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Mz Menneh: “We Need Unity to Grow, Not Beef”

first_imgMz MennehWhat a year, a year in which Liberia’s growing music industry has experienced and recorded more beef than any other years in the country’s history!This year, it is no longer beef between artistes only but also producers and top-rated promoters, with the last one involving Dj Blue, Double H of the BlueLinks label, versus Lewis McCarthy, the manager of late artist Quincy B.The sour beef, which has now split friends and ruined relationships, started after Lewis McCarthy accused Blue and Double H of allegedly killing his artist, has been frowned on by singer and writer Mz Menneh,  who described it as “hindrance to the gains being made to build a strong music industry.”In a strongly worded statement issued to Daily Observer, the neo-traditional singer said beefing brings about hatred and hatred discourages people from working together for a good cause, a situation which is happening currently in the music industry.“Healthy competition is great to build cohesion, development, and progress for all of us as Liberians. Stop competing against each other in ways that do not build unity among us, and let’s find the best for ourselves through love, peace and positive feedbacks.“There is an old adage ‘liquids find their levels’; all of us will never be on the same level but that does not mean your level or mine is better or worse than the other. Together with all of our differences and collective ideas and potentials, we can create a better environment of respect and dignity for one another. Together we can, let’s stay the course. And avoid beef. Beef is killing the industry. We need unity to grow, not beef,” Mz Menneh said.Mz Menneh added it is very frustrating that artists are now focusing more on beef than quality songs that will expand the music landscape.“The industry we now have was not built on beef. It was built on unity and hard work. The pioneers know that beef could spawn hate and undermine their agenda of creating a better music industry for us. And this is what musicians, producers, and promoters need to understand,” she said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Atheist Morality Theory Under Fire

