Principle of Charity

5/9/2022

Do Criminals Deserve to be Punished?

Season 1, Ep. 13
When someone breaks the law, most of us have an instinct that they should be punished. In fact, that they deserve to be punished. At the base of this is a sense that we are morally responsible for our actions and we should get our ‘just deserts’ if we make bad choices.This assumption is deeply encoded in the criminal law itself. Sure, there are other reasons we may want to put criminals behind bars – keeping society safe, deterring others from committing the same crime, even rehabilitation. But deep down lies the instinct of ‘retribution’, that a person who has done wrong just deserves to be punished for their wrongdoing.But why do they? Well, at the root of it is our cherished belief that we have ‘free will’. That we make our decisions freely and that we can choose to act differently.Our guest Gregg Carusso rejects this idea entirely. He sees free will as an illusion. He asks us to consider a justice system built entirely without retributive justice, where no one is imprisoned because they ‘deserve’ to be punished. Gregg is Professor of Philosophy, State University New York, Corning, Honorary Professor at Sydney’s Macquarie University and Co Director of the Justice Without Retribution Network at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.In his latest book Just Deserts, Gregg debates with fellow philosopher Daniel C Dennett moral responsibility, punishment and free will.Our other guest, Katrina Sifferd believes the justice system can and should be grounded in a concept of free will. She shares some concerns with Gregg that the system is at times overly punitive, but believes that we have the capacity to act as morally responsible individuals. In fact, in her book ‘Responsible Brains’, she looks at the neuroscience at work in our brain, and sees our ‘executive function’ as the seat of our moral responsibility. Katrina is professor and chair of philosophy at Chicago’s Elmurst University and co editor in chief of the publication Neuro-ethics. Katrina earned a Juris Doctorate and has worked on criminal justice projects for the US National Institute of Justice. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on responsibility, criminal law and punishment.You can be part of the discussion @PofCharity on Twitter, @PrincipleofCharity on Facebook and @PrincipleofCharityPodcast on Instagram.Your hosts are Lloyd Vogelman and Emile Sherman.Find Lloyd @LloydVogelman on Linked inFind Emile @EmileSherman on Linked In and Twitter.This Podcast is Produced by Jonah Primo and Bronwen ReidFind Jonah @JonahPrimomusic on Instagram.
4/25/2022

Is More Immigration a Good or Bad Thing?

Season 1, Ep. 11
Immigration is such a hot topic. Our borders are, in a sense, our collective skin and the question of who we let in seems to activate our primal instincts. Who comes in can feel and can at times be dangerous.Yet we want new ideas, new brain and brawn-power to fuel our country. A larger population can bring greater economic growth and prosperity. And with fertility rates below replacement level in most wealthy countries, our population will decline without immigration.There’s our sense of identity at stake as well – who are we as a nation? Are we defined through an ethnicity or particularly culture, as many nations today still are? Or do we define ourselves through our heritage, our stories, our values?The lens we bring to immigration often colours our reading of the facts. Do immigrants ‘take our jobs’ or do they add to the pool of consumers and producers that make us bigger and more interesting? Are immigrants more likely to turn to crime, or are they in fact harder working than the local population? Will they join and grow the story of our nation, or will they remain foreign?But most importantly for this episode, how many immigrants can our natural environment and our infrastructure bear before the burden outweighs the benefits for the local population? And are these hard limits or can we invent and invest our way out of them?To help us through this, we have George Megalogenis and Bob Carr.George Megalogenis is a strong advocate for greater immigration. He’s a journalist and author of five books including The Australian Moment which won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and formed the basis for his three-part ABC documentary series Making Australia Great. George’s other books include Faultlines, The Longest Decade, Australia’s Second Chance, The Football Solution and Balancing Act.Former Foreign Affairs Minister and the longest continuously serving Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, is an author of multiple books and is currently Professor of Climate and Business at the Institute of Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney. He is outspoken in his concerns for the environmental limits of immigrationMonday, 9 August 20216:30 PM~~You can be part of the discussion @PofCharity on Twitter, @PrincipleofCharity on Facebook and @PrincipleofCharityPodcast on Instagram.Your hosts are Lloyd Vogelman and Emile Sherman.Find Lloyd @LloydVogelman on Linked inFind Emile @EmileSherman on Linked In and Twitter.This Podcast is Produced by Jonah Primo and Bronwen ReidFind Jonah @JonahPrimomusic on Instagram.
4/11/2022

Is it OK for Storytellers to Appropriate Stories and Characters from Other Cultures?

