degrees of religiosity that would hold true for the majority of Christians, Muslims and Jews ('true' or fundamental beliefs of the leaders, dogmas and goals being so disconnected for any rational mind, preposteroseness) so on..., "What I concluded was that this was not a body of believers (in the church), but a body of behavers. Each week people showed up, sat where they should, performed their roles, and the church went on, despite the disparity of belief. Behaviour was observable and predictable; meaning, at least in the sense of Christian belief, was multiple and somehow beyond the point of what held things together." 'Infrastructural Determinism' R. Brian Ferguson - writing on, 'The Nature of Cultural Things' Marvin Harris.
"And there is life on Earth because of an accident (not - God). But it is a very special kind of accident (an asteroid collision; the many other scientific reasons; so on...; and, the maybe's?). And for this accident to happen in this special way, there have to be 3 Conditions. And these are 1. Things have to make copies (this is called Replication) 2. They have to make small mistakes when they do this (this is called Mutation) 3. These mistakes have to be the same in their copies (this is called Heritability) And these conditions are very rare, but they are possible, and they cause life. And it just happens. But it doesn't have to end up with rhinoceroses and human beings and whales. It could end up with anything." 'The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time' by Mark Haddon.
"Children as young as five are being targeted in a new online safety campaign by the UK body charged with protecting children from abuse." http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8499356.stm Kids watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK5OeGeudBM
"The Pope not only opposes the right of women to have an abortion but also their right to contraception to prevent the need for abortions. He also opposes women’s access to IVF fertility treatment to give childless couples the chance of parenthood. He condemns potentially life-saving embryonic stem cell research. Pope Benedict denounces the use of condoms, even to stop the spread of HIV, as well as claiming falsely that condom usage “increases” the rate of HIV infection. This puts millions of lives at risk. He opposes legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and their full protection in law against homophobic and transphobic discrimination. The Pope has authorised the Catholic Catechism, which condemns same-sex relationships as a “grave depravity” and “contrary to natural law.” In 1992, he criticised gay sexuality as a “tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil.” While condemning loving, consenting adult same-sex relations, the Pope played a role in shielding Catholic clergy guilty of child sex abuse from prosecution, as revealed in the 2006 BBC Panorama programme, Sex crimes and the Vatican.
Humanistic Approach, BHS
Red Balloon Learning http://redballoonlearner.co.uk/ The Audit Commission report 'Against the Odds' - "Re-engaging Young People in Education, Employment or Training, claims to have looked more deeply into the issue than any previous study." Paul Peterson - In Chablis-sipping circles, it has become fashionable to condemn the small-school initiative by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation encouraged urban school districts to close large, dysfunctional high schools and replace them with smaller ones, either in alternative spaces or by placing several schools within the building that once housed the large one. http://www.educationnews.org/mobile/commentaries/opinions_on_education/94724.html Breaking up big, dysfunctional high schools into smaller units looked like a reform that failed. Look again. 'Small is Still Beautiful' The Obama administration has pledged to lower the dropout rate through new investments in high school reform. It is planning to spend upwards of $5 billion over the next couple of years on "turnaround" programs that include closing schools and sending students elsewhere, replacing principals and staff, and turning over schools to charter school or for-profit managers. http://www.educationnews.org/mobile/commentaries/95616.html
"Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them." Rainer Maria Rilke. 1. Intimacy 2. Subtleties of relationships 3. Meaning for others 4. Allowing a person discretion to explore inner feelings 5. Certain kinds of affronts (Compulsory Worship Law - Schools. Religion in Schools UK. ref, vulnerable/children, indoctrination - self-harming. Ideological indoctrination in schools, so on...) "All five aspects of privacy singled out by Schoeman are in fact functional and contingent and certainly not necessary to all human beings at all times". 'The Domestic Influence'. Peter J Wilson 'The Domestication Of The Human Species'. "Privacy is inextricably bound with giving and receiving attention".
