Sunday, January 08, 2006

A step by step review of Meritocratic Jesus.

En, The Students' Notebook

If you are christian and you are offended by this issue, this is the place for you to go.Here, i try to explain why this issue is actually in praise of the christian religion. I don't usually do this as the "point" of the story is meant to be discovered for yourself.

The First Frame shows Pontius Pilot.
Note* how Pontius Pilot is spelled as Pilot and not Pilate-showing that it is 2 different Pontius altogether.
Meritocratic Jesus incidentally tells Pontius that he has good news.

Jesus tells Pontius that he has a new idea that will change the world- The idea is meritocracy: according to wikipedia it means:

is strictly speaking a system of government based on rule by ability (merit) rather than by wealth or social position.

This is similar to what Meritocratic Jesus said, that God wants the Best to be rewarded with positions, power, etc..etc. There is nothing inherently wrong with this statement, letting the most capable rule is a very good idea... so we go on to the next frame..

Meritocratic Jesus tells us that the Roman Jews are the most capable and best to rule. He seems to be eager to please the most powerful in position.

Compare this to the real Jesus:

Luke 23:1-3
"Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying,
'We have found this man subverting our nation.
He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and
claims to be Christ, a king.' So Pilate asked Jesus, '
Are you the king of the Jews?'
'Yes, it is as you say,' Jesus replied."

Note how differently Jesus and Meritocratic Jesus respond to the situation. Meritocratic Jesus says nothing that is subversive.. in fact he says what the jews wanted to hear.. whereas Jesus on the other hand is saying things that may subvert the power of the jews.

Thus, a clear difference between Meritocratic Jesus and Jesus is established. One panders to the rich and powerful, the other speaks for the poor and oppressed.. I don't see how you can relate Meritocratic Jesus to that of Christian belief...

Another important point about meritocracy is being raised, by what standards do we choose to elect those to power. Do we elect them on the basis of what they know in terms of theology? If so the Jews clearly have an advantage in this system, being already educated in judaism. Should that mean that God has given them the mandate of power to rule?

One of the key problems of meritocracy is that we do not define what the standards of "ability" are, and even when we do the problem remains contentious. What is to define a person more capable than the other?

In the realm of education , we use meritocracy to justify everything... We justify GEP with meritocracy, saying that the children who have scored good results in PSLE are too smart for the normal system and that they deserve a different system catered to their expressly different needs. I doubt the indicative ability of the PSLE, and i doubt its system in selecting gepers.

Jesus agrees to build the best schools for the sons of these powerful jews. He justifies it because he believes the jews, being the most "capable" in their knowledge of theology deserve to be justly rewarded, and be put in an advantageous position in the system.

Does that not cause class stratification, that people in a more ideal and advantageous system get to carry on legacy of their fathers?

Meritocratic Jesus refused to heal the sick... his justification is that this would snatch away the businesses of those who are good enough to find a cure. Again there is an emphasis on "merit". According to Meritocratic Jesus, the world is full of opportunities where those with the capability can take advantage of, he sees the terminally ill as an opportunity for the doctors to get richer. Those with merit will always benefit from helping the less fortunate. This does not always happen in real life, sometimes acts of altruism are just needed to end suffering.

More importantly, Meritocratic Jesus believes that a perfect society can be achieved on conditional terms. He believes that through the setting of incentives and conditions, great acts of charity can be achieved. Those with the Merit to do these deeds should and would be greatly awarded.

Lets look at how Jesus of Nazareth would have handled it:

Scripture reference: Romans 13:9 “Love your Neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5:14, John 13:34, I Corinthians 13:4
Concepts: Treat others like you would like to be treated. God loves everyone regardless of color, size, intelligence, social status, etc. Love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast . . .

Jesus preaches a doctrine of unconditional love . Love that is not motivated by the prospect of getting money. I seem to remember that Jesus went around healing the sick and feeding the hungry during my time in sunday school before i became atheist... someone correct me if i am wrong.

The main crux of the meritocratic issue:"What is to judge a person to be of ability? what is the standard of judging if there is to be a meritocratic society?"

Technically Titus Duraius did a wonderful job, he ran the organization without a hitch. Although his ethics leaves alot to be questioned, can we not say that he is not wrong due to his sheer competence?

In the world of meritocratic Jesus, judgement on one's ability is based on hard statistical measure.. How about other issues like morality? or ethical righteousness?

Jesus seems to have an answer:

5 "Blessed are the Meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6 "Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 "Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

8 "Blessed are the Pure in Heart, for they shall see GOD

Jesus seems to play a large amount of emphasis on the purity of heart, the goodness of soul, etc etc.. intangible measures that cannot be counted as competency. A person may be competent without being moral.

This frame was added just to show how Meritocratic Jesus sells the idea of meritocracy to others. He tells others that the educated have great prospects, and everyone can be educated and smart if they try hard enough.
like:"If ylur son had tried hard enough to study he'd be able to enter RVHS (illustrative example only) and recieve the education he so fully deserves.."
Meritocratic Jesus believes that social standing, prospects and education are important aspirations for the everyday man... So important that he sells assessment books about how to have an edge in the exams. (Obviously , achieving this is one of the main pointers of his self-made religion.)

