Sunday, October 5, 2014

C. S. Lewis on Peace and Happiness

"God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself... God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there."--C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Quote of the Week - C.S. Lewis

"There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours."-- C.S. Lewis

This is the final post for Ethics Forum. Thanks to all you immortals who have followed this blog for the past 6 years. God bless you!

Related reading: Saying Goodbye; Good Blogs on Ethics; INDEX of Topics at Ethics Forum

Monday, June 23, 2014

Good Blogs on Ethics

Alice C. Linsley

As I prepare to close down Ethics Forum, readers might appreciate a list of good blogs that address ethics. Here are blogs that I recommend.

Bioethics Discussion Blog 
This excellent blog belongs to Maurice Bernstein, M.D. (Los Angeles). He presents topics weekly with humor and sensitivity.

The Business Ethics Blog
This is the blog of Chris MacDonald, Ph.D., an educator, speaker, and consultant in the realm of business ethics. He teaches at the Ted Rogers School of Management, at Ryerson University in Toronto, where he is Director of the Jim Pattison Ethical Leadership Education and Research Program, at the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre. He is also a Senior Fellow at Duke University's Kenan Institute for Ethics.

Engineering Ethics Blog
This is the blog of a professor who has worked in industry and as a consulting engineer. He currently teaches engineering courses at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

Ethics and Psychology
This is the blog of John Gavazzi, a Clinical and Consulting Psychologist who lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Information Ethics Report
This site is managed by the Journalism Department at Creigthton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE)
Founded in 1990, this organization has sponsored sessions at the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, at the Society for Conservation Biology, at the American Institute of Biological Sciences, at the Society of American Foresters, and a number of similar organizations.

Legal Ethics Forum
This blog has numerous contributors. The main contributors are John Steel (Adjunct Law Professor) and Andrew Perlman (Suffolk University Law School).

Related reading: The Apostle Paul: Rules for Blogging

Friday, June 20, 2014

General Evren Sentenced to Life in Prison

ANKARA: Former army chief Kenan Evren, 96, who came to symbolise the military’s dominance over Turkish political life, was sentenced to life in jail on Wednesday [June 18] for leading a 1980 coup that resulted in widespread torture, arrests and deaths.

The sentencing of retired General Evren marked a strong symbolic moment in Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s taming of an army that had forced four governments from power in four decades. Hundreds of officers were jailed last year over an alleged plot to topple him.

Mr Evren, who also served as president after three years of military rule, never expressed regret for the coup. He said it saved Turkey from anarchy after thousands were killed in street fighting by militant left-wingers and rightists.
Read it all here.

Background (Wikipedia)

Kenan Evren was born in Alaşehir, Manisa Province.[1] After going to elementary school and middle school in Manisa, Balıkesir and Istanbul, he attended military high school in Maltepe, Ankara. In 1938, he graduated from army school and in 1949 from military academy as a staff officer. From 1958 to 1959, he served in the Turkish Brigade in Korea. In 1964, he was promoted to general. Evren served at various posts as Army Chief. He was the commander of Operation Gladio's Turkish branch; the Counter-Guerrilla. The Counter-Guerrilla was an anti-communist "stay-behind" guerrilla force set up with the support of NATO.[2] He became Chief of General Staff in March 1978.

The years leading to the coup were characterized as a fierce struggle between the rightists and leftists. Hoping to see a communist revolution, the left wingers rioted in the streets; on the other hand, the nationalist rightists fought back the left wingers and provoked religious arousal. Universities had taken sides and each became headquarters for either the leftists or rightists.

With the coup came the National Security Council as the ruling body. The council of 1980 was composed of the commanders Kenan Evren, the Chief of Staff and President of the State. The parliament was dissolved. The Central Intelligence Agency's Ankara bureau chief at the time, Paul B. Henze, received a call from the White House Situation Room saying "Paul, your guys have done it", while President Jimmy Carter was watching Fiddler on the Roof at theKennedy Center.[3][4]

After the coup, in 1982, Kenan Evren was elected the President of Republic of Turkey on 7 November with the 90% approval of the new constitution that was submitted to a controversial referendum, replacing the older constitution which, according to him, had liberties "luxurious" for Turkey.[5] He suspended many forms of civil liberties and human rights on the grounds that it was necessary to establish stability. He professed great admiration for the founder of Turkey, Kemal Atatürk, however he shut down many institutions founded by Atatürk and is often accused of deforming the country's legal system against Atatürk's principles. During his military regime, many people were tortured and executed due to their political beliefs.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Galway's Baby Burial Grounds

The ancient custom in Ireland was to bury unbaptised children, strangers, suicides and criminals in mass graves. Here is a map of all of the “children’s burial grounds” in Galway, taken from a National Monuments Service interactive map.

Michael Cook

The Catholic Church in Ireland and its ferocious nuns are being pilloried over yet another tranche of decades-old crimes. “Galway Historian Finds 800 Babies in Septic Tank Grave” is the headline in the Boston Globe. As the story snowballs don’t be surprised if you read about “the killing fields of Ireland”.

The remains were found on the site of a home for unmarried mothers and their children run by the Bon Secours Sisters between 1925 and 1961 in Tuam, County Galway. Sketchy accounts which are appearing in the media evoke images of murdered children and secret burials. Guardian columnist Emer O’Toole wrote in an incandescent fury: “Do not say Catholic prayers over these dead children. Don't insult those who were in life despised and abused by you. Instead, tell us where the rest of the bodies are.” A Government Senator from Galway, Fine Gael’s Hildegarde Naughton, has called what happened “manslaughter”.

But the fires of indignation burn hottest and highest when they are uncontaminated by facts. Before politicians and columnists launch into their well-rehearsed litanies denouncing sadistic nuns and misogynist clerics, it might be wise to scout whether there are enough facts to justify the scaremongering.

Read the real story behind Ireland's mass graves here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Quote of the Week - Robert Darwin Crouse

"Anglican spirituality is basically a liturgical piety, nurtured by the Book of Common Prayer. It is a rich and glorious tradition, and I, for one, am unwilling to see it undermined or discarded."-- Dr. Robert Darwin Crouse (1930-1911)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mormon Dating Faces Trademark Lawsuit

6 June 2014
Electronic Frontier Foundation 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged a federal judge to quickly resolve a dispute over the use of the term "Mormon" in an online dating site, arguing that extended litigation based on a frivolous claim could bury a small business in its infancy.

Intellectual Reserve, Inc., which manages intellectual property rights for The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, has made numerous trademark claims against a website called "Mormon Match," which offers online dating services for members of the LDS church. Intellectual Reserve concedes that the term "Mormon" can be used to describe church members generally, but claims that its "family of marks" using "Mormon" (such as "Mormon Tabernacle Choir") gives it the power to silence any business that dares to use the term in commerce. In an amicus brief filed Friday, EFF argues that because "Mormon" is undisputedly a descriptive term, its use in the name of the website is fair and legal.

"The name of this service simply describes what it's doing – matching up Mormons," said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry. "Trademarks are supposed to be used to protect from unfair competition, not to stifle a small business or to control language."

Often, when websites or other projects get trademark complaints, the creators decide to change their content or services in order to avoid expensive litigation – even if they know they are in the right. Merely the threat of a trademark lawsuit, and the costs associated with it, is enough to chill many entrepreneurs, artists, and activists from innovative projects.

"This case can and should be dismissed now," said EFF Staff Attorney Vera Ranieri. "The spectre of expensive litigation shouldn't be a tool used to coerce Internet entrepreneurs and other content creators into succumbing to meritless infringement claims."

See the full amicus brief