New Pages: ~humming to Gilberto Gil

Monday, March 21, 2005

~humming to Gilberto Gil

It’s been a while~
Once Sphinxku asked me
Too busy to update your blog?
Not busy actually,
Too many things yet I didn’t know what [or how?] to write them down.

Lost a big project
That’s one
Start to produce [and sell] family recipe’s kaya jam
That’s another
Trying hard to keep up with friends and life
Professional cum social worker?

What to say?
My life is ordinary
Not as this 25 years old Anne Ahira, you can read about her from this link

No no! I don’t envy her
I salute her for being so determined and focused.

What’s happening lately, disturb me most.
The keywords are: MORALITY and CULTURE
My opinion of these two words:
never confuse between them.

Why on earth am I talking about this?

Tell me, which is against morality or culture
Your personal email was accessed by strangers.
A unmarried couple decide to get married after they found the lady is pregnant, they’ve planned this and happy about it.
Suggestion to ban kissing at public places
Yes, it’s exist…it was on news!
A person that works for you keep giving excuses to postpone deadlines, when finally submit the task, it’s far from requirement.

Oh well…
You might say I’m making big fuss out of nothing.

Better then not updating my blog, isn’t it?

Wolfgang, I still couldn’t find Max Frisch anywhere…even in the biggest bookstore in Jakarta. Any suggestion?


Anonymous Wolfgang Unger said...

Hi Yuli, that is an interesting point you call attention to: what belongs to culture, what belongs to morality? Certainly, there has to be a distinction as long as morality is not just an invention by humans. On the other hand side, the rules of the culture one lives in are almost as binding as the abstract ethical laws philosophers or theologists are debating about, because what is right or wrong depends on the people you live with, and who are affected by your actions.

So if you feel uncomfortable about certain traditions or values of your culture, just because you know that in western culture things are different, (or the other way around: you dislike certain western values), just try not to look at it from a ethical point of view. For example, kissing
in public *itself* does not become more or less morally right or wrong just because somebody made a law. But if one knows that a certain person migth feel hurt by what one says or does, one has to take that into account (independently of any laws).

But of course, to some extent, what one regards as immoral does also depend on cultural values, namely because what people usually regard as
humiliating depends both on
the unique (bad) experiences one has made, and on the cultural background one grows up with.

An important experience after having encountered another culture is: cultural values are relative. But do we have to conclude that morality is relative itself? I don't think so.

Morality is something going on between people who are sharing a certain sphere. This sphere can be the place one lives at or (at the other end of the scale) the globe (when it comes to environmental issues, for example: the globe is shared by everyone).

A foreign person who does not know that he is violating the conventions of a country can not be blamed for his action. But if he is told that he offends people by his behaviour, he has a moral duty to stop.

The main principles an ethics might consist of are in some way super-cultural. Only when they are applied to a certain culture, one gets different characteristics of what is right or wrong.

Jesus told us:
love your neighbour as yourself! - there is no need for any more specific laws, because if you only follow this commandment, you will always know how to be respectful to others. Insofar, the Commandment by Jesus replaces the ten commandments given to Moses (which somehow appear to be laws, not moral principles). This new Commandment (its pureness and clarity) is what I like most about Christianity.

Dear Yuli: listening to our heart, that is what we ought to do. In fact, this is more difficult then just following written laws.

As a German, I have learned from history that it is not enough to just look at what others around oneself might considers as good or evil (or indifferent). Socity can fail as a whole. A moral consciousness is something one has to work on. Love is a principle that helps one as a guide through this challenge.

Another related and very complicated problem is the question: what am I resonsible for? Is this a question of choice, or a matter of possibilities (in what position one is to change things?)

If you have any suggestions, I'd be happy to hear about that.

11:03 PM  
Blogger sphinxku said...

Can I comment on a comment? Pheuw~ It was long... hehehe~ just cheering myself up a little.

Hmm.. heavy topic you got here.
Morality vs. Culture.
I had a thought about it 2 weeks ago, right after you wrote it, but.. it's all gone now.. I couldn't remember a thing about what I wanted to say... (;_;)

In relation to your topic -- at least I hope this would relate! -- I think Indonesia do need an evolution of tradition/culture.
At the same time they need to think about what to absorb and what not.
We need to keep our own identity in a way. Surely we can be modern, but won't you want to keep a sense of identity to be recognized as an Indonesian?
Otherwise we are just going to be anybody.. or everybody.. or even the lost generation...

It's quite simple: not all western is good and not all eastern is decayed.

So.. so.. tell me. Do you also do this Anne Ahira thing?

psst.. psst.. would you send me some kaya jam?

7:33 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home