Also remember what Jesus Christ said instead of Meritocratic Jesus:
"It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:24)
Jesus christ is clearly trying to tell you that no matter how good your social standing, prospects, or reputation which society judges you by, one can have the possiblity of being unable to be able to recieve spiritual salvation. One may be a rich man, but still inherit nothing in the kingdom of god.

Meritocratic Jesus gets what he deserves when he is betrayed by the immoral TiTus Duraius.

He somehow manages to bribe his way out of his situation.. The real jesus on the other hand(we are sorry to have drawn him so shoddy, we draw our comics in slightly more than an hour most of the time due to time constraints) died for his beliefs, and died for the sins of man.. Isn't this a powerful comparison? Showing that Jesus does not preach meritocracy.. in fact he preaches a very different doctrine.. I'm sorry if you found this picture offensive but it was supposed to solidify the argument and show that Jesus did not believe in meritocracy, and is very different from meritocratic jesus...

A juxtaposition of the real jesus to meritocratic jesus, who died for his beliefs and sacrificed himself for the sins of mankind is in the background.. while meritocratic jesus escapes scott free with his riches...

I thought this was clear enough to show that Christianity was being praised for its higher values.

Praising Jesus and singing songs about him isn't the only way to compliment a religion... You can also show the values that are opposite to what the religion believes and prove how dispicable they are...

I have nothing against meritocracy, i just believe that over emphasis on it changes the spirit of what meritocracy was intended to be. When the best of our students are isolated from the other students, classified, and trained to be different from everyone else, what do the words equality and democracy mean?


Blogger Martia said...

Thank you for taking the time to explain this.

not that i had been offended in any way, but i found what you said quite interesting =)

10:39 AM  
Blogger Gerald said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Gerald said...

I have been following the Student’s Notebook since its launch, and would like to applaud the creators for enlarging the discussion space of education issues on the internet. The contentious nature of the issue raised this week may explain the lack of comments and responses, but I will try to counter some of the points raised.

Based on the wikipedia definition of meritocracy that you used, which defined it as “a system of government based on rule by ability (merit) rather than by wealth or social position”, meritocracy by itself is neutral. It is not a force of good or evil, as in globalization. The crux of the issue lies in how much the system is skewed by policy makers, as well as the extent to which everyone can fit into the system.

The judgement of a person’s ability is in accordance with the existing norms of a society. It is to the society’s benefit that the most suited person is selected for the job, for the society will fall behind otherwise. This self-correcting mechanism has been made even more powerful with the increasing competitiveness of world economies and the increasing mobility of the labour force. Talents are now more free than before to move to other countries where they are appreciated, and countries that do not have the necessary human capital in place will see themselves trying to catch up with the rest.

The claim that meritocracy will only produce people who think increasingly alike is far fetched and without evidence to support. People can “march to their own drummers”, and continue to excel in their individual fields. Likewise, the linkage to equality and democracy is tenuous and unwarranted. What I can see is you have ascribed many shortcomings of the education system to meritocracy, when elitiism should be root of these problems.

Any system when carried out to the extreme will lead to undesirable consequences, as when “those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others”.

The discussion should thus not be on the merits and demerits of meritocracy, but the ways to which a level playing field can be created for all in the spirit of equity and fairness.

4:51 PM  
Blogger mad girl said...

I think people who were offended by the 'Jesus' issue are more curious as to why the Christian figure of Jesus was used in the first place, and not so much as to the difference between the Christian Jesus and the 'meritocratic Jesus'. Please do make yourself clear to them on this note. I'm not offended by your entry, though.

2:39 AM  
Blogger Da Xiang said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Da Xiang said...

"Jesus preaches a doctrine of unconditional love."'

Thats not true. Well actually it depend on how you argue it, bible is FULL of contradiction.

You see if it is unconditional love, explain why Hilter goes to heaven and Ghandi goes to hell. You are suppose to give him your prayers before you can go heaven.

Oh in addion and before you can become his disciple. You must follow what said in Luke 14:26. So much for uncondional love...

[anw if you guys happen to know the Elaine in NJ(she told me u guys(or 1 of u) are her friend), I am her senior)

9:13 PM  
Blogger [--(DarthOctopus)--] said...

who ever said that hitler goes to heaven? was he a christian in the first place? in fact during his tyrancy he denounced christians as "weak". is that supposed to mean that he accepts christian values and ideas, let alone christianity? what blasphemy!

4:35 AM  
Blogger [--(DarthOctopus)--] said...

for that matter:
John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

Note the "believes". not sacrifice yourself, not climb a sacred mountain, nor live the rest of your lives under a law tighter than an undersized steel belt, but simply to believe. it is this idea of faith, in the fact that Jesus died for your sins, as well as the fact that the grace of God sees you as redeemed and sinless in the work of Jesus, that is the foundation of Christianity.

4:39 AM  
Blogger slacker said...

