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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Chimps beat bishops in fairness test

Photo: Rex Features

 A report in today's Telegraph shows that a "sense of fairness" has been identified in man's closest relation, chimpanzees. Researchers used the Ultimatum Game to determine the human sense of fairness. "In the game, one individual needs to propose a reward division to another individual and then have that individual accept the proposition before both can obtain the rewards. Humans typically offer generous portions, such as 50 percent of the reward, to their partners - and that's exactly what we recorded in our study with chimpanzees."

Compare this result with the performance of the House of Bishops as they cowered against the feminist onslaught and surrendered decision making to WATCH. Once the women's movement had the scent of victory in their nostrils there was to be no acceptable provision for opponents, only false claims of generosity which were in direct contradiction to the assurances  of an honoured place in the church for those opposed to the ordination of women. When the vote was lost at Synod members of the House of Laity who demonstrated that they could pass the 'fairness' test were vilified for being unfair on the grounds that supporters were intended to win. - I have yet to hear an explanation of why a lengthy debate at considerable expense was necessary simply to rubber-stamp a foregone conclusion!

Previous efforts by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to safeguard the position of traditionalists were scuppered by an uncaring House of Clergy resulting in the loss of the Archbishops' amendments as summarised here. Regarded by the bishops as a fair compromise the amendments actually left the minority in a substantially worse position than the majority but that was not good enough for those who demanded equality through inequality; read here, here and here. Greed ultimately was their downfall. Had the Archbishop's amendments been accepted the process of establishing women bishops in the Church of England would now be well on its the way. Instead of examining their consciences there has been further talk of punishing the oppressed by removing any semblance of consideration, a long way from the human sense of fairness where "humans typically offer generous portions, such as 50 percent of the reward, to their partners". In the Church of England, what was given with one hand has been taken with the other in a winner takes all approach which suggests that chimps beat bishops hands down when it comes to fairness

But fairness can still prevail. If both sides were allowed an equal stake in their church as originally implied neither side could blame the other for their own failure. The Church of England is relatively small within the Anglican Communion, itself a minority of those who profess the catholic creed with whom traditionalists are aligned leaving traditionalists in a majority. Talk of sanctioning schism by allowing each side to go their own way is ridiculous when the church already comprises many distinctive members. If the Catholic Church can make room for an Ordinariate, what does it say about the Church of England reneging on promises and failing to make acceptable provision so that traditionalists are still regarded as loyal Anglicans? Fairness must be seen to be done. If chimps can do it why can't bishops? 


  1. Joseph Golightly15 January 2013 at 21:29

    We all pray for Unity. But it must be pretty difficult to pursue that with other denominations when a church is divided in itself. The division which this posting I think is suggesting does not help the cause of Unity one little bit. The Continuing Churches regard themselves as Anglicans and just how many of them are there - 20, 30 or more? . Many of you do not accept the priesthood of a significant number of validly ordained women and indeed men who have been "ordained" by a woman, So how can you continue with that absurdity. Surely you have to follow Our Lord on this and return from where you were hewn

  2. There are primates and primates, I suppose ...