Governance at the St. James “Ethics” Centre

This is how the ST. James Ethics Centre describes itself:

The Centre was launched in 1989, with the aim of helping businesses make ethical decisions. More recently, we have worked to take ethical concepts into the wider community, by encouraging a healthy public debate through our events including the celebrated Intelligence Squared (IQ2) live debate series and the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, held annually in partnership with the Sydney Opera House.

This week their “ethical concepts” included the morality of honour killings.

Even the event organisers eventually recognised that “a line has been crossed” – including, perhaps, that thin blue line called the law of the land. The Islamic community is outraged too:

AUSTRALIA’S Islamic leaders have demanded radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir stop voicing its vile sermons in public, hate-filled messages which they claim are tarnishing the entire Muslim community.

The stinging rebuke comes as the religion’s leaders prepare to intervene in the activist group in a last-ditch attempt to calm its members’ aggressive and scandalous approach and curb its fundamentalism.

So we have an organisation purportedly promoting ethics, that others describe as being “vile sermons in public, hate-filled messages”.

I’ve been wondering how and why an “ethics” group could get something so wrong. So I went and had a look at their governance structure. So they’re incorporated in NSW and have a board comprising 7 men and 3 women (strange gender imbalance for a ‘progressive’ organisation). So how did those fine men and women get it so wrong? This is the same organisation that tells us:

We do so at a time when our work has never been more important – offering some ‘light’ in ethically ‘dark’ times. Parliament (politics more generally), churches, corporations, sport – wherever people look they find evidence of ethical failure.

Yes. Well. Indeed. Get those people a mirror.

I found this gem. Despite having a board, one man gets to make the actual decisions:

It should be noted however that the Board of the Ethics Centre is not responsible for any editorial policy or practice. Our Executive Director, Dr Simon Longstaff, has complete independence as ‘Editor-in-Chief’ – where the Centre’s principal obligation is to ensure balance and accuracy.

So the Board does not actually have control over the organisation? Sounds like the ABC. The Executive Director has control over what is considered to be ethical or not? Why then have a board?

Others have pointed to their strange financial declaration (emphasis original):

As an independent not for profit organisation, we don’t receive government funding, but instead rely on the generosity of donors like you; people who can help us to expand our reach.

Yet we see government agencies as the ABC being sponsors, and the Australian Government’s The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority too.

Update: Simon Longstaff responds in comments:

Just a couple of points of clarification – to avoid misunderstanding. The Ethics Centre does not receive a single cent from the ABC. The acknowledgement on our website is in recognition of the fact that the ABC records and broadcasts our debates, talks, etc. For example, our last two debates have been on the topics: ‘That history’s judgement will vindicate our treatment of boat people’ and ‘The Queen should be the last Australian Monarch’ respectively. As to governance arrangements more generally, as a professor you would appreciate the importance of having the freedom to explore and advance ideas free from the direction of a university Senate, Vice Chancellor, etc. Amongst other things, this allows the Centre’s Board to defend and promote the general remit of the organisation without being bound to the particular views we might advance. Sinclair, one of the most interesting aspects of commentary about this issue has been the relative silence of those who might otherwise be found defending free speech – even if it offends and outrages. Much to discuss – but not here, at least not now.

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238 Responses to Governance at the St. James “Ethics” Centre

  1. Badjack

    The Islamic leaders may be demanding that Hizb ut-t stops voicing vile sermon publicly. Is it alright to voice them privately?

  2. Rudiau

    AUSTRALIA’S Islamic leaders have demanded radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir stop voicing its vile sermons in public, hate-filled messages which they claim are tarnishing the entire Muslim community.

    The stinging rebuke comes as the religion’s leaders prepare to intervene in the activist group in a last-ditch attempt to calm its members’ aggressive and scandalous approach and curb its fundamentalism.

    An example of hudna or taqiyya?

  3. rebel with cause

    Does the ABC have so much cash that it can make donations to ‘think tanks’? They seem to run a very loose operation there. Lots of cash on the table – corruption must be a possibility.

  4. Frederic

    To encourage and assist individuals and organisations to include the ethical dimension of their daily lives.

    They don’t know how to construct a sentence or proofread, that’s for sure.
    How does the ABC sponsor things? WTF?

  5. srr

    AUSTRALIA’S Islamic leaders have demanded radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir stop voicing[e] its vile sermons in public, hate-filled messages which they claim are tarnishing[to] the entire Muslim community.

    …and Privately take it out to Westerners known to passionately, love violence & money, and hate Jews, Catholics, Christians and current key targets of Islamic Terror.

    They’ll get to atheists and gays after using them to kill off the “God botherer’s”.

  6. Mr Rusty

    The Centre was launched in 1989, with the aim of helping businesses make ethical decisions. More recently, we have worked to take ethical concepts into the wider community,

    Yeah, because businesses are incapable of making “ethical decisions” (yet another wanky leftist term that cannot be defined) and the community have no idea what an “ethical concept” is and need to have it brought to them by The Moralistic Knights who say “Me!”

    Yet we see government agencies as the ABC being sponsors, and the Australian Government’s The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority too.

    Well that sort of crap should be stamped out pronto; “No taxpayer funded organisation can donate or sponsor other organisations regardless of whether they are private, NGO or themselves taxpayer funded.”
    Get it legislated NOW Libs.

  7. Ethics? Isn’t that next to Thuthics? It may as well be for all this mob know about it.

  8. Hello Sinclair

    Just a couple of points of clarification – to avoid misunderstanding. The Ethics Centre does not receive a single cent from the ABC. The acknowledgement on our website is in recognition of the fact that the ABC records and broadcasts our debates, talks, etc. For example, our last two debates have been on the topics: ‘That history’s judgement will vindicate our treatment of boat people’ and ‘The Queen should be the last Australian Monarch’ respectively. As to governance arrangements more generally, as a professor you would appreciate the importance of having the freedom to explore and advance ideas free from the direction of a university Senate, Vice Chancellor, etc. Amongst other things, this allows the Centre’s Board to defend and promote the general remit of the organisation without being bound to the particular views we might advance. Sinclair, one of the most interesting aspects of commentary about this issue has been the relative silence of those who might otherwise be found defending free speech – even if it offends and outrages. Much to discuss – but not here, at least not now. Regards. Simon

  9. srr

    Black is White, White is Black.
    Up is Down, Down is Up.
    Bad is Good, Good is Bad.

    Truth is Lies, Lies are Truth.

    Ethics have become Evil.

    So, every rational thinker must reject The Bible that warns of all this, of more and worse, and explains how we may shield and armour ourselves and loved ones, against the very worst; or so The Ethicists’ are employed to make the world, wrongly believe.

  10. Alex Davidson

    From their website:

    “Despite the fact that we have ‘saint’ and ‘ethics’ in our name, St James Ethics Centre is not a religious organisation and neither is it a sort of moral policeman.”

    Given that they go on to claim “ethics is not the same as morality”, and talk up the idea of moral relativity, the St James Ethics Centre is not about ethics either.

  11. JC

    WTF?

    Just a couple of points of clarification – to avoid misunderstanding. The Ethics Centre does not receive a single cent from the ABC. The acknowledgement on our website is in recognition of the fact that the ABC records and broadcasts our debates, talks, etc.

    So they are giving you money, Longstaff. Where do you think the money comes from in recording and broadcasting your discussions, you nimrod.

  12. Old School Conservative

    I had the misfortune to invite a speaker from the SJEC to come to my place of work for a 1 hour talk on ethics. We were more confused by the end of it than before it started. The talk was full of “conduct self analysis” and moral relativism and very little practical advice.
    Muddied my name in the workplace for some time. Deservedly so because I didn’t do a proper due diligence of the SJEC; I just assumed their name told me what they did.

  13. Token

    Much to discuss – but not here, at least not now.

    Please Dr Simon, we would love to enjoy some dialog with you and other people as that is the purpose of your organisation.

  14. Token

    I had the misfortune to invite a speaker from the SJEC to come to my place of work for a 1 hour talk on ethics. We were more confused by the end of it than before it started.

    Thanks God they are the organisation which is helping teach ethics to children in place of religion.

  15. Sinclair Davidson

    Sinclair, one of the most interesting aspects of commentary about this issue has been the relative silence of those who might otherwise be found defending free speech – even if it offends and outrages.

    Let me assure you, Simon, we here at the Cat have not been silent at all.

  16. srr

    Oh dear. We are not so simple, Simon.

    Recording and Broadcasting costs money, time and resources, taken from taxpayers by the ABC, to sell tickets to, and belief in, the Leftist propaganda you and the ABC so unethically shove down peoples throats.

  17. Token

    Let me assure you, Simon, we here at the Cat have not been silent at all.

    If Dr Simon is good enough to stay and engage with us, we would be happy to provide the links to our discussions where we advocated for the speaker to have the right to outline his thoughts.

  18. Tim Neilson

    Badjack,
    I share your suspicions that the Imams are tacitly endorsing those statements being made secretively. However there is a plausible justification for the Imams restricting their demands to “publicly” voiced statements. A demand that someone totally refrain from expressing his or her thoughts seems to me to be inconsistent with free speech. “Shut up” is never a real argument.
    Simon Longstaff,
    Somewhat disingenuous on two grounds.
    It’s a pretty formalistic distinction to rely on the fact that the ABC is providing your organisation with resources to promote and disseminate its work, rather than giving it cash to purchase those resources.
    Also I don’t recall anyone on this site saying that Badar should be prevented from saying what he wants, which is of course totally different from labelling your organisation as scum for voluntarily promoting his vileness.

  19. brc

    Dr Longstaff, many on this site called for the speech to go ahead and were disappointed when it was cancelled, myself included. Mostly we wanted this to go ahead to expose the appalling judgement of the organisers (apparently you agitated for 6 years for this) and for the speaker to properly broadcast this medieval thinkers position to a wider audience, such that they might be alerted what is passing for academic thought these days.

    It was plain to me that this was intended as an attack on the armed forces of this country, given the abstract and the speakers outspoken position on this, and his defence of the murderous thugs currently carrying out cold blooded executions in Iraq and posting them on social media. After all, Sinn Fein got to state their case, so why not the political arm of ISIS?

    With friends like that, who needs enemies, I guess?

    But I also hope you use those ‘free’ ABC connections to allow your speaker to broadcast his views to the Australian public. As George Brandis said ‘bigots have a right to be bigots’, and your chosen speaker has a right to communicate his thoughts. Please get his words out to a larger audience.

  20. rich

    …relative silence of those who might otherwise be found defending free speech – even if it offends and outrages. Much to discuss – but not here, at least not now.

    Uthman Badar is still free to speak at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Go ahead Simon, do it! I for one will not move to stop you with any legal instrument.

    I’m free however to voice my disgust, as are others. Nobody here said stop the talk, what we said was that it is repugnant. The implication was a PR decision, not a free speech one.

  21. H B Bear

    Given the ALPBC has outsourced its program production to Andrew Denton, Red Kezza, The Chaser “Boys” and God knows who else, it is nice to see them using all their taxpayer funded cameras, studio equipment and surplus production staff.

