|There doesn’t seem to be any morality issues on the following matters, but the church will intervene in more personal issues of health and wealth, insist on being pro-life, for instance, without thinking about what pro-life means in its entirety. I’m not suggesting a moral take on this, but I can’t help but be amused about the situations where the church decides to intervene and make screeching prohibitions, and just when they decide to step back and leave you to the hovering vultures.
The following are by Dr. Mercola on Aspartame, a poison that comes mainly from the sodas mentioned and artifical sweeteners.
These have come up since the Health Department started the campaign in February this year. First, The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines reacts to it, calling for a ban on advertisements and the whole campaign in general.
“The condom cannot really put a stop to Aids. Moreover, by creating a false sense of security, it condones and encourages promiscuity outside of marriage, and hence contributes to the further spread of Aids,” the statement added.
The Health department started initiating the free condom drive last Valentine’s Day in Metro Manila due to the increasing cases of HIV-Aids in the country.
DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral earlier said the drive was made as the dreaded disease continues its “silent” onslaught on the Filipinos.
In Western Visayas alone, there are already several cases of HIV-Aids and more victims of the disease are coming out in the open to seek help and understanding from the public, said DOH Center for Health Development-Western Visayas Regional Director Ariel Valencia.
He also said that the advertisements are a timely reminder to the public on the importance of responsible sexual behavior, and not meant to promote artificial contraception.
The CBCP, however, sees the condom drive as immoral.
Source: please click here for the full article(1).
I don’t think these are grounds enough for the ban of the condom. The church may ban it in its own territories, but not as a whole, as some government officials have expressed. Ban its flock from watching television, staring at ads and buying a condom. But why deny the rest of the Filipino population the choice? Does the church realize that it does not ban more debilitating products in the market that are not only useless but are part and parcel of the pains and joys of having more to choose from? It doesn’t ban violent acts to be shown on television, or a boxing match with Manny Pacquaio to be shown nationwide. Because it really has no right to do that. So if the church were confident in its own, why worry about the condom?
In line with the May 2010 elections, reproductive health issues have been the consideration of some voters. Moreover, in the following article by Kara Santos of the Inter Press Fund, the church has not yet realized the pro-life values of the condom nor the reproductive health bill. The political issues:
The election guidelines for Catholics state that contraception is “morally wrong… endangers the spiritual health of the marriage” and “impedes the process or possible fruit of conception”, which the Church says should be the point of conjugal union. Voters who elect pro-reproductive health candidates in the May poll would become willing accomplices to “evil”, they added.
But advocates say that the failure to pass the reproductive health bill has been detrimental to women’s health.
“Eleven women die every day due to pregnancy and childbirth-related causes, almost half of all pregnancies are unintended and one-third of unintended pregnancies end in abortion,” says lawyer Clara Rita Padilla, executive director of EngendeRights Inc, a non-government organisation promoting women’s rights through legal advocacy.
Asks Padilla: “Will the next president turn a blind eye and not provide for the proper budget for wide access to reproductive health
information, supplies and services simply because such a stance would take the ire of the CBCP?”
Already, PLCPD’s San Pascual notes, candidates for the 2010 polls have been careful not to make their statements on reproductive health issues too strong because of the perceived weight of the Church’s position among many voters. But he says, “By trying to balance their agenda so that they will not face the ire of their bishop or parish, they end up not helping their constituents or giving justice to their job as a public servant.”
Source: please click here for the full article (2).
I would like to thank Ms. Irina Otmakhova, Membership and Networking officer of the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights , for providing the second article.
A thought-provoking talk from controversial author Sam Harris, where he puts morality in the context of the general well-being of humanity–that which can be scientifically measured and determined. He also deconstructs the notion of the subjectivity of morality–especially moral codes as determined by tradition, religion, and personal opinion.
My thoughts on this one:
I find it amazing to think that mind tricks are played bothways and I wonder how it happens… I haven’t figured out how these photos work.
ENLIGHTENMENT IS A GAMBLE
Time to cash in your chips
put your ideas and beliefs on the table.
See who has the bigger hand
you or the Mystery that pervades you.
Time to scrape the mind’s shit
off your shoes
undo the laces
that hold your prison together
and dangle your toes into emptiness.
Once you’ve put everything
on the table
once all of your currency is gone
and your pockets are full of air
all you’ve got left to gamble with
Go ahead, climb up onto the velvet top
of the highest stakes table.
Place yourself as the bet.
Look God in the eyes
for once in your life
Leading up to Avatar, James Cameron talks about his mindset on creativity, and the fascination with Science Fiction that led him into filmmaking and ultimately into the blockbuster movies he has produced over the years.
My main takeaways from this talk is about not establishing boundaries to creativity, and furthermore pursuing one’s dreams with a passion. Also one must be prepared to make mistakes in the process of learning, and that’s what ultimately leads one to excellence.
His closing statement: Failure is an option, but fear is not.
French Virologist Luc Montagnier is credited with having co-discovered the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and was co-recepient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2008.
In an uncut interview for the documentary House of Numbers, Dr. Montagnier shares some insights that may surprise those with common knowledge of HIV and AIDS.
My main takeaways from Montagnier’s interview is how global awareness and solutions are influenced by profitability rather than human welfare. Too much funding is devoted towards vaccines and treatment of diseases but not enough on basic nutrition, education, and healthcare.
Like the Global Warming debate that doesn’t seem to die, the AIDS debate is an interesting deja vu with new (or old) twists finally seeing public scrutiny.
What with all these earthquakes and tsunamis occuring with more sensational rapidity in the news, a recent a scientific study concluded that it was definitely an asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs during the Cretaceous period.
A panel of 41 scientists from across the world reviewed 20 years’ worth of research to try to confirm the cause of the so-called Cretaceous-Tertiary (KT) extinction, which created a “hellish environment” around 65 million years ago and wiped out more than half of all species on the planet.
Scientific opinion was split over whether the extinction was caused by an asteroid or by volcanic activity in the Deccan Traps in what is now India, where there were a series of super volcanic eruptions that lasted around 1.5 million years.
The new study, conducted by scientists from Europe, the United States, Mexico, Canada and Japan and published in the journal Science, found that a 15-kilometre (9 miles) wide asteroid slamming into Earth at Chicxulub in what is now Mexico was the culprit.
The rest of the article is here.
I found a similar description (and the image above) from 6 year old, Brian Lean’s blog (well he’s probably eight by now).
Anyway, going back to tsunamis, I encountered a couple of years back a threat assessment of tsunamis and asteroid impacts, which occur about once every 6,000 years on average. Based on that 2006 article, at least 50 million people are at risk in such an event–which is roughly the number of lives who live along coastal areas.
In the image above, should a similar asteroid impact the same spot in Mexico, the colors illustrate the radial tsunamis that such an impact would generate.
Just food for thought these days.