Confusion - Wasting Time & Befogging The Issues (a whole section of our society has only one simple role - they are particularly 'those people who consider themselves most important and live amongst our 'intelligentsia') A matter for all of us - (is a little) self-discipline: and 'not to be' - even somewhat 'Hoodwink'd with Faery Fancy' 'Unweaving The Rainbow' R Dawkins. "If anyone can help us get rid of this (massive and destructive) form of hideous fraud and madness - he can"! See, 'Identity and Violence' A.Sen. Video above... Stop: 'The Drifting' - Now! Leo Straus 'religion is a fraud'. 'If religion is a fraud, then it remains debatable, to say the least, whether that fraud should be (constantly: forcibly in most schools or some institutions UK) perpetuated on the public' Stephen Law (above). In Schools: The Choice Or The Muddle & Refractoriness of Youth A BOOK REVIEW THAT MAY BE OF SOME INTEREST TO TEACHERS 'THE CLOSED MIND' 1) The mentality of a person, who lives inside a closed system of thought, can be summed up in a single formula, he can prove everything he believes and he believes everything he can prove. The closed system sharpens the faculties of the mind, like an over-efficient grindstone to a brittle edge; it produces a scholastic, Talmudic, hair-splitting brand of cleverness, which affords no protection against committing the crudest imbecilities. People with this mentality are found particularly often among the intelligentsia. I like to call them the "clever imbeciles" an expression, which I do not consider offensive, as I was one of them. A. Koestler "Bricks to Babel". 2) Allan Bloom is a professor of Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He has taught at the Universities of Yale, Cornell, Toronto, Paris and Tel Aviv. He is author of 'The Closing of The American Mind' of which over one million copies have been sold. 3) Bloom writes (p.198) "Nietzsche's works are a glorious exhibition of the soul of a man who might, if anybody can, be called creative.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Bloom (Bloom's, followers and teachers - 'befoggers of issues', are many and most powerful, but they are so very awfully dangerous, and more often, frighteningly and terribly wrong, leading to 100 million and more terrifying deaths - 'drifters or dreamers' and very 'primitive in their science', 'you eat the heart of common enemy and therefore you will become strong', but they continue to have a very large and common appeal'. Nietzsche (1844-1900) wrote, "The object is to attain that enormous energy of greatness which can model man of the future, by means of discipline and also by means of the annihilation of millions. And which can yet avoid going to ruin at the sight of the suffering created thereby the like of which has never been seen before…vast new aristocracy, based upon the most severe self discipline in which the will of philosophical men of power and artist-tyrants will be stamped upon for thousands of years.” 4) Bloom writes (p 240), "I must reiterate that Rousseau, Kant, Hegel and Nietzsche are thinkers of the highest order.” Nietzsche wrote, "It is mere illusion and pretty sentiment to expect much (even - anything at all) from mankind if it forgets how to make war. Yet no means are known which call so much into action as a great war. That rough energy born of the camp, that deep impersonality born of hatred, that conscience born of murder and cold-bloodiness, that fervour born of effort in the annihilation of the enemy, that proud indifference to loss to one's own existence, to that of one's fellows. That earthquake like souls shaking, which a people need when it is (mankind) losing its vitality.” 5) Let us take a brief look at Rousseau (1712-1778) another of Bloom's, "thinkers of the very highest order”. Rousseau was a key figure in the making of what is called Romanticism, which of course has nothing to do with love. Rousseau's teaching in modern parlance was, "if it feels good, do it". In fact Rousseau was so romantic that he abandoned the five children he had by his mistress to the foundling hospital, the condition of which, in those days, is best left to the imagination! Historians consider his intellectual influence to have been mostly pernicious in its effect. 6) Kant (1724-1804) and Hegel (1770-1831) make up Bloom's quartet, but why not Galileo and Darwin "They Turned the World Around" (article on this blog)? But, Kant and Hegel, left it much as they found it. Galileo and Darwin are not to Bloom's taste. Perhaps they offend his religious susceptibility, which is so strangely impervious to the advocates of genocide and licentiousness. But, belief can cause blindness. 7) Much of Bloom's book is a mixture of theological dogmatism and verbose obscurity. One seldom knows quite where he stands, but when he does it is clearly on the wrong spot. For example on page 194 Bloom pontificates, "Reason cannot establish values, and its belief that it can is the stupidest and most pernicious illusion.” If reason cannot establish values what is the substitute? Values established by unreason will not bear examination (The sleep of reason brings forth monsters). 