Monday, December 15, 2008

18 Kislew 5769: Cat Herders Day/National Lemon Cupcake Day/Esperanto Day

Greetings.

Worthy cause of the day:

Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
  1. “'The Day the Earth Stood Still' Remake Goes Green ”: If this review is accurate, then the remake contains some very disturbing moral thinking, as it is written:
    The new version of the film focuses on a more contemporary preoccupation: the threat of climate change and environmental degradation. The new Klaatu, played by Keanu Reeves, couldn't care less if we blew ourselves to bits, but would we mind not taking out the rest of the species on Earth, as well as our rare habitable planet, with us?
    I.e., a distinction is made between humans and the rest of life on Earth, with all Terran life other than humans being considered more valuable and humans being considered worthless. But humans are just as much Terran life as anything else living on the planet. Why should one species be considered any less valuable than any other? So what humans are often environmentally destructive? All sorts of animal species move around and attack other creatures for their own benefit without the least bit of worry that there will be any long-term effect. Indeed, as sentient beings, humans are extremely rare. We are the only species known to have produced civilization on this planet. And why should something so rare be considered any less valuable?
  2. “ARMENIA: Imprisonment of some 80 conscientious objectors 'not a human rights issue'”: Apparently the Armenian government has yet to figure out that the refusal of Jehovah’s Witnesses to perform military service is not satisfied by slapping a label of “alternative service” on a military program and that it is not the government’s business to dictate to anyone that any program fits their religious requirements. “You believe this” is not a convincing argument.
  3. “SC ordered to stop making religious license plates”: This was in the news over here recently. What confuses me is why anyone wants a Christian license plate in the first place. The point of a license plate is to identify a vehicle and certify that it is legally authorized to be on the road. Its whole point is to be easy to read and, when not used for identification, to be ignored. Expressing one’s religious beliefs—or putting much in the way of any design—on a license plate gets in the way of legibility and defeats its purpose. The objection that expressing belief on a license plate is a violation of church and state is also valid; it is a government instrument, and it is not the government’s place to be promoting any particular religion. My recommendation for anyone who wants to use their car as a means of religious expression: try bumper stickers or a custom paint job.
Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “Solar System (with four rotating planets)”. Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron
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