Why Infanticide Is Not Only Moral, But Morally Obligatory

In Defence of New Humanist Magazine and Peter Singer against Nadine Dorries

This post is in response to claims made by someone called Nadine Dorries who says that the magazine New Humanist is an “extreme” organisation and apparently a “cult”. She claims that humanists advocate “infanticide” – and apparently that’s a bad thing. We need not be interested in her weird accusations of calling a magazine a “cult” (what would you call Cosmopolitan? A religion?). I want to focus on her claims that infanticide is (by definition) immoral, evil, and so on. And, therefore, anyone who advocates must bad, too. These claims are nonsense if we actually examine the arguments.

The Humanist Logo (from Per Caritatem blog) / The Symbol of "Evil" to Dorries

Some brief background: Dorries became the frontrunner for New Humanist’s Bad Faith Award, which is the award the “worst enemy of reason” for that particular year, according to New Humanist’s readers. Past “winners” have been such notables as Sarah Palin and the Pope. Anyway, in response to discovering herself at the front end of apparent silliness, Dorries responded with, well, precisely how a frontrunner for the Bad Faith Award would. Continue reading

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Fritzl, Faith and Folly

1.

I recently watched a documentary on Josef Fritzl, the Austrian man who kidnapped, drugged, and raped his daughter for 24 years; forcing her to be his sex-slave and mother to incestuous grandchildren. What more evidence is required for us to postulate the non-existence of a loving, caring god? Certainly, the systematic extermination of nearly an entire race of people was not enough; the brutality of the world throwing up destruction – whether through volcanoes or hurricanes – does not dint the happy glaze in the faithful’s eyes; and now, a woman raped by her father and kept in his dungeon for a quarter of a century, does not appear to slow faith, either.

Ideally, I would like to stop there and say: The jig is up. There is no man behind the curtain. Praying is the still-frame of an audience slow-clapping for the arrival of their beloved stage performer. Yet this performance has ended, there is no one watching out for you. We are here to look after ourselves and, by definition, each other. Leaving it up to god to catch your babies, let your favourite football team win, get you that hot date, earn your promotion, get you through this terrible ordeal, cure your son’s incurable disease, stop your wife’s neverending pain as cancer destroys her from the inside, take grandma up into heaven, forgive the wrongs of murderers and pimps and drug-lords, proclaim what’s right or wrong, is not a viable alternative to facing this stupid, bigoted, terrible world we live in. This is not a place of happiness. It is a place filled with suffering, with stupidity, with bigotry, which, after our toil and struggle, ends finally in death. Continue reading

Ask the Atheists: Stones and Feathers

I was happily informed today that I am an answerer on the wonderful website, AsktheAtheists.com. I have answered two questions so far, but I’m intrigued and rather happy with the format of the whole website. The editor has specifically asked us not be nasty or dismissive of questions; it doesn’t mean we must answer every one of course, but, when we do, to try explain gently since the questioner has bothered to come to the website and deposit a nugget of curiosity.

I’m not sure what the site traffic is like, but frankly that’s not of interest to me. Having recently faced students asking me what to do with some new found doubts in their religious faith, I’ m attempting to learn methods of education that actually are efficient. This doesn’t mean being always gentle or always brutal, but learning to be sensitive to the environment, contender and context to know whether to use stones or feathers to get them to change their position.

Do have a look at the website and please provide feedback on what you think of the site. Now, my next aim is to one day be a panelist on this site.