Man is essentially a dreamer, wakened sometimes for a moment by some peculiarly obtrusive element in the outer world, but lapsing again quickly into the happy somnolence of imagination.
(Bertrand Russell, Dreams and Facts, 1916)
In the early hours of 7 August 2012 Claudia Medina woke to the frightening sound of marines breaking into her home in Veracruz City, Mexico.
With her hands bound and a blindfold covering her eyes, the mother of three, who makes a living as a natural medicine salesperson, was taken to a local naval base.
Over the next few days, Claudia suffered terrible torture at the hands of government forces, including electric shocks and sexual abuse, being wrapped in plastic, beaten and kicked. Her torturers even forced chilli sauce up her nose with a syringe.
Join the global movement to get justice for Claudia.
Since the days of Britain's colonial rule of India, there has been a law on the books forbidding sexual relations "against the order of nature," which is generally interpreted to be gay sex. Violating this law can mean up to ten years in prison.
In 2009, a New Delhi high court ruled the law unconstitutional. Late last year, however, the Supreme Court opted to reinstate it -- thereby furthering a culture of fear, pain and loneliness among India's LGBT citizens.
The Indian Parliament has the power to repeal this discriminatory law . Tell the Parliament to repeal India's anti-gay law immediately!
HOW PIGLET AND YOUNG HEDGEHOG WERE SEARCHING FOR GOD AND WHAT HAS FOLLOWED FROM THEIR SEARCH
This is our newest publucation and probably the first atheist book for little children.
(CLICK ON THE PICTURE)
Most interesting documentary based on talks with 8 renowned philosophers, including Peter Siinger - one of our favourite thinkers. We do not agree with everything they say but most of it is certainly worth pondering.
PETITION TO THE
The Iranian Parliament recently issued a statement that they regard the law prohibiting marriage for girls under 10 as un-Islamic and illegal. According to Parliament member Mohammad Ali Isfenani, "We must regard nine as being the appropriate age for a girl to have reached puberty and qualified to get married."
Over the past few weeks, over 75 girls under 10 were forced to marry much older men. Legalizing this practice would effectively legalize sex between a young child and an over-18 adult.
Nine year olds cannot understand and therefore can't enter the "strong covenant" of marriage outlined in the Quran. More importantly, their bodies are clearly not ready for sex, let alone child bearing. Many young girls have died from bleeding as a result of being forced into early sex and childbirth.
Watch the video to see how the institution of the European Union meet their obligation to maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with philosophical and non-confessional organisations.
Number one on the list of best atheist songs by Phil Zuckerman!
Richard Dawkns is reading a few excerpts from his GOD DELUSION. the lack of faith among eminent scientists and generally the relationship between education, intelligence and religiosity.
(We prefer his films to his books)
The Root of All Evil? - The God Delusion 1
The Root of All Evil? - The Virus of Faith (2)
Richard Dawkins - The Enemies Of Reason - Part2
Some of you may be interested in our opinion about Mr Donald Tusk - Polish prime minister who has just been elected as president of the European Council. We promise to write a commentary very soon. At this very moment, we can say only that although we are not his fans at all, we are no happy that he has accepted the new position either. The main problem is that his decision will certainly strengthen the main opposition group, extremely catholic, nationalist and authoritarian Law and Justice party.
Mr. Tusk's politics over the last 7 years have been ironically called the "policy of warm water in the tap", as he seemed fully satisfied that most people have warm water at home. Actually, he has hardly done anything else except, perhaps, building hundreds of soccer piches in small towns and villages. But at the same time, he has not violated our basic rights and liberties and even supported some timid, first steps toward secularization. So the picture is not clear. We will write more next week.
PETER SINGER: THE FREEDOM TO RIDICULE RELIGION AND DENY THE HOLOCAUST
Only 3% of Polish people consider personal freedom important. This includes the freedom of thougfht, speech and conscience - disregarded equally by most believers and non-believers.
We publish this important article by Peter Singer to give you an idea of how strongly we value these freedoms and related civil liberties. Indeed, in recent months, fostering individual freedom among the religious and non-religious has become our mission and one of the most important chores.
We do not recommend offending anyone, we do, however, defend our right to express any opinion or make fun of religion as of any other irrational, false or harmful belief. It does not mean that we would spread all of them. We do not like primitive pranks on any subject, particularly when they are played on the faithful in their places of worship. But outside, as we say in Polish: "there is no hell, let your spirit fly".
