14 Jan

MESSENGERS OF PEACE

first_imgThe irony of ongoing global events never ceases to amaze me. Over seventy years ago, Europe experienced mass emigration of refugees as a result of the Second World War to United Kingdom and the North America. In 2015, there is a reversal of events, rather than have people leave Europe, the entire of Europe with exception of a few, is receiving refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. What is perhaps of serious irony is the role of the German Government in the refugee crisis across Europe. Historians would have records of events leading to the mass exodus of refugees and deliberate extermination of the Jews as dictated by Adolf Hitler and historians will be compiling records of events of the compassionate role of the German Chancellor-Angela Merkel in receiving almost a million refugees from war torn countries in the Middle East and Africa.While the entire world watches the emerging immigration crisis to Europe, we, as peace messengers are reminded on the roles that young people and Government have to play in ensuring sustainable peace and security. This reminder dove tails the recent Amman Declaration on Youth, Peace and Security adopted in Amman-Jordan by over 500 youth leaders across the globe, August 22, 2015. It also resonates with the theme for this year’s International Day of Peace: “Partnership for Peace-Dignity for All”.In the scheme of events and amidst the tragic refugee situation, we see the need for new approaches to peace building and security as young people continue to constitute the affected majority, not only in their direct involvement but they are also indirectly disproportionately victims of violence, conflicts and xenophobia, in all its forms.According to the UNFPA Executive Director, -Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, “it is time to acknowledge that the vast majority of young people does not engage in violence, even in conflict settings” Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia is of the believe that young people can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. In the words of Dr. Osotimehin, “Young people-can and must be peace builders”It is based on this foundation, that the Executive Director of MOP-Liberia along with hundreds of other young peace builders across the globe gathered in Amman-Jordon to support the guiding principles on young people and agree on the Amman Youth Declaration on youth, peace and security which calls on government and non-government organizations, associations, and agencies including youth-led civil society to partner with young people to ensure the implementation of four actions points of the Amman Youth Declaration: Youth participation and leadership in issues of Peace and Security, Youth preventing violence and building peace, gender equality and young people’s socio-economic empowerment.The ongoing peace work of MOP-Liberia and other youth led organizations remain largely invisible, unrecognized and even undermined due, largely, to inadequate participatory and inclusive mechanisms as well as opportunities to partner with decision making bodies like the Liberia Peace building Office, UNMIL , UNDP, UNFPA and other international organizations.Our position on this is clear and it is to encourage policy makers and other gate keepers to develop meaningful mechanisms for youth participation in decision making processes that young people in Liberia. We are encouraged in our quest for sustainable peace in Liberia, by the material support provided by NOVAFONE and others. The role of the private sector in building peace cannot be overemphasized and we would like to use this column to advocate for peace partners that equip young people with the ability to engage constructively in civic structures.Until next week, when we come to you dialogues among peace messengers: “Partnership for Peace-Dignity for All-Part 2”, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

19 Dec

The Evolution of Creationism and Other Intangibles

first_imgIf you are a creationist, you can’t help yourself, because evolution made you that way.  It might have also made you moral and religious, especially if you are a woman.  These and other evolutionary stories are making the rounds.Evo-creationism:  New Scientist says humans may be primed to believe in creation.  Studies show that humans tend to see purpose in things.  That can only mean they evolved that tendency, said some psychologists at Boston University.  A good education can help cure them of this and show them that the world is really without purpose or design.Evo-religion:  Robert Roy Britt speculated on Live Science why more women tend to be religious than men.  Maybe evolution made males more apt to look for short-term thrills than long-term satisfaction (like heaven).  Britt did not overtly use evolution to explain this tendency, but quoted Rodney Stark, of all people, who appealed to biochemistry: “Studies of biochemistry imply that both male irreligiousness and male lawlessness are rooted in the fact that far more males than females have an underdeveloped ability to inhibit their impulses, especially those involving immediate gratification and thrills.”  Britt remarked, “Stark may have purposely overstated the case, but you get the point.”  The point seems to be that religiousness is a function of biochemistry, which is a function of biology (see 10/26/2008).Evo-morality:  Jonathan Haidt and two of his friends are evolutionizing morality again (cf. 05/17/2007).  They published another Perspective article in Science,1 entitled, “From oral to moral.”  Their idea, reporting on a paper by Chapman in the issue,2 is that morality evolved from the disgust response.  We find certain smells and sights disgusting, and transfer those responses to behaviors.  This is a little more specific than the theory of three UCSB profs reported here in 03/04/2003.  Chapman, Haidt et al suggest that responses to “violations of divinity”, such as righteous anger at profanity or blasphemy, began in the mouth, when the human animal learned unpleasant sensations during nausea, gagging, and loss of appetite.  One can only wonder how they would explain another scientist finding this thesis disgusting.Each theory has anomalies.  A surprising anomaly appeared in Science Careers, a publication of the AAAS.  Imre Mikl�s Szil�gyi, one of the best upcoming young scientists in Hungary, is “far ahead of the average student or young researcher of his age in motivation and systematic work,” but he is a creationist.  Maybe he had a particularly beneficial mutation.  Whatever it was, he claimed it helped him become a scientist.  “My belief is very important for my career,” he said, “because this is the first thing that gives me my motivations so that I could work hard and I could achieve the best I can.”1.  Rozin, Haidt and Fincher, “From Oral to Moral,” Science, 27 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5918, pp. 1179-1180, DOI: 10.1126/science.1170492.2.  Chapman, Kim, Susskind and Anderson, “In Bad Taste: Evidence for the Oral Origins of Moral Disgust,” Science, 27 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5918, pp. 1222-1226, DOI: 10.1126/science.1165565.Szilagyi, who takes the Bible literally, according to the article, feels that the “the debate over evolution, design, creation, supernatural intelligence, etc., is not a scientific question in the first place but the collision of worldviews, the confrontation of materialism and idealism.”  Evolutionists love collisions (05/13/2004, 01/26/2007).  Maybe this smashup will bring good ideas to life, like academic freedom for critics of Darwinism, and the extinction of others, like self-refuting fallacies (02/09/2009, 12/23/2008, 10/26/2008).(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