Meritocracy, on the base level, is not the worst invention of mankind- football is. I joke. On the other hand, one must understand that as long as it is carried out in moderation the problems the authors mentioned would not be serious enough to contribute to a significant intellectual divide, or divide in any kind, in the society.

It is the meritocracy in Singapore that is the problem. We have implemented an elitism system and hypocritically named it meritocracy. Remember how kids are selected for GEP? They take this test in Primary 3 (I'm not sure if it's still true now) and that test consists of difficult questions far beyond their level. I suspect more than 50% of the kids get into GEP just by being manificent dice throwers. Then these students, now classed as the elites, undergo training that really makes them a cut above the rest,albeit little, in terms of their level of reasoning. And nobody has questioned why the not-so-good dice throwers are not entitled the same opportunity.

Next, the exam system. Where else in the world will you get an answer like "You dont need to know this, it's not in your syllabus" from a teacher? ONLY in Singapore. What we have- as Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam aptly puts it- is an EXAM meritocracy, not a TALENT meritocracy. Students are taught how to handle exams, not develop talent. And that is why even though our kids at primary, secondary and JC level top the world charts for math and science exams every year, we have NEVER produced a top scientist, NEVER produced a nobel prize winner, NEVER won anything at the Olympics since the bronze we got decades ago. And i daresay if this warped and pathetic system we have goes on we will NEVER manage to do it. NEVER!

What we need is talent meritocracy, where people are free to develop their talents in their fields of interests, and still be recognised for them- and not be condemned because they didnt do well in a freakin' bloody PSLE or O levels or A levels, or whatever.

Exam meritocracy will only produce damned machines only good at tackling exam question, but tactless at handling their own lives.

And the government desperately wonders why we dont have internationally acclaimed specialists, Olympics Gold medalists, nobel prize winners, famous activists, and anything that's got something to do with talent, creativity, critical thinking, blah.

Oh, except that we do have this particular Holdings that's rather famous across the globe. Oh wait. It's state-funded and owned by the spouse of an important figure? My bad.

PS: If the authors are free I'd like to hear their comments on this;) And the authors can delete this comment if it's not appropriate for this weblog.

5:26 AM  
Blogger Da Xiang said...

He is not a christian but he is a Catholic or he died as a Catholic

Here are the evidence shows that:

Hitler was born and baptized into Catholicism

His Jewish antisemitism came from his Christian background.

His early personal notes shows his interest in religion and Biblical views.

He believed that the Bible represented the history of mankind.

His Nazi party platform (their version of a constitution) included a section on Positive Christianity, and he never removed it.

He confessed his Christianity.

He tried to establish a united Reich German Church.

Hitler allowed the destruction of Jewish synagogues and temples, but not Christian churches.

He encouraged Nazis to worship in Christian churches.

He spoke of his Christian beliefs in his speeches and proclamations.

His contemporaries, friends, Protestant ministers and Catholics priests, including the Vatican, thought of Hitler as a Christian.

The Catholic Church never excommunicated Hitler. He died a Catholic.

Conclusion: Hitler is Christian BEST model example of a man having absolute faith in God[that he will go heaven after masscare of Jews(Just to point out Yahweh masterminded the masscare the Amalekites in 1Sam 15)]

Also compare the people who betrayed and forsake Joshua(thats the correct Hebrew translation, Jesus is a wrong translation) with the people he killed in Holocaust.

6:28 PM  
Blogger hime meeya said...

Dear Elephant, I agree with your implicit thoughts that Hitler cannot be the best Christian model. You express outrage at his being exalted as a model because of what he has done. I totally agree! And you know what? He is not the best Christian model. I don't believe anyone believes that he is the best Christian around.

A Christian is one who has believed in essence what Jesus taught. And he taught unconditional love: love your neighbours as yourself. That includes enemies as well.

Hear me out as I tell this story. There was once a good and benevolent King who ruled his country. He was a fair and just ruler, and took good care of his people. However, there was a group of people in his country who chose to rebel. After exhausting all avenues and giving them numerous chances, they still hated the King and thought that they could do a better job of ruling the kingdom. So what should the King do? Mete out a punishment appropriate to their crime, or look the other way and allow the rebels to ravage his country? I think the sense of justice in us will demand some form of punishment to be meted out, but that mercy be shown to those who turn away from their rebellion and acknowledge that the King is truly their King.

That, in a nutshell, is the Christian message. In turning away from the rebellion, they repent both in knowledge and in deeds, to follow what the King (God) has commanded.

By this definition then, whether or not Hitler is in heaven, his deeds were disastrous and ought to be condemned. Along the same vein, Hitler thus cannot be the best Christian model.

About the Bible being full of contradictions, that will take a long time to address because it entails reading the passages and understanding them! But the essence of it is that the Bible, if read correctly, does not and cannot contradict itself. If the interpretation contradicts with some other things in the Bible, then the interpretation is wrong somewhere.

Hope that answers a bit of your questions.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Da Xiang said...

I wasn't being sacastic there when I said he is the best role model when it comes to having faith in god. If not he wun dare kill so many.

