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Archive for the ‘morality’ Category

Seed Newsvine

Just a little tidbit I found on YouTube. If it weren’t so sad it might actually be funny. As the anti-evolutionists seek to introduce biblical mythology, call it what you will–creation science, intelligent design–into the classroom, they seem willing to turn back the clock to a time more reminiscent of the dark ages and the Inquisition than bring it to the light of the 21st century. Just because the human mind cannot conceive of the possibility of evolution does not mean that evolution is not true. It is all about evidence. The scientific FACTS based on evolutionary theory point to the validity of the theory. Other than a few scribbles in some sacred texts written 3000 years ago, and other than personal revelation (which is not rigorous evidence) there simply is no evidence to support what Richard Dawkins calls the God delusion. I think I’ll put my faith and trust in FACTS and not in the mythology of creation. If I wanted to put my faith in the mythology I would then be forced to choose from among thousands of FACTUALLY unsupported creation myths–what if I pick the wrong one? What then…

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Seed Newsvine

With the reputation of the United States at stake, President Bush readies himself to pick a successor to Paul Wolfowitz. Traditionally, the US has chosen the President of the World Bank while Europeans have chosen the head of the International Monetary Fund. Now, given the scandal at the World Bank, Europeans are suggesting that this practice cease and that Wolfowitz’ successor be chosen on merit and not nationality (a code for crony of Mr. Bush).Given the falling reputation of the United States across Europe due in part to the mishandled war in Iraq and the bungling choices made at the World Bank, perhaps the White House should listen for a change. Consultation is not, however, the strong suit of the Bush White House as an administration that has grown used to having its own way on just about everything until recently.

Paul Wolfowitz

Photo: © Simone D. McCourtie /World Bank

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has said he would help Bush identify a nominee after consulting with other countries. But he made clear it would be an American.

“I see no reason why this should change and I see every reason why it’s important that the World Bank should continue to be run by an American,” Paulson said.

Dutch Development Minister Bert Koenders said the stature of the candidate was more important than nationality.

“The quality of a new candidate is the most important thing. Whatever nationality, American or from another continent, the bank needs a president of the highest quality,” he said.

Henry Paulson makes it absolutely clear that the Bush Administration is not listening to the rest of the world. The fact that he sees no reason to change past policy is an arrogant response in the light of the need for the last Bush choice to resign in disgrace.

I wish I had confidence that Bush will do the right thing in this matter. The fact is that I do not.

clipped from www.reuters.com
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A day after Paul Wolfowitz resigned as World Bank president under an ethics cloud, the United States faced the tough task of healing rifts with Europeans and satisfying calls that his successor be picked on merit, not just nationality.
Wolfowitz’s resignation on Thursday followed pressure by European opponents who said his handling of a high-paying promotion for his companion damaged the institution’s credibility. Bank staff complained the crisis had undermined their mission of fighting poverty in developing countries.
“It is a very delicate issue but we will make clear to the United States that we need someone credible and this time they need to consult more broadly,” said one senior European bank board official. “That was not the case with Mr. Wolfowitz.”
The United States, the bank’s largest shareholder, has named the World Bank chief since the bank’s inception more than 60 years ago.
Many critics have said that practice should be revamped

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Seed Newsvine

I am posting a short video I made that addresses Pascal’s Wager that simply states that even if the odds for the existence of God or gods is overwhelming, there is the slight chance that one is wrong. If it turns out that God(s) exist then the non-believer risks eternal damnation while the believer is eternally rewarded. If it turns out that there really is no God or God(s) then it makes no difference to the believer or non-believer–nothing is lost in the bargain. So Pascal concludes that on the off chance that there might, in fact, be a God(s) it makes sense to believe.As this video points out, there are substantial flaws in Pascal’s reasoning. Which God(s) does one choose to believe in? Wouldn’t picking the wrong one be tantamount to not picking at all? Isn’t Pascal’s belief merely a belief of convenience and not of conviction; wouldn’t an omnipotent, omniscient God(s) see right through the rouse and leave the pretender in the same position as if he didn’t choose at all?

I think I’ll remain a Bright. There simply isn’t enough evidence to convince me beyond a reasonable doubt that God(s) exist. I’ll not fall into the destructive trap of Pascal’s Wager.

clipped from youtube.com

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Seed Newsvine

Clipped from YouTube, this video is a powerful reminder that asking the skeptical questions is the first and only requirement of being human. Without skeptical inquiry we would still be napping flint weapons, living in caves, and wandering about the plains in search of food. Asking skeptical questions, however, is not a remedy for ambition, hubris, or evil. It is not a remedy for those who believe without evidence. It is not a remedy for stupidity. Skepticism is, however, the springboard to human progress and greatness.

clipped from www.youtube.com

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And this is a powerful response to Pale Blue Dot.

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Seed Newsvine

Should anyone be surprised that Jeb Bush, the President’s brother and the former President’s son (oh gosh, I should leave him out of this mix) decided to go to work for a firm that is deeply involved in ethics abuse? Frankly, but quite unfortunately, I am not. While it must be difficult to turn away $37,000 per day as a salary, one must wonder what Jeb Bush must do to earn that kind of money. I hope it is to clean up the company Tenet Healthcare but somehow I doubt it.

I am constantly reminded by the antics of the Bush family that one should never tie one’s shoes in a watermelon patch. It gives the impression that one is about to steal watermelons, even if the intent is to simply tie one’s shoes. Appearances is everything in this world. We live and die by appearances. So Jeb, stop bending over to tie your shoes–You are in the middle of the watermelon patch.

clipped from www.thestreet.com
A senior member of the Bush dynasty is about to get a large sum of money from a company with a history of ethical violations.
Jeb Bush, the president’s brother and former governor of Florida, is up for election Thursday as a director of troubled hospital chain Tenet Healthcare (THCCramer’s TakeStockpickrRating). Assuming he’s waved through, his pay in his first year would come to nearly $37,000 a day.
This is the same Tenet that had to pay $900 million to Uncle Sam last summer to settle charges that it had overbilled Medicare and Medicaid over many years.
Nine hundred million dollars.
The U.S. attorneys announcing the settlement accused the company of “fraud” and trying to “manipulate and cheat the system.”
Mike Leavitt, the Health and Human Services Secretary appointed by Jeb’s brother George, said the company had “fraudulently abused the Medicare program.”
It’s also the same Tenet that just paid $80 million to the IRS after an audit found it owed back taxes

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Seed Newsvine

The two clips from YouTube reflect on the truthfulness of James Dobson, the head of Focus on the Family, as he behaves as the simulacrum of a scholar by citing research, but in truth he is cherry-picking statements and ideas out of context and distorting the research for his own purposes. In order to get away with such a practice he relies on the fact that his audience is not critical enough to catch him in his immoral practice. Isn’t it ironic that this fine Christian who wages a battle against immoral behavior will drop his own moral compass in order to make his point. Dobson is identified as one of the American Taliban.

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