Sunday, June 29, 2014


Sunday Morning Sermon - June 29 2014

Deception is an infrequent but inevitable part of human social interaction.  Deception fulfills important human social needs despite its disadvantages.  An obvious question is to what extent deception can be justified in virtual communities, and whether the justification could be different than that for deception in traditional societies.  Humans are, generally, subject to many social constraints that affect the feasibility and suitability of deception.

Deception is a key issue in ethics with many important applications in law, business, politics, and psychology.  Deception has several potential negative consequences.  It damages relationships once discovered since they require trust; it can hurt a community by focusing its attention on false issues and devaluing its communications; it can hurt the deceiver?s reputation and make them unable to function in a community; and even if not discovered, it supports a deceiver's self-deception and can ultimately hurt them.

Several studies have focused on the ethics of one form of deception, lying.  Lying has its many facets as follows:-
·        White lies (small lies that are seemingly harmless).  These are often unnecessary since carefully chosen truthful statements or silence may easily serve the same purposes.
·        False excuses.  Although these are passive lies, told to prevent something else, they can indirectly cause as much harm as active lies.
·        Lies to prevent harm in a crisis.  Serious crises do not occur very often, so it is tempting to mislabel noncritical situations as critical.
·        Lies to liars in retaliation.  But this lowers the retaliator to the same moral level as the offender.
·        Lies to enemies on general principles.  But "enemy" is a fluid and poorly defined concept that is often used to justify bigotry.
·        Lies to cheat, protecting peers and clients.  Again, carefully chosen truthful statements or silence is often possible and preferable.
·        Lies for the public good (often claimed by politicians).  These are very difficult to justify since everyone has a different definition of the "public good".
·        Paternalistic lies (as to children).  Guidance and persuasion can often eliminate the need for such lies.
·        Lies to the sick and dying.  This violates the right of patients to make informed decisions.

It is said that a justifiable lie must satisfy three criteria: 
1. that there are no alternative courses of action to lying
2. that the moral arguments for the lie outweigh the moral arguments against it
3. that a "reasonable person" with no personal interest in the outcome would approve of the lie.

False promises and excuses are another problem within communities. Most often they are justified using excuses and reasons to cover up the liars agenda.

Deception also leads to cheating in many cases where financial transactions may be involved. Some may utilize the opportunity to make a quick buck off the deal while deceiving the other into believing that there has been some delay in the receipt of funds or profit.

At the end of the day its the negative impact it has on the receiver that is the cause for concern. Many perpetrators of deception dont really care about this when they resort to this game.


Monday, June 23, 2014


Sunday Morning Sermon - Jun 22 2014

If the Brits didnt give us independence,
and sail their ships back home,
If the old Colonial system prevailed,
none of us will have to roam;
If religion was kept personal,
and not mixed up with rule,
If people were treated equal,
we wouldnt see all these fools.

If English was maintained as language,
there would be none to complain,
If Sinhala Only was never introduced,
it would have taken away so much pain;
If communities were given opportunities,
all equal under the law,
If governance had been impartial,
there was no room for flaw.

If violence was not adopted,
to seek out our basic rights,
If common sense was sought,
there was no reason for fights;
If Monks just stayed in temples,
and carried on their chants,
If Mullahs kept their preaching,
to the confines of their pants.

If we as a common people,
didnt turn the other side,
If we spoke out against hatred,
there would be no reason to hide;
If common sense prevailed,
and brainwashing was blown away,
If only compassion led the way,
We would have had our Day.

[apologies to RK]

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Why are People Racist?

Sunday Morning Sermon - Jun 1 2014
It’s a question that people ask all the time. If we’re all part of the human race, why are people racist? After all, there are no biological differences between people. No race is superior or inferior to another. We’re all the same.
There are many reasons why people can have racist attitudes.
Our attitudes are shaped from birth, some even say conception. When family members or the community or friends express racist opinions, it is quite common that we will also take on those views as valid. The problem is that, unless we do something about it, they can stay with us for a lifetime.

We often put labels on people. He dresses like this so he must be into this music. She goes to that school so she must be rich. We can also stereotype people from different racial backgrounds as “lazy”, “brainy”, “aggro”… Sinhala peope are referred to as "Modayas", Muthu keeps on chanting "Ass licker" for the Thamby's, Tamils are refferd to as "Nammada Aals", Lansees and Malays are tainted with a "wine women and song" lifestyle etc. you get the idea? The way to beat the stereotypes? Don’t judge a whole group. Get to know people from different racial backgrounds and find out how much you have in common.

When you spend time here in the desert you meet all kinds of flavors of human beings from every possible corner of our planet. Analysing them and their attitudes and behavior is a nightmare, sometimes.

The ever loud and brash Egyptians, the selfish Paki's, the nasty Palestinians, etc etc. Yet, there are still some decent people within these communities. Surely, we must have met some of them at some point of time?

Another ploy of the racist is to try and pass the buck to another national for his own shortcomings. very commonly seen across the board, berween white and black, north and south, east and west.

It is time to shed these nasty feathers and see each other as one race belonging to this planet.