Tuesday, April 26, 2011

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Socrates had to swallow the hemlock in return for their freedom.

"The beginning of wisdom lies in recognizing how little we really know." (after Socrates)

For MAXIMUM Pigliucci, Tribune Libre: Thought, Culture and Science Education.

Ignorance is the root of all evil, according to Plato, who also gave us a definition still present its opposite, knowledge as "justified true belief." Worth considered to reflect on the dangers of ignorance in the XXI century.

Plato thought that three conditions must be met so that we "know" something: the notion in question must be true, we have to believe (because if we do not believe that something is true, we can hardly say I know) and most subtle must be justified: there must be reasons why we believe that is true. Let

something we all think we know: the earth is (approximately) round. This is as true as they can prove astronomical facts, especially since we have sent satellites into orbit and found that the planet is indeed forms rounded. Most of us (with the exception of a few lunatics who defend the Earth is flat) also believe that it is.

What about the justification for that belief? How would you respond if someone asks you why you think the earth is round?

The obvious place to start would be to target the satellite images above, but our correspondent skeptic might reasonably ask if you know how they were acquired. Unless you are an expert in space engineering and imaging software, you may see at this point is in distress.

course, you could use for more traditional reasons to believe in a round earth, like the fact that our planet will cast a shadow on the moon rounded during lunar eclipses.

Naturally, you should be able to explain, if challenged, what is an eclipse and how he knows. You see where we can do this: if we push hard enough, in the Platonic sense most of us do not really know much of anything. In other words, we are more ignorant than we think. "

Socrates, Plato's teacher, angered authorities by arguing that Athens was wiser than the Oracle of Delphi (who claimed to be the zenith of wisdom) because, unlike most people (including the authorities in Athens), I knew that he knew nothing. If humility of Socrates was sincere or a secret joke at the expense of the powers (before such powers and kill him after tiring of his irreverence), the point is that the beginning of wisdom lies in recognizing how little really know.

Which brings me to the paradox of ignorance in our times: on the one hand, we constantly raining expert opinion, all kinds of people, with or without a PhD after his name, tell us exactly what to think (though rarely why should we think). On the other hand, most of us completely inept in the practice of venerable and vital art of the detection of nonsense (or, more politely, critical thinking), so necessary in modern society.

can think of the paradox in another way: we live in an era in which knowledge in the sense of information-is always available in real time via computers, smart phones, electronic tablets and readers of books. And yet, we still lack the basic skills to reflect on that information, to sift the earth to find the nuggets worthy of value. We are inundated with information ignorant masses. Of course, it is possible that humanity has always suffered from lack of critical thinking. So we continue to let it try to convince us to support unjust wars (not to mention the death in them), or vote for people whose main job seems to accumulate as much wealth for the wealthy as possible. This can also explain why so many people are fooled by "doctors" who sell very expensive homeopathic sugar pills and why we follow the famous advice of the show (instead of real doctors) about whether to vaccinate our children.

However, the need for critical thinking has never been as urgent as in the Internet age. For least-developed countries but increasingly also in the underdeveloped, the problem no longer is access to information, but lack of ability to process and make sense.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely that universities, high schools and even elementary take the initiative to include introductory courses in critical thinking. Education has increasingly become a commodity system that remains satisfied "customers" (formerly known as students) with custom curriculum, while preparing for the labor market (rather than to prepare for a become human and responsible citizens.)

This can and should change, but this requires a grassroots movement that uses blogs, online magazines and newspapers, book clubs and meeting spaces, and any other resources that can contribute to promoting development opportunities critical thinking skills. After all, we know that what is at stake is our future.

"A moral leap is more dangerous than a somersault" (J. Lec)

The author is professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center of City University of New York (The Graduate Center - CUNY) . Translated from English by David Meléndez Tormen (Project Syndicate / Institute for Human Sciences, 4/22/1911): ******

From the point of view critical of Catholicism:
state religion

By: Benjamin Forcano

The Catholic religion must overcome their state of being parasitic. (Epistheme)

Religious freedom is an individual right that must be regulated and protected by public authority and law. Which means that everyone is free to be non-believer, believer or believer of any religion. And this freedom can be manifested publicly and privately, individually and collectively, with different actions (teaching, practice, worship, observance), while maintaining public order. (See English Constitution and Article 18 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 16, 3).

Being a right, belongs to what is due to the acts and situations that affect the rights of others and, if so, a democratic state must devise means to respect and fulfill what is due.

In each country the situation can change and, within each country, the situations may vary. In Spain history tells us that the Catholic religion was from the beginning factor configurator individual and public life, without significant presence of other religions. Even today, the percentage of those declaring non-Catholic believers does not reach 5%. In this historical context, it is understood that the first universities were founded by priests and that they were established as normal spaces for worship, as happened also in other areas and public institutions. This context is extended almost to the present days, is from him with entry into democracy in Spain are made new laws that go beyond religious discrimination: "No religion shall have a state character" (English Constitution, Article 16).