FALLING NUMBERS OF PILGRIMS IN POLAND
(CURRENT COMMENTARY - AUGUST 2014)
This August (2014), the number of faithful who took part in 59 pilgrimages
to Jasna Gora monastery in southern Poland, was 30 per cent lower
(73.4 thousand) than in 2004, when 103.3 thousand participated.
These numbers are reduced almost every year. In 2009, there were 84.9
thousand of pilgrims, and in the last year - 75.1 thousand.
Sociologists explain (and we agree with them) that it is the symptom of progressive secularization in Poland, but emphasize that to some
degree it may also be the result of a demographic change, as in recent years
the percentage of young people has decreased, and it is they who
constitute the largest group of pilgrims.
JOANNA KARAUSZ: REFORMING HEARTS AND MINDS: THE EDUCATIONAL REFORMS OF THE POLISH ENLIGHTENMENT
Poland's distinct history did not exclude it from experiencing the blossoming of liberal
ideology during the Enlightenment but it did, however, use the ideology in a very different way
than most of Europe. In France, monarchs, especially Louis XIV, ensured that the nobles were at
their service and dependent on their good will. Power had become so centralized that revolution
broke out as personal liberties were compromised. The ideology of the Enlightenment
and its proposed reforms served to loosen the grip of absolute monarchy and ensure more people
with natural freedom. Poland saw the opposite; the widened gap between the nobility and the
peasantry caused some to be incredibly rich and powerful while others devastatingly poor and
powerless. Ironically, the cause of such disparity was a political system, based on the so called golden
liberties embraced by Polish gentry known as the szlachta, throughout much of the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries. The Enlightenment in Poland was a way to combat the 'golden
liberties' that were more harmful than helpful. Reformers used the same ideology that granted
civil liberties to the French in order to centralize the government and inspire nationalism in
Whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Sikh, there is one common belief that all religious fundamentalists share: worship of God and obedience to his laws are essential for a peaceful, healthy society. From Orthodox rabbis in the occupied West Bank to Wahhabi sheiks in Saudi Arabia, from the pope in Vatican City to Mormons in Salt Lake City, the lament is the same: God and his will must be at the center of everyone's lives in order to ensure a moral, prosperous, safe, collective existence. The author, eminent sociologist, shows, that these believes shared by numerous cultured non-believres are entirely false!
BARBARA STANOSZ: PHILOSOPHER AND CITIZEN (OBITUARY)
Barbara Stanosz, professor emeritus at the University of Warsaw, Poland, died on 7 June 2014. A philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition, Professor Stanosz wrote some excellent handbooks of formal logic and translated into Polish works by Bertrand Russell, Rudolf Carnap, Willard VO Quine, Richard B. Brandt, Daniel C. Dennett, Donald Davidson and other contemporary empiricists and philosophers of language.
ANDRZEJ DOMINICZAK: CURRENT COMMENTARY (2 June 2014)
You may have learned that approx. 3000 Polish physicians signed a "declaration of faith" in which it is inter alia stated that they shall treat patients "putting god's law before man's". No doubt, this act of religious fundamentalism is hopelessly unwise but you should be aware that Poland is a relatively populous country and this 3000 signatures means that the declaration has been signed by just 1,2 per cent of Polish doctors and students of medicine (the appeal to sign it was addressed to both groups and signatures have been collected since 5 March 2014). I wonder, what would be the percentage of doctors and students in USA, Malta or Ireland who would sign a similar declaration?
Moreover, the declaration does not change much, as many catholic physicians have refused to perform abortion or prescribe birth control pills for many years. Now, they have just publicly expressed their views.
I am not saying we should not be concerned at all about that kind of symptoms of religious fanaticism, but let's not get hysterical - this is just 1,2 per cent of students and medics - the number surprisingly low in a legendary stronghold of Catholicism.
ANDRZEJ DOMINICZAK: SECULARIZATION OR CLERICALIZATION? WHAT IS HAPPENING IN POLAND?
The studies on religiosity conducted in recent years in Poland have
revealed two coexisting, though contradictory processes. On the one
hand, secularization progresses, slowly but unceasingly:
religious faith is weakening and participation in church activities
is shrinking. On the other hand, however, one poll after another has
shown rapidly growing support for the policy of the Catholic Church
and its flagship political spoils, as the ban on abortion, the
presence of the crucifix in the parliament or the refusal to legalize
civil gay unions.
Probably the first lecture in defence of atheism written and delivered in 1861 by Ernestyna Potowska Rose - a Polish Jewish feminist, abolitionist and of course an atheist. We consider her to be probably the first humanist in today's sense of the term. Wonderful woman!
