BBC Radio Ulster

Everyday Ethics

Everyday Ethics


Provocative weekly debate on moral, religious and ethical issues. From BBC Radio Ulster



What does it mean to be good?

May 12, 2019 1396


What does it mean to live a good life today? Is it possible in the modern world?

Paying the price to be a pensioner in the 21st century

May 5, 2019 1637


As life expectancy continues to grow, the cost to the state of an older population is increasingly occupying the minds of politicians. Are we living too long for our own good?

Searching for Leaders

Apr 28, 2019 1602


Who has responsibility to create a society of hope?

The Amritsar Massacre 100 years On

Apr 21, 2019 767


A century on, Mihir Bose reflects on the massacre in Amritsar

Rev Prof Laurence Kirkpatrick

Apr 14, 2019 1007


Rev Prof Laurence Kirkpatrick on why he was sacked from Union Theological College Belfast

The Ordinariness of Addiction

Apr 7, 2019 2199


What makes us addicts? Is it genetic or is addiction caused by life's experiences?

Do OAPs Have Total Autonomy Over Their Lives?

Mar 31, 2019 1557


From Silver Splitters looking for new love to sexual relations in care homes - does society try to police the morals of the older generation?

Assisted Dying

Mar 24, 2019 920


Is the medical world slowly but surely evolving towards supporting a change to the law?

Should Life Mean Life?

Mar 17, 2019 1625


Should life mean life for those convicted of the most heinous crimes or does every prisoner deserve a second chance? Presenter Will Leitch in conversation with criminology expert Dr Jonny Byrne, the economist and commentator Dr Esmond Birnie and the commentator and Magistrate Patricia MacBride.

Derry Girls and degrees of religious difference - myth or reality?

Mar 10, 2019 1463


Do Catholics and Protestants really think and feel differently about everyday life? This week brought the return of Derry Girls to our TV screens and with it the immortal lines "Protestants don't like Abba" and 'Catholics love statues" - among many other laugh out loud possibly true or false observations. Perhaps the fact that so many people did laugh meant the writer was on to something! Could it be that there's many a true thing said in jest? Do we need to recognise difference, maybe even celebrate it?

Time to Go

Mar 3, 2019 742


When Guy Kennaway's 88-year-old mum, Susie, asked him to buy her heroin to end her life it sparked a conversation between mother and son, who did not always have an easy relationship.

Organ Donation - A Moral Imperative?

Feb 24, 2019 2046


Is it immoral not to be an organ donor? Also, Sara Cook on women mediators.

Doomed from the start?

Feb 17, 2019 1139


Sir Harry Burns on how childhood traumas can affect us from cradle to grave

Unconscious Bias

Feb 10, 2019 1840


Is it healthier to acknowledge our biases rather than pretend they don't exist?

Normal today, embarrassing tomorrow?

Feb 3, 2019 1667


How will the values of 2019 be perceived in 2100?

The Ethics of Eating

Jan 13, 2019 1590


Should we give up eating and wearing animal products and become vegan?

The Churches and the challenges they face in 2019

Jan 6, 2019 1582


The challenges facing the four main Churches in N. Ireland in 2019

Once a Year Christians?

Dec 30, 2018 1467


What can be done to attract more people to church once the Christmas rush is over?

A Crisis of Care?

Dec 23, 2018 2605


After abuse revelations at Muckamore and Dunmurry care homes, have we failed the most vulnerable people in our society?

Medical Ethics and, Shakespeare - a closet Catholic?

Dec 16, 2018 2238


Should we put aside ethics to seek medical breakthroughs? Also, was Shakespeare a rebel?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70

Dec 9, 2018 2230


70 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - what are rights in 2018?

A Waste of Space?

Dec 2, 2018 2220


Is space exploration essential or would the cash be better spent fixing earth's problems?

Is Cash King for Aid?

Nov 25, 2018 2293


Is cash the best medicine for Africa's ills? A fascinating experiment into how effective different types of aid programmes actually are. And touching the skies and maybe heaven too - Van Morrison's Astral Weeks is fifty years old, this week.

Making Friends of Enemies

Nov 18, 2018 1593


How life as a Christian minister can lead to some unlikely friendships

How the Great War shaped our World

Nov 11, 2018 2256


How does the First World War continue to shape our idea of our past, present and future?

Time to celebrate peace?

Nov 4, 2018 1406


Why is peace in N.I. not celebrated more? Is it because we're still not at peace with ourselves and our neighbours?

Woman of the 20th Century

Oct 28, 2018 982


The forgotten women of the twentieth Century - forgotten no more.

Ethics of Benefits

Oct 21, 2018 1554


Do benefits work or do they keep people in poverty?

Prison in the 21st Century: Is it fit for purpose?

Oct 14, 2018 1583


Breidge Gadd, Ed Tullett and Prof Phil Scraton discuss prison in the 21st century

The Problem or the Solution?

Oct 7, 2018 1621


When it comes to sectarianism, are churches part of the problem or part of the solution?

Politics and Faith

Sep 30, 2018 1617


Can a Christian politician stay true to their beliefs?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Sep 23, 2018 1589


Will the rise in robotics and A.I. lead to a fourth industrial revolution?

