“This is because the formal duty of being truthful is something that is owed by an individual to everyone[3]. By making a false statement we commit a wrong against our general duty to be truthful[4]. If we could be alleviated from this obligation, all of our contractual rights would be void and there would be no security in relations between humans.”

Originally posted on janetthomas:

This essay will attempt to explain why the German philosopher, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), thought that it is wrong to lie even to an enquiring murderer. To do this the essay will explain Kant’s theory of a Categorical Imperative which is a source of all universalized moral laws and how he applied it to the challenge of his theory by the Swiss philosopher Benjamin Constant. The essay will then discuss whether Kant is right in asserting the correct moral answer through the use of the Categorical Imperative.

Kant advocated a moral principle that, “It is a duty to tell the truth”[1].  He asserted that it would even be wrong to lie to a murderer who inquired as to the whereabouts of our friend so that he could harm our friend[2]. This is because the formal duty of being truthful is something that is owed by an individual…

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“Johan Norberg began the decade of 2000-2010 cheering the ability of capitalism to cure global inequality in his book In Defence of Global Capitalism (2003) and ended the decade trying to explain why capitalism had gone so terribly wrong in his book The Financial Fiasco (2009).”

Originally posted on janetthomas:

‘The world’s inequality is due to capitalism. Not to capitalism having made certain groups poor, but to its making its practitioners wealthy.’

Johan Norberg. Johan Norberg began the decade of 2000-2010 cheering the ability of capitalism to cure global inequality in his book In Defence of Global Capitalism (2003) and ended the decade trying to explain why capitalism had gone so terribly wrong in his book The Financial Fiasco (2009) . In the quote above he asserts that capitalism does not make people poor but makes people wealthy and this is the only cause of disparity in income inequality between people. It is the manifesto of laissez-faire capitalism that the ability to be able to earn money and keep it is fundamental to a human’s freedom. It is through the use of their own ingenuity and rationalism that human’s can thrive and buy property enabling them to establish wealth. Norberg…

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In this article Nichols makes an exploration of altruistic moral behaviour to determine the reason for its motivation…

Originally posted on janetthomas:


In this article Nichols makes an exploration of altruistic moral behaviour to determine the reason for its motivation. Firstly, he explores the available theories of the ‘moral mind’ and then sets out reasons for their acceptance or dismissal. Secondly, he explores what evidence there is for an emotional account being the motivating factor for moral behaviour. Finally, he determines that there is an affective system which is triggered by an emotional reaction and creates specific altruistic behaviour. This system he terms the ‘Concern Mechanism’. Nicholas concludes that the ‘Concern Mechanism’ is an affective system that is activated by an individual’s emotional or sympathetic response that recognises distress in others while only relying upon minimal mindreading ability (2001:425).

In his argument Nichols addresses two questions: one of which explores what mechanism actually initiates the motivational altruistic state itself. The other question seeks to find out which mindreading mechanism is required for…

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It is time all young people knew this: the work of our time is the work of reconnection, regeneration, restoration and reconciliation. Their talents and open minds, their unselfconscious creativity and determination are all desperately required.

Their ideas, stories, music, art, calculations and innovations and general lack of preconceptions are urgently needed for the creation of the alternative cultural, economic, social and governance systems that will support this restorative work of our time.

The young people of today who wish to transcend the machines of destruction have a greater calling than merely competing for the handful of internships in ethical NGOs. They must demand a groundswell of restorative opportunities, and go on to build the systems and networks that will create more of these, for the sake of their own future. They must organise and — in some way not delimited by my own dated vocabulary — get political — and fast.

Originally posted on VIVID:

Back to the chalk-faceIn the same week that my 16 year old son began assessing his options for subjects and sixth form colleges for next year, his 11 year old brother made a bold but flawed attempt to bunk off school, managing to duck away from the school bus and secrete himself in the local churchyard with his packed lunch and a plan to sit out the day under a bush.

The closeness of the school community and his older brother’s vigilance meant that his absence was spotted and reported within an hour; to his chagrin he was back in school for second lesson. But there were insights to be taken from this traumatic, if brief experience.