  22. rebel with cause

    What’s St Jame’s position on 18c then? I’ll bet the idea of repealing the Racial Discrimination Act is far too dangerous for you.

  23. Gab

    What’s St Jame’s position on 18c then? I’ll bet the idea of repealing the Racial Discrimination Act is far too dangerous for you.

    Boom!

  24. john constantine

    opens up something that has been a worry for a while.

    culture wars mean that a lot of swampies have control of budgets that spend money that rightfully belongs to the working class.

    plausible deniability means they avoid donating cash money, but provide ‘currency’ as distinct to dollar notes, in the form of services, infrastructure,volunteers, free advertising.

    payment in kind, to the fellow traveller.

    instead of pursuing efficiency and value for money in serving the long suffering taxpayer/ratepayer, the swampies drive for wasteful excess capacity, so they can network and help out their cause when the chance arises.

    how many government department swampies get their mates in to provide lectures and training, and bill it out to the general public?.

  25. johanna

    It is remarkable for a professional “ethicist” to claim that free promotion and national broadcasting of his organisation’s activities using taxpayer funded resources is somehow different from getting money from the government.

    It’s not a distinction that would fly in the codes of conduct that apply to public servants. I guess this is an example of “situational ethics” at work.

  26. manalive

    … one of the most interesting aspects of commentary about this issue has been the relative silence of those who might otherwise be found defending free speech …

    Longstaff is confusing or conflating punitive legal restriction with the ‘court of public opinion’.

  27. Boambee John

    Sinc:

    How about inviting Simon to do a guest post, and get him to “live blog” the comments?

  28. Token

    It is remarkable for a professional “ethicist” to claim that free promotion and national broadcasting of his organisation’s activities using taxpayer funded resources is somehow different from getting money from the government.

    As is noted above, the good doctor assumes we have a level of ignorance which unfortunatley for him we do not possess.

  29. rebel with cause

    What about the other government agencies? Cash donations or payments-in-kind like the ABC? Read carefully exactly what was denied.

  30. .

    rebel with cause
    #1361555, posted on June 27, 2014 at 11:15 am
    What about the other government agencies? Cash donations or payments-in-kind like the ABC? Read carefully exactly what was denied.

    Bingo.

    I accuse Simon of being unethical on those grounds.

  31. Token

    Bingo.

    I accuse Simon of being unethical on those grounds.

    Consider on that fact in the light that as I understand it, THIS is the organisation tasked to create an ethics course for non-religious students.

  32. Anto

    Sinclair, one of the most interesting aspects of commentary about this issue has been the relative silence of those who might otherwise be found defending free speech – even if it offends and outrages.

    Simon, one of the interesting aspects of your actions and commentary in relation to this matter is that you do not support free speech without restraint. Here is what you, yourself, wrote back in April of this year to the Attorney General:

    In relation to the issues addressed by the Act, we would recommend the creation of some general protections (i.e. not expressed as new rights) such that it would be unlawful to:

    * incite violence or hatred against another person due to their race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc.
    * state or imply that another person is undeserving of the fundamental respect owed to each human being, as one possessing intrinsic dignity, irrespective of race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc.
    http://www.ethics.org.au/articles/dr-simon-longstaff-on-repeal-of-s-18c

    Truly, your lack of personal insight and internal inconsistency is staggering for one who would lecture others on ethics.

  33. srr

    ABC, JIHADISTS, UNETHICAL Preachers, UNETHICALLY Appropriated Funds and Resources, FREE SPEECH…there is also something very Palmeresque about this burning spotlight on the hypocrisy of the bleeding, “SHUT UP! And LISTEN TO US!…or we’ll make you bleed!”, brigade.

  34. Glinda

    AUSTRALIA’S Islamic leaders have demanded radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir stop voicing its vile sermons in public, hate-filled messages which they claim are tarnishing the entire Muslim community.

    Shhhh, boys!! You’re blowing the stealth jihad. No more hate-filled messages in public. Keep up appearances. Remember…taqiyya.

  35. .

    All the ethics and morals you need without God:

    http://www.atlassociety.org/objectivism

    …and god willing, and I will get my sainted mother to recite marian prayers that it happens, we will mass distribute Atlas Shrugged to the masses one day.

  36. Demosthenes

    I vote for a debate between Longstaff and srr.

  37. .

    I vote to imbibe some painkillers, cough syrup and LSD…

  38. srr

    For those missing why Clive Palmer springs to my mind from the confused spinning of The Subject of this thread -

    http://prestoninstitute.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/freedom-rains.jpg

  39. Demosthenes

    you do not support free speech without restraint

    No-one does.

  40. Joe Goodacre

    So they are giving you money, Longstaff. Where do you think the money comes from in recording and broadcasting your discussions, you nimrod.

    Yes it’s technically true that since the ABC is funded by taxpayers, any exposure provided by the ABC is funded by taxpayers. Unless the centre is over-represented relative to other institutes out there (i.e. more so than the IPA) then they aren’t receiving a taxpayer benefit over and above anyone else.

  41. .

    Demosthenes
    #1361597, posted on June 27, 2014 at 11:56 am
    you do not support free speech without restraint

    No-one does.

    I do. The argument “without restraint” shows an ignorance of property rights and liberty in the first instance.

    Which is what authoritarian conservatives, socialists and totalitarians all believe in.

  42. .

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361598, posted on June 27, 2014 at 11:56 am
    So they are giving you money, Longstaff. Where do you think the money comes from in recording and broadcasting your discussions, you nimrod.

    Yes it’s technically true that since the ABC is funded by taxpayers, any exposure provided by the ABC is funded by taxpayers. Unless the centre is over-represented relative to other institutes out there (i.e. more so than the IPA) then they aren’t receiving a taxpayer benefit over and above anyone else.

    What about the Department of Immigration? City of Sydney?

    They purport to be independent and free of public funds.

  43. Joe Goodacre

    What about the Department of Immigration? City of Sydney?

    They purport to be independent and free of public funds.

    I agree that if they receive funds from those, they would be subsidised by taxpayers. I don’t think popping up on the ABC a few times passes the pub test of being a taxpayer subsidised body in any meaningful sense.

    It seems that because Simon has rejected receiving funds from one government source, but not others that the presumption would be that he can’t make that declaration in a wider sense. Not a good use of taxpayer funds in that instance.

  44. you do not support free speech without restraint

    No-one does.

    I do. As I wrote earlier this month, I support your right to approach any person whom who choose and call him a cynerast to his face; I also support that person’s right to feel aggrieved and to express that feeling by punching you in the face.

  45. Joe Goodacre

    No-one does.

    I do.

    I do as well.

    Dot – do you count defamation law as an inappropriate restriction on free speech?

  46. Infidel Tiger

    Deadman, I just Googled “cynerast” and the only thing that came up was your above post.

    Definition please?

  47. johno

    The Ethics Centre does not receive a single cent from the ABC. The acknowledgement on our website is in recognition of the fact that the ABC records and broadcasts our debates, talks, etc

    Does the Left’s ABC provide the same level of ‘sponsorship’ to non-Left wing organisation like the IPA or CIS in line with its Charter responsibilities to be ‘fair and balanced’?

    How can the ethically challenged Longstaff be comfortable in his support for such unethical practices of the Left’s ABC?

  48. IT, cyn- = dog-; --erast = -lover.

  49. .

    Dot – do you count defamation law as an inappropriate restriction on free speech?

    It’s not. You don’t have a right to lie about someone to damage their property.

    Are defamation laws abused? Obviously.

  50. blogstrop

    Judging by the last couple of debate topics (among other things), the easy way ahead would be to rename it the St. James Lefty Meme Chat Centre. As for defence of free speech, after the last government tried to shut down debate in (mainly News Ltd.) newspapers, that topic is a bit difficult for the leftocrats to raise unless they can point to their vigorous defence of News Ltd. and their strident objections to the Finko & Rickety show.

  51. George Brandis thanks for NOTHING

    Simon L, do you honestly think there could be a worthwhile discussion of the question ‘Honour killings are morally justified’ that would last longer than thirty seconds?

    Could that thirty-second discussion have anything other than one outcome – a resolution in the negative?

    Your promotion of this discussion implies that you think it’s possible, in 21st century Australia, to answer ‘yes’ to both those questions. Otherwise you wouldn’t have promoted this talk.

    I, for one, find that deeply disturbing.

    My first thought, upon seeing the poster for this session at the Festival of Barbaric Dangerous Ideas, was David Stove’s injunction, in an essay the name of which I have forgotten:

    ‘If you hear someone saying, “Morally, anything is permissible”, then you should go and call the police’.

    To paraphrase Abe Lincoln, ‘If honour killings are not wrong, then nothing is wrong’.

    This is, to me, self-evident. That you appear not to be able to see this is of deep concern. This concern is compounded by your holding a self-appointed position of trust with regard to the promotion of ethics in our society.

    You have tarnished your reputation and that of your Centre irreparably. And the tarnishing is well deserved. Repent at leisure.

  52. Token

    I don’t think popping up on the ABC a few times passes the pub test of being a taxpayer subsidised body in any meaningful sense.

    How many Q&A programs have been dedicated to presentations by the IPA?

  53. Joe Goodacre

    Fair enough – what do you think is the weakness in the argument that says how others perceive us, is not our property because their perception can be based upon deficiencies in their personalities (i.e. they easily believe falsehoods both positive and negative) and all kinds of things we had nothing to do with.

  54. Zatara

    Defamation law as not a restriction on free speech, it is a consequence of it.

    Put another way, defamation law is the punch in the nose that follows you imprudently exercising your right to run your mouth.

  55. Token
    you do not support free speech without restraint

    No-one does.

    What the heck does “without restraint” mean?

    Does that mean you see that people asking adults not to talk about graphic sex or violence in front of children is unacceptable?

  56. .

    I don’t need to argue about perception.

    Economic loss is ultimately objective.

  57. Joe Goodacre

    How many Q&A programs have been dedicated to presentations by the IPA?

    I don’t know.

    Were you able to work out how many appearances St James people made, or shows about them?

  58. Demosthenes

    call him a cynerast to his face

    I don’t know what that means. Google was no help.

    Perhaps I’m wrong, perhaps you and Dot and others support free speech without restraint. I don’t want to suggest that you support free speech without consequences, either, and your example shows you don’t. On reflection, that does jibe with a libertarian preference for civil action rather than regulation. That has its own problems, of course.

  59. srr

    As SHY has so painfully showed us, any git can get in and stir shit in Government, but ‘crazy’ Palmer was even ‘crazy’ enough to do some pre-political party forming, weight training, kicking around The Doms of Soccer.

    …and Dot, like all imperfect human beings, Rand is imperfect and their best good points, any genuinely good hearted thinker, can figure out for themselves.

