Search Results: ethical questions

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Border control gulags have had their time

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 October 2015
    28 Comments

    Anyone hoping a Turnbull government will be more accommodating of boat people than an Abbott government will be sadly mistaken. But that is not the end of the matter. Now that the government has firmly closed the entry door to Australia, there is no warrant for maintaining the chamber of horrors in the Pacific which was set up as a 'circuit breaker' deterrent. Turnbull needs to admit that a purposeless chamber of horrors is not just harsh; it is cruel, and it is unAustralian.

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  • Reshaping the public space: Lessons for Australian refugee, Aboriginal and climate policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 September 2015

    Pope Francis's concerns are not narrowly dogmatic or pedagogical but universally pastoral. He knows that millions of people, including erstwhile Catholics, are now suspicious of or not helped by notions of tradition, authority, ritual and community when it comes to their own spiritual growth which is now more individual and eclectic. He wants to step beyond the Church's perceived lack of authenticity and its moral focus on individual matters, more often than not, sexual. He thinks the world is in a mess particularly with the state of the planet — climate change, loss of biodiversity and water shortages, but also with the oppression of the poor whose life basics are not assured by the operation of the free market, and with the clutter and violence of lives which are cheated the opportunity for interior peace. He is going to great pains to demystify his office. He wants all people of good will to emulate him and to be both joyful and troubled as they wrestle with the probl

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  • The politics of popular evil and untrendy truth

    • Frank Brennan
    • 31 August 2015
    1 Comment

    If you want to form government in Australia and if you want to lead the Australian people to be more generous, making more places available for refugees to resettle permanently in Australia, you first have to stop the boats. If you want to restore some equity to the means of choosing only some tens of thousands of refugees per annum for permanent residence in Australia from the tens of millions of people displaced in the world, you need to secure the borders. The untrendy truth is that not all asylum seekers have the right to enter Australia but that those who are in direct flight from persecution whether that be in Sri Lanka or Indonesia do, and that it is possible fairly readily (and even on the high seas) to draw a distinction between those in direct flight and those engaged in secondary movement understandably dissatisfied with the level of protection and the transparency of processing in transit countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The popular evil is that political

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Be wary of politicians who speak about moral obligation

    • Justin Glyn
    • 27 August 2015
    18 Comments

    One would think after the disastrous interventions in Iraq and Libya that Australians would have learned to be just a little bit suspicious when the US Government suggests another Middle East war, or when a politician urges — as Bob Carr and Tony Blair have — that we have a 'moral obligation' to join the legally dubious US bombing mission in Syria.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Does religion in schools go beyond branding?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 August 2015
    27 Comments

    Religious schools have emphasised the transmission of faith and an ethical way of life through a network of relationships, symbols and processes. But this is now being tested, with the dominant view that values and faith are a private matter best hosted inside the family. The operative goals of schools become the academic and economic advancement of individuals, with religious classes and rituals little more than decoration and rhetorical branding.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Politicians' cognitive dissonance over blaming the system

    • Fatima Measham
    • 10 August 2015
    12 Comments

    Words like rorter, bludger and leaner only ever seem to apply to those who apply for welfare. A politician who draws down unreasonably on entitlements or a banker who earns stratospheric bonuses are seen as passive beneficiaries of the system. It seems the case that only those with power or capital are allowed to blame systems. The rest of us get to be individuals who make choices.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The ethical consequences of making the ALP electable

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 July 2015
    28 Comments

    Labor's National Conference endorsement of boat turnbacks does raise questions, as policies are not merely pieces of paper. They are statements of value, in this case about vulnerable and desperate humans. If, under our policies, we inflict pain for other purposes, it will come back to haunt us.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    ABC apology was the error of judgment in Q&A affair

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 June 2015
    58 Comments

    It is particularly dangerous for a Prime Minister to demand that public institutions or private citizens take a stand on complex issues. To take a stand for something means that you take a stand against something else. In the Q&A case, to take a stand means to condemn Zakky Mallah. From there it is a short slide to standing for 'genuine' Australians against Muslim Australians. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Pope Francis' new encyclical is so radical

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 June 2015
    10 Comments

    The interdependence of human beings on one another underlies the Catholic insistence that the dignity of all human beings must be respected, so that the test of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. Laudato Si extends that solidarity to the natural world.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia wants to know nothing about asylum seekers' torture history

    • Justin Glyn
    • 02 June 2015
    16 Comments

    International law regards torture as a matter of ius cogens, something which can never be justified. If one were serious about finding out about genuine refugee claims, enquiring about any torture at the hands of the people an asylum seeker is fleeing would surely be near the top of the list of cogent questions. But Australia has ceased to ask asylum seekers about any history of torture.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Women exploited on the road to human extinction

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 06 May 2015
    1 Comment

    Nathan has been able to refine Ava's software thanks to his unmitigated access to internet users' search data, as well as to their telecommunications. Caleb, too, wonders if his attraction to Ava is due to her design being based on a review of his internet pornography profile. It is no coincidence that Ava replicates an idealised version of the female form. Nathan's and even Caleb's relationship to her is fundamentally exploitative and voyeuristic.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Domestic violence a product of our adversarial culture

    • Michael Breen
    • 12 April 2015
    12 Comments

    There is violence in many aspects of our life and culture, including sport and politics. Parliamentary behaviour very publicly involves viciously attacking the person rather than the issue at hand. We cry out for strong leadership, but this often means tough, fearless, dominating behaviour. The psychopath's polish, charm, and cool decisiveness are easily mistaken for leadership qualities.

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