Calm before the storm?
Apologies to the followers of this blog for not being more active over the past few weeks, but I was at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, so was very distracted.
This convention was of course prefaced by the awful disaster of MH17, a number of the casualties killed in this incident were delegates from the conference, people who have worked hard to fight the effects of the awful disease that is HIV/AIDS, and the fact that they were blown out of the sky by a bunch of thugs really highlights the different kinds of people that share this planet. President Clinton in his address to the conference noted the stark contrast between the response to the MH17 crash with Russia closing ranks in a way that is reminiscent of the Cold War and the global response to HIV/AIDS with a global collaboration unified in one cause (however, not always unified in how to fight that cause, but that is a different matter).
On another note, in my regular search for new studies on NDEs, I came across a newly cited reference for the talks that were held in New York last year. Two of the four lecture series were put into transcripts that can be accessed through Wiley (Experiencing Death: An insider’s perspective). I have referred to the December lecture on experiencing death, in which Dr. Parnia hinted that there may be more to come on this subject. I find it intriguing that these transcripts were published at all. Will these discussions around NDEs become more relevant when the results of the AWARE study are published? Honestly, who knows, and I am getting tired of speculating, hopefully we will be put out of our misery before too long, although I suspect not, I have the feeling that the results will be interesting but not compelling…please prove me wrong Dr. Parnia!
On another note, and referring back to my last post about the war in the Middle East, being someone of faith myself I have frequently suffered at the hands of atheists etc. who blame all war and violence on religions. Of course, I point out that most of the violence of the twentieth century was the result of rampant atheist ideologies, but this does not seem enough. However now I have come across the ultimate factoid to rebut these ill conceived accusations. This link is but one of many sources that refers to the same text: Religion is the cause of war. The important bit is quoted below:
“An interesting source of truth on the matter is Philip and Axelrod’s three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars, which chronicles some 1,763 wars that have been waged over the course of human history. Of those wars, the authors categorize 123 as being religious in nature, which is an astonishingly low 6.98% of all wars. However, when one subtracts out those waged in the name of Islam (66), the percentage is cut by more than half to 3.23%.”