Written by Christopher Dawson in 1932, this scholarly tome discusses the philosophical, theological and political issues form the end of the Roman empire to the rise of mediaeval unity. It is not a standard history book and assumes a solid knowledge of that period by the reader assisting the reader to better understand why the west drifted into its political and philosphical unity as the basis for the mediaeval era, highlighting the first attempts at the fruition of the renaissence and humanism of the furture.
The Malta Humanist Association is an organisation for humanists in Malta. We promote education, science, reason and rationality, and oppose superstition and dogma. We strive towards a more secular nation where church and state are separate. The Malta Humanist Association was set up in a meeting attended by founding members Ramon Casha, James Debono, Philip Manduca, …View full post
Malta Humanist Association are able to offer a number of ceremonies and services related to life events – especially baby namings, weddings and funerals. Read more about the services we offer, or contact one of our accredited celebrants directly to find out what kind of personalised, meaningful ceremony we can provide for you. If you …View full post
by Ramon Casha; photos by Ramon Casha except sheep and chimpanzee photos – see image description. Background Prior to around 1995, when I got onto the internet and started chatting across the Atlantic, I had never heard of “creationism”, nor did I have the slightest idea that there were people in any significant numbers who …View full post
by Ramon Casha – vice president, Malta Humanist Association Throughout history, there have been a number of occasions when we discovered or invented something that completely changed us. In this article I’ve restricted myself to the last 500 years or so. There were many other earlier examples but in recent times they’ve come faster than …View full post
On any given day on Facebook, you are likely to see several graphics claiming incredible health benefits for some exotic plant, or claiming that some “alternative medicine” procedure can do everything that normal medicine can do but better. Very often these are accompanied by claims of people who tried them and testified to their efficacy. …View full post
In recent weeks, there have been some people expressing concern over what they believe to be dangerous “chemtrails” in the sky. Chemtrails are claimed to be white trails of chemicals sprayed by aircraft as they pass overhead, either to somehow affect people on the ground, or, in a more recent variation of this idea, to …View full post
Good without God It’s very difficult to find a nice, short, succinct phrase that neatly sums up what is Humanism, but the catchphrase “good without God” is a pretty good fit. However I’ll try to go a bit beyond that, keeping things simple while also accurate. Religion and morality Throughout history and in most places, …View full post
The 2014 World Humanist Congress, gathered in Oxford, UK, on 8-10 August 2014, adopted the following declaration on freedom of thought and expression:View full post
It was smiling faces all round and rainbows everywhere as the speaker called out the result – the bill has passed. The new Civil Unions bill gives same-sex (or opposite sex) couples the right to get a civil union which will have the same legal rights as marriage, including adoption.View full post
The Dune series of books by Frank Herbert is a a science fiction / fantasy series that takes place far in the future, where humanity has spread throughout the galaxy and settled on a number of planets ruled by several noble houses, with an overall emperor. One notable feature of these stories is the cynical way in which religions are treated. Religion is widespread in this future - but it is designed and controlled by a number of groups and individuals for the purpose of control of the masses.
The Malta Humanist Association is concerned about a stream of misinformation that is being disseminated about a collection of books donated by the Malta Gay Rights Movement to the Education Ministry by a newly set up social media group. This misinformation is causing concern among some parents who have been led to believe that these books contain explicit sexual information, or that they teach children about sex, although - revealingly - these claims never identify which of the books supposedly contain this material.
Sometimes it seems that the anti-IVF brigade in Malta doesn’t spare a thought for the people they hurt when they write. In their desire to convince people they lash out, and in so doing they strike adoptive parents, single parents and those people who married someone with children and care for these as if they were their own, not to mention their children.
In recent articles, we’ve had writers imply that adoptive parents and single parents are inhumane, women who offer to be surrogate mothers were compared to someone renting out a garage, and children born through IVF were described as commodities.
The recent announcement that the government planned to do away with a number of articles in the law to bring it in line with modern standards gave rise to some criticism, but perhaps the most vociferous complaints were aimed at the removal of articles 163 and 164 from the criminal code.
These articles, broadly, threaten anyone who “vilifies” the Catholic religion, or any person or object related to it, with up to six months in jail, while a shorter sentence protects other “cults”, as the law derisively calls every other religion and church on the planet.
The Malta Humanist Association backs the call for a mature and reasoned discussion on abortion. For too long, abortion has been the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about, but issues are not resolved by ignoring them or sweeping them under the carpet.
Between the existing blanket ban on abortion, and unrestricted, unregulated abortion there are many grey areas that one should explore through dialogue and without prejudice.
Once again, political lethargy, indifference and NIMBYism (not in my back yard) has led to an avoidable human tragedy, as hundreds of migrants fleeing from war and human rights abuses that many of us can’t even imagine end up in floating death-traps operated by criminals who have less regard for these human lives than for material cargo.
One hopes that the expressions of sadness from the political leaders of Europe does not stop at words but translates into action that addresses the problems that these people are facing, and not merely by pushing it out of sight. Making it more difficult for them to depart without addressing the reasons they are doing so does little to alleviate their suffering.
We make gestures by donating flowers for the funerals of those who did not make it, while incarcerating those who do for inordinate amounts of time. European countries express solidarity while resisting the idea of sharing in the responsibility of hosting these immigrants. In the meantime, dangerous undercurrents of fascism are raising their heads, each new voice encouraging others with messages of hate and barely hidden glee at these stories of suffering.
Humanity has to come before colour or culture, nationality or religion, before citizenship or proper documentation. Europe must put into place a comprehensive plan, encompassing the immediate requirement to save lives, the short-term goals of addressing migration, and long term goals of promoting peace and respect for human rights throughout the region.