Sunday School

Sunday School 5th June 2022

This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  PopeBeanie 3 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #43190

    Is America moving closer to having state-imposed religious-based laws?

    Muslims are portrayed negatively in American media.

    Once again, in Nigeria, members of the Religion of Peace burn another human to death to appease their imaginary god.

    Hungary blocks EU sanctions on Russia because they want a spiritual purification of Ukraine.

    Religious intolerance is growing in India because it has too many imaginary gods to believe in.

    World of Woo:  The disinformation that allowed Covid to kill another 300,000 people.

    Environment: The amount of Carbon in the atmosphere hits a new high.

    Lesson for today: Plato’s Cave.

    US gun violence is a health crisis with evidence-based solutions.

    World’s biggest plant discovered off Australian coast.

    What is it about the human brain that makes us smarter than other animals?

    Scientists announce a breakthrough in determining life’s origin on Earth or maybe on Mars?

    The Universe is flat. Here’s what that teaches us.

    Grab your binoculars: 5 planets are lined up nicely for you to see at dawn this month.

    Long Reads: In GOP we trust. How I survived my brain tumor without religion. The long, sordid history of the Gay Conspiracy Theory. A Year of “Protecting Children” in Texas. The reality of prostitution is not complex. It is simple. How to make the Universe think for us. The Mayan Stargazers. Zelensky’s terrible dilemma and ours.

    Sunday Book Club: Hidden Games: The surprising power of Game Theory to explain irrational human behavior.

    Who was Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy?

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……

    Podcasts: Gun violence in America. A history of Godlessness.

    Coffee Break Video:  The Cosmic Scale. The sounds made by a Black Hole. The Atlantic slave trade: What too few textbooks told you. What does dying really feel like?

     

    #43192

    Have a great week everyone!

    #43193

    Strega
    Moderator

    Thanks, Reg!!

    #43194

    _Robert_
    Participant

    So many data points that prove the same sad thing over and over. The average person is an idiot with the average American falling way below the international average. Much of this is due to labor specialization whereby a person can survive without knowing much more that what is required for a payday. Earlier generations had to be jacks and jills of many trades.

    I am glad I have reached a station in my life whereby I mostly get to choose the who, what, when and overall level of my social interaction.

    #43196

    Unseen
    Participant

    So many data points that prove the same sad thing over and over. The average person is an idiot with the average American falling way below the international average. Much of this is due to labor specialization whereby a person can survive without knowing much more that what is required for a payday. Earlier generations had to be jacks and jills of many trades. I am glad I have reached a station in my life whereby I mostly get to choose the who, what, when and overall level of my social interaction.

    “I just want to be a geologist (or engineer or manager, etc.). Why should I have to take courses in the arts and sciences or physical education?”

    Because scientists, engineers, and business people should have values and a degree of wisdom in addition to their skills.

    #43200

    Unseen
    Participant

    I have a contribution supplemental to one of your references above, Reg:

    Why Can’t the U.S. Treat Gun Violence as a Public-Health Problem?

    #43208

    Autumn
    Participant

    Muslims are portrayed negatively in American media.

    This has been my impression for a very long time. I’ve never had an issue with a criticism of Islam on theological grounds, neither have I had an issue with calling out religiously driven/ enforced homophobia, misogyny, bigotry (etc.), but it often feels like Catholics and Evangelicals in particular are plastering ‘Islam’ stickers over their mirrors to cover up their own reflections. Islam becomes the bogeyman for so many ails that neither begin nor end with Muslims. And when that mindset becomes irrational or fixated, that’s why the word Islamophobia exists.

    #43209

    Unseen, I think gun violence is more than a health problem. With yet a second mass shooting in Chattanooga, it is more indicative of being a pandemic.

    #43210

    Unseen
    Participant

    Muslims are portrayed negatively in American media.

    This has been my impression for a very long time. I’ve never had an issue with a criticism of Islam on theological grounds, neither have I had an issue with calling out religiously driven/ enforced homophobia, misogyny, bigotry (etc.), but it often feels like Catholics and Evangelicals in particular are plastering ‘Islam’ stickers over their mirrors to cover up their own reflections. Islam becomes the bogeyman for so many ails that neither begin nor end with Muslims. And when that mindset becomes irrational or fixated, that’s why the word Islamophobia exists.

    I went to high school and college in a very diverse environment. I’ve known…you name it, short of people from Oceania. So, I’ve known my share of Muslims on a personal level. I’ve also had Muslim doctors. My impression has always been, regarding the Muslims I’ve run into in life, that they were peace-loving people and that they were in the United States not to cause trouble but, rather, to escape it.

