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Comments by EvN

Go to: Classroom Clashes: Teaching evolution

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 170 by EvN

Gracious, man! Where is your sense of humour?

Please take your friend Rob's advice and cool down.

BTW: Bait and switch does not work here.

Fri, 10 Aug 2012 23:03:47 UTC | #950641

Go to: ‘How do atheists find meaning in life?’

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 199 by EvN

I don't believe people when they say they are Athiest....what I truly hear them saying is "I am mad at God".

There are only two possibilities:

  1. You are calling me a liar; or
  2. You need to get that wax out of your ears.

Fri, 10 Aug 2012 20:53:38 UTC | #950630

Go to: Classroom Clashes: Teaching evolution

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 104 by EvN

No defense I see... She's a slanderer and you're a troll.

RATFLMFAO! Oh, the irony!

Amos, I am laughing so hard that even I cannot think of an argument. Damn! So many years of law school and I am speechless! Completely stumped!

I will stop feeding it now. I suggest you do the same.

Thu, 09 Aug 2012 14:16:55 UTC | #950554

Go to: Classroom Clashes: Teaching evolution

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 84 by EvN

Troll alert.

Both larriji and YA joined 1 hour ago simply to take a swipe. I wonder if they are the same person.

Urgh. I have work to do. Toodles, dearie(s).

Thu, 09 Aug 2012 06:44:47 UTC | #950529

Go to: Religious Doctor Denies Medicine for HIV Positive Gay Man

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by EvN

It seems as if the hospital is being sued, and rightly so. Unfortunately it appears as if this "doctor" is not being sued in her personal capacity, so she will probably get off scot free in the money department.

This is a "problem" the world over. The institution/employer is usually cited, but very often the person himself/herself is not because the institution has the deep pockets. And lawyers will be lawyers :-)

I would have liked to see her being held responsible in her personal capacity. I do hope that the relevant authorities scrap her medical license completely and that she gets fired.

I do not understand the references to the police and criminal charges. Criminal charges for what crime? What am I missing?

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 05:34:00 UTC | #948481

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 182 by EvN

Comment 180 by inquisador

If choice is the issue, where are the non-Muslim women who choose to wear the burqa?

It is not the quality of the choice that is at issue. It is the fact of the choice.

(Gotta go. Cheers!)

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 18:39:47 UTC | #948288

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EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 179 by EvN

Comment 172 by xmaseveeve

I am lagging behind. Pressure of work. Please pardon an old battleaxe!

Well, I want all women to have the right to choose, but they clearly don't.

In Western democracies women DO have the right to choose. The fact that they do not make the choices you and I like, does not mean that they do not make choices.

It isn't a case of special rights for some women, but of enforcement of the rights they already have.

I have difficulty understanding this. You say they have no right to choose and then you say the right needs to be enforced?

I repeat: In Western democracies women have the right to choose. They make choices you and I do not like for reasons you and I do not like, but they do make choices.

When the right to do something removes the right of others not to do it, and that something is not necessary in a free society, that right must be sacrificed for the greater good.

I have difficulty in understanding this. Are you saying that, if rights compete, the unnecessary right needs to yield to the “greater good”? Who decides what the greater good is? What would be an “unnecessary right”?

EvN, I didn't say 'poor deluded', not once.

No, you didn’t. I did.

This is not paternalism, but the fight against patriarchy.

Again I have some trouble understanding your point. What is not paternalism? The removal of an “unnecessary right” is not paternalism? Is a woman’s right to choose her own clothing an “unnecessary right”?

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes paternalism as “the interference of a state or an individual with another person, against their will, and defended or motivated by a claim that the person interfered with will be better off or protected from harm… If it is a child then the assumption is that, other things being equal, the burden of proof is on those who resist paternalism. If it is an adult of sound mind the presumption is reversed… Any sensible view has to distinguish between good done to agents at their request or with their consent, and good thrust upon them against their will... if we conceive of the good of individuals as including items such as being respected as an independent agent, having a right to make decisions for oneself, or having one's autonomy not infringed, then the issue of whether the agent is better off after being paternalised is partly a normative matter.” Read the whole thing. It is interesting and quite within the grasp of non-philosophers like me :)

The fight against patriarchy cannot be fought by replacing the patriarch with a tyrant of a different stripe. The woman is simply under the “authority” of somebody else who, in turn, makes her decisions for her.

We have an interesting situation developing locally regarding indigenous law and custom. Suffice to say that, in indigenous law, women have to sit on the ground in a posture of submission when in a chieftain’s court. Shall we legislate that she MUST stand even if she is more comfortable and at ease sitting down? What exactly will that profit her?

