Tag Archives: Human rights

24 hours to save the world

Each one of us is blessed with 24 hours in every day. But what we do with those 24 hours varies enormously. Continue reading

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Why is morality relative?

The Ten Commandments by Gerry DIncher

The Ten Commandments by Gerry DIncher Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 2.0)

God gave the Israelites some pretty clear rules for how to live their lives. “Thou shalt not kill,” comes in at number six, and seems pretty clear cut. “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” is also very straightforward, and is at number seven. Yet Leviticus states, “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”

So what’s going on here? Is morality not as clear as we first thought? And if so, why not? Continue reading

Ethics and Aesthetics

Morality, it is sometimes said, represents the way that people would like the world to work. And Aesthetics could be said to represent the way people would like the world to look.

Ethics and Aesthetics can be grouped together in philosophy under Value Theory, the implication being that the two principles derive from the same fundamental instinct; from the same part of the human mind.

As Wittgenstein put it: “Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same.” (Thanks to Michelle Joelle for this.)

Now a moral world where no one suffered would be a beautiful thing for sure, but there’s a strong negative aspect to this correlation between ethics and aesthetics too. Continue reading

Our holiday in Schaerbeek, Brussels

Five years ago we spent a couple of weeks travelling around Belgium and Germany with the kids. It was an exciting family holiday, staying in youth hostels, visiting the picturesque Rhine and Moselle valleys of Germany, and spending a night in the cosmopolitan city of Brussels. Unwittingly, we chose the now notorious Schaerbeek district of Brussels to stay, as it was cheap, convenient for the centre, and we had no idea that it was a hotbed of Islamic terrorism. Continue reading

Left vs Right, Authoritarianism vs Libertarianism

Anyone interested in politics should take a good look at the Political Compass website. Here you can read about Left vs Right (economics) and Authoritarianism vs Libertarianism (social attitudes) and see how you fit into the big picture. There’s a relatively simple test to take, and here are my results, shown with the positions of the various UK political parties in the 2015 general election. It seems like I’m a political outsider, although not an extremist. Continue reading

Welcome to Britain

The weather in Glasgow in November may be terrible, but the plane-load of Syrian refugees arriving there this afternoon probably weren’t too dismayed. Continue reading

Vladimir Putin: friend or foe?

There are lots of reasons to distrust and dislike Vladimir Putin. I won’t bother to list them all here. But I have a grudging respect for him. Putin gets things done. Not necessarily the right things, but not necessarily the wrong things either. Continue reading