Category Archives: Moral Philosophy

Published on
18 November 2013

The Excessive Simplicity of Legal Positivism and of Multiculturalism

‘In any legal system, whether a given norm is legally valid, and hence whether it forms part of the law of that system, depends on its sources, not its merits.’This working definition of ‘legal positivism’ has a certain notoriety, even while it provokes disagreement. This legal tradition is popularly understood, and with some rationale, to […]

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Published on
28 October 2013

What Good is Religion in Public Life?

‘We don’t do God’ said Alastair Campbell. In an increasingly secularised world the idea that religion might play any constructive role in public life is ever more considered a relic of the past. Religious institutions are considered at best well-meaning repositories of old thoughts in beautiful buildings the like of which we shall simply not […]

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Published on
23 August 2013

Caring for the Poor, and the ‘Doctrine of Socialist Intuition’

In one way or another the assorted strands of the wide Judeo-Christian tradition have always acknowledged divine revelation as the source of a duty to care for the poor and destitute. Islamic scholars and authoritative sources in many other religious traditions have also emphasised the importance of caring for the poor, arguing that as God’s […]

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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
12 July 2013

Britain and the European Convention on Human Rights

In discussing the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) it is essential, given current wrangling over matters European, to emphasise that membership of the Council of Europe which drafted the ECHR, and assent to the treaty, are matters quite distinct from that of membership of the European Union. While David Cameron may want to present […]

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Published on
10 July 2013

Political Parties, Manifestos and Governmental Accountability

As Labour’s poll ratings plummet following the Unite scandal we have a suitable occasion to ask how some integrity may be injected back into politics. After David Cameron’s evisceration of his own party’s grass-roots there is perhaps an element of balance in watching poor Ed do much the same to Labour’s political base though none […]

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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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Published on
26 June 2013

Whistleblowers, Democracy and Authority

You wait months for a whistleblower to say something genuinely newsworthy and then two come along in quick succession: Edward Snowden, a former NSA worker who let the world know about PRISM; and Peter Francis, a former police officer who reports that he was ordered to find out compromising information on family and friends of […]

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