Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Consumer Innocence

What an astute man Edmund King is. King, executive director of the RAC, has slammed the Bishop of London because the Bishop said that buying SUVs and the like are "a symptom of sin."
Pointing out that "sin is not just a restricted list of moral mistakes," the Bishop linked the purchase of large cars of symptomatic of people "living a life turned in on itself where [they] ignore the consequences of their actions."

But this is too much for King who wonderfully replied that the purchase of cars is a "practical," and therefore not a "moral decision." Seriously. He also suggested that the Church "should stick to what they know best." Yup - if there's one thing that 2000 years of moral thought has not been about its morality.

What I love the most is the idea that there is some sort of distinction between 'practical' and 'moral' decisions. What in hell does this mean? I thought morality was all about how we act and how we decide to do things. If I make a decision, say, that's all about reaping benefits to the direct detriment of specific others in society, then - according to anyone I know except the bold Mr. King - my decision has some sort of moral impact.

Still, all in a day's work for the RAC. In the US at least, for every extra driver who saves themselves in an accident by virtue of their having bought an SUV, four others die. There is also some preliminary evidence from Europe (where the SUV-consumer demographic might be different) that SUV drivers are more aggressive than those in other cars. In other words, they are more likely to drive, presumably safe in the knowledge that they won't pay the price of their behaviour. Of course, this fact is entirely independent of moral questions.

Is that the smell of bullshit from King's exhaust?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Fertig Sein

Left Field

Is it just me or are Kevin Breathnach's posts getting, well, longer? Where's a man supposed to get all that reading time?!


OK. Still in office. Who said boffins get the Summer off??? Oh to be in the sea!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Blue-Sky. Thinking?

Well, the Summer certainly looks lovely from my office window...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Snow and Taxes

By way of an update to this post, and the subsequent debate on Internet Commentator, over whether the US taxation authorities consider Antarctica to be a foreign country, Frank McMahon and I received an email from the place itself clarifying the matter. The full text is over on Internet Commentator.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


And here's a cool photo for the day that's in it. Go and see the Royal Hospital now before it becomes a banal building site.


I don't know what you think, but I like Barry Flanagan's sculptures on O'Connell Street. They make a most pleasant change from the Sacred Heart (though this is a snap from up at the Royal Hospital)...