Saturday, April 4, 2009


Lim Din Ghy (see I mentioned you) mentioned that I was not controversial enough. I reread my posts, and I may agreew ith him. I so far hav not said anything that most people would object to. I think that may be because I am taking baby steps. I am saying very uncontroversial things and trying to see where those things will lead to. To be explicit, I believe in a liberal society. A liberal society is not just about western values (for those who are concerned about foreign ideas and such), a liberal society is compatible with eastern values too (e.g. confucian values etc). I want a liberal society because I am a deontologist. I believe that we have rights. And those rights imply various duties. I believe that consequentialism is not the correct moral theory. I do this for a variety of reasons which I will make clearer. I will eventually move on to rights. A lot of people have incorrect views on what rights are. These include Chee Soon Juan, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and many others. From the way they talk, they seem to think that rights appear out of nowhere. But, rights are based on agreement. And different people want different things and will agree to different things. It is not unreasonable to expect that the content of rights may vary from society to society. There is no set of rights, the content of which is exactly the same across all societies. (or is there?) This is just the tip of the ice-berg. I hope readers continue to read the posts. I hope more of you guys will comment. And more often too. I would also appreciate feedback on whether I am going too fast etc. If people cannot follow, what's the point right?

PS: Ah Lin, is this controversial enough?


  1. I don't think you are controversial at all, though why you contrive to be controversial in the first place is beyond me.Is it necessary to bring your points across?

  2. A few reasons
    1. To stoke my own ego. I would like to think that I am posting something original that not many of my fellow bloggers are are not posting about.

    I would also like people who read my blog to engage with the points. There are quite a few things which I have posted which are far from philosophical consensus. Moreover there are certainly things that I have posted that a lot of Singaporeans would disagree with. Maybe you have a higher standard as to what constitutes controversial. But it cannot be the case that all bloggers or lurkers agree with me 100% of the time. I would actually like people to engage with arguments. If my tone is just expository, then it becomes boring very quickly. It also makes me sloppy in my thinking and arguing.

    3. The stuff I post better be controversial. If most Singaporeans agree with me, then why the hell are they voting for the PAP? For now I will concede that as of yet I have not given them sufficient reason to vote for anybody other than the PAP. Further, after I have fully fleshed out everything and I show that the PAP polices are immoral in certain ways, it may still be the case that people would want to vote for the PAP because our opposition is more or less PAP lite.

    4. I think I am posting something that radically differs from how the dialog normally proceeds on issues. Of the various politicians I've read about I think JBJ alone radically differed from the current consequentialist consensus. He was a Natural Law theorist. (I discount Chee Soon Juan not because he was in any way a consequentialist, but because I do not think that he is a serious politician.)

    The political dialogue in Singapore is profoundly impoverished in many different ways. I want to enrichen this dialogue

    5. Of course, if my points are just normal, obviously true points, no one bothers to reply and I end up talking to empty space.

  3. I think you need to write in a way that people outside of philosophy can understand and be engaged.The best writers do that. Or else no one is going to read what you have to say. I think dingy lim is right. Are you aiming your blog at roughly 20 people in Singapore? who do you really think will bother looking up fancy philosophical terms when reading a blog?

  4. Which is precisely why I am moving slowly and trying to explain things as I go along. But it seems that I have moved so slowly that my Blog looks predictable and uninteresting. Besides, if I wanted to do what other Blogs are doing, how do I differentiate myself from them. If I wanted to see a more current affairs oriented Blog, I would visit Molly Meek. She does a good job of Blogging and has an interesting persona. Moreover, I want to Blog about what I'm interested in. There are things I want to say.

    And Fancy Philosphical terms?? If youve read my posts, I broach very few terms in a new post and always try to explain what they mean. Admittedly My first entry was rather long.. and I used links instead, but I dont think that it disincentivises reading much. I always follow links in blogs that I read.

    Besides, if I had 5 regular commentors, I would be happy. I dont need 100s of people commenting. Just 5. And seriously, if in a population of 4 million people, only 20 are interested in philosphical discussions, we are all in really deep shit.

    Ideally everyone should think about the deeper reasons for their actions. But I'd settle for quite a bit less than 100% but, how do we know that we are doing the right thing if we dont think about it?

  5. It's just an opinion from someone who tried reading your blog and found it too full of jargon and fancy words to understand what you are actually trying to say. If you think I'm not clever enough to engage in discussion because I don't follow, well I guess it's not my loss.

  6. Sorry for causing offence, I'll try to use less jargon next time. But hey comments and criticisms are always helpful. Continue to post and comment. Thanks for visiting

  7. i dont think you are controversial as much as stupid. look at your stupid generalisations. what is with the association of eastern values with confucianism? and what lousy comment is it to say that you believe in liberal values because you are a deontologist? go re-read your philosophy.

  8. If you's actually re read my post, I said nothing like what you think I said.I made a variety of different statements

    1. The moral theory I subscrube to is largely Kantian in nature

    2. I believe in a liberal society for a variety of reasons.

    3. A liberal society is not necessarily a western society. Confucius can be given a liberal reading. I dont known about other eastern philosphers. Others who are more familiar can contribute too.

    I dont know how the hell you even got the idea that I was generalising that all eastern values are confucianism.

    A deontological ethical framework necessarily implies that we ought to have a liberal society. What I mean by liberal society may have to be further defined. Go reread your philosophy or at least stick around to find out my arguments.

    So where the f!#& do you get off on calling people stupid. I didnt even do that to the guy who told me that he couldnt understand my post.

  9. hmm I'm actually not a guy. why did you assume so... that's so sexist. but thanks for your earlier reply anyway, i look forward to your next post.

  10. Sorry for being sexist. :( Could you sign off as something so that I dont have to call you that girl or Anonymous or something?

  11. Hey that post above with my name wasn't me. I don't think you're stupid, I just think you're pretentious.

  12. My apologies then. Maybe I'm pretentious, but I've got new posts up. Continue to read and comment. Thanks.