Latest posts  
November
24th
  3:21:41 AM

FOCUS ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

'If only we had enough condoms'

tags :

WHO reportThe twentieth century witnessed so much bloodshed in the name of ideology you might think people would be ready to give it a rest. But no, we have a new ideology whose adherents believe will usher in a new heaven on earth. If only everyone would finally get on board, if only its adherents had the right combination of money and power, if only its Neanderthal opponents would surrender their squeamishness, this new ideology could solve the world’s problems. Poverty, environmental degradation and disease would be conquered at last. The name of this new ideology? I call it “condom-ism.”
 
Its adherents believe we could solve all these problems, if only we had enough condoms. I exaggerate, of course. They actually believe that human salvation will require all sorts of birth control including abortion, not just condoms.
 
A recent edition of the widely-read British medical journal, The Lancet, spells out some of the tenets of this position. The authors opine that “family planning” still matters because population growth retards economic growth, or exacerbates poverty. They themselves admit that the economic evidence for their position is slim, because “poverty reduction is also affected… click here to read whole article and make comments



 
June
02nd
  1:07:36 PM

FOCUS ON POSTMODERNISM

What is the difference between King Lear and Ginger Meggs?

tags : philosophy, post-modernism

In the best postmodern way, I should let you know at the outset that I am not going to talk about either King Lear or Ginger Meggs. I have juxtaposed Shakespeare’s tragic monarch and the hero of the once-popular cartoon strip – as indeed I have juxtaposed Andrew Marvell, the late Metaphysical poet and Mickey Mouse – in various public ruminations about the problems associated with the reading, teaching and appreciation of literature in English in the contemporary classroom, specifically, in the current New South Wales Higher School Certificate English syllabus (but, of course, not only there).

Such juxtapositions are meant to highlight the jettisoning of value in education, in general, reflected earlier this week, for example, when the Australian Catholic University saw fit to confer honorary doctoral degrees on the Wiggles. The thinking (if it might be so called) behind such events as this reveals a degraded idea of the university – if I may use Cardinal’s Newman’s term of high conception in reference to such a debased context. It goes well beyond a modern re-consideration of (and, at times, a healthy re-valuation of received ideas about… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
June
02nd
  10:01:53 AM

FOCUS ON POSTMODERNISM

PoMo's unteachable suspicion

tags : education, philosophy, post-modernism

Australia is not a safe place for postmodernists at the present moment. Over the past months, academics, journalists, and even Prime Minister John Howard have publicly attacked their influence on school curricula around the country.

At a recent seminar at Warrane College, a residential college at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, academics from three universities took the chance to lambaste the postmodern position. In this issue of MercatorNet, we are featuring some of the contributions that they made.

In "Your pocket guide to PoMo's history" Martin Fitzgerald provides some historical background. His paper traces two philosophical strands that have shaped postmodernism. One is the deconstructionism of thinkers like Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault. This developed from the structuralist and logical positivist movements of the 20th century, which in turn sprang from the empiricist tradition. The other is the atheistic existentialism of Jean Paul Sartre and Friedrich Nietzsche. The convergence of these ideas has led to the “theory” -- or more correctly the attitude -- that characterises postmodernism.

In "What does this mean for education?" James Franklin argues that postmodern-inspired… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
June
01st
  12:53:15 PM

FOCUS ON POSTMODERNISM

Your pocket guide to PoMo's history

tags : philosophy, post-modernism

It all began with one simple idea which multiplied dangerouslyHow often have you been reading something quite pleasant and suddenly the author drops the fateful word – postmodernism? The argument begins to get fuzzy. You muddle through and hope that the rest of the article becomes clear. You also have a sneaking suspicion that a dictionary will be useless. And, anyhow, how are you supposed to know what postmodernism is if you’re not even sure what modernism is?

