Saturday, August 12, 2006

Freedom of Movement

While in Indonesia last March, the juxtaposition of poverty and wealth was shocking. If you're wealthy you breath pure air conditioning 24/7. If you're poor you, your wife and children could make a living begging at traffic lights or rummaging through the rubbish dump you happen to live on, and breathe the toxic fumes of the world's most polluted city.

Last year Bob Geldof did Live Aid 2006. There was one thing that Bob said which really struck me: "in a world of plenty it was intellectually and morally absurd that people should be starving to death" (paraphrase).

I don't think Live Aid and the Glen Eagles G7 summit has done all that much to help. Politicians don't really care about poverty in other countries - they care about taxation and unemployment, because their electorate does.

If a couple of hundred thousand of people are starving in Africa, they should be able to travel to Europe / America etc. and allowed to starve on our doorsteps.

Aid handouts will never work. Governments need real motivation. Economic emigration should become a human right.

This will likely never happen - because of that least endearing of human traits, selfishness. There is no end in sight of human starvation in a world of plenty.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Holy Imperfection

There's a theory in economics which basically says that no contract can cover all facets of an arrangement. There will always be outcomes which will throw up ambiguities.

That's why we have lawyers, and why they get paid so much!

But when you apply this line of thinking to Holy books (the Bible, the Koran etc.) you realise that:

a) they are not "perfect" messages (from God) - at best they are general hand waving.


b) these books need humans to figures out the ambiguities, the tough answers aren't self evident

(/Humans/ are the integral part of our understanding of God)

I suppose all this is already clear. When you hear Taleban legal eagles proving how their actions have been OKed by God and the Koran, and Saudis getting 3 week "marriages" in Indonesia just so they lay their consciences to rest... ( Needless to say there are tons of Christian examples...