Dec 10

The moral dangers for Chinese athletes at the London Olympics

Written by: guest | Filed under:-guest-posts, religion | 2 Comments » newest 2008-12-30 02:04:56

The London 2012 web-site (www.london2012.com ) proudly proclaims that athletes staying at the Olympic Village will have easy access to the travel and leisure facilities of the adjacent Stratford City complex, and the High Speed Javelin shuttle service will link the Village to central London in just seven minutes.

Just seven minutes away – a young person growing up in a structured society like China’s being so suddenly exposed to one of
the most permissive in the world.

The following are Hogarthian moral disasters that are all too conceivable given the reality of original sin and the frailty of our human nature:

A young Chinese athlete from a traditional home could catch a sexually-transmitted disease in one of the brothels or lap-dancing clubs or sleazy pick-up joints that have become so flagrantly in your face in London.

He or she could acquire a taste for cannabis, so readily available on the streets of London following its reclassification. That is not as inconceivable as it sounds. A young athlete with time on their hands after being knocked out of their event could fall prey to the temptation to try something as manifestly non-perfor mance-enhancing.

He or she could get drawn into a peer-group of native teenagers who take them out on a drinking binge.

He or she could incur a gambling debt at the one of the tawdry casinos that the last decade has spawned and get sucked into a web of corruption leading them to throw their event in a deal with a seedy book-maker.

He or she, heaven forbid, could get involved in a knife-fight outside a night-club.Just seven minutes away for a young person with a soul to destroy and time to be killed.

The Chinese authorities would be advised to appoint the equivalent of a 1950s-style hospital Matron to keep an eye on the girls and for the boys the equivalent of a National Service Sergeant-Major. Though liberals may jeer that this comes straight out of an Ealing Comedy conjuring up images of Hatty Jakes tweaking some poor chinagirl’s ear, actually this is simply common sense.

Proper supervision of young athletes in London should be strongly supported by the Christian community in China. There are now estimated to be 130 million Christians in China, more than the population of the United Kingdom. There is a good chance Christians will be represented in Team China. If one of them were to get involved in moral corruption whilst in London and that were to get into the newspapers, both the deed and its exposure would be terrible for them and for their fellow Chinese Christians.

It would make life far harder for the Christian community in China who would get tarred with the brush of Western decadence. In fact, damage to the Christian cause would be bad for the Chinese nation as a whole because the growth of Christianity is its only realistic hope of developing a political culture of freedom under the rule of law.

London churches are in a position to provide support and hospitality in Christ’s name for Chinese athletes staying in the Olympic Village in 2012 and God willing that will be welcomed by the Chinese authorities.

In the Caligula film-set that 21^st century London is increasingly becoming, they would be well-advised to take the moral support that is being offered.

Julian Mann is vicar of the Parish Church of the Ascension, Oughtibridge, South Yorkshire www.oughtibridgechurch.org.uk

Dec 09

Note: This is a translation of an essay published in the Chinese Youth On-Line (中青在线). This translation is meant to bring to readers’ attention some of the diverse opinions publicly expressed in today’s China. I came across it because it was highlighted as the number one piece in Sina’s (新浪) opinion section.

[UPDATE]: ESWN also has a translation of this article and some more. Interestingly, the version translated at ESWN is from the author (廖保平) Liao Baoping’s blog directly. It is somewhat different than the one I found and contains some more colorful words. In particular, the Chinese Youth On-Line version misses one paragraph at the very end which sets the tone rather differently.

Xinhua reported the news of Sarkozy’s meeting with Dalai Lama in this way: “The French President Sarkozy, despite patient and repeated efforts [by the Chinese side], went ahead to meet with Dalai Lama on 6th. This was an unwise move that seriously hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and damaged the Sino-Franco relationship. The Chinese people’s reaction is evident in the form of angry calls on the Internet for boycotting French goods to defend our national dignity.”

I understand some of the emotions expressed online in China. And I wonder if this is going to result in pretests in the streets. But for me personally, I won’t boycott French goods.
Continue reading »

Dec 09

The Age of Enlightenment was the age of reason. The rise of reason over tradition in the past 200 years led to the empowerment of the individual and the belief in technological and social progress.

Reason, according to the Oxford Dictionary, refers to the power of the mind to think, understand and form judgements logically.

The concept of reason has two implications.

The first is that the individual HAS the ability to think, understand and form judgements logically. The second is that the individual SHOULD think, understand and form judgements logically.