So let’s start with modernism. This is the philosophical term for philosophical offshoots of the Enlightenment, the complex of ideas that has shaped the modern world from the 18th century until the mid-20th century. Its characteristic features were -- and still are -- suspicion of authority and tradition as sources of knowledge and the conviction that human reason is the engine of progress. This implied that religious faith was a bad guide to understanding the world and that the unimpeded march of science and technology was a very good thing. The Enlightenment was optimistic: knowledge through reason alone would produce an ideal world which goes forever forward.

These key ideas… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
March
18th
  9:06:48 AM

ENGAGING ISLAM

Africa's religious fault line

tags :

NAIROBI, KENYA: Every morning at 5.20 from my house I hear the muezzin call the faithful to prayer from the second largest mosque in Nairobi. Just over one hour later the bells of the nearby Salesian shrine follow suit and intone the Ave Maria, as if in friendly competition. This daily routine is a constant reminder that Christianity and Islam have been co-existing in Africa –- especially immediately south of the Sahara -- for many centuries: a fault line that stretches from Sudan, northern Kenya, Uganda and southern Ethiopia across to the Ivory Coast and Senegal.

Christianity is thought to have arrived in the mountains of Ethiopia as early as the 4th century. From the 7th century the Christian state of Nubia (central Sudan) began to succumb to the gradual infiltration of Islam, but Nubian Christians lingered on in the southern part until the 16th century. Sudan was crucial to the Muslims because it provided access from North Africa to Mecca.

The east coast of Africa was settled by Arab Muslims from the 8th and 9th centuries, and they had some success in converting the local people from their… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
March
17th
  9:47:23 AM

ENGAGING ISLAM

A challenge to European Christians

tags :

A mosque in Berlin (Der Spiegel) MÜNSTER (WESTPHALIA): The anger of militant Muslims in recent weeks has stirred Europe from its slumber. Two questions must be asked in the wake of the furore over the cartoons of Mohammed in European newspapers. What, if anything, do Westerners hold holy? And, with the demographic bomb ticking away, what is the cultural and spiritual identity of Europe?

Finally, the practical consequences of a declining population are troubling Europeans. What neither rational demographers nor intellectual heavyweights have managed to achieve is now obvious to everyone in Denmark, Germany, the UK, Italy, Russia, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Between five and ten percent of Germany’s population is already Muslim. The inner cities of the largest German cities, Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne will have a predominantly Muslim population within only 14 years. Germans will be a minority in their inner cities in the imminent future. At present there are 48 mosques in Germany, with more than 100 under construction.

And there are not just signs on the wall that many of the Muslim immigrants into Europe do not want to integrate in their new countries. Last… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
March
15th
  10:39:51 AM

ENGAGING ISLAM

Man and God in Islam

tags :

Although articles on Islam appear every day in Western newspapers, it is normally treated as a political phenomenon. But Islam is a religion and its characteristics flow from its theology. To get an understanding of the underpinnings of the religion of one-fifth of today's world, we consulted Dr José Morales, a Spanish theologian and Catholic priest who has recently published a book on Islam in contemporary Europe.

MercatorNet: The Islamic world and the West have very different ways of looking at the nature of man and society. What are the fundamental reasons for these differences? Are they theological or sociological?

Morales: The Islamic world and the West are very broad realities and concepts which have very different ways of understanding man and society. It is often said that Islam is not a monolith but a mosaic. It is a very fragmented and divided world and only the Western habit of drawing concepts together can treat it as a unity. On the other hand, the Western Enlightenment and Western modernism do not accept a Christian understanding of man either.

With these caveats, let me… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

Page 10 of 10 : ‹ First  < 8 9 10

about this blog | Bookmark and Share

Search this blog

 Recent Posts

 MercatorNet blogs
Book Reviews: Reading Matters
Population issues: Demography is Destiny
Style and culture: Tiger Print
Family social policy: Family Edge
US political scene: Sheila Liaugminas
Just B16 : Just B16
News about bioethics: BioEdge
From the editors : Conniptions

 From MercatorNet's home page

Is “infertility default” really the preferred option?
24 Mar 2015
Long-acting contraception targets the poor and minorities

Why slam a defender of the poor?
24 Mar 2015
A Notre Dame philosopher's obsessing over gay sex is like fiddling while Rome burns.

