of people probably are better off with high animal protein diet as this is the food we originally evolved on.  Obviously we should protect endangered species and avoid unnecessary cruelty to animals, especially the ones closest to us by intelligence. Being cruel or destroying the beauty of nature would eventually backfire.  It will make us more cruel to humans too and guilty and depressed. Yet if medical science really needs to experiment with animals it should be allowed: only humans on this planet know how to heal.

I wish I had time to do an old fashioned still life with those pheasants. ..

Skirts and scarves issue / О платочках и юбках

In взаимоотношения, история, мораль, отношения, православие, ethics, freedom, history, moral issues, религия, свобода, традиции, христианство, people, relationship, religion, traditions on November 4, 2013 at 15:27

I should confess that I find the notion that women should cover their hair, legs or even faces extremely evil and perverse. It is nothing else but a remnant of the dark primitive times of total male domination.

Why did this domination happened to the human race in the first place? I guess just because on average males were physically stronger than average females.  It is interesting to try to imagine what would happened if the strength was equal or roles were reversed.

All the excuses like “women should cover up so they do not tempt men” are based on obvious inequality: men’s hair, proportional bodies and handsome faces could be just as attractive to women – yet men are not normally forced to cover themselves up!

Hopefully human race is growing out of the disgraceful dominance of the physically strong. I often feel the need to help this somehow. I even wanted to start a women’s movement against all this cover up business and to have members pledging never wear particular styles of scarves or skirts – as they are signs of oppression.

I really can never be a close friend to a person who willingly participate in this scarves, burkas, dresses and skirts masquerade. I don’t object people wearing whatever they want for the fun of it but I can’t accept a “moral” attitude to dress code and sickly fear of “divine” punishment for not keeping it. Neither can I feel any respect to the cultures which still enforce this ancient injustice not will I go as a tourist to countries where this is common. I boycott them and hope other self respecting individuals would do too.

We do have a dress code here in the so called West too but it is based on rational MUTUAL agreement do not display publicly any reproductive organs to avoid unnecessary distraction. As long as this is rational, doesn’t interfere with art and could be easily changed if people’s perception of each other changes in future, it’s Ok.

I don’t consider myself a feminist: this is a human rights issue.  By the contrast I am really surprised at ladies infuriated because somebody called them “flower”. Obviously the men who do this just want to please and if enough women will let them know they don’t enjoy being called “flower” nobody would do this in future.  It is also troubles me that western governments are trying to get same amount of men and women per every occupation. Having the same human rights doesn’t mean being the same. A number of women spend time doing something that men physically couldn’t: being pregnant and breastfeeding.  And good for them. Plus there are other physical and mental differences resulting in different lifestyle preferences. But nothing at all to hide on the head…

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Должна признаться, что нахожу точку зрения будто женщины обязаны покрывать головы, ноги или даже лица исключительно порочной. Такое мнение – пережиток темных времен патриархата.

Как человечество оказалось в такой ситуации? Я думаю, просто потому, что в среднем самцы были сильнее самок. Интересно представить, что бы было, если бы роли поменялись или были бы равными.

Оправдания типа “женщины должны покрываться тряпками, чтобы не смущать мужчин” базируются на вопиющем неравноправии. Симпатичные лица, фигуры и волосы мужчин могут быть так же привлекательны для женщин, однако никто обычно не требует от мужчин прятаться!

Надеюсь, что человечество в скором времени вырастет из пережитков эпохи власти физической силы. Временами мне даже хочется этому как-то помочь, например, организовать движение женщин, отказывающихся надевать определенные типы платков и юпок – тех, которые навязываются разнообразными религиями.

Я вряд ли когда-нибудь смогу быть близким другом дам, которые сознательно участвует во всех этих маскарадах. Мне совершенно все равно, что люди носят, если они это делают для собственного удовольствия, но смирится с морализмом или глупым страхом божественного наказания в этом плане я не могу. Не могу я и испытывать уважение к культурам, которыедо сих пор активно навязывают такие атавистические взгляды и ни за что не поеду отдыхать в страны, где все это происходит. Надеюсь, и другие уважающие себя женщины поступают также.

