Letters: 28 June 2015

From Borg to Borgasm

I suggest that our parliamentary secretary for EU funds , Dr Ian Borg,  change his name.

“Borg” as a Maltese surname is as distinctive as a British “Smith” or “Jones.”

Numbers are often said to provide safety.

Safety can also mean obscurity, which is any politician’s bugbear.

If he really wants to stand out in a crowd, at any time of the year, or at any stage of any legislature, a slight adjustment to his name will work wonders.

It will be the name on everybody’s lips.

So, go for it Dr Ian Borg. Don’t you think this will be the hottest name on any roll call?

Yes, Dr Ian Borgasm.

Joe Genovese, Birkirkara

Determining right from wrong

Everybody starts forming an opinion of what is right and wrong from an early age. Most base their judgement on their parents’ beliefs, which is quite often based on the teaching of the parents’ religion. Some base the validity of their beliefs on the number of similar believers – and the more similar believers there are, the more their assumptions become entrenched. Some base their beliefs on a particular political ideology.

Many children are discouraged from asking why a certain law of behaviour should be enforced. Many leaders demand blind obedience and discourage a questioning mind. I still remember what happened to me when, as a young child, I used to ask questions to the catechist. She just refused to sign for me to receive Holy Communion even though I knew all the required knowledge. In the end, another catechist had to sign for me to receive the sacrament.

Many leaders, to enforce their ideas on their followers, attribute their ideas to some high authority. Some do so to God her/himself. As a matter of fact, at one time the church had to declare that certain teachings were not the word of Jesus or the Holy Spirit. These teachings are called apocryphal. This practice of attributing certain laws to God etc., is still practised today. One would not be mistaken to believe that such a habit was practised in Old Testament days, and that the Church just missed declaring certain Old Testament books – such as the Genesis – as apocryphal.

Schools should teach students to ask why a law is enforced, so that when it’s no longer needed, they would find no qualms in abandoning said law.

It is the citizens who should determine what is good or bad for a current situation. The future generation should be nurtured  to establish the laws of right or wrong in accordance with their circumstances. We should stop imposing antiquated laws on the future generations.

There is nothing intrinsically right or wrong, but everything depends on the circumstances, so many laws cannot be but provisional.

Some laws are anti-social and oppressive and it is our duty not to impose them on the future generations.

We should not trust priests and scientists to establish ethical values, or better still, citizenship studies.

Many people trust one of these categories blindly but both of these categories have vested interests. One has to remember that the greater a con artist is, the more likable and respected he is.

Priests should not be trusted with this task, as quite often their first reaction to something new is negative. We have vast examples of this in history. On the other hand many scientists first proclaim a discovery, and then they say that there might be ethical problems in implementing it, quite often, so that they would sell it to very rich people through the black market. Then when the rich market is exhausted, the ethical problem vanishes and the market is opened to the middle class… and so it goes.

The ideal law would be one in which the interest of others is also the interest of the individual. That’s why I do not believe that ethical professionals, quite often self-styled or with questionable qualifications, should teach ethics. I prefer the teaching of citizenship.

Also I consider this topic is far too dangerous to be subjected to exams. Many exam results are subjective. I still remember my level, of let’s say the English language, used to fluctuate from very high to low depending on whether I reflected the beliefs of the examiner in question.

Exams in ethics might very likely serve to enforce certain attitudes.

I know that this subject is a new area in our culture and I am very grateful to the people working on it, but I advise caution, so that we do not change one dictatorial system with another.

Josephine Gatt-Ciancio, Kalkara

Illegal dumping in Naxxar quarry

An unused quarry in Naxxar is slowly but surely being turned into a dump site by a construction contractor.

This contractor has access to the quarry and uses the adjacent area to store machinery and construction material, apart from having some farm animals.

Mixed construction waste is being dumped into the quarry and the tell tale signs are the towers of debris running from the bottom to the top of the quarry.  

C. Vassallo, Naxxar