Latest posts  
  3:21:41 AM


'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

  1:07:36 PM


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

  10:01:53 AM


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

  12:53:15 PM


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

  9:06:48 AM


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

  9:47:23 AM


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

  10:39:51 AM


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

The slow, tentative return of women’s lost sense of sexual honour
16 Sep 2014
Something in our nature craves the constraints that produce the rewards an honour code confers.

Leading young men astray
15 Sep 2014
The arguments of Islamic fundamentalists are full of contradictions, muddled thinking and manipulation.

Joan Rivers’ final act
12 Sep 2014
America's icon of plastic surgery was a popular comedian, but success came at great personal cost.

Principalities and Powers: Spiritual Combat 1942-1943
12 Sep 2014
World War II as a campaign against evil by defenders of the good.

The global citizen without a country?
12 Sep 2014
Today’s global citizenship movement emphasizes human rights disconnected from the history of any particular nation.

depression, superheroes, films, logical fallacies, animal welfare, trial marriage, Gothic, Easter, paedophilia, equality, donor offspring, binge drinking, ordination of women, Anthony Comstock, religion in public square, demographic dividend, libertarianism, sharia, abortion risks, children, Betty Friedan, Kenya, World War II, electronic voting, fertility, capitalism, education standards, bereavement, melancholy, slavery, Communism, Harry Potter, football, Nobel Prize for Economics, The Piano Guys, free speech, US v. Windsor, religious persecution, Eastern Europe, books, world economy, ecology, Typhoon Haiyan, winter games, disability, leadership, cheerfulness, International Criminal Court, martyrdom, Western civilization, 2012 elections, subjectivism, abortion-breast cancer link, contraceptives, civility, Europe, end-of-life issues, Islam. Barack Obama, palliative care, New York Times, child pornography, meaning of life, cinema, book lists, social policy, conversion therapy, youth, Queen Elizabeth II, Arab world, Judeo-Christian ethics, Whole Foods, book reviews, theology, obituaries, global warming, Wangari Maathai, school reform, White House, Agassi, law and morality, social networks, history of abortion, BP oil spill, stem cell ethics, Nobel Prize, nuclear proliferation, Berlin Wall, child labour, poetry, Tim Tebow, social stratification, cyberbullying, Singularity, Lord of the Rings, Crusades, Norman Borlaug, aid, debt relief, Game of Thrones, Mexico, Christian, Ephiphany, Philippines, Earth Day, US, Pike River Mine, rights, sexual morality, Latin America, pop culture, intergenerational equity, WHO, sex selective abortions, Washington D.C., reproductive technology, abdicatiions, personhood, Ann Coulter, job creation, faith, paraolympics, humanities, fatherhood, Obamacare, unemployment, Norway, religious education, ACORN, neo-conservatism, atheism, Tourette's syndrome, film reviews, manga, Rafael Correa, British Royal Family, crime, young adults, morality, burqa, Alan Guttmacher Institute, novels, Salafism, cross, texting, evolution, public heath, Oscar Pistorius, subprime crisis, health, Julian Savulescu, statistics, Central America, Tony Abbott, Muslim, school, Big Pharma, child abuse, Stephen Hawking, computing, remittances, Ivory Coast, sex abuse crisis, Mozart, Cory Aquino, Reformation, values, Polish plane crash, Rajendra Pachauri, courage, ethics of economics, US Army, Russia, Time magazine, China's economic miracle, mental health, health insurance plans, intellectual disability, contraception, contraceptive mandate, yeomanry, communication, carbon fast, Barbara Kay, Royal Wedding, George R.R. Martin, intolerance, Catholic faith, Malaysia, child poverty, harm minimisation, political science, Navy SEALs, Gaza, Dwight Eisenhower, caliphate, Bangladesh, birth certificates, Boston bombings, Olympics, risk reduction, hate speech, cost of children, sport, DSM-5, solar energy, business ethics, 20-somethings, commodification of human life, Eurozone, World Youth Day, mifepristone, Hiroshima, David Cameron, media ethics, gender, Los Angeles, mid-term elections, Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, fertility industry, stem cell research, epidemics, human exceptionalism, liberal arts, freedom of speech, colors, reading, Conrad Black, modesty, Greens, donkeys, prostitution, embryonic stem cell research, graphic images, right to die, empathy, New York, insanity, cyber-bullying, sun, El Sistema, victims, Boy Scouts, ethics of warfare, motherhood, asylum seekers, alcoholism, ancient Greece, freedom, idealism, voting, end of life issues, sustainability, social cohesion, Reproductive Health Bill, baby boomers, BMA, China, minimum wage, college, gender roles, xenotransplantation, superpower, medicine, communications media, social engineering, international law, US Presidency, reality TV, jazz, Netherlands, Tasmania, bribery, status of women, Zimbabwe, online education, Cold War, men's liberation, Roman banquets, Les Misérables, Edict of Milan, workforce, racial equality, no-fault divorce, Guantanamo Bay, Ireland, First Amendment, same-sex adoption, faith and reason, conservatives, Gates Foundation, BP, humanitarian crisis, LIBOR, Copenhagen, PGD, Mary Ann Glendon, family planning, sustainable development, Guatemala, John Kerry, arts, email, social commentary, secular humanism, metadata, Argentina, migration, Biden, demographic decline, self-concept, Anscombe Society, big data, foodies, flotilla, The Waiting City, medical ethics, Jesus Christ, prenatal screening, financial crisis, Guttmacher Institute, Syria, female genital mutilation, Sandy Hook school shootings, middle class, Roman Empire, hippies, Halloween, Sahel, family values, family business, Institute for American Values, State of the Union address, Egypt, biotechnology, consumerism, privacy, Asia education, religious liberty, literature, RU486, family law, Serbia, list, ethics of care, YouTube, leaning in, remuneration, shackling pregnant women, character, spin doctors, DSK, consensus, USA, piracy, Gen Y, house husbands, Shakespeare, liberalism, genderless parenting, John Paul II, Pakistan, Czech Republic, sexism, psychology, arms race, Self-Organized Learning Environments, dhimmitude, premarital sex, dignity, drones, incest, stem cells, Ecuador, Belgium, authoritarianism, to kill a mockingbird, automation, PISA, prostate cancer, internet, wealth, zombie apocalypse, DOMA, pro-choice, disease burden, Malawi, India, sexual reproduction, profiles in courage, hyperovulation, girls, recreational sex, comic books, North Korea, advice, elitism, Renaissance, masculinity, Jimmy Savile scandal, planking, single motherhood, Nazi, interfaith dialogue, entrepreneurship, family, Wikipedia, sexual education, Ayn Rand, European Court of Human Rights, US economy, race, natural disasters, Super Bowl, patents, International Year of the Family 2014, teen movies, Bonhoeffer, addiction, manners, sexualisation of children, soccer, American exceptionalism, slippery slope, Steven Spielberg, Pussy Riot, abortion law, Pope Francis, The Wolverine, Estonia, NATO, J.R.R. Tolkien, Srebrenica massacre, dark chocolate, cultural elites, cloud, definition of marriage, Hitler, boat people, Susan G. Komen Foundation, post-modernism, dementia, indoctrination, Elizabeth Anscombe, parental rights, public health, commitment, Brown, bigotry, sex selection, harm minimization, Switzerland, Notre Dame, don't tell, culture wars, scientific research, blogging, biology determinism, cloning, Flanders Fields, Churchill, famine, Robin Hood, lesbians, infertility, Devil, breast cancer, death, patriarchy, ordinary life, political unrest, Palestine, names, Nancy Wake, Lithuania, population decline, health care, Robert Edwards, market economy, philosophy, Arizona shootings, civil society, British Empire, global politics, promiscuity, corruption, US Supreme Court, Catholic Church, Condoleezza Rice, sexual behaviour, DNA profiling, John Henry Newman, FIFA World Cup, grammar, Latinos, inheritance, Breivik, right to choose, Ray Kurzweil, news, News of the World,
Follow MercatorNet
Sections and Blogs
Family Edge
Sheila Reports
Reading Matters
Demography Is Destiny
Conniptions (the editorial)
our ideals
our People
Mercator who?
partner sites
audited accounts
New Media Foundation
Suite 12A, Level 2
5 George Street
North Strathfield NSW 2137
+61 2 8005 8605
skype: mercatornet
© New Media Foundation 2014 | powered by Encyclomedia | designed by Elleston