N u must believe in him first(condition) b4 he will die for ur sins. So no unconditional love there.

Lastly this is post is about my thought and why I said is TRUE if you disagree with me you are WRONG.(sound familiar doesn't it?)

3:39 AM  
Blogger zx said...

I thought this was an excellent post, although the use of Jesus might've been detrimental to the issue itself. Perhaps another approach would have been better, since associating just about anything with Christianity these days equates to preaching and spreading religion. It's not that it's wrong to do so, but that it seems to put some off. (Particularly those who have been pestered by Christian activists on the street or are upset with the Christian model of morality that some parts of society enjoy force-feeding people with. No premarital sex and the manic focus on virginity, for instance...)

I do agree that the Singapore system is elitist to an extreme degree. In a way, it is precisely elitism that stops real learning and critical thinking. Students who don't get the best results tell themselves they have to study, to squeeze into the echelons of "high society". Which means listening to the teacher when she says that something isn't in the syllabus, etc etc. They don't bother to learn about things outside the syllabus, or even to think about the reasons and logic behind maths and physics formulas. They shun humanities subjects (no offence to those who take these subjects) because they're difficult to score for. The Singapore system is a system that focuses on short-term elitism: getting into the best schools and getting the very best marks, but not what type of person you turn out to be, or what type of education you get on the emotional side. Which is why schools prefer competitions and awards over attempting to improve school spirit; which is why certain schools choose to retain students with not-so-good results simply to improve rankings. In the end, who really wins?

9:48 AM  
Blogger jaS% said...

to elephant: hi, im jaslyn frm nj too =)

"N u must believe in him first(condition) b4 he will die for ur sins. So no unconditional love there."

Jesus has already died for our sins. its up to us to choose to believe and accept that he is our Saviour. in the first place, adam chose to disobey God, thats why we were cut off from God. But He sent Jesus as a way for us to reach him. he has already died. if you believe in Him, u will then believe in unconditional love.

he has unconditional love for all, its just whether u choose to believe in it or not! its him offering a gift for us, and we can decide if we want to take it. not that we decide and then he offers.

6:46 PM  
Blogger jaS% said...

"About the Bible being full of contradictions, that will take a long time to address because it entails reading the passages and understanding them! But the essence of it is that the Bible, if read correctly, does not and cannot contradict itself. If the interpretation contradicts with some other things in the Bible, then the interpretation is wrong somewhere."

yep, i think this explains everything i want to say. =) and reading the bible is not only abt reading, its abt truly understanding it. if one wants to read and try to pick out loopholes, u can go on arguing forever and ever and u will never get the true meaning of the word. and reading the bible is also about understanding the context of it. you cant just pick a verse and choose to follow it strictly without knowing in what situation it shld be applied, and whether in the later part of the bible, sth else happens which changes the focus of it. e.g. in the old testament, the bible was generally more abt laws, what we can or cannot do. but after God sent Jesus to save us in the new testament, the bible was more about love and loving others. (which in turn helps us to stick to the laws)

6:52 PM  
Blogger Da Xiang said...

To my nj junior:

I dun know which verse tell u that he will die for our sin whether or not we accept him but John 3:16 clearly state that it is believer.

N not just in the bible onli that onli believer get all the benefits but if u read the Qu'ran it is also believer who will get enternal live n so on. N for those non-believer Qu'ran damn u alot(especially christian just read Book 5)

N I tell u onli a shallow coward will say "if the interpretation contradicts with some other things in the Bible, then the interpretation is wrong somewhere."

1) It is equal to this is post is about my thought and why I said is TRUE if you disagree with me you are WRONG.

2) It will be ok if it is indeed true but well it is not n contradict in alot of places.

N if u think that bible is god sent, then u should believe that u will not understand it. U are not master dectative nobody cares if ur interpretation is correct or wrong, it won't be officially recognised as the interpretation because no one will know whats on gods mind.(if they r there)

N about laws in old testament i dun think u christian give a damn to it. Only Jews follow it. U dun see guy cutting their foreskin nowadays.(well Allah/Yahweh really have something against foreskin don't they?)

Oh n if u really follow the bible so much, I command all women/girls to shut up and agree with me. Yahweh did state to let men rule over women didn't he ;).(Well guess what is the gender of the person who wrote the bible :P[oh n bible scholars widly agree that it wasn't Moses])

3:02 AM  
Blogger joash said...

dear elephant,

catholics are catholics, whether Hitler believed in JESUS, that's another story. and i think catholics believe in Mother Mary. am i right? correct me if i'm wrong. Christians believe in Jesus. and how do you know that Gandhi went to hell? i think you still don't get the point that he already died for our sins, not is going to, or only when you believe. He died, and rose again, and whether you want to accept its up to you.

unconditional love. he died for you already. its only a matter of whether you want to believe it and accept or not! no conditions attached. it doesnt mean that if you don't believe he won't show you love. God loves each and every one of us, seriously. even if you're not a believer, Jesus still loves you the way you are, because he made you.

i agree with jaslyn. you can go on arguing, but you totally miss the point, the gist of it. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "ALL SCRIPTURE IS GOD-BREATHED and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." hope i get the point across.

elephant, you said the Bible is false, but why do you quote so much stuff from it? like asking the female to shut up? i thought you didnt believe whatever Jesus said? so do you believe in the Bible or not?theres no such thing as 'oh i believe whatever that i like to believe. those that i don't wish to believe, i won't believe.' either you believe totally, or none at all, so don't use Bible quotes in vain, because it is Holy and powerful.

Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

not that i'm trying to sow discord or what, i'm just helping you to see the point, and you contradict yourself too.

12:56 AM  
Blogger hime meeya said...

About interpretation. How do you read a book?

Shall I quote from Lord of the Rings? I quote... "'I have come,' he said. 'But I do not choose now to do what I came to do. I will not do this deed. The Ring is mine!' And suddenly, as he set it on his finger, he vanished from Sam's sight."

Now if we just read this portion, we could possibly think that "he" is a backstabber, a backbiter who cannot be counted on to do what he was is supposed to do. He is unreliable!

And what of Sam? Sam could be his bodyguard, his partner... we do not know just from this portion.

But if we read the whole book, or even just one chapter, we get a better idea of who they are. We find out that "he" is really Frodo, who was tasked with destroying the Ring by dropping it into Mount Doom, and Sam Gangee went along with him. We find out that Frodo is an amiable chap who behaves this way because of the Ring.

Now if we just based our understanding of "he" on that passage, JRR Tolkien will be turning in his grave. We would have missed the point completely!

Books and manuscripts are meant to be read in its entirety. Authors, when writing, have a message to bring across. If we don't read their work and interpret it correctly, then i think we just miss the author's whole point!

Just like this comic. It uses Meritocratic Jesus and distorts events in the Bible to satirize the Singapore government. Now, the comic writer's message is about the failings of meritocracy. To interpret it wrongly could possibly mean to see Meritocratic Jesus as the historical Jesus.

So yes, people who create word-works have a message to bring. A right interpretation of the work is what they meant. Then, once we understand what the actual meaning is, we can apply what we find meaningful. A wrong interpretation could be to read our modern-day context into the story.

Just as in the LOTR extract, if we read it wrongly... who knows, "he" and Sam could be getting married, but "he" chickens out at the last minute and well, puts on the Ring coz' it's so expensive he just wants to keep it, and disappears!

7:33 AM  
Blogger Da Xiang said...

To joash

shut ur BBV and read carefully and use your senses. Did I said Bible is false? NO I only said it contradicts... alot. I mean by all mean I am gonna agree that we should honour our parents but at the same time I gonna disagree that we should hate our parents and sibling. There are many things that we should listen but alot more thing that we shouldn't. Like the massacre of amalekites in 1Sam 15. Or how about I rob your pants, and you should offer me your underpants?(I know it is more of robbing clock but I dun see the diff) Maybe you can call me out someday and let me slap your face, then you should offer me the other side to slap. Oh man this is nosense

N about quoting of bible, the point is if all u bible nazi is so much into it, then jolly well follow it. All women/girls shut the hell up and agree with me cos I am a guy. Man rule over woman.(Well to be honest I disagree with Yahweh making man rule over women, Adam was really being a pussy pushing the blame) But by pointing this out, I am showing that if women/girls christian disagree with me they are not following with what they believe in.

About the issue of Hitler, catholic, christian, they are some different in believe but they still fall under the same denominator AND is accepted into the christian community unlike Mormon.

Well I really don't know which christian is going to disagree with me that a Ghandi who is not a christian is going to heaven IF we follow the bible, John 3:16-17. I wouldn't mind if you quote something from the bible which can say that none believer is going to heaven or Joshua(the correct translation is not Jesus) died for EVERYONE for that matter because what I heard from my christian friends are that if you accept Joshua to take your sin so that you can go to heaven. THATS the condition. Oh yeah and if you can quote it, the bible contradict.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "ALL SCRIPTURE IS GOD-BREATHED...." <--- Bullshit

Well if it is really god-breathed then god is bullshitting. I won't go into all the contradiction because u know i can come out with alot and it will be a waste of you time trying to explain them to me.

Just think, people are trying to suck other people into believing their religion, of course they write that even when it is not true. You see for example, with all the terroist around, airport security is going to be tight but they are bullshit.

They'll submit you to rigorous interrogation by asking you questions to ensure that you're not a terrorist plotting to blow up the airplane (because that's what all terrorists do). Some of the questions you might be asked:

- Have you received any packages from strangers?
- Did you pack your own luggage?
- Was your luggage in your posession at all times?

I mean what's the point of asking these questions? Anyone planning on blowing up an airplane probably isn't going to be honest enough to answer these questions truthfully in the first place.

They want you to believe in that god, of course they will write what ever lies in it to get you to agree with them. You can go read the Qu'ran and Mormon to see if they say it is god sent. Even ur Gonstic is god sent. Come on dun be so gullible.

