The British public, generally speaking, show deference to royalty and are scandalised, yet fascinated, by any of its human failures. However, after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the royals were perceived, in the tabloid press, as cold and unfeeling when they did not participate in the outpouring of general grief. Later, opinion changed … Continue reading The Queen – Why so popular?
In recent years, many people in Britain and elsewhere in Europe have been outraged by the mass poverty of the bottom billion inhabitants of the world. A policy of reducing immigration is often seen as mean spirited or even racist, discriminating against poor people who happen to be of a different culture and ethnicity. Alongside … Continue reading Immigration – What principles apply?
Over a million people crossed into the European Union in 2015 triggering disagreement about how best to deal with the crisis. The problem of what to do with refugees was likely to get more intense in 2016. Rifts have emerged between governments willing to accept these people and other governments trying to discourage their arrival. … Continue reading Refugees – How many to take in?
People in developing and third world countries have gazed upon the Western world from a much better position in recent years. This has happened through their hugely expanded access to mobile phones, internet, radio and television. They have reacted both positively and negatively. On the one hand, they very understandably desire to enjoy some of … Continue reading Western world – worthy of praise or shame?
Several factors probably help us understand why a desperate individual might choose to be a suicide bomber and blow themselves up to murder others – a history of exploitation by Western powers, Israel’s existence, government oppression, poverty, lack of education, and alienation. But what some fanatical preachers tell young people about their destiny is also … Continue reading Suicide bomber – Why no paradise?
We are each conscious of our own sensations, thoughts and feelings. My thoughts are my own thoughts and yours are yours. Having this sense of individual consciousness we each feel separate from others. I live from and for myself and you live from and for yourself. It has been suggested that this sense of individuality … Continue reading Social responsibility – Importance of religion?
Self-named IS (Islamic State) fighters partly formed out of al-Qaeda in 2013. They were responsible for a humanitarian crisis: an estimated 1.2 million terrified and homeless Iraqis, having fled from them to the mountains, were exposed to soaring heat, often without anything to eat or drink. Most Muslims are completely blameless. But the extremists behave … Continue reading IS – How to see Islamic State fighters?
Throughout history human beings have been fighting, maiming and killing each other. If you wish to think about an ethical response to violence then the Viking invasion of Britain over 1000 years ago is as relevant a period in history as any for consideration. For their story is one of pillage and slaughter, destruction and … Continue reading Violence: How to respond to it ethically?
Some, perhaps many, Muslims hate the West. The dislike varies according to what question is asked, when it is asked and where. Generally speaking, what is detested is sexual freedom being exported around the rest of humankind. And there is anger about the West’s political support for Jewish occupation of Palestine. What is controversial is … Continue reading Terrorism – More logical than loving the enemy?
It is now clear that in Syria the Assad regime has employed nerve gas against the civilian population and has committed other atrocities in its willingness to pursue a civil war. For example it is documented that government forces last year went into villages and conducted wholesale slaughter. In Syria the human misery is intense … Continue reading Syria – What ethical principles apply?