SEPTEMBER 25, 2011, Vol 61, No19

In this final article in the series on Values by the Catholic Medical Guild and Caritas Singapore, we look at the fundamentals in ethical debates.

A TROLLEY car is hurtling down a track. In its path are five people who will definitely be killed unless you, a bystander, flip a switch which will divert it onto another track, where it will kill one person. Would you flip the switch? If you answer "yes", you are not alone. Judith Thompson, a modern philosopher, devised the dilemma of the runaway trolley car to study how people make moral decisions and concluded that most people would flip the switch. Letting five people die seems worse than allowing one person to die. When it comes to moral decisions, results seem to be the only factor in the equation.

But are end results enough to justify any means to attain them? Should absolute moral principles not be adhered to, so no individual is expendable and everyone can receive equal rights and treatment?

After all, while it may seem intuitive to choose to let one person die instead of five, this approach is not an innate one. Rather, it is invented and nurtured.


A Weekend Stay-in Retreat for Young Single Catholic Men (ages 18 to 35) who are interested to discern the Diocesan Priesthood. Conducted by: Father Brett A. Brannen (Author of ‘To Save a Thousand Souls - A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood’) and Father Alex Chua (Vocation Director Archdiocese of Singapore).

30 September 2011 (Friday). 7pm to 2 October 2011 (Sunday), 5pm
Registration form is available at : www.serrasingapore.org

It is important to see with our hearts ‘the whole of Creation as contained within the sacred, as well as God being within all things’.
CNS file photo


IN THE story of The Little Prince (by Antoine de Saint-Exupery), a fox whom he befriends tells him: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

The key to understanding this “very simple secret” is found in the relationship between the Prince and the fox, as well as with a myriad different “characters” in the book.

Without a relationship, the boy and the fox are just one of “a hundred thousand” children or foxes to each other. When one forms ties with another, in the way the Little Prince befriended the fox, and in the way the Prince looked after his rose, even though she behaved in a rather spoilt manner, there is a relationship in which one regards the other as “unique”.

Singaporeans posing with other pilgrims.

From the Catholic Archdiocesan Youth Centre:

I found it very apt that our pilgrimage began in Rome – a place steeped in history and rich in the beauty of our faith. It felt like I was retracing my roots as a Roman Catholic.

Some of the places we visited included St Peter’s Basilica, Basilica of St Mary Major, Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls, the Colosseum, the Catacombs, and the Scala Sancta (Holy Stairs).

However, it wasn’t good enough to simply live in the past. Madrid would be a test. Would we testify to God’s presence in our modern day lives, or shy away in the presence of the secular world? BY DEBORAH TAN
Participants from Malaysia, Singapore Brunei engage in discussion during a seminar organised by Singapore Church publication Hai Sing Pao.

JOHOR-BAHRU – Participants of a Mandarin writing seminar say they have gained greater insights into the journalistic process, and intend to use their newly acquired skills to improve their Church publications.

Twenty-five people from Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei took part in the four-day-three-night seminar held from Sept 1-4 at Crystal Crown Hotel in Johor Bahru.

Singapore archdiocesan Chinese newspaper Hai Sing Pao organised the programme.

Participants were guided through the journalistic process, from draft-writing to page layout. Topics covered included writing, interviewing, information gathering, photography techniques, headline writing and the use of new media to spread the Gospel message.