Rare Common Sense: February 2003 Archives

February 24, 2003

Sauce for the goose...

(or, oh how I wish this had been Newfoundland!)

A Canadian provincial court has decided to treat The Bible like all other literature, and has ruled that certain parts of it are hate speech in particular contexts. Three gay men submitted a complaint about an advertisment placed in two newspapers which emphasised four Bible verses which call for homosexuals to be killed. The court agreed that this exposed the complainants to hatred, ridicule, and their dignity was affronted on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Justice J. Barclay wrote in his opinion that the human-rights panel was correct in concluding that the advertisement can objectively be seen as exposing homosexuals to hatred or ridicule.

When the use of the circle and slash is combined with the passages of the Bible, it exposes homosexuals to detestation, vilification and disgrace, Barclay said. In other words, the biblical passage which suggests that if a man lies with a man they must be put to death exposes homosexuals to hatred.

Bible verses regarded as hate literatureWorldNetDaily (loony fundies and alleged distorters of the truth), 18th February 2003; Parts of Bible ruled hate speech in CanadaMetafilter, 23rd February 2003.

February 18, 2003

Bugs Bunny in Satanic abuse horror!

In a presentation to the national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, psychologist Elizabeth Loftus revealed her recipe to get people to remember things that aren't true. She explained how a third of people 'remembered' being hugged by Bugs Bunny at Disneyland (Bugs Bunny is not a Disney character) after the false memory was implanted.

A key to inducing memories, researchers said, is to add elements of touch, taste, sound and smell to the story.

In the Bugs Bunny research, Loftus talked with subjects about their childhood memories and asked not only whether they saw someone dressed up as the character, but also whether they hugged his furry body and stroked his velvety ears.

In subsequent interviews, 36 percent of the subjects recalled the cartoon rabbit.

Suggestion recipe makes false memories realCape Argus (via IOL), 17th February 2003.

February 12, 2003

It's all in the mind

Out-of-body experiences, alien abductions and similar phenomena might just be products of the brain. Ontario-based neuroscientist Michael Persinger has managed to produce these effects by subjecting the temporal lobes to magnetic fields.

Similarly, the September 19, 2002, issue of Nature reported that neuroscientist Olaf Blanke of Geneva University Hospital in Switzerland and his colleagues were able to bring about out-of-body experiences through electrical stimulation of the right angular gyrus in the temporal lobe of a 43-year-old woman suffering from severe epileptic seizures. With initial mild stimulation, she felt she was sinking into the bed or falling from a height. With more intense stimulation, she said she could see myself lying in bed, from above, but I only see my legs and lower trunk. Another trial induced an instantaneous feeling of 'lightness' and 'floating' about two meters above the bed, close to the ceiling.

Demon-Haunted Brain - Scientific American, March 2003.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Rare Common Sense category from February 2003.

Rare Common Sense: January 2003 is the previous archive.

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