first_imgTheists would naturally take issue with an atheist’s natural explanation for morals, but when evolutionists take issue in leading secular journals, it’s worth finding out why.  Both Science and Nature reviewed Sam Harris’s new book on the evolution of morality and had some concerns with his philosophy and logic.    Both reviewers recognized David Hume’s contention from the 18th century that one cannot determine an ought from an is: i.e., observation of things that exist cannot specify what ought to be.  In Nature,1 Pascal Boyer [Washington University, St Louis] reviewed The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris (Free Press, 2010), and began by citing Hume’s proverb, noting that Sam Harris disagrees with it.  Harris thinks a consensual morality can be derived from evolution.  “His thesis is compelling, but he underplays the extent to which our decisions are rooted in intuition, preferring to portray decision-making as a calculated maximization of our well-being,” Boyer, affirming natural selection, complained.  To him, Harris goes too far in claiming that morality is man’s attempt to rationalize instincts honed by natural selection.  Harris claims not only that you can get morality, but you can go further and infer what makes “the good life.”    Without a deity, Harris must ground morality on particles in motion.  Boyer explains his position: “Harris’s brand of consequentialism – the ends justify the means, so what is good is what maximizes well-being – excludes transcendent sources.”  He justifies what is good on the quantifiable results.  This is pragmatism: the most good for the most people.  Well-being is the measure of morality.  Boyer worried, though, that many of our moral positions are not based on our sense of well-being: “an issue such as abortion is more difficult:”, he said: “our feelings are grounded in our intuition about whether a fetus is a person.”  While enjoying the work of a fellow atheistic evolutionist, Boyer did have problems with the book:A moral optimist, Harris suggests that people can be persuaded to abandon harmful behaviours, such as the stoning of adulterers.  Here, social scientists may feel that he rides roughshod over some solid findings of moral psychology.  Consequentialism is not the heuristic of most humans.  Experiments show that assessments of well-being are of less importance in moral decision-making than a gut feeling that actions are wrong or right.  For example, beyond its genetic risks, people maintain that sibling incest is wrong, even in cases where no children result.    To be persuaded that some actions are immoral because they diminish well-being, people need to accept that welfare is the most relevant criterion of morality, which may require a special education.  This and many other difficulties stand in the way of Harris’s moral reforms, but they are all reasons to read his lucid, deep and uncompromising essay.It sounds like Boyer said that people would have to be educated out of their gut feelings of what is moral to accept Harris’s thesis – but what (or Who) put those gut feelings there, if not evolution?    Michael Goldman [San Francisco State U] reviewed the book for Science.2  Goldman likes to put a rational spin on whatever subject matter is at hand, though he admits, “I know I live in a society that isn’t always sympathetic to cold, calculated, scientific reason.”  But he was almost stunned by Harris’s brutal attacks on religion.  “At once, I shrink before the impudence of his conclusions, and I admire his brutal honesty.”  The book is filled with the hostility toward religion for which Harris is famous: “A self-avowed atheist, Harris isn’t choosy when it comes to vilifying religions,” Goldman noted.  In fact, the villain getting “the brunt of Harris’s fury” was none other than theistic evolutionist and avowed Christian Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health.  Harris called Collins’ book The Language of God an exercise in intellectual suicide.    But Harris cannot build a morality by debunking religion alone.  After describing the pragmatic consequentialism of the book, Goldman explained how Harris tried to derive a non-subjective, non-relativistic, unambiguous morality without God.  Controversies and disagreements, Harris would say, are just peaks converging on the same mountain: all evolutionary roads lead to the same basic morality.  Thus he disagrees with relativism: the contention that all moral systems in disparate societies are equally valid.  A society that stones adulterers, Harris would argue, is immoral.  Surprisingly, Harris would agree with some theists by debunking the fact-value split: “Multiculturalism, moral relativism, political correctness, tolerance even of intolerance—these are the familiar consequences of separating facts and values on the left.  My goal is to convince you that human knowledge and human values can no longer be kept apart.”    Settling in with those strange bedfellows, Goldman still had problems with Harris’s consistency and logic:Although intellectually exciting, the book isn’t what one would call inspiring.  Harris tries for a more uplifting final chapter but only goes as far as saying that “Today, we are surely more likely to act for the benefit of humanity as a whole than at any point in the past.”  He contends that “The claim that science could have something important to say about values (because values relate to facts about the well-being of conscious creatures) is an argument made on first principles.”  Of course, the book’s claim is that science has everything to say about human values—a far more controversial position.    One might conclude that although at one time the best way to define and enforce moral behavior was through revealed faith, as science and reason advance, we can chip away at the old edifice and build anew.  Stories of a young-Earth creation now look rather untenable, but in the past they might have been the only way to instill awe and teach a new and meaningful moral code.  Rather than nonoverlapping magisteria, the domains of science and religion are intermingling all the time.  The Moral Landscape may represent a new beach-head in this quest.  In practical terms, however, this is perhaps just a different version of Collins’s view that a creator set in motion a set of scientific laws, including an evolutionary process, that are still with us today.1.  Pascal Boyer, “Ethics: The Good Life,” Nature 469, p. 297, 20 Jan 2011, doi:10.1038/469297a.2.  Michael A. Goldman, “Philosophy: A Means for Ought from Is?”, Science, 21 January 2011: Vol. 331 no. 6015 p. 286, DOI: 10.1126/science.1199445.It is funny watching moral beings created in the image of God trying to deny that image and derive it from stuff.  Their tangled logic borrows from what they hate and depends on what they dismiss.  You can dismiss Goldman’s simplistic refudiation of young-earth creation and revealed faith (refute and repudiation; see Sarah Palin Dictionary); because without a Moses and a Ten Commandments, none of these guys could measure the well-being or goodness of anything.  What is an “uplifting final chapter” when you don’t know which way is up?  Did Harris miss the 20th century, when scientific atheistic communism came up with its well-reasoned, enlightened, evolutionary view of the good life – killing 148 million people?    It was genuinely funny to watch Harris portrayed as a Tweedle-dumb of the Tweedledee he hates, Francis Collins.  But Collins, calling an evolutionary process a scientific law, is the partially blind leading the fully blind into the ditch.  If evolution is a law, it is the Stuff Happens Law: the refudiation of law, unlikely to lead to any mountain of morality outside Mt Sinai, or to an unambiguous measure of well-being.  Morality?  Stuff happens.  Something else might happen tomorrow.  If evolution were to produce a society stoning atheists, who would Harris, Goldman or Boyer be to complain?  Undoubtedly evolution would have acted for the well-being of the population by eliminating self-refuting dogmatists posing as wise men.  That’s natural selection for you.  Reason your way out of that one.  Oh; but you can’t use reason, dear atheist: reason is the gift of God, unless you can derive that from hydrogen.    The correct response is, of course, to weep rather than to mock.  Despite the Harris happy mask on this anti-religion rant posing as a positive explication of moral principles, it is evident that all three of these men are really struggling with what they know in their gut is true and right.  That Imago dei cannot be excised from their souls.  It would take a lot of humility for them to backtrack now, so many miles from that phony turn-off that said “Reason and Science: Next Exit” from the straight and narrow, even when one is waddling in the dark in a morass of inconsistency.(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Western Railway TCs threaten to observe Black Diwali to protest ‘unrealistic’ targets

