Category Archives: Philosophy

On Visiting Myopia


This week on Facebook: I thought the quote that Freedom meant freedom from material want  too difficult to answer although I did try, but notions of freedom and material wants come with such a variance that any general answer would be virtually impossible and any specific answer dependant on how the quote was interpreted. This became apparent from an interesting exchange that developed between Colin and Scott in response to my published article on Monday. Read more of this post

In Praise of Forgetting


This week on Facebook: I was going to use an article on David Rieff’s book/essay In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies in my post on forgetfulness but decided against its inclusion. What I did find interesting though were the reviews of Rieff’s short work received (it is clearly an essay rather than a book). There is — to my mind — a significance in the references to historic memories that the authors selectively chose to include in their reviews and in those that they did not mention. Particularly the impact that their education had in fostering historical memory and the contemporary ironies it creates. Read more of this post

Freedom of Expression and Democracy


In 2008 Sir Ken Macdonald, QC, the then Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) gave a speech on Free Expression and the Rule of Law  at the Birmingham Law School. The DPP remarking that:

“An opinion, in and of itself, cannot be criminal. Ever. Just as the law should not attack thought, it should also be slow to proscribe speech or expression simply because it is capable of causing offence. If you want to be able to say things that others don’t like or find challenging, you need to be willing to hear things that you don’t like”.

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Easter Week 2016


This week on Facebook is Easter week, arriving early this year by beginning on Easter Sunday March the 27th last, this being the earliest date it can arrive on until 2035. An act of Parliament passed in 1928 allowed for Easter Sunday to be fixed and in 1990 the Vatican approved a proposal for a fixed date. Something that is yet to be achieved for this most important Christian festival, above all others a time of Christian forgiveness, following as it does those — now rare — traditions of fasting, prayer, and contemplations over Lent. Read more of this post

Justice Scalia Meets T.E. Utley


This week on Facebook I posted six abstracts taken from a 1968  paper by T. E. Utley with the title What Laws May Cure. Some Eighteen years later, in 1986, Justice Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court of The United States. Both men held morality central to their tenet and were both pragmatic conservatives, but whereas the former was concerned with politics formulating the law, the latter was concerned with the law dispensing justice. Discovering Justice Scalia’s views on morality and the law seems an apt moment to reintroduce the views of T.E. Utley¹.

Laws may be capable of doing little good, but we have learnt that they are powerful engines of evil, of consequences which their authors never intended or foresaw but which press hardly and deeply into the lives of ordinary people. T. E. Utley – What Laws May Cure Read more of this post

Conclusion


One of the most important tasks of the wise legislator in the field of morality is to do away with unnecessary restrictions which merely discredit authority. T.E. Utley – What Laws May Cure

In the end, it is not government which supplies the content of morals or even plays the main part in conveying them from one generation to the next. In Western civilisation it is the function of the family. How to strengthen that institution by emphasising instead of persistently diminishing its responsibilities is one of the main questions now facing us. Though it is much too large to be debated here, one aspect of this question must be briefly mentioned. Read more of this post

Issues Of Principle


The one fact which surely does emerge clearly is that legislation about morals, which so often raises passionate controversy, is peculiarly unsuitable for the attentions of either confirmed, profes­sional ‘reactionaries’ or confirmed, undiscriminating ‘progressives’. T.E. Utley – What Laws May Cure

We could, I am convinced, have spared ourselves a good deal of emotion and reached, on various matters, much sounder conclusions had this truth been recognised. Read more of this post

Liberty And Law


To an extent which is not generally realised, current controversy on the whole question of the relationship between legislation and moral­ity is still dominated by the thinking of John Stuart Mill a nineteenth century liberal intellectual. T. E. Utley – What Laws May Cure

Since liberty was a good to be preserved, it followed that self-regarding actions were wholly outside the proper sphere of the State. A man’s liberty could only reasonably be curtailed in order to protect the liberty of others. It could never be right to coerce him for his own good. Could it really be assumed utterly wrong in all circumstances to restrain a man’s actions for the sake of safe-guarding his own interests? Read more of this post

The Conservative Dilemma


The notion that, if the function of the State is not precisely to make men good, then at least it is to establish the conditions in which they will be helped to be good and to present them constantly with a pattern of what constitutes good living, is far from wholly extinct. T. E. Utley – What Laws May Cure

Today, it receives expression in such maxims as society being held together by a common moral tradition which the law must express and maintain. How can the laws be obeyed if they are not loved, and how can they be loved if they flout or even fail to assert the deepest moral convictions of the people? Burke’s admonition to Government was that it must tolerate frailties until they have festered into crimes. How can a party which is so deeply concerned with the dangers of State interference in economic affairs look with favour on the intrusions of government into far more intimate sectors of life? Read more of this post

A New Examination Of Morals And The Law


Author’s Note

I had never heard of T.E. Utley until some years ago when I became acquainted with his son on the now defunct My Telegraph (MyT) blog site. I have now been acquainted with Charles Utley for some time and it was remarks made by Charles on MyT regarding his father that prompted me to get a copy of his father’s paper What Laws May Cure.  Written in 1968 it may be seen as irrelevant today but over the intervening years I have tried to condense it into a form suitable for a blog, intending to show its relevance but, to my mind, with limited success. I suspect T.E.Utley’s paper lies in the archive — lost — as it would have been to me and if found only of interest to old men like me who, in their dotage, contemplate on such things.


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Bleda

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The Bulletin

This site was created for members and friends of My Telegraph blog site, but anyone is welcome to comment, and thereafter apply to become an author.

TCWG Short Stories

Join our monthly competition and share story ideas...

The Real Economy

Hello, I’m Ed Conway, Economics Editor of Sky News, and this is my website. Blogposts, stuff about my books and a little bit of music

Public Law for Everyone

Professor Mark Elliott

Bleda

Am I my Brothers keeper?

An Anthology of Short Stories

Selected by other writers

davidgoodwin935

The Short Stories of David Goodwin (Capucin)

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