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British Jews, right and left

I was interviewed for an interesting and thoughtful BBC Radio Four programme about the changing political allegiances of British Jews, presented by Jo Coburn. It contains some poignant personal reminiscences, fascinating historical and political nuggets and no small anguish at how this tiny community’s ingrained nervousness as the target of bigotry has now soared once again to a high level. You can listen to the programme here.

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Can robots ever be moral?

On BBC Radio’s Moral Maze, my colleagues Michael Portillo, Matthew Taylor, Mona Siddiqui and I went head to head with our guests and each other over artificial intelligence. Can robots become capable of moral reasoning? Can machines ever replicate human beings? What is the essential difference between mankind and machines? You can listen to the broadcast here.

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The sex-pest tsunami and moral progress

On BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze, my colleagues and I took a broader approach to the sex-pest tsunami by asking whether our society had become more or less moral. Is the current torrent of allegations of sexual misbehaviour an ethical advance or a descent into bullying and injustice? Are moral values fixed, or do they adapt as cultures change and develop? Is the notion that moral progress is both inevitable and good a statement of the obvious or an ideological delusion? You can listen to the whole show here.

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Complicity with a sexual predator

On BBC Radio Four’s Moral Maze, my colleagues and I discussed the scandal around the alleged predatory sexual misbehaviour of the film mogul Harvey Weinstein. Were those who knew in any way complicit themselves? Do more people need to blow the whistle about such behaviour or are we in danger of becoming an oppressive society of tale-telling, distrust and mutual suspicion? You can listen to a recording of the programme here.

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Religious tolerance or illiberal liberalism?

Should Britain’s faith schools segregate boys and girls for teaching and activities within the school? How far should a liberal society tolerate intolerant religious beliefs in the school system? Should faith schools receive any public funding at all? My fellow panellists and I discussed this last night on BBC Radio’s The Moral Maze. You can listen to it here.

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Treating a very sick child – who decides?

In the tragic case of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard, a legal battle is being fought over his parents’ wish to take him to the US for experimental treatment against the advice of Great Ormond Street hospital that this would merely add to his suffering. On BBC Radio’s Moral Maze last night, my fellow-panellists and I discussed who should have the last word over what happens to a child: parents, doctors or the courts. You can listen to the show here.

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