Youngest kid of six with an inferiority and black sheep complex, but determined that God saves not just his soul to heaven but the remainder of his manic-depressive life, so others won't say he became a Christian and remained a jerk.


On identity
i won't be transparent before i'm opaque. and you'll get to know me starting from the small things: who my favourite bands are. what kind of movies i like. who are my heroes.

On Christianity
I’m convinced that when confronted with sincere, real love, the Jesus factor will become obvious. But let’s not plant the cross before we carry it. I’m not trying to con you.

On dreams
Some dreams are meant to be achieved. I know that. But maybe other dreams are meant to drive us, privately. Never known to anyone but ourselves.


On melancholy
It is a sadness that, when choosing between crying and sighing, will choose sighing. I'd almost say that melancholy is being sad about sadness itself.

On memory and nostalgia
It saddens me when life moves forward and people decide that certain things are worth forgetting.

On language
I've learnt that the word irregardless is filed as a non-standard word in the English language. That's a lexicographer's way of saying it's not a real word.

On politics
Crowds are fickle things. So when we stand in the thousands and cry against the present government, do we know who we're actually crying for?

On society
People always want the best for themselves. But I want to sometimes take second or third or fourth best, just so that the loser down the road doesn't always have to come in last. It must feel like shit to always come in last.

On growing old
Leasehold property make me feel sad. It doesn't matter how old the family photos are that you put on your wall. It's your family but it's not really your wall.

On philosophy
I ask you, if God loves everyone, and if God is also incapable of loving evil, how can there be such a thing as an evil man?

On a daily basis
One line quips, like this.


Sunday, September 10, 2006
Wars are bad, right?

People get hurt, innocent lives are lost and nobody comes out a real winner. This is undoubtedly the current attitude towards war, but there was a time when wars were not morally condemned. Wars used to be good. Wars used to be fought without the media guilt-tripping everyone into thinking that it was the root of all evil. Wars are what got us our world today and when they happened, it used to be for glory, for honour, for protection and sovereignty. Today, the smallest skirmish is blown up on our tvs as horrific crimes against the sanctity of life and reasonable standards of human rights.

How did we get here? How did things change so much? My gut answer now says that Resnais Descartes is involved. Resnais Descartes? This dude? Well yes. This dude. When he hammered his dictum, cogito ergo sum or I think therefore I am, on the banner of enlightenment philosophy, he kickstarted a major shift that has lead to our skeptical attitudes to the battlefield.

Wars used to be seen through national eyes. People used to take to arms to defend nations, and it didn’t matter if people had to die, it was always for the greater good. It was always for the big narrative: the life and death of nations and kingdoms, and with that, ideologies, ways of life and hope for futures. These were the real players, not individuals making up an army but an armies, armies and armies. Fullstop.

But when Descartes came around and said I think therefore I am, he stripped the entire meaning of existence down to the solo person’s solo thought. Cartesian philosophy says simply this: because i can think, i am meaningful. Countries don't think. Nations don't think. I think. I am. Are countries and nations and kingdoms "am"? Maybe not. One writer puts it better:

“Descartes’s philosophical method led to a new conception of the human person. Descartes himself ended by defining the human being as a thinking substance and the human person as the autonomous rational human subject … In establishing the centrality of the human mind in this manner, Descartes set the agenda for philosophy for the next three hundred years.”

Grenz, Stanley E, A primer on postmodernism (Eerdmans, 1996), p 64.

If nations and kingdoms don't "am", do their interests matter? No. Whose interests matter? I. Mine. And yours. We are the autonomous rational human subjects.

Wars used to be fought by nameless, faceless armies. Now they are fought by sympathetic three-dimensional soldiers who cry and feel and fear. Well, now that you mention it, of course we want the war to stop. How can anyone support the continuation of a war when innocent helpless lives are killed, when those soldiers who sometimes get photographed carrying cute kittens and whatnot are slaughtered on the battleground? Stop the war! It’s too sad. Stop it now!

But some wars need to go on. Some nations need to fight and some nations need to defend themselves. Some wars are necessary and some wars are even righteous. And when war breaks out, maybe sometimes we should step back from all that media sentimentality and think about the larger picture before we shoot off and say it’s bad and not know how to defend it apart from saying “wars are just bad”. Who is "am"ing in your worldview? If nations and kingdoms didn't "am" before, do you think today we can live in the peace and comforts of our online-everything generation? Nobody likes the idea of conflict, but sometimes we need to think more multi-dimensionally about wars before we throw our hat into the peace bandwagon.

So the next time you hear a news channel or anyone condemn wars altogether, think of Descartes and a time when people saw wars differently. Then think about this: if how we see war changes over time, is our attitude towards it an issue of morality or fashion?

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Genusfrog [ 12:16 am ]


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