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Originally posted on janetthomas:

Affluent developed nations hold 14.9% of the world’s population but 79.7% of its aggregate global income[1]. Global inequalities are greater today than they were 50 to100 years ago even though the world has become more connected through globalisation[2] . This gap will continue to grow because of political and financial power[3]. Socioeconomic rights such as a standard of living that is adequate to provide health and well being for an individual and their family would require only a barely noticeable shift in the distribution of global income[4]. This is attributed to a Western ‘double standard’ by the political philosopher Thomas W. Pogge[5]. This essay will assert through the exploring some of Pogge’s work, and the theories of  his supporters and detractors, why a “double-standard” arises in regard to global justice and contend that those who live in such wealthy nations cannot…

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Originally posted on janetthomas:

The Village

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom . . .

M. Night Shylaman’s 2004 film The Village was written and produced at a time when the United States was unilaterally invading Iraq under the lie that it had weapons of mass destruction. It was an elaborate fabrication of the truth that involved many experts and world leaders acting as rational counsellors for the security and protection of ‘free peoples’. The film features an idyllic rural community run cooperatively by a group of elders. The story involves an elaborate fabrication that is devised by the elders of the community to enact a consequentialist outcome, where the best moral action is the one with the best overall consequence. The Utopia the elders devise to escape a perceived wicked world is to ensure the best of all…

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Originally posted on janetthomas:

Traditional Roman religious practice we are told by Cassius Dio did not tolerate atheists, which the Jews and the Christians were seen to be. Also, the Romans did not like new divinities to be introduced which might cause ‘conspiracies’ and ‘factions’. These were Roman fears and the determination by various emperors to assert the priority of Roman religion brought them into conflict with both religions.

It was said by Philo the Alexandrian that it was the emperor Gaius’s demand to be worshipped as a divine figure that brought him to persecute the Jews. Philo, who represented the Jews in an embassy to Gaius, states that Gaius thought that the Jews wished to counter his desires. When Gaius ordered a statue to be placed in the Temple at Jerusalem, a decision later rescinded, the Jews felt that their whole nation was under threat. This setting for conflict was exacerbated by the…

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Originally posted on janetthomas:


‘If only thou couldst feel as I do, and couldst get thee power of speech’

                                                                   (Od. 9.455-58)[1]

An important feature of the relationship between humans and animals since the early Neolithic age is one of reciprocity. In this line from Odysseus, Homer draws our attention to the close symbiotic relationship between a shepherd and his flock. The shepherd provides protection and the sheep provide sustenance and companionship in his lonely life[2]. However, Hesiod stated that it is the notion of justice that holds us apart from animals, with justice demanding that we do not prey on our own kind[3]. Lonsdale notes that Xenophon went further and argued that man is different because…

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Originally posted on janetthomas:

 “Hip-hop speaks true. It is all of us. Where we go, this is where hip-hop goes.”

  (BBC World Service 2011)

Hip-hop or rap music has become global. There is scarcely a country in the world where it does not feature. It has been transformed and globalized by the music industry, although its African-American origins survive through its transformation into re-localized cultural inflections. The sonic organisation of its poetics and beat is profoundly implicated in its cultural workings and the formation of identities  (Krims 2000). Hip-hop culture reveals how marginalised cultural practices can be used to challenge a dominant discourse such as globalization whilst using its techniques to proliferate.  This essay will attempt to analyse the culture of rap music and its relationship to globalisation and the Euro-American Empire.

Rap music is a good example of postmodern social theory, with its perceived resistance reflecting an African-American vernacular culture which…

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Originally posted on janetthomas:


                              “I  heard [Picasso] complain about how all the people who came

 to see him and saw him give new life to old bits of tulle and cardboard,

 string and corrugated metal, crumpled rags from the garbage can

thought they were doing him a favour to bring him remnants of splendid

 fabric to make pictures out of. He didn’t want them, he wanted

the true refuse of human life something poor, dirty, and contemptible.”

Louis Aragon (Spies, 2000:13)

Robert Hughes writes that the tradition of modern sculpture, with its welded and assembled sheets of metal and its open and constructed form, was derived from a small guitar that Picasso made in 1912 (Hughes, www.time.com ).Picasso radically expanded the techniques and materials used in sculpture during the twentieth century. Besides using bronze, plaster and wood, he…

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