8) The reader despairs, when on page 199, Bloom states, "the faith in God and the belief in miracles are closer to the truth than any scientific explanation…” Which god? There are and have been so many. Which miracles, the virgin births or reincarnation as an insect, and what truth, genesis or evolution? Discretely he does not say! 9) Bloom's book contains so many curiosities that many pages would be needed to list them. But, the one I found most amazing is on page 229, "The sanctity of human nature. That must not be mastered.” The sanctity of human nature is displayed for all to see on every gory page of our history and tomorrow's newspapers. Those who try to master it are usually murdered for their efforts. 10) Despite all the questions in his book, Bloom's attack on the self-degrading worship of the primitive, uncouth and the problems of illiteracy. These are hideous stains on western democracies, and in my opinion, these attacks are fully justified. But, there is money in muck, much money, and the communication revolution spreads muck widely, thickly, quickly, and profitably. We may all drown in it, but leaky life rafts like Bloom's, will not save the young or us. 11) Bloom, denigrates Science (which he does confuse with technology) and is ambivalent towards the Enlightenment. Has it not occurred to him, that no Enlightenment means no science, and consequently, no medicine or any surgery for millions that is worth a damn? No Enlightenment means a secret universe, a closed mind and an early death. 12) I note that Bloom's book received laudatory reviews, in reputable newspapers and periodicals. Perhaps the educators need educating. A dose of, Karl Popper, Jacob Bronowski and Carl Sagan, might (seriously) help them. 13) Bronowski summarised his scientific humanism in his monumental television series, 'The Ascent of Man'. Speaking in Auschwitz he said, "When people believe that they have absolute knowledge with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do, when they aspire to the knowledge of the gods. Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgement in science stands on the edge of error and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible…We have to curve ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.” The theology of Bloom or the philosophy of Bronowski? The educators must choose. They don't mix.
Knowledge is Power 'The Boy Scientist' (1926 edition - 'without knowledge no man can be free' - 'without knowledge you are subservient to the whims and wishes of other people') The most powerful (off the top of my head) social theories: 'Lamarckadian Thought' Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (viruses) 'Stream of Consciousness' Naguib Mahfouz - 'The Proper Structuralised View of the World' Erich Fromm (and) 'The Infantile Situation' Geza Roheim (and) 'Important Civilizations' Bertrand Russell. Jenni Murray presents a special Programme on Raising Teenagers. Listening to the news bulletins would lead you to believe that our teenagers are out of control. The picture is terrifying - a generation involved in violent crime, drug abuse, binge drinking and having underage and unprotected sex. But how true a picture is this? What is it really like to be a teenager at this time, and what challenges do we face, as parents and carers to the new generation? Jenni will be finding out about the physical and mental changes which take place as children mature into adults - and hearing how these developments create some of the stereotypical teenage behaviour. She discusses how to manage problematic parenting situations. And, in the light of all the headlines about gun and knife crime, she asks what can be done to help disaffected young people in society? Including drama: Restless. BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Woman's Hour, 15/04/2009 Some Notes, from Notes: 13) Immaturity of Youth (see, Farb p30-31) Today's high school and college students are sexually and socially mature, while technologically still juveniles. Denied the economic and social benefits to which maturity entitles them, simply because they have not yet acquired all of the technologies skills needed in the modern world; young people may become restless and antisocial in their behaviour. (menstruation females 1900-14 - 14-15 years - now? 1980's 12.6 years. An evolutionary trend? 16) Advice to young. Do not engage in any causes or political movements (*exception - Climate Change). Timescale is too short. Just - learn, teach, and explore, and add a little knowledge to the world - remain free in every sense and very mobile. 17) Respect for authority is always wrong and violence is sometimes right. Karl Popper. 18) It will require a supreme and concerted effort of the best scientific brains, to pull man out of his mess and to diagnose and to recognise his complaint. 20) Becoming Human is a process which still continues. Always bear in mind the short time scale of civilization. 21) The dream worlds of "Capitalism and Socialism" - see, Koestler's essay, as outdated, as the "Wars of The Roses". 22) It is science and philosophy which rule the world, and it has always been so, but there is a long time lag. Construct a chart showing this. 23) Conditions for survival of the human race. 1) Nature is objective - not projective. 2) Man is part of nature and a single 'super species' (freak of the universe). 3) History is a race between education and catastrophe. 4) Only use of the best scientific brains, can succeed in making world of humans work. 24) We have the facts of human behaviour in our history books. All we require is a best-able theory to explain those facts. 