Search Results: materialism

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  • ECONOMICS

    Don't let business mindset stifle the arts

    • David James
    • 19 February 2018
    2 Comments

    The practice of appointing business people to oversee arts bodies is as questionable as referring to the arts as an 'industry'. Business and the arts work on almost diametrically opposed rationales. Understanding this might go a long way towards assessing the art world more intelligently.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Welcome to the Matrix of materialism

    • David James
    • 26 January 2018
    7 Comments

    A visitor from an earlier time would be stunned to see how much we understand the world using monetary measures. Finance has come to be considered the first reality, not defined by, or reflecting, reality. To see how this creates distortions, consider GDP, which is taken to be a reliable measure of national wellbeing, but in fact is anything but.

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  • RELIGION

    Child protection, compliance and conversion

    • John Honner
    • 06 September 2017
    5 Comments

    In the Christian gospels the child is the exemplar, par excellence, of what God's world is meant to look like. In social policy, on the other hand, the child tends to be portrayed as a powerless innocent. In recent years, the Catholic Church has failed the standards of both gospel and society: on the one hand by discounting the importance of children and not listening to children, and on the other hand by not having appropriate practices and policies to ensure the safety of children.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Pope Francis is not an anti-Capitalist greenie

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 October 2015
    4 Comments

    Francis knows there are all sorts of issues inside and outside the Church where for too long people with power have tried to keep the lid on, in the hope that the problems and complexities will go away, often by parodying those who see the problems or complexities as small 'l' liberals or cafeteria Catholics. He delights in being joyful and troubled while contemplating big problems, calling people of good will to the table of deliberation reminding them of the kernel of the Christian gospels. He has the faith and hope needed to lift the lid without fear and without knowing the answers prior to the dialogue occurring.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's fatal attraction to America

    • Tony Kevin
    • 11 October 2015
    6 Comments

    'Other countries in response to one mass shooting have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings,' said Barack Obama earlier this month. 'Friends of ours, allies of ours, Great Britain, Australia — countries like ours.' Thankfully, America is not like Australia. Though many Australians feel a natural envy for our confident, successful cousin, many disturbing developments — Tea Party style politics, anti-immigrant nativism, know-nothing anti-science — have roots traceable to the US.

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  • The questionable good that our public policy serves

    • Elenie Poulos
    • 01 April 2015
    4 Comments

    Humans have always pursued wealth and the power it affords, but only relatively recently has the world itself become organised around the service of that wealth. The systems and structures which define the way our world works are financial, geared to the making of profit. They are global and buoyed by governments whose domestic and foreign policies ensure their support. ‘Social good’ and the ‘common good’ are assumed to be economic neoliberalism, and what’s in the ‘public interest’ is whatever advances the neoliberal economic agenda.  

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  • RELIGION

    Atheist Pratchett's Discworld has lessons for Christians

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 15 March 2015
    4 Comments

    'You can't go around building a better world for people. Only people can build a better world. Otherwise it's just a cage.' When I heard English author Terry Pratchett had died, I immediately jumped online to start looking through some of my favourite quotes from his books. The above, from Witches Abroad, is one of many that have accompanied me over the years.   His 44 Discworld novels could be broadly described as comic fantasy, or fantasy satire, and yet that's really just the starting point for the immense variety of complicated ideas they explored in such a fun, joyous way. Perhaps strangely for someone whose work is so grounded in atheism, Pratchett has had a profound impact on my religious faith. Read more

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human Rights, the national interest and the will of the people

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2014
    1 Comment

    'Whether or not we have a bill of rights, much of our human rights jurisprudence remains partial, failing to extend rights equally to all. Once we investigate much of the contemporary discussion about human rights, we find that often the intended recipients of rights do not include all human beings but only those with certain capacities or those who share sufficient common attributes with the decision makers. It is always at the edges that there is real work for human rights discourse to do.' Frank Brennan's Blackfriars Lecture

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  • RELIGION

    Catholics' radical alternative

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 October 2013
    4 Comments

    'When confronted with moral evil in public policy, church personnel have a choice: to be prophetic sticking to the moral absolutes, or to be practical engaging in the compromises needed to temper the evil. At the moment, the only political parties not wanting to embrace a short term shock and awe approach are the Greens, the DLP and the Palmer United Party. And neither Christine Milne, John Madigan nor Clive Palmer will ever be prime minister.' Workshop paper from Catholic Social Services Victoria's Listening, Learning and Leading conference, October 2013.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Neoliberalism in the swinging outer suburbs

    • Luke Williams
    • 02 September 2013
    20 Comments

    The outer suburban marginal seats will almost certainly swing to the Coalition on Saturday. I'm sure many of the Left intelligentsia think they have the reasons for this all worked out: voters in the outer suburbs are uneducated, 'aspirational', cashed-up bogans who only care about their mortgages, negating their working-class origins and keeping out asylum seekers. As a swinging voter from one such electorate, I can tell you the reality is not that simple.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Crime kids served celebrity gods

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 07 August 2013
    1 Comment

    'God didn't give me these talents and looks to just sit around being a model or being famous. I want to lead a huge charity organisation. I want to lead a country, for all I know.' In 2008–2009 a group of teenagers stole $3 million of jewellery and clothes from the homes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and other Hollywood stars. Coppola portrays this as an outcome of materialism centred on celebrity worship.

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  • RELIGION

    Church and ordained ministry in the 21st century

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 May 2013
    2 Comments

    Fr Frank Brennan's keynote address at the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn Clergy Assembly, St Clement's, Gaylong, on 22 May 2013

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