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Keywords: Law

  • INTERNATIONAL

    America after Roe v Wade

    • Chris Middleton
    • 05 July 2022
    10 Comments

    The overruling of the Roe v Wade decision by the Supreme Court in the Dobbs decision marks a significant moment in the abortion debate, while highlighting the deep fissures in America’s body politic. Despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruling had been foreshadowed months ago, the shock has been real.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    LaMDA and the (lack of) body

    • Julian Butler
    • 05 July 2022
    2 Comments

    Just over a fortnight ago Google suspended Blake Lemoine, an engineer for Google’s AI organisation, for publicly claiming a computer chatbot he was working on is sentient and thinks and reasons like a human. The publicity surrounding the suspension has raised questions about the development of artificial intelligence (AI), about our shared understanding of what it means to be conscious and sentient.  

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Stray thoughts: On Ozark

    • Julian Butler
    • 04 July 2022

    Ozark is, at heart, an unflinching look at evil. I’ve always known I’d come back to each new release of episodes in part because the darkness is made watchable by the likeable faces of Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. They play the couple at the centre of a family amidst sinister violence and corruption. Indeed, the juxtaposition between the content and those faces is a key part of what makes the show so intriguing.

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  • RELIGION

    Why rad trads and reformers need to start talking to one another

    • Beth Doherty
    • 01 July 2022
    4 Comments

    Debate between more traditionalist Catholics and those who want to see reforms more fully implemented has become increasingly heated in the lead-up to the Plenary Council. One thing that could prevent a serious split from happening is the simple act of talking — and listening — to one another. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The unfashionable virtues of time and patience

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 June 2022
    7 Comments

    If NAIDOC and of the Australian Catholic Church are to achieve their goals time and patience will be required. Yet both show signs of justifiable impatience. This year the theme of NAIDOC Week is Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! Its tone is urgent, expressing frustration at the resistance to change but also the recognition that new possibilities have opened. 

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  • MEDIA

    Stray thoughts: On attention

    • David Halliday
    • 28 June 2022

    Every day is a battle waged for our attention. Last week, I watched an episode of a new ABC series Our Brain on the nature of consciousness and the effect our tech lifestyle is having on our intelligence. Although painful at times, the revelations from Our Brain ring true. The most incisive perhaps is the degree to which social media has been successful in capturing our attention.

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  • RELIGION

    A Vatican-inspired theological revolution

    • Paul Collins
    • 28 June 2022
    4 Comments

    A basic principle was laid down in the pope’s recent Apostolic Constitution entitled Praedicate evangelium that is profoundly important with far-reaching consequences for the whole church. This principle states that any baptised Catholic ‘can preside over a dicastery,’ that is run a Vatican department. Previously only ordained clerics could do this.

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  • RELIGION

    Navigating between the perfect and the good at the Second PC Assembly

    • John Warhurst
    • 23 June 2022
    6 Comments

    The week of the Plenary Council's Second Assembly, unlike the First Assembly, will largely be devoted to voting. My best guess is that there could be about 100 rounds of consultative votes (including amendments and then thirty amended motions) during the week. This will be followed by deliberative voting by the bishops and their proxies. Before voting there will be many short, sharp speeches from among the 280 members interspersed in the program. This will make for an extremely tight timetable. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The grace of courtesy

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 June 2022
    4 Comments

    Since the Federal Election one of the most refreshing features has been the new Prime Minister’s connection with people. Whether it is shown by riding a bamboo bicycle with the Indonesian President, expressing sympathy for the Nadesilingam family for their prolonged ordeal before returning to Biloela or agreeing with Jacinda Ardern, herself a model of public empathy, about the unreasonableness of expelling to New Zealand people who had never lived there, his actions displayed a readiness to listen and to enter the experience of other people.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Can the Class of '22 fix Australian Democracy?

    • Tim Dunlop
    • 22 June 2022
    5 Comments

    Concern about political malfeasance in Australian politics was one of the issues that drove the influx of new members (mainly women) into the Australian Parliament on 21 May, and they are promising a raft of reforms. The astounding thing is that we managed to leverage the change of 21 May 2022 within the confines of a system that inherently favours the status quo, the preferential voting system tending to channel votes back to the major parties.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Second Amendment logic: The arming of school teachers

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 20 June 2022
    7 Comments

    In the context of mass school shootings in the United States, the latest of which took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a crude form of deterrence has made an appearance. To be safer, you do not remove guns, but spread them through a policy of mutually assured terror. Any gun toting individual entering the school grounds will think twice before encountering the hail of bullets from a protective teacher. Gun control, accordingly, becomes anathema.

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  • RELIGION

    What can we expect from the Plenary Council? A Roundtable

    • Geraldine Doogue, Greg Craven, John Warhurst, Julian Butler
    • 17 June 2022
    2 Comments

    After four years, the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia is nearly at a close with the second and final assembly in July. So what has been the significance of the Plenary Council so far, and what can we expect from the final session? In this Roundtable, Geraldine Doogue, John Warhurst, Greg Craven and Julian Butler reveal their hopes and expectations for the process and discuss likely outcomes.

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