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Agony

Agony

Agony

Our beloved Agony Aunts and Uncles return in a new six-part series covering a diverse range of topics that will get you thinking, keep you wondering and make you laugh. Over the past three years, the Agony Aunts and Uncles have discussed love, life, manners, Christmas and the mind. It's been funny, emotional and heartwarming. But now it's time to take aim at society's most sensitive topics. From flirting Vs sexual harassment, to science Vs God, privacy Vs security, the bikini Vs the burka, private schools Vs state to cosmetic surgery Vs growing old gracefully- this series is a war of ideas featuring some of Australia's most entertaining controversialists including; Lawrence Mooney, Celia Pacquola, John and Tom Elliott, Steve Vizard, Kate Langbroek, Joe Hildebrand and Amanda Vanstone.

The Agony Of The Body

On the Gold Coast Muslim men patrol the beaches telling women in bikinis to cover up. Whereas, on many Australian streets, burka-wearing women are shouted at by sneering Anglos, "What have you got to hide?" To some, the bikini is a symbol of liberation, while others say the Burka liberates you from evaluative eyes and negative appraisals. When it comes to bikinis and burkas, how much is it about comfort, and how much is it about appealing to the patriarchy? Is one more immoral than the other? Should either be banned? And to what extent should it be left to the individual?

The Agony Of God

Three out of five scientists do not believe in God, saying that religion actively subverts science and saps the intellect. And for years religion felt the same way about science - most famously when Galileo faced the inquisition and was forced to retract his "heretic" theory that the Earth revolved around the sun. But lately Pope Francis has gone some way to bring the two camps together by declaring that the theory of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not "a magician with a magic wand". Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with the existence of a creator - arguing instead that they require it. But is this enough to convince atheists, or is it just a rationalization?

The Agony Of Secrets

A few months ago there was a plot foiled to kidnap a random person from Sydney's Martin Place and film their public beheading. It's difficult to oppose increased surveillance powers when you think that it could have been the decapitated body of someone you love lying in the street. When you look at it this way, the proposed metadata laws seem quite reasonable. But intelligence agencies in Australia and around the world have a disturbing habit of overstepping the bounds. It's a slippery slope and the hunt for terrorists can easily become the hunt for whistleblowers or anyone else who offends the government of the day. The real issue with metadata isn't privacy, it's the potential for governments and secretive intelligence agencies to abuse their power. Where is the line between keeping citizens safe and a 2014, electronic version of the Stasi?

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