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Your top issues going into the next election

According to AIMN readers and many Facebook political pages, covid19 hardly rated a mention in my survey. I asked many Facebook political groups of a leftish standing together with readers of The AIMN the following question: If an election campaign was starting tomorrow, what would be your top 10 points of debate?

The absence of anything substantial relating to the COVID-19 issue puzzled me somewhat. Not even a mention of the Prime Minister’s deplorable handling of the distribution of the vaccines.

However, giving it more reflection led me to think that people hadn’t thought about it enough. Did they not know that it had forced a greater recognition of the value of frontline services during a crisis? The realisation that deliveries of essential drugs and the people doing it were just as important as those doing the injection itself.

Were they worth more remuneration? Women asked questions about equality by noting their true worth as nurses, which might change the Nation’s health budget over time unless a way is found for a marriage of convenience between empathy and economics.

The digital rich will restructure their businesses so that more staff will work from home and lower costs at the same time. Economic socialism will underpin our eventual recovery and then be discarded in favour of capitalism. All manner or changes will follow COVID-19 some of which haven’t entered our minds yet.

The reason COVID-19 isn’t at the top of any list could mean that people believe humanity will eventually overcome the threat and go back to normal – a nefarious thought to read into a very mutative disease.

As I thought it would, some form of a National ICAC is top on people’s minds, just ahead of climate change. The point of a National Security Commission is most difficult for the LNP. How does it establish one that avoids incriminating many of its members in corruption, atrocious leadership, decision making, lying, and many acts that conceal the truth? An almost impossible task, I would suggest.

The right to vote is the gift that democracy gives. If a political party is not transparent in supplying all the information necessary to exercise this right. It is destroying the democracy that enables it to exist.

With climate change, we might want to ask the prime minister if it is: a) simply a matter of not having a policy to take to the COP26 in Glasgow next month? Or b) you are not going to Glasgow because you would be ridiculed, and c) is staying home going to cop the same ridicule? A dammed if you do a dammed if you don’t moment, if ever I saw one. It’s not often you can offend all sides of an argument.

These were the two main policy areas that readers of The AIMN identified with as we approach the next election. (COVID-19 excepted).

After these, there were the usual community priorities of health, education (restoring the principle of Gonski) and jobs, et cetera.

Then came a long list of what I might call matters of the restoration of our democracy. That so many comments centred around this topic recognises the conservative right’s devastating power over three terms of governance.

How utterly dispiriting it is when the hearts and minds of our politicians are so utterly corrupted by this virus of political lies, but more demoralising it is that ordinary people catch the same infection.

I have categorised the list as follows.

Government

1 A voice for our First Nation’s people.

2 Restoring trust in our political system.

3 International relations.

4 Reduce the influence of the far-right.

5 Disproportion of influence in the MSM.

6 Ministry for the future.

7 Levels of immigration/population

8 Become a republic.

9 Restore the public service.

10 Stop AUKUS.

11 Ethics taught in primary to high schools.

12 Re-establish manufacturing to its former status.

13 Buyback all infrastructure, overseas-owned farms.

14 Primary industry and housing.

15 End donations and lobbying.

16 Reconciliation (including Closing the Gap).

17 Indigenous deaths in custody, land rights, etc.

18 Outlaw all avenues of political influence by church/religions, secular mandate enforcement.

19 Limit politicians pay, removing early retirement.

20 Access to pension rackets, super and banning/curtailment revolving door employment after political career.

21 Genuine taxing of all.

22 Domestic/foreign corporations and securing honest royalties for Australia.

23 Elimination of rorts like the Great Barrier Reef $444 million.

24 Species extension should also be considered.

25 Royal Commission into the bugging of the Timor Leste parliamentary offices.

26 Free the asylum seekers that are left on Nauru, immediately

27 Stop the cashless welfare card.

28 Restoration of funding for all that the Coalition have defunded. The ABC, FOI, National Audit Office. etc.

29 Genuine real-time realistic taxing of all domestic/foreign Corporations and securing honest royalties for Australia.

30 A world-class NBN (For business, research, health, education, science).

Mainstream media

31 Media ownership laws are broken and adversely corrupt, as is the ability of citizens to become informed with truthful information. Social media pages also need attention.

Social Change

32 Address equality and equality of opportunity.

33 Reinforce empathy and compassion.

34 Legalise cannabis for recreational use.

35 Address narcissism in the community.

Housing affordability

36Take action on negative gearing and capital gains tax.

Health

37 Illicit Drugs.

38 Poverty and homelessness.

39 Add dental to Medicare.

40 Better quality aged care in the God’s Waiting Room facilities run for the mega-profit of owners rather than consideration of the inmates.

Education

41 Ethics taught in primary to high schools.

42 Politics taught in years 11 and 12.

43 Free TAFE and tertiary education.

44 University funding and fees. Overseas students.

45 Early childhood education.

46 Genuine education funding levels for all public schools, free unis, and decrease/remove private school funding.

The Economy

47 Lower the retirement age to 60.

48 Reverse the cuts to research and development funding.

49 Payback government debt.

50 Scrap all subsidies to mining companies.

51 Scrap the tax-free status of all religions.

52 Scrap all tax advantages for the rich and privileged.

Women

53 Address the gender pay gap.

54 Equal representation in Parliament.

55 Address the problem of domestic violence.

Environment

56 Fix the Murray Darling Water fraud.

57 Fix the Great Barrier Reef.

58 Funding for natural disasters.

59 Meet all our obligations.

Unemployment

60 Address unemployment funding, all disability/aged pensions, with empathy and compassion.

The common good, or empathy for it, should be at the centre of any political philosophy. However, it is more likely to be found on the left than the right.

Best comments that my post received

BB had this to say:

“Let’s face the ugly truth, there are no statesmen or women in Australia. Or at least none that are stepping up to the plate, and those who do try get intimidated by the current mob of thugs and backstabbers. Honesty and trust have become extinct.”

Mark offered this:

“Barratt’s list of issues, like any such list, will be forever changing. Thus it will never be fit for purpose over time.

Thus why not think outside the box and demand structural change that will allow for democratic decision-making as issues arise?

Surely we can do better than (just a small number of us) effectively electing a Dictator every few years? Bound by a Constitution written more than 100 years ago?

Think of the changes that have occurred since the turn of this century. Then add 100 years. Yet, we are still being governed roughly the same way.

Then again, perhaps we have the form of government we deserve? And the real enemy is readily identified by glancing in a mirror?”

