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Entries Tagged as 'Role of the State'

Yet Another Lawyer Agrees: Marriage Amendment Act Bill is an Affront to Freedom of Religion and Belief

March 13th, 2013 22 Comments

Barrister Ian Bassett has given another opinion describing the risks to freedom of religion and belief of Louisa Wall’s Marriage Amendment Act Bill if it is enacted in its presently proposed form, which would include this amendment: “Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), no celebrant who is a minister of religion recognised by a religious […]

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Contra Mundum: Separating Church and State

September 2nd, 2011 87 Comments

Co-authored by Matthew and Madeleine Flannagan The late Philosopher Richard Rorty once described religion as a “conversation stopper”, something that polarises discussion and ends or prevents fruitful dialogue. Rorty was an advocate of, “the happy, Jeffersonian compromise that the Enlightenment reached with the religious. This compromise consists in privatizing religion — keeping it out of […]

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Contra Mundum: Consenting Adults and Harm

August 6th, 2011 85 Comments

In debates over abortion, homosexual conduct, euthanasia, prostitution, drugs, those who call themselves liberals often mount the same basic argument; a socially or morally permissive stance is necessitated towards such practices because people have a right to choose do what ever they like with their own bodies. As John Stuart Mill put it in his […]

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Pacifism, the Bible and the Sin of Selfishness

May 27th, 2011 20 Comments

‘If someone wants something from us and we do not want to give it to them that is the sin of selfishness and the Bible condemns selfishness.’ This was one of the three points a Christian pacifist speaker made in defending his stance at the panel discussion on War Ethics that Matt mentioned in Pacifism and The […]

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The New Zealand Association of Rationalist Humanists and the Privileging of Secularism

December 20th, 2010 189 Comments

The New Zealand Association of Rationalist Humanists (“NZARH”) has a statement of aspirational ideals for the New Zealand state on their website. Entitled “The Tolerant Secular State” it is anything but. The first two sentences of the document exhibit a confusion which is inherent throughout (and commonly found in discussions of church and state): “The […]

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The Separation of Church and Self: Rethinking Separationism

December 16th, 2010 119 Comments

Is it just for a pluralistic society to ground its public policy on religious premises? What role should religion play in such a society? Debate over questions like these has figured in theology, philosophy, political science, jurisprudence and popular culture for centuries. In contemporary Western pluralistic society the debate continues. Even for those unfamiliar with […]

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Contra Mundum: The Number of the Beast

December 1st, 2010 29 Comments

Recently TV3 screened The Omen. This classic horror is a about a boy called Damian who is the predicted anti-Christ and appropriately has the number 666 on his head. This film epitomises how the book of Revelation is understood in contemporary culture; apparently it predicts a future person, the beast or the anti-Christ who will […]

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