25) What is the psychological reason for most men's indifference to nature; whereas physics and biology are difficult - sociology and government should be easily agreed functions and not worth much serious attention (The Infantile Situation): like drains or water services. Stacks of jobs to do, if you want a job, or more education, just needs: a focus of basic attention and finance by (lazy - inept) National or Local Authorities: a good reason for our young to rebel and to claim their world from their massively overtly greedy peers (example, bankers, 'overpaid officials', and some advisors). http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/map_of_the_week_young_victims.html 28) "High technology has made the world a global village. This village will only prosper if people realize that fact and grow from it". Sir Peter Parker, New Scientist Magazine. 29) Democracy = the role of the ignorant masses. Whole mental attitude, is geared to supplying them with their trivial wants, satisfying their desires and disconnect urges. 30) Like an animal, it cannot think about itself. 31) Parents duty to know - History, Evolution, and Cosmology. Without (HEC) we are prisoners of the times and at the mercy of every crackpot idea and political nonsense. No solid base and therefore no freedom. But, 'duty' a dirty word today. 32) Freedom must be taught, because conformism, not freedom is natural. Most education is directed to producing conditioned and behaving animals. Forster, page 123 - look it up. 53) Becoming human is a process - not an event. 'Ape or Angel' - Mans place in nature? 54) This is the age of the anti-hero, where all heroes are exposed as cowards, liars or maniacs. An age in which individuals are told that anything unpleasant which happens to them is the fault of somebody else. What are these amoral, spiritually empty, lumps of humanity; supposed to study? Some sugary pap, which goes under the 'generic' name of "relationships". Having grasped that they are helpless tools of their appetites and social conditioning, men, and women, are expected to seek out their fellows waifs and establish some bond with them. I pity any institution forced to tell such people to leave undone that which they would rather do. See, Brian Walden, Sunday Times - 21st Feb 1988. 55) The uneducated are not conscious of History. The rise of the West and why? The connection between - freedom and capitalism, the psychological fallacy, natural selection and selection of groups in history, or the freedom of ideas. Read again 'The Triumph of The West' and put in plain succinct language. Will the trend continue? Yes, because of, freedom of ideas? Despite dreadful setbacks: vis:- ignorant youth moulded by a rapacious media. The damp squib of Socialism and Communism, the deep ignorance of the young and not so young, elitism is correct (prove this by historical example). "The masses must be whipped towards a future that only the leaders can see. Every beast is driven to the pasture with blows". The thin crust of civilization is maintained by the very few. Capacity for contempt - Lawrence, re - youth? How do ideas come by: not having to think of the next thing and a freedom from necessity (example, Greece), except: for the exceptionally experienced and intelligent who can separate themselves from 'The sleep of everyday living' and everyone's 'awful personal disasters'. This, personally / for everyone is a difficult problem and may revolve around the 'correct use of time', "The busy may have their brains so stimulated that a switch to 'deeper things' comes much easier".
Religion and Morality First, faith made otherwise decent people commit acts of unspeakable horror, showing how ordinary and everyday feelings of human kindness, and revulsion at cruelty, can be, and have been, overruled by religious belief (and dogma, secular enthusiasms, or any other, religio/political enthusiasms) Secondly, it exposes as utterly hollow the claim that religion sets an absolute and unchanging foundation for morality. Some maintain that their Man God had something new to say. Consider therefore this extract from the writings of China-man Mo Ti who lived in the Fourth Century B.C. "The mutual attacks of state on state, the mutual usurpation's of family on family, the mutual robberies of man on man, the want of kindness on the part of the sovereign and of loyalty on the part of the minister, the want of tenderness and filial duty between father and son, these, and such as these, are the things injurious to the empire. All has arisen from want of mutual love. If but that one virtue could be made universal; the Prince loving one another would have no battlefield; the Chiefs of Families would attempt no usurpation's; men would commit no robberies; rulers and ministers would be gracious and loyal; fathers and sons would be kind and filial; brothers would be harmonious and easily reconciled. Men in general loving one another; the strong would not make pray of the weak; the many would not plunder the few, the rich would not insult the poor; the noble would not be insolent to the mean, and the deceitful would not impose on the simple." I find this message more inspiring than the unproved promises of immortality and hell fire. The two largest religions, appear to me, to be: carrot and stick religions. Perhaps all are, I am not a donkey, some of the time: so I don't respond.
