On his blog, Sunmedia writer Warren Kinsella expresses some puzzlement about why his submitted column on politics and religion didn’t appear in today’s issue of the Sun. Given that a left-wing writer was actually coming to the defence of a Conservative Prime Minister’s privacy, it is a bit puzzling (perhaps a Conservative writer with more pull wanted to be the one to please the PM?). However, in my view, it’s just as well. Kinsella’s defence of the PM was not warranted. Read more
Christie Blatchford is a writer whose writings currently are printed in the Globe and Mail Newspaper. She is probably most widely recognized as a writer who reports the facts as they relate to court proceedings. She is well respected in that role and, in my view, such respect is warranted.
However, Blatchford writes (or, on radio, speaks) her opinions on non-legal matters (e.g., matters of politics or culture) at times and, in that capacity, she is decidedly weak. Those of her opinions I have heard or read are of the Joe six-pack “it just seems to me” or “I feel” variety, rather than being the result of a applying any consistent and coherent set of philosophical principles to the facts of a matter.
That weakness did not stop her from flashing her press credentials to take an unwarranted swipe at unpaid blog writers who attended and reported upon G20 protests and who think that they deserved to be treated with the same dignity and respect as paid reporters. Read more
Over at the Western Standard blog, contributor Terry O’Neill reports a story from the anti-abortion news site lifesitenews.com about the passage of Montana Senate bill 406 (a “constitutional personhood amendment”) which states both: Read more
Readers of my blog will know that my most recent entry concerned a Toronto Star editorial that erroneously implied that Alan Greenspan’s role in the credit crisis was due to his being influenced by Ayn Rand. The clear implication was that the crisis was caused by the laissez faire capitalism espoused by Rand. I wrote a letter to the editor, and suggested others do so as well. Read more
The Toronto Star newspaper has today (October 25, 2008) published an editorial titled “Twilight of the Oracles”. It takes aim at Alan Greenspan. It focuses on a quotation from Greenspan’s testimony in which he allegedly (I didn’t watch or hear the testimony) said “free markets did break down”. And then it does the all too easy: it mentions that Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged, “impressed” him with statements like “”The only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.” It then proceeds to call that a “counsel of neglect”, and condemn’s Rand’s views as “a cruel joke to millions losing jobs and homes”. Thusly, the Star gave us all a solid example of how dishonesty is inherent in socialism and its proponents. Accordingly, I wrote the following letter to the editor. Read more
For those who did not have a chance, or the inclination, to watch the coverage for the Democratic and Republican conventions over the last couple of weeks, I am happy to provide this comparison of each party’s nominee for the office of President of the United States of America, based upon each man’s acceptance speech. I am not here providing a comparison of their proposed government policies: you can find those everywhere else. What I provide here is a comparison of the candidates’ philosophies, to the extent express statements allow me to perform one. The reason is simple: many of the decisions a president will make are not foreseen years, months, weeks, or even days in advance. By knowing their respective philosophical commitments, one can at least determine the general nature of policies which are, or are not, likely to be adopted in the future. Read more
On July 9, 2008, I was the guest of “Just Right” with Robert Metz on radio CHRW (FM 96.8, London, Ontario, Canada). The topic of the one-hour program was “The Psychology of Green”.
Over the course of the program, I contrasted rational individuals of high self-esteem with irrational individuals of low-self esteem. Read more
A friend asked me: Read more
My good friend Robert Metz is entering the second year of his call-in talk-radio show “Just Right”, which airs on CHRW Radio, 94.9 FM (note: every show he has ever done is archived and can be listened to online here).
Today, he had an excellent show (click here to listen to it) about the unholy alliance of Canada’s Liberal Party and Al Gore. I rarely have the chance to listen live, but I managed to do it today. Bob was referring to environmentalism as a religion, and I just had to call in to share with him some key excerpts from a dilly of a speech given by the leader of the Green Party of Canada a couple of years ago (I call in about 20 minutes into the show, in case you are trying to find it).
She opens with a lament that man was kicked out of the Garden of Eden for eating of the tree of knowledge, and that that knowledge has allowed man to over-consume earth’s “limited resources” by means of evil industrialization (boo, hiss). She closes with the hope that we’ll give up on industrialization, and return to a more “spiritual” (read “mystical”) state of child-like ignorance that will allows us to return to the Garden of Eden. What’s worse: she talks about the “location” of the Garden of Eden, which leads me to believe that she actually believes there to have been such a place.
I had no idea what Bob had planned for the show but, in a stroke of amazing coincidence (I’m not being sarcastic), it turns out that I called in just before his next audio clip (Bob breaks up segments of his show with topic-relevant, typically educational audio clips from television programs) : John Stossel interviewing people who idolize the idea of eliminating human technology and living ‘at one with the land’. You have got to hear the clips, in which some of the tree-house dwelling interviewees tried to explain the illogical exception they made for things like telephones and plumbing.
Environmentalism. If it is not a religion, it is no less anti-enlightment.
My response, published here, to John Oakley’s article in yesterday’s National Post (possibly, Oakley’s article was only on the online version of the paper):
The issue here is not about whether people say prayers before engaging in the legislative process. The issue is that some people want prayers said aloud, and as part of the official ceremony of legislating.
Given that such people are not prevented from praying, the only plausible motivation for having everyone say a prayer aloud and in unison is: for the state to declare that it officially reveres an alleged supernatural being, and that it is guided by – or obedient to – the ethical commandments allegedly made by said being.
Adding more prayers, from different faiths, would have the effect of having the state declare that it reveres several/all supernatural beings, and is guided by/obedient to the ethical commandments allegedly being made by all of those beings. It would be impossible actually to set one moral compass simultaneously in accordance with the conflicting dogma offered by differing religions, and even many who would want multiple prayers know this. The only possible and achievable goal of praying to multiple alleged gods is: to declare that, in making law-making decisions, the legislature will consider supernatural commandments to be a source of knowledge about what policies should and should not be adopted.
Perhaps owing to most Christians’ allowance that one should render only unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, rational investigation of the facts of reality has been possible in the west, and knowledge and wealth have grown relatively well. However, the possibility of rational thought and free action arose despite, not because of, religious beliefs and public chanting of the Lord’s Prayer. In the east, where religions have been less tolerant of rational, independent thought, the growth of knowledge and wealth has been relatively slowed or completely stunted. As proponents of eastern religions move to Ontario, it is more important than ever that Ontario’s government declare that it is not under, accountable to, or obedient to, anyone’s alleged supernatural being. If, instead of simply removing all official chantings of religion from the proceedings of our legislature, we add more prayers from more religions, we will be officially sanctioning the notion that our government must comply with the whims even of alleged supernatural beings who forbid rationality, who condemn knowledge as a forbidden fruit, or who condemn wealth creation while praising self-sacrifice.
If we want Ontario to remain a place in which everyone is free to think as they wish, and to engage in consensual activities of their choice; to dress and eat and express themselves as they wish; to think for themselves, and to question aloud both alleged authority and dogma; to engage in rational efforts to discover knowledge and develop technologies; to pursue their own happiness; if that is the sort of Ontario we wish to retain, then we must make it clear to people of all faiths that our legislature’s “moral compass” is not set or determined by anyone’s religious beliefs. We cannot simultaneously make such a declaration and maintain the practice of praying aloud to one or more allegedly supernatural beings.
At the same time, it seems reasonable for those who are about to regulate our lives to take a moment to reflect on the gravity of what they are doing. A minute or two of silence would facilitate that purpose quite well, and should replace the saying of any prayer or any public recognition of the allegedly supernatural.
Paul McKeever, B.Sc.(Hons), M.A., LL.B.
Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario