Posted: 09 Feb 2011 03:49 PM PST
The BHA has briefed members of the House of Lords ahead of tomorrow’s debate in the chamber called by the Lord Bishop of
The brief mentions key issues that the BHA is committed to supporting such as having legally recognised humanist marriage, same sex marriage, and it details the BHA’s concerns regarding potential ‘religious’ civil partnerships.
Our brief also raises the continuing inequality in marriage law between gay and straight couples. Although civil-partnerships were a positive step, they are still not equal to marriage. There is absolutely no legitimate reason why same sex couples should not be given the same rights as heterosexual couples.
In terms of current discussions which propose allowing religious elements into civil partnerships, the BHA is a strong supporter of the principle that civil marriages be conducted completely without reference to any particular religion or belief (including Humanism) because it is necessary for civil law to remain secular. We are therefore very concerned that the same principle be maintained in respect of civil partnerships.
Read the BHA’s briefing on marriage, marriage law and civil partnerships http://humanism.org.uk/_uploads/documents/bha-briefing-2011-marriage-debate-10-02-11.pdf
Posted: 09 Feb 2011 03:30 PM PST
Can you take away the feelings of guilt through self harm? Well, here’s one way to find out.
When Brock Bastian, of the
Second, these guilt-ridden students kept their arms in the ice bath longer than the guilt-free students. What’s more, their level of guilt dropped more than the guilt-ridden students who had a warm water bath. The figure shows the averages.
Here’s what Bastian and colleagues have to say:
But there’s still a couple of nagging doubts in my mind. It seems clear that self-punishment could be a signal to others that you’re truly sorry, but in this experiment people actually felt less guilty (i.e. less sorry) after the pain. What good is it to me to know that you were sorry, but that you’re over it now because you’ve stuck a needle in your arm?
Secondly, is this a cross cultural effect? Both these experiments were conducted in countries aligned to Christian notions of atonement. Although religions often have a pain fixation, usually it involves displays of fidelity, rituals of self enhancement, or attempts to reach a transcendent state (or all three). It’s only Christianity that’s made atonement and penance a central part of ritual self-harm.
If that’s the case, then is what we’re seeing here a basic human instinct, or is it a cultural construction? Do these students feel less guilty after self harming simply because that’s what happens in the films?
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