Wednesday, October 12, 2011

By Whose Definition?

Following his article Right To Question Hudud Law in the October 6th issue of his column in The Star newspaper, Azmi Sharom has been taken to task for saying that in a democracy the people, including himself of course, have the right to question any laws including religion based or divine ones that are passed or being passed that affect or will affect their lives.

One website, which I will not name, tried to rubbish Azmi's argument by drawing an analogy to the man made rules and regulations of a company that the workers can't even question, not to mention divine laws.

But this is a fallacious argument and not even a smart one. A company is not a democracy. It is an entity formed for a purpose usually to produce goods or services for sale. People join a company knowing pretty well that they aren't joining to question the company's rules and regulations if they want to work there.

In a democracy however, the people jolly well know that they can and have the right to question laws that affect their lives. This is why in a democracy, laws are usually passed via a legislative assembly where debate is allowed before a law is passed and that too usually after a majority vote by legislative assembly members.

It is easy, in the defence of wanting to pass religion based laws, to say that man is by nature fallible and that god is (by definition?) infallible.  But by whose definition I would like to ask. Man's? Note that man is after all a fallible being.

It is unfortunate that when it comes to religion, most people become defensive and very "jumpy". They are literally ready to jump up in defence of their religion and god.  But hardly do we stop to think that if god is (by definition, again) almighty, why would god need us puny men to defend him or her or it? Imagine a strong and big-sized father telling his skinny two year old to go whack Ah Cheong or Samy or Ali for insulting him (the big-sized fellow).

In this case we will likely call the father a psycho. What would we call god then?

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