Death should not be trivialised, so it’s understandable that some of us are wary of legislation that allows for assisted suicide. But if it’s the dignity of life that we’re hoping to preserve, it’s unclear how denying suffering people their final choice promotes a sort of dignity worth preserving.
South Africa has an education policy which goes a long way towards separating church and state, while also allowing for expression of diverse religious and non-religious viewpoints. A pity, then, that the policy is routinely ignored in favour of Christian proselytising.
Making progress in resolving disagreements with regard to culture, values and religious beliefs is difficult enough, given the emotive nature of the beliefs in question. We could perhaps make the task slightly easier through paying attention to not misrepresenting each other, and also sometimes through getting our own houses in order.
An “Anti-Harmful Religious Practices strategy” was recently launched by Gauteng education MEC Barbara Creecy. But the strategy seems to be biased against some religions in favour of others, and also seems complacent with regard to two issues: the possibility of religious belief, rather than practice, being a source of harm; and the possibility that some practices have little or nothing to do with religion.
At the Icasa hearings on TopTV’s application to screen adult content channels, theatre and testimony of the sort you normally find in church might have triumphed over evidence and rationality.
In my previous column, I explained why I’d be presenting to the Icasa hearings in support of TopTV’s planned adult content channels. Based on what I heard that day, any ruling against TopTV would be ample evidence that Icasa need lessons in basic logic and statistics, as well as a reminder that anecdotes don’t count as data.
I was recently invited to give a talk at the launch of the UCT Student FSI. Here is the video of that talk.
Giving up on some of the comfortable fictions that come bundled with religion – like the idea of an afterlife – does not mean that we have to give up on commemorating the lives of those we’ve lost, or that we’re inconsistent in wishing that something like an afterlife did exist.
Thanks to columns and arguments like Dowden’s that it becomes ever clearer that the debate should ideally not be around whether the next Pope should be African or other, but rather around how long the Papacy – and Catholicism in this form – can survive at all.
Did you perhaps think that right-wing talk show hosts couldn’t say anything more absurd than you’ve already heard? Not even the homeschooled ones? Well, you’d be wrong if you did.