Intuition and Humanism: A Dilemma for Science?

WRITTEN BY CHRIS K, AAI NEWS TEAM

What do you get when you cross a computer scientist with humanism? Naturalistic transcendentalism, of course.

Naturalistic transcendentalism, a nascent humanist philosophical approach, is the brainchild of Peter Bishop, PhD, a long-time humanist who worked in the semiconductor industry in Silicon Valley. Bishop, who spoke at the recent American Humanist Association (AHA) meeting in Philadelphia, noted that transcendentalism gained traction in the 19th century, primarily from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. But Emerson’s philosophical approach, which had room for intuition, lost favor in the next century to science, the philosophy of science, and humanism.

“As we look at these issues today, we notice that our naturalism is much more complex than it was in the early 19th century,” Bishop said. “Naturalism today is so oriented toward scientific thinking that modern science has declared that human intuition should not be studied until we can understand the natural law that causes it to work.”

But naturalistic transcendentalism does not accept this view. Rather, Bishop’s philosophical approach deems it “appropriate to study intuition using the most powerful observations that exist of intuition: our subjective observations of our inner beings.” However, science measures what it can observe and subjective experience cannot be observed from an external vantage point. If scientists alone cannot study the personal experiences of intuition (or other subjective experiences), who else can? Bishop suggested turning to the humanities for help, as these disciplines “deal more with the subjective lives of people than do the sciences.”

Reason, Emotion, Intuition

One of the first steps along this path is to acknowledge that the human spirit is real, Bishop said. In other words, one’s subjective experience should be considered valid. The scientist can record the subjective experience as an event, but should not attempt to determine its meaning merely from its observation. This way, “we can remain on solid scientific footing.”

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The Death Penalty: Killing in the name of God is the ultimate act of blasphemy

 by Abdul Olugbala Shakur, San Francisco Bay View

The Death Penalty is one of many signs of a society that is morally deter­iorating, especially a society that proclaims an affinity with God and the Holy Scriptures. First of all, there’s nothing in the Holy Scriptures which gives moral support and/or credence to the implementation of the Death Penalty. This is a man-made evil, and it is this spiritual contradiction that will eventually condemn us all to a spiritual and moral death.

This is a moral and spiritual issue, and being thus, it is imperative for society at large to analyze the social and moral dynamics pertaining to the Death Penalty from a perspective that magnifies and values human life – humanity – for its social and moral implications are beginning to manifest within the norm of societal beha­vior and attitudes.

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Atheists Face Discrimination On A Shocking Level (INFOGRAPHIC)

According to Huffington Post, it's a sad, but well-known truth that many people around the world are persecuted for their religious beliefs. But many people are also suffering for their lack of religious belief, though their stories are not as often shared.

The American Humanist Association created this infographic which shows some of the ways in which atheists are socially and legally discriminated against.

The rise of the religious "nones" in the United States show that more and more people are choosing not to affiliate themselves with an organized religion. But why is this so threatening to people of faith?

Commenter Jackie Martinez wrote, "I don't identify as Atheist (but definitely Agnostic), but I'm saddened by the state of our world when we trust a cheater or rapist more than an Atheist. It's discouraging and disheartening."

 

 

Pro-gay legal groups oppose Christian law school in Canada

According to Desert News, legal societies in Canada are trying to thwart the opening of a law school at British Columbia's Trinity Western University because the Christian-based school requires students to avoid sex outside of a traditional, heterosexual marriage. The moves against the school violate Canada's Charter, supporters claim.

A nonbinding vote of 3,210-968 by provincial lawyers seeks a reconsideration of the Law Society of British Columbia's accreditation of the law school, set to open in 2016 and graduate its first class of attorneys three years later.

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Women, Religion, Violence, and Power: Jimmy Carter Speaks Out

WRITTEN BY CHRIS K, AAI NEWS TEAM

Equality of the sexes, worldwide, is “the major ethical challenge of our times,” said Dr. Robert D. Finch, past president of the Humanists of Houston, at the recent American Humanist Association (AHA) meeting in Philadelphia. Finch went on to detail some of the outrageous abuses against women and girls that are encompassed in a new book by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, titled “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.”

In his book (published March 2014), Jimmy Carter stresses the similarity between the racial prejudice that existed in the Deep South at the time when he was a boy and the worldwide prejudice, discrimination, and violence against females as a result of religious teachings and/or political and cultural forces.

When Carter was elected governor of Georgia, he found that black women prisoners staffed the governor’s mansion. It was a terrible injustice, Carter writes.