There are some imams who support rights for women and surely education involves hearts and minds?

I suggest you do not depend on Imams in this regard. Of course education involves hearts and minds. Force does not change hearts and minds.

This is why I so strongly advocate limitations on basic rights only where the limitation is of general application (everyone has to comply) and justifiable on secular grounds.

Just don't cover your identity with a mask, in public.

Agreed. However, a ban for ALL public places may not be justifiable.

EvN, the rape analogy is poor. If you consent, it's not rape. Let's try assault. You can't consent to assault. How is being required by a man to cover yourself (ie face, if I must spell it out) not be a kind of assault? Threatening words or actions can also constitute assault.

LOL. The analogy involves what women SAY. It has nothing to do with consent. If they SAY no, they mean no. If they say they have made a choice, they mean that they have made a choice. We do not get to magic their words from what they actually say to something we want to hear.

There is a pressure for Muslim women (and even 'western' women) to be covered like a piece of furniture in storage for the next world. The only way to be sure that the - mental slavery - of women is voluntary, is, counter-intuitively, to ban the mask for all. Freedom of choice is being used to remove choice.

Do you mean that husbands etc remove real freedom of choice by force – direct or indirect? I agree. Shall we use the same tactics and become oppressors ourselves?

I prefer to use the tactics of consequences for choices made. No prior force involved. Judo – not boxing.

Some Muslim men are laughing up their sleeves and abusing our freedoms all the way to the paradise bank.

Agreed. So let us not use force and give them a further excuse by making unjust laws.

(Of course I am not referring to the women in theocracies who really do not have choices.)

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 18:29:11 UTC | #948285

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 170 by EvN

Comment 167 by nick Keighley

that's odd! my liberal views lead me to exactly the same conclusion. But our definition of "the same" is exactly the opposite. Just because I've stopped arguing with this thread's burka bashers doesn't mean I've chnaged my views. There is something deeply wrong going on here. Is the next stepto ban other forms of muslim female dress?Are these self-styled liberals going to allow the hair or legs or arms to be ccovered?

Of course they need to be treated the “same.” That simply means that if I cannot go into the bank with my face covered, they do not get to do it. It also means that, if I have the right to make my own decisions about my life and my dress, they do too. If their choice is to wear a burka where laws of general application allow it, they are free to do so.

They must get no quarter.

wow. What a give away.

This simply means that they get NO special treatment. If I get arrested for wearing a face covering where it is not legal to do so, they get arrested as well. No accommodationism.

They describe themselves as liberated (by the Koran of all things)

odd, I agree but they are adult human beings entitled to make their own choices.

And their right to make their own choices is exactly what I am advocating. I am vehemently opposed to the very idea of these women not being allowed to do so or being condescended at if they make choices that do not “comply” with my or your ideas of what “would be good for them.” They are adult women – not children.

I don't understand what this means but I certinly don't like the language! … sounds like oppression and bullying to me.

It means that they don’t get “off” on charges of, say face covering, when the male, white, motorcyclist does not get off for the same offence. Even handed policing is not bullying.

The strong language is a result of my personal horror of unequal treatment. I live in South Africa. I know what unequal treatment and patronising “different” people breeds.

I am going to do everything in my (very limited) power to oppose the views expressed here.

That is your choice and your right. Please make sure that you know exactly what it is that you are opposing. If you are of the opinion that women should not be allowed to make their own choices and that “we” should make if for them, we will be on opposing sides. (I do not think that is your stance.)

I actually spoke with three women today. A White Christian, a Coloured Moslem and a Black woman who defends her culture strongly. My ears are still ringing. All three chided me for even contemplating the idea that women are not “strong” enough to make their own choices and take responsibility for those choices. The Black woman insists on her fiancé’s family paying lobola (bride price). On me enquiring why she does that well knowing that it has indigenous legal repercussions which may be to her detriment, she told me to take a hike. She knows what the repercussions are and she still makes the choice to have lobola paid. All three fumed at my “cheek” to even question their ability to make informed choices.

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 15:04:44 UTC | #948272

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 159 by EvN

xmaseveeve and Vrij

Apologies. I got your names all confused. Rough night before a rough day.

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 06:17:47 UTC | #948253

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 158 by EvN

Sorry. My time is severely limited.

Comment 157 by xmaseveeve

This will not be enforced in a consistent way. The law will be seen as extreme. There will be protests, occupations, and civil unrest if Muslim women are arrested. Ever more exceptional treatment will be demanded. It won't work.

Um... Whose problem is inconsistent enforcement? The Bobbies have a job to do. Let them do it. Extreme? So what? Protests? Handle them. Civil unrest? Handle it. More exceptional treatment? Don't give it.

