Skin Colour

Skin Colour

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We are all children of Africa. Our species evolved from the Rift Valley in Ethiopia. We have a common ancestor with the Chimpanzees and Gorillas with who we share 99% of our genes.

There used to be a number of different species of hominids but unfortunately only two survived to recent times and our close relatives, the Neanderthals, didn’t make it. We are alone.

We nearly didn’t either. At one point it appears that our numbers got so perilously low that extinction was the more likely option. We prevailed.

Now we are present in teeming numbers (7 billion and counting) and are changing the very eco-structure and climate of the planet.

We appear to be so different yet we are not. I look at Asian, African, Australian and European and I see differences. Under the skin, aside from the cosmetics of appearance, we are the same. Incredibly there is more genetic variation within groups than between groups. We can all be traced back to the same mother.

I wonder. I can imagine her sitting on her haunches in that African valley, cradling her first born, surveying the landscape, watching the rest of her troupe, and wondering. She could have had no idea.

At first our skin was black; full of the pigment melanin. That black pigment gave us protection against the strong UV light of the African sun. That sun gave us Vitamin D but it also gave us melanoma. With our hairless bodies we need protection.

When we migrated out of Africa to more temperate regions we underwent minor mutations. They gave us our body shapes, our facial characteristics and our skin colours. The different races of mankind were born.

We were all black once.

In terms of skin colour the reasons are simple. We need Vitamin D to keep us healthy and give us strong bones. We need protection against UV Light to prevent skin cancer. It is a balance. In the tropical sun the skin needs to be black. In the temperate regions white. And in the between regions shades of brown.

Our skin colour is the result of minor mutations to balance protection from the UV rays and the production of vitamins.

Now we settle in various parts of the world there are certain lessons we need to learn. If you are black and living in Norway then take some vitamin supplement and get out in the sun as much as possible. If you are white and living in Africa then cover up and use strong sun shield.

Incredible to think that such pragmatic evolution should have resulted in such prejudice, discrimination, racism and hatred.

Human beings are a recent evolutionary invention. We are not yet civilised. We have much to learn. We are still cruel, tribal and incredibly stupid.

It is our mother’s birthday! We should all celebrate.

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Human Rights – The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights – Article 3.

Human Rights – The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights – Article 3.

Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Give people the means to have a reasonable quality of life.
That means more equality and freedom, less indoctrination, less selfishness and greed and more compassion and harmony.

That means universal laws to respect people’s freedom, education, and security. So they cannot be bullied by governments, or religions or killed or intimidated by fanatics, wrongly imprisoned, tortured or prevented from having views and a choice.

It is simple really!!!

Human Rights – The UN Charter of Human Rights – Article 2

Human Rights – The UN Charter of Human Rights – Article 2

Article 2.

  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Homo sapiens – the thinking man. We are all one species. Our similarities far exceed our differences. We all have the same rights.

The arbitrary separation into gender, race, culture and nationality is superficial.

We are all free people with rights and freedoms.

We need to work to ensure those rights, freedoms and respect are universally applied!

That is something worth fighting for (in a non-violent manner)!

Let us prove we are worthy of the name – THINKING – and can rise above the indoctrination that restricts our thoughts and actions.

Human Rights – Some Thoughts.

There is no such thing as human rights. We do not have the right to be born, to live or to die. We do not have the right to not be abused, tortured, starved or beaten. We have no rights.

There is no such thing as a human right.

We are animals. Nature does not confer rights. It is simply the survival of the fittest. Eat or be eaten. If you are unlucky you get mutilated and tortured first. If you are lucky you escape death and get enough to eat. You do not have a right to anything. You have to fight for every bit. Survival is not a right.

Fortunately we live in a civilised world where we can lift ourselves out of that natural cycle. We, as moral sentient animals, make decisions what rights we confer on others.

In the Western world those rights were never given freely by those in power. They had to be fought for. In the UK there has been a long struggle by ordinary working people to gain these rights. People were tortured and killed. People were threatened and abused. People were prepared to face down power in order to gain these rights.

