Search Results: The Matrix

  • RELIGION

    My faith is a remnant of empire

    • Fatima Measham
    • 13 September 2018
    8 Comments

    In 1521 Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Cebu, put up a cross and claimed the Philippine islands for Spain. The cross and crown interlock. I grew up conditioned to think religion was a gift. When I moved to Australia, I found a timid Church seemingly more preoccupied with conserving power than speaking truth to it.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Trump's trade attack is off track

    • David James
    • 18 July 2018
    2 Comments

    Trump's destruction of the architecture of international trade agreements and reversion to protectionism will expose the complexity of globalisation, but is unlikely to have the effect he is aiming at, which is to bring investment capital, and jobs, back to his country.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Welcome to the Matrix of materialism

    • David James
    • 27 January 2018
    7 Comments

    A visitor from an earlier time would be stunned to see how much we understand the world using monetary measures. Finance has come to be considered the first reality, not defined by, or reflecting, reality. To see how this creates distortions, consider GDP, which is taken to be a reliable measure of national wellbeing, but in fact is anything but.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Attacks on 'lenient' judges harm society

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 January 2018
    12 Comments

    Alarm at supposed youth gangs in Australia is not new. But the current response to claimed Sudanese gangs has a fresh and disturbing aspect: the attack by politicians and their media allies on judges and magistrates for lenient sentences and the granting of bail. Such attacks have harmful consequences.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Despite census results we dismiss religion at our peril

    • Christine Burke
    • 30 June 2017
    29 Comments

    The origins of hospitals, schools and social services can be traced back to the efforts of people of faith. Much poetry, art, drama and literature grapples with the deeper meaning of life in dialogue with a larger vision found through the everyday challenges of our lives. This religious urge can re-emerge as nationalism, racism, greed, or narcissism, and these have no inherent counter force to question their authenticity. The truths at the base of great religions reorient us towards love, peace and justice.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A cautious response to mass killings and police violence

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 July 2016
    5 Comments

    When confronted by violent killings we should be appalled, identify sympathetically with the victims and with those affected indirectly by these tragedies, and also take a respectful interest in the complex lives of the perpetrators and the relationships that contributed to the shootings. The pause before making larger judgments respects the complexity of motivation and of social interactions involved in the killings, and offers a base for reflecting on how we may lessen the possibility of them happening in future.

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  • RELIGION

    Companies' bastardry about more than bad apples

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 April 2016
    19 Comments

    How do good people sink to this? The answer lies in the mutation of economic ideology from the crude buccaneering spirit of doing whatever it takes to get rich into a more urbane form. People see themselves as competing, not only for their own economic benefit, but for that of the company. This means greed can mask itself as altruism in serving a larger good. And as in the case of churches, identification with the company provides reason for protecting the company's reputation at all costs.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Death and resurrection on Christmas Rock

    • Deanne Davies
    • 05 April 2016
    1 Comment

    The breeze spills, engulfing gorges, ruffling trees. The leaves whisper ancestral stories, signalling from hill to hill creation mysteries. The track wends past abandoned tennis courts, their turf is crushed, compacted anthills that salmon gums reclaim. The creek is waterless but when seeded with rain froglets bleat like lambs. Once trees flaming orange were common ... the granite, grey with age, once barren, yet when Earth trembled, it crevassed and soil collected, water funnelled, plants sowed.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Fragile earth will not be saved by Sunday

    • Bronwyn Lay
    • 10 December 2015
    3 Comments

    Located in Paris in the aftermath of the attacks, COP21 spookily mirrors how climate change politics occurs within complex and pre-existing power structures that determine its effectiveness. Social and environmental wars merge with increasing intensity: from Syria to the Arctic, from Indonesia to Paris. Climate change complexity matches the complexity of terrorism. Causal chains of social conflict are as complicated as carbon movements that result in environmental distress.

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

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 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 inviolable inherent dignity of Aylan Kurdi

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 September 2015
    11 Comments

    I believe in Aylan's inviolable, inherent dignity as a human being like all of us, no matter what side of a national border we might live. I believe that a globe of 7.3 billion people with inviolable, inherent dignity confronts huge challenges and real evil when almost 60 million people are displaced. I believe that secure national borders for a country as geographically and jurisprudentially isolated as Australia confronts an enormous moral challenge, and that we are falling short, badly and selfishly.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Human faces of Monet's demons

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 09 August 2013
    7 Comments

    Monet, in a period of deep grief and loss, made what was in his career a rare decision: to paint other people. The artist forgot himself in contemplating the faces of his wife and his son, in depicting the faces of death and of incomprehension. We need icons like this — icons of incomprehension, reminders of the fragile self that, behind its virtual armour, is beset by doubt and demons.

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