War, and supporting the/your armed services. Violence is sometimes right! You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything. He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.
Politicisation of parenting is damaging family relations and education, an academic has warned. Professor of sociology Frank Furedi said there was a pervading prejudice that virtually all of society's problems were caused by poor parenting." http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8517905.stm Education UK, GB - 20 to 30 yrs out of date, 'Cultural Relativism' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_relativism For my children - "The world free of demons and full of light" (for the grandson of) Carl Sagan 'The Demon-Haunted World'. Degrees of religiosity that would hold true for the majority of Christians, Muslims and Jews ('true' or fundamental beliefs of the leaders, dogmas and goals being so disconnected for any rational mind, preposteroseness) so on..., "What I concluded was that this was not a body of believers (in the church), but a body of behavers. Each week people showed up, sat where they should, performed their roles, and the church went on, despite the disparity of belief. Behaviour was observable and predictable; meaning, at least in the sense of Christian belief, was multiple and somehow beyond the point of what held things together." 'Infrastructural Determinism' R. Brian Ferguson - writing on, 'The Nature of Cultural Things' Marvin Harris.
What,s wrong with reason? The forbidden question. NewScientist July 2008. Secular MEPs discuss religion, sexuality and sexual abuse "The BHA has welcomed a discussion in the European Parliament about the issue of religion, sexuality and sexual abuse across Europe. Naomi Phillips, BHA Head of Public Affairs, attended the meeting of the European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Politics (EPPSP) in Brussels yesterday, where the issue of religion and violence against children was discussed in particular. The EPPSP, which is chaired by Sophie in ’t Veld MEP, brings together MEPs from across political parties and other organisations, and focuses on the separation of church and state. Naomi Phillips said, ‘Recent revelations of the scale of sexual abuse of and violence against children by those within religious institutions and those representing religion have shaken countries around the world. Speakers from across Europe at the meeting of the EPPSP all emphasised the urgent need to hold all those responsible to account for the horrific sexual, psychological and violent crimes committed."
The Infantile Situation 'Becoming human is a process and not some event' (martyrdom and unseen libidinal ties) "In every primitive (anthropological anomie/anomy - anomic, bricoleurs or Bricolage - pre-logical) tribe we find the medicine man in the centre of society and it is easy to show that the medicine man (sometimes: a leader, politician, doctor, evangelist, priest... celebrity or royal, i.e., one who knows what is best for all others) is either a neurotic or a psychotic or at least that his art is based on the same mechanisms as a neurosis or a psychosis. Human groups are actuated by their group ideals, and these are always based on the infantile situation. The infancy situation is modified or inverted by the process of maturation, again modified by the necessary adjustment to reality, yet it is there and supplies those unseen libidinal ties without which no human groups could exist. The medicine men are the leaders in this infantile game and the lightning conductors of common anxiety. They fight the demons so that others can hunt the pray and in general fight reality." ('fight reality', as reality (science) could be most unpalatable, to most or some people: depending on their culture and education i.e., knowledge of reality, not - 'myth or theology', superstition...so on...) Geza Roheim 'The Origin and Function of Culture'. Ref, modern - Christian (Sainthood and Martyrs) and Islamic or Muslim - 'rewards' of/in/being (a) martyr, or the martyrising of something or someone) 'martyrdom and unseen libidinal ties': others in folk tales, Dawkins's 'Hoodwink'd with Faery Fancy', so on... At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matthew 18:1-5. Ref, 'The protracted helplessness of the new born and the consequent uncritical submissiveness to authority'.