    However, The Bible is still full of answers to deep, complex, important puzzles of whole, real life, in this still death cursed, real world, that everyone can truly live by…as well as some puzzles yet to be properly solved…Living, Eternal Word, and all that…you know, the foundation of all our best science; taking no mans word, but observing, testing and proving all things in this whole real world He created…and the science isn’t settled, only at war against it’s sound foundations, again.

  60. .

    Joe

    Does the St James centre receive funds from the Department of Immigration and City of Sydney whilst it claims to be independent and receive no government funding?

    Yes or no.

    Answer the question. GO!!!

  61. Joe Goodacre

    Economic loss is ultimately objective.

    How can that be the case – it seems subjective to say ‘I lost x sales because of what you said’.

    There may be evidence for that argument, but it’s unlikely to be certain so any award of damages must have subjectivity at its core.

  62. Joe Goodacre

    I don’t know. Would be happy to read a source and agree to the charge if anyone has one that shows that they do.

  63. .

    Economic valuation is subjective. Correct.

    Financial loss (a subset of economic loss) is measured at the end of the process objectively.

    There is no need to even debate the point you brought up.

  64. .

    Joe Goodacre, please answer the question you are being evasive about and banging on interference about irrelevant crap over:

    Does the St James centre receive funds from the Department of Immigration and City of Sydney whilst it claims to be independent and receive no government funding?

    Yes or no.

    Answer the question. GO!!!

  65. I don’t know what that means.

    I provided an explanation at 12:16.

  66. Joe Goodacre

    Where’s option c) – I don’t know?

  67. Joe Goodacre

    There is no need to even debate the point you brought up.

    97% consensus?

  68. .

    Simon Longstaff called for the PM to resign because he lied.

    I want Simon Longstaff to stop calling himself an ethicist given his phony non-partisanship and deceitful manner he portrays his pet organisation’s funding.

  69. Token

    Were you able to work out how many appearances St James people made, or shows about them?

    I know this game. It is the one small people play when they know they are wrong.

  70. Demosthenes

    I provided an explanation at 12:16.

    Yes, I should learn to refresh the page before replying.

  71. .

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361649, posted on June 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm
    There is no need to even debate the point you brought up.

    97% consensus?

    No, because as I’ve demonstrated, the problem is a triviality.

    Now start answering questions about the St James ethics centre. Have they been honest about their funding arrangments?

    GO!!!

  72. Demosthenes

    Should people be allowed to lie about goods they’re selling?

  73. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361629, posted on June 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm
    Fair enough – what do you think is the weakness in the argument that says how others perceive us, is not our property because their perception can be based upon deficiencies in their personalities (i.e. they easily believe falsehoods both positive and negative) and all kinds of things we had nothing to do with.

    Shut the fuck up, Joe. You’re an embarrassment. You don’t understand the basic principle of the tort of defamation, even after you have been corrected multiple times.

  74. Aristogeiton

    Be very careful with this troll. He keeps re-posting details of ‘his’ employer and making what appear to be attempts to goad somebody into contacting said employer. He might well be trying to defame somebody himself.

  75. Joe Goodacre

    Should people be allowed to lie about goods they’re selling?

    Yes.

    Government shouldn’t be in the business of determining truth.

  76. srr

    Just one example of why I have a big problem with “ethicists” who reject the fundamentals of Christianity -

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/on_lawfully_killing_small_babies/

  77. Aristogeiton

    Ryan v Premachandran [2009] NSWSC 1186.

    There’s a real-world example of the kind of damage a motivated, vicious liar can do to ones life and reputation.

  78. Joe Goodacre

    Does the St James centre receive funds from the Department of Immigration and City of Sydney whilst it claims to be independent and receive no government funding?

    Yes or no.

    Answer the question. GO!!!

    Where did you find the donor lists – I wasn’t able to find any?

  79. Thanks to all for the further comments – observations. So, to begin … on the question of free speech. Those who have read my submission to Senator Brandis would know that I propose a rebuttable presumption in favour of free speech. That is, I propose that our default position be in favour of unrestricted commentary. As such, I explicitly support speech that would be considered insulting, offensive, outrageous, etc. However, I am also mindful of history’s numerous lessons in relation to what happens when the essential humanity of one group of people is denied by another. The moment one accepts the proposition that some people are ‘sub human’, then you make possible the great wrongs we have seen done at various times in history. The principle of ‘respect for persons’ has many points of origin – with one of the most potent being that all humans are made in the image of God (endowed with free will, etc.). Others locate this ‘respect’ in a capacity to transcend instinct and desire to make conscious ethical choices (a ‘this worldly’ variation on the free will argument). However one arrives at the principle – ‘respect for persons’ lies at the heart of liberal democracy – with its emphasis on the liberty of the person, freedom of conscience, property rights (in the broad sense in which Locke spoke of them), and so on. So my proposal, in relation to the reform of s.18c of the RDA is that this core principle be the foundation stone against which the right to free speech is set. As such, it would seem to be somewhat self-defeating to undermine the foundation (respect for persons) on which the right (to free speech) is set.

    I have always tried to give this approach practical effect. There seems to be a view abroad that the Ethics Centre is ‘left wing’. In other circles, we are criticised for being ‘right wing’ (for example, we cop flak for having retired general Jim Molan on our Board – who acts as Tony Abbott’s special envoy as part of the current government’s response to the challenge of asylum seeking). We have been attacked as ‘right wing’ for arguing that asylum seeker are entitled to safety but not prosperity. We have been called ‘right wing’ for daring to have a debate that began with a proposition that our treatment of boat people would be vindicated by history. And I have been called ‘right wing’ for publishing the view (developed jointly with Amanda Vanstone) that we should replace all government regulation with just three principles – that goes along with my view that an over reliance on regulation and surveillance is eroding the ethical foundations of the nation. Finally, you can imagine how people ‘label’ my views when they find out that I have spent nearly a decade travelling back and forth to places like Townsville to assist in the preparation of our troops prior to deployment in Afghanistan where the face the lethal challenges of asymmetric warfare.

    On the other hand, we are said to be ‘left wing’ for applying the philosophy of ‘dirty hands’ to Tony Abbott (as we did in relation to Julia Gillard) or for debating euthanasia or for inviting people like Germaine Greer to talk about feminism – no doubt you have a more extensive list than I can provide.

    The truth is that we try to canvass a broad spectrum in as principled manner as possible. In term of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas – this year’s program includes people like Tom Switzer (who spoke in our debate about boat people) … and a number of others whose views are hardly ‘left wing’ (Uthman Badar is hardly a ‘leftie’). Invitations to speak at FODI were extended to Andrew Bolt, Janet Albrechtsen, Jeff Kennett and Alan Jones (amongst others). It’s not that they did not want to speak at FODI – they were just not available. In the past, we have hosted some very conservative speakers – Cardinal George Pell on God, Bishop Juilan Porteous on the Devil, George W Bush’s adviser on water boarding terrorists, an advocate for flogging in preference to prison, Chris Berg from the IPA, a proponent for abolishing all central banks – all good meaty stuff.

    I mention all of this for the record. I understand the temptation to apply labels and to make assumptions. I would simply ask that people spend a moment to ask if the picture that I have painted above is so easily reconciled with what is merely assumed to be the case.

    Finally, on the issue of the ABC filming public events and broadcasting them. Yes, taxpayer funds are used to pay for this. Taxpayer funds are used for anything done by the ABC. But to consider it a form of sponsorship of the Ethics Centre when the ABC turns up to film a public event is, in my opinion, not warranted. To apply this principle, would be to think that my (unpaid) conversations with Amanda Vanstone on Counterpoint are ‘sponsorship’ or that covering a sporting event is sponsorship by the ABC of that event. People may want to close down the ABC and end all funding for public broadcasting – that is a legitimate aim to pursue. But it is just too long a bow to draw to say that any individual or organisation being filmed by the ABC is enjoying its sponsorship.

    All of this before even getting to the topic with which this conversation began – the idea that one might engage with a person who wishes to argue that killing for the sake of family honour might be morally justified (which is not to say it should be legal, practiced, etc.). But perhaps I should pause before moving on …

  80. Aristogeiton

    Dr Simon Longstaff
    #1361685, posted on June 27, 2014 at 12:52 pm
    [...]
    However one arrives at the principle – ‘respect for persons’ lies at the heart of liberal democracy – with its emphasis on the liberty of the person, freedom of conscience, property rights (in the broad sense in which Locke spoke of them), and so on. So my proposal, in relation to the reform of s.18c of the RDA is that this core principle be the foundation stone against which the right to free speech is set. As such, it would seem to be somewhat self-defeating to undermine the foundation (respect for persons) on which the right (to free speech) is set.

    Simon, this is just embarrassing.

  81. srr

    Surely this thread has PROVEN WHERE some of the ABC’s WASTE IS, and Hockey and Turnbull should already have the chainsaws loping those many diseased branches and clearing anything valuable from where the rotten trunk will come crashing down.

  82. .

    Goodacre is against free speech, against defamation, but will tolerate fraud?

  83. nilk

    An example of hudna or taqiyya?

    Taqiyya. A hudna is an agreement, like a treaty, that may be broken when it becomes advantageous to do so.

  84. Demosthenes

    Government shouldn’t be in the business of determining truth.

    A sentiment that is to be expected by someone trained in the common law tradition. So how do you feel about Royal Commissions?

  85. .

    However one arrives at the principle – ‘respect for persons’ lies at the heart of liberal democracy

    Bullshit.

    Free speech is sacred.

  86. On sources of funding – we take the same basic approach as the IPA (perhaps disclosing a somewhat greater amount of information). I am pretty sure that we no longer receive funding from the Migration Agents Registration Authority (website out of date) and as for the City of Sydney – this is not a cash donation – but a contribution ‘in kind’ allowing a discounted rate to be paid to hire the City Recital Hall Angel Place (which they own and where we hold our public debates). The use of the Recital Hall is not free – but made affordable when let at a not-for-profit rate that others enjoy. We tend to provide acknowledgement to those who assist (even if only in kind). Perhaps this gives rise to a mistaken impression that we receive direct government funding. Those interested in the recipients of government funding should really take a look at the Churches (chaplaincy services, social services, etc.) and the big charities that provide services on behalf of government (Salvos, etc.). The amounts given are in the billions – raising some interesting questions about what room this leaves for private sector providers.

  87. Demosthenes

    Simon, this is just embarrassing.

    Aristo, surely Longstaff merits a substantial response, not flippant one-liners.

  88. Gab

    That is, I propose that our default position be in favour of unrestricted commentary. As such, I explicitly support speech that would be considered insulting, offensive, outrageous, etc. However,

    The “however” negates the preceding sentence. Either you are for free speech or you are for restricted speech. I’m thinking it’s the latter.

    However one arrives at the principle – ‘respect for persons’ lies at the heart of liberal democracy – with its emphasis on the liberty of the person, freedom of conscience, property rights (in the broad sense in which Locke spoke of them), and so on. So my proposal, in relation to the reform of s.18c of the RDA is that this core principle be the foundation stone against which the right to free speech is set. As such, it would seem to be somewhat self-defeating to undermine the foundation (respect for persons) on which the right (to free speech) is set.