And ajogrady said that:

“Once you strip away the blatant ingrained insidious and treacherous corruption, the obvious and absolutely consistent poor judgement, the culpable and dangerous incompetence, plus the shambolic and totally inept governance standards, what does the L/NP actually stand for? What is left? What is left is a snide, sneering, selfish, smug and contemptuous ideology that nurtures, coddles and promotes corrupt to the core swindlers, chiselers, fraudsters, shysters and con artists, pathetic debauched degenerates and perverted misogynistic misfits, pseudo Christian cult wack jobs, fanatical religious lunatics and egotistical born to rule privileged sociopaths and psychopaths that are devoid of standards, principles, values, morals, ethics, honesty, and basic empathy always rorting, fiddling, obfuscating and lying. The L/NP are an insult to equitable governance and egalitarian rule. The L/NP are not fit to hold any public office in a functioning, vibrant Nation and a cohesive humane society.”

My Conclusion

What a futile question it was that I asked because it was impossible to answer. Or at least challenging to isolate ten and place them in a particular order.

If an election campaign was starting tomorrow, what would be your top 10 points of debate?

Should they lose the next election, the current government will have left a legacy of deceit and dishonesty that political historians will note as the Luddite period.

As seen through the eyes of the left, their list of wrongs is so long that it would take one term to restore our democracy before addressing some of the more critical aspects of our reader’s suggestions.

I had started with the explicit intention of creating a list that clearly defined ten reasons that the voter might consider before putting pen to the voting paper. Instead, the readers made a list of wrongdoings that, in its expanse, made it impossible to prioritise. All had worthiness to one degree or another.

That a government with such a list should start as the favourite to win the upcoming election is a travesty of significant proportion.

My thought for the day

If we are to save our democracy, we might begin by asking that at the very least our politicians should tell the truth. That would be a good beginning.

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58 comments

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  1. Jack Cade

    Australia used to be said to be the ‘…nation that rode on the sheep’s back’, but politically we actually morphed into sheep. With our electoral system we cannot say ‘It’s not our fault.’ Generally speaking we elect our governments by giving them an overall majority, give or take. So we have to admit that the current, most corrupt and least competent of any government -local, state or federal – ever to be in power since WW2, suits its electorate. Morrison’s mob at its worst still meets the requirements of circa 47% of us, and the other 53% probably includes at least 4% temporarily-disenchanteds. And in the words of George Galloway (talking about the USA but the cap fits here), our two major parties are ‘cheeks of the same arse.’

  2. BB

    Well you tried John, thanks, and you have/are providing a very much need discussion on which concerns are the most thought about. But indeed, impossible to list only 10 of the most important changes that need addressing by a new government.

    Thanks for your kind compliment John, however it’s a sad truth that you considered my comment with such merit, a very sorry reflection on Australia’s current RW L/NP (non) governance. Australia so desperately needs honest egalitarian politicians.

    Well I guess we are all so tired of Covid, we are avoiding the subject, but you are quite correct, Morrison failed in the initial purchase of 40 million doses of Pfizer, and after being 1st in line for a Pfizer jab, denigrated the rest of us, then made it impossible for various age groups to get a vaccination, issues were blown out of proportion, confusion reigned, I’m sure that it was in many ways intentional, and he and his RW bs L/NP party showed their totally incompetence. The way aged care was abandoned, senior citizens suffered, the whole become a shemozzle of epic proportions and still is.. SNAFU & FUBAR!

    Morrison now attempts to whitewash his failures and making out how wonderful it is to be coming out of lockdown. FFS!
    Divide the people with lies, promote fear and loathing, this is his current modus operandi heading for the federal election.

    I also blame the MSM, Murdoch &co.. Honest media ownership laws are vital and must be a priority because quite simply, without informed citizens nothing ever changes! How can so few control so much? No wonder we are all being royally rogered!

    Surely a more realistic, honest photo of Morrison could have been chosen for this article than where he’s trying to pull the wool over our eyes with blatant bs thumbs up, his atrocious smirk, making out as usual with any photo op that he is being a conscientious worthwhile PM who has the situation under control. Look at me. Look at me. Look at me. I’m the chosen one!
    A picture speaks a thousand words it is said, and Morrison’s minders, his bs PR firm know this, so they air brush his image. Such photos are propaganda, and promote Morrison as a good guy. He’s anything but. He’s a narcissistic duplicitous coward. We need photos that display him as he really is, sulking, spitting the dummy, scowling, holding up the lump of coal, etc etc. Sarcastic black humorous ironic and crude caricatures are also a far better way to portray Morrison. I just hate his image…

  3. GL

    After a quick glance of your list it was easy to work out that all 60 suggestions are without hesitation anathema to the LNP.

  4. Jack Cade

    Unfortunately BB, your closing paragraph – masterly as it is in its summation of the horrible, repellent man that WE re/elected in 2019, is reciting the ‘bleedin’ obvious’; the ‘bleedin’ obvious’ that was bleedin’ obvious to all of us before, during and after that election.
    WE didn’t care. 51+% wanted him to continue as PM.
    Gough Whitlam’s government pledged to ‘buy back the farm’. Since then we have elected and re-elected governments – including the Hawke-Keating governments – that sold off most of what little of the farm was left in Australian hands. And what still remains in Australian hands is held in hands that are tainted.

  5. wam

    You couldn’t resist it, lord? Haha giggled so much I will have to go back to the pool to cool off. Perhaps you can start by telling it about climate change and greenhouse effect? Then go on to reveal why we have had 12 years of inaction(less the few months of the bandit’s juliar) and how the LNP has unlimited access to cash.
    Maybe you can publish the fact that a vaccine will not prevent you getting the disease but MAY stop you being hospitalised or dying from it. No that sort of truth is better omitted, don’t you think?
    ps
    Great to see twiggy and rupert into ‘green’ energy rather than renewables. That’s another few $million to the loonies. Lets hope it is not a scummo miracle.
    pps
    Jack the government gives our assets away at mates rates so why cannot a farmer sell the farm to whomever pays a good price price? (notice those land owners who conserved in the past seek the same payment as the current wasters)

  6. Michael Taylor

    Back in the days when we used to have random polls at the bottom of each post (which we may do again in the near future), I had a question on what was the most important issue that needs addressing.

    The winner was… inequality.

  7. John Lord

    Wam. I am not the purveyor of all wisdom.

  8. BB

    Jack Cade.. Indeed, as you say, unfortunately….

    “the ‘bleedin’ obvious’ that was bleedin’ obvious to all of us before, during and after that election.” .
    Yet 51% didn’t care. Well then it wasn’t so bloody bleedin’ obvious to them eh…. Why not? Why were 51% fooled?
    Or to be more realistic why was there a majority voting for obvious bleedin’ liars. A mere few % that changed the vote.

    It has nothing to do with “we didn’t care“, that’s not true. A majority of folks do care, and want a $ecure happy peaceful life.

    The bleeding obvious IMO is that too many folks in Australia are uniformed as to truth, beguiled, fooled by a MSM that is controlled in large by nasty self centered arseholes who couldn’t give a rats about anything except money like Murdock &co.
    Fooled so much, that folks have now become blind, brainwashed into believing that the L/NP are better for the economy.
    How can such folks make an informed decision at the ballot box.. Well they cannot! So we end up with liars for leaders.

    If we had genuine truth and informed folks at the ballot box, the L/NP would be history, in fact, I doubt they would exist!
    The ugly truth is that Australia is being overrun with authoritarian wannabe dictators. 1984 though police are now a reality.

    Not until MSM media, social media, online, offline, etc etc, not until Australia fixes the broken media ownership laws, not until such are brought into line with being honest and fair ownership laws, not until journalists grow some “balls”, re-learn, understand and grasp what morals actually mean, not until there are genuine BASIC changes to our media will anything change for the better.

    Not until Australia has genuine truthful unbiased non partisan media is there any chance that a MAJORITY of citizens will become informed citizens and able to make/have an informed choice at the ballot box. Such to me is the real bleeding obvious!

    Fix the media laws, outlaw irresponsible lying biased journalists and then bullshit politicians will have NOWHERE TO HIDE!

    Fixing media ownership laws is the 1st domino…..The rest follows, only then will changes become real as folks wake up.
    Too many folks NOW live in rabbit holes, lies, conspiracy, greed, selfish attitudes. Suspicious of each other, afraid to commit.

    Australia used to be the land of a fair go. The operative words here sadly are “used to be”.

    The world has been taken in & over in the last 50+ years by the big “NeoCon”. Here in Australia it has been no different.
    We now suffer from the extremes of the bullshit of “Trickle down prosperity”, which in reality for so many has been austerity.
    Most governments were sucked in by the neo con bullshit, and now so many of us suffer and live the ravages of all the lies.

    After the 60’s revolutions my peers were all awash with hope, change, visions for the future. But the ‘big nobs’ were horrified and were hell bent on making sure that power stayed in their hands, and the big “NeoCon” began. Secretly, insidiously such has ensnared society, ripping apart the social fabric. But I’ll leave it to others to narrate the story of the last 5 decades…..

    As Manuel says… “I know nuthing”… “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” Albert Einstein.
    Now I care more about my veggie garden, and making a few comments online is about as much shit as I can put up with.
    But I have never lost sight of what truth means… 😎

  9. wam

    Ah back from the pool, lord straight into hearing Dan. Here is a politician whom, I admire for his honesty. What a comparison with our LNP politicians. It seems they are terrified of being honest to the media but have no problems telling the party truths.
    At least we know who is the suppository of knowledge.
    I respect you, John, and your words. However truth is not possible but honesty is?
    BB truth is what you believe and is not necessarily what I believe – go look at rashoman then tell me that you know truth.

  10. BB

    Wam..
    That is just semantics.. Truth is truth.. Truth is not about our own individual “beliefs”.
    The importance of truth. The quality or state of being true. That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. Truth matters, both to us as individuals and to society as a whole. As individuals, being truthful means that we can grow and mature, learning from our mistakes. For society, truthfulness makes social bonds, and lying and hypocrisy break them. Since truth is objective, our knowledge of true propositions must be about real things. Rashomon is about perceptions, interpretations that different people have about the same thing. Of course there are different ways at looking at things. And different people will have different stories depending on what angle they viewed something from. The Rashomon effect describes how parties describe an event in a different and contradictory manner, which reflects their subjective interpretation and self-interested advocacy, rather than an objective truth. The Rashomon effect is evident when the event is the outcome of litigation.
    Truth is being honest with yourself. We all KNOW when we lie to ourselves, however much we bullshit to ourselves!

  11. HENRY RODRIGUES

    To one and all, who have contributed and commented, I am humbled to be in the company such illustrious and deeply convinced people, with such insights and beliefs. I just can’t fathom the reason why so many people 51% to be more precise, still give these crooks credibility.

    The misdeeds ,mistakes and screwups they have presided over is a very long list , whose bad effects will linger on long after they have ceased to govern. What still baffles me why ordinary people, who are the very anthesis of everything these criminals stand for, would consider them worthy of their votes.

  12. Roswell

    I only have one issue: they are useless and need to be kicked out of office come the next election.

  13. Jack Cade

    BB Do you really believe that the majority wants Truth? Truth destroys most of the majority’s certainties. My mother was a devout Liverpool-Irish Catholic. When the Shroud of Turin was being subjected to scientific analysis, I pointed out to her that if the Shroud was genuinely the cloth they wrapped the body in, then the evidence presented by that cloth showed that the man in it was still alive because his blood was still flowing. Her response was ‘If that is true, I resent them printing it.’ In other words, leave my delusions alone

  14. BB

    “Truth destroys most of the majority’s certainties.”

    Seriously. What sort of comment is that?.
    Did you actually think before you wrote that. LOL.
    Well good on truth! Bring it on…

    Jack, please avoid bringing religion into the discussion, there are already enough lies and bullshit floating around..
    I don’t give two ‘Flies’ about anything to do with religion, the biggest confidence trick, scam foisted on mankind by mankind!
    Religion simply robs people of free original thought, fills their minds with crap, brainwashes them from the cradle to the grave!

    And there will always be a MINORITY who are gullible, naïve, and will be easily fooled..
    There’s an old saying, “There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute”

    There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute

    Of course people want truth…….!
    Given the choice of being told a lie or the truth, which do you want Jack?
    Now be truthful..

  15. Keith

    To me there is only one issue, if action to mitigate against climate is not taken to the degree needed, then all the other worthy matters do not matter. The current LNP policy on climate change is laughable. All new fossil developments need to be cancelled, existing mines and gas fields need to be de-commissioned as quickly as possible. Even the quite conservative IPCC has stated we are in a Code Red situation. The IPCC analysed 14,000 studies to come to such a conclusion. The IPCC can be thought of as being conservative as their reports are created through a consensus mechanism between scientists and government representatives.

    All we can expect from the LNP is green lighting.

    Today there is an article about research which states that 85% of the global population has been hit by extreme conditions amplified by climate change. Such a conclusion was drawn through using machine learning to analyse over 100,000 studies. Too often for comfort there are other worrying research papers published.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/10/11/85-percent-population-climate-impacts/?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=wp_news_alert_revere&location=alert&wpmk=1&wpisrc=al_news__alert-national–alert-world–alert-hse&pwapi_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJjb29raWVuYW1lIjoid3BfY3J0aWQiLCJpc3MiOiJDYXJ0YSIsImNvb2tpZXZhbHVlIjoiNTk3ODhiNDM5YmJjMGY2ODI2Yzk2YWY4IiwidGFnIjoid3BfbmV3c19hbGVydF9yZXZlcmUiLCJ1cmwiOiJodHRwczovL3d3dy53YXNoaW5ndG9ucG9zdC5jb20vY2xpbWF0ZS1lbnZpcm9ubWVudC8yMDIxLzEwLzExLzg1LXBlcmNlbnQtcG9wdWxhdGlvbi1jbGltYXRlLWltcGFjdHMvP3V0bV9zb3VyY2U9YWxlcnQmdXRtX21lZGl1bT1lbWFpbCZ1dG1fY2FtcGFpZ249d3BfbmV3c19hbGVydF9yZXZlcmUmbG9jYXRpb249YWxlcnQmd3Btaz0xJndwaXNyYz1hbF9uZXdzX19hbGVydC1uYXRpb25hbC0tYWxlcnQtd29ybGQtLWFsZXJ0LWhzZSJ9.XvP37iO26SLXkG1a0SXmmHq1anZwkwIZEJi0svBgzAY

  16. Michael Taylor

    Keith, and not just for Australia. We’re talking about a global concern, not only for we destructive humans, but all life on Earth.

    You only need look in our garden for signs that all is not right. Flowers blooming out of season, fruit all year round on our lemon tree, larger spider webs due to a lack of bugs etc etc.

  17. TuffGuy

    One thing not on the list that I would like to see is tax exemptions.
    Currently churches and charities are all tax exempt, amongst many others including dubious political organisations like the IPA. Firstly I would just say that any organisation whose entire existence is based on the belief in imaginary sky faries is just mindboggling. I also ask why they pay no tax, just why not??? They claim to do the work of “god” but just how much of the squillions of dollars they amass actually goes directly to helping needy people??? And just too make matters worse ANYONE can create their own church/cult/sect/whatever and all of a sudden pay no tax. The absolute worst of these are the modern evangelical and pentecostal happy clappers who reap billions. They are simply ALL about the money and very llittle for everything else. How much to they spend actually helping the needy??? Their owners are usually billionaires living luxury lifestyles while jetting around the world. I mean if you have ever watched Scummo’s mate Houston in action with all that jibberish…..should that shit be tax exempt????? IMO if they absolutely have to be tax exempt perhaps that exemption should only apply to those funds actually used to help the needy???
    Most of Australia’s resources are basically pulled from the ground for free, meaning there is NO benefit to the country, no taxes paid, nothing. Why???????? The same with big business (local and international), most of whom pay no tax in Australia.
    Then there are all the others, the likes of the IPA who donate tax exempt dollars to the Lieberals, private trusts, etc. It would seem there are more people/organisations in this country that are tax exempt than there are those who pay taxes. And that is just wrong, and all that missed money could be used to better the lives and the environment of the ENTIRE country.

  18. GL

    I reckon we should create a new facial expression Saint Scotty of the Marketing. I’ll lead off with “Smeerk” which is a cross between a smirk and a sneer.

  19. Mark

    Re:

    seem there are more people/organisations in this country that are tax exempt than there are those who pay taxes

    Not sure about that because I haven’t done the sums but what I do know is that I am NOT a net taxpayer. And I also know there are lots of us. Indeed about half of all Australian citizens and probably most who visit this site fall into the learner category. (That’s of course if one chooses to use such definitions. And get the resulting ‘facts’. And I do with pride.)

    First some background. Back in 2014, Joe Hockey made that (controversial and pejorative) point when he asserted: “We are a nation of lifters, not leaners“.

    The split was a simple one: those who earn and engage in productive activity, indicated by making a revenue or wage and hence paying income tax, in contrast to those who pay no net income tax, mostly social welfare recipients.

    And while I’m not a social welfare recipient (no government pension), I do benefit from other forms of what economists call government tax expenditures such as the way superannuation is treated and dividend imputation income (both as part of superannuation and personal shareholdings.)

    So as one of Hockey’s leaners, I rely on others such as big business (particularly multi-national corporations or TNCs) to do the heavy lifting for me.

    So I’m proudly a (non-net) taxpaying, voting Citizen enjoying benefits paid for (in part at least) by taxpaying non-citizens.

    And my main complaint is that these non-citizens (in the form of TNCs) are robbing us blind as TuffGuy asserts.

  20. GL

    On a side note: I’ve heard of brainless stupidity but this moron has taken it to a whole new level. It’s no wonder she’s disappeared from farcebook and other sites. I feel sorry for the kids though because I very much doubt that they had any idea as to what the historical significance of the yellow star means.

    https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/prominent-antivaxxer-deletes-social-media-after-family-dons-infamous-antisemitic-symbol/news-story/d816ecffef233425278fc65ad1543fca

  21. Arnd

    Henry,

    I just can’t fathom the reason why so many people 51% to be more precise, still give these crooks credibility.

    A mixture of shortsighted greed, rank ignorance … – and a total lack of credible alternatives.

    BB,

    Religion simply robs people of free original thought, fills their minds with crap, brainwashes them from the cradle to the grave!

    Have you ever gotten around to drawing a distinction between (organised, hierarchical) religion and personal faith? I find that all too many proponents, of both the atheist as well as the theist persuasion, routinely conflate the two.

    TuffGuy,

    The absolute worst of these are the modern evangelical and pentecostal happy clappers who reap billions. They are simply ALL about the money …

    It’s about the religious veneration and worship of the Almighty Dollar. One Karl Marx meticulously dissected it and presented his findings under the heading of Commodity Fetishism. Once you acquaint yourself with Marx’s analysis, you can recognise how wide-spread it is, and how it permeates every aspect of our existence. It certainly is not just pentecostals who are affected – they are just less circumspect about their mercenary afflictions than most other folks.

  22. BB

    Arnd.
    All persuasions of theism, for or against, are two sides of the same bs coin. I’m not atheist, agnostic, a believer, or whatever.
    It’s all hogwash, I don’t believe in any of it.. It’s all imaginary in the sky fairy airy concocted bs for the ignorant and gullible.
    To call oneself an atheist or agnostic is to say you believe in the concept of deities but don’t believe in them that they exist.

    “Personal faith”, just another term coined by religious morons who conflate reality with superstition.

    if you want to have a personal belief in your self, that you exist, just pinch yourself ok….. lol….

    Phew, it’s hard work to get any understanding that all this religious bunkum is just bunkum!
    It’s just big business.. one of the biggest on the planet..
    Truly a fantastic business model, a gold edged guarantee of life eternal after death..
    If your not happy after you die, when you get past the pearly gates, come back and tell us, we will give you a full refund..
    yeah….

  23. BB

  24. LOVO

    BB, ….me bows me head and tips me lid to ya…. 🙋

  25. wam

    BB semantics? When we lie we are immoral because we know. When the rabbott lies it is for god and he is amoral? When the bandit lies it is for the plan and he is amoral.
    “Truth is being honest with yourself.”
    The operative word is HONEST.
    Rashomon shows you are allowed your truths as you believe it, as am I mine and as are religious nutters, like the rabbott, theirs.
    All and none are actually true?
    My plea is, as yours, for pollies to just be ^%@%@^ ‘honest’.
    (I remember chipp, he tried the HONEST and???

  26. BB

    Wam.
    Yeah
    The operative word is indeed HONEST.
    Such morons as bandit rabbott etc, KNOW they are being DIShonest and they don’t give a shit.
    They can stick their immoral “plans” up where the sun don’t shine. Such people disgust me.
    Such morons attempt to justify their lies and evade the truth…

    Indeed why can’t politicians just be fucking HONEST?
    Because the bullshit game of “power” lures them into making pacts with lies..
    They jump down the rabbit hole.

    To justify lies and bullshit, truth itself gets divided and chopped up into having different meanings to suit the occasion.
    Subjective to occasion, morals, different interpretations, and whatnots…… Such to me is just plain old hogwash. BS.

    As I say, semantics, words upon words upon words. Mind games. I have no interest in all the many mad mind games.
    The world gone mad in it’s lust for mind games. Power over one’s fellow man. Little wonder mankind is so fucked up.
    Philosophy and such like subjects bore the crap out of me… Theology” is a “study” of utter hogwash by utter charlatans.

    The internet has the worlds libraries at my fingertips.
    I am only really interested in a tiny slice of it.
    I get easily bored with too much “crap”. 😎

  27. Arnd

    BB,

    It’s all hogwash, I don’t believe in any of it..

    How very nihilist of you. Except your position doesn’t even qualify as nihilism: I fully concur with Roger Scruton, who, in his Dictionary Of Political Thought, points out that a distinction is to be drawn between Faith in Nothing (Nihilism), and the absence of faith (which seems to describe your position). Entirely in keeping with your follow-up statement that:

    Philosophy and such like subjects bore the crap out of me…

    You are, of course, absolutely entitled to your views, and far be it from me to bore you further with introspection on matters of political philosophy, political economy, law and jurisprudence, and on to reflections on philosophy of science and epistemology.

    But I, for one, simply cannot see how we might at all get a grip on the cluster fuck of our current political, economic, social and environmental problems without examining some of the underlying attitudes that have allowed these problems to fester for the last half century or so.

    Just enumerating 60 apparently random and disconnected desirables, as John Lord did in his article, or asking “Why can’t politicians just be honest?” (whilst also clearly communicating an abject lack of interest in actually searching for answers to this important question) strikes me as exactly so much impotent foot stamping.

    Here’s to hoping that someone on this site might show greater interest in re-examining some of the fundamentals.

  28. BB

    Arnd.

    “How very nihilist of you” Nonsense. I am not nihilistic. You are wrong… wrong wrong wrong!!!
    I reject all religions as hogwash, not morals. Please do not confuse the two..

    I have a very meaningful life thank you, a genuine life philosophy of “waste not want not”. I respect our planet!

    There are no morals in religion, just hypocrisy and faith is just a meaningless word to fool people to believe the hogwash.
    Faith is an abstract idea. As ephemeral as a lighted candle in wind, or a speck of dust floating through a ray of sunlight.

    Morals and ethics are what we should live by.. Respect for others. Treat others as you would have them treat you!
    But because people conflate morals with religion the world we live in has turned, morally, to shit!

    “strikes me as exactly so much impotent foot stamping”
    Really mate, so you conclude other people’s opinions are rubbish because they differ from yours.. lol.

    “Here’s to hoping that someone on this site might show greater interest in re-examining some of the fundamentals.”
    What’s keeping you then.. I take it you consider yourself as someone.. Please enlighten us all with all your wisdom… 😁

  29. Dianne

    So :- “Morals and ethics are what we should live by”.

    That sounds very interesting. Perhaps therefore you can then help us out by explaining the difference between the two terms.

    In short – provide a definition/discussion of ‘ethics’ with examples and a definition etc of ‘morals’ also with examples.

    Thanking you in advance.

    BTW are you aware that ‘Respect for others’ sometimes expressed as “treat others as you want to be treated” is to be found in several places in the Bible? Try Matthew 6:12 for starters.

    Not to suggest that morality and religion should be conflated.

  30. Pennie Roberts

    While I find everything on your list as very admirable and worthy, I did notice no mention of raising unemployment benefits, aged pensions, anything about NIDS, homelessness.
    Also the dodgy employment service companies who are rooting the government and the government rules regarding unemployment for the over 50s.

  31. Keith

    Dianne, where is the moral justification for the Minister for the Environment arguing in a Court setting that the Federal government has no responsibility for a Duty of Care for young people, or those yet to be born?
    A Court ruled in favour of young people who had taken a case to the Federal Court in relation to a coal mine extension. Lawyers working for the LNP in the Court setting agreed that climate change is happening at the degree scientists are stating! Susan Ley has appealed, and has not waited for the Court to hear the appeal, she decided in favour of the coal mine extension going ahead.

    If a parent displayed behaviours where they do not adequately look after their children a visit from Government Family Service Agency is highly likely on the basis of neglect.

