The Trouble With Porn…

…is that even smart people like to misrepresent and attack it. Taslima Nasreen says “Pornography is exclusively for men’s pleasure” and that she is against pornography in that she is against abuse and degradation. She is, however, for erotica and provides the contrasting definitions of pornography and erotica, attributed to Diana Russell.

Pornography: Material that combines sex and/or the exposure of genitals with abuse or degradation in a manner that appears to endorse, condone, or encourage such behavior.

Erotica: Sexually suggestive or arousing material that is free of sexism, racism, and homophobia, and respectful of all human beings and animals portrayed.

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Does a good God exist?

“Does a good God exist?” is the title of a debate between Christopher Hitchens and William Dembski which took place last Thursday and you can view the full video of the debate (in 3 parts) here

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Challenging Muslim Violence

The Prophet Muhammed, a pox of fleas and mange be upon him!

With the upcoming Draw Muhammed Day, people around the blogosphere and world of scepticism and rationality there are many different views being floated about. Jen McCreight, the beloved instigator of Boobquake, has this to say:

Why I’m not going to draw Mohammed [:] Because I don’t want to die.

As reasonable a position as that is, I have this to say (in the guise of a comment to her blog post quoted above):

While I understand your retiscence in wanting not to invoke death threats from the Muslims you have already annoyed, I find it hard to believe that you are only willing to stand up for what is right up to as far as it would involve hypothetical threats upon your person. I share your concerns that I would not want to have my life ended at 23 simply for expressing my view upon the insanity and inanity that is Islam and its proponents. However, in being of sound enough mind to even question the veracity of Islams claims in the first place, you have already put yourself in the line of fire. Having brought Boobquake about, you have already kicked the sleeping dog of Muslim hatred. To back down now would only betray the commitment you have to the truth and what is right. I totally respect your right to refrain from comment or action, and I hope I am not seen to be accusing you of cowardice, but to say, in essence, “I will make fun of this Imam because he’s insane, completely wrong, and his views are dangerous to the health and sanity of the world, and my comments will bear no real weight on the issue BUT I wouldn’t dare do the same should my comments be likely to illicit a threat of violence” is to say, to the Muslim world, that if you make enough threats, people will shut up and stop questioning your version of the truth. By not taking every opportunity to stand up to threats of violence we are encouraging them and we are giving them free-reign to continue their abuses.

With all due respect, if you do not stand against these threats, you are both undoing all the great work Boobquake has done for skeptical and rational thought and simultaneously undermining the values upon which they stand.

To the other commentators who say that while we have every right to depict Mohammed however we wish, it is not tactful or reasonable to do so in a deliberately offensive way: yes, you’re right. But you fail to include in your reasoning the fact that even mild mannered depictions of the ‘prophet’ result in death threats, and while it is distasteful to poke the wasps nest with intent, the wasps have threatened us with fatal violence for simply having a picnic in their vicinity and, unlike real wasps, they are not likely to simply leave us alone. Muslims who threaten violence need to be shown, through force of will alone, that no one will stand for their cowardice and idiocy when they dare to threaten our lives and inflict harm upon people with their fear tactics. Continue reading

The Morality of Meat…?

Truly the right way to go...?

Truly the right way to go...?

It’s extremely hard for me to imagine this, but I think I’m turning vegetarian… I’ve recently embarked upon a healthy kick, spurned on by my diagnosis of a stomach ulcer 2 years ago, which restricted my diet somewhat, and gave me the excuse I’d been looking for to eat responsibly and healthy for once. As is usual with most diets, I followed it for a few months but then fell off the wagon and returned (somewhat) to my old ways, though still staying away from the dangerous foods that would inflame the situation, but it recently occurred to me, as part of my incessant internal monologue, that it is completely contrary to and entirely incompatible with a modern moral outlook (such as that espoused by Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins etc… and one that I apsire to) to campaign for human rights and equality for all, and even in some cases campaign for animal rights, but to continue to eat meat. Continue reading