Sunday, November 30, 2003

Climate Change - taken from the New Statesman

It is projected that greenhouse gas emissions will go on rising for decades; the IPCC predicts a global temperature rise of between 1.4 degrees and 5.8 degrees by 2100. At the lower end of this scale, large areas of agriculturally productive land will be destroyed; entire countries will disappear through rapid sea-level rise; and entire regions in the arid subtropics will become uninhabitable.

We are "hard-wired" to mobilise rapidly in response to clear and immediate dangers. But as threats become less certain, or causally complex, it becomes harder to find the urgency to tackle them. Climate change, unfortunately, matches our evolutionary weak-nesses. Not only is it complex, ambiguous and inter-generational, but it is largely self-inflicted. The complex causality of climate change also plays particularly strongly to the natural human tendency to diffuse responsibility. This is the "passive bystander effect", after the frequently observed phenomenon that violent crimes can be committed in a crowded street without anyone intervening.

We are all simultaneously bystanders, perpetrators and victims. These internal conflicts cripple our ability to act, and are only amplified by the vast denial of others. We doubt the reliability of our own instincts, and our power to make any difference.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Aids

Forty million people are infected with the HIV virus that may lead to Aids - three million have already died of the disease this year alone.

Used consistently and properly, latex condoms significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission, but promoting them in some cultures is proving difficult.

Mr Annan said it was unjust that Aids was manageable in the rich world but a death sentence for people elsewhere.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Ghandi

Gandhi said: "To me, Truth is God and there is no way to find Truth except the way of nonviolence". Violence separates people, but the search for truth is a communal enterprise in which we have to work together.

Satyagraha uses nonviolent resistance to make one's opponent face up to the fact of injustice or exploitation. However, while satyagrahis use various nonviolent methods to confront or persuade an opponent - methods like sit-downs and sit-ins, strikes, fasts, demonstrations, boycotts, picketing and non-cooperation (all of which Gandhi used) - they should also be doing constructive work to improve the situation. Every time Gandhi started a campaign against some injustice, he also started constructive schemes to improve conditions.

Albert Einstein said that Gandhi 's great contribution to our time was his determination to moralise politics. Gandhi insisted that you can apply the same moral values to politics, business or industry as you do in private life. Love, truth, nonviolence - all these ideals can be applied here and now to every aspect of life. "It is perfectly possible," as Gandhi said, "for an individual to adopt this way of life without having to wait for others to do so."

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Aldous Huxley

Huxley saw that war cannot bring peace, because violent methods cannot create nonviolent results. The act of war helps to legitimize war!

"People love to talk about a war to end war; they do not love to talk about a peace to end war."

'The police act with precision; they go out and arrest the guilty person. But nations and groups of nations act through their armed forces, which can only act with the maximum of imprecision, killing, maiming, starving and ruining millions of human beings, of whom the overwhelming majority have committed no crime of any sort.'

'Wherever we turn we find that the real obstacles to peace are human will and feeling, human convictions, prejudices, opinions. If we want to get rid of war we must get rid first of all of its psychological causes. Only when this has been done will the rulers of the nations even desire to get rid of the economic and political causes.'

Huxley was well aware that technology was here to stay. 'The question is whether it is to stay as an instrument of slavery or as a way to freedom.' 'Curing the world of obsession with money and power' needs to be done in the modern world; but even a modern hi-tech world can be humane.

'It is enormously difficult to change; but the enormously difficult is not the impossible.'

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Ethics of Abortion

Pro choice? The baby doesn't get much of a choice? If a women is raped she doesn't get much choice (in most situations she will have more choice than the baby)?

At what point does the baby become a living thing that you are then murdering?

Are we being too frivalous with life?

Having an abortion allows you to have another child who will have a 'better' life?

The Legalisation of abortion allows it to be a regulated industry with rules and regulations.

Monday, November 24, 2003

"Oil is the devils tears" - The Economist
"One soul, two bodies." - Unknown

Friday, November 21, 2003

"Greed, the desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves" - www.dictionary.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Imigration

The UK in far more overcrowded than the rest of Europe.

The UK monitors people entering, but not people leaving.

India only allows foreign workers to do jobs where no Indians have the skills.

Tackle the causes of imigration rather than the effects.

Should marriage be scrapped?

Most marriages go through dull or wretched patches and some are a cloak for verbal and physical abuse.

Children brought up in two parent families live longer, happier, more law-abiding lives.

Co-habiting couples on average break up much more than married couples. Why do couples break up?

Friday, November 14, 2003

Don't put all of your eggs in one basket.
“We live in an increasingly interdependent world. Sustainable development in the UK cannot be considered in isolation from sustainable development elsewhere. Our lifestyles have an impact on the rest of the world. … Allowing international inequalities to grow could jeopardise social stability and sustainable development for all of us. “ - UK Sustainable Development Strategy chapter 9: International Co-operation & Development
Question consumer lifestyle.

Goals of sustainability

“development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Bruntland report and Rio Declaration

“Sustainable development's central challenge is to use the Earth's resources much less wastefully and much more fairly” Michael Meacher

Goal of economic growth – to eradicate poverty:

“All States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.” Rio Declaration principle 5

Thursday, November 13, 2003

"Rise like lions after slumber, In unvanquishable number, Shake your chains to earth like dew, Which in sleep had fallen on you, Ye are many they are few." - Percy Byshe Shelley
"To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied upon, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about. Such is government, such is justice, such is morality." - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
From what people say, films, children's toys etc to smacking a child or bombing Iraq, violence is condoned and legitimised.

