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The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

My quest for the eternal lightness

sg1.jpgTravelling on Nicoll Highway at near sun-down, I turned to my friend and thanked him for the ride. Exhausted, I retreated into silence. I’m supposed to be having some good time, afterall I’m on holiday. A breakaway from so much of silly and shocking public statements I lament over back home. Yet, there I was, unwanting.

377A debate and the rewriting of pluralism (Insight: The Straits Times, October 27) I confess that it was ‘…the rewriting of pluralism’ that caught my interest. In any case, I found myself reading a response to Nominated Member of Parliament, Thio Li-Ann’s Two Tribes Go To (Culture) War. Admittedly, I am not just about ready to plunge into a debate on Penal Code 337A, but some of Thio’s trenchant rewriting of secularism and pluralism warrants some serious thoughts.

“As law has a moral basis, we need to consider which morality to legislate…religious views are part of our common morality. We separate religion from politics but not religion from public policy. That would be undemocratic. All citizens may propose views in public debate, whether influence by religious or secular convictions or both, only the government can impose a view by law.”

Thio wrote elsewhere: “Democratic pluralism welcomes every view in public discussion, but does not commit the intellectual fallacy of saying every view is right. The goal is to ascertain the right view for the circumstances”.

If this is true, when viewed in the context that the government being the sole authority to impose a view by law, the result can be worrisome. Is the government a non-religious entity by itself? The right view for the circumstances; who’s view?   


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