Monday, February 06, 2006

Social issues are not the government's responsibility alone. Other bodies have a role too - Feb 6, 2006

Sounds good right? And I must agree that his first part generally stands. But then he commits a non sequitor or maybe a faux pas.

Firstly we have,
It is a shared responsibility and we need the active participation of our government, the private sector and the people. In this light, these organisations and individuals like Mr Neo and myself have a role to play.

But right after that we have this,
On Mr Neo's argument whether the methods used by these organisations are the best approaches, and his concern regarding any attempts to 'moralise and demonise', it is not as 'worrying' as Mr Neo makes it out to be.

Now, he misses the issue entirely. We had a JC, AJC in fact, which got a sexuality talk from a Catholic group, which raises very important constitutional questions about the very secular nature of the government and in particular, the secular school system (we aren't talking about ACJC after all...although I doubt they would bring in a Catholic group).

This is particular odd when one looks at the second and third last paragraphs of his letter (the last and second last blockquote in this post). That is where he talks about parents like him and Mr. Neo having a responsibility and duty to check on these groups.

For a fuller account on what happen as well as links to the student who was actually at ground zero, click here

But back to the letter.

I am perplexed by two of Mr Neo's sweeping statements that 'complex social issues are summarily declared as 'evil' and 'undesirable' without any room for discussion and deeper reflexivity', and 'blatant falsehoods are passed off as facts'. When Mr Neo wrote to this forum, he has in fact brought the issues into discussion and also triggered others like myself to reflect on what he has written.

But where are the 'evil' and 'undesirable' in the issues raised by him? All I can see is an individual who is concerned and wants to make a difference. To me, this is good and highly desirable.

To me, it seems perhaps very clear that the writer of this letter did not do his due diligence and find out what was indeed said at the forum. Because if he did he would understand the nature on which Mr Neo's statement was made. For example, sex with contraception is nothing more than mutual masturbation and by the way, masturbation is wrong because it's just lust and does not lead to precreation. Or what about the simplistic assertion that "Any sex outside of marriage demeans the true value of love & sexuality". Upon exploration (click link above), it turns out that for it to be meaningful, a huge number of caveats and qualifiers had to be used. Or what about the asserting that (thereputic) cloning and IVF is totally bad. Or what about that very very old canard about the inefficacy of condoms?

If Mr Nathan does not see why these statements should be considered to be 'complex social issues [which] are summarily declared as 'evil' and 'undesirable' without any room for discussion and deeper reflexivity', and 'blatant falsehoods are passed off as facts' then we have a much bigger problem here.

The use of condoms has its many limitations and there are potential risks which the manufacturers would not want to highlight to their potential customers for obvious reasons.

*Raised eyebrow* Can anyone say litigation? Can anyone say tort of negligence? Duty of care, breach of standard of care anyone? No dear sir, it is in the UPMOST interest of these manufacturers to give as full a disclosure as they can.

And also, can we say he who asserts must prove? Here's a metalink on my blog which deals with some of the falsehoods pushed by these organisations. I will call them falsehoods because of the availability of information (both old and new) which very clearly contradicts what they say. This must at the very least be a situation of wilful denial and not mere ignorance.

Social organisations like Family Life Society has a role to play, and in such instances, they will have to bring to light these limitations and their risks.

By lying? Bravo, once the 'kids' find out as they eventually will, you're going to turn them against you.

As a father of two teenage girls, I would want my children to know and learn about such limitations and their risks as well as the options available and the recommendations. This will allow them to make a more informed decision.

A commendable sentiment. So why would you want your kids to be lied to?

As a father, I too have a role and responsibility to critically review such teachings and check what the government, schools and private organisations are teaching my children.

And again, that is true. So I'm sorry Sir, you've got the wrong target here.




At 12:49 AM, Blogger Candyfeehily said...

Read the letter by "Dr" Gabriel somethign in the Strait Times! I wonder if these ppl have actually read what the discuss was about before they even discuss.... ~_~!

At 7:21 AM, Blogger Shaun Lee said...

Non sequitor, the whole first bit and well possible the first 3/4 was irrelevant.

*Shrugg* why am I not surprised?

That's what happens when you allow fundies to take the moral high ground I suppose

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Shaun Lee said...

Read next post for response.


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