Rights that we have gained through this bloody struggle include:

The right to have freedom of religion or hold no belief

The right to vote for men

The right to vote for women

The right to be part of a trade union

The right to be presumed innocent until found guilty

The right to a fair trial

The right to a fair wage

The right to free speech

The right to have reasonable working conditions and hours

The right to holidays, pension and sick pay

The right to be safe from abuse, hate, threats and violence

The right to have possessions

The right to protest

The right to free education

The right to free healthcare

The right not to be discriminated against

The right not to be enslaved

These rights have been well documented in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights:

http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

Through the Magna Carta, The Swing Riots, The Peterloo Massacre, the Chartist Movement, The Jarrow march, The Suffragettes, Habeus Corpus, Wat Tyler, William Morris, William Wilberforce, Peasants Revolt, Trade Unionism and a long history of civil disobedience and protest we have won these rights.

They were hard fought for with blood and murder, torture and threats.

They are easily lost or eroded.

Freedom – What Do We Want?

I think freedom is relative. What I believe is a myth is the total freedom so many right-wingers seem to crave.

To have total freedom would be anarchy and not in anybody’s interest. The Wild West is testament to that – a violent place of lawlessness in which people died young and lived in fear.

For me there is a compromise. I want freedom to practice religion or not, freedom to say what I like short of spreading hate or instigating violence, freedom to be educated without indoctrination, freedom to support whatever politics I like, freedom to walk around without being attacked, freedom to wear what I like, freedom to cause offense and freedom to express my sexuality.

Those are the type of things that I want in a tolerant society and I think the West gets that compromise about right.

Freedom – it’s a myth!!

Well to start with we don’t really possess a self in order to be free. Our self is a construct of our interactions so the very idea of freedom for such a construct is spurious.

But having said that a lot of us like the idea of freedom.

We don’t like things being imposed on us.

We like to be able to do what we want.

Those two aspects, basically, are the foundation of what we would consider freedom. However, even a cursory glance tells us that freedom is illusory. We cannot live in society without things being imposed on us (and we wouldn’t want to) and we can’t be allowed to do as we like (nor would we want to).

Imagine living in a big urban conurbation without rules. It would be impossible. The roads would not work. Public transport would not work. Walking down the street would not work. Getting goods would not work. Work would not work. Mixing with different people would not work.

Every day life has a set of laws and rules, from all driving on the right side of the road to not barging people out of the way on the pavements. Without those rules and social etiquette life does not work.

All those rules and etiquette impinge on our freedom.

Imagine if everybody was free to do just as they wanted – not to have to work, to just take what they wanted, to jump queues, attack people, rape, gorge and splurge. To drive through the city centre at 150 MPH and to murder whoever you liked. To berate someone and threaten them because they did not like the colour of their skin or religion.

All those restrictions impinge on our freedom but they protect the freedoms of others. It’s surely a question of balance isn’t it?

I think a lot of people have some idealistic view of what life could be like if they did not have petty bureaucrats or overbearing governments restricting them. But isn’t one man’s freedom another person’s loss of freedom?

Aren’t we confusing licence with freedom?

In practice freedom is a compromise isn’t it? If we live with one other person we have to consider them and restrict our own freedom accordingly. If we live in large communities we have to abide by the rules and further compromise our freedom in order to enable us all to get along.

When people bleat about their own rights and freedoms being compromised are they really just saying that they think the compromises are too great and that the laws are not right?

But then with billions of people it is not possible for everyone to be happy with where the lines are drawn is it?

For me freedom exists in the Rights as laid out in the United Nations Charter of Human Rights. That document gives me all the freedoms I could want. I’m happy to live within that set of rules and I’d consider myself a free man.

South African Townships.

This is part of the problem in South Africa. While the white minority live in houses like this:

and the black population live in townships like this:

Having to use toilets like this:

Where the sewage goes down a pipe and straight out into the sea causing a great brown slick;

I think we are going to have problems. It creates resentment and rage.

The African Government needs to provide adequate housing for the black population and raise their standard of living.

Africa’s First Female President Bans FGM on Her Last Day in Office

Great news from Global Citizen. It is long overdue that this disgusting practice is stopped.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/liberia-sirleaf-fgm-ban-womens-rights-equality/?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=UK_26_Jan_2018_content_digest_alive

Do people have rights?

In my opinion – No.

In nature there are no rights. It is the simple law of survival and reproducing. Nothing more.

I do not believe there are any gods to confer rights upon us.