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one

9:59 AM  
Blogger Da Xiang said...

Oh anw if you are still trying to argue about there is no condition you should go read the "laws" that jaslyn was taking about.

23:1 He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD. [better look after your private or else your god won't love you]

23:2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD. [techincally speaking Joshua aka Jesus is one]

23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever. [well this actually contradict, Ruth was a Moabites, she is the ancestor of David somemore, but not Joshua, since Joseph does not have a erm seed [sperm] to do with Joshua.]

5:40 PM  
Blogger yuez said...

The problem about these contradictions and examples in the Bible that is supposed to be read in entirety, is that there will always exist a constant danger of misinterpreting it.

Human interpretations of books are all different, and those examples of war and massacres in the Bible, while christians argue its a symbolic and has a good message behind it, would constantly open a slippary path to fundermentalism and intolerance. In this case, why must a book use such horrific masscres and intolerace to preach love and tolerance?

Why can't be it be like those motivating books in the self-improvement section in the bookshop or library, people get inspired by those writings which are not necessary religious or conflicting in nature.

Anyway, to writers of comments, spare a thought for en and hou, the comic writers, I just want to caution against overheated religious debates in their website.

9:50 PM  
Blogger slacker said...

maybe religion can be the next topic=)

4:08 AM  
Blogger jedipin said...

Greetings! I chanced upon this blog an hour ago and was drawn into the discussions in this thread.

My intention to posting a comment is to encourage the Christians. But before i go into that, allow me to quickly point our friends to 2 things.

WIth regards to 'unconditional love': the disciple Peter wrote 'For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.'
Believe me when I say I've struggled with what some of you have about the concept of 'unconditional love'. It took a clear-headed, yet poorly educated fisherman to make me understand.
C.S. Lewis, we all know him don't we, illustrated in Mere Christianity that God loves on 2 levels. He can and does choose to love or hate the actions and responses of his people... simply because he is holy. But it is his very nature to love every one of his creations.

Secondly, contradictions? In all my years of searching for the truth the bible has proved to be the one source with the greatest amount of consistencies. With all love and respect, and in the gentless tone I can master, I hope that those who see conflicts in the messages in the bible to re-read them in the entirety of the Word. It might not be easy, so get a Christian to help or read commentries.
Dare I post a more pertinent question to those who doubt the bible: Who is to say that the bible is the word (even, breath) of God? Is there evidence? Are they reliable?
To these questions we can, and must, turn to the scholarly area of apologetics. The late Paul E Little's 'Know whu u belive' and Lee Strobel's 'Case for Christ' are good places to start.

NOW, to my brothers and sisters I must say that I am very encourages, even joyous, to see you battling with the Word for all its authencity and through that act, struggling with your faith. Let me just return the favour by quoting from 1 Peter (I was looking for the verse above lah, when I came across these words):

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing... Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. 'Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.' But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God..."

8:45 AM  
Blogger joash said...

how can you believe part of the Bible, and reject part of it? like agree a bit here, disagree a bit there.. what nonsense..

if you're prejudiced against it, most of the stuff you read is contradictory. you'll try to find as many loopholes as possible, and yes, i'm not going to argue with you about this, because when judgement day comes, we'll all know the truth. but i must say that i want YOU-elephant-to come to know the Lord in a personal way, and that you might be saved. so i'll be praying for you. if you don't want me to, its alright.

catholics have a different belief, but are accepted. doesn't mean they will go to heaven. the basis is if you believe and recieve, you'll be in heaven. and how do you know gandhi wasn't a christian? i heard that he followed the teachings of Christ closely. but whether he believes, only God and himself knows.

you don't believe that all scripture is God-breathed? too bad for you then. why don't you come out with some contradictions then? isn't it amazing how God uses so many different people to write the Bible? i know you will argue-see? people wrote, not God. but God was the one who inspired the chosen people to write in his Holy Bible.


everyone from different religions will say that, but once you're in the family, you'll know its true because you'll experience the mighty God.

1:37 AM  
Blogger lysh said...