    No. What lies at the heart of democracy is free speech. This is first and foremost. You cannot legislate “respect for persons” and then turn around and claim you support free speech. It is a vast contradiction.

    Consider also, the Nazis, early in their ruling regime, clamped down on those who would speak out against them publicly, resulted in free speech restrictions. Any restrictions of free speech by government is the beginning the decline of democracy.

  89. Aristogeiton

    Demosthenes
    #1361706, posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:06 pm
    Simon, this is just embarrassing.

    Aristo, surely Longstaff merits a substantial response, not flippant one-liners.

    Why? I’ve never read such dribbling nonsense. You can provide him with a ‘substantial response’ if you like.

  90. One anonymous respondent ‘.’ replies that “free speech is sacred”. If so, then on what basis is that claim made? Is free speech ‘sacred’ in a sense that is independent of the ethical status of the persons who speak? On what ground do you stand?

  91. Aristogeiton

    Demosthenes
    #1361706, posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:06 pm
    Simon, this is just embarrassing.

    Aristo, surely Longstaff merits a substantial response, not flippant one-liners.

    I mean, seriously, ‘respect for the person’ is the foundation of ‘liberal democracy’ (!?), giving rise to principles of ‘freedom of conscience’ and ‘liberty of the person’, but these principles only have validity to the extent that a citizen shows ‘respect for the person’. This is nonsense on stilts. I also like how it muddles individual and State action together; who is to show ‘respect’ – the powerful state or the individual actor?

    Like I said, embarrassing.

  92. Aristogeiton – I was invited to participate in a discussion on this site. I have provided both reasons and evidence in response to that invitation – which I took to be sincere. Am I to take it that you will only respond to people with whom you agree? Or is recourse to the ad hominem attack the extent of what you offer?

  93. Rudiau

    A hudna is an agreement, like a treaty, that may be broken when it becomes advantageous to do so.

    Exactly.

    The stinging rebuke comes as the religion’s leaders prepare to intervene in the activist group in a last-ditch attempt to calm its members’ aggressive and scandalous approach and curb its fundamentalism.

    For the time being. Australia is nowhere near as advanced, as say the UK in having Islamism shoved down the throat of the average punter, yet.

  94. .

    Deviation from holding free speech as sacred results in degradation of human dignity and depravity.

    Your ethics are a bowl of shit mate. Go away.

  95. Demosthenes

    Or is recourse to the ad hominem attack the extent of what you offer?

    Fair warning – it comprises the majority of the discourse on this blog. I suggest you employ selective blindness, and only respond to those who engage, such as Gab @1:07.

  96. Sinclair Davidson

    Gentlepeople – please be polite. Simon is taking the time and effort to answer our concerns.

  97. Aristogeiton

    Dr Simon Longstaff
    #1361718, posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm
    One anonymous respondent ‘.’ replies that “free speech is sacred”. If so, then on what basis is that claim made? Is free speech ‘sacred’ in a sense that is independent of the ethical status of the persons who speak? On what ground do you stand?

    Greater minds than yours have grappled with this very issue. A modern example can be found here: Johnathan Crowe, Explaining Natural Rights: Ontological Freedom and the Foundations of Political Discourse.

  98. rebel with cause

    Simon – thanks for answering my questions. I respect the fact that you are willing to come here and participate in the discussion. Many would not be so bold or so willing.

    Like you, I share your concern that many ‘charities’ are just arms of government now. In fact I am on record here sharing my exasperation about how difficult it is to find genuine charitable organisations to dontate to, ones that I can be confident won’t use my donation just to lobby for government funding. This is indeed a fruitful area of discussion and I would relish more examination of this area.

    I query where your desire to protect people from being treated as ‘sub-human’ sits in relation to so called ‘honour killings’. It’s hard to imagine a treatment under law that is more sub-human than the law permitting someone to be murdered without consequence.

  99. George Brandis thanks for NOTHING

    Simon L: the debating style here at Catallaxy can be described as ‘vigorous’.

    You will be subjected to the verbal equivalent of low-level strafing.

    I recommend you ‘take it like a man’, as the Classical Greeks used to say: brush yourself off, ignore the ‘ad homs’, and calmly expound your argument.

  100. nilk

    (Uthman Badar is hardly a ‘leftie’).

    LOL no, he’s a Hizbie with all that entails. He’s all about the new khilafah, with all the sharia you can stomach.

    Plus some you can’t, but that’s okay. The Conditions of Umar will ensure that your best interests are looked after.

    Hizb ut Tahrir are proscribed in quite a few countries as a terrorist organisation, but for some reason – I suspect missing vertebrae – our government has refused to do so. With the islamic rulings for retaliation, it’s interesting to note that there is no retaliation against a parent who murders a child, for instance (o1.2). This sort of “justice” has no place in this country whatsoever, and for someone to think it’s okay to discuss whether it’s “morally justified” shows a remarkable lack of foresight.

    Either that, or they really do think it’s worthwhile exploring the concept in the name of our Australian multiple cultures.

    Unity in diversity and all that crap.

  101. Aristogeiton – the principle of ‘respect for persons’ is not about ‘showing respect’. Rather, it is the accepted language (at least as employed in philosophy) used to convey the idea that ‘persons’ (a moral category) are of intrinsic value – or to use Kant’s formulation, that they are ‘ends in themselves’. As I noted above, this idea is provides the bedrock of liberal democracy with its emphasis on basic rights (liberty rights, property rights, etc.). So, according ‘respect for persons’ (as opposed to showing respect to persons) is something that each individual owes to the other. Typically, a state will also need to recognise this principle (that is, to the extent that states can recognise anything) as an attribute of each person within their jurisdiction.

    Why do you consider this an embarrassing idea or argument?

  102. Joe Goodacre

    Ryan v Premachandran [2009] NSWSC 1186.

    There’s a real-world example of the kind of damage a motivated, vicious liar can do to ones life and reputation.
    The case reads like a concerned parent, thinking that they’re getting the run around from a school bureaucracy and going too far themselves…
    Was the defendant unpleasant? Yes.
    Did he honestly believe the allegations he made?
    Yes – and the judge didn’t dispute that. The judge rejected the defence of honestly held opinion by ruling that they were statements of fact instead of opinion. Ok – nice technicality.
    Overall the principal was dealing with an over the top concerned parent who was trying to get her sacked. Should government be involved in this? In my opinion no.

    Take the judge’s assessment of damages….

    Damage to reputation is presumed. Although none of the recipients gave evidence, I do not doubt that the imputations conveyed by the matter complained of would result in significant injury to the plaintiff’s reputation.

    So instead of asking any of the 15 recipients of the email whether they believed the email coming from a parent who sounded like a foreigner in the area, we just presume that her reputation has suffered. You use this an example of how necessary defamation law is – I see this as an example of how much of a joke it is. No reality check whether any real damage was suffered, and this presumption that a principal of 18 years standing in the region (if she was any good) has not built a reputation that would survive an angry email from a parent.
    This looks like an abuse of state power against an unhappy parent to protect a principal who got a bit of a run around and some hurt feelings – you want to celebrate this?

  103. Aristogeiton

    Dr Simon Longstaff
    #1361728, posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm
    [...]
    Am I to take it that you will only respond to people with whom you agree? Or is recourse to the ad hominem attack the extent of what you offer?

    Sorry, but I think your idea is prima facie rubbish. If you don’t then that’s a matter for you. You will find plenty of disagreement here, but generally agreement upon the fundamental importance of individual liberty. Frankly, it is offensive to me when people such as yourself mouth ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom of conscience’ in an attempt to abridge these very rights.

  104. ‘.’ – although you may not have meant to do so (and it will probably distress you to discover this) you have just outlined the foundations of the argument that I have been making. You say:

    Deviation from holding free speech as sacred results in degradation of human dignity and depravity.

    It is precisely this issue of ‘human dignity’ (and the need to recognise its fundamental importance) that lies at the heart of my argument. Free speech arises out of our recognition of human dignity (respect for persons) – thus my proposal that we protect that foundation (and nothing more).

  105. George Brandis thanks for NOTHING

    Simon L: what are the consequences of a fundamental ‘respect for persons’ have for freedom of speech?

    What am I not allowed to say?

    Why doesn’t the fundamental and self-evident lack of respect for the personhood of victims which is inherent in any justification of ‘honour killings’ disqualify an apologia for these premeditated murders at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas?

  106. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361742, posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:23 pm
    [...]
    This looks like an abuse of state power against an unhappy parent to protect a principal who got a bit of a run around and some hurt feelings – you want to celebrate this?

    You’re a donkey, Joe.

  107. Demosthenes

    but for some reason – I suspect missing vertebrae – our government has refused to do so.

    The local chapter is careful not to break the law. I guarantee various C’th entities keep a close eye on them, too.

  108. Joe Goodacre

    Disregard Ari, Simon – he’s good sport but also doubles as the resident troll – thanks for commenting.

    Earlier it was questioned whether St James received taxpayer support.

    I think your response if it is honestly given, suggests that St James is as independent as many other organisations in this area are – perhaps it’s unrealistic when government controls so many resources to expect that no support in kind be received. The IPA for instance gets favourable tax treatment (DGR status) – no organisation is truly independent from some form of taxpayer subsidy.

  109. George Brandis thanks for NOTHING

    Ta Henry2.

    I love the blog and her denizens.

  110. Joe Goodacre

    Ryan v Premachandran [2009] NSWSC 1186.

    This is really worth a read to show how much defamation law is a joke. Thanks for the link Ari.

  111. Aristogeiton

    Dr Simon Longstaff
    #1361739, posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:22 pm
    Aristogeiton – the principle of ‘respect for persons’ is not about ‘showing respect’. Rather, it is the accepted language (at least as employed in philosophy) used to convey the idea that ‘persons’ (a moral category) are of intrinsic value – or to use Kant’s formulation, that they are ‘ends in themselves’. As I noted above, this idea is provides the bedrock of liberal democracy with its emphasis on basic rights (liberty rights, property rights, etc.). So, according ‘respect for persons’ (as opposed to showing respect to persons) is something that each individual owes to the other. Typically, a state will also need to recognise this principle (that is, to the extent that states can recognise anything) as an attribute of each person within their jurisdiction.

    Why do you consider this an embarrassing idea or argument?

    So if your Kantian respect is not about ‘showing respect’, then how is it ‘owe[d] to’ others, backed by the force of the state, and how does it justify 18C, which is, after all, what this project was about in the first place?

  112. johanna

    But to consider it a form of sponsorship of the Ethics Centre when the ABC turns up to film a public event is, in my opinion, not warranted. To apply this principle, would be to think that my (unpaid) conversations with Amanda Vanstone on Counterpoint are ‘sponsorship’ or that covering a sporting event is sponsorship by the ABC of that event.

    It’s a public event for which people have to pay an entry fee, just like (as you acknowledge) a major sporting event. In my view, the ABC should not be using taxpayers’ money for either. There is no shortage of commercial, and even non-commercial (such as webcasting) options for broadcasting these events. If people really want to see them, someone will broadcast them – or the organisers can put on a webcast.