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Twitter Restores Blocked Accounts, Upholds Free Speech Principles

 According to Ex-Muslims of North America, Twitter announced that it is restoring access in Pakistan to several accounts and tweets it had blocked at the request of Pakistan’s government starting on May 18, 2014.

EXMNA, thank Twitter for taking a stand against censorship, and for refusing to use their software to comply with oppressive, theocratic blasphemy laws. Twitter’s actions should strengthen the resolve of other international companies and organizations that find themselves in similar situations. Twitter was forged on the principles of open communication; we are glad to see them once again standing up for freedom of expression, and we hope they exercise due diligence in the future should the company receive demands for compliance with oppressive laws again.

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Oklahoma Tea Party Candidate Supports Stoning Gay People to Death

 

According to The New Civil Rights Movement, a conservative Christian Tea Party Republican candidate running for the Oklahoma House of Representatives says he is OK with stoning gays to death. Scott Esk reportedly said in a Facebook conversation, “I think we would be totally in the right” to stone gay people to death. He also quoted the bible — including Leviticus 20:13 — and added, “ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss.”

In a Facebook conversation, Esk insisted that stoning “was done under the Old Testament, a law that came directly from God.”

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Top 5 Atheist Books of 2013

According to Digital Journal, 2013 was a very good year for books and though narrowing them down to five is no easy task, it seemed only right to provide some must read material to start your new year off right.

Coming in at number 5 is An An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist by Richard Dawkins. This is Dawkins memoir and a window into his personal life and discovering what makes this man who he is, love him or hate him, this book will help you better understand what drives him.

Book number 4 is a big departure from most atheist, humanist or secular books as it is fiction. Kylie’s Heel by Susan K. Perry is an amazing story about a mother who overcomes tragedy and hardship all without relying on a god or religion. Picking herself up, dusting herself off and living her life. You can read a full review of this book here

Dot Dot Dot: Infinity Plus God Equals Folly is the second book by James Lindsay and comes in on this list at number 3. Lindsay found a way to make math fun and interesting. He shows that infinity is an abstract idea and takes the argument of infinity away from the Christian apologists, such as William Lane Craig who attempt to exploit peoples basic misunderstanding of math to use a term like infinity to explain God's existence, while James shows in a concise and readable manner that infinity is an abstraction, and shows that, in all likelihood, so is God, particularly if he has infinite properties.

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US Christian legal defense group ambassador warns of LGBTI ‘terrorism’

Alliance Defending Freedom ambassador Joanne Moudy says LGBTI people seeking to be protected from discrimination in the provision of goods and services by religious people is a form of terrorism.

They believe LGBT is another form of terrorism happening in America, and the perpetrators are out to destroy the very fiber of Judeo-Christian heritage and Constitution of the USA.

Moudy said: ‘Make no mistake about the LGBT intentions [sic]. No longer content to “fit in” or simply be “accepted” by others for living an odd lifestyle, today they are out to castrate the minds and hearts of others into supporting their deviant faith – or crush those who might oppose their ranting into oblivion.’

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Religious Freedom Linked to Economic Growth, Finds Global Study

Religious freedom is one of only three factors significantly associated with global economic growth, according to a new study by researchers at Georgetown University and Brigham Young University. The study looked at GDP growth for 173 countries in 2011 and controlled for two-dozen different financial, social, and regulatory influences.

As the world navigates away from years of poor economic performance, religious freedom may be an unrecognized asset to economic recovery and growth, according to this new study. The study examines and finds a positive relationship between religious freedom and ten of the twelve pillars of global competitiveness, as measured by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index.

The study, however, goes beyond simple correlations by empirically testing and finding the tandem effects of government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion (as measured by the Pew Research Center) to be detrimental to economic growth while controlling for 23 other theoretical, economic, political, social, and demographic factors.

For more details please check RFBF.

 

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-- Some of the e-conomic platforms, like DHgate.com and dress factory, have become an indispensable part of global economic growth. --

Your religious beliefs have no place in an abortion clinic

New guidelines on who can perform abortions have got all the usual patronisng religious scaremongers out in force

Last week the Department of Health clarified guidelines on who can carry out terminations. The rules state that nurses and midwives only need a doctor’s approval to oversee the beginning of an abortion - they can perform the majority of a medical abortion themselves.  It should be stressed that any change is purely semantic, at best. Midwives were already allowed to prescribe the medicine that ends a pregnancy. Under our laws they are not trained to perform surgical abortions, although they can provide assistance as part of a clinical team. This has not changed.

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