Death with Dignity

Death with Dignity

This Friday the Supreme Court of Canada will rule on assisted suicide. If the decision goes the way it should, and is predicted, we will FINALLY see a bit of progress on our torturous and immoral treatment of the terminally ill and suffering. The next step is to recognize the basic and fundamental human right to decide how and when we die, even when we are perfectly healthy. My life is my own and NOBODY will be allowed to make decisions around my existence unless I have allocated that responsibility of my own free will. I for one will take care of it myself when I decide I have lived all I can live, given all I can give, loved all I can love and when I decide that my life is complete.

“For the first time, the Canadian Medical Association is acknowledging that helping a suffering patient die may be a doctor’s most humane option.”

“The organization’s updated and recently approved policy on euthanasia and assisted death comes as the powerful doctors’ lobby prepares for a possible lifting of the federal ban on assisted suicide when the Supreme Court of Canada releases its historic ruling Friday morning in Ottawa.”

#death   #assistedsuicide   #deathwithdignity   #freewill   #morality  

http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Canadian+Medical+Association+says+assisted+suicide+humane/10787749/story.html

Science Beyond Materialism

Science Beyond Materialism

For anyone who is dogmatically aligned with the ideology of scientific materialism (the only reality is matter and everything is reducible to matter), you have not been a very good “scientist” since you are biased towards a single ideology at the expense, and exclusion, of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. 

“Faith in this ideology, as an exclusive explanatory framework for reality, has compelled scientists to neglect the subjective dimension of human experience. This has led to a severely distorted and impoverished understanding of ourselves and our place in nature.”

Such a bias towards scientific materialism is contrary to the principles of “good science”.

“Science is first and foremost a non-dogmatic, open-minded method of acquiring knowledge about nature through the observation, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. Its methodology is not synonymous with materialism and should not be committed to any particular beliefs, dogmas, or ideologies.”

If you are a scientist who supports a genuine, honest and “non-dogmatic, open-minded method of acquiring knowledge”, please consider signing this Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science

If we expect to ever truly expand our understanding of the universe and our place in it, if we ever hope to get to some sort of understanding around human consciousness, we MUST move towards a post-materialist paradigm.

“”The post-materialist paradigm has far-reaching implications. It fundamentally alters the vision we have of ourselves, giving us back our dignity and power, as humans and as scientists. This paradigm fosters positive values such as compassion, respect, and peace. By emphasizing a deep connection between ourselves and nature at large, the post-materialist paradigm also promotes environmental awareness and the preservation of our biosphere. In addition, it is not new, but only forgotten for four hundred years, that a lived transmaterial understanding may be the cornerstone of health and wellness, as it has been held and preserved in ancient mind-body-spirit practices, religious traditions, and contemplative approaches.”

#scientificmethod   #materialism   #scientificmaterialism   #metaphysical   #consciousness  

http://opensciences.org/about/manifesto-for-a-post-materialist-science

How Philosophers Think

How Philosophers Think

Should some topics be out of bounds for rational discussion? 

Yesterday I posted something about poor Richard Dawkins and how he has been attacked on social-media lately about some thought experiments he tweeted which got some people going. Well if you want some insight into philosophical thought, and of course it’s profound and practical value in spite of what Neil deGrasse Tyson might say, check out Dawkin’s response to the outrage over some of those thought experiments. I think he handled it well, and made perfectly sound and rational arguments about the problem with mixing emotions and logic. And as you read this, and you read the topics he choose for those thought experiments, consider your own reactions and thoughts.

“There are those whose love of reason allows them to enter such disagreeable hypothetical worlds and see where the discussion might lead. And there are those whose emotions prevent them from going anywhere near the conversation. Some of these will vilify and hurl vicious insults at anybody who is prepared to discuss such matters. Some will pursue active witch-hunts against moral philosophers for daring to consider obnoxious hypothetical thought experiments.”

Dawkins also shows a bit of why there are aspects of his thinking, his commitment to rational thought, that I do admire. Now if only he could point that sharp, rational & philosophical acumen on his own blind dismissal and judgement of metaphysical or spiritual aspects of humanity!

#philosophy   #moralphilosophy   #richarddawkins  

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/richard-dawkins/richard-dawkins-rape-tweets_b_5633885.html

How to Argue Effectively

How to Argue Effectively

Although I have always disagreed with Dennett’s views on consciousness (wrote a graduate paper once critiquing his view and titled it “Consciousness UN-Explained”), he is still an exceptional philosopher and is bang-on with these simple suggestions for critical commentary – especially for online commenting.

How to compose a successful critical commentary:

1: You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

2: You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

3: You should mention anything you have learned from your target.

4: Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

#criticalthinking #danieldennett #philosophy  

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/03/28/daniel-dennett-rapoport-rules-criticism/?fb_action_ids=10152608456821103&fb_action_types=og.likes

Developing Moral Wisdom

Developing Moral Wisdom

Exceptional article on the psychological concepts of categorization and framing, and how these relate to the development of practical moral reasoning skills and wisdom. Basically an overview of Practical Wisdom by Barry Schwartz

“Practical wisdom demands more than the skill to be perceptive about others. It also demands the capacity to perceive oneself—to assess what our own motives are, to admit our failures, to figure out what has worked or not and why… Such self-reflection is not always so easy when … we feel we’ve been wronged. And it’s also difficult when we’ve been wrong — thoughtless, careless, too self-interested. Being able to criticize our own certainties is often a painful struggle, demanding some courage as we try to stand back and impartially judge ourselves and our own responsibility.”

#moralreasoning   #wisdom   #psychology  

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/04/14/practical-wisdom-barry-schwartz

Tolstoy on Knowledge and the Meaning of Life

Tolstoy on Knowledge and the Meaning of Life

In the later years of his life, Leo Tolstoy set out to compile “a wise thought for every day of the year, from the greatest philosophers of all times and all people”.  Although I already have way too many books on the go, figured it was time to add just one more..

#leotolstoy #meaningoflife #wisdom #spirituality  

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/03/15/a-calendar-of-wisdom-tolstoy