Season 1, Ep. 10
Up until not that long ago, storytellers were encouraged to flex their creative muscles, to look outside themselves, and armed with their imagination as well as a lot of research, to bring to life characters, stories and worlds that they didn’t inhabit themselves, often worlds vastly different to the culture they’ve grown up in.But relatively recently, storytellers have received a huge challenge from the progressive left, a challenge that has now permeated the creative arts. It suggests that entering other cultures, particularly marginalised ones, and telling stories of their people, drawing from the well of their cultural reservoir, is akin to an act of theft.The critique goes further than theft though. It includes other challenges: if you’re from a dominant culture, and you’re telling stories of people that your culture has historically colonised or oppressed, then you are effectively compounding the oppression, as you are once again taking their voices and imposing your narrative on theirs.There’s a question of authenticity as well: because you, the writer, are not from their culture, do not have their lived experience, then you can never truly represent them except in an inauthentic and often demeaning way. No matter how much research you do, you’ll at best create a pale imitation of an authentically voiced story, and at worst you’ll create two dimensional, dangerously cliched, even racist caricatures.This is highly complex ground, with issues of creativity, aesthetic merit, theft, caricatures, of power and colonisation, all competing to control the narrative of who has the right to tell stories.Our two guests, Daniel Browning and James O Young, share a great sensitivity to culture, to forms of oppression, and to the power of storytelling. But they’ve come to very different views on cultural appropriation in storytelling.Daniel Browning is an Aboriginal Australian journalist, radio broadcaster, sound artist and writer. He presents The Art Show on Radio National and is the ABC’s Editor of Indigenous Radio. A visual arts graduate, Daniel is also a widely published freelance writer on the arts and culture. Daniel is a descendant of the Bundjalung and Kullilli peoples of far northern New South Wales and south-western Queensland.James O. Young is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Victoria in Canada. He specialises in philosophical issues related to the arts and has written several books including Cultural Appropriation of the Arts (2008). He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2015.~~~~You can be part of the discussion @PofCharity on Twitter, @PrincipleofCharity on Facebook and @PrincipleofCharityPodcast on Instagram.Your hosts are Lloyd Vogelman and Emile Sherman.Find Lloyd @LloydVogelman on Linked inFind Emile @EmileSherman on Linked In and Twitter.This Podcast is Produced by Jonah Primo and Bronwen ReidFind Jonah @JonahPrimomusic on Instagram.
3/28/2022

Liberalism vs Conservatism – Which Offers the Better Model for Society?

Season 1, Ep. 9
In this episode, we explore the two great movements of the political right - liberalism of the right and conservatism. They are such different political philosophies, yet they share the same bed, uneasily much of the time, in right wing politics.By liberalism, we mean the political philosophy that champions individual rights and freedoms, private property and equality before the law. It’s linked with the rise of democracies and of capitalism, replacing social structures defined by hereditary, class and gender privilege as well as the divine right of kings.Today, liberalism crosses over the left and the right of politics in most western countries. The left leaning or progressive liberals focus most heavily on the equality side, ensuring that people are not just treated equally under law but that the race itself is fair.Liberalism of the right however, the one we’re focused on in this episode, is much more concerned with individual freedoms, individual responsibility, property rights and equality before the law. It wants to ensure that, wherever you start the journey of life, you are given the opportunity to succeed based on your merit and ambition.The other great movement of the right, conservatism, is in one sense a stance, an attitude that is suspicious of change and asks us to proceed with caution, knowing that social order is easy to break and hard to build. But it’s also a political philosophy that values traditions, customs, a common moral code, authority, loyalty to community and country, focusing on duties rather than rights.The purpose of this episode is to explore these two great movements of the political right, which clash and crash into each other, competing for dominance, as we look at which one offers the best model for society.Our two guests are Tim Wilson MP and Gray Connolly.Tim Wilson is a Federal Liberal Member in the Australian Parliament and is Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics. He was formerly Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner. Tim is a strong advocate for protecting free speech and freedom of religion. His book The New Social Contract; Renewing the Liberal Vision for Australia, passionately champions liberal ideals of the right.Gray Connolly is a Barrister, lectures in Australian Constitutional Law, and has advised the Australian Government on national security matters. He is a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Australian Navy and has served on deployments all over the world. Gray is a passionate conservative and a frequent conservative panellist for ABC radio and television, as well as publishing articles in various journals.Both Tim and Gray sit firmly within the right rather than the Left of politics. But they advocate for very different models of society. Tim has said that conservatism offers little or nothing to young Australians. And Gray has dismissed liberalism as naïve. But they have great respect for each other in this fascinating conversation.~~You can be part of the discussion @PofCharity on Twitter, @PrincipleofCharity on Facebook and @PrincipleofCharityPodcast on Instagram.Your hosts are Lloyd Vogelman and Emile Sherman.Find Lloyd @LloydVogelman on Linked inFind Emile @EmileSherman on Linked In and Twitter.This Podcast is Produced by Jonah Primo and Bronwen ReidFind Jonah @JonahPrimomusic on Instagram.
3/14/2022

Should Societies allow Voluntary Euthanasia (aka Voluntary Assisted Dying)?