1 Dec

Uddhav Thackeray arrives in hotel, asks MLAs not to worry

first_imgShiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who spent several hours with party legislators at Hotel Lalit in Andheri on Sunday, reportedly told them not to worry and that a Sena-Congress-NCP government would soon be in place. Senior Sena leaders Subhash Desai and Anil Parab are expected to be in New Delhi on Monday morning for the crucial hearing in the Supreme Court.Sena MLAs, along with Independents and MLCs, have spent two nights in the hotel so far. When details of the hearing in the Supreme Court came in, they were a relieved lot.“We are confident that the Supreme Court will strike all this down, and our government will be formed. We are not worried. Everyone is relaxed and is going about his daily routine,” Bhandup MLA Ramesh Korgaokar said.Senior Shiv Sena leader and MP Anil Desai said, “Uddhavji said there is solidarity among all legislators of the three parties. We are all one. We are speaking to each other and will give a stable government to Maharashtra. Legislators are all firm, no question of anything (defection) now. Shiv Sena is a fort that nobody can breach. All Sena MLAs have complete faith in the leadership. Uddhavji is monitoring developments from the hotel.”The Shiv Sena is also keeping an eye on the NCP and Congress MLAs put up in a Powai and an Andheri hotel, respectively. Sources said the party had delegated responsibility to Shiv Sena divisional chiefs and Yuva Sena members to station karyakartas outside the two hotels to keep a watch.Another Mumbai MLA said, “Uddhavji gave us support and told us not to worry. As Sanjay Raut said, we have 165 MLAs with Congress, NCP. Uddhavji spending time with us in the hotel is an assuring thing. There was some ambiguity among MLAs since the developments in NCP on Sunday but our leader is with us. We are confident.”Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told the media that November 23 was a “black Saturday”, and maintained that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (the Sena, the Congress, the NCP) still had a majority with 165 legislators.Mr. Raut said, “[NCP chief] Sharad Pawar is a national leader. If the BJP is trying to break his party, this will boomerang on it. Even before the Assembly election, there was an attempt to break the NCP when the BJP poached people from it. Poaching Ajit Pawar was their last move which has boomeranged. They were expecting around 25 MLAs to support him. I hope the BJP has come out of that delusion now. Nearly all the NCP MLAs have returned, barely five have stayed. In return for five MLAs, the BJP has given Ajit Pawar Deputy CM position?.”He went on to say that the three parties together still had the numbers. “All Congress-NCP, Sena MLAs are with their respective parties. We now have a majority of 165 MLAs, I had said 170 in the past but now five are missing, some of them will return too. They have been kept somewhere,” said Mr. Raut and added that 49 NCP MLAs were still with Mr. Sharad Pawar.He termed Saturday’s developments “to be worse than Indira Gandhi’s Emergency.” “This is low-level politics. The CM of Maharashtra was sworn in and the State did not know. This is a black day for the country. The BJP has done black-marketing of the Raj Bhavan. Indira Gandhi’s Emergency should not be called black day any more because this act is even worse. If you [BJP] had majority, why did you do swearing-in secretly? Also, if you [BJP] have majority, why wait till November 30? The Governor has used one rule for us and another for the BJP. Narendra Modi’s image has been shattered by his own party. Our MahaVikas Aghadhi will prove majority in Assembly. Even if we are invited by the Governor right now, we can prove majority,” said Mr. Raut.He also criticised Mr. Ajit Pawar saying, “It is not true that Sharad Pawar knew about this. Ajit Pawar took a fake document to the Governor which he accepted and gave him the oath. BJP thought Ajit Pawar will bring 40-50 MLAs, he betrayed his party and BJP betrayed him. This is the worst act of Ajit Pawar’s life by betraying Sharad Pawar.”‘Have faith in leadership’Senior Shiv Sena leader and MP Anil Desai said, “Uddhavji said there is solidarity among all legislators of the three parties. We are all one. We are speaking to each other and will give a stable government to Maharashtra. Legislators are all firm, no question of anything (defection) now. Shiv Sena is a fort that nobody can breach. All Sena MLAs have complete faith in the leadership. Uddhavji is monitoring developments from the hotel.”Independent MLA Bachchu Kadu of Prahar Janshakti Party, who has supported the Shiv Sena, said on Sunday, “I am with the Shiv Sena. There is no doubt about it.Sena, Congress, NCP can still form the government.”last_img read more