refugee medical review panel

Crikey readers were asked what “slippery slope” fallacy they’ve seen employed by churches, in Australia and elsewhere, who are arguing against the granting of certain rights to fellow citizens — they answered in force. Meanwhile, there was the expected debate prompted by Bernard Keane on how Scott Morrison is, for better or worse, a prime minister particularly reflecting of modern Australia, plus some feedback on Helen Razer’s new column, For Your Information.

On churches’ “slippery slope” arguments

Sally Goldner writes: For years there has been fearmongering from religious groups about dangers to women in toilets if laws or practices are introduced affirming trans and gender diverse (TGD) people’s identities. This thought has been blurted out even though parts of Australia has had laws for over a third of a century supporting TGD people and such crime has never increased. Not that it was needed, but research from the USA now proves what we knew. Interesting to note bodies like the ACL show so much concern for women’s equality — except when it comes to women being religious officials.

Graham writes: I’m not sure how you failed to include assisted dying/euthanasia in this list. The slippery slope argument is the principal argument of the religious right. Usually, they use Belgium or the Netherlands as examples, even though they are false, to argue that they will start with the terminally ill and move on to killing the disabled and elderly (and, of course, ultimately, children).

Karey writes: It might be a slippery-slope argument, but in practice, the more the religious right demand protection for continuing to be able to discriminate against employees and students, the more they draw attention to, and help build: 1) public opposition to continued public funding of religious schools whose values are at odds with public sentiment; and 2) opposition to these extremist religious organisations having continued access to students in public state schools.

On Morrison, the PM Australia deserves

lloydois writes: Right on cue to confirm our worst fears Morrison pops up with “the video to Mick Fanning’s mum”. G’day mate, fair dinkum and the baseball hat all get a run in an excruciating 24 second rant. He’s making Tony Abbott look magisterial in comparison.

Reverend Owen writes: Terrific analysis. But sad for two reasons: it’s so obvious to us, but the majority seem blind to the venal moronic hypocrisy that powers the ship of state. Second, and worse, is that those virtues you mentioned, along with the increasingly rich social and intellectual complexity of this extraordinary country, get so little representation, not in Parliament nor media. Morrison is the perfect rep for parliament, media and the other horrors you list. But that is just to say he doesn’t represent the country at all, thank God.

On Helen Razer’s new column, For Your Information

Richard Barnes writes: Given HR’s known strong antipathy towards UBI, I reckon she has given us a dispassionate overview, with clear canvassing of the pros and cons, and useful links. My own natural inclination is towards the Leftist UBI, i.e use more progressive income tax plus annual wealth tax, death duties, strong taxation of multinationals, and no more expenditure on defence, in order to massively boost revenue and thus be able to give a “living wage” to all. Radical revision of the tax system would both make UBI affordable and prevent it simply being a new way to siphon wealth to the wealthy.

Of course, this won’t be accepted by the right, as HR says. But then nor will any other radical restructuring of society. In which case we should not bother talking and trying, and just await the revolution. Most likely, of course, is that in my kids’ lifetime, massive climate change will make previous revolutions look trivial.

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