Ethics

The only hope for democracy is for politicians to stand up to political parties

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Opinion Democracy has largely been reduced to a contest between three dominant parties, two of which act in coalition. Tony Fitzgerald  ABC Each is a private organisation with a small membership which primarily represents the interests — in particular the economic interests — of a section of the… They dominate public discussion and debate and one or other of them has governed Australia for more than 70… They enacted the… The only hope… Read More »

ATO fraud scandal: just how big is the public service’s nepotism problem?

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Public servants’ conflicts of interest remain ineffectively monitored. Richard Mulgan The Canberra Times The recent resignation of Tax Office deputy commissioner Michael Cranston, along with allegations of impropriety against other senior ATO officials, raises important questions about public sector ethics and… The accusations arose out of extensive inquiries into a tax fraud involving Plutus Payroll Australia, a company providing payroll services for large… ATO fraud scandal… Read More »

Who is responsible if a brain-controlled robot drops a baby?

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Neuroethics: Neurotech experts call for new measures to ensure brain-controlled devices are beneficial and safe Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering EurekAlert! Wyss Center, Geneva, Switzerland – As brain-controlled robots enter everyday life, an article published in Science states that now is the time to take action and put in place guidelines that ensure the safe and… Accountability, responsibility, privacy and security are all key when considering ethical dimensions of this emerging… Who is responsible… Read More »

Why do politicians get away with peddling porkies and ‘alternative facts’?

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Analysis In my house, if you claim to know something, you’d better be correct. It’s become a common reflex to ask whether the dispenser of facts is 100 per cent certain of their veracity. Emma Alberici ABC Such is the quest to be first with knowledge that serious familial opprobrium rains on those who dare to insist they’re right when they are not. So when I recently declared that I was 110 per cent confident that Uluru was the town ... Read More »

Malcolm Fraser’s widow Tamie condemns Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s treatment of refugees in Australia

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Tamie Fraser AO, refugee advocate and wife of the late former Prime Minister Malcolm, has used World Refugee Day to criticise the current Liberal government’s stance on… ABC – Jon Faine “Last year I didn’t talk about this because there was an election coming up, but I can’t look at it any longer and say it’s OK. It’s not ok to treat refugees as they’re being treated in Australia at this… Mrs Fraser, who affectionately described herself on… Malcolm Fraser’s ... Read More »

What does the Anna Stubblefield case teach us about sentencing and sexual assault?

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Analysis A former chair of philosophy at Rutgers University had sex with a man who can’t speak. RN By Eleanor Gordon-Smith for The Philosopher’s Zone ABC The resulting court battle raised questions about when and why suffering matters in sentencing — and Anna Stubblefield went to jail. You might remember reading about it in the New York Times. For a minute it looked like the story would end there: Stubblefield looking open-mouthed over her shoulder in the black and… What ... Read More »

Ethics office will press White House on undated conflict-of-interest waivers

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The Office of Government Ethics plans to press the White House to clarify when it issued a slew of ethics waivers giving its staffers permission to interact with their former employers or clients, an indication that the… Matea Gold  The Washington Post Ten of the 14 waivers publicly disclosed this week by the White House are undated and unsigned, raising questions about when they… Particularly troubling, ethics experts said, was a… Ethics office will… Read More »

Father of abuse victims Anthony Foster

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Tributes are pouring in for Anthony Foster who became a tireless and high-profile advocate for child sexual abuse victims after his daughters were raped by a priest. Melissa Cunningham The Age Mr Foster, 64, died after suffering a stroke on Friday evening. He rose to national prominence after he publicly accused Cardinal George Pell of stalling the family’s compensation claim against the Catholic Church when he… Father of abuse… Read More »

JustGiving is criticised for taking up to £100,000 in fees from money donated to those affected by Manchester blast

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Fundraising website JustGiving has come under fire for taking more than £100,000 in fees from money donated to help those affected by the… Leah Milner For The Daily Mail DailyMail In the hours after the attack, the public rushed to set up donation pages for the victims’ families and a British Red Cross emergency… By last night nearly £2million had been donated via the website to appeals related to the… JustGiving is criticised… Read More »

Twiggy Forrest’s philanthropy is great. But he could have just paid more tax

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It’s true philanthropy is more common in the USA. So is tax minimisation, citizens without health insurance and homelessness Kristina Keneally The Guardian Fortescue Metals Group founder and billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and his wife Nicola made the single biggest philanthropic donation by a living person in Australian history on… For that, they are to be congratulated… Twiggy Forrest’s philanthropy… Read More »

Python Meets Plato: Why Stanford Should Require Computer Science Students to Study Ethics

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When he was 21, Bill Sourour, a programmer and teacher, was hired by a marketing firm to build a website for a pharmaceutical company. Antigone Xenopoulos The Stanford Review As part of the site, he was asked to code a quiz that would recommend a drug treatment to teenage girls. But the details of the app were misleading: the company told him to display their drug as the only answer, regardless of the… Python Meets Plato… Read More »

Values vs. Interests: How Should America Deal with Bad Guys?

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The United States needs flexibility and discretion in foreign policy, not a straitjacket of moral or ethical principles. Aaron David Miller The National Interest President Trump’s decision to extend an invitation to Philippine strongman President Rodrigo Duterte is only the latest and perhaps the extreme example of the Trump administration’s seeming… The decision to strike Syria in the wake of the… Values vs. Interests… Read More »

Good Friday essay: Passion plays and the ethics of spectacular violence

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In 1985 Filipino carpenter Ruben Enaje fell three storeys and remarkably, survived. Paul Megna The Conversation To give thanks for this good fortune, he has, for the past 30 Good Fridays, dressed up as Jesus and allowed actors portraying Roman soldiers to nail his hands and feet to a… Passion plays are dramatic renditions of Christ’s arrest, trial, lashing, and… Good Friday essay… Read More »

Politicians with a ‘winning at all costs’ mentality are damaging Australia

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Australia is a representative democracy Citizens who are equal, with a shared responsibility for good government, elect people of different backgrounds and perspectives to… Tony Fitzgerald Brisbane Times Those elected are not obliged to tell the truth or act in the public interest or forbidden to act in their own interests or the interests of their… They can also enact unjust… Politicians with a… Read More »

Britons expected to send 235m items of clothing to landfill this spring

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Study finds three-quarters of consumers throw away rather than recycle or donate unwanted… Rebecca Smithers Consumer affairs correspondent The Guardian A predicted 235m items of Britons’ unwanted clothing are expected to end up in landfill unnecessarily this spring, according to new… Three-quarters of consumers admit to binning their discarded garments, usually because they do not realise that worn-out or… Britons expected to… Read More »

Martyrdom and Media

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Although sensitivity toward others’ griefs can diminish over time for those who have not lost their loved ones, journalists must respect the pain and wishes of families while covering the story Ibrahim Altay Daily Sabah When we immerse ourselves with our jobs and start to get swept by the fast flowing nature of the news, it is easy to forget that there is more to journalism than reaching the maximum audience… Martyrdom and… Read More »