Tag: Ethics

Atheism and freewill – the elephant in the room?

I have had an interest in the question of free will ever since a long and friendly email discussion with an atheist and determinist almost a decade ago. He was a researcher in artificial intelligence, and strongly believed that human beings had no free will, and that the only way we could have it was […]

Moving naturalism forwards?

In October 2012, 14 eminent scientists, philosophers and other thinkers met for 3 days in a workshop entitled Moving Naturalism Forwards. Why did they meet and what were the outcomes?

Tony’s Chocolonely – serious chocolate!

Regular readers will know that one of my ’causes’ is ethical chocolate – chocolate that is grown by free farmers who are paid a fair wage, and not by trafficked children working more or less as slaves. (For background, see Ethical chocolate update.) So it was with great delight that I received a weighty package […]

Do religious people do more good or harm?

The late Christopher Hitchens famously wrote that religion poisons everything. One aspect of this sort of conclusion is the claim that religious people do more harm than good. As Stephen Weinberg once said: With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that […]

Atheism: reality or illusion …. or both?

I’ve long thought that one of the reasons for believing in God is the fact that without God, it is hard to make sense of ethics and human freewill. But here’s an atheist (and a philosopher) who turns a lot of things on their head – he agrees it is hard to make sense of […]

The best way to combat climate change?

Hurricane Sandy has been in the news, as it left a trail of destruction and loss of life. The finger has sometimes been pointed at climate change as one of the causes, which it probably is, though no-one can know for sure. Yet the destruction could have been worse, and recovery far more difficult, if […]

Does this look like a world created by a good God?

For many of us, most of the time, the world is a beautiful place – sunsets, falling in love, evocative music, a party with friends, pets and the surf, for example. But we know that isn’t the whole story. Animals prey on each other, tsunamis and earthquakes can kill thousands, while war, rape, murder, child […]

A small victory in the fight against child slavery

There has been a long campaign for chocolate companies to only source their cocoa from farms that don’t use trafficked child labour, and who pay the workers a fair wage. And progress has been slow. I have previously reported how I have joined many others in writing to chocolate companies here in Australia asking them […]

7 things I ‘know’ about God

I’ve been a christian discussing belief with atheists and agnostics on the internet for about 7 years now. Many times I’ve been asked why I believe, what possible evidence could I have? These discussions have led me to re-examine many things that I believe, and while I haven’t changed all that much, I have certainly […]

Ethical chocolate update

I have previously reported on the ethical dilemmas posed by eating chocolate, due to the trafficking and exploitation of children in growing cocoa in West Africa (see My pleasure, their misery? and Easter eggs and slavery), and on the responses to my letters to chocolate manufacturers (see Fair Trade chocolate – report 1). I have […]