Clint Eastwood on gay marriage

Quote

“I don’t give a fuck about who wants to get married to anybody else! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of. They go on and on with all this bullshit about ‘sanctity’ — don’t give me that sanctity crap! Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.”

via Stacy Leets – Google+ – Clint Eastwood discusses gay marriage. in the 10/11 issue….

Aside

Today my wife told me apologetically that she asked our three month old boy to pray for me. How should I react?

Anger, because we have this solemn agreement between us that our son will grow up without any religious affiliation and will be free to choose his path when he turns 18? And prayer is a part of religion, all of them (and especially hers) and by teaching him to pray she is teaching him a fundamental religious concept. One which has been proven to be completely ineffective and thus untrue.

Gratitude, to learn that she cares about me so much and wishes for my well-being so strongly to direct her best weapon to my side in my times of trouble and/or difficulties and make it doubly effective by involving our infant son in the exercise?

Or fear that our son may have his vision always clouded by these delusions and never see the truth due to being constantly bombarded by religion from all well-meaning quarters except this one?

Son, if I did believe in prayer and could pray, I would pray that your eyes always be open, your mind always be free and that your heart always be big. The rest is a given.

‘God Does Not Exist’ Comment Ends Badly for Indonesia Man | The Jakarta Globe

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An Indonesian civil servant who posted “God does not exist” on his Facebook page has been taken into police custody for his own protection after he was badly beaten.

The man, identified as Alexander, 31, now faces the prospect of losing his job, or even being jailed, if he fails to repent and accept one of six official state religions.

via ‘God Does Not Exist’ Comment Ends Badly for Indonesia Man | The Jakarta Globe.

The Indonesian state’s founding principles of Pancasila or the five principles are all very noble and beautiful, except the first one which makes belief in god mandatory, a regressive and backward and more importantly, discriminatory ideal. But the irony is this, a notorious, religious extremist group belonging to the majority, flout the other four brazenly whilst propagating violence and destruction without even a rap on the knuckles and this brave, unfortunate man is going to be demonized and hounded and ruined for violating one as a matter of personal belief. It may be argued that he brought his personal belief into the public sphere via his social media group and his comment/s on it. But the fact of the matter is that he was still just expressing a personal belief without prejudice to anyone who did not subscribe to his opinion. He was not preaching or inciting or spreading violence.

Indonesian Christians believe allah of the Muslims is a false god and only Jesus and their lord are true while Indonesian Muslims say the Christian god and lord are haram and only allah is the true god. So how is Alex wrong when all that he says is that both allah and god are false? Prosecute all Indonesian Christians and Muslims then for violating Pancasila’s first principle.

Are the believers of this world so insecure in their false beliefs to be offended by the mere presence of someone who do not subscribe to their delusions?

How Freedom Became Tyranny | George Monbiot

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george_monbiot

Modern libertarianism is the disguise adopted by those who wish to exploit without restraint. It pretends that only the state intrudes on our liberties. It ignores the role of banks, corporations and the rich in making us less free. It denies the need for the state to curb them in order to protect the freedoms of weaker people. This bastardised, one-eyed philosophy is a con trick, whose promoters attempt to wrongfoot justice by pitching it against liberty. By this means they have turned “freedom” into an instrument of oppression.

via This bastardised libertarianism makes ‘freedom’ an instrument of oppression | George Monbiot | The Guardian

A very refreshing and important viewpoint about how the word ‘freedom’ is so often misused to serve selfish aims and goals.

George Monbiot, the author has pretty impressive credentials!

Recovering From Religion

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If you are one of the many people who have determined that religion no longer has a place in their life, but are still dealing with the after-effects in some way or another, Recovering From Religion may be just the right spot for you.  Many people come to a point that they no longer accept the supernatural explanations for the world around them, or they realize just how much conflict religious belief creates. It can be difficult to leave religion because family and culture put so much pressure on us to stay and pretend to believe the unbelievable.  If this is you, we want to help you find your way out.  Dont let people convince you that you just didnt have enough faith, or that you just havent found the “right” religion. As Mark Twain famously said, “Faith is believing what you know aint so.”

via Recovering From Religion.

“Captain, we have visual.”

“A devoted Star Trek fan, Pausch was invited by film director J. J. Abrams to film a role in Star Trek. Abrams heard of Pausch’s condition and sent a personal e-mail inviting Pausch to the set. Pausch accepted and traveled to Los Angeles, California to shoot his scene. In addition to appearing in the film, he also has a line of dialogue at the beginning of the film (“Captain, we have visual.”) and donated the $217.06 paycheck to charity.”

Wikipedia, Randy Pausch

(If you don’t know who’s Randy Pausch, watch this.)

The Newton Papers

You may have seen this elsewhere: Cambridge University has started digitizing its collection of the scientific works of Sir Isaac Newton. CU has the largest collection of his original scientific works which until now was only available in its real-world, ‘offline’ library. But over the next few months most of those works will be made available in their online Digital Library. I decided to pay their online library a visit and take a look at these papers. Quite a few are already available and though it’s all Latin and Greek to us, literally, I spent a leisurely hour looking at them and turning the pages like a wide-eyed child looking at picture books. The sense of awe at gazing at the work of hand of one of the greatest minds that ever lived was immensely fulfilling in itself.

Oh the great possibilities of the Internet and how we ‘fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way’!

IsaacNewton

[Photo Courtesy Wikipedia]

Fun with Google Trends

Google Trends is a service Google provides where you can see some interesting statistics on topics that have been searched on Google over time.

Spurred by a post I saw elsewhere on the web I tried out some ‘trend-spotting’ of my own. Interestingly, the country which searches for topics related to ‘sex‘ the most is Pakistan. India comes in at number three and Indonesia at number six. Out of the top ten, six are Muslim majority nations. And the number one city in the list is Bangalore. When it comes to searching about ‘god‘ Philippines comes out on top although the rest of the list is dominated by cities and countries of the developed Western world. The small city state of Singapore is at number five beating the populous nations of India (sixth) and Indonesia (seventh). But funnily enough Philippines also takes the top spot when it comes to searching for ‘atheism‘. The rest of the list is entirely dominated by Western nations with India being the only exception at number nine.

The fact that India features on almost all the trend lists I tried out may have something to do with its large and young population who make up for the world’s third largest in number of Internet users. (China, the largest, of course doesn’t feature in these lists for various reasons!)

If you notice I have refrained from drawing any inferences from these statistics and am merely presenting what I saw. You can draw your own conclusions and try out more keywords at the Google Trends site. And for a perspective on these trends please do also see this chart of the world’s top 20 countries in terms of number of Internet users.