Конечно, в современных Европе и Северной Америке существуют определенные правила, касающиеся одежды, но они, в общем, уже не базируются на суевериях, устаревших книгах, страхах и вопиющем неравенстве, поэтому меня они не беспокоят. Меняется мода – меняются и правила. Это нормально.

Я не считаю себя феминисткой. Принудительные юбки и платочки – это нарушение прав человека. Права у нас одинаковые, но это не значит, что мы – одно и то же. Глупо, нгапример, пытаться набрать то же число мужчин и женщин на каждый пост. Различная биология диктует различные устремления. Вот только на голове нет ничего такого, что необходимо прятать!

An anchor

In about me, отношения, moral issues, people on October 30, 2013 at 00:13

In any book,  or movie,  or TV series I need at least one “hero” through whom I could connect to the story.  A generally good person in my particular understanding (who not necessarily always does good but wants to). A person with conscience.  Without him or her I feel like floating without an anchor in the story.

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В любой истории мне нужен “якорь”: хотя бы один персонаж, положительный в моем понимании. Не идеал, живой человек. Если все пеосонажи воспринимаются как отрицательные или нейтральные, ни что в истории не цепляет, читать или смотреть не буду.

Recent sketches

In art, drawing, весна, взаимоотношения, мои рисунки, мораль, отношения, ethics, floral, flower, flowers, freedom, good life, moral issues, my artworks, свобода, творчество, painting, pastel, pen, pen and ink, politics, relationship, spring, t-shirt on May 26, 2013 at 09:54

A bee one I’ve started while in the Galleries Live in Telford

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And some sketches for greeting cards and t-shirts

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A working class hero… What?

In books, ethics, moral issues, people, politics, science fiction, writing on April 17, 2013 at 15:25

I’ve been sent a book by an amateur author to read and review (thank you). I’ve given up after just a few pages because of intolerable amount of arising complains about the style and content (sorry). Don’t know yet if I write a real review (after all, I do a bit of writing which probably is not terribly good also) but I’ll put down some thoughts here.

I think it is a mistake to write fiction to serve a political/economical/worldview idea. The book should be about real living human beings, otherwise it looks just like bits of everyday blog and forum posts pretending to be a book. We all have ideas and they should shine through proper fiction writing. No need to force them on readers.

There is no human beings who are “your typical something”, that’s cardboard cutouts. Everybody really is unique.

The protagonist supposed to be your typical “working class hero” fighting dogmas. Class is a dogma, “working class” – double so. There only a tiny sad minority of people who don’t work, some of them spending their time drinking, in front of tv or playing computer games. If you call somebody “working or labouring class” what are you saying? That others don’t work or do not work well enough? That’s wrong. And is the protagonist (being a politician) in a lower tier job or being of low education? Nope. (See Wikipedia: working class – a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs (as measured by skill, education and lower incomes)). Maybe his parents were of working class. But are we defined by our origins (unfair) or our own effort and goodness (fair)? Anyway there is no excuses now for low education, not with internet, tv documentaries and public libraries. Even in 1900s, working at a factory, my great-grandfather managed to self educate and loved to read serious literature.

New Great British Class Survey has some flaws in my opinion too.  Peoples’ lives are changing all the time in many ways. Somebody inherits the money. Somebody skilled and educated has to do a low paid simple job for a while. Somebody loses jobs or property. Somebody gradually educates him or herself and is learning new skills. Somebody lives in an expensive house but doesn’t want to sell it and struggles. Somebody moves to more rural area, can’t go to opera and theaters anymore, looses his connections – does he jumps classes? A “class” sounds almost as permanent as a “caste”.

