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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vatican condemns Nobel Prize to Robert Edwards - IEET countdown # 20

This piece, by little me, was first published right here. Apparently it got a lot of hits over at IEET, coming in at # 20 on the institute's most-clicked list for 2010 (one of three of my contributions to make the list).

The Vatican regularly calls for moral condemnations and legal prohibitions, based on its understanding of transcendent purposes acting in the universe. Very well, it is entitled to do that – I respect its freedom of speech. But when it does so, we are entitled to reply by asking whether its understandings have any truth to them. Does its God even exist? Is its tradition of moral teaching divinely guided, or is it all too human and flawed? Why shouldn’t we condemn the Vatican, in our turn, when its bizarre worldview stands in the way of ordinary human happiness and reasonable aspirations?

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