Atheists and christians alike often feel that not only is their belief true, but it is “nicer”. One argument, which has been made to me several times by atheists recently, is over who is more generous in giving to charity. It has little to do with the truth of belief, but are there any facts […]
When I was at school, we were taught about how slavery was abolished in Britain and the USA. This was obviously a good thing. It came as a shock to find out, some years ago now, that there are more slaves in the world than ever before.
Indonesia has, at various times over the years, been both the victim of oppression and colonial rule and the oppressor. For two centuries the Dutch East India Company virtually ruled the islands that comprise Indonesia as they profited from the spice trade. Later, the Dutch East Indies was a part of the Dutch colonial empire, […]
People trafficking is the coercive trade of human beings to provide cheap or free labour – effectively slavery. It is happening around the world, and leaves millions of powerless people in misery.
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 […]
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 […]
I’ve been intending for a while starting a new section on Is there a God? about making a difference in the world. Finally, the baby’s born! The first topic is climate change. Don’t go away just yet. Even if you’re not all that interested, please check out the rest of this post to see why […]
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 […]
Almost one billion people, an eighth of the world’s population, are hungry as you read this. Why?
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 […]