Love me tinder, love me true
23 Mar 2015
The wildy popular dating app is corrupting romance.

Down syndrome kids need support after they’re born—but also before
23 Mar 2015
A vigorous campaign is needed to dispel prejudice.

Great men make great mistakes
23 Mar 2015
Lee Kwan Yew was a visionary stateman. But his vision for Singapore's population may have doomed the prosperous city-state.


 Tags
economic history, Venezuela, nature, Judeo-Christian ethics, gambling, human ecology, Matthew Shepard, female genital mutilation, British Commonwealth, honor killings, contraceptive pill, handwriting, Australia, White House, Tim Tebow, winter games, revolution, population, childlessness, massacres, ancient Greece, Stephen Fry, progressive, Catalonia, England, Vatican II, JRR Tolkien, Gen X, Meriam Ibrahim, John F. Kennedy, work, free speech, Muslims, organ transplant, nation-state, health, NATO, disease burden, racial equality, Self-Organized Learning Environments, empathy, enhanced interrogation techniques, morning after pill, personhood, British riots, civilian casualties, optimism, Libya, binge drinking, sharia, developing countries, English language, Crimea, Obama administration, Navy SEALs, market economy, Live Action media, civic trust, Senate, space flight, automation, sex selective abortion, France, psychology, poverty, pollution, G8, Copenhagen, homemakers, Roe v. Wade, baseball, C. S. Lewis, contraceptive injection, Kony 2012, marriage education, hyperovulation, scandal, faith in public life, smoking, targeted assassination, death, Star Trek, quiet, global supply chain, financial markets, teaching, Thomas Berry, Tolstoy, Papal visit to UK, organ transplants, social cohesion, privacy, youth unemployment, Libya crisis, Pike River Mine, parenting, aid, European Parliament, Institute of Medicine, Greenpeace, family structure, corruption, ageing population, MOOCs, films, US Army, disability, political science, Philip Nitschke, natural disasters, religion, chemical abortion, polls, dating, caliphate, Barack Obama, Plan B, Afghanistan, sin, economics, war on drugs, homosexuality, Stanley Milgram, Latino, assisted suicide, 007, fertility awareness, sustainable development, Buddhism, Asia, whistleblowers, adolescence, Holocaust, Taliban, literacy, siblings, orthodoxy, Shakespeare, Narnia, kindergarten, rights of the child, syria, climate change, right to know, identity, George Orwell, classics, jihad, scientism, natural family planning, Guantanamo Bay, love, Superman, Azerbaijan, State of the World's Mothers, Jeremy Bentham, art, Lithuania, Communism, cannabis, mindfulness, rhetoric, Rolf Harris, Weltschmerz, statistics, elderly, disability rights, abstinence, funding, New Zealand, end-of-life issues, biology determinism, ordination of women, autonomy, Osama bin Laden, death with dignity, The Wolverine, women, stay-at-home Mom, Miriam Grossman, time management, college, royal wedding, child wellbeing, family time, Washington Post, family, online comments, premature birth, Millennials, slippery slope, fetal alcohol syndrome, emerging adults, human exceptionalism, cervical cancer, American exceptionalism, advice, genetic privacy, after-birth abortion, Parti Quebecois, Eastern Europe, citizenship, prayer, yellow journalism, Down syndrome, transcendence, philanthropy, Japan, Chen Guangcheng, internet, Tiger Moms, lesbians, boat people, Vladimir Putin, British press, Somalia, cultural decline, cheating, Pew Forum, religious persecution, community organizing, research, drama, Gothic, boredom, J D Salinger, refugees, existence of God, Mars, Serbia, Estonia, authoritarianism, risk, J.R.R. Tolkien, engineering ethics, fish Fridays, population aging, Harry Potter, definition of marriage, war on terror, solidarity, remuneration, gender dysphoria, vilification, Turkey, right to die, computing, internet safety, don't ask, violence, victims, campus culture, egg