ST Forum: God has a place in public morals debate (May 26, 2007)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

ST Forum

May 26, 2007

God has a place in public morals debate

I REFER to the recent Straits Times article entitled 'Is there a place for God in public morals debate?' by Senior Writer Chua Mui Hoong (ST, May 18).

My view is that God cannot be excluded in public morals debate. It is not a matter of willingness.

God is the author of morality in human history. In other words, moral standards and moral values originate from God, in monotheism the Supreme Being and in polytheism, the Supreme Beings, who transcend human beings.

Be it Confucianism which is strictly a value system, Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism or Hinduism, et cetera, all religious faiths that believe in an absolute Supreme Being or absolute Supreme Beings share the common values about sex, family life and procreation, and are against homosexual sex.

There are many other common values shared by different religious faiths.

For example, Buddhism stresses the importance of cause-and-effect relationship in a human life. Likewise, in Christianity, there is this natural law known as 'you reap what you sow'. If we sow the seed of approval for homosexuality, we are going to reap the grave consequences of it in due course.

Medical science cannot offer solutions to all human problems as it deals with only one aspect, the physical aspect, of human life. We humans are not merely physical beings. There is a soul - intellect, emotion and will - and many believe that there is a spirit within us. They cannot be seen under the microscope.

However, just because we cannot prove their tangibility does not deny their existence. Regardless of whether we like it or not and whether or not we have a religion, we are moral beings as we are born with moral instinct, a sense of propriety, known as conscience.

There is such a thing called guilt, which is not imaginary. When one violates his/her moral instinct, one feels guilty about it. Nevertheless, conscience can be distorted if it is given in to depravity of the mind and rationalisation.

Therefore, to people of different religious faiths, to debate and discuss moral issues and morality without God is akin to a little child who wants to be independently responsible for his/her own life and behaviour without the care and constraints of his/her parent(s); no matter how sophisticated and how impressive the arguments may be.

Public laws should not violate the common values of different religious faiths of its people.

Esther Chan Nek Fa (Ms)