    If you cannot understand the difference between promoting and broadcasting an “event” as opposed to interviewing someone, then presumably you think that broadcasting the NRL/AFL Grand Final is indistinguishable from interviewing one of the players before or after the game.

    If, as a public servant, I had allowed a non-government organisation to use the Department’s facilities, even if the organisation was broadly in concurrence with the Department’s objectives, that would be a disciplinary offence. That is not the same as having a meeting with members of that organisation on the government’s dime.

    Given that the real cost of broadcasting an event nationally is substantial, it is pure sophistry to claim that (a) it isn’t really a cost to the taxpayer; and (b) no benefit accrues to your organisation as a result of this public expenditure.

    But, thanks for this most interesting insight into your views on the ethics of using public resources for private advantage.

  113. .

    Simon – [censored. Sinc] – I mean what exactly what say and I say exactly what I mean.

    It may distress you to discover this (if you have the intelligence to work out why), but you have just argued that your previous comment be censored by the government.

    Other commenters are correct – your argument is prima facie rubbish and your goal is to abridge freedom whilst putting on a mask that says you support freedom.

    You don’t. You have carried on so deceitfully yet you want me to from first principles to justify free speech as sacred and inviolable.

    You’re a waste of space, pal.

    [Did you miss the bit where I asked people to be polite? Sinc]

  114. Zatara

    How much ‘respect for persons’ is shown to victims of honor murders?

    While the SJEC supports (promotes, provides venue to, etc.) those who speak to excuse those murders who speaks for the victims and when are they scheduled to appear in forums supported by the SJEC?

    One would think that ethics demand such integrity and balance of process.

  115. .

    I think your response if it is honestly given, suggests that St James is as independent as many other organisations in this area are – perhaps it’s unrealistic when government controls so many resources to expect that no support in kind be received.

    It’s okay to lie when you support the government having its fingers in every pie?

    What a joke.

  116. Token

    Fair warning – it comprises the majority of the discourse on this blog.

    Oh yes, Demo the censor reappears.

  117. srr

    Taxpayer funds are used for anything done by the ABC

    which is supposed to be unbiased and balanced, but it is not.

  118. Gab

    the idea that one might engage with a person who wishes to argue that killing for the sake of family honour might be morally justified (which is not to say it should be legal, practiced, etc.).

    It was not stated as “might” be. “Honour killings are morally justified” leaves no woggle room and clealry states the proposition in the affirmative.

    Badar was free to speak on the subject at the Sydney Opera House. The free peoples in this country exercised their free speech against such an abhorrent notion. The SOH (and/or FODI?) cancelled the speaker due to societal pressure. Free speech in action, as well.

    Badar is still able to exercise his free speech privileges on the subject matter, as he intends. In this matter, no government nor legislative recourse was employed. This is as it should be in a democracy.

  119. ‘.’ Let’s go back to first principles – do you think that there should be any limits to freedom per se? If so, then what limits do you propose? To be clear, I am not merely asking about freedom of speech. Let’s set that freedom in a larger context. So, what do you reckon?

  120. Gab

    I really ought to preview before pressing that ‘post’ button.

  121. Aristogeiton

    Isn’t it funny how this fellow is happy for the view, that women and children should be murdered by their own family for the barbaric pride of the few, to be aired, but thinks s. 18C is justified? Because Kant.

  122. Token

    Given that the real cost of broadcasting an event nationally is substantial, it is pure sophistry to claim that (a) it isn’t really a cost to the taxpayer; and (b) no benefit accrues to your organisation as a result of this public expenditure.

    But, thanks for this most interesting insight into your views on the ethics of using public resources for private advantage.

    Thank you Joanna for articulating the obvious point.

  123. Rabz

    Uthman Badar is hardly a ‘leftie’

    He advocates state control over individuals and also advocates state persecution of non muslims.

    Therefore he is a statist and you can’t get much more leftist than that.

    I also note from his own linked-in page that he has more than a passing interest in Keynesianism.

    This all took about one minute to find out, BTW.

  124. Aristogeiton

    Dr Simon Longstaff
    #1361775, posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm
    ‘.’ Let’s go back to first principles – do you think that there should be any limits to freedom per se? If so, then what limits do you propose? To be clear, I am not merely asking about freedom of speech. Let’s set that freedom in a larger context. So, what do you reckon?

    Hayek – The Constitution of Liberty. J. S. Mill – On Liberty.

  125. Token

    Simon – thanks for answering my questions. I respect the fact that you are willing to come here and participate in the discussion. Many would not be so bold or so willing.

    I also respect you Simon for the fact you have been kind enough to participate in the discussion.

    I was not aware of a number of the valuable activities you and your organisation undertakes.

  126. Joe Goodacre

    So how do you feel about Royal Commissions?

    Would rather leave it to the media to dig that dirt out.

    That’s not to say that there isn’t a role for police to investigate and courts to prosecute any fraud in government.

  127. George Brandis thanks for NOTHING

    How much ‘respect for persons’ is shown to victims of honor murders?

    While the SJEC supports (promotes, provides venue to, etc.) those who speak to excuse those murders who speaks for the victims and when are they scheduled to appear in forums supported by the SJEC?

    One would think that ethics demand such integrity and balance of process.

    Spot on.

  128. Gab – I stand corrected – Uthman Badar proposed to outline the moral justification offered by those who engage in honour killings. He then intended to compare those acts (of killing for the sake of family honour) with others (such as killing for the honour of King – contemporary Thailand) or killing for the honour of the ‘flag’ (various people at various times) and so on. What he did not propose to do was advocate that anyone should do this. In part, this is because he believes that ‘vigilante’ killing is wrong – that the imposition of the death penalty should be under Islamic Law. I have made my own views clear about this. ‘Honour Killing’ is wrong. But I had thought it worth hearing the argument said out loud – just as we did when we had a couple arguing that Infanticide should be allowed or that terrorists should be tortured …

  129. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361789, posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:51 pm
    So how do you feel about Royal Commissions?

    Would rather leave it to the media to dig that dirt out.

    That’s not to say that there isn’t a role for police to investigate and courts to prosecute any fraud in government.

    You’re a donkey. Defamation is not a declaration by the court that what the defendant said was ‘untrue’. It is an actionable wrong, which if established may entitle the plaintiff to damages.

  130. George Brandis thanks for NOTHING

    It was not stated as “might” be. “Honour killings are morally justified” leaves no woggle room and clealry states the proposition in the affirmative.

    Badar was free to speak on the subject at the Sydney Opera House. The free peoples in this country exercised their free speech against such an abhorrent notion. The SOH (and/or FODI?) cancelled the speaker due to societal pressure. Free speech in action, as well.

    Badar is still able to exercise his free speech privileges on the subject matter, as he intends. In this matter, no government nor legislative recourse was employed. This is as it should be in a democracy.

    + 99 (1 mark deducted for ‘woggle’).

  131. Must go now. Other meetings. Thanks for the exchange (I enjoy the robust nature of it). I will try to drop by again some time.

  132. Aristogeiton

    Dr Simon Longstaff
    #1361796, posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:55 pm
    Must go now. Other meetings. Thanks for the exchange (I enjoy the robust nature of it). I will try to drop by again some time.

    Dot, you’ve made a new friend!

  133. Joe Goodacre

    Defamation is not a declaration by the court that what the defendant said was ‘untrue’. It is an actionable wrong, which if established may entitle the plaintiff to damages.

    Except the government legislates what is an actionable wrong.

    Tomatoe tomato.

  134. Aristogeiton

    George Brandis thanks for NOTHING
    #1361795, posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:55 pm
    [...]
    + 99 (1 mark deducted for ‘woggle’).

    115; 15 extra marks for woggle, 100 for telling it like it is.

  135. rebel with cause

    Here’s the title of another lecture I’m sure Uthman Badar would happily give: ‘the moral justification for exterminating the Jewish race’. Uthman can say what he likes but I have no respect for any organisation or person that is willing to provide a platform for his views. He doesn’t present a single idea worth discussing.

  136. .

    I was not aware of a number of the valuable activities you and your organisation undertakes.

    I’m not aware of any.

  137. Gab

    ‘Honour Killing’ is wrong. But I had thought it worth hearing the argument said out loud – just as we did when we had a couple arguing that Infanticide should be allowed or that terrorists should be tortured …

    Badar still intends to proceed with his “argument” in public. You won’t miss out. His free speech has not been curtailed despite his obvious neglect of “respecting human dignity” in the case of women who are subjected to these murders.

    is morally and ehtically disingenuous.

  138. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361799, posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:56 pm
    Defamation is not a declaration by the court that what the defendant said was ‘untrue’. It is an actionable wrong, which if established may entitle the plaintiff to damages.

    Except the government legislates what is an actionable wrong.

    No you stupid shit. The action developed historically from the action on the case, not through legislation. Legislative frameworks in the various states just refer back to the common law for the substance of the action. You’ve already been told this. You are an exceedingly thick individual.

  139. .

    rebel with cause
    #1361802, posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm
    Here’s the title of another lecture I’m sure Uthman Badar would happily give: ‘the moral justification for exterminating the Jewish race’.

    But why is free speech considered sacrosanct to libertarians in the sense of respecting human dignity?

    LOL!

  140. Aristogeiton

    .
    #1361803, posted on June 27, 2014 at 1:58 pm
    I was not aware of a number of the valuable activities you and your organisation undertakes.

    I’m not aware of any.

    Somebody has to eat all your taxes.

  141. Joe Goodacre

    He doesn’t present a single idea worth discussing.

    It’s precisely the cultural arrogance that says western values speak for themselves, hence there should be no discussion on it which has led to the erosion of those values and the replacement of those values with other rubbish.

    There are clearly people in the community who agree with his line of thinking – just because we don’t want to talk about it doesn’t mean it’s going away. It’s like what Sinc said earlier about the IPA and tobacco – people already have their views and they align themselves with those that express those views. People supporting Uthman Badar already believe those things – shutting him down doesn’t leave a vacuum for western values to fill – his speech just ends up underground and more radical.

  142. Token
    That is, I propose that our default position be in favour of unrestricted commentary. As such, I explicitly support speech that would be considered insulting, offensive, outrageous, etc. However, I am also mindful of history’s numerous lessons in relation to what happens when the essential humanity of one group of people is denied by another.

    The “however” negates the preceding sentence. Either you are for free speech or you are for restricted speech. I’m thinking it’s the latter.

    I am curious to understand whether government is the right custodian considering the fact that so many states in history through to the present day are too often the agent of denying the “essential humanity” of others. Your key example is where the state is used as the instrument with its uncontrollable powers:

    Although some think it ‘fanciful’ to suggest that this could ever happen in Australia, it is worth noting that enlightened German opinion would have thought the same prior to the ascent of the Nazis under Adolf Hitler. The Nazis devoted much of their political rhetoric to the task of ‘dehumanising’ the Jews of Europe. Whether through the use of words or images, Nazi propaganda deliberately sought to portray the Jewish people as ‘not fully human’ – even comparing them to vermin … in the most specific terms.

