Philosophy

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Most of us can’t bend it like Beckham, for various reasons. But is that necessarily the worst thing? Reuters/Ben Nelms

Why equality of opportunity is neither possible nor desirable

Rather than hold on to the idea of equality of opportunity, it might be more accurate to say that we don’t really support it because it comes at too high a price.
Giving, or contributing, beyond ourselves is one of the strongest predictors of happiness and health. Shutterstock/Nikki Zalewski

Happy? Consider how giving builds a life of meaning

A philosophy based on giving of ourselves to others may help us live more meaningful and fulfilling lives, while helping to bridge the extremes of our emotions and beliefs.
Seeking constant distractions and identifying with brands and status symbols, we struggle to escape the superficial self. Shutterstock/Sean De Burca

The lies of happiness: living with affluenza but without fulfilment

In the first of our series, On Happiness, the question is whether unsustainable consumption and debt can ever bring us happiness. The global financial question was a chance to take stock, yet did we learn anything?
Under certain conditions, war may be morally permissible, or even necessary. EPA/Said Yusuf Warsame

How should we think about war? Understanding Just War Theory

Political leaders frequently invoke Just War Theory to ground their explanations of why they are waging war against another state and how they plan to do so. What are the key components of this moral position?
There is precious little dignity available for those Australians who are in the last stages of their lives. shutterstock

The slow politics of dignity for the aged and dying in Australia

The contrast between rights with dignity and rights without is increasingly apparent with regard to two groups of Australians: retirees and those in aged-care facilities.
Perth City.

Philosophy for the people: commencing a dialogue

I have always been interested in how we try to understand the world in which we live, and artworks provide us with a great stimulus for such discussions. My research focuses on aesthetics, ethics and education…
Former SS member Oskar Groening, 93, is on trial, charged with accessory in the murder of about 300,000 people at Auschwitz. EPA/AXEL HEIMKEN / POOL

Oskar Groening and our own guilt for crimes committed collectively

Oskar Groening has declared his moral guilt as an Auschwitz accountant. His trial, currently underway, points to difficult questions about the implications of our own participation in collective activities.
Memory makes us human but also sometimes inhumane. Trung Bui Viet

What Ishiguro’s Buried Giant tells us about memory

Though Kazuo Ishiguro makes us wonder whether remembering is really better than forgetting, he also makes it clear that the answer is irrelevant. Remembering is our fate.
Australia’s politicians were unable to save Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan from a firing squad in Indonesia. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Chan and Sukumaran are victims of the futile war on drugs

Australia's politicians were unable to make the most persuasive argument for clemency for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran because Australia is also a combatant in the misguided war on drugs.
Not the aisle for happiness. consumer via www shutterstock com

Consumed: why more stuff does not mean more happiness

A lifestyle based on aggressive consumption stresses the Earth's resources and, beyond a certain point of comfort, does not actually foster human fulfillment or happiness.
The institute of marriage can only be made stronger by recognising all marriages. Danielle

An ethical case for marriage equality in Australia

Little progress has been made on debates about marriage equality in Australia – even though a majority of the population is in favour of it. How might ethical frameworks help us better understand the issues?

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