Category Archives: Liberty

Published on
30 April 2016

Orwell 2.0

There is something Orwellian about the times in which we live. In a recent debate about free speech on the BBC2 Victoria Derbyshire programme, Richard Brooks – the newly-elected Vice-President of the National Union of Students (NUS) – said ‘everyone has an equal right to freedom of speech; however, some people have more equal rights […]

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Published on
28 August 2015

‘British Values’ and Extremism Disruption Orders

‘Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves’ – William Pitt the Younger Earlier in 2015 Baroness Warsi declared that Britain is fighting an ‘ever-losing battle’ against violent extremists and The Guardian reported that ‘more people were being radicalized in their […]

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Published on
24 July 2014

Whence a Right to Die? Whither may it Lead?

As a right to die becomes the subject of yet another House of Lords debate it may be worth revisiting a matter upon which this blog has commented before here and here. The writer has recently seen a film about Virginia Woolf, and it may be of value to shape the discussion with reference to […]

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Published on
11 March 2014

Physician-Assisted Suicide is an Affront to Human Liberty

Liberty is a premise upon which physician-assisted suicide is routinely advanced. Some of those suffering from serious and incurable illness or distress seek to argue the case that their suffering is a bondage from which only death can free them. Such suffering is, of course, naturally subjective in the sense that what one person might […]

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Published on
3 March 2014

Religious Slaughter and the Rights of Chickens in Denmark

To the delight of secularists and ‘animal rights’ activists the Danish parliament last week passed a law banning Kosher and Halal methods of slaughter on the grounds that these violate the rights of animals. Dan Jørgensen, the Danish minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries told Denmark’s TV2 that ‘animal rights come before religion’. Unsurprisingly, Jewish […]

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Published on
1 October 2013

Faith Schools and the Future of Secularism

With publication of a series of YouGov polls the State’s funding of religious education is once again in the news. Secularists have renewed their assault on all things religious, and public and religious leaders have responded saying that State-backed faith schools are a ‘precious right’ and that it is wrong to drag children into an […]

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Published on
5 August 2013

Sexuality, and the Conflicted Contortions of Modern Liberalism

Andrew Brown in a recent blog for The Guardian argues that Catholic attitudes to gay sex fail to account for human beings. Though his conclusions are different, in terms of  argumentation Brown often seems to adopt an approach that is quite like that of Judeo-Christian moralists, so it is refreshing to discuss an issue while […]

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Published on
1 July 2013

PRISM and the Long View of Modern Secularism

In order to maintain public order secularism in our time relies on well- established delineation of ‘public’ and ‘private’ realms. While attempting to play down divisions between social groups, secularism reinforces a distinction between public conduct and private life. In this way a moderate secularism can reduce public conflict by emphasising those aspects of public […]

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