The word belief should never be used in a religious context- A Socratic dialogue

sayitin500

Blaise Pascal: “What have you been up to, Bertie?”
Bertrand Russell: “Oh you know, mainly logical mathematics and stuff, you Blaisey?”
Blaise: “Why, it’s Sunday morning I have been in my house of worship, praising the God above for all of his work!”
Bertrand: “Like ebola and mass hunger in Africa?”
Blaise: “No Bertie, this is not God’s will but he has given us the tools to help us overcome these scourges. And, I believe that those who die, so long as they believe in God, will be saved, so it all happens for a greater good!”
Bertrand: “If I may ask, Blaise, Why do you believe in God?”
Blaise: “I just do, and I am of the opinion that I should believe because if I’m wrong…”
Bertrand: “For once, Blaise, can you stop banging your ‘wager’ drum! But that’s not why I ask the question.”
Blaise: “Well, as I…

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The ScrewBlair Letters- Letter I

sayitin500

Dear my beloved MiliWorm

I have been keeping an eye on your campaign, and I have to say I am thoroughly distressed by your lack of progress. Yes, you lead in the polls, but this is slim and may be lost at a moments notice if you do not capitalise on it by striking at the weaknesses of your enemy, the Tories. Our patient, the British Public, they do not truly know who to vote for. Our patient is ignorant and you need to take advantage of this ignorance in order to get your way!

Model yourself on me, MilliWorm and you will succeed, I assure you! Model yourself on me, MiliWorm and you will succeed, I assure you!

Now, let’s start with how you come across in photo opportunities. You are awful, you make me sick; you disgusting retch! You get support from AxelGrind only to apparently completely waste it. The first rule of any politicians persona is do not let…

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Lord Freud takes huge pay cut

sayitin500

The political world is still rocking from the shocking news that Lord Freud suffered spinal cord damage and has been paralysed from the waist down.

Despite the tragedy that has befallen the man who said people with a mental disability should earn only £2 an hour, he has responded with a courage and strength that belies his feeble visage. He has quickly accessed the free NHS services available to him and obtained a wheelchair that allows him to mobilise once more. He is also receiving physiotherapy and community occupational therapy to support him in his recovery and transition in to life with a disability, as well as world class medical aid.

We spoke to Lord Freud in his first interview since the tragic events;
“I’m so pleased that we have free healthcare services that are readily available for people as and when they need them- now that I’m on the…

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#blackpeopleagainstblackpeopleagainstracism

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A new social media campaign is taking off leading with the hashtag #blackpeopleagainstblackpeopleagainstracism. Inspired by the #womenagainstfeminism, this is the movement focussing on empowering black people by ignoring racism and the prejudices suffered every day by black people world-wide.

We meet with one of the stars of the movement Mr A. Blackperson for an intimate interview, and to find out what the #blackpeopleagainstblackpeopleagainstracism movement means to him:

“Firstly, there are truly oppressed black people all over Africa but most movements addressing racism focus on people living in the USA. I mean yes, I know these black people often live in socioeconomically deprived conditions where you are far more likely to be arrested just for being black, but let’s be serious; this is just pushing an American agenda, and ignoring the plight of the black people of Africa. For us at #blackpeopleagainstblackpeopleagainstracism we think it’s important to remember, yeah you got things bad where you are but there is always someone worse off so quit your complaining! At first we thought of trying to compassionately and empathically support people to understand the idea that any movement should be for global equality not just for specific groups, and a black people’s movement should be for all black people, but then we thought that a hash tag dissing them and alienating us from other black people and demonising the fight against racism would be better. We looked at the #womenagainstfeminism movement and though ‘brilliant, look how quickly they are splitting everyone up; we should follow that!’”

“Plus, there is so much positive discrimination now. Black people are pretty much treated better than white people; So much so that we now have a black president. If this crazy trend of faux-equality continues we’ll have a female president! If you ignore all of the social inequality, the everyday racism that pervades societies at low-level consciousness, like a CV with a ‘white person’s name’ being preferred for a job over a CV with a ‘black person’s name’ then yes black people are probably being treated preferentially to white people which isn’t genuine equality is it.”

“Black people don’t need people a ‘movement’ fighting their corner specifically- yeah sure the political system ensures a lack of social movement and demonises problems associated with black people that are really problems with social systems but look at Beyoncé she proves you can be black and independent; if you just try a bit harder, get loads of lucky breaks and buy in to the media ethos of hyper-sexualsing yourself.”

