Tolerance is an important virtue in a modern liberal democracy. This has been highlighted by the current brouhaha about ultra-Orthodox Jewish men refusing to sit next to women on planes.


Formerly, many societies shared common cultural and religious beliefs. Nowadays most societies are pluralist. The political culture of such democratic societies is marked by a diversity of opposing and irreconcilable religious, philosophical and moral disciplines. It is important to realise and accept that such views can be reasonably held.


Consequently there is a need to embrace often conflicting values. You...

April 24, 2015

The reform of the welfare state is going to require courage, intellectual honesty and a willingness to admit that cherished beliefs were wrong.

Politically, many of my friends are a little left of centre. I observe them having great difficulty coming to grips with the moral failures of the welfare state and its financial unsustainability. This is quite understandable. Their beliefs about social fairness are deeply held but seldom subjected to rational debate.

The following quote from Yuval Levin, Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Centre in Washington clearly articulates what is wro...

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