3 October 2009

International blasphemy day

30 September 2009 was the first international Blasphemy Day, organised by the Center For Inquiry to commemorate the Mohammed cartoons controversy and celebrate free expression and the “God-given” right to mock, ridicule and blaspheme religions. Read more about this here.

I learned from that site that UN nations passed, a few months ago, a resolution on religious defamation: “Defamation of religious is a serious affront to human dignity leading to a restriction on the freedom of their adherents and incitement to religious violence,” the adopted text read, adding that “Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.”

The resolution is both obscene (clearly) and irrational. Indeed, by adopting religion A, say, chances are you are blaspheming religion B. (Example: In the Greek Orthodox “tradition”, there is a song/poem some older people sing during the week before Easter that mentions the “thrice-cursed Jews who crucified Christ”.)

Therefore, if one is to abide to the law, one should not be a member of a religion that is in conflict with at least another religion. Since (I think) there is no religion that has absolutely zero conflicts with another, the only logical conclusion, following from the UN resolution, is that one should be an atheist. This could (should?) be pointed out to the brains who voted for such an obscene/irrational thing.


  1. I didn't know about that bit in the Greek Orthodox service. Since you mentioned old people does this mean it's falling into disuse with the younger generations?

  2. Oh yes. I would not just say it's falling into disuse, I would say that the majority of young people would not even be aware of these "traditions". I should add that these "traditions" circulate among, say, village people who would have no clue (no pun intended) that Jews even exist. They say these things because they were told to say so by their grandfathers, etc. Regardless, it is true that they are blasphemy against another religion.

    To offer a converse "basphemy" example, I was told, recently, by a colleague from Israel, the following: A Jewish delegation from Israel went to Austria to participate in an inter-faith (?) meeting, something that had to do with remembering the holocaust. One orthodox Jew, however, refused to enter the building because there was a cross on a wall. The explanation, according to my friend, is that Orthodox Jews consider Christianity a polytheistic religion (trinity...) and, hence, they will not associate themselves with it. The problem was solved because someone offered to take the cross down.



What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant