Letters to the Editor

What are the selection criteria for state funerals?

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Dear Editor,

I would like to pose some questions about the rationale of state funerals.

How, and by whom, are decisions made about offers of state funerals? Are there defined selection criteria for such offers?

Should there be an opportunity for community consultation? The cost must be significant. Taxpayers deserve to have some input about whether the expenditure could be better directed elsewhere – perhaps to help victims of natural disasters, even in another state.

Consider the case of a hypothetical person who displayed a level of sporting prowess but had admitted to cheating on his/her spouse and using illicit substances. Would such a person be a suitable recipient for a state funeral?

Jeff Lerner

The Big Bang or a miracle?
Dear Editor,

Currently, there are two dominant explanations for the existence of the cosmos: traditionally variations of the creative being idea and, more recently, variations of the Big Bang theory. 

The former supposes either that the creative being either existed always or created itself; the latter that the Big Bang either occurred in a void or was born out of existing energy. In either case, something had to be created out of nothing – which our scientific understanding says is both impossible and illogical – as an effect must be preceded by a cause.

In ot...

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