17 February 2007

Breeding intolerance

Between law and religion, people find cause to behave badly. Full essay.


thor666 said...

The most interesting thing is, the nurse assumed the "God" you mentioned is her "God". When maybe you could have been a faithful believer of the Flying Spaghetti Monster who happens to love the phrase "Oh my God".

Anonymous said...

On my gay!

KiWeTO said...

Abdication of personal responsibility

By justifying righteous indignation through the idea that many others also think so on an issue, we then begin to give up our personal responsibility to form our own coherent opinion and stand on the issue. It is much easier for one to agree with the 'mob'.

The problem is of differing tolerence spheres. Everyone has a sphere of beliefs and opinions about all sorts of things (learnt, taught, or indoctrinated); These tolerence spheres frequently come into contact with other peoples', and when there is a conflict, the need to resolve the conflict becomes the crux on whether the issue becomes incendiary or quietly resolved.

Looking at YB's 2 examples, the sphere for tolerating smoking has been continuously expandedthrough frequent health warnings, and reinforced by the smoking ban on public places (which is vaguely worded if anything).

Looking at the intent behind that law, one can also ask, was the intent to punish smokers caught for smoking in public places, or to remind smokers to not infringe on non-smokers' tolerence spheres.

Which brings us back to the question of personal responsibility or the lack of it, and who should bear more responsibility - the smoker at the bus stop irresponsible about respecting other non-smokers, or the non-smokers needing to remind the smoker that he is dissing their tolerence spheres.

We all want a kinder, gentler society. We all seek the civility that society seems to be losing more of everyday. It all comes down to each of us respecting the existence of another human being - without which, it would just be plain darwinism and the law of the jungle at work.

Just keep that in mind when you next do something without thinking. You could be contributing to uncivilization.


Anonymous said...


WTF are you talking about? Nobody is taking a stand for justifying righteous indignation and "agreeing with the 'mob'" here...

Anyway, your comment is fuzzy, lacks clarity and is poorly written.

Anonymous said...

The Straits Times
Oct 15, 2005
Talking about God in schools, hospitals

THE nurse could not stop talking about her faith, even as she was inserting a needle into her elderly patient's arm. A routine blood test at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) turned out to be a lesson in evangelical Christianity for Associate Professor Wong Weng Fai, 41, a computer science lecturer, and his 66-year-old mother, a dementia sufferer. According to Prof Wong, a National University of Singapore lecturer, in the testing room, they were greeted by two nurses listening to Christian worship songs on a CD player. As one of them drew blood from his mother, she began evangelising. He recounted: 'She asked my mother in Cantonese, 'Auntie, do you believe in Jesus?' 'My mum was saying, 'No, no, I'm Buddhist.' But the nurse continued, 'You should go to church because it'll be good for you.' ' Prof Wong felt offended. 'They're preying on the weaknesses of old folks, especially when they are sick and down.'
A TTSH spokesman said the hospital is unaware of the incident and that it 'regularly reminds our doctors and care providers that proselytisation is not allowed'.
The issue of promoting one's faith in public institutions has been in the news lately with letters in the Forum page touching on the subject. How widespread is the practice?
Should government doctors, teachers and bosses who are in positions of authority and trust be allowed to preach to their charges?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps YB is on to something here. Could our highly regulated life here have therefore created a society of indignant self-righteous bunch who have lost all compassion or human decency simply because they believe what they are doing is RIGHT or LEGAL.

Anonymous said...

the anti singapore demos show that law and religion are not the only motivating factors; anti taksin/singapore thais were monarchy traditionalists who find the global business orientations of taksin/singapore threatening

the question now is how long before indonesia also has anti singapore demos; the flight of ethnic chinese money/people to singapore will accelerate; presumably this is why singapore is preparing for a population rise despite low birth

budak said...

Someone just told me about how a doctor (who happens to be a Christian) discouraged her from getting the Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine because it would cause her to 'let her guard down' and that abstaining from premarital sex is the better (and supposedly safer) option.

Dee said...

This is a personal view and thus, there might be some lapse in accuracy. Also, it's really long.

Intolerance might be related to tighter restrictions but hasn't it too been perpetuated by the media culture? Everywhere, people are encouraged to judge and poke fun at others, based on face value, alone. Often, this breeds cynicism and also intolerance for other's views.

Also, another aspect promoted by media and other aspects is a culture of escapism. I'm not surprised if due to the pressures of society, etc., people prefer to "escape" into a religion or gameworld, etc., and spend their time trying to indoctrinate others of their beliefs.

And yet, there's another factor too(which I just thought of): the tendency in Asian culture(Chinese and possibly Japanese too) to embrace blindly an aspect of another culture, without thinking or even stepping back to ponder the effects it might have on yourself as well as your society. This might have been useful in our ancestors' time but surely, by now, we're likely aware of the cost of such a practise.

Still, there might be other factors but in the end, what anyone and everyone can do is to be as understanding as possible when communicating with others. It might be hard but you never know unless you do it.

Yuri(I really have to quit with the multiple nicks!)