The Minefield - Separate stories podcast

The Minefield - Separate stories podcast


The whole program cut up into separate stories - allows easy skipping from one story to the next so you can pick and choose.


Is the age of positive politics over?  

In modern democracies, the people are more interested in registering their discontent than giving politicians a clear mandate. Are we now living in an age of negative politics?

Self-immolation: why is it happening and what is the moral response?  

From Vietnam to Tunisia and Tibet, self-immolation has been used as a means of political protest. Now it is also occurring at the Nauru detention centre.  But will the shock of these events translate to action?  Or have we simply accepted the human collateral of Australia’s official policy of deterrence?

Has free speech had its day?  

The idea that the public 'contest of ideas’ kills off the worst, and allows the best, the most rational, to survive is not working, so is public debate doing more harm than good?

Can we only venerate Muhammad Ali by forgetting who he was?  

Over the past three decades, Muhammad Ali has been sanitized and rendered acceptable for wider public consumption.

Is it possible to be an ethical consumer?  

The 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factories in Bangladesh revealed the human cost behind the cheap clothes we buy. But what explains the disparity between ethical convictions and consumer choice?

What are the media’s moral responsibilities in an age of ‘fake news’?  

Is the media having a corrosive effect on our democratic culture?

Does protest have any point anymore?  

Can protest today represent anything more than the venting of emotion and raw discontent? Can it still achieve change?

Can we learn to live with disability?  

While we are obliged to extend a certain dignity to those who live with a disability, we would prefer that they did not exist to begin with.

What is concealed by 'telling it like it is'?  

Far from being an overt form of public speech, 'straight talking' most often conceals a base appeal to prejudice.

What is concealed by ‘telling it like it is’?  

Far from being an overt form of public speech, “straight talking” most often conceals a base appeal to prejudice.

Does Trump’s victory signal an epistemological crisis?  

In our sophisticated, data-driven times, have we forgotten that there are other ways of knowing?

What is the meaning of ‘Trump’?  

The United States became a different nation on 8 November, with the election of Donald Trump, than it was the day before.

Will “Trumpism” lose the electoral battle, but win the political war? The lesson of 1964  

Unless we pay attention of the conditions in which “Trumpism” was cultivated, Trump’s almost certain defeat may be just the beginning.

Is inequality primarily an economic problem?  

Is it right to think about inequality as an economic problem or should we think about it as a moral problem?

Bob Dylan: Should Artists Win Awards?  

The debate ignited by Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize can remind us of the proper uses of art. Is it okay to rank art?

Does ethics belong in schools?  

The often fractious and fiercely contested debate over whether some form of ethical instruction ought to replace religious education in public schools has overshadowed what is, in many respects, a more pressing question: Does ethical instruction belong in schools to begin with?

What is the role of joy in the moral life?  

Joy is a much richer emotion than we often think. It deserves more attention than the debauched ‘happiness industry'.

Does sport have any moral value?  

Could it be that whatever sense of moral value sport possesses, it’s bound up with the bodily limits, the autonomy and the moral agency of the individual athlete?

What obligations do we have to ‘moral monsters’?  

Is the proper response to those who deny the full humanity of other ethnic or religious groups to dehumanize them in return?

Lionel Shriver and the Moral Limits of Fiction  

Can novelists inhabit the experiences of others? Or, perhaps more pointedly: Should they?

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