I'm really sorry that this blog entry on education has evolved into this hot-blooded discussion of religions.
The thing about religions is that it's up to you to believe them. So i'll say this upfront. I am a Christian. But I won't bite your head off because you don't believe in my God. I accept your views. And to be honest, i'm very glad you know so much about Christianity (although in truth i think u misquote the bible). I don't know why you wish to do what you do, which is to cut down my religion. All i know is that i believe in a God who is so great, and so loving and true. A God who loved me so much that he came down from the heavens to die for my sins. And - get this- he did this knowing that not everyone would believe him. He was willing to die on a cross even though he might very well die in vain.
and honestly, i know God's love is unconditional. But that how can you accept his love if you refuse to accept that he actually CAN take away your sins. It's like, how can you go for chemotherapy to cure you of cancer if you don't even believe that chemotherapy is 1) real 2) effective. God isn't exacting anything fromm you by asking you to believe in his Son, Jesus Christ. He's offering to you his love, his forgiveness, his blessings. But you have to accept it.
with regard to the comment you made on circumcision, it is a ritual of purification (on the most basic level, a level which does not make us righteous. it just makes us eligible to making ourselves righteous [according to judaism]) of the OLD testement. That's judaism. Christianity is based on the new testement. And Christians do not believe in Circumcsion. Because if Christ died for our sins and made us clean by his resurrection, why in the world do we have to endure so much pain to purify ourselves?
OH, and i find it most amusing that you brought up the "if you want to follow Christ, you have to hate your parents and your siblings". I used to be confused by that too. Until a fellow Christian explained to me that in context, Christ is telling us that in being a Christian, there will be times when our parents will oppose us, or demand that we disobey God. But we must stand firm in our belief, stand firm to the extent that it would seem like we hate our parents, but in truth we just love GOd so much. it's hard to understand as a christian, so i don't blame you if u don't understand as a non-believer.
But in the end, every religion has something good to offer to society. if it didn't, frankly speaking, the government wouldn't allow it.
But if you are an aethist, and you don't believe in any God, i'd like to ask who exactly do you believe in. Yourself? what happens when you fail. because i know i fail all the time. fail to love. fail to succeed. I'm so imperfect, and so full of holes that for a few minutes after i read what you wrote, i got angry at you. And i apologize. it is not for me to judge you, or anyone. because i am not good enough to judge. All i know is what God has done for me. He gave me hope, he gave me love. And with that love he gave me, i can love others. I'm not going to go into a long winded story about what God has done for me. All i'm going to say is i really hope that one day, when things go wrong, you will find strength to go on. and on, and on and on. until you die. But truthfully, i hope you'll accept Christ. because i would really hate for you to go to hell. i really wish for you to go to heaven. I wish for you to feel loved, just as i do, loved in that perfect love that is better than even the love of my parents and my siblings. God bless you, elephant.

2:41 AM  
Blogger eudora said...

haha I'm a Roman Catholic and I found this hilarious. I think we take our religion too seriously if we can't find it in our hearts to poke fun at ourselves, honestly. nice one :)

10:48 PM  
Blogger Da Xiang said...

Quote "Christianity is based on the new testement." U are so right.

Quote "e.g. in the old testament, the bible was generally more abt laws, what we can or cannot do. but after God sent Jesus to save us in the new testament, the bible was more about love and loving others. (which in turn helps us to stick to the laws)" This is so wrong

Well u christians contradicts.(But i know who is correct) Anw lysh I am just using what jas% said(which is wrong) to explain point out how dumb it will be if she is following her understanding.

Anw about the hate ur parent part... "But we must stand firm in our belief, stand firm to the extent that it would seem like we hate our parents" Well it is true provided u follow old testament Deuteronomy 13: 6-10. Put i'll pass on it. Anw I have heard alot of explaination, again christain community can't agree with each other. To be honest the most acceptable explaination that can make sense with the context of the book is your love to God is so much that relatively you hate ur parents. Which well contradicts to honour your parents.(since you are suppose to read bible as whole and adding love your enemy is rubbing salt into wound)

8:10 PM  
Blogger ching said...

elephant wth did u get ur spurious comments/conclusions from tt hitler went heaven n ghandi went hell? OMG U R SUCH A SHALLOW PERSON SPOUTING UR MOUTH AWAY LIKE FREE WITH NO SOLID EVIDENCES OR KNOWLEDGE IN THIS FIELD.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Da Xiang said...

ching u r the SOB.

1) Hitler is a catholic
2) There are penlty of evidence
3) By ur bible theory of Grace and Salvation he is going to heaven, read John 3:16,17
4) Ghandi, obviously not a christian(Hindu perhaps)
5) Is bound to hell according to ur bible theory of Grace and Salvation he is going to hell, read John 3:16,17.

Conclusion: Ching felt that Christian is SUCH A SHALLOW RELIGION SPOUTING ITS BELIEVE AWAY LIKE FREE WITH NO SOLID EVIDENCES OR KNOWLEDGE IN THIS FIELD. (cos i am going according to your bible teaching, so since I do not believe that it is right, i disagree that Hitler went to heaven and Ghandi went to hell. Hitler will go to heaven n Ghandi to hell IF the bible is true)

Seriously, Hitler might not be Jews' best friend but that doesn't mean u can reject the fact that he is one of you. Even when u are a SOB doesn't mean u shouldn't honour your mum doesn't it? U r utterly shallow and bias and obviously have lesser knowledge of bible than lysh.

6:04 AM  
Blogger yuez said...

People in this forum, cool it and calm down. This is a public comment board set up by the comic writers. I hope it can remain secular, as singapore society is. Do not turn this into some apologetic cause.

If you want to reply seriously, please think of nation and society in general, instead merely from your religious point of view. People all have different ways of thinking, you can interpret your holy text in your own unique way, but it dosen't mean you are definitely right and others are wrong. Stop quoting from the bible please, don't preach here. Use your own argument and reasoning instead, and use real life examples that are relevant to society.

7:22 PM  
Blogger fang said...

this is so ss

2:11 AM  
Blogger zeminith said...

