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July 12 2004 at 7:44 PM
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Mangi Nating 

Response to The place of women in modern PNG society

Hi Ralph & Others,

64 pages! Wow. Are you going to start another thread on a particular topic or just an extension of this ‘conversation’? It doesn’t really matter to me, although I’d like to discuss relevant issues where others can also have a say.

Don't agree there. Look at Voltaire. He showed no sign of believing in God, except where it suited him. (Usually to keep out of prison.) But he probably did more to stop the church from oppressing its people in the name of God, than anyone else in history. France of the day had its own inquisition, not as bad as Spain perhaps.

If one does not believe in God, then morality is relative. This does not mean that one cannot do good works; it just means that there is no absolute standard of morality on which to base one’s life. If there is no God, then what makes what you say on morality absolute? If there is no God, then who is to tell me that drowning babies is wrong? Society’s norms? These are changeable, and so aren’t absolute. The point I was making is without God, I cannot impose my morality on you or anyone else, and vice versa. So there is no internal law to govern our lives. We all live as we see fit.

You mentioned Voltaire, and I agree he was a ‘good’ man, but I can just as easily come up with another philosopher whose life wasn’t exactly admirable. Nietzsche. Nietzsche’s beliefs and philosophy inspired Hitler and I think we can both agree that Hitler was far from a ‘good’ man. The point I am making here is that appealing to the life of one Philosopher as evidence of the superiority of Philosophy over Christianity is flawed. One can just as easily come up with counter examples to disprove your point.

I don’t wish to get into an argument here with Roman Catholics, but the Catholic Church is not a Christian church. For one thing its authority is extra-biblical. There is no place in the scriptures that preach the need for a pope, neither is there a place in the scriptures that preach the need for celibacy in the clergy (“A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife”: 1 Tim 3v2 “Let deacons be the husbands of one wife v12). The Spanish Inquisition that you mentioned was also responsible for the deaths of thousands of Christians at the hand of the Catholic “church”. The scriptures also speak about those that would kill Christians thinking they would be doing the work of God. Throughout history men have constantly abused the scriptures for their own end; this does not mean that the scriptures are flawed, just that men are.

No! It is the Philosophers, the Poets, and the dreamers, who keep mankind on track morally.

This is untrue. Many philosophers have argued for there to be an end to conventional morality as we know it. I think I mentioned Nietzsche, but you could probably list any relatively modern philosopher and they are all in agreement that morality is relative. Some of them are the most depraved people on earth. The scriptures say that mankind is morally depraved at birth. This is evident; man is self-interested from the time he first draws breath. He is always wanting what suits him the best, even if it is to the detriment of everybody else.

Where voting is not compulsory ,no more than half the people vote. Voluntary disenfrachisement, no? So it appears that half the populace agrees, that their vote doesn't count.

I think people like to have the option of being able to vote, although very few of them exercise it. I don’t know, sometimes I wonder if our voters rationally weigh up their choice of candidate. There are some areas where the same candidate has been voted into power, election after election despite his failure to make any changes to his electorate. How is this possible? Is there a lack of qualified opponents? Or is the basis people use to vote very different from what it should be (qualification & policies)?

As to Kant, yes I read that his ancestors emigrated from Scotland to Germany. I don’t pretend to understand him; in fact I haven’t even read any of his books yet, just introductory materials which make it accessible to a layperson such as myself. In time, God willing, I’d like to read his works. I guess you are lucky since you can access them in the original German.

He united the clans, who generally fought each other, against the English. The ununited clans, fighting each other in the highlands. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Yes, my source is Braveheart, haha. Although I’ve heard Gibson took a few liberties with it, (as any director would do), but that on the whole it’s not too far off. Yeah, there are some similarities between the Scottish highlanders and our very own. Yambaki Okuk was one of those leaders that could have united(?) the highlands. Perhaps he could have been the William Wallace of PNG. I think, if there was a leader with vision & integrity, who had the respect of his people, he would certainly transform the highlands region. At the moment, and this is a very unqualified statement, it seems that the highlanders in PNG are better at business than those from other parts of the nation.

In general though I don’t think it’s possible, or even desirable to continue with our present form of governance because eventually one people-group shall determine the course of our nation and it will be based on that group’s ideals. This is why I think the federation is ideal, but I must not get into that federation argument again.

Establishing a POLICE STATE will not stop terrorism, or anything else for that matter.

Wow, a breath of fresh air. If only this simple truth could penetrate Dubya’s dense cranium. This whole ‘war on terrorism’ is going to be a never-ending war. It is unfortunate that your Prime Minister considers himself Dubya’s little brother. And airport security, haha, I’ve had some problems with the Australian customs people. Fortunately I don’t have an Arabic sounding name or else I would most probably be detained on some trumped up charges. I hope the Australian Public vote Howard out.

One of the great mysteries of life solved.

I remember some people who were totally hooked on Days of our lives, don’t know if it is on anymore. They wouldn’t miss a show. It’s amazing the number of hours wasted in front of the tube. Well I guess the Internet is just as time wasting, but at least you are actively thinking. With TV, you just switch off your brain and let it feed you. But I shouldn’t go on about television, it provides entertainment for some, and life wasn’t meant to be totally serious, or so they keep on telling me.

Just something I was curious about. In PNG, you have Sepiks, New Irelanders, Madangs, Centrals, Popondettas ( I don’t know what the proper nouns are) etc… and you can easily tell a Central from someone from Madang from someone from NIP etc… I was just wondering with the British, was this possible before? I think I can tell the difference between a typical Russian and a Swede, and between an Italian and a German, but could you tell the difference between an Irishman and a Scot? Or between a Scot & an Englishman? Olsem mi askim tasol.

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