Philosophy & Ethics

Abortion clinics and the death of Liberalism

Everyone should be uncomfortable and upset in a liberal society.

Some will be upset when they proudly see two married men holding hands and kissing in public. Some will be upset when they need to choose another photographer when a strongly religious Christian or Muslim photographer refuses them service.

Some will be upset by speech that seems to promote Islamic fundamentalism. Some will be upset by speech that seems to promotion white nationalism.

Some will be upset by abortion being freely and legally available. Some will be upset by being shown medical images of the procedure they are about to undertake.

When we approach these difficult issues in our society, both sides should lose.

Liberalism not a utopian philosophy. It’s far from perfect. It’s messy, and no-one is entirely happy with it. And that’s the way it should be. You have to put up with people doing things you despise, … Read the rest


Of Kanye and coconuts

It would have been hard to ignore the outburst of pure rage that met recent claims that Kanye West had suggested “slavery was a choice”. Kanye, who has become famed for his provocative comments, seemed to have gone too far this time. The rage quickly spread through liberal media outlets, with CNN reporting, for example that “Kanye West just said 400 years of slavery was a choice”.

Among my own Facebook and WhatsApp circles, the anger was palpable. I’d have gotten angry too, if I still believed much of what I read on Facebook or WhatsApp. But given that most of today’s outrage tends to be based on exaggeration and misinterpretation – if not outright lies – it was worth sitting back and considering the facts and context.

First question: are there ulterior motives for attacking Kanye? Absolutely, yes. In black and left circles, Kanye had fallen out of Read the rest


Christian liberty: are you serious??

I boldly declared at the start of my speech in October last year at the inaugural LibertyFest that: “Christianity is by-far-and-away the most compatible religious faith or spiritual belief with Liberty.” Note that I include Atheism, Scientism and Statism amongst such beliefs. I will go even further now by testifying that: “Not only has Libertarianism and Austrian School economics helped lead me back to Christianity, but since then Christianity has made me a better Libertarian and Austrian School economist.” This article will draw upon this speech and more.

There is no exact date when I became a Libertarian, but it has been at least a decade possibly two. I say possibly two, as looking back with 20-20 hindsight I was more Libertine than Libertarian in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s (or in other words more Left-Libertarian than Right-Libertarian). There is an exact date for my return to Christianity, … Read the rest


Empower kids not to fear bullies

WHAT makes a bully?

And, more importantly, what can be done about them?

We know bullying is a huge problem. Even the Prime Minister has admitted to having been a target as a boy, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers research suggests the problem costs society $2.4 billion per annual school cohort.

The first step in addressing bullying is to realise that we as a society have been unwittingly promoting the view that people are fragile, are in need of constant reassurance, and must be protected against criticisms and so-called microaggressions.

Consider a report on the BBC website which states “A head teacher of a leading primary school has said young children should not have best friends because it could leave others feeling ostracised and hurt.”

Seriously? Children are being taught that their feelings are easily hurt and that they are easily offended and powerless to not be offended. Such thinking becomes a

Read the rest

Progressive or Liberal? Pick one, because you can’t be both.

Recently Liberal Democrats (UK) leader Tim Farron was forced to resign as leader of that party because of his Christian faith. Over the past few months, the contradiction between his Christian faith and his party’s platform on same-sex marriage was highlighted in the media, and his position became untenable. In spite of his support for same-sex civil marriage, the fact that he privately did not support same-sex marriage for religious reasons made him a pariah in his party. In other words, for progressives, tolerance is not enough, only screaming acceptance will do.

 

Farron wrote, “To be a political leader – especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 – and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me. I’m a liberal to my fingertips, and that liberalism means that I am passionate about defending the rights and liberties of Read the rest


Corporations don’t have views on same sex marriage, people do

After the news that Australia will proceed with a postal plebiscite on same sex marriage, Qantas, a long time supporter of the issue, was the first corporation to officially come out for the ‘Yes’ side. Qantas is one company on a very long list of large companies listed on the Marriage Equality website. Other companies include Telstra, Vodafone, AirBNB, the big four banks, IBM and PWC just to name a few; but, do corporations really hold views on issues of public importance or are they just the views of the executives employed to run those companies?

The economist Milton Friedman wrote in 1970 for the New York Times Magazine, “The discussions of the “social responsibilities of business” are notable for their analytical looseness and lack of rigor. What does it mean to say that “business” has responsibilities? Only people have responsibilities. A corporation is an artificial person and in this Read the rest


The latest fake statistics: this time on faith

The great 19th century American writer and wit, Mark Twain, once said “there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” Not only has nothing changed since then, statistics have progressively worsened under the auspices of the various government ‘Ministries of Truth’ such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics (CBCS) was the first bureaucratic monopoly on statistics in this country. The CBCS was established under the Census and Statistics Act in 1905, and was later replaced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act in 1975.

It was reported widely in the media last month, such as in The Australian, that the 2016 ABS Census reveals Australians are increasingly faithless, with 29.6% claiming no religion.

To be fair to the ABS, they provide a less churlish and disingenuous narrative on their … Read the rest


The libertarian case against abortion

It just goes to show what a topsy-turvy world we are living in where somebody who believes that life is precious and worth preserving is thought by some to hold an abhorrent opinion. And yet it is precisely the case in the abortion debate. People who hold a pro-life stance are often denigrated as the ones with the morally repugnant viewpoint as they are seen to be seeking to restrict the ‘reproductive rights’ of women. Just the term ‘pro-life’ conjures up images of bible bashers blowing up abortion clinics and wanting to return women to reproductive subjugation.

The abortion argument is often characterized as a pro-choice fight against religious control, and yet the best cases against abortion come from a humanist, secular standpoint.  The pro-life case is compelling and it starts with science. At the point of conception two cells combine to form a zygote with a one-of-a-kind DNA makeup … Read the rest