Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Archive for July 22nd, 2009

Religious exemption from anti-discrimination law: the inescapable conclusion

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-07-22

As a hypothetical, let’s say that anti-discrimination laws allow discrimination by certain organizations based on the nature of the organization, such as religious institutions, including schools, wanting to be able to employ only those (whether as teachers, janitors or receptionists) of the same sect.

Then we invite the Education Minister to an interview:

  • Interviewer: Minister, how important do you think it is that children in our education system are not only given basic facts, but are provided with the skills to develop questions and hypotheses, analyze information, and come to the best conclusions based on the information available to them?
     
  • Minister: (cannot answer anything but "very" unless wanting a change of portfolio).
     
  • Interviewer: So, essential to the nature of a state education system, indeed any education with support from the state, is the need to question?
     
  • Minister: (cannot answer anything but "yes" unless wanting a change of portfolio).
     
  • Interviewer: The dictionary would define "skepticism" as questioning, wouldn’t it.
     
  • Minister: Ummmm, (quivering voice, starting to see what is coming) yes.
     
  • Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Australia, Civil rights, Education, Legislation, Philosophy, Politics, Theology and Religion, Victoria | Leave a Comment »

Roman or Athenian?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-07-22

In response to the stimulating post and discussion over at Skepticlawyer ("Roman or Celt" 2009-07-20 by LE), I’ll ask the question "Roman or Athenian?".

It’s hard to say "Greek" when so much of that civilization happened outside the bounds of what we call Greece – and even outside Europe.  It’s doubly hard if you imagine yourself in Alexandria under Roman occupation.  It’s triply hard if you want to decide whether "Greek" means Spartan or Athenian (although I’m sure some readers might prefer to have lived Sybaris at the height of it’s wealth!)

So… 5th/4th century BCE Athens (except for the rule of 500) or Rome (last century of the Republic)?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in History, Reader Poll | 8 Comments »

 
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