    Such actions reflect the view that Uthman Badar and the group he states he represents believe, the state should control dialog.

  143. George Brandis thanks for NOTHING

    Simon L: if there’s a moral case for honour killings, as was to be outlined by Badar, then why don’t you argue for society to allow honour killings? They are ‘moral’, after all, yes?

    You say that Badar opposes honour killings on the basis that he disapproves of vigilante killings. Does that mean it’s ok for the state (or, as Badar would prefer, the ‘caliphate’) to carry out the morally-justified honour killings?

  144. Joe Goodacre

    The action developed historically from the action on the case, not through legislation. Legislative frameworks in the various states just refer back to the common law for the substance of the action.

    We’ve been through this before.

    If your theory for why it’s not government is because a couple of King appointed magistrates hundreds of years ago started the trend, then it has no bearing to what underpins the agreement we have with each other to organise society today.

  145. Gab

    The Nazis devoted much of their political rhetoric to the task of ‘dehumanising’ the Jews of Europe. Whether through the use of words or images, Nazi propaganda deliberately sought to portray the Jewish people as ‘not fully human’ – even comparing them to vermin … in the most specific terms.

    The Nazis had their own version of Section 18c, which clamped down on those who sought to speak out against the Nazis lack of respect for human dignity.

  146. .

    Joe – your explanation defies the English language. You’re wrong.

  147. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361813, posted on June 27, 2014 at 2:02 pm
    He doesn’t present a single idea worth discussing.

    It’s precisely the cultural arrogance that says western values speak for themselves, hence there should be no discussion on it which has led to the erosion of those values and the replacement of those values with other rubbish.

    You’re an idiot. Speech is not discussion. He’s free to speak. I don’t want to discuss the matter. It’s pretty fucking rich you are accusing commenters here, probably some of the most consistent defenders of our values, and particularly liberty, of eroding those values; you, on the other hand, want to replace our traditional liberties with pure majoritarianism, and dismantle the entirety of the common law.

  148. George Brandis thanks for NOTHING

    Great. He didn’t address a single one of my questions.

  149. Badar still intends to proceed with his “argument” in public. You won’t miss out. His free speech has not been curtailed despite his obvious neglect of “respecting human dignity” in the case of women who are subjected to these murders.

    Eyup. And the police can decide if he’s actually inciting violence, or inciting people to commit premeditated murder, which is of course a crime in Australia that carries heavy penalties.

    Of course, if he backpedals and it turns into a whitey-bashing exercise, they could arrest him on the grounds of racist speech.

    But then again, perhaps he’s just going to attack Christianity or the West, which lets him off.

    Whereas if we criticise him, we’re racist, because Islam is a race.

  150. Zatara

    “In part, this is because he believes that ‘vigilante’ killing is wrong – that the imposition of the death penalty should be under Islamic Law.”

    Oh, well since you put it that way, as in murder approved by the dribblings of a 7th century loser conman, I guess it’s just peachy.

  151. Joe Goodacre

    you… want to replace our traditional liberties with pure majoritarianism, and dismantle the entirety of the common law.

    Whether you like it or not, pure majoritarianism is what underpins society now and will until democracy is replaced by something else.

    Arguing for our liberties because some old white men made the rules up hundreds of years ago isn’t a position that convinces many in that majority who haven’t been educated in the principles underpinning those rules.

    I’m happy acknowledging that we live in pure majoritarianism and so recognise that any arguments to change things to be more pro-liberty needs to be based on why it’s in their interests to do so.

  152. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361818, posted on June 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm
    [...]
    If your theory for why it’s not government is because a couple of King appointed magistrates hundreds of years ago started the trend, then it has no bearing to what underpins the agreement we have with each other to organise society today.

    Those appointed to the Court of the Kings Bench are Justices, not Magistrates.

    In any event, my theory is also that a bunch of powerful barons menaced the King into signing the Magna Carta. I suppose that the ‘trend’ they started has no bearing today either.

  153. Gab

    Who is this “Joe Goodacre” and is he always like this?

  154. Mater

    He then intended to compare those acts (of killing for the sake of family honour) with others (such as killing for the honour of King – contemporary Thailand) or killing for the honour of the ‘flag’ (various people at various times) and so on.

    When was the last time a western nation sent soldiers off to defend the honour of the flag?

    Remember (from Badar himself):

    Overwhelmingly, those who condemn ‘honour killings’ are based in the liberal democracies of the West. The accuser and moral judge is the secular (white) westerner and the accused is the oriental other; the powerful condemn the powerless. By taking a particular cultural view of honour, some killings are condemned whilst others are celebrated. In turn, the act becomes a symbol of everything that is allegedly wrong with the other culture.

  155. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361831, posted on June 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm
    [...]
    Whether you like it or not, pure majoritarianism is what underpins society now and will until democracy is replaced by something else.

    You’re an ignoramus. Conceptions of liberty, moral, constitutional and judical, ‘underpin’ our society. Otherwise, how could not not justify ostracism by a simple majority vote? One should be free to disseise another by majority vote. But this is seen as wrong. Why?

    You commit the fallacy of constructivism.

  156. Aristogeiton

    s/how could not not/how could you not/

  157. rebel with cause

    Joe – as I said, Badar can talk all he likes. If I thought a public debate with Badar would make him change his mind and recant his views I’d be the first person there. But alas, I doubt no matter how persuasive my argument it is unlikely to affect his tiny brain and his small sense of morality. So it would be a complete waste of time discussing things with him. It wouldn’t even be interesting – Badar does not appear to be an original thinker.

    As Sinclair put it, the best we can do when faced with people like Badar is to tell them that we too have customs, and if he wants to practice what he preaches he will find himself in jail.

  158. Joe Goodacre

    In any event, my theory is also that a bunch of powerful barons menaced the King into signing the Magna Carta. I suppose that the ‘trend’ they started has no bearing today either.

    Which supports my point entirely. You live in a society where a fresh high school graduate is looking to combat global warming and find out who Bieber is dating and your response would be to call them donkeys and post links to people long dead.

  159. Joe Goodacre

    Conceptions of liberty, moral, constitutional and judical, ‘underpin’ our society

    At one time.

    The foundations are pretty weak though and are not taught in schools or university. They are not even accepted by many people as even being the foundations. The Consitution is only a piece of paper if people don’t think it’s important.

  160. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361840, posted on June 27, 2014 at 2:23 pm
    [...]
    Which supports my point entirely. You live in a society where a fresh high school graduate is looking to combat global warming and find out who Bieber is dating and your response would be to call them donkeys and post links to people long dead.

    Ok. Well none of history happened, and I’ll confine myself to quoting Kanye West on matters of politics? You arrogant fuck. You think you’re so much smarter than those high school graduates, don’t you? And they’re so fucking stupid then can only understand literature produced after 1995? The joke’s on you. They run rings around you, mate.

  161. oldsalt

    Badar and his ilk have a deliberately slippery definition of what honour killing is. Substitute with ‘capital punishment for adultery’ and then ask him.

    Anyway he couldn’t care less what we think, we’re not going to be part of his Caliphate. His propaganda is directed at young Muslims. Giving him a platform with supposed grownups legitimises his authority in the eyes of the impressionable, recruitable young, making it easier for him to distribute his propaganda. Win or lose the debate, he still wins.

    It’s why propagandists are shut down during war.

  162. Clam Chowdah

    Badar was free to speak on the subject at the Sydney Opera House. The free peoples in this country exercised their free speech against such an abhorrent notion. The SOH (and/or FODI?) cancelled the speaker due to societal pressure. Free speech in action, as well.

    Badar is still able to exercise his free speech privileges on the subject matter, as he intends. In this matter, no government nor legislative recourse was employed. This is as it should be in a democracy.

    Spot on. Badar is still free to express his views. There are plenty of venues available even if public sentiment has closed this one off, and those who disagreed with him did not need to engage the machinery of the law. Free public discourse in action.

    Well said, Gab.

  163. nilk

    What he did not propose to do was advocate that anyone should do this. In part, this is because he believes that ‘vigilante’ killing is wrong – that the imposition of the death penalty should be under Islamic Law.

    And islamic law allows for so-called vigilante killing. A bit weaselly if you ask me.

  164. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361844, posted on June 27, 2014 at 2:27 pm
    [...]
    The Consitution is only a piece of paper if people don’t think it’s important.

    This is one of the dumbest things you have ever said. It doesn’t derive it’s normative force from people ‘thinking it’s important’. Only a revolution, coup, or amendment can change it. And have a look at the history of referenda in this country; do the participants think it is ‘only a piece of paper’? They’re pretty fucking conservative for people who think that way.

  165. Joe Goodacre

    If I thought a public debate with Badar would make him change his mind and recant his views I’d be the first person there

    The point is not to debate him, but his ideas.

    Whether he changes his mind or not is a smaller concern.

    As Sinclair put it, the best we can do when faced with people like Badar is to tell them that we too have customs, and if he wants to practice what he preaches he will find himself in jail.

    Agreed.

  166. Joe Goodacre

    It doesn’t derive it’s normative force from people ‘thinking it’s important’. Only a revolution, coup, or amendment can change it.

    There was an article not long ago at the Cat that estimated something like 417 government programmes were invalidated by a HC ruling on chaplaincy funding.

    If people no longer fell bound by it, the population doesn’t vote them out for their transgressions and judges are elected on the basis of whether they believe the consitution is an evolving document, then who needs a coup or a referendum.

  167. Joe Goodacre

    As an example, the corporations power is now used to justify anything and everything.

  168. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361853, posted on June 27, 2014 at 2:34 pm
    [...]
    If people no longer fell bound by it, the population doesn’t vote them out for their transgressions and judges are elected on the basis of whether they believe the consitution is an evolving document, then who needs a coup or a referendum.

    You’re an idiot.

  169. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361857, posted on June 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm
    As an example, the corporations power is now used to justify anything and everything.

    No it can’t, you stupid fuckwit.

  170. .

    Aristo

    There is some truth in what Joe is saying.

    He’s getting better.

    But he confuses the lack of what should happen with what should.

    He is too much of a democrat.

    Some light reading for you, Joe:

    http://www.amazon.com/Democracy—God-That-Failed-Economics/dp/0765808684/ref=la_B001H6WSY2_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403843963&sr=1-1

  171. oldsalt

    Nope it’s not the best we can do and we have to do better.

    We have to protect kids. We protect kids during school hours, we try to protect them from things we believe can damage their development when their brains and moral intelligence are still being formed. Hizbut Tahrir targets youth.

  172. Andrew

    So regressive scum think it’s OK to sabotage a private event at which Monckton is speaking about saving 98% of our CO2 mitigation costs. To abolish free press. To harass people at an IPA meeting, again privately funded. Physically assault female parliamentarians speaking at a Uni. But when public money is spent on giving terrorists a platform to speak about murder, it’s an outrage when organisers change their mind?