donation, iconography, Mafia, BDSM, environment, fashion, civil rights, epidemics, Planned Parenthood, bureaucracy, Reel Love Challenge, freedom of speech, virtual reality, remittances, fashion magazines, UK, medicine, promiscuity, palliative care, law and morality, stem cell ethics, freedom of conscience, Institute for American Values, leisure, beauty, Netherlands, exploitation, Dwight Eisenhower, United States, Ebola epidemic, red states, interviews, Catholic social teaching, Rousseau, casinos, bereavement, same-sex marriage referendum, football, El Sistema, Kevin Rudd, China, Iran, social networks, health policy, Philadelphia, transsexuals, foster care, end-of-life care, global financial crisis, Vietnam, athletics, social engineering, cyber-bullying, taxation, New Year's resolutions, BP oil spill, to kill a mockingbird, right to life, New York, Qur'an, feminism, The Economist, governance, papacy, reason, DSK, civility, foreign policy, kidnapping, education standards, incest, neuroenhancement, vocabulary, donor offspring, independence, Dreyfus affair, materialism, Women Speak for Themselves, banking, Royal baby, Boy Scouts, right-wing politics, Doctor Who, Palestine, Margaret Sanger, demographic decline, IQ, fundamentalism, Richard Dawkins, Anglican, romance, gendercide, conservatism, jazz, family breakdown, foodies, Tessa Dahl, childhood, Costa Rica, engineering, abortion law, immigration, contraception, commercials, selfie, public heath, Srebrenica massacre, obedience, humor, Sahel, US presidency, Tiananmen Square, Time magazine, children, media neglect, letters to the editor, John Paul II, balance of power, yuppies, BP, media spin, blogging, UN peacekeeping force, utilitarianism, parental consent, social policy, Berlin Wall, tabloids, gynaecology, UN, pro-life movement, advertising, birth rates, Les Misérables, polio eradication, child abuse, Common Core, Baba, Hippocratic Oath, media criticism, Muslim, Thailand, total warfare, Wangari Maathai, racism, women writers, elderspeak, euthanasia, malaria, dark themes, Flanders Fields, maturity, entertainment, face veil, slavery, Germany, Justin Trudeau, corporate responsibility, neurology, Nobel Prize, demographic dividend, disabilities, transhumanism, American Medical Association, Wikileaks, music, GDP, aspiration abortion, natural family, corporate culture, spirituality, values voters, weddings, debate, comments, Richard III, biometrics, religious discrimination, Theodore Dalrymple, young adults, gender stereotypes, Cold War, MercatorNet, alcohol, British National Party, Peter Singer, theology, polyamory, history, fraud, Jesus, 2012 elections, New York Times, Nazi, infanticide, Pennsylvania, video games, protest, Ireland abortion law, friendship, ISIS, Rick Santorum, gender, gender pay gap, Darwinism, AIDS, Texas, Game of Thrones, school, elitism, large families, gender roles, Steve Jobs, taboos, Notre Dame, Ray Kurzweil, Bonhoeffer, abuse crisis, LARC, God, Steven Spielberg, Stalin, DSM-5, Islam. Barack Obama, harm reduction, funerals, ordinary life, Henrietta Lacks, World Values Survey, atheism, legal profession, Obamacare contraceptive mandate, stem cell research, tennis, Cyprus bailout, breast cancer, baby boomers, Fukushima, TV, professions, cults, drones, soccer, phrenology, Piergiorgio Odifreddi, leadership, European identity, dementia,
Follow MercatorNet
Facebook
Twitter
subscribe to newsletter
Sections and Blogs
Harambee
PopCorn
Conjugality
Careful!
Family Edge
Sheila Reports
Reading Matters
Demography Is Destiny
Conniptions (the editorial)
Information
contact us
our ideals
our People
Mercator who?
partner sites
audited accounts
donate
advice for writers
New Media Foundation
Suite 12A, Level 2
5 George Street
North Strathfield NSW 2137
Australia

editor@mercatornet.com
+61 2 8005 8605
skype: mercatornet
© New Media Foundation 2015 | powered by Encyclomedia | designed by Elleston