Morals

Dying With Dignity Versus The Metastases Of Our Religious Heritage

Why do we let religion rule our lives, but in particular our deaths? Geoff Russell takes a look at the power of Churches to prevent people from making the most intimate of choices. Geoff Russell New Matilda The fingers that once skipped around the frets and strings of her guitar made hard work of rolling the little plastic wheel. But as it finally moved into place, the process began: drip, drip, drip. Clear sodium pentobarbital moved into the plastic intravenous ... Read More »

‘Pandora’s box has been opened’: Scientist’s baby gene-editing claim fuels backlash

Beijing: A Chinese scientist’s claim that he has created the world’s first genetically edited babies has provoked a strong backlash from China’s science community, with several institutions supposedly linked to the… Kirsty Needham The Canberra Times Hundreds of Chinese scientists signed a letter on social media on Monday which condemned direct human experimentation as “crazy”. He Jiankui, a researcher in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, said he altered the genes of a pair of twins while they were embryos to ... Read More »

Why Norman Geras’s essay ‘Our Morals’ should be essential reading for politics students – not a subversive threat

Politics students at the University of Reading were reportedly told to “take care” when reading an essay by the late political theorist, Norman Geras. Stephen De Wijze The Conversation The Observer newspaper reported the students were warned about the essay – which was on their reading list – in order not to fall foul of Prevent, the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy. I worked closely with Geras, who was a professor at the University of Manchester for most of his career. The ... Read More »

Australia becoming more corrupt, warns former judge

Australia is becoming more corrupt because successive federal governments have failed to create an effective national anti-corruption body similar to the NSW Independent Commission against Corruption, a… Nick O’Malley The Sydney Morning Herald Writing in support of a national anti-corruption body, David Harper, a former Court of Appeals justice at the Supreme Court of Victoria, noted that in 2012 Australia ranked seventh in… “The lack of a federal anti-corruption agency remains a reason why we have never come close to ... Read More »

Dr Azeem Ibrahim: Where the far-right goes wrong about Pakistani paedophile gangs

Ethnicity does not seem to play a significant role in rates of child sex abuse despite recent high-profile cases involving men of Pakistani origins; instead, what is unusual about their behaviour is the… Dr Azeem Ibrahim The Scotsman Shocking grooming scandals involving Pakistani men have created another tense moment in the history of race relations in the UK, And there really is a deep problem here – it is not just about the… Soon after the news of that case, ... Read More »

Aung San Suu Kyi stripped of Amnesty International’s highest honor

(CNN) – Aung San Suu Kyi has been stripped of Amnesty International’s highest honor in light of her “shameful betrayal of the values she once stood for,” the UK-based rights group announced Tuesday. Helen Regan Amnesty’s secretary general, Kumi Naidoo, wrote to Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader, Sunday informing her of the decision to revoke the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award, which she received in 2009. “Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, ... Read More »

Macron calls nationalism a ‘betrayal of patriotism’ during Armistice Day remarks

French President Emmanuel Macron tore into “nationalism” in an apparent jab at President Trump during his Armistice Day remarks in Paris. Avery Anapol The Hill Speaking Sunday at the Arc de Triomphe beside Trump and other world leaders, Macron decried nationalism as “a betrayal of patriotism.” “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” Macron said. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first … we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace, and ... Read More »

Greek islanders to receive inaugural John McCain Prize for refugee crisis response

The people of the Greek island of Lesvos are poised to receive the inaugural John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service for their response to the refugee crisis, Politico has reported. ekathimerini According to its daily briefing, the American news site said that the announcement was made by Cindy McCain, the widow of the respected US statesman who died on August 25. The award will reportedly be bestowed on the residents of the Aegean island that has been on ... Read More »

Outrage As Saudi Arabia Executes Indonesian Maid For Killing Boss While He Was Raping Her

An Indonesian maid identified as Tuti Tursilawati has been executed in Saudi Arabia for killing her boss while he was raping her. Ngere Ify Davies Within Nigeria Mum-of-one, Tuti Tursilawati was executed after she killed her boss who was raping her, and this sparked outrage in Jakarta. Tuti Tursilawati was killed on Monday in the city of Ta’if, a city in Saudi Arabia’s Mecca Province. The Saudi government failed to warn the maid’s family or consular staff before she was killed, said officials. Her execution ... Read More »

A Flawed European Ruling on Free Speech

The European Court of Human Rights invoked “religious peace” as a reason to limit criticisms of the Prophet Muhammad. Simon Cottee The Atlantic According to dominant Islamic traditions, the Prophet Muhammad’s third wife Aisha was six years old at their marriage and nine at its consummation. Muslims, as Graeme Wood has pointed out, have debated the issue of Aisha’s age for a very long time, and critics of Islam seemingly can’t keep off the subject. In the fall of 2009, a woman referred to as ... Read More »

Tanzania: Anti-gay crackdown in Dar es Salaam

A Tanzanian governor has announced the creation of a surveillance squad dedicated to hunting down gay people. BBC Paul Makonda, governor of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, told reporters round-ups would begin next week. The team will scrutinise social media in order to track down and arrest people in same sex couples, he added. Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania, where anti-gay rhetoric has been on the rise since President John Magufuli’s election in 2015. Many gay, lesbian and ... Read More »

Why believing in ghosts can make you a better person

Halloween is a time when ghosts and spooky decorations are on public display, reminding us of the realm of the dead. Tok Thompson The Conversation But could they also be instructing us in important lessons on how to lead moral lives? Roots of Halloween The origins of modern-day Halloween go back to “samhain,” a Celtic celebration for the beginning of the dark half of the year when, it was widely believed, the realm between the living and the dead overlapped and ghosts ... Read More »

Complete transcript, video of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s EU privacy speech

Apple CEO, Tim Cook spoke up for privacy at a conference of European privacy commissioners in Brussels this morning. ‘AI must respect human values’ The themes of this year’s conference is “Debating Ethics: Dignity and Respect in Data Driven Life”, Cook is the first tech CEO to serve as the keynote speaker for the conference and was invited to speak. He talked about data, put in a bid for a bill of U.S. digital rights, slammed competitors for profiting while unleashing powerfully ... Read More »

In Defense Of Autonomous Weapons

The development of artificial intelligence and ethics for their use must go hand-in-hand. Otherwise, such weapons will be built without regard for morals or the laws of war. Ryan Khurana The National Interest In July 2018, the Future of Life Institute (FLI), an organization dedicated to mitigating existential risks from artificial intelligence (AI), published a pledge to ban the development of lethal autonomous weapons… FLI is one of the most respected institutions in the AI risk domain, having on its board such ... Read More »

Romania marriage poll: One man, one woman definition up for vote

Romanians are deciding this weekend whether a family should revolve around a married man and woman. BBC The two-day vote on changing their constitution has been portrayed by supporters of the referendum as a way of protecting the status of the “traditional” family. Opponents warn it will come at the expense of same-sex couples, single parents and children too. And there are accusations that the whole exercise is a sideshow to distract from a corruption case involving the leader of ... Read More »

How should we judge people for their past moral failings?

The recent allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have further divided the nation. Andrew Khoury The Conversation Among the questions the case raises are some important ethical ones. Not least among them is the question of moral responsibility for actions long since passed. Particularly in light of the #MeToo movement, which has frequently involved the unearthing of decades old wrongdoing, this question has become a pressing one. As a philosopher, I believe this ethical conundrum involves ... Read More »