Simples. What I would do, is to get a lot of bikers protesting - that will level the playing field!

Vrij, principles come at a price. Pay up.

Imams would have to attend lectures on women's rights and the rule of law.

Why? This is not about the Imam. It is about equal treatment. I bet you they know everything about Human Rights and the rule of law in any case. Bugger the Imam and his cat!

By the way - this is about equal rights - not women's rights. What does "women's rights" in this context even mean? Do women have special rights men do not have? Do you want to give these "poor deluded" women special rights other women do not have?

Too much focus has been on women who choose the burka. Let's give the default position to the victims.

On what grounds do you want to change the default position? In Western democracies the default position is that women are free - as free as men to make teir own choices. Do we change an accepted and legally sound default position just because we think Moslem women are too stupid to make their own choices? Crikey! There goes "women's rights" to be viewed and treated as full human beings out the window!

Society is turning its back on Muslim women for political correctness and fobbing itself off with a misplaced idea about freedom.

What is misplaced about the idea that womenn are adults that make their own choices and can live with the consequences of their actions?

Hiding your face because you are female means you are not a person, but property. In this case, choice comes at too high a price.

Says you? You decide on behalf of these women what price they are willing to pay?

I m not prepared to chuck 30 years' hard work to get equal treatment in the dustbin and patronise a different group of women just because I do not like what they do to themselves! I did not work to replace male tyrrany with a tyrrany of a different kind.

We didn't keep slavery because some of them thought the masters were good to them, and sang in the cottonfields. We banned it for the vast majority who had no choice.

No.We abolished slavery because people are human and have equal rights. Some did go back to their masters, just like some of these women do. A small group of free people choose slavery, as distasteful as this may be. I do not get to tell slaves that prefer slavery that they have no right to do so! The I can just as well tell people who like a spot of rough sex that they are not allowed to like it because I think it is not good for them.

Quick comment: Men do not get to change a "no" to a "yes" just because the woman "did not really mean no" or that "she did not know her own mind". You and I do not get to change a woman's clear statement of choice to something different because what she says does not fit with our agenda.

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 06:02:41 UTC | #948251

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 120 by EvN

Comment 115 by xmaseveeve

Okay, I admit that was a low nit-pick about the suicide bomb! But I wouldn't want to be in London during the Olympics.

LOL!

Xmasveeve, I am on my way to a client on an extended job, so please pardon me for only making my main points and if I do not reply promptly.

The thrust of my argument is that these women should be treated exactly like anybody else. They must get no quarter. They describe themselves as liberated (by the Koran of all things) so force them to be liberated by simply manoeuvring them into a corner. They say that this is a choice, so let them put their money where their mouths are.

Treat them in exactly the same way that we treat others.Legally, fairly and relentlessly.

EvN, I don't know the situation in South Africa, but are you saying that women in burkas should have to walk around with a map and not enter any areas which have cctv? They would become like the neighbourhood drunks who are banned from city centres. Police would have to arrest women who stepped into the wrong street? Worst of all, this would vary in different towns, according to local regulations and level of misogyny or islamophobia among the local police? It's unworkable, unjust and insane. Vive la France!

Exactly. If that is what is required from other people, let it be required of them too. (I am not commenting on CCTV – it is about equal treatment).

Let the law apply to everybody. The moment that their “choice” bites them in the backside, their attitude will change. The moment hubby has to do the clothes shopping, his attitude wil change as well.

Strong medicine. We want to make an omelette? Let's break some eggs.

Wed, 27 Jun 2012 08:46:16 UTC | #948183

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 114 by EvN

Comment 88 by xmaseveeve

There is no justification for telling women what to wear and what not to wear, even if the garments are symbols of oppression.

(What? Even if it's a suicide bomb?)

Oh, come on!

Vrij is right. Loud and clear, a burka says 'keep out'.

So? If that is the woman’s message, why may she not send it? Are we censoring these women as well as telling them what they may wear?

If a woman chooses to wear a full face veil, she should accept the consequences.

That's a very big 'if'. How would we know?

Is it any of our business?

Wouldn't it be easier just to have the same law for everyone, and say that, in a free country, to protect the freedoms of others, you must not deliberately and unnecessarily hide your face in public?

That is exactly what I am advocating. Where necessary (eg CCTV areas if the local law requires it), show your face. Where not necessary, wear as many bin bags as you wish. You are even free to top it off with a flower pot. But you will have NO defence on religious grounds as the law is appliccable to all.

Only then can we have an inkling of who actually makes the choice freely.

