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4/16/2008

Ridiculing virtues

What are we becoming when all the age old virtues are now only good to con the kids in schools? We used to teach our young about honour, respect, honesty, love, passion, loyalty, country and nation. Today these values are as good as how much one can trade them for. You want honour, honesty, loyalty, country and nation, how much are you going to pay for it? Even the position of public office is not worth anything unless it can command a lot of money. What is so great about being a minister when you end up with lesser money? It used to be a great honour, a place in history, a pride of the family to see a son becoming a govt official, and what honour will that be if that son becomes a top official, a minister? Today, it is seen as a monetary trade off, a sacrifice, a big sacrifice. Actually many would not want to be a minister. Too much of a sacrifice. For goodness sake, lets not belittle the honour of public office. Let's teach our young the right values, let's go back to some of the virtues that we cherish and can live by with pride and honour. Money is good, the more the better. But up to a point, there are things that money cannot buy. Oops, I am talking nonsense again. Anything that can be monetised can be bought. That is Uniquely Singapore. There is a paradise in heaven, there is one on earth. The one above exists without money. The one below exists because of money.

15 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

> loyalty, country and nation <

Since when have these been "virtues"?

"Loyalty" is EARNED, it is not something to be given freely or blindly. The idea or person you choose to be loyal to had better be "worth it" (by your own judgment).

"Country" and "nation" are definitely not virtues. A country is a geographical territory. A nation is the "humanisation" of that territory, i.e. a particular territory is inhabited by people of a certain nationality.

> But up to a point, there are things that money cannot buy. <

That is true. However every 'value' a human being has acquired for his life has to be BOUGHT and paid for by some form of "currency" or medium of exchange, relevant to the context. Not including, but especially love and friendship.

In other words, you have to pay for your friendships and love. They have "market prices" so to speak.

redbean said...

loyalty to friends is a virtue. there is also a loyalty to country/nation. that is why 'silly' people have died fighting for such concepts

love, friendship, the price paid may be abstract or in kind. sometimes in monetary terms can be out of proportion to its worth or perceived worth.

why would a penniless soldier go charging at the enemy under fire? when we teach people to think money and not about silly values like country and nation, who is going to fight a war unless they are paid handsomely for the risk of losing their lives.

Matilah_Singapura said...

> loyalty to friends is a virtue. <

Nonsense. As I said previously, "loyalty" can never be a virtue. What if the "friends" you were loyal to are criminals? How then is loyalty a "virtue"?

> who is going to fight a war unless they are paid handsomely for the risk of losing their lives. <

Good point. Wars are expensive, and therefore should only be resorted to to repel invaders—in self-defense.

No one should go to war unless it was in their self-interest to do so.

Anonymous said...

Talk abt self interest, methink they should ideally have 2 formations in a modern citizen army at war. The ones that own big houses and hot properties, should be at the frontlines taking point positions. Those with lesser stakes should be non-combatants in the safe zones/hqs. Great idea?

redbean said...

in gangland parlance, loyalty is a virtue. agree with out that blind loyalty to a thug is bad. or loyalty to someone that is immoral.

having two armies? it will happen one day when everyone becomes wiser to the value of money. then some will be guarded by mercenaries and, to the happiness of matilah, there will be no citizen army. everyone will demand for a good price to fight with his life as a stake.

this is the problem when people get too smart. just like asking the poorer people to believe, believe in all the virtues blindly, work for free, sacrifice for the state, donate to charity, while one partakes in all the goodies and keep a few peanuts in the pocket..

Speedwing said...

I was at a family gathering recently. A boy age 12, the son of our host walked into the room full of his elders, his granduncles, uncles and aunts. This boy promptly sat in the midst of his elders next to his father. He addressed no one, promptly grabbed a packet of titbits that one of his aunts had brought for him. He did not offer a word of appreciation for the gift. open up the packet and started stuffing his mouth without offering to anyone of his elders in the room. The amazing thing was, his parents who were present did not comment on his action.

Redbean, you talk about old virtues? When we cannot teach our young ones these simple acts of respect, what hope have we got for the future?????

Anonymous said...

"there is also a loyalty to country/nation"

This is another bullshit concept. Just ebcause you are a citizen does not mean you have to agree with anything the people in charge of the country does on the basis of loyalty. God gave us all a brain for a reason, you know Redbean. I will only be 'loyal' to the country when its interests and mine are aligned. Otherwise, I will simply give Singapore my middle finger salute and say "Fuck you, Singapore".

redbean said...

speed,
i am looking forward into the future, the day when i am feeble, to wipe at tables in kopitiam for these new generations of sophisticated young people. and when they howl at me, i will bend down my head and keep on wiping.

and to answer anonymous, loyalty is only a concept and can be abused. but loyal or disloyal, when the law is passed, even your money is no longer your money. no choice.

remember hang jebat? he said something like a good king deserved to be respected. a bad king deserved to be thrown out.

his brother hang tuah, who was sentenced to die unjustly by the sultan, and jebat rebelled for this injustice to hang tuah, eventually got killed by hang tuah when the sultan pardoned him.

hang tuah was loyal to his sultan despite being sentenced to death and killed his brother who stood up for him.

loyalty is an ideal and good to manage fools.

Anonymous said...

"but loyal or disloyal, when the law is passed, even your money is no longer your money. no choice."

Of course it is no choice with a deafeatist attitude you are espousing. Thousands of Singaporeans have made the choice to say "Fuck you, Singapore" by packing their bags and flushing that worthless pink id card and red passport down the toilet bowl. You make your own choices. Hence, there is no such thing as no choice.

Matilah_Singapura said...

redbean:

> loyalty is an ideal and good to manage fools. <

Before "loyalty" was a virtue. Now loyalty, by your own words is an "ideal".

Can you please make up your mind?

anonymous:

> I will only be 'loyal' to the country when its interests and mine are aligned. Otherwise, I will simply give Singapore my middle finger salute and say "Fuck you, Singapore". <

I done that so many times, my middle finger is now 1 cm longer.

Anonymous said...

>why would a penniless soldier go charging at the enemy under fire? <

the penniless soldiers do not have a choice when the towkays are guarding their behinds.


>this is the problem when people get too smart. just like asking the poorer people to believe, believe in all the virtues blindly, work for free, sacrifice for the state, donate to charity, while one partakes in all the goodies and keep a few peanuts in the pocket..<

that is the reason why the smart and less gullible ones must be paid above market rate.

redbean said...

matilah, the more i talked to you the more confuse i am. now i don't even know what i am saying.

and to anonymous, the truth or tooth, is that the poor suckers will always be poor suckers. take one dollar from him and give him 30c and he will be happy like hell, and forever grateful.

redbean said...

and to these poor suckers, they will not be able to comprehend that people's one year annual increment is more than their life time income.

Anonymous said...

And that is peanuts!

redbean said...

no, not even peanuts. and if you tell them that they are getting that as annual increment, they will sneer at the amount.

too insignificant.