Season 1, Ep. 8
What do we do, as a society, with people who want to die? We’re talking here about those with a terminal illness, who know that the rest of their waking hours will be filled with much pain, and who want to choose when and how to end it.Do we have the right to end our life on our terms, or is life so precious that even we can’t extinguish it? And if we do open the door, what are the potential pitfalls? Could it be used against the vulnerable, manipulating those who feel like a burden? And are there other slippery slopes to be wary of which may open the door too wide? What's the most compassionate thing to do, and how does all of this feed into the medical professions’ duty of care?There’s a lot at stake with legislation going through parliament in countries all around the world.To help us through, we have award-winning writer, performer, and producer Andrew Denton. Andrew has devoted this stage of his career advocating for Voluntary Assisted Dying through his organisation Go Gentle Australia. His two podcast series Better Off Dead have helped inform the debate around end-of-life choices.We also have Bernadette Tobin, a passionate advocate against voluntary euthanasia. Bernadette is director of the Plunkett Centre for Ethics at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, and Reader in Philosophy at Australian Catholic University. Bernadette has Honorary Appointments in the Medical Faculties of both the University of New South Wales (via the Clinical School at St Vincent’s) and the University of Sydney (via the Clinical School at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead). She is a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. ~~You can be part of the discussion @PofCharity on Twitter, @PrincipleofCharity on Facebook and @PrincipleofCharityPodcast on Instagram.Your hosts are Lloyd Vogelman and Emile Sherman.Find Lloyd @LloydVogelman on Linked inFind Emile @EmileSherman on Linked In and Twitter.This Podcast is Produced by Jonah Primo and Bronwen ReidFind Jonah @JonahPrimomusic on Instagram.
2/28/2022

Spotlight on Principle of Charity with Tim Minchin

Season 1, Ep. 7
Why is it so important to understand other points of view? How do we escape our own bubbles of bias? And when should we stop listening and focus on winning?In this special episode, we shine a light on the ‘Principle of Charity’ itself. We look at what exactly it is and why it’s so important. We then go one layer deeper and ask when it might be problematic or unhelpful to use it.To do all of this, we have the fabulous Tim Minchin.Tim is a renowned musician, comedian, composer, actor and writer. He’s best known for his extraordinarily clever and memorable songs, as well as his work as composer and lyricist of two hit West End and Broadway musicals, Matilda and Groundhog Day, both of which won the Olivier Award for Best West End Musical and garnered Tony Award nominations.Tim is passionate about the need to have more respectful conversations and is an advocate for science and reason. He created the poem, book and animation Storm that brilliantly dramatises the philosophy of science.Most importantly, he came up with the name for our podcast.~~You can be part of the discussion @PofCharity on Twitter, @PrincipleofCharity on Facebook and @PrincipleofCharityPodcast on Instagram.Your hosts are Lloyd Vogelman and Emile Sherman.Find Lloyd @LloydVogelman on Linked inFind Emile @EmileSherman on Linked In and Twitter.This Podcast is Produced by Jonah Primo and Bronwen ReidFind Jonah @JonahPrimomusic on Instagram.
7/26/2021

Will the Rise of AI Result in a World of Low Employment. And if so, is that a Good Thing?

Season 1, Ep. 5
We first touch on the perennial question, whether technological disruption, this time in the form of AI, will ultimately eat our jobs so entirely that there’s no paid work left for us to do.We then take this prospect seriously enough to ask - will that in fact be a good thing?Is paid employment the cornerstone for the good life; rich with purpose, meaning, providing us the reward for our efforts, keeping us out of mischief, and holding society together?OR, is work, in fact, the pain we go through to have leisure. And freed from work,would we be able to find a greater sense of flourishing, as we use our time for family, community, pursuing interests, or just having fun.We have one of Australia’s leading public policy thinkers, John Daley, former CEO of the Grattan Institute, to console us that neither jobs nor the role of paid work, will be going anywhere, anytime. And philosopher Simon Longstaff, executive director of The Ethics Centre, who holds the contrary view, urging us to rethink the role and importance of paid work.You can be part of the discussion @PofCharity on Twitter, @PrincipleofCharity on Facebook and @PrincipleofCharityPodcast on Instagram.Your hosts are Lloyd Vogelman and Emile Sherman.Find Lloyd @LloydVogelman on Linked inFind Emile @EmileSherman on Linked In and Twitter.This Podcast is Produced by Jonah PrimoFind Jonah @JonahPrimo on Instagram.