    Hope our “progressive” (sic) ethicists (sic) find themselves receiving a free speech lesson from such organisations.

  173. Aristogeiton

    Joe, if you are who you say you are, you may want to stop discussing the law in future in order to avoid humiliating your alma mater.

  174. Aristogeiton

    .
    #1361860, posted on June 27, 2014 at 2:39 pm
    Aristo

    There is some truth in what Joe is saying.

    Everything he has said is bullshit. What he does is to move from the indefensible to the nominally defensible. So the constitution has force because people ‘think it’s important’ (rubbish), then subsequently the disagreement becomes about the ambit of the corporations power. Don’t be fooled. He’s wrong about everything. And he’s a totalitarian.

  175. Mr Skeletor

    What the fuck is up with this Aristogeiton guy? Is he able to post anything without hurling abuse at people?

  176. Mark from Melbourne

    Simon,

    Great to see you participating here, but I think your description of his proposed talk as outlined above is almost totally at odds with the abstract of his speech as advertised.

    Wondering how you can square that particular circle…

  177. Aristogeiton

    Mr Skeletor
    #1361868, posted on June 27, 2014 at 2:47 pm
    What the fuck is up with this Aristogeiton guy? Is he able to post anything without hurling abuse at people?

    Get fucked?

  178. rebel with cause

    Joe – from where I sit, people have engaged with Badar’s ideas. Very effectively in fact. His ideas are back in the toilet where they belong. You and I may differ on this but I’m happy that we engaged his ideas before he was allowed to do a big, smelly dump on Western Civilisation on the Opera House stage.

  179. oldsalt

    Badar and HT aren’t involved in the same marketplace of ideas that blogs like this are. He couldn’t give a rats what we think, he only has to compete with what’s circulating in the Muslim communities. By giving him a respectable platform we give him prestige where he needs it most. He becomes the respected Uthman Badar, honoured guest speaker at the respected St James Ethics Centre, a person any Muslim family would be honoured to invite home to discuss his ideas.

    Free speech is not the issue, it’s a propaganda war. We don’t give free kicks to groups like HT.

  180. Joe Goodacre

    You and I may differ on this but I’m happy that we engaged his ideas before he was allowed to do a big, smelly dump on Western Civilisation on the Opera House stage.

    Maybe – I can see where you’re coming from.

    I have a suspicion it will come back to bite us in the sense that taxpayer and private venues will feel a greater licence to shut down conservatives speaking because denying global warming or same sex marriage is abhorrent and they will reference the comments on here that it’s not free speech related.

  181. Joe Goodacre

    What is up with this Aristogeiton guy?

    You get used to ignoring it – it starts sounding like a constant buzz after awhile.

  182. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361893, posted on June 27, 2014 at 3:20 pm
    [...]
    I have a suspicion it will come back to bite us in the sense that taxpayer and private venues will feel a greater licence to shut down conservatives speaking because denying global warming or same sex marriage is abhorrent and they will reference the comments on here that it’s not free speech related.

    Why do you care whether conservatives can speak or not? You think that a simple majority can decide moral disagreements. And you think that our traditions and institutions are meaningless.

  183. dragnet

    Oh eff, not the bloody Aristo and Joe show again!

  184. Aristogeiton

    dragnet
    #1361899, posted on June 27, 2014 at 3:30 pm
    Oh eff, not the bloody Aristo and Joe show again!

    You’re right. I’ve derailed the thread. Mea maxima culpa.

  185. oldsalt

    Cats making the same mistake as the Left. There are some individuals and groups we just shouldn’t ‘engage’ with, it’s the engagement that they seek, they gain credibility among their own people. If you think that trumping his ideas with a pretty line in logic harms him, you’re too smugly complacent by half.

    We’re either involved in a Long War against militant extremist Islam. Or we’re not.

  186. nilk

    Badar and HT aren’t involved in the same marketplace of ideas that blogs like this are. He couldn’t give a rats what we think, he only has to compete with what’s circulating in the Muslim communities. By giving him a respectable platform we give him prestige where he needs it most. He becomes the respected Uthman Badar, honoured guest speaker at the respected St James Ethics Centre, a person any Muslim family would be honoured to invite home to discuss his ideas.

    This. Thanks, OldSalt

  187. Real Deal

    Simon is very impressive. It takes a fair bit of chutzpah to come onto a hostile forum and give calm and assured answers. He is patient, courtoeus, smooth and emollient with a good grasp of his detail.

    That having been said he still displays the same weakness as I have noticed earlier. Bombarding earnest interlocutors with impossible detail. Using a politician’s skill of often not giving direct answer to direct questions (admittedly not easy when everyone is firing them at you).

    Being evasive over the funding issue – you may not get direct funding, Simon, but it is obvious that through logistical help from the ABC you are a beneficiary of public money (sorry, interviews with Ms Vanstone are not the same).

    You are a pretty good operator, Simon. I think though at a few points when you defend yourself you need to actually concede that your critics just may have one or two fair points. I think that you are not good at conceding ground to your opponents, you were not very good at that in the Ethics classes/SRE debate either. That said, you were a sport for coming on the site in what has been a bit of a train wreck week, I guess.

  188. .

    Simon is very impressive.

    No, he’s not.

  189. Joe Goodacre

    He was calm, composed and took the opportunity to address criticisms against himself and St James.

    I respect that without agreeing with all his responses.

  190. Gab

    By giving him a respectable platform we give him prestige where he needs it most. He becomes the respected Uthman Badar, honoured guest speaker at the respected St James Ethics Centre, a person any Muslim family would be honoured to invite home to discuss his ideas.

    Imagine had there not been the public outcry over Badar session? Imagine if we remained silent what could the Muslim community but determine from that silence? Nothing but assent of Badar’s
    proposition.

  191. Real Deal

    Well, impressive in a Humphreyesque kinda way (Humphrey Appleby that is and his sophist laden answers).

  192. Aristogeiton

    Real Deal
    #1361910, posted on June 27, 2014 at 3:40 pm
    [...]
    That having been said he still displays the same weakness as I have noticed earlier. Bombarding earnest interlocutors with impossible detail. Using a politician’s skill of often not giving direct answer to direct questions

    Like when he asked Dot to outline all limits to freedom which he proposed? Instead of addressing why his particular 18C restrictions on free speech were justified?

  193. .

    He was calm, composed and took the opportunity to address criticisms against himself and St James.

    No he wasn’t and no he didn’t.

  194. Aristogeiton

    .
    #1361942, posted on June 27, 2014 at 4:05 pm
    He was calm, composed and took the opportunity to address criticisms against himself and St James.

    No he wasn’t and no he didn’t.

    What this proves is that too often people will defer to an individual if they have the appellations “Doctor” or “Professor”, no matter what the intrinsic worth of their ideas.

  195. Joe Goodacre

    Come on Dot – normally someone get a ripping on the Cat stays further away than the eye can see.

  196. .

    People just made assertions. I am making a counter assertion.

    Longstaff spectacularly beclowned himself, writing an ad hom towards me to “prove” we needed to end free speech for dignity’s sake.

    He’s a professional failure.

    Would you pay this fool to teach you ethics?

  197. Joe Goodacre

    No.

    Would you pay anyone though – I wouldn’t. I did at uni – twice I think. They introduced it into both law and accounting.

  198. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361965, posted on June 27, 2014 at 4:18 pm
    No.

    Would you pay anyone though – I wouldn’t. I did at uni – twice I think. They introduced it into both law and accounting.

    Stop changing the subject. Legal Ethics is part of the Priestley 11. It covers the enforceable ethical code by which lawyers must abide (e.g. the Solicitor’s Rule), and the situations in which a solicitor might be struck off or sued.

  199. Joe Goodacre

    Yet we don’t have courses on our obligations or responsibilities under other laws.

    It was a waste of time in my view.

    I learnt more on ethical behaviour from my grandparents and it was a course that took longer than 4 mths.

  200. Token

    Imagine had there not been the public outcry over Badar session? Imagine if we remained silent what could the Muslim community but determine from that silence? Nothing but assent of Badar’s
    proposition.

    Exactly. It was a testiment to how unnecessary 18C is.

    The pity is Dr Longstaff seems to have left before I could read his submission and document how his submission was built upon fundemental flaws.

  201. Aristogeiton

    Joe Goodacre
    #1361977, posted on June 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm
    Yet we don’t have courses on our obligations or responsibilities under other laws.

    It was a waste of time in my view.

    It’s only a ‘waste of time’ if you have no intention of practicing law. It is part of the 11 for a reason; it is essential to the practice of law.

    If you completed an LLB, as you insist, and maintain that you didn’t have ‘have courses on [your] obligations or responsibilities under other laws’, then you were paying no attention at all. That is, in fact, the entire thrust of the degree.

    I’m not surprised, though. Your understanding of the law is remarkably deficient.

  202. Token

    What this proves is that too often people will defer to an individual if they have the appellations “Doctor” or “Professor”, no matter what the intrinsic worth of their ideas.

    Showing respect to an individual who has agreed to enter a dialog is not the same as deferring.

    He was calm, composed and took the opportunity to address criticisms against himself and St James.

    No he wasn’t and no he didn’t.

    He was calm and composed. He did not address all of the criticisms.

  203. jumpnmcar

    Be very careful folks, this aritshole could know your real name and what you look like.
    lol

  204. Token

    Legal Ethics is part of the Priestley 11. It covers the enforceable ethical code by which lawyers must abide (e.g. the Solicitor’s Rule), and the situations in which a solicitor might be struck off or sued.

    I hope the legal ethics board has more substantial people than the accounting ethics board.

    Former Labor health minister and attorney-general Nicola Roxon has been named chair of the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board.

    In a statement released today, APESB interim chair Stuart Black said Ms Roxon’s leadership experience would put the board’s strategic direction in good stead.

    The AG who forgot the required independence of her role of being first law officer as she took on the role to be lead prosecutor against James Ashby leads the team judging ethics.

  205. Aristogeiton

    Token
    #1361999, posted on June 27, 2014 at 4:48 pm
    Legal Ethics is part of the Priestley 11. It covers the enforceable ethical code by which lawyers must abide (e.g. the Solicitor’s Rule), and the situations in which a solicitor might be struck off or sued.

    I hope the legal ethics board has more substantial people than the accounting ethics board.

    The governance of the profession has markedly improved over the past few decades. The Commissioner is very eager to drum unethical scumbags out of the profession.

  206. Aristogeiton

    Token
    #1361999, posted on June 27, 2014 at 4:48 pm
    [...]
    The AG who forgot the required independence of her role of being first law officer as she took on the role to be lead prosecutor against James Ashby leads the team judging ethics.

    It was disgraceful behaviour.

  207. I am the Walrus, Koo Koo K'Choo

    Great to see you participating here, but I think your description of his proposed talk as outlined above is almost totally at odds with the abstract of his speech as advertised.

    Spot on.

    Simon L. you should address this discrepancy – have a look at what Badar actually wanted to talk about.