Wed, 27 Jun 2012 06:33:00 UTC | #948177

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 85 by EvN

Comment 82 by VrijVlinder

Why is it that the only women we hear from are those who do not cover their entire face? That is suspicious to me.

The woman referred to in the article I linked to clearly made the choice. I suspect some confirmation bias, Vrij. My sister, who lives in the Middle East has confirmed to me that the women working with her, clearly say that they choose to wear a veil.

I am not prepared to view all Moslem women as liars simply because they say that they have made a choice I do not agree with.

Why on earth would we be willing to accept it in our own countries then?

We are not. We are giving them a real choice. And, by the way, the UK and the US and SA etc ARE their "own countries."

I may not be able to change how things are in their country of Origin or where this practice originated but I will surely do all I can to keep it from becoming acceptable in my society.

What I am asking you is to respect these women and realise that they can and do make choices for themselves. They are women - not children. I worked too long and too hard for women to be able to make their own mistakes on their own terms and not to be subject to the decisions of others to treat these women as if they were incapable of running their own lives. This simply perpetuates the problem. It does not solve it.

What would you do if the woman under the Bur-qua was only a girl. A minor. I would expect that to be considered abuse of a child and the authorities would get involved no?

Let’s fight this together, but not by confirming that girl’s perception that she is too stupid to, eventually, make a choice for herself.

Comment 84 by Red Dog

Because our countries have something Incredibly important and rare in the history of the world, freedom.

Yes! We even have the freedom to do incredibly stupid things like living in a sack.

Tue, 26 Jun 2012 22:25:36 UTC | #948144

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 76 by EvN

Hello, Red Dog.

Comment 73 by Red Dog

Well, not completely i still think such laws are mostly pointless (already covered by existing laws, you can't take a passport photo with a Burqa)…

Precisely. We have the same situation as with FGM. Current legislation is quite adequate, but for “political” reasons it is not applied. (Granted, here and there we may need to adjust.)

But from what I've read most people that want to ban the Burqa really want to do it out of concern for women's rights and they use security as the excuse for it.

Doing the right thing for the wrong reason is as bad as doing the wrong thing for the right reason. If the reasons for legislation are not sound, secular reasons, the law is doomed and one loses the moral high ground – exactly what some of these people want. It is grist for their mill.

Comment 75 by Ignorant Amos

Tramping over the rights of those eejits that wear the 'cultural' item of clothing willingly in order to avail those that are under duress of their rights. Very difficult indeed.

Yes. Some of these women are “lost” already. We need to weep for them, but expend our energy where it will have positive results - work on the little ones.

Could culture be changed by banning the bloody thing? Could an unsavoury approach to the subject today mean more freedom for some women tomorrow?

Some legislation can certainly help the process along, but culture lives in the hearts and minds of people and cannot be changed by fiat.

Locally, legislation helped to change the conduct of hard-core racists. They are still hard-core racists and only moderate their actions as a result of fear. I am fine with that as the next generation emulates the non-racist conduct and the culture is changing. But in this case, the legislation itself cannot be faulted. The legislation itself is not racist.

We certainly legislate on dress code for such things as health and safety reasons elsewhere....oft times against the wishes of individuals.

Again, the legislation has a reasonable secular basis – it does not violate the principles of human rights and equitable treatment of all.

I think that culture changes quickly when adhering to it becomes damned uncomfortable and carries risks. Currently these women have it easy. (I am referring to those that trumpet their “choice.”) They have no reason to want change. Make the status quo uncomfortable by way of absolutely reasonable and equitable rules that apply to everyone and, I think, change will be rapid. Women, in particular, are great drivers for change if they have an incentive.

Perhaps we have somebody more knowledgeable regarding the drivers of cultural change in the vicinity?

Tue, 26 Jun 2012 15:32:41 UTC | #948121

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 71 by EvN

@ Vrij

I think you and I agree on most everything except the “solution.” Apart from cases where a woman (any person, actually) cannot, legally, make her own choices, I think that making choices on behalf of other people is the very opposite of freedom – the very thing we wish for these women.

We do have legislation and regulations in place. As an example, reckless or negligent driving encompasses cases where the driver wilfully obscured his/her own vision. It is per se negligent to drive with a veil that limits vision. If a woman then causes an accident or even the death of another person (gods forbid) as a result of wearing a veil, we should not make an exception for her – we need to hold her responsible for her choices and send her to jail if needs be. This is what equality means.

If veiled, you do not get on a train. If veiled, you do not get to drive. If veiled, you do not enter the bank. If veiled, you do not go through customs. You made your choice.

The problem is not that we do not have regulations. The problem is that “we” accommodate these people because we are oh so politically correct.

