Apparently Dr. Howell's employment was not terminated; he was just barred from teaching (same effect, of course):
Blog comments by me
At Mr. Schütz's blog:
July 27, 2010 at 4:06 am
“But oddly, Your Eminence, according to Gleeson, the prevailing secular ideology DOES consider it possible to harm others and rejects any act that might result in such harm.”
Mr. Schütz, did you mean to say “DOES NOT“? Otherwise there seems to be an internal contradiction there.
“[You are] sure that in some circumstances a person can be (and should be) criminally charged for abuse even if (at the time of the abuse) the victim “consented”.”
I agree, and presumably so would most, perhaps all, secular (Godless) ethicists, but my point is that the Godless ethicist cannot prove, in the light of his first principles, that it is morally wrong–as in transgressing a moral obligation–to harm others, even against their will.
(Response to Wolsey)
"A state that compels participation in liberal democracy is not acting in furtherance of the common good as liberal democracy does not further the common good."
Interesting that you say that, York; it had occurred to me that Australia's liberalism was a factor to consider in this discussion, though no-one had raised it explicitly until your comment. I see it this way: Democracy is a legitimate form of government. Liberalism, however, is evil, false, absurd, and condemned irrevocably by the Church. Liberalism, then, is like a cancer in the body politic. Now we know that the common good is to the State what health and well-being is to a human person. So if a person had a cancer, even a self-inflicted one, would that mean that we were forbidden to help that person with other aspects of his health and well-being? No, not necessarily, so long as we weren't co-operating formally in the carcinogenic behaviour. Hence I don't see why the natural law would necessarily forbid us to participate in the political life of a liberal democracy.
(Response to Anon.)
Anon., I don't dispute that Australian governments have sometimes, perhaps often, acted against the common good; I dispute that Australian governments have ceased to be legimitate governments or that they are legitimate but that their laws are to be regarded as invalid until proven otherwise.
(Response to Salvatore)
"Surely the AEC represents a reasonable source of information in such a discussion?"
A few problem with that information come to mind:
1. It only applies to Queensland.
2. Were government members the only M.P.s to vote for the relevant Bill (remember, a government doesn't legislate--Parliament legislates)?
3. Even supposing that that Act was invalid at the time, subsequent governments, including Labor governments presumably, didn't repeal it.
And as you concede, the law still wasn't necessarily invalid just because it might have been badly motivated.
"Consequently, if the Australian Government’s imposition of this duty is to be just, there must be some characteristic(s) of our nation or its system of government which requires it. What might this (these) be?"
I don't know, and I don't need to know in order for the Act to bind my conscience, just as I don't need to know that, say, a given industry and its influence on the common good require a certain piece of industrial legislation in order for it to bind my conscience. I can only regard legislation as valid until proven invalid, and nobody has proven the Act, or the relevant parts, invalid.
July 27, 2010 3:53 AM
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