January 27, 2006
I am amazed at your snapshot article on Do We Need Religious Education? in school. Most modern state with advanced economy have religion separated from the state. World religions have been exploited for militant activities; not that long ago, teaching of Darwin’s evolution of species had been persecuted; sectarian violence in Iraq and Ireland in recent days are clear examples of the danger by using religious education to boost up the declining moral standard. In the end, the cure is more painful than the disease itself. Using public money to fund religious study is the thing that modern governments don’t do. In a capitalist society, most peoples are not money grasping individuals, but ordinary citizens who want a good life for themselves and their families by their services to the good of their communities. You cited an incident where a bus conductor strangled a teenager because she suspected the teenager cheated on her bus fare. This is not necessary as an example of the murderer’s lack of moral standard. Conversely she might had acted on moral high ground, thinking that the teenager should not be seemed to be cheating, or confront or argue with an older person or the authority by the traditional moral standard. In a fit of anger, she had uncontrollably committed a grievous crime. Neither she nor the teenager deserves to die. An in-job training program and anger management course would have averted such a tragedy. Tolerance to various human weakness and do not take the laws into one’s hands. The conductor might be riddled with guilts and crying her eyes out in the depth of the night for what she had done. She is not only incarcerated physically, and all the worse, she will be incarcerated in her conscience for the rest of her life. Western philosophy believes in the inherent goodness in human beings as a Chinese sage had said that all human beings are born innocent as is true of all living things on earth. Please release our minds for more creative and productive forces and free enterprise. With China’s move toward harmonious society for the good of the country and for the world, the future generations are looking forward to a more colorful, rewarding and fulfilling life.
Ting Yap, New Zealand