    #43211

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen, I think gun violence is more than a health problem. With yet a second mass shooting in Chattanooga, it is more indicative of being a pandemic.

    Rather, it’s become endemic. Like the flu and common cold. Part of life in America.

    #43212

    Yes, endemic is the correct word.

    #43213

    Autumn
    Participant

    My impression has always been, regarding the Muslims I’ve run into in life, that they were peace-loving people and that they were in the United States not to cause trouble but, rather, to escape it.

    This is generally my experience as well, or if not escape trouble then to seek new opportunity or change, or they were people who’s family roots in Canada go back much further than my own.

    I find a lot of people targeting Muslim immigrants (or those merely perceived as Muslim or perceived as immigrants) treat them as if they are some fundamentally different breed of human who don’t respond to the same basic pressures, needs, and wants of human psychology. Or they believe that there is some irreconcilable cultural difference that prevents Muslims from ever truly becoming as Canadian as anyone else, even after generations, despite the fact that so many of us have immigrant stories in recent history, and complex cultural identities tying heritage to the present even generations down. That’s the case with my own family especially on my mother’s side (my mother wasn’t born here), but also my dad’s (the first in his family to be born here).

    Where things like homophobia do exist, my general experience is the major difference between a Muslim homophobe in Canada and a Christian homophobe is it will very likely be the latter who won’t stfu because they feel very entitled to be loud, feel very possessive about the culture, and are very thin-skinned about any perceived threat to ‘their’ Canada.

    #43214

    I have never had any bad experiences with Muslims. I worked in a Muslim run business in London for 6 months and was often invited to join them for meals in their homes. I used to drive a car full of food to Bengali Muslims in a big hall in Tower Hamlets in a poor immigrant area of London. The chef would travel with me and insist I join them. I did because the food was superb and because I was always welcomed.

    I even find it easier to debate atheism with their apologists than I do with Christians. I once joined in with Richard Dawkins and Aron Ra in doing just that at the 2011 World Atheist Convention in Dublin.

    In Tunis, a group of teenage boys started shouting at my partner for smoking a cigarette (with her glass of wine) but she scared them away 🙂 A week later, back in Ireland, a Moroccan guy would join us for a beer just to do something unIslamic while he was in the process of becoming an ex-Muslim.

    All the Iranians I known are just beautiful human beings, Muslim or not.

    I have always admired Canada for its attitude. I have helped a few ex-Muslims find sanctuary there. We keep in touch. They are assets to the country.

     

    #43215

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    Unseen, I think gun violence is more than a health problem. With yet a second mass shooting in Chattanooga, it is more indicative of being a pandemic.

    Considering more than one analogy may be useful, and they’re not  necessarily mutually exclusive. I see it as both a health problem i.e. 1) the dysfunctional way people feel paranoic or heroic when believing in the utility of guns in spite of their cost; 2) the dysfunctional politicization of core issues that can no longer be reasonably discussed in USA. E.g. also abortion, and pandemic response vs non-response.

    I haven’t jumped into the recent killing of kids outrages, because my bigger picture reminds me that more kids died from Covid due to recent cultural and and political dysfunction. IMO, new SCOTUS could likely declare unconstitutional some of the laws that may be considered wrt gun laws. Because of a couple of “mother” dysfunctions in USA, like believing in misinformation over valid information, multiplied by political opportunists benefitting from their hateful blame-progressives for everything platform. So many people are falling for this, recently. And yeah, too many progressives are responding in kind, preferring the low roads too.

    We suffer some human cultural flaws that were never tested during our biological evolution; We, as a rule have trouble thinking beyond day to day or quarterly to quarterly survival, while longer term health care and political dysfunctions cannot get the attention they deserve. While headline news get more clicks than (say) objective, investigative reporting.

    #43216

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    I love studies on how unique our brains are in the animal kingdom. Meanwhile, the much larger influence on our successes (and failures) as a species is how we developed culture so rapidly over tens of thousands of years, in much less time than it took the most notable biological changes. Being raised as kids under the influence if not control of increasingly powerful culture ironically feels so natural that most people don’t even question most of it. While humanity today is self-defined at educational, religious, political, and other cultural levels that never existed during the heyday of our species’ biological evolution. Look at how long someone like Putin can reign over parts of the world, and with the backing of his innocently clueless Russians.

    So how “intelligent” are we now, really? I hope we are smart enough to figure this out, and learn better how to viralize our new powers for good instead of for some invented divine god or revered cult leader… or against some conjured up, evil enemy.

    (Multiple thumbs up to Reg for what he’s actually done in our world!)

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