@ Amos

Stockholm syndrome? Certainly. Do we have great sympathy for the victims? Certainly. Is this a tragedy? Yes.

What must we, as a community, do about it? We should have places and spaces available to help these women. But, again. If they do not seek help, our hands are tied. We may not force help on them.

I suspect that this is not the problem with many of the women in the West. I suspect that they want their cake and eat it and laugh at the gullible “Westerners” in the process.

Tue, 26 Jun 2012 11:50:04 UTC | #948109

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 67 by EvN

Vrij

Let's not get hung up in your personal stuff.

My point is this: You and I cannot drag these women kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. They need to do it for themselves (I refer to the veiled women in the West - not those who really have no choices).

They have no incentive to free themselves while you and I give them sympathy, special treatment, and generally protect them from the repercussions of the choices they supposedly freely make.

They have NO claim to special treatment whatsoever.

This goes further than simply making choices for themselves. They wish to impose their choices on me. When I have to communicate with someone directly (in court, on the street, at school, university etc.), I use several tools. This includes speech, but importantly, it includes noting facial expressions, body language etc. I communicate with the "whole" person - not just the voice and I LOOK at the person and respond to their expressions and the way they hold their bodies, I LISTEN the tone of their voices etc.

(Somebody with more knowledge than I regarding effective communication must pitch in here, please.)

These selfish and spoilt little girls demand of ME that I "go blind" and “partially deaf” when I need to communicate with them. They demand that I pack up most all of my tools of communication to suit them.

Nope.

Tue, 26 Jun 2012 10:07:42 UTC | #948103

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 62 by EvN

Vrij I am so very, very sorry.

In California the law required a battered woman to file charges personally against the man in order to proceed with anything. You might imagine that carrying that burden seems quite difficult in dangerous conditions. I got convinced by a crying pleading boyfriend to drop the charges twice…The third time the Law had changed and now it was the state who went after the batterer regardless of what the woman did to try to stop it.

It was YOUR choice to be bamboozled by a crying douchebag. YOU made the choice. Freely. It is not my job to prevent you from freely exercising your freedom of choice. That would be tantamount to removing your freedoms and imposing on you MY choices. I can assist you. I can try to persuade you. I can make alternative accommodation available. I can make counselling available etc etc. The state can assist and kick your sorry butt, but I MAY NOT deprive you of your choice.

Freedom is a scary thing!

(The State/People/Prosecutor had the right to prosecute even if you did try to stop them, by the way. The requirement that the victim lay charges herself is and was not a legal requirement. It was a “requirement” set up by the police and prosecutors because they did not want to get “involved in domestic disputes.” But that is by the by.)

I can easily understand how they would want to continue to be under that kind of oppression it must be the same feel the same as being a battered woman. You just don't think you are good enough for anyone else anymore. Damaged goods...

I do understand. But, who made the ultimate choice to get out? You did. Not the state. Not your parents. Not your friends. Not the courts. YOU did after you realised the consequences of your foolish choices.

Did you go around and extoll the virtues of being battered on public platforms? I am certain you did not. That is what these women are doing. I remember when the marital power of women was being done away with locally. Some women protested and said that it “protected” them. The only thing it protected them FROM was taking responsibility for the choices they made. It protected them from growing up. When the first cases of women being held responsible for their choices hit the headlines and the courts, these “submissive” women took note and changed their tune rather quickly. If your house is repossessed from under your ass because you gave hubby carte blanche with the finances, while you had the right to intervene, do not blame me. Blame yourself.

This is what needs to happen with veiling women – they need to understand the repercussions of their free choice. They do NOT need to be coddled and protected and treated as if they were "Daddy's special little girls" They are not special. They are foolish and need to be treated as such.

I repeat: Freedom is a scary thing and being foolish has consequences.

Tue, 26 Jun 2012 08:47:12 UTC | #948098

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 59 by EvN

@ all

There is no justification for telling women what to wear and what not to wear, even if the garments are symbols of oppression. Take the example of a battered wife. She should not return to her abusive husband, but if she freely chooses to do so, we cannot and should not force her not to (even if it makes us hurl with upset).

If a woman chooses to wear a full face veil, she should accept the consequences. This is a perfect example.

Maroon Rafique, 40, was told that for the security and safety of children and teachers at the college there was a ban on any type of face coverings…She was warned that unless she removed her full-face covering, known as the niqab, she would not be allowed into the college to attend.

Perfect response. I care not a whit for the woman’s "humiliation." This is no humiliation. She had a choice to make. Remove the veil and attend the parents’ evening or get out. This woman decided that her face veil was more important than her child's academic progress. No sympathy from me.