Today it is clearer that right of religious freedom. The Catholic religion, not because the majority is the only valid and accepted as normal respect and live in peace with other religions, but to equate it with the predominant formation of principles, habits and religious customs that she has had on the English people . This paper indicates the important influence produced Catholic religious symbiosis between people and institutions. And, if necessary, the town active in thousands of situations and events. Religion, in this case Catholic, has taught educated and has given a sense of daily life that is expressed when, in unusual events, the people need and demand.

would be foolish to ignore the role is not always correct that at this historical development, has served the Catholic Church. Are undeniable abuses in arrears, repression and despotism exercised over the people. And at the present time, Catholics are aware of this serious gap, yet the resistance offered by many for the renewal and updating decreed by Vatican II. The people and many theologians have taken seriously the fidelity to the Gospel and undressing that entails many weights, errors and distortions of historic Christianity. I do not know if, in other civil and religious institutions, has made the same commitment in the Catholic Church for this adjustment with the Gospel and if there have been many examples of consistency, freedom and martyrdom by carrying it out, in society and in the same church. Abuses are

abuse and must be fought and eradicated. But also shining examples of a Church dignified, free and committed to raise passion, strength and hope to millions and millions of Catholics. In any case, the abuses do not erase or obscure what is the right to religious freedom. Is beside the point that between the secular and religious is no contradiction. Would have if we think "Religious" represents the clerical sector, with the dominant power and exclusion that has played in history and the secular as opposed to it. But in its original sense, lay people are the same as from the village, modern city, more classically person. In this sense, all religions are secular, formed by citizens or persons. And being a person is what gives us the right to religious freedom. Therefore, secularism is a characteristic of all religions and all people. And rather than talking about the secular state-synonymous to many anti-religious, we must talk about secular State, as does the Constitution. Nor can

, following the reasoning followed contrasting science to religion, reason to faith, realism and love of life to religious alignment. It will have been many, many times. But today my Catholic faith teaches me that the first article of my creed has faith in man: their dignity and their rights. And that article is part of my faith. Not only that, but where there is a delay, injustice, alienation, inequality, subjugation, slavery and humiliation I feel critical and independent, fraternal solidarity with the strength of the ethics, but reinforced with the spirit of the Beatitudes and their radical demands of love, brotherhood, equality and universal justice and preferably in the past or least count in society. To me, prayer or meditation on the human scale of the Nazarene, it does so in a chapel or elsewhere, drives me to feel joyful with the value of reason and science, to think and be free, and it standing, not kneeling before any unjust power. There is no doubt that the Catholic Church has used for their benefit relationships and dealings with the State that have common duties exempted and have severed their mission to act with justice and freedom and as a church of the poor. On that front we will join with whoever it is consistent to demand change and reform.

should be noted that Catholic believers and be mostly in English society connotation is itself an expression of a right which the people have lived and projected as yours. Apply this right to public events and situations, with major presence, not to say that he made an exemption to the Catholic religion, a privilege, but to recognize the reality of a real subject is entitled to live and act according to his right attends. The problem does not seem that we complicate it. In Spain today there are other religions than the Catholic and there are people who do not. "The current law says that other religions acting under the law that pertains to them? Are public spaces for the exercise of their religious freedom? If asked, they prevented? Are the agreements of 1979 between the English State and the Holy See recognized the right to religious freedom, not excluding religion upon request, or is in contradiction with the English Constitution? Reading

Agreements of 1979, no one knows if today there are other agreements that meet in proportion to other religions. In any case, these agreements clearly state that "We must safeguard the right to religious freedom of people and respecting their religious and ethical principles" and "avoid any discrimination or privileged position." What is here said, it becomes complaint, what they, after more 30 years, has not been fulfilled: "The Catholic Church intends to achieve by itself enough resources to care for their needs." When will to meet that deadline? There is no doubt that a reading of the agreements, since the current circumstances, leads to certain changes. Should be examined where and why, trying to open a public debate that will reach all social and cultural, to get as ripe as possible to the parliamentary chamber. In our democratic society, there are many ways to exercise critical demand changes and propose reforms and ensure that the right to religious freedom childishly twitching away from coexistence, serve to ensure the right, freedom and tolerance for all. ******

The ideal Caribbean identity Víctor Villegas: A heart forever young.

Victor Villegas, National Poet

Taken José Enrique Méndez, identidadsanjuanera, Saturday, April 23, 2011

point of view in Victor Villegas poetic conception of cardinal aims to raise the cultural problem in the Caribbean as the fundamental form of consciousness. We may be able to get the book Dialogues with Simeon. Charlotte Amalie, Victor Villegas a source of inspiration and knowledge that will help us to apply common codes in the western world to the Caribbean.