“And, look at the accomplishments of great individuals throughout history; Lincoln single-handedly abolishing slavery, Emmeline Pankhurst single-handedly winning women the vote, and Jean Valjean alone bringing equality for all of France. All strong independent individuals brining about change by being true to themselves.”

At this point, readers, I did have to point out that Lincoln’s efforts came as the President of the United states; the head of a whole political movement and at the cost of American Civil War. That Emmeline Pankhurst was a member of the suffragette movement who only as a group were able to win improved women’s rights in Great Britain. And that Jean Valjean was a character from the book Les Miserables, and the French Revolution was won by a prolonged concerted effort of the French working class against the Bourgeoisie. To which A. Blackman responded;

“Oh right, so maybe we do need to organise ourselves around a specific cause in order to decrease oppression and promote equality so together we can create and make lasting change. Actually when you look throughout history most change comes from a group fighting for a specific cause together.”

At this point A. Blackperson decided to finish the interview. I am sure we are all interested to see the impact of his (or her) epiphany soon.
————————————————————————————————————-
Here is a logical breakdown of the above argument-
1 ingrained stereotypes in Western society negatively impact on women more than women
2 women are truly oppressed in other societies such as the Middle East and India
3 targeted movements throughout history have led to positive change such as for 1 & 2
4 a feminist movement is ideal to address 1 & 2
5 the current feminist movement may have flaws
6 men and women should work together to create a positive and effective feminist movement

I hope that this outlines some of the reasons why I consider the #womenagainstfeminism movement to be coming from the wrong angle. The women in this movement are surely all intelligent, independent people, but for me they come at change from the wrong angle. If you are still not convinced I urge you to check out the TED talk by Steven Pinker and his wife Rebeccea Newburger Goldstein (what, a married couple with different last names; what is this world coming to!) who discuss change throughout history in more depth and brilliantly.

Lord Freud takes huge pay cut

The political world is still rocking from the shocking news that Lord Freud suffered spinal cord damage and has been paralysed from the waist down.

Despite the tragedy that has befallen the man who said people with a mental disability should earn only £2 an hour, he has responded with a courage and strength that belies his feeble visage. He has quickly accessed the free NHS services available to him and obtained a wheelchair that allows him to mobilise once more. He is also receiving physiotherapy and community occupational therapy to support him in his recovery and transition in to life with a disability, as well as world class medical aid.

We spoke to Lord Freud in his first interview since the tragic events;
“I’m so pleased that we have free healthcare services that are readily available for people as and when they need them- now that I’m on the other side of the fence so to speak It suddenly strikes me that a privatised healthcare service would almost be impossible for those most at need to access; such as for people who are struggling with a long term condition that is severely impacting on their employment.”

Turning to his own future employment, Lord Freud made a shocking revelation;
“Well I don’t wish to say that I have been hoisted by my own petard here. Despite all evidence to the opposite, I am a man of integrity and as such I will be giving myself a huge pay cut now that I am living with a disability. I wasn’t much use being employed before but now I consider myself to be almost pointless and I shall give myself a wage that reflects my abilities.”

We asked him how he feels his disability will impact on his ability to carry out his role.
“Err… Well when I think about it, not much really- I can still do a desk job, my wheelchair enables me to get about and I have no cognitive impairment- I have never thought about it like this before. If I’m honest the only thing impeding me is ludicrous policies- like having to call the rail service every time I want to use a train, and the fact that not all train stations have lifts for people with a disability despite this being a policy we said we were going to make good on, until we changed our mind”.

An amazing interview I’m sure you will agree- quite a change of heart a person can have when they truly understand the issues of the people their policies affect. Let’s hope that this new change of heart enables Lord Freud to make better policies than he did previously. Who knows, perhaps living with a disability will make him better at his job! Let’s not get our hopes up yet though!

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Airstrikes are the only way… or not!

sayitin500

Picture by @Rowland72James Picture by @Rowland72James

David Cameron: Thank you for joining me Home Secretary
Home Secretary: Well yes, it sounded pretty urgent on the phone!
Cameron: It is, we have located a new terrorist threat.
Home Sec: Crikey, right, what’s going on.
Cameron: We’ve just found a new video on YouTube.
Home Sec: Right, I mean is that the first we’ve heard of them.
Cameron: MI6 have been carrying out surveillance on them for a while now; we subscribed to them on YouTube, followed them on Twitter, and we read their WordPress blog. It’s all been pretty low level stuff so far; threats, videos of firearms practice, a blog itemising the armoury; they have a huge arsenal.
Home Sec: How did they amass such a thing?
Cameron: Mainly the Americans, a bit us; we thought arming these guys would make other terrorist threats less terrorist-y but it’s back-fired in a big way.

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