Simon Duffy

Thoughts, Bemusements & Arguments

Simon Duffy

Thoughts, Bemusements & Arguments

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What's Wrong with Welfare Dependency?

25th October 2012

Modern societies have developed welfare systems. Their purpose is to create systems of mutual assistance that enable people to avoid toxic dependency on others and to replace it with a healthy welfare dependency.

Our Gifts Are Just Loans

22nd October 2012

If I accept that what I might take to me mine was in fact given to me, then I realise I can only use it by also giving it away. I cannot hold on to anything and I cannot look within me to find more.

Telling Truth and Fighting Slander

21st October 2012

When do we tell the truth? How do we fight slander? How do we speak truth to power?

The Star Within Us

20th October 2012

A Christmas poem by Joseph Brodsky

Internal Institutions

1st October 2012

What are the institutional patterns of thought which dominate our minds from within?

The Difference Between Prison and Institutions

6th September 2012

Institutions are far worse than prisons and yet we have not weaned ourselves from using them to exclude and abuse people. We've not made people aware of how unnecessary this all is.

Action is the Pointer of the Balance

4th September 2012

We must be careful how we try to change and influence each other. Superficial changes in language can create cynicism and undo the possibility of genuine change.

The Absurdity of Injustice

The Absurdity of Injustice

30th August 2012

"the optimist sees injustice as something discordant and unexpected, and it stings him into action. The pessimist can be enraged at wrong; but only the optimist can be surprised at it"

Life is a Gift

29th August 2012

A Christmas poem by Joseph Brodsky

Why We Create Jargon

31st July 2012

Language lets us feel we have connected. Yet we are not always sure and so we invent jargons, idiolects, little groups in which we can feel assured of membership. Yet even this reassurance can feel hollow.

Bureaucracy and Evil

27th July 2012

Evil can grow in many places - but the bureau - the office where no one rules - is particularly prone to create unfeeling harms.

You Can't Overcome Ethics

8th July 2012

We must never lose a sense of our own individual moral responsibility - if we do we stop being human.

The Paradoxical Commandments

7th July 2012

Kent M. Keith & The Roches offer some wise advice on setting sail in this troublesome and paradoxical world.

We are Contradictions

3rd July 2012

A quote from Simone Weil

Two Kinds of Collaboration

2nd July 2012

We can understand why some had to collaborate with the totalitarian regime. But why did so many others join in who had nothing to fear?

Every Statement

1st July 2012

An aphorism

Freedom - It Should Include Everything

18th June 2012

Why - when we are rich beyond the dreams of any earlier generation - are we not free?

The Poor Cannot Afford the Generosity of the Powerful

4th June 2012

Halldor Laxness teaches us that the poor rarely benefit from the generosity of the rich - which is mostly wasted on themselves.

Granny's Meat & Potato Pie

Granny's Meat & Potato Pie

1st June 2012

My Granny's meat and potato pie recipe... heaven on a plate.

Having Fun or Doing Our Duty

19th May 2012

It can be our duty to have some fun suggest CS Lewis and Kant.

Revenge Begets Revenge

14th May 2012

Aeschylus on the limits of justice.

The Eight Degrees of Charity

The Eight Degrees of Charity

10th May 2012

Maimonides offers one of the most important accounts of how we reconcile charity and justice in practice.

Death Comes Softly Shod

7th May 2012

The poem Euthanasia by Elizabeth Jennings imagines life after assisted dying becomes normal.

The Atheist and God

6th May 2012

An aphorism