Villegas The tolerance is necessary for the moral that he proposes, their views on optimism brimming knows convey to their readers.

proposed Villegas The world is not "just around the corner," but in the hands of future generations will have to stop the "masters of the world." ******

hundred thousand pretty faces

All are beautiful because they are unique

Moya, I need a favor of you, which in turn is yours too. Already Guachupita video ("Las Caras Lindas") passed the 100,000 views and reproductions. As you are more steeped in the video project and I, I want you to do a little comment on the video page about the parent reached the 100 000 visits this small attempt audiovisual obramaury for leaders and groups Guachupita . It would be good to publish it in your blog. Maximum

Lugo (Pao)

Here is the link to reach the video and make comments.

Soon comes the answer: The Miracle of Guachupita

Arturo Viloria and Fany Castro work experiences of violence experienced by young


When I arrived, the local Sports and Culture Club Reborn, where it meets the United Youth Red Guachupita was still empty, the seminar was announced at 8 afternoon.

Before that time more than 50 young people filled the main location. Were young people aged 12 to 20 years, with all the clothing and uses that characterize young neighborhoods.

Despite my generational and cultural differences perceived in them a great desire to understand, improve, to change. That shocked me and I decided to share with them the best possible two hours we had thought to be there.

He did, quickly, in small groups, begin to review the various forms of violence they suffered.

course went with no censorship or self-censorship. Then each of his vision, leaving the violence, their exchange partners.

I also gave her advice and gave me my chance to overcome violence.

Then we connect the exercise of the human. We stand in pairs and each looked that way to your exercise buddy. Opened many hearts.

To end the ceremony being, a deep silence, a current of good wishes and hope spread across the room.

the end, hugs, thanks and even some tears.

But who were those young people? Guachupita is a popular neighborhood in Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic.

Like many other neighborhoods, the label has endured Guachupita marginal zone without services for its population, where drugs, AIDS and violence of all kinds reign at will, especially among the younger population.

was not easy to live in Guachupita. Young people are traditionally organized into "nations", organized groups that fought for control of every street, every place in the quarter.

was "normal" nations armed with weapons more and more strong to win this battle for power.

Santo Domingo police not question a lot when dealing with these nations, it is customary to shoot first and find out later. The future of these young people was very dark.

However, since 2004, occurred in this neighborhood intervention of a small group of professionals and technicians of the Presidential Council on AIDS (COPRESIDA), to address the problems of AIDS and violence, particularly affecting these young people .

The group, advised by psychologists and epidemiologists from the organization, and managed locally by the community leader Lino Arturo Castro and Jimenez Chichi youth leader, first got the young people of both sexes sit together to discuss this problem apply to everyone, regardless of nation to which they belonged.


After that nations, without losing their identity or any of the symbols of their culture, were federated in the United Youth Network. Promoted joint interventions in the neighborhood, graffiti, events, talks ...

Then they began to talk about Peace and Nonviolence. Young people were persuaded that the violence would not improve their conditions, which in any case only take them to kill themselves.

youth gradually became the largest organized force in the neighborhood, led to massive demonstrations against the mistreatment of women, claimed their culture, youth: music, dress, manner of speaking, questioned the police treatment towards them, lack of opportunities suffered ... were growing.

When I was there I proposed to participate in the World March for Peace and Nonviolence. I did not insist. The made their own from the start. They organized, with little resources, a beautiful place, which dragged his parents, younger siblings, their teachers, churches, a place full of excitement and joy.


When I went I thought it was going to conduct a seminar, but what was is to receive an injection of enthusiasm and optimism. From here I send a hug to Lino, Chichi, and all members of the United Youth Red Guachupita. Peace, strength and joy for them. ******

Bradley Manning is not alone

Bradley Manning Viva! And what of the blessed human rights that supposedly flying the damn antitiéticos of reason? Why the World Organisation Against Torture does not take action on the matter?, And know the truth and the truth shall make you free "John 8:32.

Rafael Mota C., MD

Bradley Manning The cause is the cause of justice. Some people consider him a national hero of the United States. The first manifestation of his defense Rebelion.org is published in the February 15, 2011
Rafael Hernandez, an

FIL 2011: The Horror of Divine Vatiferia

Click to enlarge


Saluting the 3ni

****** Taino-descendant on television in the Bronx, New York: Jorge Estevez Baracutey, Roman Perez and Irka Guaraguorix Guabancex Matthew (August 2008).

1. Tainos in New York.


THE BANQUET is served.

A lexis or mixed R osa G invites you to taste their parts in all forms of modern poetry.

Thursday April 28, 2011, 8:00 past the meridian, Capilla de los Remedios.

Calle Las Damas corner Mercedes, Ciudad Colonial.

No cover, minimum consumption lyrical outburst.

Poetry food is religion and the enlightened. ******


Elsa Exposito feeds on our blessings to continue their fight for justice.


Freedom of peasants and workers belong to them and can not be subject to restrictions. Corresponds to the peasants and workers to act, organize, understood in all domains of life, following your ideas and desires. (Army Black Makhnovist, Ukraine, 1925).

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