I have the vote. It means I cannot hide behind my petticoats and demand special treatment. I wish to be treated exactly in the same manner as other people (men) are treated. Moslem women cannot hide behind their face veils (in the West) and demand special treatment.

In March, a Muslim woman was barred from serving on a jury because she refused to remove her niqab…The judge said she could not sit on an attempted murder trial because the niqab concealed her facial expressions.

Exactly right. If I cannot see the face of a witness, for example, I cannot cross examine the witness. I cannot even ascertain whether the witness is who she says she is. The safety of the community, the credibility of courts, security on campus, the ability to see properly behind the wheel of a car etc. trumps a woman’s right to choose her attire freely. It trumps any person’s right to choose his/her attire freely (hoodies, helmets etc.).

Where these factors do not come into play, she can wear ten niqabs for all I care and she can enjoy her psychological coping mechanism to the fullest (if that is what it is). I do not go around on tip toes because somebody I may encounter just might have one of a myriad of psychological problems. These women need to take responsibility for themselves.

The danger is, as per usual, that political correctness and issues of “racism” and all sorts of other nonsense dominate the discussion.

(Snarky side note: I have just realised why a woman's testimony is worth only half of that of a male - it is because the court cannot judge their demeanour.)

Tue, 26 Jun 2012 06:54:04 UTC | #948094

Go to: Moral compass: a guide to religious freedom

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by EvN

…It should not, however, impose a ban on those who have chosen to wear the burqa. Some suggest that burqas cause harm because they may pose security problems, or be incompatible with the needs of particular jobs. Such practical problems can usually be solved on a case-by-case basis without the need for draconian legislation.

Nonsense. These practical problems cannot be solved in an impractical manner. How on earth does one solve such problems on a case-to-case basis? Run to court in every case? In Common Law jurisdictions the law and precedent beds down the principles and in Civil Law jurisdictions the text of the law does the job. The “cases” all need to be evaluated according to the same law for different people.

I am also not aware that any of the legislation can be described as “draconian.” What is draconian about expecting people not to hide their identities in public or to ban garments that obscure sight when other people’s lives may depend on unhindered sight?

Whatever one’s beliefs, there should be complete freedom to express them, short of inciting violence or other forms of physical harm to others.

Only physical harm? I wonder what would happen to my business if my sales staff wear their pentacles and other supposedly “satanic” symbols when they visit my clients? My staff are welcome to their religious freedoms – not on my time and not on my dime.

I will certainly not allow a woman covered in a burqa in my office. I am not discriminating on the basis of race or religion. I need to see who I am dealing with in order to prevent harm to myself and my business. I really, really do not want to explain to a court why I cannot identify my own client. I also do not allow hoodies that obscure faces in my office.

Comment 6 by Jos Gibbons

Whenever the gays vs Christian B&B issue comes up, someone claims legally companies can have, for example, no-blacks policies. I bet there’s a lawyer on this forum; could someone who actually knows the law (state in which country, please) say what the situation really is? Of course, Malik may be referring to what should be disallowed in a secular state.

In South Africa, a company may not discriminate on the basis of skin colour or sexual orientation for any reason (legitimate affirmative action on basis of skin colour excluded). We have had such cases and the companies lost every single case in the courts.

I understand that this is the case in just about all Common Law and “modern” Civil Law jurisdictions and even more so in countries with written constitutions.

@ xmaseveeve and Vrij

I am getting more and more irritated by the burqa-wearing women in Western societies being seen as victims. They are often portrayed as downtrodden and indoctrinated etc.etc. by Western women. However, they themselves state clearly that they choose to wear the burqa. Let’s take them at their word and require of them everything that we require of other women who make their own choices. If they want to drive a car, let them be subject to exactly the same requirement regarding unobscured vision. If they want to pick up their children at school, let them identify themselves properly as all other parents must do. If they then want to retire to their houses in misery as they made a silly choice, let them bloody well do so.

I am sick of these women, who help to perpetuate discrimination against ALL women, having their cake and eating it.

What do you think?

Mon, 25 Jun 2012 18:10:05 UTC | #948049

Go to: Stop female genital mutilation in the UK! - Avaaz.org petition

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 73 by EvN

@ EkizabethN, Ignorant Amos and Hungarian Elephant

Sorry, I did not notice the new posts earlier. Let me try to address ElizabethN’s concerns like this (prosecutor’s hat on):

  1. Does the child need to testify? No. It is just like the corpse in a murder trial. The fact of the assault is proven with photographs and by forensic specialists. Frankly, the further you keep the child away from court, the better for the child and certainly for the case. Putting such a child through trial testimony is monumentally stupid unless the child is indeed eager to testify, old enough and can give other useful information (eg who the cutter is). The child’s reluctance to testify is irrelevant to the legal process. Res ipsa loquitur.

