Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Boyne almost spot on re philosophy

Published:Tuesday | June 20, 2017 | 6:06 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

My friend Ian Boyne's brief In Focus flirtation with "idle philosophising" on Sunday must have been his shortest column ever, leaving little or no space for Gordon Robinson, et al, to apply the Booklist label.

Apart from the natural wisdom of not seeking to engage even erudite Sunday Gleaner readers in a lengthy dissertation on 'Why philosophy matters', I suppose he must also have felt in danger not only of not making the front of the In Focus section, but of his column not being published at all.

In any case, and for whatever reason, in an excellent, challenging, thought-provoking article - a must-read especially for atheists, agnostics and religious people of all kinds - he missed the opportunity to raise one or two more relevant, philosophy-based questions.

For example: What, if anything, is really 'wrong' with capital punishment, especially for murder?

And how come it appears to be such a strong deterrent in Singapore, where only 18 murders were committed in a year, in a population of five million-plus, while so many are so sure that it is NOT, and cannot be, a deterrent to murder in Jamaica.

Of course, there are also many more questions (and answers), of the spiritual/religious kind, for the arrogant and the self-righteous, and the humble and the wicked, for the learned and the ignorant, but as Ian reasons, our philosophical, cultural, and social foundations, as well as our "progressive world views", do not make us inclined to seriously explore issues such as these. And certainly not while there is sports on TV and some other pleasurable activities.

CARLTON A. GORDON

carltongor@gmail.com

Kingston 10