Sunday, June 10, 2018

At last, a change of pace and a crisis in religion ...

At last the crisis in Western Civilisation can be set aside, and a crisis in religion can form the basis for the pond's Sunday meditation ...


Resign, resign now … you're a complete and utter disgrace …

She claimed that protesters were actually “sidewalk counsellors” who were actually helping women make a “truly informed decision”. “They are providing the other pieces of information that some women choose to accept. They don’t force their views on to these women. They are offering simply another choice,” Fairfax reported Ms Davies as saying. (Opinion at by Alexis Carey here).

A personal anecdote. Years ago, there was an abortion clinic just down the road from the pond. Distressed women facing difficult personal decisions were abused and harassed, and anyone confronting the harassers and abusers - such as the pond - were also harassed and abused, adding to the nightmare circus atmosphere … and eventually the clinic shut down and was turned into apartments …

It was a despicable thing to see, and it happened most weekends, and it turned personally difficult matters into an even more terrible thing.

Ms Davies' position also raised the eyebrows of some of her Coalition colleagues, with some now questioning her fitness for the role. 

One Government backbencher told the ABC, "I honestly cannot believe that the Minister for Women would vote against women's safety. Un-f**ckingbelievable".

Actually, that's un-fucking believable though the spell corrector insists on "unfrocking" … 

The NSW Minister for Women Tanya Davies has voted against a bill which would provide a 150m safe access zone around abortion clinics. Some of her colleagues texting me they are shocked she has taken this position given her portfolio. 
Another Coalition MP said, "This bill is about respect, dignity and privacy of women — for the Minister for Women to not support this you have to seriously question if her position is tenable".

Seriously question? Tenable?

Resign, resign now … you're a complete and utter disgrace. And lurking behind all this?

Archbishop Fisher said the law meant groups and people who wanted to offer women "real choices" and provide "alternative options" to vulnerable women and their partners. (ABC here)

Um actually ABC, that's not a complete or coherent sentence, but the pond catches the drift of the humbug and twaddle and the allegiance of the wretch that said it …

And now, after congratulating the other state MPs and Penny Sharpe, who did the right thing, please allow the pond to set all that aside, and thank the long absent lord that Shanners has ridden to the pond's rescue for the rest of this Sunday's meditation…

Now there's an interesting question .. religious people and the economy are rarely discussed?

Now Shanners raises, in inimitable Shanners style, some interesting points, but the pond would like to re-direct the conversation with the help of a couple of brighter minds than it.

After all, the meditation for the day is about religion and the economy.

A certain Peter Kelso, for example, at Kelso Lawyers scribbled this … (in full here with active links):

The pond knows nothing of Kelso Lawyers, but by golly, the pond likes the cut of Peter Kelso's jib …

And as the pond was in the mood for it, a quick search resulted in this effort by a certain Brian Morris, which for some reason the Terrorists decided to let out from behind the paywall …

Now the pond realises some punters might be asking what happened to the rest of Shanners' thoughts, but the pond will return there in due course.

The pond accepts no blame for this elaborate detour. After all, she was the one that raised the question about religion and the economy, and now the Morris dance must lead where it must ...

By golly the pond likes the cut of the jib of Brian Morris too, and feels the need to allow him to finish ...

It particularly sticks in the pond's craw that a new cult like Scientology is not just tax-exempt but can score money from government to assist in running schools.

The school just up the road from the pond routinely offers the thoughts of L. Ron Hubbard to passers-by with a free pamphlet …and in a way that publication is indirectly subsidised by the federal money that was used by the cult to spend on other aspects of the school's work.

But then a cult that blathers about volcanoes and Thetans and all the rest of it isn't that much different qualitatively from cults where true believers congregate to drink human blood and munch on human flesh on a Sunday … except the age of the cult and the assorted different weirdnesses of belief…

Could the pond get government funding for its Church of the Latter-Day Reptiles?

And so to the final gobbet by Shanners ...

Well you won't find Shanners asking why religions are such shameless serial tax evaders and avoiders, and why such outrageous Ponzi schemes are allowed by the law to hide from obligations everyone else is expected to adhere to … while looting the taxpayer purse for charitable activities ...

Yet these felons use their tax-free status to foment hatred of women facing difficult decisions in times of emotional stress …

And in the United States, the evangelicals fellow travelling with the Donald also have big questions to answer … but as usual, the United States can be left to a few cartoons …


  1. Brian Morris: "ACNC [Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission] registers more than 60,000 charities, of which only 40% are religious. The majority are secular charities that do equally good work."

    Never forget that the "religious" will lie, and lie, and lie again, to push their favourite beliefs. Well done Shanners !

  2. “sidewalk counsellors”? That truly is an awful thing to say and even more awful if she believes it. It indicates that in that absence of any deserved smiting by her God, who really needs to do more smiting, she needs some counselling. Perhaps I could stand on her sidewalk and tell her how to become a better human being?

    When I was doing a PhD in psychology early in this century, there was an academic who was a lovely person and a very good lecturer and researcher in her area of expertise but when it came to abortion, she was quite loopy and irrational and could not be convinced that all women would not deeply regret their decision and suffer for the rest of their lives.

    I shared my story with her and explained how if when I was younger and even more foolish and prone to making bad choices, I had been unable to have a termination, it would have meant a huge upheaval of the lives of several people who did not deserve to have their lives disturbed in such a way, and there would have been no chance that the child would have been born into a secure and loving environment.

    One of the things that these anti-abortionists think is a telling point is to ask people if they would have wanted their mother to have aborted them. In fact if I had the choice I would choose to have been aborted and to not to be here; to not have the problems that I have had all my life because of the lack of a decent upbringing.

    My mother would have had a better life also and I would not deny her that so that I could have the experience I did have of insecurity and a lack of support in my early life.

    1. Thank you for your candour, Anon. I have not heard that sentiment expressed before, so it is cause for contemplation.

    2. With much sympathy, Anony - as much as any male can genuinely feel.

      I cannot shake the thought that your situation is a heartfelt conflict between the two most prominent 'theories' of morality:

      1.. Kant's deontology
      2. Bentham/Mill's utilitarianism.

      Deontology: the rightness or wrongness of actions does not depend on their consequences but on whether they fulfill our duty. Kant believed that there was a supreme principle of morality, and he referred to it as The Categorical Imperative.

      Utility: Utilitarianism is a normative ethical theory that places the locus of right and wrong solely on the outcomes (consequences) of choosing one action/policy over other actions/policies. As such, it moves beyond the scope of one's own interests and takes into account the interests of others.

      It seems to me that the academic researcher you mention is very clealry committed to deontology, at least in the case of abortion, whereas you are following a more empathetic utilitarian conviction. Personally, I'm completely on your side here.

      However, the problem is (a) what exactly is the "categorical imperative" in this (and most other) case(s) and (b) how does one calculate a 'utility function' anyway (see 'the Trolley Problem, for instance).

      In this case I reckon your 'utility function' view is the right choice, but the only problem is that people will switch back and forth between deontology and utility depending on which one gives them the answer they're intuitively happiest with. So your lovely academic may, or may not, do that; but if she does then a certain interpretation of that as a form of hypocrisy is hard to avoid.

      This is all very depersonalised but that seems to be a property of discussions about 'morality' - especially of the 'comparative morality' kind - as far as I can see.


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