  2. How is the lack of consent proven? Consent cannot be given for assault except in a small number of circumstances like medical intervention. The principle is that consent cannot make an illegal act legal. With small children, who cannot give consent in any event, the question does not come up. There is nothing to be inferred. Also remember, assault is a crime against the State – not only against a person. It involves more entities that just the particular people.

  3. Can the parents give consent? No. Parents cannot legally give consent for their children to be assaulted. (Do not confuse consent to assault with assumption of risk – rugby games – even then, the assumption of risk does not include consent to be assaulted outside of the rules of the game – but this is technical stuff ;-))

  4. What happens when the Courts are expected to impose particular religious upbringing on a child? Nothing. Parents cannot give consent to the assault of a child. See for example the cases (in Australia) where parents let their children die in faith healing cases. An adult can decide (consent) to die, but a child cannot and parents can certainly not consent for their children to die on religious grounds .

  5. What supporting evidence do you need? It depends on the case, but usually very little. Res ipsa loquitur.

  6. How do you find the real perpetrators – the cutters? This is a problem for the Police. Let them do their jobs. If they can find evidence that the parent took the child to the cutter, then the parent is guilty on the basis of being a co-perpetrator. If not, the parents will, at least, be guilty of child neglect. Remember, the burden of proof shifts during a trial like a pair of scales goes up and down as the evidence is piled up on the different sides. In some cases, the accused has a duty to rebut the evidence and negate the factual inferences that can be made.

  7. What happens when the FGM is done for medical reasons? Then, at the very least, one would have medical records etc. to indicate that. This is a defence, but I have difficulty in understanding your argument that consent would have to be negated for prosecution. If the FGM was for medical reasons, it was not illegal and would very possibly not be prosecuted. I do not get your point.

  8. Who made the complaints? I do not know and it is often irrelevant to the case itself. In many cases, criminal acts are reported by unknown people – the Police get an anonymous tip and investigate. It is certainly incumbent on teachers, medical professionals etc to report suspected cases of child abuse in accordance with the law of the particular jurisdiction.

In short, prosecuting this is technically as easy as falling off a log. The investigation itself may be difficult, but hey, what are the cops for? You cannot tell me that the investigations failed in ALL the reported cases.

I concur with not so Ignorant Amos and the Hungarian Elephant.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 18:09:47 UTC | #947089

Go to: Classroom Clashes: Teaching evolution

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 68 by EvN

Let me just add that the deconversion process is not easy. Emotionally it is very, very difficult.

When you take the pacifier away from Baby, Baby is not happy!

Sun, 10 Jun 2012 08:31:17 UTC | #946701

Go to: Classroom Clashes: Teaching evolution

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 67 by EvN

Comment 61 by Sue Blue

+1

@ Julie and Steve

I did not even for one moment doubt that Richard was talking about the university student and not a child at school.

However, the child referred to in the article was in the eight grade – approximately 15 years of age. Even at 15 I would expect a child, at least, to start questioning the parents’ teaching. What are teenage years for if not for questioning and rebelling and learning how to make independent decisions?

In Comment 11 I asked if there is a fundamental difference between these scenarios and a child being taught about Constitutional rights regarding equality for women and people of colour. In many homes children are indeed taught that women should be subservient and that people of colour are in some way “defective.” Do these “emotional scenes” also occur in the Civics class? Do children also burst out in tears because equality goes “against everything she (the student) believed”? I think not.

I am very sceptical about the “emotional scenes” described. My inclination is to believe these scenes are manufactured by the parents and churches and, in that context, I have great sympathy for a child and will never be harsh.

At university level, my sympathy for tears and emotional scenes regarding the content of the curriculum evaporates. If students want to bawl about the curriculum, they are obviously in the wrong place and need to leave or get a grip very quickly.

Comment 66 by Steve Zara

Why do I have sympathy? Because I have to confess that I was in a similar position regarding scientific facts that challenged my precious beliefs… It was so upsetting that I cherry-picked scientific and philosophical views to try and keep hold of my beliefs, and when this sometimes failed, I fell into depression. In the end, science and reason won, and I happily accept reality as it is, not as I wish it to be. But I know that this acceptance can be hard. Very hard. And so, having been a weedy fool for so long (and I do accept that description!), I can empathise.

Oh, yes. I was there as well. Peace, love and pink, fluffy universal consciousness and “agnosticism” and all the rest – all to my detriment, the detriment of my children and my community. Thank goodness that my worldview was challenged and my butt thoroughly kicked by people with no sympathy for foolishness whatsoever.