PAVEL MESTAN. ALEXAANDER REHAK: CHURCH AND FASCISM IN SLOVAKIA
Rising apprehension has been expressed by democratic, particularly secular, parts of Slovak society over an ever-growing propagation of fascism in Slovakia.
An interesting article about the Catholic Church in Slovakia - one of the mian actors involved in attempts to exculpate fascism.
The "Women's Hell" is the title of the collection of essays written by Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński and published in Poland in 1929. Its author, a Polish writer, translator and medical doctor, touchingly described the misery of women, mostly impoverished women, deprived of their reproductive rights. Read the following articles to find out what is the situation today, almost one hundred years later.
We are not particularly patriotic byt we suppose that quite a few of our visitors are particularly interested in Polish affairs as seen from humanist or atheist perspectives. So in this section you may find more information and comments about contemporary Poland. The following articles and reports come from various sources but cover the fields of particular interest to secular humanist, so we hope you will find them worth reading. You may expect more and more diverse articles about Poland in the near future.
The questions of humanist identity, self-concept and definition are sometimes regarded as major flaws of the humanist movement. Their vagueness and ambiguity, however, though unattractive to tabloid paople and their media, may - we hope - appeal to those of our kin: who are reflective rather than unthoughtful, who prefer cognitive complexity to bombastic simplicity and who like to talk rather than shout or deliver speeches. Ambiguity of humanism seems also relevant to the ambiguity of our own selves, so searching for the meaning of humanism is closely related to searching for our selves - a very humanist thing to do. If you like to think before you act, you will probably enjoy the following articles.
Women, their rights and liberteis, are the main victims of religion, while women constitute the majority of believers and practitioners in all - except judaism - religions of the world.
It is one of oue main concerns, so we have decided to create a new, bilingual (Polish and English), website entirely devoted to women and religion.
Psychologists from the University of British Columbia have found that simply looking at "The Thinker" by August Rodin can weaken faith in God and in the case of feeble faith can even lead to atheism. If - however - for any reason whatsoever, you want to watch an enlarged version of the above image or show it to someone:
We are happy to inform you that on 27 January Alexander Aan was released from prison! Thank you for your support!
FREE INQUIRY is the hard-hitting bimonthly journal of the Council for Secular Humanism. From world-class columnists to thought-provoking cover features to commentaries from every branch of the secular humanist movement, FREE INQUIRY has it all ... and for the first time, every word of the current issue is available online. To access online content (including full text of the current issue and selected items from issues going back to 1996).
Saudi Arabia Tries to Silence Center for Inquiry at UN Human Rights Council
This past Sunday something incredible happened: at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council, CFI representative Josephine Macintosh delivered a powerful statement forcefully condemning Saudi Arabia for its persecution of political and religious dissidents and calling for their immediate release.
It was too much for Saudi Arabia to take. Their representative, with panic in his voice, tried three times to shout Josephine down, repeatedly demanding that the Council president "shut her up!"
Josephine never backed down, despite Saudi intimidation, and as they protested, she received the vocal support of the representatives from four member states: The U.S., Ireland, Canada, and France, all of whom spoke up for her right to continue speaking.
Psychology of atheism
Psychologist Dr. Paul Vitz (PhD in Psychology from Stanford University) speaks on a number of influential atheists (like Friedrich Nietzsche, David Hume, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Sigmund Freud, etc.) and how they may have become atheists. It ends up that many of these atheists had abusive or weak fathers who influenced the way the saw God. Highly insightful and interesting!
16 year-old Amina Filali, raped, beaten and forced to wed her rapist, killed herself -- the only way she saw to escape the trap set for her by her rapist and the law. If we act now, we can stop this unspeakable tragedy from happening to anyone else.
Article 475 in Morocco’s penal code allows a rapist to avoid prosecution and a long prison sentence by marrying his victim if she is a minor. Since 2006, the government has promised to strike this down and pass legislation prohibiting violence against women, but it hasn't happened.
Many suggest that Hitler did not hold a traditional belief in God because he believed that he was God. True, Hitler thought himself God’s chosen leader for the Aryan race. But he never claimed to be divine, and never presented himself in that manner to his followers. Members of the Wehrmacht swore this loyalty oath: “I swear by God this holy oath to the Führer of the German Reich and the German people, Adolf Hitler.” For Schutzstaffel (S.S.) members it was: “I pledge to you, Adolf Hitler, my obedience unto death, so help me God.”