More Than Just Bread

The Indian tribe that gave up hunting to save forests

A tribe in the north-eastern Indian state of Nagaland gave up their ancient tradition of hunting to protect wildlife. Photographer Sayan Hazra chronicles life in the village years after it banished the practice. BBC At one time, 76-year-old Chaiyievi Zhiinyii was a skilled hunter. But he stopped hunting in 2001. The Khonoma tribe gave up what was an important source of livelihood some 20 years ago in order to create a more stable ecosystem for future generations. For centuries, many ... Read More »

The case to set aside one day of the year to remember our great artists

In Australia, we hold state funerals for political leaders, however divisive or unloved they may have been while they lived.  And we grieve the departure of sporting greats. Julian Burnside Daily Review Perhaps we should set aside one day each year to remember great Australian artists who have died during the past year. So far in 2018, a significant number of great creative Australian talents have died: painters Charles Blackman (b. 1928) and Mirka Mora (b.1928); photographer Polixeni Papapetrou (b. 1960); cartoonists: Jeff Hook ... Read More »

Australian Catholic Church rejects calls for priests to report child abuse confessions

Australia’s Catholic Church has rejected calls for priests to be compelled to report child abuse revealed in confessionals. By Euan McKirdy and Ben Westcott, CNN The Church said Friday it would accept “98%” of recommendations made by a high-level government inquiry into child sexual abuse, which uncovered shocking accounts of widespread abuse inside… But church leaders said that they would maintain the sanctity of confession, arguing to remove it would infringe on religious liberties. “The only recommendation we can’t accept ... Read More »

Four centuries of trying to prove God’s existence

Whether God exists or not is one of the most important philosophical questions there is. And the tradition of trying to establish God’s existence involving evidence is a long one, with a golden age during the 17th and 18th centuries – the early modern period. Lloyd Strickland The Conversation Attempts to prove God’s existence continue today. But they are on nothing like the same scale as they were hundreds of years ago, with secularism now being as common among philosophers ... Read More »

What philosophers have to say about eating meat

WeWork, a co-working and office space company, recently made a company policy not to serve or reimburse meals that include meat. Joan McGregor The Conversation WeWork’s co-founder and chief culture officer, Miguel McKelvey, said in an email that it was the company’s attempt at reducing its carbon footprint. His moral arguments are based on the devastating environmental effects of meat consumption. Research has shown that meat and dairy production are among the worst culprits when it comes to the production ... Read More »

What makes a good friend?

Good friendships seem worth celebrating. But for many of us, tensions can appear from time to time between being a good friend and doing “the right thing.” Alexis Elder The Conversation When faced with, for example, a situation where it’s tempting to lie to cover for a friend, it can seem as though friendship and morality are on a collision course. I am an ethicist who works on issues involving friendship, so this tension is of great interest to me. ... Read More »

Slow down, get real.

In trying to understand the threat of fake news, a strange thing is occurring. We seem to have accepted without challenge the purity of that which is threatened. This is an edited version of a speech delivered at the annual conference of the Society of Risk Analysis Europe held at Mid Sweden University earlier this month. Nicholas Karides * How well did the media system work before this fakeness appeared? How real has real news been? The historian Noah Yoval ... Read More »

Justice for the next Generation? The Collapse of Values.

I was honoured to be invited to give the 2018 Hobart Oration. Julian Burnside It is sponsored by the Bob Brown Foundation. Here is what I said. Hobart Oration 23 July 2018:  Justice for the next Generation?  The Collapse of Values. The two great issues our generation is leaving the next are climate change and the treatment of refugees. Climate change I have no hesitation in saying that climate change is the number one issue today: refugees are a second-order issue, ... Read More »

Nine activists defending the Earth from violent assault

On a planet of billions, nine represent the strong minority battling murder in the global corruption of land rights Jonathan Watts The Guardian Individually, they are stories of courage and tragedy. Together, they tell a tale of a natural world under ever more violent assault. The portraits in this series are of nine people who are risking their lives to defend the land and environment in some of the planet’s most remote or conflict-riven regions. From the Coral Triangle and ... Read More »

Forcing priests to report abuse not a breach of human rights: Watchirs

New laws that will force priests to break the seal of confession to report child abuse are not in breach of the ACT’s human right laws, despite concerns about the impact on religious freedoms, the ACT’s Human Rights Commissioner says. Katie Burgess The Canberra Times Under the territory’s expanded reportable conduct scheme, priests in Canberra will be required to report allegations, offences or convictions related to children to the ACT Ombudsman within 30 days from March… But the Australian Catholics Bishops ... Read More »

It’s impossible to lead a totally ethical life—but it’s fun to try

You want to do the right thing. But in a world where it often seems impossible to eat, shop, drive, travel, or pretty much do anything without causing some measure of harm to others and the planet, leading an… Ephrat Livni Quartz It’s true that practically everything we do in life has ethical repercussions. “Any decision that has an impact on others now or in the future is an ethical choice,” explains ethicist Christopher Gilbert, author of the new book ... Read More »

Abortion and the human person

The fall of Christendom and the rise of secularism has profound consequences for our understanding of the human person. Peter Sellick OnLineOpinion The latter would have it that humanity is but a species among species. This is so because nature is taken as the primary source of our being. Evolutionary theory and the discovery that we share a large amount of our DNA with other species underlines the point. Human beings are biological. The other view of humanity is that, ... Read More »

Memorial for scientist who took his own life

A public memorial will be held in Perth for Australia’s oldest scientist David Goodall, who died in Switzerland from assisted suicide aged 104. WAtoday Professor Goodall took his own life on May 10 at a clinic near Basel after spending his last days patiently and openly explaining his decision to a huge media throng from around the world. He did not have a terminal illness but said his quality of life had deteriorated. “Even up to, say, the age of ... Read More »

France has no reason to bar lesbians from IVF, top court advises

PARIS (Reuters) – There are no legal reasons not to give single women and lesbian couples access to medically-assisted reproduction, the top state advisory body on judicial matters will tell the French government, Le Figaro reported on… Reuters Staff President Emmanuel Macron’s government said last year it wanted to change the law which currently restricts to heterosexual couples treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) that are widely available to all women in countries such as Britain, Belgium and… France ... Read More »

Kamila Shamsie wins Women’s prize for fiction for ‘story of our times’

Home Fire, which reworks Sophocles’ Antigone to tell the story of a British family caught up by Isis, takes £30,000 award Alison Flood The Guardian Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire, which reworks Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone to tell the story of a British Muslim family’s connection to Islamic State, has won the Women’s prize for fiction, acclaimed by judges as “the story of our times”. The British Pakistani author’s seventh novel riffs on the ancient Greek play in which Antigone is forbidden ... Read More »

Defence lawyer calls Puneet Puneet’s hit-and-run ‘just an accident’

“Just an accident”, is how the defence lawyer for hit-and-run driver Puneet Puneet described the death of Queensland student Dean Hofstee, aged 19, in 2008 when Puneet smashed into him after drinking and driving at high speed in Melbourne. Amrit Dhillon The Age Speaking in a Delhi court hearing the Puneet extradition case, Kanhaiya Kumar Singhal said Puneet’s crime was “not heinous in nature”. He went on: “Yes a life was taken but it was not intentional. Accidents happen. It’s ... Read More »