The worst to come. Reading the book I’ve stumbled upon the notion that global warming is not a big deal, but (o, horror!) there is “rise of Russia and China“… Being both Russian and British citizen I find this offending. I could understand people being worrying if Russia or China are not getting any more democratic, peaceful and open. But, no, they have to stay poor and undeveloped for that “working class politician hero” being happy… This is so nationalist. Well, that’s it for me. Page four and I am completely fed up…

Photos

In весна, зима, красота, ethics, moral issues, фотки, photography, relationship, snow, spring, winter on March 26, 2013 at 06:48

One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered. – Michael J. Fox … (we’ve been badly verbally and visually abused and hit by snowballs by a group of kids yesterday. What would you do? ) #snow #all_shots #NewtownPowys #Newtown #Treowen #Powys #Wales #tree #treelove #treeporn #winterwonderland #snowscape #baretrees #bw #blackandwhite #monolove #branches #monochrome #снег #дерево #linandara_trees

#Cromer #windows. .. #latergram #all_shots #Norfolk #Britain #buildings #architecture #linandara_built #linandara_britain #houses #street #seaside #resort #streetlight #улица #окна #дома

Enlightened. .. #today #Wales #busjourney #hill #fields #rural #linandara_vista #countryside #farmland #clouds #sky #dramatic #all_shots #springwatch #white #chasingspring #snow #холм #поля #весна #сегодня #облака

Mock #moonlight. .. #edit #trees #tree #treelove #silhouettes #all_shots #Britain #UK #branches #baretrees #дерево #moon #sun #clouds #dark #gloomy #grunge

#red & #white. .. #latergram #all_shots #film #analog #1990s #building #architecture #linandara_built #linandara_britain #tower #bluesky #England #Britain #UK #British #здание #архитектура

Abused by youth on Treowen

In about me, children, ethics, kids, legal issues, moral issues, people, relationship, traditions, xenophobia on March 24, 2013 at 20:55

Today at about 3 p.m. me and my husband were walking to the shops when 5 kids approached us (between Treowen school and community house) and started throwing snowballs at us. When I stopped and tried to tell them off (we obviousely don’t swear) we met with horrible disgusting verbal abuse. A girl was mocking my foreign accent and a boy exposed himself. I think we know the name of one of the offenders and I think we’re seen others locally before. We are distressed by this accident and we don’t think the behaviour of these kids should be ignored.

This is not the first occasion.  A couple of weeks ago my husband was verbally abused in the evening on the way from work. My children told me that one of their elderly teachers is being bullied at school by students. A couple of years ago two teenage girls were shouting swear words at me and my then little kiddies – without any apparent reason apart from thinking we are Polish.  Today’s “mocking girl”, often seen on that street, was trying to say something offencive to me on other occasions but I just ignored her. Not any more. Community support officers have been notified of the incident.

I don’t think I am overreacting.  When we were kids we loved practical jokes but we didn’t swear and I absolutely can’t imagine us looking innocent strangers into the eyes and being abusive.  We never had a will to do anything like that (Why?) And we knew there could be serious consequences.  E.g. parents called to the headteacher – it would be pretty scary.  Today’s lot were so sure they won’t be punished in any way. I think that is wrong and this attitude should change.

Some thoughts on the interview with Jim Al-Khalili

In about me, ethics, freedom, good life, moral issues, philosophy, relationship, religion on March 8, 2013 at 14:24

http://rationalist.org.uk/articles/4070/facing-the-future-an-interview-with-jim-al-khalili

I agree that humanists should work more on the positive side of secular life, on creating the society which would be caring, loving, tolerant. But I can’t agree with accepting these Christian statements as rules. Turning the other cheek in many cases would give the wrong message to an offender. And different people call different things “love”. I still remember being told that to love in Christian understanding is to wish to a person being saved by God… That’s all.

I am a bit worried to hear about “good manners” when there still is inequality and injustice backed up by religions on this planet.

Maybe I was lucky – I’ve never seen atheists knocking on doors or surrounding people on the streets with the purpose of converting. .. I think some of us feel themselves as an offending side only because of the hyper sensitivity of many religious people to slightest disagreement with their views.

I respect kindness, courage, honesty, creativity, everybody’s right for self-expression but how could I “respect views” with which I disagree? And is a person civilized because of his or her “political correctness” or rather because that person can’t tolerate another person being abused?

I also think it is very important for secular people to stop mimicking religious ones. We don’t need “atheist churches” or ” humanist bibles”. We should work on positive and original self-identification, promote various aspects of secular lifestyle.

A poem by Labi Siffre

In ethics, moral issues, relationship, religion on March 5, 2013 at 14:50

“Theists
By definition
Deny responsibility
For their moral judgements”

Labi Siffre

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