The New Zealand Humanists have launched a web site opposing Blasphemy in New Zealand. The New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists fully support this campaign to eliminate Blasphemy legislation. It is important to repeal blasphemy laws in western countries to show countries with very severe penalties such as flogging and death that blasphemy is not a crime and should not be punished. Countries with severe penalties have cited western countries with blasphemy laws as a justification for their own punitive laws that include torture and execution. There has also been a move by some Islamic countries to impose their blasphemy laws on western countries to prevent valid discussion and criticism of religion. Should this be implemented it would have an adverse impact on freedom of expression and may also prevent some scientific discussion.
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- Created on Monday, 20 July 2015 08:56
- Written by Iain Middleton
- Created on Tuesday, 14 July 2015 22:11
- Written by Peter Harrison
The New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists have at their core a commitment to human rights, and that we should all be treated equally under the law. We stand behind Susan Devoy in her support of Chinese New Zealanders. Singling out one ethnicity or nationality will only serve to alienate them. This is reprehensible from a moral perspective and is damaging to the image of New Zealand as a progressive open society.
- Created on Tuesday, 23 June 2015 02:07
- Written by Peter Harrison
Peter Boghossian is coming to Auckland in July to give a free talk about deradicalizing Jihadis. Boghossian is a speaker for the Center for Inquiry, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and the Secular Student Alliance. He has been nominated as a member of the Global Secular Council. At Portland State University his primary research areas are critical thinking, philosophy of education, and moral reasoning.
Event Date: July 22, 6pm
Event Venue: Room B3, Owen G Glenn Building, Auckland University, Auckland
- Created on Saturday, 30 November 2013 18:36
- Written by Mark Ottley
I was pleased to read an editorial encouraging more reason based political process in the September 2012 edition of ‘The Open Society’. At the same time, I was a little perplexed by assertions in the same article, and in an article critiquing Sam Harris’ book “The Moral Landscape”, that would appear to undermine this endeavour. These articles argued that science cannot inform questions around values or wellbeing, though apparently justifying this assertion upon philosophical rather than empirical grounds.
Such assertions are somewhat surprising to me. Clinical psychologists like myself use scientific models of wellbeing and values in our work helping patients on a daily basis. We would argue that due to the empirical basis, the truth claims we make about wellbeing and values are objective facts about the world. A large international ‘Public Policy and Wellbeing’ conference was also held at Victoria University in Wellington in June 2012, to discuss the current state of science on wellbeing, and progress in policy implementation based upon such research. At least those arguing that what we are doing is philosophically impossible, don’t stop us doing it.