The Case for Lawful Assisted Dying

by Michael Nugent on November 25, 2018

I had a very constructive discussion on Newstalk today about assisted dying, with Tom Curran, Gina Menzies, and Between the Lines host Andrea Gilligan

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Kate SI went to see Kate Smurthwaite’s solo show Clit Stirrer at the Workman’s Club in Dublin last night, introduced by Margo Carr. The show is a roller-coaster of darkness and laughs, mixing intelligent political commentary with creative puns, and reminding us which is more important.

Kate starts by sharing a disturbing true story that makes us forget we are at a comedy gig, then segues into a biting satire of television adverts and the politics of injustice, together with a video compilation of some of her best television appearances.

Like many of us who speak out about anything, Kate gets a ridiculous amount of online abuse, and this show responds to that. Clit Stirrer highlights that, while some call Kate controversial, what should be more controversial is the reality that her material describes.

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Atheist Ireland launches ‘One Oath For All’ campaign

by Michael Nugent on November 11, 2018

One Oath For All PNGAtheist Ireland is today launching a ‘One Oath For All’ campaign, to enable conscientious atheists to hold the office of President, Judge, Taoiseach, or other members of the Council of State.

Today Michael D Higgins will begin his second term as President, after fourteen elections or uncontested nominations since 1938, all of which have excluded conscientious atheists as candidates.

This is because, in order to take office as President, Judge, or Taoiseach, we would have to swear a religious oath that would force us to dissemble about our beliefs, and breach our human right to freedom of conscience and belief.

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European CourtThe case in which a woman was convicted in Austria for describing Muhammad as a paedophile, and in which the European Court of Human Rights did not overrule the judgment of the Austrian Courts, is both dangerous for human rights and widely misunderstood by many critics.

It is ironic that the judgment of the European Court came in the week that Ireland was voting to remove the offence of blasphemy from our Constitution, following a decade-long campaign by Atheist Ireland to have a referendum held to do this.

The task now for those of us who support Freedom of Expression is to strengthen the growing consensus within Europe (and elsewhere) that laws should protect people from harm, but should not protect beliefs from criticism, including harsh and unreasonable criticism, and that laws and treaties should be interpreted in light of that modern perception of human rights rather than historic ones.

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From Belgium to Saudi Arabia, IHEU ranks the best and worst countries in which to be an atheist

October 29, 2018

The IHEU Freedom of Thought Report 2018 ranks the best and worst countries in the world to be an atheist, based on restrictions or discrimination in four areas: constitution and government; education and children’s rights; family, community and society; and freedom of expression. The IHEU is the International Humanist and Ethical Union. Atheist Ireland is […]

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The moment that Ireland removed the crime of blasphemy from our constitution

October 28, 2018

11:03 pm, Saturday 27th October 2018

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Atheist Ireland welcomes removal of medieval crime of blasphemy

October 28, 2018

The people of Ireland have finally removed the medieval crime of blasphemy from our constitution, after a decade of campaigning by Atheist Ireland to have this referendum held. We will now continue to lobby for other secular changes, including ending the religious oath for President and the control that the Catholic Church still has over […]

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Atheist Ireland welcomes positive exit poll figures on blasphemy referendum

October 26, 2018

Exit polls suggest that today’s Yes vote might be between 69% (Irish Times exit poll) and 71% (RTE exit poll). We must remember that these are only exit polls, and not the official result of the vote, which we will not know until tomorrow or Sunday. Whatever the actual result, Atheist Ireland would like to […]

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Ronan Mullen voted against the blasphemy law in 2009, despite now denying that he did so

October 19, 2018

Senator Ronan Mullen voted against the Irish blasphemy law in 2009, despite denying that he did so on Prime Time yesterday. He opposed the blasphemy law because it did not explicitly allow religious people to blaspheme against matters held sacred by other religions. He added: ‘I say this as someone who worked for five and […]

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How the Islamic States at the United Nations use the Irish blasphemy law to justify their own laws

October 19, 2018

One of the arguments that Atheist Ireland has made, in support of removing the Irish blasphemy law, is that repressive regimes have used our law to politically justify their use of blasphemy laws, and to attempt to spread blasphemy laws around the world. Here is the most significant example of this in action, in which […]

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