Sun, 10 Jun 2012 07:54:46 UTC | #946699

Go to: Nobel laureate joins anti-vaccination crowd at Autism One

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by EvN

Comment 51 by Red Dog

That's not what I'm talking about. I live in the US as well and my daughter also got vaccinated. My point wasn't about vaccination but about what happens to a non-wealthy family in the US when a family member gets a disease such as autism.

This is a tragedy and these people have my complete support. In addition to my dad having had polio, I raised two children with mild neurological problems. I will never mock them as I, to some very small extent, understand what they are facing. The fact that I am atheist, makes me even MORE empathetic towards them as I do not have the luxury of saying that "it is god's will" and turning my back.

I refer to the middle class parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated DESPITE having good information - them I will more than just call names as they are irresponsible regarding their own children and have no compunction about putting my children at risk.

They want to drink water from the communal well, but do not want to take their turn at the pump. They are deserving of scorn.

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 05:14:23 UTC | #946266

Go to: Classroom Clashes: Teaching evolution

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by EvN

Comment 45 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Wait, I thought Richard was referring to the story about the 8th grader. I really couldn't care less if anybody makes the same comments about college students, but I have a problem with adults calling KIDS names. That's the beginning and the end of it. Nothing to do with sex or even the fact that she was crying.

I read this as Richard referring to a college student.

In any event, the misunderstanding is sorted.

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 04:51:59 UTC | #946264

Go to: Spanish artist faces prison over 'how to cook Christ' film

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by EvN

The RCC has made a big deal of statutes of limitation to prevent prosecution of their disgusting priests. Perhaps this can be used agains them in this case?

I immediately concede that a tecnical knock-out will not be satisfactory for us, but Mr Krahe may possibly benefit.

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 16:44:33 UTC | #946165

Go to: Stop female genital mutilation in the UK! - Avaaz.org petition

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 63 by EvN

Comment 62 by aquilacane

Stop all genital mutilation

Now for a further nauseating bit:

The legislation is very specific and, in particular, sex-specific. ONLY girls are covered. Assault under the Common Law is not sex- or age specific and covers men, men, women, boys, girls, old people, young people – ALL victims.

Prosecution under the Common Law means that a nice history of precedent can be built up regarding the mutilation of CHILDREN’s genitals, potentially also covering circumcision of boys.

However, prosecution under the legislation cannot serve as precedent under the Common Law regarding male victims as it specifically only covers female victims.

Any guesses as to the second reason WHY “special legislation” was enacted and the government stressing the oh so “special” measures that have been taken?

You can fool some of the people some of the time ...

A fund for children to sue their parents for genital mutilation would be a great way to scare the crap out of them.

Ah yes! But it will not cover boys at all because hacking off boys' foreskins is not illegal thanks to the "special legislation" made only for girls.

But yes, that is a great idea.

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 16:27:55 UTC | #946162

Go to: Classroom Clashes: Teaching evolution

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by EvN

Comment 34 by blitz442

Agreed. I would also note that people who are defending the student would probably not do so if the student was male. This mollycoddling and circling of the wagons around overly sensitive females is just another form of sexism that ultimately harms women.

I did not even want to address the issue of her sex, but you are right.

I worked too hard for too many years to be taken seriously as a responsible adult and not an "emotional female" to have weedy little fools like this torpedo my efforts and the efforts of millions of other women.

This student would certainly not have lasted a week in one of my classes. After the first time, I would have brought a bucket from home for her to weep in.

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 15:06:08 UTC | #946153

Go to: Classroom Clashes: Teaching evolution

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by EvN

Julie, Richard was speaking about a UNIVERSITY STUDENT - not a "kid" or "child."

You don't know if something else is going on in her life that causes her to get emotional at the drop of a hat.

So any student that had a bad day is welcome to start bawling in class over a disagreement about the academic material?

Nonsense.

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 14:26:33 UTC | #946145

Go to: Classroom Clashes: Teaching evolution

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by EvN

Comment 25 by Richard Dawkins

Anger at the girl herself for being so weedy. ... All I did was lay out the facts of evolution and the evidence for it, in unemotional, scientific terms. And that was enough to make the little fool cry.

"Weedy little fool." I am borrowing that!

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 12:09:52 UTC | #946112

Go to: South Korea surrenders to creationist demands

EvN's Avatar Jump to comment 65 by EvN

LOL! I also love your name.

Please let us know what your colleagues think about this.

Thu, 07 Jun 2012 09:55:11 UTC | #946089