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ACU launches new ethics resource for global community

December 2021

Where would you go to find out what the Catholic Church teaches about life issues? Or love? Or politics, ethics, philosophy, or culture? Where would you start as a teacher, student, scholar, commentator, journalist, just trying to think through the debates around these matters?

Perhaps, by working through a library, or scouring the net. Now there is a better answer, one that combines the range of the former with the accessibility of the latter: EthicsFinder.

Created by Australian Catholic University (ACU) and being unveiled by ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Zlatko Skrbis on 9 November 2021, EthicsFinder is a continually updated, expertly curated search engine database, providing a one-stop shop for ethics inquiry.  

Among those who have endorsed the new resource are Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and Australia’s former Papal Nuncio Archbishop Paul Gallagher, as well as ACU staff, researchers and students.
  
“We’ve created a research and study resource by combining the highly practical concept of a search engine with the wealth of ideas articulated in ethics, and especially Catholic ethics,” said Professor of Philosophy of Education at ACU and Chair of the EthicsFinder Advisory Board, Professor John Haldane. “EthicsFinder will make the great trove of the Catholic intellectual tradition accessible to everybody, Catholic or otherwise.”

EthicsFinder is a highly innovative resource which uses sophisticated search capabilities and simple functionality to provide a user-friendly, rigorously curated search-engine database connecting users with extensive resources on ethics, life, love, politics, philosophy, and culture.   

The database introduces topics with a short description providing historical background and conceptual analysis, and gathers and displays thousands of links to existing high-quality articles, books and videos, providing a comprehensive and continually updated resource.

It also arranges and collates Church teaching by topic and magisterial authority, offering users a unique and accessible way to navigate the vast teaching of the Catholic Church.  

EthicsFinder has been expertly curated to ensure users are navigating seminal topics and rigorous perspectives. 

The search engine is neither a catechism nor an echo chamber for Catholic thought. Users can also filter search results to display reputable, reason-based critiques of Catholic approaches where these have received widespread, sustained or recent criticism. 

For some people, EthicsFinder will be the first access point for discovering important Catholic thinkers such as Augustine, Aquinas, Edith Stein and Alasdair MacIntyre; for others, it will open up Catholic ethics ideas such as double-effect, just war, subsidiarity; yet others will go to EthicsFinder as a source of Church teaching or for a sense of the debate around Catholic and similar ethics ideas.

“EthicsFinder will enable a fuller understanding of Catholic intellectual perspectives and the ways in which they have both engaged and prompted social and moral debates,” said Professor Haldane. “It will also help users distinguish the myths and misunderstandings from the reality, and ensure both scholars and casual users have access to important sources of Catholic ethics.

“This has been an enormous and incredibly worthwhile project. All curated resources have gone through a rigorous peer review process involving a global network of over 80 leading philosophers, theologians and specialists from more than 50 universities and institutions. This makes EthicsFinder one of the most diverse, collaborative and innovative digital educational projects in the Catholic global landscape.” 

EthicsFinder is at: www.ethicsfinder.com

Professor John Haldane is available for interview. For more information including endorsements that can be quoted by media, please view the official launch video.