Ethics

‘A beacon of tolerance, love and peace’: Jacinda Ardern mural to be painted on Brunswick silos

A silo in Brunswick will feature a large mural of New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern hugging a woman in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings. Tom Cowie The Age More than $11,000 was crowdfunded in just over a day for a street artist to paint the Tinning Street silos with a photo of the leader wearing a hijab and the Arabic word for peace written underneath. The mural was orchestrated by the architecture firm behind the sustainable Nightingale ... Read More »

Nusrat Jahan Rafi: Burned to death for reporting sexual harassment

Nusrat Jahan Rafi was doused with kerosene and set on fire at her school in Bangladesh. Less than two weeks earlier, she had filed a sexual harassment complaint against her headmaster. By Mir Sabbir BBC Bengali, Dhaka Her courage in speaking out against sexual assault, her death five days after being set alight and everything that happened in-between has gripped Bangladesh and brought attention to the… Nusrat, who was 19, was from Feni, a small town 100 miles (160km) south ... Read More »

Sharia in Brunei: Gay sex, abortion, extramarital sex, stealing now punishable by stoning, amputation, death

Today, the Brunei Government ushers in a harsh new penal code that requires death by stoning for extramarital sex, anal sex, and abortion; amputation of limbs for stealing; and 100 lashes with a whip for lesbian sex. dateline SBS “Brunei’s new penal code is barbaric to the core, imposing archaic punishments for acts that shouldn’t even be crimes,” said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director. The controversial changes to Brunei’s penal code were first published in 2013, and ... Read More »

Spanish fireman faces 20 years in prison for rescuing migrants at sea

Italian authorities have accused Miguel Roldán of aiding human traffickers after he helped save thousands of people from drowning in the Mediterranean. NACHO SÁNCHEZ El Pais English version by Asia London Palomba. It is June 2017, and firefighter Miguel Roldán has been working for 18 hours on a migrant rescue ship in the Mediterranean Sea. A phone call warns him that another migrant boat is sinking. It is past 10pm and completely dark. He sets out with two of his ... Read More »

The Catholic Church is not exempt from the laws of Australia

How much will it take for the Catholic Church to accept, openly, that it is, and always will be, subject to the laws of Australia? The Canberra Times ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsey was right to excoriate Catholic Archbishop Christopher Prowse, after the latter, currently head of the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese, confirmed his priests would not break the seal of confession to report child abuse. Archbishop Prowse told parishioners the priest hearing the confession would instead encourage the person to report the ... Read More »

Ocasio-Cortez rails against overpriced croissants at LaGuardia

WASHINGTON — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned an overpriced croissant into a lesson on the minimum wage. Nikki Schwab New York Post “Croissants at LaGuardia are going for SEVEN DOLLARS A PIECE,” the New York Democrat tweeted Monday morning. “Yet some people think getting a whole hour of personal, dedicated human labor for $15 is too expensive??” She said her point wasn’t that the croissant cost too much. “GOP taking every tweet so earnestly, making my point for me. It’s not an argument ... Read More »

Do you have a moral duty to pay taxes?

It’s tax season. Americans will pay an average of US$10,489 in personal taxes – about 14 percent of the average household’s total income. Brookes Brown The Conversation Most will do so because they think it is their civic duty. Many believe they are morally obliged to obey the law and pay their share. But as tax day approaches, many Americans will bemoan their tax bill and complain that it is unfair. So, how are we to know if paying taxes ... Read More »

Christchurch attacks provide a new ethics lesson for professional media

Two basic rules of media ethics apply to the coverage of terrorism: avoid giving unnecessary oxygen to the terrorist, and avoid unnecessarily violating standards of public decency. Denis Muller The Conversation The way to do this is to apply a test of necessity: what is necessary to publish to give the public a sufficiently comprehensive account of what has happened? Significant elements in the Australian media – mainly commercial television, the online platform of News Corp and that company’s… Christchurch ... Read More »

‘Consumers must act’: Jane Goodall’s plea to avoid a ‘bleak’ future

Individuals everywhere must make different choices if humanity – and many of the world’s other species – are to avoid a “bleak” future, leading environmental campaigner Jane Goodall says. Peter Hannam The Sydney Morning Herald Dr Goodall, who is heading to Australia in May for a series of talks dubbed Rewind the Future, said “the consumer must take responsibility”, adding “the accumulation of millions of ethical choices will certainly make a… The renowned naturalist, who turns 85 next month, said the increase in ... Read More »

Why Americans Don’t Cheat on Their Taxes

The weirdly hopeful story of how the U.S. came to be a leader in tax compliance Rene Chan The Atlantic If such a thing as American exceptionalism remains, maybe it can be found in this: Despite deep IRS budget cuts, an average audit rate that has plunged in recent years to just 0.6 percent, and a… Even more remarkable, most of us feel obliged to pay. To quote the findings of a 2017 IRS survey: “The majority of Americans (88%) ... Read More »

My anger with George Pell has been replaced by immense sadness

I don’t see a monster. I see all the women and children and men and nuns and priests destroyed by shame, fear and lies Christos Tsiolkas The Guardian I  have been angry with Cardinal George Pell for a long time. That anger was first stirred by his absolute disdain for extending compassion to people living with Aids, and also by his refusal to accept queer people into Catholic fellowship. I was also made furious by his perverting of the teachings ... Read More »

Pope Francis Ends Landmark Sex Abuse Meeting With Strong Words, but Few Actions

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis ended a landmark Vatican meeting on clerical sexual abuse by calling “for an all-out battle against the abuse of minors” and insisting that the church needed to protect… By Jason Horowitz and Elizabeth Dias The New York Times But for all the vivid language and the vow “to combat this evil that strikes at the very heart of our mission,” the pope’s speech was short on the sort of detailed battle plan demanded by many ... Read More »

Call to ban killer robots in wars

A group of scientists has called for a ban on the development of weapons controlled by artificial intelligence (AI). Pallab Ghosh BBC It says that autonomous weapons may malfunction in unpredictable ways and kill innocent people. Ethics experts also argue that it is a moral step too far for AI systems to kill without any human intervention. The comments were made at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington DC. Human Rights Watch (HRW) is one of the ... Read More »

Must the president be a moral leader?

The best presidents – including figures such as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington – are celebrated not only as good leaders, but as good men. They embody not simply political skill, but… Michael Blake The Conversation Why, though, should anyone expect a president to demonstrate that sort of virtue? If someone is good at the difficult job of political leadership, must they demonstrate exceptional moral character as well? Character and democracy Voters disagree about the extent to which the president ... Read More »

Catholic archbishop in Brazil bans priests from being alone with children

Decree follows court order forcing archdiocese to pay almost £2.5m in compensation over sexual exploitation of minors Tom Embury-Dennis Independent A Brazilian Catholic archbishop has banned priests in his district from being alone with children. Manoel Delson, archbishop of the northeastern state of Paraiba, signed the decree on Wednesday following a court order forcing the archdiocese to pay almost £2.5m in compensation over the sexual exploitation of minors. Mr Delson’s decree prohibits priests from being in the company of children and vulnerable adults unaccompanied by their ... Read More »

Save our minds by saving the world

For some time I’ve had a policy not to debate the existence of human-induced climate change, especially not with strangers on the internet. Caitlin Fitzsimmons The Age In my experience the only people still in doubt are not the type to be persuaded by facts. If you present evidence, they’ll simply attack the credibility of the source and insult you for believing it. My position as a journalist is simple. When the scientific community has genuine debate, I’ll report the ... Read More »