Angry Doctor

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Good, absolute values"

Because of its innocuous title, angry doc did not bother to read this letter to the ST forum, until he saw two rebuttals to it today (see here and here).

Let's reinforce unity of purpose in fighting terrorism

WE CAN never overemphasise the need to remain vigilant against the threat of terrorism, as warned by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in last Sunday's report, 'PM Lee warns of evolving terror threat'.

He warned that the recent bomb explosions at the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels in Jakarta showed that terrorists continue to have 'new ways of doing evil, bad deeds'. Schools, religious organisations and the business community need to make a concerted effort to not only condemn the murderous acts of terrorism, but also set the boundaries that define good and evil in society.

Often, the human spirit needs to be rekindled to distinguish between right and wrong behaviour. Religions with good society and family values must take proactive steps to engage the public and schools by upholding godly values and renouncing the evil that destroys the fabric of society. Our children need to learn from religious leaders who demonstrate how their faith can build strong family bonds and create social stability, harmony and security. Where the fault lines of society are shaken, religious leaders are to super-glue the gaps.

Religious leaders in collaboration with the Government should openly reject socially irresponsible behaviour such as racism, religious intolerance, adultery as well as perverse sexual behaviour in society. Moral relativism has no place in a society that treasures and thrives on good, absolute values.

As part of civil defence, schools must be vigilant to teach children strong traditional family values through the covenant of marriage and fidelity to one's spouse.

Insidious and egregious practices such as abuse of human rights and extreme liberalism must be exposed and rejected for what they are. Drug trafficking, use of abortion as a form of contraceptive, polygamy and serial divorce will remain as wrongdoings. Our police force should be held in high regard as they enforce the rules against criminal behaviour.

Children must be encouraged to speak up against evil and not fear being rebuked for doing the right thing. The heathen attack religious people with the phrase: 'Get down from your high horse for we reject your holier-than-thou attitude.'

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew recently remarked that for 44 years, Singapore still has not yet achieved the ideals of nationhood. Perhaps the next step requires the conviction and partnership of religious and government leaders to take a firm stand against wicked deeds and support those who stand for the truth in nation building. It is time we took serious heed of the axiom: 'Righteousness exalts a nation.'

George Lim

In Mr Lim's opinion, the world would be a better place if governments enforced religious values. Not just any religious values, of course - religions that do not condemn "adultery as well as perverse sexual behaviour", "use of abortion as a form of contraceptive, polygamy and serial divorce" don't really count. In other words, religious values are good insofar as they are the same as those held by Mr Lim's own religion.

The cure for "religiously-informed" terrorism, according to Mr Lim, is more religion. Specifically his.



  • "Moral relativism has no place in a society that treasures and thrives on good, absolute values."

    It is probably a little difficult to set absolute values in a multicultural, multireligious society.

    I should also point out that his view that people of other religions or no religions must necessarily be moral relativists is incorrect.

    A deontologist has objective morality, but a consequentialist also has objective morality.

    For example, under the "absolute" values of a Utilitarian, causing suffering or encouraging the acceptance of suffering would be immoral under any situation.

    Of course, there could be disagreement with any ethical system, but disagreement doesn't automatically turn the system into moral "relativism".

    If somebody can dismiss consquentialist morality as "relativist", he can dismiss any moral system as "relativist", including his own.

    By Blogger The Key Question, At July 22, 2009 4:47 pm  

  • I think the other Mr Lim was probably using "moral relativism" in a less academic fashion, as a derogatory term applied to atheists.

    I suspect philosophers object too when we refer to the "other ways of knowing" touted by woo-mongers as "post-modern".

    By Blogger angry doc, At July 22, 2009 4:53 pm  

  • "I think the other Mr Lim was probably using "moral relativism" in a less academic fashion, as a derogatory term applied to atheists."

    Then, let me put forward the case that Mr. George Lim is a moral relativist himself.

    1. Does he advocate that the police should arrest those people talk back to their parents, who eat shellfish or work on Sundays?

    If he doesn't, he is a moral relativist.

    If he says that those moral rules no longer apply to today's social context, he is a moral relativist.

    2. Does he accept the doctrine of Just War?

    If he does, he is a moral relativist.

    If he says that bloodshed is acceptable if the war leads to peace, justice or social stability, he is moral relativist.

    If he doesn't accept Just War, but believes that only God has the right to take a person's life, he is a moral relativist.

    By Blogger The Key Question, At July 22, 2009 5:20 pm  

  • Thanks for highlighting Mr Lim's letter. I completely missed that one in the papers.

    I'm speechless at the gigantic leaps of logic in that letter. Don't know where to begin. You can see the agenda clearly though. These are the people that have an issue with homosexuality, contraception, sexual education in schools and abortion (i.e. the 'focus on the family' crowd).

    They would find any excuse to bring in a close alignment of religion with the state... including in the present example of using the bombings in Jakarta as a reason for religious input in the affairs of the state.

    I believe that the one thing that suicide-bombing religious extremists demonstrate to us is the potent and dangerous cocktail that we get as a result of mixing religion with politics. There is a private space of one's spiritual experience which should be the individual's own self-reflection of where he stands in this universe. This should be valued and be allowed to flourish in all the diversity that it presents. But, insofar as the affairs of the state are concern,religion should stay far away.
    Too often in human history politics has hijacked the inherent irrationality in faith. Too often when such hijacking takes place, religious justification has resulted in gross evil being inflicted on segments of society or on other nations.

    The lesson from violence inspired by religion is that politics and religion don't mix well.

    By Blogger Subra, At July 23, 2009 9:13 pm  

  • Hey guys, let ignorance has its will to speak, let's not forget there is value in learning from all camps . While it is easier to comment when the 'bomb' exploded, only few can detect the biological 'ticking time bomb ' just behind the Tuas project, Glaxo Smith Keith's upcoming vaccine factory. have fun reading your talks when free time permits, until next presence, keep us informed more with insight.Thks.

    By Blogger Its ME, At July 25, 2009 11:27 am  

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