Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

The immorality of the Catholic Church

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on March 5, 2009

In Brazil at least. A 9 year old was allegedly raped by her stepfather and impregnated with twins. It was decided that it was on her best interest to abort the fetuses.

Fatima Maia, director of the public university hospital where the abortion was performed, said the 15-week-old pregnancy posed a serious risk to the 80-pound girl.

“She is very small. Her uterus doesn’t have the ability to hold one, let alone two children,” Maia told the Jornal do Brasil newspaper.

This would make perfect sense to any rational brain that has not been poisoned by religious dogma of course.

But Marcio Miranda, a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in northeastern Brazil, said the girl should have carried the twins to term and had a cesarean section.

“It’s the law of God: Do not kill. We consider this murder,” Miranda said in comments reported by O Globo.

I see, it is the law of God. And he must work in mysterious ways if he allows a pervert to rape a 9 year old, and if that wasn’t bad enough allows her to get pregnant, and if that wasn’t bad enough allows her to get pregnant with twins, and if that wasn’t bad enough allows this to happen in a time in her life when her body cannot properly handle a pregnancy, and if that wasn’t bad enough wants to force her to go through with the pregnancy that her little body can’t handle without very probable permanent damage.

All knowing, all loving, right? And this is the being that we are supposed to get our morals from? Tell me this dear Catholics , do you agree with Mr. Miranda the asshole? Is this stupid idiot’s statement, morality in your eyes? Is this morality in your God’s eyes? Are you not ashamed that this person is speaking on behalf of Christians? Because if you’re not, you deserve to suffer  not  this poor little girl. You know the only times where I hope there is a just God is when people like Mr. Miranda open their foul mouths, because then I would know that he would in fact burn in hell for eternity. Unfortunately, that does not seem very probable.

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Richard Dawkins: banned in Oklahoma?

Posted in Pharyngula by Skepdude on March 5, 2009

He’s on his way to Oklahoma (no, that’s not what rouses my envy), and an Oklahoma legislator has proposed a resolution to condemn him.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 1ST SESSION OF THE 52ND OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE:

THAT the Oklahoma House of Representative strongly opposes the invitation to speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma to Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, whose published statements on the theory of evolution and opinion about those who do not believe in the theory are contrary and offensive to the views and opinions of most citizens of Oklahoma.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “PHARYNGULA”

James Randi speaks with Steve Novella

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on March 5, 2009

Politicians Can Use Fear To Manipulate The Public

Posted in Uncategorized by Rodibidably on March 5, 2009

[Originally posted at: Medical News Today]

A new study in the American Journal of Political Science explores how and when politicians can use fear to manipulate the public into supporting policies they might otherwise oppose. Politicians’ use of fear is more likely with regard to topics that are abstract and difficult for citizens (and/or the media) to observe.

Arthur Lupia and Jesse O. Menning examined how select attributes of fear affect a politician’s ability to scare citizens into supporting policies that they would otherwise reject. They argue that politicians’ use of fear will depend on critical aspects of mass psychology.

For example, manipulation is more likely when the public doesn’t understand an issue or is unlikely to be able to overcome the fear created by politicians. By contrast, the easier it is for citizens to observe that the politician has made false statements, the less likely it is that politicians will attempt to use fear at all.

[Read the rest of this post at: Medical News Today]

For uninsured young adults, do-it-yourself health care

Posted in Uncategorized by Rodibidably on March 5, 2009

[Originally posted at: International Herald Tribune]

They borrow leftover prescription drugs from friends, attempt to self-diagnose ailments online, stretch their diabetes and asthma medicines for as long as possible and set their own broken bones. When emergencies strike, they rarely can afford the bills that follow.

“My first reaction was to start laughing — I just kept saying, ‘No way, no way,’ ” Alanna Boyd, a 28-year-old receptionist, recalled of the $17,398 — including $13 for the use of a television — that she was charged after spending 46 hours in October at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York with diverticulitis, a digestive illness. “I could have gone to a major university for a year. Instead, I went to the hospital for two days.”

In the parlance of the health care industry, Boyd, whose case remains unresolved, is among the “young invincibles” — people in their 20s who shun insurance either because their age makes them feel invulnerable or because expensive policies are out of reach. Young adults are the nation’s largest group of uninsured — there were 13.2 million of them nationally in 2007, or 29 percent, according to the latest figures from the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit research group in New York.

[Read the rest of this post at: International Herald Tribune]

Study Examines The Role Of Gender In The Stigma Of Mental-Illness

Posted in Uncategorized by Rodibidably on March 5, 2009

[Originally posted at: Medical News Today]

The mentally ill don’t get a fair shake in this country. Many employers don’t want to hire them, and health insurers don’t want to treat their illnesses. Even within their own communities and families, the mentally ill are often treated with contempt and outright anger. There have been many efforts to combat the stigma of mental illness, but with limited success at best. That’s in part because the stereotypes are so powerful: Mental patients are either violently dangerous or docile and incompetent. We fear the first and disdain the latter.

These are not equal opportunity stereotypes, however. The image of dangerous mental illness, including violent alcoholism, is much more often directed at men. Similarly, women are much more likely to be caricatured as pathologically dependent and depressed. Psychologists James Wirth of Purdue and Galen Bodenhausen of Northwestern wanted to know if these gender biases contribute to the harmful stigma of mental illness. Specifically, they suspected that when the mentally ill act “out of character,” violating the stereotype, they might arouse more of our sympathy and leniency; if it’s more uncommon, it’s probably more authentic. By contrast, we might be more apt to blame and stigmatize the mentally ill when they conform to stereotype.

The psychologists decided to explore this provocative idea with a national survey. They had a group of volunteers from around the country, varying widely in age, education, and socioeconomic status, read a case history of a person with mental illness. Some read about Brian, who was a stereotypical alcoholic, while others read about Karen, who showed all the classical symptoms of major depression. Still others read switched-around versions of these cases, so that Karen was the one abusing alcohol and Brian was depressed. The idea was to see if the typicality of Brian and Karen’s symptoms (or lack of it) shaped the volunteers’ reactions and judgments.

[Read the rest of this post at: Medical News Today]