Therefore, human freedom is NOT that we can do whatever we want. Rather, it is our ability to act according to reason. To act according to reason and reason alone affirms our autonomy, and thus our freedom.

But what is to act according to reason? It is essentially to act sensibly and rationally. To act nonsensibly or irrationally is to act against reason.

We can formulate a moral law: you should act sensibly and rationally.

Therefore, it is right to act sensibly and rationally and it is wrong to act nonsensibly or irrationally.

But how do you apply this moral law?

Let’s look at an example that happened in Shanghai.

Let’s say someone was abused by one police office or some police officers. He became angry at the police. He got into a police station and killed six police officers. He was convicted for the murders and executed.

You somehow consider him a hero.

I think you are wrong to think that. It is not reasonable that you think that. It is in fact nonsensible and irrational to think that.

I would reason this way.

After he was abused by a police officer, he should have reported the abuse to the police officer’s boss or a disciplinary board. The superior officer or the board either took up his case or didn’t.

If the boss or the board took up the case and resolved the complaint to his favor, then he should be satisfied with the outcome.

If the boss or the board didn’t take up his case or came down partially, he could still report the case to the boss’s boss.

If the boss’s boss didn’t care either, he might try something else, like the media, the Internet, etc…

But killing six unrelated police officers were nonsensible and irrational because they did not commit the abuse. Even if he could assume many or most police officers were corrupt, it was still nonreasonable to assume that six somehow deserved their fate.

Therefore he acted nonsensibly and irrationally. He was wrong. It was right convict him for his crimes.

Now you consider him a hero. It is nonsensible and irrational for you to think that. It is not sensible and rational to stand with the criminal rather than with the victims. Yes, the six killed police officers are victims. Their families are victims as well.

If you resent these six police officers just because some other police officers committed abuse, then you are unreasonable. Therefore, you are wrong.

If you know you are wrong and insist on it, you are not acting freely. Rather you are acting against reason.

If everyone acts like that, then we will lose our freedom because when everyone acts nonsensibly or irrationally, our freedom cannot be safeguarded.

Dec 09

minipost-Something to chuckle about #1

Written by: DJ | Filed under:-mini-posts | Tags:
8 Comments » newest 2008-12-29 23:01:18

Well, in an effort to introduce something lighthearted as far as China is concerned, I would like to start the first of a (hopefully) long list of humorous/amusing items. Andy Borowitz had just written a funny piece titled “China Buys Naming Rights to U.S.“, which I am pretty certain is completely made up. (H/T to China Hearsay)
Continue reading »

Dec 07

We’ve had impassioned discussions about Tibet this year.  But the controversies surrounding China has not just been about Tibet – they have also been about Africa.

In anticipation of a series of posts on Africa, I thought I would put a few feelers out to see if people on this forum would be interested in discussing the topic, and if so, where people initially stand.

Continue reading »

Dec 05

Shanghai’s Tower of Babel

Written by: chinayouren | Filed under:Analysis | Tags:, , , , ,
35 Comments » newest 2008-12-09 12:19:37

If you’ve been reading the Chinese press this week, you might have come across two strikingly unharmonious pieces of information.

I am speaking of the treatment of the Shanghai Tower news by China Daily (ht Shanghaiist). In the space of 3 days from 11/28 to 12/01 China Daily has changed its tune radically in two articles about the construction of the new tower, which started last Saturday.

The first article is pretty neutral. It announces the beginning of the works, and has Shanghai CCP’s Lin Xu declare that spending on infrastructure will “help companies to weather the crisis“.

The second article, an unsigned editorial, is ripe with criticism of about every possible aspect of the project. Including some juicy ones: “symbolizes that blind worship and race for skyscrapers has reached a new high” and “The money could still be spent better elsewhere on so many priorities“.

What is going on here? Who forced this article into Beijing’s China Daily, the largest English language newspaper in China? It is a quickly written and poorly edited/translated article, someone obviously overrode the usual procedures of the newspaper to get this text to press ASAP. Someone you wouldn’t dare to edit or reject.

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Dec 02

minipost-(Letter) China Punishes France and EU

Written by: guest | Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis | Tags:,
290 Comments » newest 2013-07-24 15:48:06

French President Nicolas Sarkozy saw it coming because the Chinese told him what would happen if he meets the Dalai Lama.

He plans to go ahead anyway. China thus canceled the China-EU summit in France. Continue reading »