    Professions are generally bound by a Code of Ethics which determines how they should act when performing their duties.
    Politicians have no such code; misrepresenting, lying and cheating are features often displayed by politicians. At present politicians are generally seen to be at the bottom of the heap in relation to trust worthiness. Pork barrelling; that is trying to buy votes is something we are seeing too frequently.

    A humanist Code of Ethics is not far off Religious Codes.

  32. Keith

    Abstract of a PNAS study:
    “Rapid Arctic warming has intensified northern wildfires and is thawing carbon-rich permafrost. Carbon emissions from permafrost thaw and Arctic wildfires, which are not fully accounted for in global emissions budgets, will greatly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that humans can emit to remain below 1.5 °C or 2 °C. The Paris Agreement provides ongoing opportunities to increase ambition to reduce society’s greenhouse gas emissions, which will also reduce emissions from thawing permafrost. In December 2020, more than 70 countries announced more ambitious nationally determined contributions as part of their Paris Agreement commitments; however, the carbon budgets that informed these commitments were incomplete, as they do not fully account for Arctic feedbacks. There is an urgent need to incorporate the latest science on carbon emissions from permafrost thaw and northern wildfires into international consideration of how much more aggressively societal emissions must be reduced to address the global climate crisis.”

    https://www.pnas.org/content/118/21/e2100163118

    We are more likely to see greenwashing from the PM than any meaningful policy to reduce emissions. We need to see a bare minimum of 45% reduction in emissions by 2030.

  33. BB

    Thanking me in advance eh… yeah sure, very thoughtful of you eh……
    Next time you want a reply from me, please don’t indulge in a patronising tone… BAH!
    Yes there is a difference between Morals and Ethics, both of which our society clearly lack!
    I clearly stated morals AND ethics in my comment!
    But it would seem to me, you are looking for an argument..
    If such is the case, then go have a chat with a mirror..

    You say morals, I say ethics – what’s the difference?
    https://theconversation.com/you-say-morals-i-say-ethics-whats-the-difference-30913

    And if you want further enlightenment, then do your own research, Google search is your friend when used wisely!

    Oh for goodness sake, just quit with quoting scripture, I am so sick and tired of people who think that religion has any relevance.
    Religion, all the many forms IMO are hogwash, are a root cause of why so much misery, madness and hypocrisy exists.
    Folks can shove the silly book up where the sun don’t shine.. Sideways….

    The utter ludicrousness of it all, to think that somebody can put their hand on a work of fiction and then say..
    I will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me Dog!
    That our society is built around such nonsense is why we live in a world where so much respect has ceased to exist!
    It’s a fucking joke!

    People do not treat others as they would like to be treated, such would be nice eh, but in reality the sentiment is very rare.
    We now have a world full of deceit, bullies, thugs, snollygosters, mother fuckers, father stabbers, child molesters and rapists!
    And that list is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Religions take away individuals responsibility and negate accountability..
    Forgive me father for I have sinned..
    You are absolved for this week my “son/daughter”, your penance is 20 hail marys… (and $20 in the church box)
    (actually it would be best if you indulge in some flagellation).
    Meanwhile during the week the “sinner” feels blessed, forgiven, and so commits the same shit again.
    Back to be forgiven, and another $20 in the church box, and some more hail marys eh.. 🤣🤣🤣
    Ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

    And the priest feels no obligation to report any crime, as the seal of confession is the absolute duty of priests or anyone who happens to hear a confession not to disclose anything that they learn from penitents during the course of the confession.
    No wonder pedophiles join a church eh… Access to all the kiddies…and then they get protected..

    Yeah religion, to me is a crime on humanity, a criminal act, the sooner mankind gets rid of the crap, the better for us all…

    Enjoy your day…😎

  34. Dianne

    Keith – thanks for your post. Perhaps a few clarifications might be in order?

    Were the Lawyers working for the LNP or working for the elected government? Am sure you’ll agree there’s an important distinction to be made.

    Second – when Susan(sic) Ley decided in favour of the coal mine extension going ahead was she within her legal rights to do just that? If not, then is she possibly liable to be prosecuted herself? If she was within her legal rights, then perhaps it’s the Law that needs to be changed?

    Further – has it been legally established that the Federal Government does have a duty of care for young people, and those yet to be born? And if not? Then why not?

    Perhaps the core issue is that we don’t have a Bill of Rights? And there’s no political drive to remedy that?

  35. Dianne

    Re:

    People do not treat others as they would like to be treated …

    Yes! You offer living, breathtaking evidence of that.

    No wonder you live alone.

    Enjoy your day.

  36. BB

    Ah, sarcasm eh Dianne, the lowest form of wit. You just can’t handle someone responding in a candid fashion. lol…
    It’s a fact many folks prefer to remain single, so think twice before insulting others with your childish response!
    Someone like you is obviously so full of your own self importance, you hate it when you don’t get your own way.

    Yep thanks, I am having a very nice day…no stress, no dramas, no complications.. bye bye.. 😎

  37. Keith

    Dianne, the lawyers working for the government agreed climate change is happening, is it moral to accept that people are dying through climate change?

    Near the beginning of this century thousands upon thousands of people died through heat waves in Europe. The climate is now far more dangerous, adaptation has saved many lives; adaptation shown through abiding by warnings when extreme events are expected.

    So in arguing against what the young people were presenting, which the lawyers were accepting; lawyers were virtually saying that it is ok to accept that not only are young people in danger, but also young and old people of voting age are also vulnerable. The dollar is more important than people’s lives it would seem; I’m over 70 and it used to be stated that a person’s life is priceless; that notion has long since been by passed.

    Is creating a death sentence for generally poorer people an ethical, moral question, or criminal matter?
    Internationally the crime of ecocide is being debated as to whether it would be viable to charge those pushing for the continuation of fossil fuels eg CEO’s of fossil fuel corporations paying Agencies to put out false information about the science of climate change.

    Going against a Court ruling displays contempt for the law, a characteristic that should not be displayed by a supposed community leader. If an ordinary citizen was to go against a Court ruling they would be in huge trouble; that is the Pub test that Ley has failed.

    A Bill of Rights won’t happen, though we do need to have a Federal ICAC with teeth. The Federal government want a watered down Clayton’s version of an ICAC. Can you explain why Dianne the Coalition version is the way to go, without taking the flimsy government line?

  38. Michael Taylor

    No wonder you live alone.

    I do hope that was said in jest.

    For all we know BB might be a widower, having recently lost his beloved wife. Or he may have chosen to live alone due to being emotionally abused by a former partner. Or, wait for it… he might be living alone… because… he wants to.

