Thursday, May 20, 2004

{{{On debating social motions}}}

Realised an awful truth today. On certain issues, never shall the twain meet. On things like Euthanesia, Abortion, Censorship, Role of Government, and dare I say it, religion, rational people will agree up to a point and after that nothing else will persuade them because of ideology, because of differences in fundamental beliefs.

For example, was debating HC on abortion and during the debrief, one realises that on the principles and rights point, assuming both teams are credible, they should cancel each other out. Rights of the unborn child versus that of the mother's right to her body (privacy) and depending on whether you are 'pro-life' or 'pro-choice' ultimately depends on your basic view towards this.

So, onto the more important question. Will there ever be peace in the Middle Ease or the Balkens? Will they ever be an understanding between the various ethnic groups in south-east asia? I think, the best that can be hoped for is tolerance. Understanding, or more accurately, open-mindedness is merely a pipe-dream. One cannot change his ethnicity because it is intrinsically tied up with ancestery, rather than culture. Case in point, I'm probably more anglofied (partly coz me paranakan) than Chinese but because me parents were Chinese, I'm Chinese. Bollocks perhaps, but skin colour seems more important than professed believes. Conversely, once you have accepted a religion, all others must necessarily be non-believers (infidels, heathens, whatever ya?) and as such, one can only accept and tolerate THEM.

For there to be an US, there must be a THEM. The need to belong or to define, necessitates the creation, imaginary or otherwise, of groups that are different. And it is precisely this difference that will cause the kind of tensions and faultlines that we see today. In SEA, the faultlines are drawn along ethnic lines execerbated by socio-economic-religious lines. Malay-Muslims and Chinese in Indonesia come to mind.

So maybe salvation will come in the form of E.T., then maybe, just maybe we'll think of ourselves are fellow humans...


Post a Comment

<< Home