Category Archives: Social Commentary

Published on
24 February 2015

An Aesthete’s Atheism: Stephen Fry on God’s Caprice

If God exists, says Stephen Fry, then he is an ‘utterly evil, capricious monster’. It is worth bearing in mind that, in the context of his interview for Irish television’s (RTE‘s) The Meaning of Life, Gay Byrne was not asking Fry to speculate on the concept of a Creator in the vague terms sometimes proffered by Hollywood celebrities. Byrne began, […]

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Published on
24 March 2014

Practical Reasons for Rejecting Physician Assisted Suicide

We have argued previously on this blog against Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) (here and here). In both instances we sought to make a rational case against based on the premise that helping anyone to end his or her life is contrary to the value of liberty: with destruction of an individual’s life goes destruction of the […]

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Published on
20 January 2014

Sex and the Future of Happiness

The Open University has just published a fascinating report on sexuality and happiness. Unsurprisingly, couples who perform small acts of kindness for each other, such as making tea first thing in the morning, are likelier to be happy together than couples who do not. Curiously, however, it is also suggested that couples without children and […]

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Published on
20 December 2013

‘Tis the Season to Celebrate Our Shared Cultural Identity

There is something more than a little anodyne about the catch-all greeting ‘happy holidays’ which is now catching on in Britain. If no particular religious festival or ‘Holy Day’ – whether Christmas, Hannukah, or whatever – is identified, we are left with the negative notion of that which we are not doing at this time, […]

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Published on
22 November 2013

Care in Times of Crisis: Does ‘the Living Wage’ help?

By Dr. Matthew Knight & Robert Stephenson-Padron   We are in an age of ‘crises’ – a glance through newspapers over the last few weeks produces recognition of no fewer than seven varied crises currently in play: economic; humanitarian; demographic; moral; and those concerning refugees, care generally, and healthcare… In some respects the greatest challenge […]

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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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