Author Archives: thormay

73. Some Uses and Misuses of Reason

When can the use of rea­son lead to bet­ter lives and soci­eties, and when can it under­mine them? Thor May Bris­bane, 2014 Think­ing point: The Aus­tralian Attor­ney Gen­eral, George Bran­dis has just declared that argu­ments for cli­mate change are irra­tional and that … Con­tinue read­ing

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72. Crime without Punishment – the journey from means to ends

Sooner or later every­one – indi­vid­u­als, gov­ern­ments, com­pa­nies – has to make choices about whether to put aside cer­tain val­ues to achieve a desired end. Michael Pas­coe, an Aus­tralian finan­cial jour­nal­ist, has recently dis­cussed this at http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/abandon-principles-and-pay-the-price-20140331-35tz4.html Image credit: Hugh … Con­tinue read­ing

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71. Is learning “grit” is the best way to succeed?

How have you man­aged your fail­ures, and has fail­ure made you a bet­ter per­son? Every­one fails at some­thing sooner or later. The impor­tant thing is how they han­dle fail­ure. A recent edu­ca­tional fad in Amer­ica is to teach stu­dents “grit” … Con­tinue read­ing

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70. Are diet and exercise really personal choices?

  A human epi­demic of obe­sity / near-obe­sity has cor­re­lated world­wide with the spread of man­u­fac­tured food & bev­er­age, and motor­ized trans­port. Diet & exer­cise though seem to be intensely per­sonal choices. How can this dilemma be solved?   Pref­ace: This … Con­tinue read­ing

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69. How do we judge literary value and artistic value?

Pref­ace: This is a dis­cus­sion paper, not a researched aca­d­e­mic doc­u­ment. The read­ing list at the end is a col­lec­tion of con­tem­po­rary links from the Inter­net and pretty acci­den­tal, not edited for qual­ity. The author is a prin­ci­pal orga­nizer for … Con­tinue read­ing

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68. Are We Too Wealthy?

Do we demand an unsus­tain­able and unre­al­is­tic qual­ity of life? Does our desire to be wealthy place too much pres­sure on the econ­omy and on the envi­ron­ment? Is it pos­si­ble that we may have to think about accept­ing less?  Thor … Con­tinue read­ing

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67. How Can We Treat Refugees Humanely? – An Australian Perspective

Refugees,  or more par­tic­u­larly asy­lum seek­ers arriv­ing by boat in Aus­tralian ter­ri­tory with­out prior autho­riza­tion, are a hot but­ton polit­i­cal issue in Aus­tralia. The pub­lic sen­ti­ment against them has hard­ened in the last sev­eral years, partly as a result of … Con­tinue read­ing

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