That leaves only us.

I believe that human communities have the ability to use their intelligence and confer rights upon other human beings in the same way that they produce laws and regulate society. Those ‘rights’ are not immutable. They only exist through consensus and through people buying into the philosophy that lies at their heart.

The best set of ‘Rights’ are those enshrined within the UN Charter – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I believe that to be the best document ever produced by human beings.

http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

Racism, Multiculturalism and Islamphobia.

Racism, Multiculturalism and Islamphobia.

Like most people I am a mongrel. If I was to examine my DNA I bet I would find traces of African, Asian, European and probably more. I hope so.

I am not a nationalist. I am a globalist. I see myself as a human being and part of the global brother/sisterhood of man and a responsible hominid. I am not a patriot in the usual sense of the word. I fight for universal freedom, suffrage and rights.

I love variety and the celebration of difference. I welcome people with different backgrounds. But I do have a proviso. This country is attractive because we have an over-riding culture of tolerance, liberal thinking and radicalism. We have led the world in many areas of social emancipation and I am proud of that. We have been a haven for refugees fleeing from oppression and I am proud of that. People come here because they value the freedom, democracy and values we espouse. What I object to is people who wish to impose un-British values on me.

I am not against immigration. I am against overpopulation world-wide.

I do not care if people are black, white, pink, brown, red or yellow. Their race is unimportant. What is important is their character and the values they have.

My views are neither racist nor Islamphobic.

There is no biological foundation for racism. It stems from basic xenophobic fear. I want universal brother-sisterhood and equality.

As an antitheist I believe all religions are dangerous and harmful, superstitious nonsense and the sooner we mature and leave them behind the better. But I do not advocate a repression of religions or action against them. As far as I am concerned everyone should be free to practise whatever religion they wish. But that should be a personal choice, not one imposed on anyone. I am opposed to all forms of indoctrination (particularly with children – which I regard as particularly pernicious and psychologically damaging), evangelism and imposition. I would do away with all religious schools (indoctrination factories) and RE lessons other than historical comparative context. I do not have any hierarchy of which religions I dislike most. They are all the same. They have all been responsible for intolerance, indoctrination and atrocities.
I believe that religion will wither and die of its own accord as the farcical stories are shown to be unfounded.
My diatribes on religion are founded on the infringements of basic human rights and the indoctrination processes they adopt. The practices of fanatics has been similar throughout history whether its pogroms, crusades, torture, beheadings, jihads, partitions, inquisitions or witch-hunts – it’s all about politics and power. They are all callous, brutal thugs, indoctrinated and used by cynical leaders. Jews, Christians, Hindus, Muslims and even Buddhists all have pasts full of atrocities. I abhor them all.
I welcome the variety of cultures and customs. I think they enrich. But I do not respect people who wish to impose their views on me, enforce their religion on me or others or wish to depose the prevailing British culture which is the result of enlightenment and centuries of social struggle. In my view people who live in this country should be integrated and aspire to the values of tolerance and freedom that permeate the culture. I have come to see that aspects of multiculturalism have created apartness and a loss of an over-riding shared cultural values. I don’t think that is good.

My issues with religion are about human rights. I think you can have family values without practicing misogyny or making women second class citizens. Unfortunately I see many practises in Muslim communities abroad and in Britain which restrict the rights of women (voting, driving, dress code, freedoms, genital mutilation, education etc.) which are enforced and infringe basic human rights.
When you lock women away and create a sexually repressed society the males often behave abhorrently. We saw the same hypocrisy in Victorian Britain. This is why I am in favour of sexual liberalisation and monogamy and family values. You can have both.

What the world needs is less fanaticism and intolerance and more love and harmony. The worst scenario of all is a theocracy. The tyrannous imposition of religion on people is surely the most regressive and stifling experience. We were freed by the Enlightenment. As soon as we got the shackles off our culture blossomed, science and discovery were unleashed.

I am all for building a positive zeitgeist! This blog welcomes atheists, believers, antitheists, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, non-believers, Sikhs, Jains, doubters, all other sects, denominations and faiths and those that don’t give a hoot.

It welcomes people of all colours and customs.

You are all most welcome!

I want debate, argument, fellowship and understanding. We might not agree but we can still respect each other and practise our tolerance.