The problem with ideological discussions is that people revolve in different worlds. Athetists see reality as it is, while christians adopt a biblical view. Christians use Biblical examples and statements to substantiate their views and beliefs, while athetists use real life experiences. Apparently they are not conversing in a same "language" for the discussion to continue. What normally happens then is that the athetists will seek to quote from the Bible in an attempt to converse in a similar "language". The Bible being the cornerstone of the faith, is thus the most contested spot.
Contradictions are akin to cracks in the cornerstone while faith is the thing that flows in and seal the gap.
Really, it is a no-win issue. Believe what you want. Religion can never truly be Reasoned. One simply Realise...

7:18 PM  
Blogger Da Xiang said...

Quote "Believe what you want." Thats bad man. It is root to many conflicts. Do take time to read 5th book of Qu'ran and u'll realise why there are "extremists" around.(take note of those inverted commas)

5:55 AM  
Blogger Da Xiang said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

erm.. is this the end of the sister project? nothing else?

5:46 AM  
Blogger truefrensluv said...

i can't understand why you're so prejudiced against Christianity and Christians. we aren't forcing you to believe. because it's your choice. and we do not hate our parents. it's true that we must put God above everything else. but not to the extent that we hate our parents. if our parents object to us believing in Christ, we must be able to stand up against them. it's good to know that you know the Bible well. but i don't think you're exactly understanding the whole thing. i think that you're taking it too literally. and please do not say that anything from the Bible is bullshit.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Raen said...

I still don't really see how this article about Singapore's education system could draw comments of mostly religious nature..

But while we're on this note, I'd like to share a rather "common sense" kinda quote.

"When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest" - William Hazlitt.

Perhaps En&Hou used Jesus as a model because, well, He's known to people. Non-Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, atheists, agnostics, blahblah, most people would have heard about Him by means of ... uhh.. evangelism. (Though some might be inclined to refer to it as 'blatant advertisement')

So stop picking on Jesus and religions and pick on Singapore's policy of meritocracy already! =/

Personally I could just quote from Slacker xD;

"We have implemented an elitism system and hypocritically named it meritocracy. "

5:22 AM  
Blogger Da Xiang said...

Oxymoron - I am a very faithful atheist.

Anyway I do not despise chistian and chistianity ONLY. I pretty much i despise religion. OK first there are very interesting content in this site.

Seriously there are report of islamic extremist isn't there? But seriously they are not extremist or teorrist, they are just being muslim.

Go that site and read the fifth book. Read the following verus.


If you want a summarise version u can come to

Yap they are bullshit

7:22 AM  
Blogger yk said...

im an atheist and proud of it.

if god exists, my dad wont have died such a horrible death, looking nothing like he truly was.

love, indeed.

oh and do get this clear, i still respect Catholics and their vies, principles, morals etc. I know many Catholic friends, and their tolerant of my views, no matter how inflammatory I can get.

Its the evangelists that peeve me off. good job xiang, for trying to letting these word-for-word fundies merely see fallacies, and not talk in a oh-so-enlightened manner, with the arrogance that there'd be a judgement day or whatsoever.

I know i will die one day, and the universe is going towards the Big Crunch. and Man's goanna evolve.


10:13 AM  
Blogger yuez said...

Hey.. how come no new discussions? Alot of school stuff happening leh... campus superstar, poly-jc debate and uh... the hp sex video scandal. Just start a new blog topic and let the comments flow...

7:33 PM  
Blogger Raen said...

Haha. Yuez, fancy gathering a few from this comment thread and starting a splinter-isque blog? 'Cause En&Hou are prolly too busy.

5:00 AM  
Blogger JCDaedalus said...

Seems like this blog has been the target of spammers. Anyway, I'm a Christian, but I wouldn't say a very devout one, and I despise Evangelism. Seriously. What age is this? It surely isn't the era of the Crusades where people were foorced to convert. Belief is totally your choice. I also think the Bible is naturally full of contrdictions. It wasn't written by one person. It is a collection of writing of God's word by HUMANS. We're only human, remember. We're all bound to exaggerate and make mistakes and disagree.

7:35 AM  
Blogger unknown said...

ehh hallow, this is Singapore horz...pure and clean singapore...

can these spammers stop posting links to PORN website? that's so degrading...

3:54 AM  
Blogger Raen said...

re: cowbehcowmoo.

Right. After the porn comes the Christians. <<;

2:32 AM  
Blogger grace zhang! said...

to xiang (if you ever read this)
or then again it is not for us to judge

people who will only go to heaven
if they believe that jesus is the ONLY way to heaven

there is NO other way to heaven
but through jesus christ! (you cant do good works to go to heaven)
and that you admit you are a sinner and christ saved you from eternal damnation

so technically unless hitler that all that he wont be in a heaven

and ghandi may be good
but how good is good that is able to bridge the gap between GOD and us? the gap which is so wide because man has fallen due to sin?

8:29 AM  
Blogger En & Hou said...

I've cleaned up the mess. Apolgies for not spotting it.


3:41 AM  

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