Professor John Brewer

Sep 16, 2018 913


How victims and survivors of political conflicts can make a vital contribution to peace

Giving Little While Expecting a Lot

Sep 9, 2018 1420


As Church collections shrivel, do we expect too much from them for life's big events?

The Ethics of Aid for Trade

Sep 2, 2018 2320


Our panel discuss the interactions between foreign trade and foreign aid.

The Papal Visit to Ireland

Aug 26, 2018 1978


Our panel discuss the future of the Church as Pope Francis visits Ireland

The Way We Were

Aug 19, 2018 1503


How far has society changed since the last Papal visit 40 years ago?

The Year the World Went on Fire

Aug 12, 2018 1617


Are we losing the fight against global warming?

Work in Ministry

Aug 5, 2018 1984


How can churches attract people to work in ministry. Also, Keith Getty on music and faith

Sister Helen Prejean

Jul 29, 2018 2090


Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, on her experiences on Death Row

Gene Editing

Jul 22, 2018 2171


Would changing the DNA of a human embryo be the first step towards designer babies? Also, Philip Orr on his play "An Evening with Martin Luther".

Protecting The Environment

Jul 15, 2018 2158


Putting the world to rights - is heaven only for those who protect the environment? And from disgraced politician to prison chaplain, the former Conservative Cabinet Minister Jonathan Aitken on becoming a deacon.

How Do We Measure Success?

Jul 8, 2018 2015


What constitutes success? Also, Brother Guy Consolmagno, The Pope's Astronomer

The NHS at 70

Jul 1, 2018 2517


Was the NHS the best achievement of the Welfare State? Also, Rev John Dunlop on the PCI

Fewer but Purer?

Jun 24, 2018 2102


Are churches losing congregations due to rigid interpretation of the Bible?

The Pope's Visit, IQ Levels and Richard Holloway

Jun 17, 2018 1804


The Pope's Ireland itinerary, falling IQ levels and Richard Holloway on uncertainty

Presbyterians and 'Love Island'

Jun 10, 2018 2389


The PCI rules on same sex couples in the church. Also, throw away relationships

Church Relevance and Guvna B

Jun 3, 2018 2507


Have Churches lost their relevance? Also, Christian rapper Guvna B

The Repeal Referendum - Is Ireland Changed Forever?

May 27, 2018 2611


After an intense two-month campaign and decades of controversy, Ireland voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment. What will its impact be on the people and here in Northern Ireland?


May 20, 2018 1548


After over 60 Palestinians are killed in one day, where could a Gaza peace process begin?

Mental Health and Assisted Dying

May 13, 2018 2352


Churches and mental health and Guernsey's upcoming vote over assisted dying

Marriage & Children, Karl Marx and Rend Collective

May 6, 2018 2784


Marx at 200, legal rights for children outside of marriage and Rend Collective

The Stress of Social Media, and the Legacy of the Tuam Babies

Apr 29, 2018 2579


Minding your mental health- what role is social media playing? And It reads like a horror story- the bodies of nearly 800 babies dumped in a septic tank.

The End of Racism and Cuba after the Castros

Apr 22, 2018 2251


Will there ever be a society free of racism? Also, Cuba after 60 years of Castro rule

A New Cold War and The Power of Forgiveness

Apr 15, 2018 2441


Are we heading towards a new cold war? Also, Candice Mama on forgiveness.

Twenty Years on from the Good Friday Agreement

Apr 8, 2018 2449


How far is our society from being truly reconciled? If we lose our memories do we lose ourselves? And the great-great-great-grandson of Arthur Guinness on Truth, Freedom and his famous ancestry.

Sustaining the World

Apr 1, 2018 2009


Can we sustain the human race and the planet? Also, Fr Eamon Kelly on Easter in Jerusalem

The Age of Maturity

Mar 25, 2018 1354


When do you become an adult in today's world?

Justice, Russia and life as a Priest

Mar 18, 2018 1730


Judge Gregory Jackson on drug laws, Peter Hitchens on Russia and Fr Martin Magill on day to day life as a priest as scandal rocks the Catholic Church

Women in the Church, Steven Pinker and Mary Magdalene

Mar 11, 2018 2177


Are Women valued in the Catholic Church? Also, Steven Pinker says we have never had life so good and Helen Edmundson on writing the new movie about Mary Magdalene

Selfless Acts and Lionel Shriver

Mar 4, 2018 2155


Is there such a thing as a selfless act? Also, is 'call out' culture killing fiction?

Billy Graham and Extraordinary Brains

Feb 25, 2018 2538


An examination of the life of Billy Graham. Also, Helen Thomson on some strange brains.

Charitable Trust and Bishop Hervey

Feb 18, 2018 2078


After the Oxfam scandal, will the public lose trust? Also, the eccentric Bishop Hervey

Modern Slavery and The Seven Deadly Sins

Feb 11, 2018 2319


A discussion on modern slavery and, social media & The Seven Deadly Sins

In Work and in Poverty?

Dec 10, 2017 1807


Are more and more people who are working are doing without basic necessities?