  39. Arnd

    BB,

    I am not nihilistic. You are wrong… wrong wrong wrong!!!

    But that’s exactly what I said: “Except your position doesn’t even qualify as nihilism …:” Looks like I am right … right right right!!!

    Morals and ethics are what we should live by.

    Why?

    Seriously! “Whence the normative value of morals?”, is how one philosopher put the question succinctly! Why live morally in the first place? Why not just go and live however you will, and grab whatever you want? Especially considering that, according to many (including yourself?), this one lifetime is all we’re going to get? What do you tell a young, brash hotshot in pursuit of sex and drugs and self-gratification, who is committed to “live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking body”? Who would rather “die standing up, than live on your knees”.

    But let’s say we agree that we should live morally! What does that even mean? Are we talking about virtue ethics? Or do you prefer the deontological approach? Or would you rather follow utilitarian precepts? How do you resolve the Trolley Problem? And what do you propose to do about people who arrive at different conclusions? At what stage of ethical reasoning do your reflections on the Heinz Dilemma play out?

    But I guess that, to you:

    That is just semantics.. Truth is truth.. Truth is not about our own individual “beliefs”.

    It’s all settled! Except for the nasty lying politicians and two-faced media, who just insist on taking Australia further along on its path to perdition.

    Australia used to be the land of a fair go. The operative words here sadly are “used to be”.

    Oh, yeah? And when was that, then? Michael Taylor has just finished presenting his five-part series about how Australia exactly never was the land of a fair go to begin with.

    Sure, some deluded French guy once, around the turn of the last century, went on to describe Australia and NZ in terms of socialisme sans doctrine. The problem with this “Working Man’s Paradise” of yore … – well, four problems, actually:

    It was for men only. And White Anglo-Saxon Protestant men at that. Women, Catholics, Aborigines, Chinese, Indians … need not apply.

    The environment simply didn’t rate. Land clearing, soil degradation, species extinction … – who cares?

    Métin wrote in 1901. By 1914, those white men had left their workers’ paradise in droves, to fight an imperial war on the other side of the globe.

    And after that, those who did come back lived through the worst global crisis of capitalism to date: Sydney’s Hungry Mile isn’t called that because it was the Mile that was hungry. No, it was the unemployed stevedores milling around on it, hoping to score a subsistence wage job unloading and loading ships by hand.

    The salient point is this: once you want some sort of socialism – or other regime – that actually gets on top of those issues, you will have to attend to matters of principle. And doctrine and philosophy!

  40. wam

    Wow, michael,
    Whilst it doesn’t matter, BB has always been a woman to my reading of her words.
    Arnd,
    Is climate change a natural ongoing process? Nah, it’s man made?
    Do greenhouse gases lead to an increase in temperature as the greenhouse effect nah it’s climate change.
    Glad you know truth.

  41. Arnd

    wam,

    Glad you know truth.

    “I know that I know nothing!” So said, supposedly, Socrates, going on two and a half thousand years ago.

    What can anyone of us claim to know with certainty? If we restrict our knowledge claims to the Socratic definition of Justified True Opinion (and leaving aside complications like the Gettier Problem)? We can know that we exist: “Cogito, ergo sum!” After that, everything – EVERYTHING! – becomes conjecture. Some of it better supported – to the point of practical certainty – than others. But most all of it best treated as “contingent”, “circumstantial” and “contextual” moving shadows on the wall of Plato’s Cave. Yet, that’s all we’ve got to go by!

    Btw, thanks for introducing the Rashomon Effect into this discussion.

  42. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks for this, John. What an interesting list of priorities your question provoked. You’ve certainly set the cat among the pigeons!

  43. Keith

    Arnd

    In relation to modern science, I’m not sure your comments apply. Gravity is something that we all expect will be shown every time we drop something. Experimentation that can continually be replicated shows how we can expect a process to keep occurring. Though science provides a moving body of data which either strengthens hypotheses made, or shows how a hypothesis may need altering or is wrong altogether.

    Scientists researching climate change use highly sophisticated equipment such as argo buoys, unmanned submarines, satellites and a number of other devices. I’m sure the truth is that Socrates did not have such equipment. Science is about continually asking questions which is a great notion that Socrates did engender.

  44. Mark

    Keith – science proceeds on the basis of theoretical advances. So any findings (what we might regard as knowledge) should always be regarded as tentative – just awaiting the next theoretical breakthrough.

    You mention Gravity. Here’s what seems to be the latest view/theory.

    The proposed new theory of gravity is based on the postulation that the entire universe is composed of only two fundamental particles with few binary characteristics. The theory reconciles quantum gravity with general relativity. It explains the mass/gravity duality.

    Perhaps the closest we get to truth is mathematics. But even then …

    Over the years there’s been many philosophers of science advancing different views on the nature of science and how it evolves. Here’s a short article that discusses some of those developments.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2012/oct/01/karl-popper-lakatos-kuhn-feyerabend

  45. Kate Ahearne

    P. S. John, I forgot to say at the time how much I enjoyed your extended cricket metaphor a couple of articles ago. We’ve been using cricket as an extended metaphor for a long time. Stuff like, ‘It just ain’t cricket’, ‘Playing with a straight bat’ and ‘Play up! Play up! And play the game.’ (Sir Henry Newbolt)

    ‘There’s a breathless hush in the close to-night
    Ten to make and the match to win
    A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
    An hour to play, and the last man in.
    And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat.
    Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,
    But his captain’s hand on his shoulder smote
    “Play up! Play up! And play the game!”

    The sand of the desert is sodden red-
    Red with the wreck of the square that broke
    The gatling’s jammed and the colonel dead,
    And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
    The river of death has brimmed its banks,
    And England’s far and Honor a name,
    But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks-
    “Play up! Play up! And play the game!”

    This is the word that year by year,
    While in her place the school is set,
    Every one of her sons must hear,
    And none that hears it dare forget.
    This they all with joyful mind
    And bear through life Eke a torch in flame,
    falling fling to the host behind-
    “Play up! Play up! And play the game!”

  46. Michael Taylor

    Kate, what a wonderful poem. Thank you for sharing.

