Unbelievable!

I am appalled at Mike Huckabee’s statement on Sandy Hook Elementary that lack of god in school  caused the shooting and then clarifying that it was regarding the atmosphere. How about adding Zeus to the school prayers, may be the shooter would be thunderstruck instead of “calmed” due to the atmosphere. It shows utter lack of understanding of the issue and Huckabee is trying to obfuscate by changing the discussion from guns to religion. The focus needs to be on gun control and doing what we should have been doing on mental health. We do not hear these kinds of school shooting etc as often in other countries. The other countries do not make it as easy to kill – and that is important. The NRA and those in their employ – like our esteemed congressmen and senators keep saying that it is not the guns that kills people, its the people. But guns make it easier to kill, and access to that needs to be regulated. We have been doing NRA way of doing things all these years, lets try something different. Stop the people from pulling triggers by stopping the access to guns! Help those who need to be helped on Mental Health.

 

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Climate Change requires a more impact-ful phrase

Global Warming was evocative and conveyed the idea of warming of the planet due to Green House gases. It also projected a situation where the earth was being cooked. Unfortunately while the warming is the cause of the climate change, the effect is different in different locations, with more snowfall or rain and cold in some areas causing the knuckleheads to declare that there is no such thing as “Global Warming”.  The phrase Climate Change doesn’t have the same evocative kick to it. I propose that we try some other phrases to convey detrimental human impact to the climate. Here are a few of my choices. Just like “Global Warming” and “Climate Change”, I believe the phrase needs to be either 2 or 3 words, preferably two.

  • Climate Decay – This one is more evocative than Climate Change. One of the definition of decay is “a gradual falling into an inferior condition; progressive decline”. That very succinctly describes the worsening of the climate that is happening. The only detraction from the phrase would be the “animalification” (yes a made up word that for me means projecting animal characteristics on inanimate) of climate. Also it doesn’t convey human agency, and makes it sound more like a naturally occurring process which it is not.
  • Climate Contusion: Evokes human bluntness on climate – a strong impact in a short period, also is an alliteration which adds to the charm.
  • Climate Distress: Evokes the pain of human footprint on the climate.
  • Climate Mutilation: Shows the aggressiveness of the human impact on the climate.
  • Climate Abuse: This might be the best off all.

It is important to recapture the human imagination as to the situation of Climate change, and a name change might be the best way to go about starting that. What would be your best way to do that?

Faith based agencies closing adoptions to fight back against Civil Union Act.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act , and it will go into effect June 1.

This has brought about brouhaha from the faith based agencies and to fight back against the act, they are threatening to close adoption services. I felt that kind of absurd thinking required a cartoon treatment. And here it is for your pleasure, my first cartoon..

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Being an Atheist improves your brain

One advantage of many during my journey understanding Atheism is learning a host of brand new words. This blog is some what a tongue in cheek allusion to the perception of Atheists being elitist, but it is quite true that you would learn words that you won’t normally see otherwise. Some of these words were found while reading up about Atheism. A significant number of the atheist authors that I read are scientists in some respect and their words describe scientific properties and methodology.

It is fascinating as to how your language changes based on your world view. Just as we have heard the Inuits having 50+ odd words for ice, the language cannot be independent of the culture and location where it is spoken. So the new words that you learn show the realm you are stepping into.Here are few samples from words that I looked up with relevant meanings from dictionary.com. I may have more blogs about the words as I find them.

  • Anisotropic
    • –adjective
      1. Physics . of unequal physical properties along different axes.Compare isotropic ( def. 1 ) .
      2. Botany . of different dimensions along different axes
  • Auteur
    • a filmmaker whose individual style and complete control over allelements of production give a film its personal and unique stamp
    • –adjective
      1. Physics . of equal physical properties along all axes. Compare anisotropic ( def. 1 ) .
      2. Zoology . lacking axes that are predetermined, as in some eggs.
  • Epistemology
    • –noun
      a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge.
  • Eschatology
    • –noun Theology .
      1. any system of doctrines concerning last, or final, matters, as death, the Judgment, the future state, etc.
      2. the branch of theology dealing with such matters.
  • Screed
    • –noun
      1. a long discourse or essay, especially a diatribe.
      2. an informal letter, account, or other piece of writing.
  • Ineffable
    • –adjective
      1. incapable of being expressed or described in words;inexpressible: ineffable joy.
      2. not to be spoken because of its sacredness; unutterable: the ineffable name of the deity.

Caravaka

Caravaka a.k.a Carvaka

I thought I would start this blog with something about myself and regarding the title Caravaka which is also know as Carvaka.I am a Secular Humanist: Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. I came to Humanism when I figured that I was an Atheist (so is everybody in this world, they just don’t know it yet). I am a member of American Humanist Association.Here is a bit of my back story. My heritage is Hindu – specifically Gowda Saraswath Brahmin (GSB). While religion has been important part of my life, I had been brought up to think critically and always had questions regarding why we are doing certain rituals, why do we have to have a god etc. The turning point for me was when I read the book The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. I was browsing in the local library (around 2009-2010 don’t remember exactly) when I came across this book and was stunned to have a book with that title. I just had to read it. My life, my world view, has improved quite a bit since then, it’s a feeling of having shackles removed. I believe that I am a moral, ethical person and religion / god is not necessary to be moral. I see that religion quite often gets in the way of being moral and ethical.

Today (when I first posted, it was May 11) I read about Carvaka. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that the philosophy existed that long back in India. Since I had been searching for a title for my blog, and considering my heritage, I thought that the name Caravaka would be appropriate.

I have to admit that I have not actually steeped myself in Carvaka philosophy, other than knowing the tag line “a system of Indian philosophy that assumes various forms of philosophical skepticism and religious indifference”. It is quite feasible that the chosen blog title would bite me in the behind at some point. I would always like to be considered a Humanist and not a defender of Carvaka philosophy.

These are again the main items I saw in the philosophy – Again, while I am not supporting them, I do not have any quarrel with them either. They seem to have parallels to current Humanism.

No life after death – The Carvaka believed there was no afterlife, no life after death
Naturalism – The Carvaka believed in a form of naturalism, that is that all things happen by nature, and come from nature (not from any deity or Supreme Being).
Sensual indulgence – Unlike many of the Indian philosophies of the time, the Carvaka believed there was nothing wrong with sensual indulgence, and that it was the only enjoyment to be pursued. (This is the one I have some what of ambivalence on since it can easily be spun negatively)
Religion is invented by man – The Carvaka believed that religion was invented and made up by men, having no divine authority.

I was inspired to start this blog by the Friendly Atheist: Hemant Mehta especially after reading his reddit Q&A and also reading Justin Griffith. I believe they are amazing and brave human beings and support them in what they are doing.

FYI – I started out on Blogger, but moved to WordPress after the site crashed and wouldn’t let me back in.