first_imgThe ticket checking staff of the Western Railway (WR) allege that they are given “unrealistic targets” of collecting penalty from ticketless travellers in trains and rebuked by superiors if they fail to do so. A WR official, however, said revision of target is a routine exercise, which is done whenever it is found that there is a spike in ticketless travelling. A staff forum representing the ticket collectors (TCs) alleged that imposition of such a burden affected the morale of the employees and wanted the higher authorities to take corrective steps, failing which they would observe a ‘Black Diwali’ to register their protest. The staff association, India Railway Ticket Checking Staff Organisation (IRTCSO), last week wrote a letter to the Divisional Railway Manager of Mumbai Division alleging that in order to meet the “unrealistic targets”, the employees have to often flout the rules.Fixed goalsA TC, on condition of anonymity, said as per the revised target set in April this year, those on duty in peak hours on mail or express trains have been given a target of ₹8,000 per day to be collected from ticketless travellers while for non-peak hours it is ₹6,000 per day. “The target for the TCs deployed in local trains is fixed at ₹4,000 per day,” he claimed. Another TC said, “Many a times, we need to work extra hours to achieve the target. Some of us were called by the superiors and even threatened with transfers to remote locations if we do not meet the target.” The TCs have demanded action in the matter, failing which they would observe ‘Black Diwali’ from October 18 to 23.‘Routine revision’WR’s Chief Public Relations Officer Ravinder Bhakar said, “The target revision is a routine process and this is revised for the proper and productive utilisation of the staff. When our teams conduct surprise checking and find that the number of ticketless travellers have increased, then the administration issues a fresh target.” Rail activist Rajiv Singal, who has launched a campaign against the errant TCs, welcomed the decision of giving higher targets. “Rather than crying foul over administrative decision, they must discharge their duty properly. They must consider that they are an essential part of the Railways.”last_img read more

Mean is in: Bollywood biggies caught sporting the bad-boy look with much elan

first_imgIt’s good to be bad in Bollywood – at least that’s what all the big guys seem to be endorsing with their latest look.The clean chocolate boy guise is outdated and what looks to be in vogue is the mean dishevelled appearance.From industry icons such as Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan to the young band of boys such as Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor – they all happen to be in agreement on this one point, for a change.Back from his shooting stint in Kashmir, SRK was recently snapped at the airport; his machismo on full display as he sported tousled long hair and a scruffy French beard. A black leather jacket, shades, a monogrammed Louis Vuitton bag and ripped denims completed his cool avatar.Salman, who’s riding high on the success of his recent release Ek Tha Tiger, was spotted in Mumbai wearing his signature Muscle Tee and denims.The original bad boy was flaunting a Van Dyke goatee and a rough, short haircut. Style icon Arjun Rampal was clicked showing off a scruffy French beard and covered his messy mane under a cap.It’s not just the big names who are flaunting the look.Even upcoming stars such as Ranveer and Arjun prefer the scruffy and shaggy look.The first look of their new movie Gunday has the duo dressed in denims teamed with V-neck tees and open-button shirts casually thrown over.While Ranveer sports a handle bar moustache and beard, Arjun is seen in grungy long hair and a good, old fashioned beard.advertisementThe boys seem in no hurry to get rid of their tapori style and are carrying their reel-look into real life.last_img read more