Research in altruism…

Mind and Life emerged in 1987 from a meeting of three visionaries: Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama — the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people and a global advocate for compassion; Adam Engle, a lawyer and entrepreneur; and Francisco Varela, a neuroscientist.

The Dalai Lama, Engle, and Varela were convinced that well-refined contemplative practices and introspective methods could, and should, be used as equal instruments of investigation — instruments that would not only make science itself more humane but also ensure its conclusions were far-reaching. Mind and Life was formed to bridge this divide and advance progress in human well-being.

Since the first Dialogue with the Dalai Lama, Mind and Life has held 29 others that bring together scientists and contemplatives on a wide range of critical subjects: addiction, ecology, ethics, attention, neuroplasticity, destructive emotions, altruism, economics, and more. Additionally, over the past 30 years, Mind and Life’s work has extended beyond the Dialogues. The Institute has become a direct funder of individual research via its grant and scholarship programs.

Source; https://www.mindandlife.org/mission/

To respect the human culture and its diversity is to respect the human being..

According to the universal declaration of human rights, article 9, everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The rise of extremism which advocates extreme measures or views on different subjects, such as politics or religion for an ideology, is a threat to this human right.

Extreme movements often tend to exclude diverse opinions and instead accept like -minded parts. The ways of the extremists can be fatal and threatening to those that are not included in the same movement, making the extremism a great threat to the human rights.

Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation.”
Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

 

 

Executions, torture, and inhuman treatment in Iran

Despite three years in his office, Iran´s president Hassan Rouhani has not delivered on his campaign promise of greater respect for civil and political rights. Executions, especially for drug-related offenses, continued at a high rate, during 2016.

Despite an initial slowdown in executions in the first months of 2016, authorities had executed at least 203 individuals by October 25.

Under Iranian law, many nonviolent crimes, such as “insulting the Prophet,” apostasy, same-sex relations, adultery, and drug-related offenses, are punishable by death. In December 2015, members of Parliament introduced a bill to eliminate the death penalty for drug offences that do not involve violence. However, the initiative, while welcomed by several authorities, has not moved forward.

Iranian courts, and particularly the revolutionary courts, regularly fell short of providing fair trials and allegedly used confessions obtained under torture as evidence in court. Iranian law restricts the right for a defendant to access a lawyer, particularly during the investigation period.

Prominent opposition figures such as Mir Hossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard, and Mehdi Karroubi have remained under house arrest without charge or trial since February 2011. Tehran’s prosecutor, who has banned media from publishing the name of Iran’s former president, Mohamad Khatami, also prohibited him from attending several public gatherings.

Reference: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/iran

 

Emily Dickinson -poetry

A remarkable poet. Dickinson’s poetry was heavily influenced by the metaphysical poets of seventeenth-century England. Hope is something that we need to have in these times when extremity and evil exists. Hope is not selfish even during difficult times, it endures extremity, like Emily puts it well in this poem.

‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

 

 

Trump as a threat to human rights….

Human Rights Watch is listing President Donald Trump as a threat to human rights, calling his campaign a “vivid illustration of the politics of intolerance.”

The 687-page World Report  analyzes Trump’s campaign, pointing to his rhetoric as a cause for worry over human rights violations.

“(Trump’s) campaign floated proposals that would harm millions of people, including plans to engage in massive deportations of immigrants, to curtail women’s rights and media freedoms, and to use torture,” the report says, quoting Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth.

Human Rights Watch is a global nonprofit, nongovernment group that does research and reports on human rights conditions in 90 countries.

Its new report analyzed the U.S. election as well as politics across Europe.

Reference: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/314329-human-rights-org-lists-trump-as-threat-to-human-rights