  208. notafan

    Don’t forget Hizbut Tahrir is also eagerly seeking young impressionable converts who can make themselves very useful in places like Syria.
    Firmly ensconsed on an Australian university campus with presumably free access to Australian university resources.

  209. rebel with cause

    I respect the fact that Longstaff was willing to come and debate issues here, if only for a short time. I’d welcome him back again.

    Dot’s right to be pissed though. You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger advocate of unrestricted free speech on the web. It takes a grotesque distortion of his argument to say he is actually arguing for speech to be restricted (as Longstaff is). Dot wasn’t unintentionally making Longstaff’s case, he wasn’t making it at all.

    If Longstaff wants to come back, perhaps he could start by acknowledging that many here support speech without restriction and then make his case why they are wrong.

  210. Aristogeiton

    rebel with cause
    #1362026, posted on June 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm
    [...]
    If Longstaff wants to come back, perhaps he could start by acknowledging that many here support speech without restriction and then make his case why they are wrong.

    In point of fact, nobody here supports ‘speech without restriction’. Longstaff would do better to outline why s. 18C is a legitimate restriction upon speech, without resort to casuistry.

  211. rebel with cause

    Ari – least I be accused of verballing, both Dot and Deadman said upthread that they support free speech ‘without restraint’. Importantly, neither said they support speech without consequence. Apologies to Dot, Dead man et al. if I have got this wrong.

  212. .

    Correct.

    You and Ari say what I mean differently.

  213. Aristogeiton

    rebel with cause
    #1362042, posted on June 27, 2014 at 5:43 pm
    Ari – least I be accused of verballing, both Dot and Deadman said upthread that they support free speech ‘without restraint’. Importantly, neither said they support speech without consequence. Apologies to Dot, Dead man et al. if I have got this wrong.

    Ok. Perhaps they were being imprecise. Dot I know supports the law of defamation. Common assault is a restraint on free speech which I am assuming Dot supports.

    For my own part, ‘if it were not for assize-time’ I would beat Joe Goodacre to within an inch of his life.

  214. oldsalt

    Simon if you’re still reading, we all make errors of judgement.

    Please tell me you’ve recognised it was a lapse of judgement and you’ve learned from it.

    No biggie. That’s all.

  215. warren raymond

    Strange, we didn’t hear a word from Dr Simon Longstaff when Geert Wilders came to town. Where was he when we needed him defending free speech – “even if it offends and outrages?”

  216. Oh come on

    Sinclair, one of the most interesting aspects of commentary about this issue has been the relative silence of those who might otherwise be found defending free speech – even if it offends and outrages.

    Stupid fool. Another idiot who can’t tell the difference between choosing to be silent after being on the receiving end of a great deal of public disapproval, and being coerced into silence.

  217. Aristogeiton

    Oh come on
    #1362138, posted on June 27, 2014 at 7:22 pm
    Sinclair, one of the most interesting aspects of commentary about this issue has been the relative silence of those who might otherwise be found defending free speech – even if it offends and outrages.

    Stupid fool. Another idiot who can’t tell the difference between choosing to be silent after being on the receiving end of a great deal of public disapproval, and being coerced into silence.

    Particularly ironic considering that he went on record soon after supporting legislative proscriptions on free speech in the form of s. 18C RDA.

  218. blogstrop

    Some suggestions for ethical debate topics:
    1. Is it ethical for Labor A-Gs like Rob Hulls to appoint so many “activist” judges?
    2. Is it ethical for journalists and news editors to ignore news that they find embarrassing to their favoured parties?
    3. Is it ethical for the same editors and journalists to engage in daily spinning of the news to reflect better on their favoured parties?
    4. Is it ethical for the bulk of the media to proselytise on behalf of gay marriage?
    5. Is it ethical for the bulk of the media to boost climate change when the evidence is mounting that it is a giant fraud?
    6. Is it ethical for the media to continue to go after alleged “sex offenders” in institutions they don’t like anyway, while at the same time endorsing abortion?
    7. Is it ethical for the left to snuggle up to Islam while ignoring their misogyny and tendency to religiously inspired totalitarianism?
    8. Is it ethical to continue to support unions when they are shown so often to be corrupt and to entice companies into corrupt (although hidden) agreements?
    9. Is it ethical to pay solar energy rebates which do nothing to help the power grid but make everyone pay?
    10. Is it ethical to pretend to be an ethics-based body while practising a form of taqiyya on the Australian people?

  219. blogstrop

    Joe Goodacre, I’ve been restrained and only posted two comments on this 220+ thread so far, while you’ve been your usual verbal diarrghoea self. Can you cut it down a bit? I just have to skip over what you post now. It’s too much, and too often vaccuous.

  220. Oh come on

    And I would full-throatedly defend that barbarian’s right to preach to the world the merits of honour killing if I thought it were under threat. It is absolutely essential that he and others like him are free to speak their minds in public.

    As such, it would seem to be somewhat self-defeating to undermine the foundation (respect for persons) on which the right (to free speech) is set.

    So who gets to define what undermines respect for persons? The response to Longstaff is the same response that no fan of restricted speech has ever been able to refute – where should we draw the line? If you’re allowed to restrict my speech on matters such as race, religion that you deem offensive, then why on earth shouldn’t I be allowed to restrict your speech on, say, Cocoa Pops if I deem it offensive?

    It’s all or nothing, Simon. All or nothing.

  221. .

    Exactly.

    Free speech is sacred.

  222. Oh come on

    And I understand your frustration, dot. Yes, I suppose it was decent of Longstaff to come here and discuss this issue with people. But the pseudo-intellectual waffle he came out with to justify the thuggish repression of the fundamental right of an individual to speak freely is an insult to the intelligence of those reading him.

    When reading Longstaff, a quote from Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” springs to mind:

    The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink

  223. Fisky

    Particularly ironic considering that he went on record soon after supporting legislative proscriptions on free speech in the form of s. 18C RDA.

    I find it bizarre that he thinks calling murder “morally justified” passes the “respect” test where mere racial vilification doesn’t.

  224. Aristogeiton

    Fisky
    #1362297, posted on June 27, 2014 at 9:03 pm
    Particularly ironic considering that he went on record soon after supporting legislative proscriptions on free speech in the form of s. 18C RDA.

    I find it bizarre that he thinks calling murder “morally justified” passes the “respect” test where mere racial vilification doesn’t.

    I find it bizarre that the good Doctor doesn’t understand the argumentum ad hominem. I never attacked his person, rather his idiotic ideas.

  225. Oh come on

    In all honesty, when I heard about it, I doubted Badan was actually going to justify honour killing – I assumed the purpose of his presentation would be to draw a bogus moral equivalence between honour killing and some infidel practice he despises.

    In which case, his speech would not be notable (let alone dangerous) in the slightest – it’d just the standard Islamic response to criticism of Islam or features of the culture it has moulded.

    Of course, if a publicity own-goal from an opponent presents you with a big stick to bash them with, then seize it and swing it with all your might.

  226. Oh come on

    On top of everything else, Badar sounds like a doctrinaire blowhard. Just what the world needs – another tedious Saidian interpretation of the evil west.

    FMD. In this instance at least, Longstaff hasn’t been very discerning when it comes to the intellectual calibre of his proposed guest.

  227. Fisky

    In all honesty, when I heard about it, I doubted Badan was actually going to justify honour killing – I assumed the purpose of his presentation would be to draw a bogus moral equivalence between honour killing and some infidel practice he despises.

    He was probably going to say that honour killing is no different to drone strikes or something. But this would have made his point even more confused when you consider the session’s title, i.e. “Drone strikes…are morally justified”???

  228. Andrew

    I have a suspicion it will come back to bite us in the sense that taxpayer and private venues will feel a greater licence to shut down conservatives speaking because denying global warming or same sex marriage is abhorrent and they will reference the comments on here that it’s not free speech related.

    How could it get any worse than it already is?

  229. MT Isa Miner

    JC

    #1361504, posted on June 27, 2014 at 10:37 am

    WTF?

    Just a couple of points of clarification – to avoid misunderstanding. The Ethics Centre does not receive a single cent from the ABC. The acknowledgement on our website is in recognition of the fact that the ABC records and broadcasts our debates, talks, etc.

    So they are giving you money, Longstaff. Where do you think the money comes from in recording and broadcasting your discussions, you nimrod.

    Is Simon simple?
    Is Simon simple because he’s a prog?
    Is Simon simple because he’s never had to work for a living? 25 or so years sucking on the public tit in a publicly funded possie ( directly and INDIRECTLY) ?

    Simon, isn’t it a pisser to get to middle age and find out that you’re not smart after all, you’re stupid and no-one else likes you except your masturbating marxist mates.

    I would play the ball and not the man but the Cats are scoring,anyway. I love an ad hom.

  230. A Lurker

    I doubt that Dr Simon Longstaff is still contributing to this thread, however I’d like to ask him a question.

    The question is – if your Festival is truly about examining dangerous ideas, then why don’t you offer up for exposure some of the most dangerous of them all?

    A talk by Ayaan Hirsi Ali about her thoughts on Islam and how it treats women.
    A talk by Ian Pilmer on climate change scepticism.
    A talk by Professor David Flint on why Australia should remain a Constitutional Monarchy.
    A talk by Professor Sinclair Davidson on the merits of Libertarianism.
    A talk by Senator Bernardi about marriage and the benefits of the traditional family unit.

  231. MT Isa Miner

    A Lurker

    #1362759, posted on June 28, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I doubt that Dr Simon Longstaff is still contributing to this thread, however I’d like to ask him a question.

    The question is – if your Festival is truly about examining dangerous ideas, then why don’t you offer up for exposure some of the most dangerous of them all?

    A talk by Ayaan Hirsi Ali about her thoughts on Islam and how it treats women.
    A talk by Ian Pilmer on climate change scepticism.
    A talk by Professor David Flint on why Australia should remain a Constitutional Monarchy.
    A talk by Professor Sinclair Davidson on the merits of Libertarianism.
    A talk by Senator Bernardi about marriage and the benefits of the traditional family unit.

    Where do I sign up, Lurker?

  232. Token

    I doubt Dr Longstaff is coming back, after all he would not want to have to be respond in light of the correspondence revealed today:

    Uthman responded as follows:

    “I’d rather not go with the adultery topic. It’s too narrow. If it’s between this and the original, I’d prefer the honour killings topic. What’s the intended wording here?

    ”If we go with something like ‘Honour killings are morally justified’ or similar, I’d be okay with that. I could define honour killings in a way where I genuinely argue for the case and at the same time touch on the broader issues.”

  233. jupes

    Finally, you can imagine how people ‘label’ my views when they find out that I have spent nearly a decade travelling back and forth to places like Townsville to assist in the preparation of our troops prior to deployment in Afghanistan where the face the lethal challenges of asymmetric warfare.

    FMD! No wonder we lost the war with this dickhead briefing the troops.

  234. jupes

    But this would have made his point even more confused when you consider the session’s title, i.e. “Drone strikes…are morally justified”???

    Drone strikes are morally justified.

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