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Letters to the Editor

From time to time, a commentary on the world will bubble up inside of me to the extent that I'm forced to write a letter to my local, metropolitan, daily newspaper, The Age. This is where I blow of some steam. Feel like venting too? Add your own comment or visit my homepage.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Tortured Scholarship

Let's be clear: Professor Bagaric's research about limited torture warrants is not party policy. Nor is it a High Court ruling. He is an academic exploring one of society's strongest taboos through analysis and debate.

When a taboo is challenged like this, we need to rise above simple-minded reactions ("it's just barbaric!"), dubious slippery-slope arguments and shoot-the-messenger (and institution) tactics. Instead, it's an opportunity to reflect on our values and arrive at a clearer view of ourselves.

Whether it's gay marriage, IVF or euthanasia, scholars must be free to undertake serious inquiry into taboos without being misrepresented, publicly scorned and subjected to vitriolic attacks.

Perhaps this can't be done through the opinion pages of a newspaper - even a broadsheet.



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