Search Results: John Rawls

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What is Western Civilisation anyway?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 June 2018
    60 Comments

    The dispute about the Ramsay Centre Foundation for Western Civilisation had everything for those who like pub brawls. The question least discussed but most intriguing is precisely what is meant by Western Civilisation. Protagonists praised or damned its ideological associations, but rarely troubled to share their understanding of it.

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  • RELIGION

    The Protestant Reformation 500 years on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 October 2017
    9 Comments

    The first thing to note about this 500th anniversary of the Reformation is that it is the first centenary celebration or commemoration that we have been able to share together and without rancour.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Using ignorance to know if mandatory drug testing laws are sound

    • Daniel Fleming
    • 13 August 2017
    16 Comments

    Sometimes ignorance can be a virtue in political decision-making. The great 20th century political philosopher John Rawls had a thought experiment called the “Veil of Ignorance” which he suggested should be applied to any political decision to test whether or not it is just. 

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  • RELIGION

    Discerning the place for the churches in the great moral questions of the age

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 November 2015
    2 Comments

    'The crisis of child sexual abuse in our societies has required that our institutional procedures be more transparent and that we learn from the ways of the world in exercising power openly and justly. This means we have to restructure some of our church arrangements so that power is exercised accountably and transparently. All of us who have positions of influence and power in institutional churches need to be attentive to the voices of those who have suffered within our institutions.' 'Discerning the place for the prophetic voice and pragmatic cooperation of the churches in the great moral questions of the age', address to the Association of Practical Theology in Oceania conference, 26 November 2015.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Political donations reform is not so easy

    • Jack Maxwell
    • 28 July 2015
    5 Comments

    Political donations give privileged access to powerful public officials to those who are wealthy. But public funding does little to reduce parties’ reliance on private money and radical control measures can fall foul of the Constitution. A 2013 High Court judgment finding that a ban on donations infringed the constitutional freedom of political communication.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hervey Bay boat arrival from Ireland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 September 2014
    5 Comments

    Considering my indebtedness to the two Aborigines who met [my family's ship arriving in Hervey Bay from Ireland] 151 years ago, I owe it to all my fellow Australians to agitate these issues of law, morality and politics here in Ireland so that back in Australia, the homeland which, in my religious tradition, was known as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The unjustified secrecy of the Abbott Government

    • Jack Maxwell
    • 10 August 2014
    17 Comments

    Liberal democracies keep secrecy in check. Where secrecy is justified, this justification should itself be public. The Abbott Government has withheld important information from the public on questionable grounds, and it has shielded itself from criticism by stifling debate on whether that secrecy is justified.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    15 Wisdom Street

    • John Ellison Davies
    • 16 June 2014
    5 Comments

    The woman next door is not talking to her husband. She rakes a garden argument, punishes leaves, brawls with flowers, frustrated by the strength of weeds, kneels on a stone and swears. Inside the house her husband smokes and reads the paper, turns each urgent page, amazed that he is not news. He wonders who writes true histories of pain, of hate. Newsprint stains his fingers like guilt.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human Rights, the national interest and the will of the people

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2014
    1 Comment

    'Whether or not we have a bill of rights, much of our human rights jurisprudence remains partial, failing to extend rights equally to all. Once we investigate much of the contemporary discussion about human rights, we find that often the intended recipients of rights do not include all human beings but only those with certain capacities or those who share sufficient common attributes with the decision makers. It is always at the edges that there is real work for human rights discourse to do.' Frank Brennan's Blackfriars Lecture

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: NDIS helps the common good

    • Moira Byrne Garton
    • 16 January 2014
    3 Comments

    Dr Maurice Newman, chairman of the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council, last week cautioned the Government against listening to certain interests at the expense of the common good. His criticism of the former Government as 'reckless' for establishing and funding the National Disability Insurance Scheme reveals an upsetting indifference and a lack of awareness of the benefits of such a scheme both to individuals and to society as a whole.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    NDIS helps the common good

    • Moira Byrne Garton
    • 19 November 2013
    15 Comments

    Dr Maurice Newman, chairman of the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council, last week cautioned the Government against listening to certain interests at the expense of the common good. His criticism of the former Government as 'reckless' for establishing and funding the National Disability Insurance Scheme reveals an upsetting indifference and a lack of awareness of the benefits of such a scheme both to individuals and to society as a whole.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate change foes need to adapt

    • Fatima Measham
    • 03 November 2013
    10 Comments

    The bases of our arguments over climate change have been trodden so much that a moat has formed around us, leaving us stuck in our little island fortresses. We know thoroughly by now the content of our disagreement. But what are the things that do not require persuasion? Is it possible that we have values and interests that intersect? Adaptation may be that intersection.

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