  47. Keith

    Mark Something I have found in reading lots of science studies, is that unrelated disciplines to climate change support what climate scientists are stating. A few years ago I read about an archeological dig at Barrow, Alaska which supported the view held by climate scientists, the dig supported the notion of sea level rise. The dig had to be completed in a very hasty manner as erosion caused through sea level rise was destroying specimens. Scientists are saying off Japan, Alaska and Australia in various studies that marine species are moving away from the Equator as waters warm. Is it just a hypothetical notion that waters are warming, or are thermometers only producing a relativistic reading? Lytton, in Canada was recorded as having a temperature a shade under 50C, can we accept that? Today it is raining outside, but should I expect to keep dry if I go outside? Space craft are sent to outer planets or landed on the moon or an asteroid, which rely on very firm knowledge. A few of the examples I have provided suggest a sociological view of the relevance of science can be upheld. I read your reference and the philosophical views appeared highly overstated to me.

  48. Kate Ahearne

    Hi, Michael. Yes, a wonderful glimpse into the Spirit of Empire! I used to love cricket, until the Shane Warne era when my faith was seriously shaken. Then the ball tampering – just not cricket.

    I’ve been off the air for a couple of days, so apologies for my apparent lack of interest in the goings-on here. We went down to Launceston. No internet! But lots of morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea! And Black Swans!

    Trying to catch up, now.

  49. Arnd

    Keith,

    Gravity is something that we all expect will be shown every time we drop something.

    No problem – I did say that some conjectures are supported to the point of practical certainty. As well, merely accepting that gravity exists does not amount to a tractable explanation of this phenomenon. It may well be that, by the time we “fully” understand gravity, we will be able to construct the kind of anti-gravity devices that kept exercising the minds of the s-f writers whose stories I enjoyed as a kid.

    And whilst physical reality may – MAY – remain constant, our understanding of it certainly doesn’t. “Why is it”, asked Ludwig Wittgenstein in passing: “that throughout human history, people assumed that the heavenly bodies revolve around a stationary Earth?” “Because that’s what it looks like to an observer on Earth!”, came back the unperturbed reply. “So what should we expect a planetary system to look like to an observer on Earth that leaves that observer with the immediate insight of heliocentric movement?” asked Wittgenstein… – and as most people will appreciate, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of the Copernican Revolution.

    There is another aspect worth considering. An aspect deriving from the vitally important difference between the natural sciences and the human sciences, lucidly outlined by George Soros in his 1997 The Atlantic article The Capitalist Threat:

    I was driven to delve deeper into Karl Popper’s philosophy, and to ask, Why does nobody have access to the ultimate truth? The answer became clear: We live in the same universe that we are trying to understand, and our perceptions can influence the events in which we participate. If our thoughts belonged to one universe and their subject matter to another, the truth might be within our grasp: we could formulate statements corresponding to the facts, and the facts would serve as reliable criteria for deciding whether the statements were true.

    There is a realm where these conditions prevail: natural science. But in other areas of human endeavor the relationship between statements and facts is less clear-cut. In social and political affairs the participants’ perceptions help to determine reality. In these situations facts do not necessarily constitute reliable criteria for judging the truth of statements. There is a two-way connection—a feedback mechanism—between thinking and events, which I have called “reflexivity.” I have used it to develop a theory of history.

    And it is politics, which we are discussing here. Including the feedback loop between politicians talking bullshit, and relentlessly gas-lighting their constituents. If we’re trying to understand why political bullshit has become so ubiquitous during our lifetimes – why we have allowed it to become so – I believe that better appreciation of the necessarily tenuous relationship between reality and our understanding of reality provides a better starting point than the assumption that whatever we individually think is real therefore is real.

    Rashomon sends his regards.

    Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach riffs extensively on the same subject area.

  50. Arnd

    Mark, thanks for the link to the The Guardian article.

    Pity they left out Pierre Bourdieu, sociologist of science and academia per excellence.

    Mention of G.W.F. Hegel might have been useful, too. His dialectical method proceeds by postulating an Abstraction, extracts the Negation(s), to develop the Concrete, which then serves to build the next Abstraction

    Marx built his “dialectical materialism” on Hegel’s ideas – and as I understand, Popper manufactured his dead-end “Theory of Falsification” with the explicit aim to “falsify” Marxist claims to scientific insight.

  51. Keith

    Arnd/Mark

    The question put by John was what are people’s top concerns in relation to the up coming election.

    I do not think he was considering a Philosophic discussion which is hardly answering his question.
    We are aware that everybody has a different view; that is, different perceptions which I guess covers the Rashomon Effect. I do not believe people need to have read Hegel, Popper, Wittgenstein or any other well known Philosophers to have an opinion on politics, or what they feel is needed..

  52. Arnd

    Keith,

    I do not believe people need to have read Hegel, Popper, Wittgenstein or any other well known Philosophers to have an opinion on politics, or what they feel is needed..

    In an ideal world – or at least in a polity which is calibrated against certain basic standards of reasonableness: no, they – we – do not.

    Unfortunately, we do not live in such a world.

    I say, that getting us to such a world – organising such a world for ourselves – will require questioning and deconstructing the existing order. And that is where philosophers from throughout the millenia do provide useful reference points.

    John Lord’s catalogue of 60 separately enunciated political desiderata is a useful start. But it is no more than that. With reference to my day job in construction, I’d consider John’s list the equivalent of a whole heap of bricks and timber. Making a house out of it requires a lot of additional effort, and skilled effort at that. Merely having political opinions and feelings about needs is not enough.

  53. leefe

    Arnd:

    ” We can know that we exist: “Cogito, ergo sum!” ”

    You might want to read Ambrose Bierce’s take on that because, in fact, we don’t know it. We only think we do.
    Existence, for us, is awareness. Thought, if you like. But, as all input is filtered through the same (not necessarily real) organ that does the thinking, we have no objective way of testing that input and thus no objective way of judging whether the phenomena it is supposedly sensing and reporting on are actually occurring.

    BB/Dianne:

    Somehow my early reading led me to think that morals were social values and ethics were individual, whereas official dictionary definitions have them more or less the other way around but with ethics also being about the study of value systems. Do we need both? Assuredly. But which values and which value systems? “Do unto others … ” – which has an equivalent in virtually every known religion or set of values – is a good start. Pity more people do not live by it. And yes, that includes so many of the unspeakables currently ‘running’ this country.

    John Lord:

    Covid doesn’t come into my electoral issue list because it is so recent a demonstration of the myriad things wrong with our current misgovernment, and all the other issues are why their response has been so lackadaisical: the corruption, the inequality, the arrogance, the degradation of public health and education systems and so on – without all that, their treatment of the pandemic would not (indeed could not) have been so woeful.

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