Political Correctness

Political correctness is sensorship.

The emphasis with political correctness shouldn't be on not saying something, but why we shouldn't say something.
"It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail." - Vidal, Gore
"Art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it." - Brecht, Bertolt

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

Monday, November 10, 2003

Responsibility

Responsibility isn't black and white. There are levels of responsibility.

responsibility could be calculated by the total responsibility divided by the number of people who could have done something. This results in no-one having enough responsibility to do anything.

You cannot be responsible for something you didn't know about., but ignorance is no excuse.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Pacifism

Violence always leads to worse results than non-violence.

Violence breeds violence.

Using violence against violence doesn't end violence but moves it, from one person to another.

"Hatred will not cease by hatred, but by love alone. This is the ancient law." - Dali Lama

War and violence are unjustifiable.

Talking and listening, then, restraint, then violence?

"How do you stop people from using violence to solve their problems? Give them an alternative." 1

1. George Monbiot, 2003. Age of Consent.


Energy crops

Growing crops to make vegetable oil that can be used to run diesel cars.

There isn't enough land in the UK to grow enough crops to run the current number of cars. If people didn't use cars as much and relied on public transport there may be though???

This gets us away from using fosil fuels which aren't sustainable.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Teh 10 commandments

ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'

THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'

FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'

FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.'

SIX: 'You shall not murder.'

SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'

EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'

NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'

TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:36-40).

The yoga yamas

Nonviolence (protecting ourselves and others does not violate this)
Truth
NonStealing
Celibacy/walking with god (When you are having sex, have sex; when you're not, don't. Remain in the present and focus on what is happening right now without obsession - Dr. Usharbudh Arya)
NonGreed
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Does the means justify the end?

You can lie and kill to achieve a good end, but should you do this? Does the end justify the means?

This will only achieve good in the short term (not sure) in the long term good cannot be achieved this way?

You cannot achieve peaceful ends through violent means.

"A purpose which overrides every other consideration is one whose end justifies all means...This is dangerous ground." 1

"the tendency for the means to become the end" 2

1. Simon Fairlie, 26th March 2004. Battle of the Manifestos, Chapter 7 debate.

2. David Engwicht, 1992. Towards an Eco-City.
Jesus died on the cross as a man rather than as God, and therein lies the essence of understanding immanence. His words, "Oh, my Father, why hast Thou forsaken me?" offer testimony that he experienced his agony as a human being. This was his great gift—that a human body in all its frailty could hold the true nature of the Divine. - Phillip Moffitt

Can make more of a difference through life than death?

In Christian teachings, Jesus died on the cross, when he could have avoided it. Could he have achieved more through life than he did in death?

In the teachings of the great yoga masters, our true nature is Brahman, the universal soul, of which the individual soul is simply a part.
"Love is most nearly itself when here and now cease to matter." - T. S. Eliot
In Jesus's teachings, love is at the center of all being—love that is forgiving, unconditional, and not self-serving.

Buddha

The Buddha taught that your true nature is obscured by the veils of wanting, fear, and delusion (or ignorance). He urged that you look at the nature of your mind systematically and observe how these three mind-states condition what you think and value, and how you behave.

The Buddha taught that our true nature is emptiness. ie Self doesn't matter.

Whoever holds a hundred things dear has a hundred causes of suffering...but whoever holds nothing dear has no suffering...they are free from sorrow, free from despair.
You cannot choose your past, but you can choose your future.
"everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." - Viktor Frankl

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

"without God anything is possible, everything is permitted."- Ivan Karamazov

Clarkes Laws

Clarke's First Law: "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

Clarke's Second Law: "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."

Clarke's Third Law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
"Any sufficiently advanced extra-terrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from God" - Shermer's Last Law

...except by god or by a more advanced eti.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Bill Hicks

"the bad drugs are also the untaxed ones"

There is an absurd double-standard that exists between censoring porn and then using sex as a marketing aid in TV adverts.

"I was crucified, buried for three days, then raised from the dead. I've waited two thousand years to return to Earth. It's Miller Time!"

The medium of television has been hijacked simply as a means of keeping the populace quiet and selling them products.

Coporate manufactured music...sacrificing their dignity and integrity to become corporate puppets. He felt it immoral that idols should be created solely in order to sell products to children.

America took most of the responsibility for arming the world, and was a bully for subsequently beating countries up.

'The United States of Advertising'

Rememberance Sunday - taken from http://www.ppu.org.uk

There is no way to peace, peace is the way.

If at Remembrance time we are to reclaim value from those lost lives, rather than give legitimacy to a system of values which destroyed them, we don’t need to be silent for two minutes. On the contrary: we need to speak up. We need to break up the silent conspiracy which perpetuates the delusion that war, and preparing for war, can bring about peace.

The White Poppy symbolises the belief that there are better ways to resolve conflicts than killing strangers.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

"The green party is good for local government but bad for national as they don't have a coherent set of policies" - unknown

This may be true but rather an incoherent set of policies based on something good (sustainable development) than a coherent set of policies based on something bad (money).
If you see a Bulgarian in the street, hit him, he'll know why.

Early to bed and up with the cock.

...no but I've got a photo of general bull.
"Determination to impose fairness and uniformity on everybody has been responsible for the tradgedies of communism and socialism" - Minette Marin
""If people have the power to choose (with regards to local government) they will do things differently from each other, some of them less well than others" - Minette Marin
"Offering power and choice to everybody is at odds with offering fairness to everybody" - Minette Marin