Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Who To Vote For?

Some of you may still be wondering whom to vote for. This piece explains one of the key reasons why I'll be voting Labour, not Tory.

The famous Lucius Cassius, whom the Roman people used to regard as a very honest and wise judge, was in the habit of asking, time and again, “cui bono?” (“To whose benefit?”)’ Cicero

In my opinion one of the best lenses through which to try to understand political party policy – including Tory policy – is the cui bono test. I wrote about this before here. Political rhetoric is one thing. But if you want to understand what the real agenda is, try asking ‘cui bono?’

It is hard, if not impossible, to find any economic or economy-impacting policy of the Tory Party that does not have the consequence that it benefits the very wealthy (top 1%) and big business. These are the same people who also contribute very significantly to Tory Party coffers, of course.

So consider the recent suggestion that Theresa May is now left leaning economically because she has recently said she rejects ‘the cult of selfish individualism’ and accepts that untrammelled free markets don’t necessarily deliver.

Applying the ‘Cui Bono?’ Test

However, if one applies the cui bono test and look at who benefits from May’s proposed policies, the answer is exactly the same as it’s always been.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

How to raise good citizens and avoid moral horrors? - Two approaches

Chapter (From Philosophy, Theology and The Jesuit Tradition: The Eye of Love)
Liberal and Authoritarian Approaches to Raising Good Citizens
Stephen Law

How do we raise good citizens? How do we raise people who will be morally decent, who will do the right thing, even when times are tough? Looking back over the twentieth century, we find great moral progress (especially in terms of our attitudes towards women, gay people, non-white people and other species), but also moral catastrophes – from the killing fields of Cambodia, to the Gulags, to Auschwitz, to the Rwandan genocide. If we wish to raise decent citizens who will stand up and do the right thing, who will exhibit significant immunity to the siren voices of these tempting them towards such horrors, what is the most effective approach?
I recommend a highly Liberal approach to moral and religious education. By a Liberal (with a capital ‘L’) approach, I mean an approach that emphasizes the importance of encouraging young people to think independently and make their own judgements on these important matters. Liberals believe young people should be helped to recognize that what is right or wrong, or true or false in any religion, is ultimately (and unavoidably) the responsibility of each individual to judge for him or herself. I recommend an approach to moral and religious education that emphasizes the importance of helping individuals develop the kind of intellectual and emotional maturity they will need to discharge this responsibility properly. A Liberal approach lies at the opposite end of the scale to what I term an Authoritarian (with a capital ‘A’) approach. Authoritarians place greater emphasis on encouraging an attitude of deference to external authority. Authoritarians suppose children should be raised to realize that what is right or wrong, religiously true or false, is not for them to judge – rather, they should defer to those who know.