Monday, July 2, 2007
- Singer believes that freedom of expression is essential to any democracy and therefore should not be limited. On the other hand, Szilagyi believes that more focus should be placed on social responsibility.
In the context of Singapore’s multi-racial society, where there is cultural and religious pluralism, which author’s view do you think should be adopted?
Write a response of at least 300 words and 2 content paragraphs, and include materials from both articles as well as your own knowledge and experience.
Both Singer and Szilagyi have made a valid statement on how freedom of expression should appear. However, I truly believe that a fusion of both writers' points would be ideal for a multi-racial society like Singapore.
Firstly, in Singapore's context, I believe that focusing on social responsibility is essential in maintaining order. This is due to the fact that Singapore is a multi-racial society. Any indecent comments or opinions on a particular race could lead to undesirable consequences like mass protest or racial riots. Just reminisce the racial riots that happened to us about 40 years ago which threatened not only our security but also our economy. With the existence of modern technology, if a racial riot were to happen in our country, it would be disastrous. Social responsibility ensure awareness of our actions and its consequences. With the emphasis of social resonsibility, we can retain the cohesive environment by making people tolerant to each other. Another incident I would like to comment on is the indecent remarks made by the 2 bloggers. After reading the remarks made, as a Malay Muslim, I do feel disgusted, disappointed and at the same time, frustrated. These remarks do spark frustration amongst the Malay community in Singapore but lucky enough, it did not start fire. We must focus more on social responsibility and not solely on the freedom when expressing ourselves because one statement or opinion would be subjected to several interpretations which could lead to disastrous consequences, one area which is risky for Singapore. Hence, for a multi-racial society like Singapore, we must focus more on social responsibility in our everyday expression.
However, I feel that freedom of expression is essential to democratic regimes like Singapore and should be limited to a certain extent. Freedom of expression allows truth to be known to others. As stated by the Singer, "We must be free to deny the existence of God, and to criticize the teachings of Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, and Buddha, as reported in texts that millions of people regard as sacred. Without that freedom, human progress will always run up against a basic roadblock." It means, without freedom of expression, the human race will never improve and will just depend on sacred teachings which may or may not be senseless. These criticisms however should not be offending certain groups of people but should rather be generalised. Offending targeted groups of people would lead to them having interpretation that they are being discriminated. We cannot surely adopt Singer's opinion that freedom of expression is essential eventhough it is offensive to certain groups of people as a multi-racial society like Singapore cannot afford social unrest to happen.
In conclusion, I believe that in expressing ourselves, both Singer's and Szilagyi's beliefs on freedom of expression should be fused together. For a multi-racial and democratic country like Singapore, freedom of speech cannot be too limited to the extent of which truth cannot be conveyed but it should be limited to an extent of which it will not result in possible conflicts, meaning focusing on social responsibility.
`written on- 6:27 AM
Sunday, May 27, 2007
- For this week's task 4, based on the video you watched in class and articles you have read on your own, write a blog entry consisting of at least 300 words and 2 content paragraphs on any one of the following topics:
(a) Effective law and order requires effective punishment. Do you agree?
(b) Any form of punishment that is effective in maintaining law and order is justified. Do you agree?
Many countries across the world have their own way of punishing criminals. These different forms of punishment do deter crimes in their own ways. However, are these effective means of maintaining law and order justified?
I agree to a large extent that punishments which are effective in maintaining law and order are indeed justified. After analysing various statistics, it just proved that some punishments are effective in deterring crimes. For example, in Texas, wrongdoers are forced to publicise their crimes at the location of their wrongdoing by carrying a sign. The chief judge of Texas said that the criminals who underwent this punishment are less likely to repeat their offence as compared to criminals who are sentenced to jail. This method of public humiliation is indeed proven effective in deterring crimes as wrongdoers or potential wrongdoers will think twice before committing a crime. Another crime deterrence formula is capital punishment. Although many oppose to this form of punishment, it is proven effective in deterring crime. This is different from public humiliation as it uses fear to prevent crimes from escalating. Death is often feared by many and hence, many would think before committing a potential 'death sentence' crime. Many have negative views on capital punishment but isn't capital punishment fair in punishing criminals who had committed unforgivable crimes which causes death of innocent lives or inflict permanent scars physically or psychologically? To me, it is a just punishment for barbaric criminals. Animals like them do not deserve any human rights.
However, does ANY punishment which is effective in maintaining law and order justified? I think, to a small extent, not ANY punishment is justified in this case. For example, in Togo, both the accused and the accuser will have to dip their hands in boiling oil to prove their innocence or their right to accuse respectively. It is said that the oil will burn the guilty party. However, I think that only the brave party will be proved innocent in this case. If someone accuse you of doing something you did not do, would you dip your hands in boiling oil? If you refuse to do it, is it wise to say that you are guilty? Well, in this case, it may be effective in deterring crime by using fear but there is a huge possibility of an increase in the number of senseless accusations. Punishments may be effective in maintaining law and order but not ANY punishment is justified.
In conclusion, I think that most punishment which is effective in maintaining law and order is justified.
`written on- 6:27 AM
Friday, May 18, 2007
- Is the use of torture ever justified in dealing with criminals and terrorists? Discuss this in the light of the arguments raised in the two articles and substantiate your ideas with examples of your own. Your response should consist of at least two content paragraphs and be at least 300 words long.
Torturing someone is considered inhumane. However, is torture justifiable in dealing with criminals and terrorists? In my opinion, torture is indeed justifiable in dealing with criminals and terrorists, only if the situation is at a critical point.
Torturing to obtain information may seem harsh and against human rights but I personally think that if the situation concerns the masses, torturing may be the only choice left, whether or not it yields any results, it is worth a try. In article 2, Peter Faris listed down some examples on why torture is justifiable in some extreme cases. In article 2, Mr Paris Aristotle, Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture director, said, "When they pull out one of his fingernails and he doesn't say anything, do they find his child and start torturing his child? When they can't find anything from the child do they go find his wife and go and rape his wife in front of him?" I reject this to a certain extent as I think that torture must only be inflicted on the criminal, not people related to the criminal. Torture may come in two forms, physical torture and mental torture. Pain is part of physical torture whereas mental torture may come in the form of bringing religion into the scene. For example, if one commits an inhumane and morally prohibited crime, isn’t it morally correct to torture him in interrogation if he does not comply? Consider the brutal acts he did, should we stick to our moral behaviour?
In article 1, it suggests that torture is not justifiable as compared to FBI’s methods of interrogation. As stated by the article, “Small amenities--an FBI agent's knowledge of the Koran, unlimited videos and even an operation for an al-Qaeda member's child--were the kinds of things that eventually turned them. Patience was rewarded.” Eventhough FBI’s interrogation method may yield some results, it may be time consuming, and considering that time is not by anyone’s side. Terrorist may strike anytime and if the results come after the chaos, then the interrogation is a failure. The main thing here is not about juicing out information from captured operative but how fast the information can be juiced out to stop other terrorists from carrying out their operations successfully. Interrogation alone may not yield fast results and hence, the FBI must find new ways to obtain information fast as it is a race against time. Why not try a more harsh torture and see if it does yield results? Even if the terrorist is a very strong-minded person, there is actually a breaking point in which he cannot withstand any longer. Hence, torturing to reach this breaking point may just be the fastest way to obtain the information.
In conclusion, I think that torture is indeed justifiable in dealing with criminals and terrorists, only if the situation is at a critical point.
`written on- 6:39 AM
Sunday, April 1, 2007
For the first GP task, I chose to talk about Terry Fox. One might remember him as the amputee who had a unique running style. Although he died way before I was born, his contributions were repeatedly shown in the media till now.
Terry Fox was 18 when he was diagnosed with bone cancer. His right leg was amputated as amputation was the common treatment for cancer then. As cancer was under-funded in Canada then, he hoped to raise funds for the cancer research. Furthermore, he did not want other people to go through the painful process of cancer like the way he did. With this, he decided to run the journey he called Marathon of Hope.
Terry started his fund raising journey in St. John's Newfoundland on April 12, 1980. He was forced to abandon his run after his cancer had spread to his lungs. By then, he had run 42 kilometres everyday for 143 days. His wish was to raise one dollar from every Canadian citizen and he managed to achieve his aim. The Marathon of Hope fund totalled to about $24.17 million. However, he died later in June, 1981.
I consider Terry Fox to be influential is firstly because his Marathon of Hope had raised huge sum of funds to help the cancer research sector then. Without his effort to raise awareness for the importance of finding a cure for cancer, millions would have died due to this fatal disease. His efforts had quickened the development of the cancer research. Under his name, The Terry Fox Foundation is still raising money for the cancer research sector.
Secondly, he influenced other people to persevere through life eventhough pain may be a barrier. He managed to run an inspirational marathon eventhough he was an amputee and a cancer patient. Against all odds, he persevered through the runs but unfortunately, he was forced to stop. He had proved that being disabled does not mean being unable. His life may be short but his courage will last for eternity in people's eyes.
These were the reasons why I concluded him to be an influential and inspirational person.
`written on- 7:38 AM
Saturday, March 24, 2007
- At first, I thought blogging was a waste of time. Now, I realised that blogging is somewhat a faster way to make your views on certain issues known to public and make it open to critiques. This blog is made for GP and only GP.
I am Fairuz from 08/07. I am formerly in pdg 04/07 in the first three months of my stay in Anderson Junior College. My subject combination is H2 Physics, Chemistry and Maths and Economics at H1 level. I had been training with the school's soccer team since Nov 2006. Currently, we are preparing for the A Division tournament due in 8 days time. I am from Swiss Cottage Secondary School. Since young, I had been weak in my language. So, I hope this jeepy-portal will help me in my General Paper which I had been associating it with negative words like HORRIFYING.
General things about me:
I love sports mainly short distance sprints, shot put, javelin, long jump, SOCCER, badminton, archery. My food preference would be fruits, chickens, seafood minus off FISHES (bluek!), chocolates, ice-cream and anything from candyland. I am lazy but can be hardworking if I wanted to. I like the number 8 because it is one of the numbers that will stay the same if u look at it upside down. :p
If anyone find it hard to remember my name, just remember 5 roses. Till next time!
`written on- 11:18 PM