Religion and Ethics

Can anyone explain why the ABC has combined Religion and Ethics together? They used to be separate areas of the web site. Is religion the sole source of ethics? Has religion been worthy of consideration as a wider ethical framework, or are religions just local moral frameworks?

For the record: ethics and morals are often confused and conflated. Simply, ethics is more fundamental than morals. Use your deep sense of social justice and consequence (ethics) generally to decide what is right and wrong (morals) in specific situations.


New Zealand will take 150 refugees from Australian asylum seeker detention centres

Perhaps a step in a useful direction, but really a drop in the bucket. I’d also like to see the basic human rights violations we are perpetrating on refugees being addressed. Also let’s stop calling them illegal aliens, queue jumpers and similar BS. It is not illegal to seek refugee. We are signatories to conventions that protect refugee rights. Politicians should and do know better, and this language simply proves how politicised this issue has become. A few hundred or even a few thousand boat-borne refugees does not constitute a threat to Australia’s security or economy. As for the pious argument that we have their safety-at-sea in our hearts, or that we wish to destroy the people smuggler’s business model, well that’s easy to do by placing Australian immigration processing offices further up the supply chain. It would cost far less as well.

New Zealand will take 150 refugees from Australian asylum seeker detention centres every year under a new deal agreed between the two countries’ governments.

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Thoughtful Debate on Same-Sex Marriage

Here’s an article (which happens to be about same-sex marriage) that shows how unattractive and un-liked it has become to write in a transparently pseudo-academic style. The authors have attracted almost no support at all in the comments, with many intelligently refuting the very roots of the authors’ arguments.

The combined article and comments, as a set, is a heartening and fascinating example of the current thoughtful debate on the topic of same-sex marriage, a debate which is clearly progressing rapidly because of that thoughtful effort.

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ABC – Winning the Homework Wars … and comments

I was horrified at the comments posted to a reasonable article here:

I’m not sure if my response will get published but here ’tis.

Some commenters here need to get a grip.

Homework helps develop skills that will benefit the child for the rest of their life.  It’s not just what is done, but the routine and the idea of self responsibility.  Parents need to be part of a child’s education (in fact more than just part) and it is crucial for parents to be aware of a child’s development path. Homework helps with this also and makes it possible for the school’s teachers and parents to have meaningful conversations about how the child is going.

A parent expecting the school to do all the work of educating a child shows how badly they understand the nature of education and their own child’s needs.  Parents who re-visit their own trauma on their children risk pre-loading them with prejudice that most likely is completely unjustified now.  (Yes I was caned and bullied as well – most of our generation were.)

I considered homeschooling, and have great respect for those who can do it well.  It’s a huge parental commitment.  Fortunately we have found a small, caring school that we can work together with as a team to grow and develop our kids.



Flood Levies at Charleville

We think of “flood levies” as nicely rounded, grass-topped and sturdy walls of earth, but seeing these thin concrete walls holding back the swollen Warrego River at Charleville is pretty sobering.

Here in Brisbane, with the ground saturated once more, [click to continue…]

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Faith and Science

The word “faith” is not appropriate here in conjunction with “science”.

Science is not a belief system, rather its credibility rests on applied, objective skepticism. Every idea is tested, remaining a theory till proven by weight of evidence which has been peer reviewed. [click to continue…]