Letters

Letters To The Editor, 24th, October, 2018

Drua’s gallant performance Ratu Nacani Mocelutu Sugutanaivalu, Nabitu, Tailevu Congratulations to Fiji Airways Fijian Drua coach Senirusi Seruvakula and the men for the gallant effort and for their memorable win
24 Oct 2018 11:16
Letters To The Editor,  24th, October, 2018

Drua’s gallant performance

Ratu Nacani Mocelutu Sugutanaivalu, Nabitu, Tailevu

Congratulations to Fiji Airways Fijian Drua coach Senirusi Seruvakula and the men for the gallant effort and for their memorable win last Saturday in Lautoka.

The outstanding performance of the Fiji Airways Drua throughout the NRC Competi­tions this year is a clear indication that Mr Seruvakula is the best fifteens rugby coach in Fiji today.

Mr Seruvakula’s tactical advice to the boys at the breather was crucial on how to counter the winning team and to spearhead strate­gies, followed by substitutes at the right mo­ment in the last 40 minutes had eventually turned the table into Fiji’s favour, as they de­feated Canberra Vikings.

Now, that’s the kind of fifteens rugby coach we want in Fiji today because he knows his job well.

Election promises

Manoah Kaleca, Nakasi

Election time is just around the corner. Gov­ernment MPs and its Opposition seem to be going full swing in trying to sell their prom­ises to the people.

I believe it is a good time for all citizens of Fiji to really have a good think, analyse and see if what these politicians are promising goes hand-in-hand with their qualities, integ­rity and performances so far.

As I’ve said before that politics is full of po­li-tricks. Beware of those wolves in sheep’s clothing who will sell anything even if it’s breaking the law to just win our vote.

Our future and the future of our children will depend on it. Choose wisely!

Politicians and Religion

Arvind Mani, Nadi

Most British people think religion causes more harm than good according to a survey commissioned by the Huffington Post, a US newsletter. Surprisingly, even among those who describe themselves as “very religious” 20 percent say that religion is harmful to soci­ety. For that we can probably thank the inter­net, which broadcasts everything from ISIS beheadings, to stories about Catholic hospi­tals denying care to miscarrying women, to lists of wild and weird religious beliefs.

In 2010, sociologist Phil Zuckerman pub­lished “Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Content­ment”. Zuckerman lined up evidence that the least religious societies also tend to be the most peaceful, prosperous and equitable, with public policies that help people to flour­ish while decreasing both desperation and economic gluttony.

We can debate whether prosperity and peace lead people to be less religious or vice versa. Indeed evidence supports the view that religion thrives on existential anxiety (feelings of unease about meaning, choice, and freedom in life. … for example, a person with a specific phobia might fear riding on an airplane, or a person with social anxiety disorder might have anxiety about giving a speech).

Religion promotes tribalism. Non-believers are labeled as Infidel, heathen, heretic. Reli­gion divides insiders from outsiders. Rather than assuming good intentions, adherents often are taught to treat outsiders with sus­picion.

At best, religious teachings discourage or even forbid the kinds of friendship and inter­marriage that help clans and tribes become part of a larger whole. At worst, outsiders are seen as enemies of God and goodness, poten­tial agents of Satan, lacking in morality and not to be trusted.

Religion anchors believers to the Iron Age. The Iron Age was a time of rampant supersti­tion, ignorance, inequality, racism, misogy­ny, and violence. Slavery had God’s sanction.

Women and children were literally posses­sions of men. Warlords practiced scorched-earth warfare. Desperate people sacrificed living animals, agricultural products and enemy soldiers as burnt offerings intended to appease dangerous gods.

Sacred texts all preserve and protect frag­ments of Iron Age culture, putting a God’s name and endorsement on some of the very worst human impulses. Any believer looking to excuse his own temper, sense of superior­ity, warmongering, bigotry, or planetary de­struction can find validation in writings that claim to be authored by God.

Today, humanity’s moral consciousness is evolving, grounded in an ever deeper and broader understanding of the Golden Rule. But many conservative believers can’t move forward. They are anchored to the Iron Age. This pits them against change in a never-end­ing battle.

Religion makes a virtue out of faith. Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy. The Lord works in mysterious ways, pastors tell believers who have been shaken by hor­rors like brain cancer or a tsunami. Faith is a virtue.

As science eats away at territory once held by religion, traditional religious beliefs re­quire greater and greater mental defences against threatening information.

To stay strong, religion trains believers to practice self-deception, shut out contradicto­ry evidence, and trust authorities rather than their own capacity to think. This approach seeps into other parts of life.

Religion teaches helplessness. “Que sera, sera – whatever will be will be.” Let go and let God’s will be done. We’ve all heard these phrases, but sometimes we don’t recognize the deep relationship between religiosity and resignation. Remember the story of the man who drowned as he refused help since God was going to save him?

In the most conservative sects of some re­ligions, women are seen as more virtuous if they let God manage their family planning.

Droughts, poverty and cancer get attributed to the will of God rather than bad decisions or bad systems; believers wait for God to solve problems they could solve themselves.

And, sadly, many of our pea-brained politi­cians who have no understanding of true re­ligion are creating discord among different religious factions by saying the most inane things. And these nitwits feel they are com­petent to lead the country.

Before they stand for elections, they ought to take basic lessons in commonsense, honesty and integrity to get rid of the slime they are soaked in.

But alas, I am too optimistic – if they become honest, sensible and have integrity, they will no longer be politicians. Poly means many and tics are disgusting insects.

In fact, harming society may actually be part of religion’s survival strategy.

In the words of sociologist Phil Zuckerman and researcher Gregory Paul, “Not a single advanced democracy that enjoys benign, pro­gressive socio-economic conditions retains a high level of popular religiosity.”

When people feel prosperous and secure, the hold of religion weakens. And our religious practitioners may be out of business – which may not be such a bad thing.

Voters are intelligent

Dharmendra Kumar, Suva

What is it with politicians and lies? The very people we entrust to make important decisions on our behalf are treating us with contempt by lying to our faces.

These are not just little white lies and eva­sions of the truth, but big, fat, bold lies. They’re lies that are an insult to voters’ intel­ligence.

I personally love listening to lies when I know the truth because these politicians sound foolish and certainly look foolish when they lie.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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