A major issue nowadays is immigration and the refugee crisis, particularly the immigration of Muslims into Europe. Some people warn that they are a threat to Western Civilisation as they don’t have “Western values”. This is a strange argument for numerous reasons such as the assumption that none will assimilate and that it’s somehow impossible for two cultures to live side by side. However the strangest part is that no one seems to know what Western values are. Continue reading
It hardly needs to be said that the two main candidates running for president are not very popular. Both Trump and Clinton have historically high unpopularity ratings and many voters are voting against a candidate rather than for one they support. Perhaps it is time to consider a third option.
Jill Stein claims to be a candidate worth voting for based on her policies and principles, not just because people are afraid of Trump. She argues that Clinton is just as bad as Trump and voting for “the lesser of two evils” will not solve America’s problems but only allow them to continue. She is hoping that people will reject “the politics of fear” and break the two party system. Continue reading
So after the debate I covered last time between Job and his 3 “friends” (if you can call them that) there is a shift in the Book of Job. The first post was about questions of morality and why bad things happen to good people and in this post God shows up to give his response. Continue reading
One of the great questions of humanity is why do good things happen to bad people? Why is there war, famine and genocide? Why are rich and powerful people often dishonest and criminal? Why do innocent people suffer poverty and disease? Why are terrible injustices often unpunished? These are questions that have challenged humans throughout history and many religions and philosophers have struggled to answer. The Book of Job is dedicated to discussing this question and to my surprise it is actually entertaining. Continue reading
In two weeks time, Britain will vote on whether or not it will leave the European Union, a major decision which could have wide reaching ramifications. Even though as an Irish citizen I cannot vote, the decision will have a large impact on both Ireland and myself. Leaving aside the specifics of Brexit (whether Britain could still have access to the common market and whether it would still be bound by EU regulations) and political ironies (the same people who opposed Scottish independence are making essentially the same agreement in support of leaving the EU) I think it’s worthwhile to discuss the EU as an institution in general and consider whether it is beneficial or not. Continue reading
During Christmas, I returned home and met some friends who asked I’m up to nowadays. “Well,” I said, “I’m working in an Esperanto office.” They didn’t believe it. What is Esperanto? Why would anyone want to speak it? Is it some sort of cult? Why don’t you just speak English, the language that everyone speaks? Is Esperanto even a real language? Have I lost my mind? Continue reading
The book of Esther is a short book and a quick read (which is a big plus when reading the Bible). Interestingly, it is one of the few books not set in Israel and one of the only that doesn’t mention God. In contrast to almost every other story in the Bible, God doesn’t actually do anything in Esther, instead the approach is very humanist, the people must solve their own problems. In fact, God isn’t even mentioned in the book! Continue reading