My Soul Aches For Bethlehem

I always wake up before sunrise, no longer needing any alarm and I rug up in my warm clothing and wander the quiet gardens as the morning beams of light penetrate the atmosphere and colour the clouds with a scarlet glow. It is a time of quiet for me to gather my thoughts, to solidify my disposition and prepare for what is often a long day at work full of meetings and people and reports. Read More

Gravitational Repulsion: Is Zero Building An Eternally Expanding Universe?

Non-inflationary theories of the genesis of the universe or what we know as the big bang effectively only discuss the hydrogen and helium particles etc &c., that fill the universe or what occurred after the birth of the universe, and now that evidence has been shown[1] that the universe is actually expanding, it has led to questions of what could have been prior to the bang in a much more sophisticated manner. And there are multiple theories, such as Brane collision or the collision of two dimensions or that the universe is formed from within a black hole, all of which are interesting particularly with new areas of thought viz., superstrings and the cyclic universe model, but certainly not as persuasive as cosmic inflation and the multiverse theory. Read More

The Politics of Food: A Case Of The Falafel

Food plays a vital part in our lives and relationships, where our culinary preferences bring us communities and families together and unite us with something joyful and memorable. Steeped in tradition, chefs and anthropologists alike travel the world in search for different products and recipes, how regional differences in taste and method authenticate originality of some dishes. It is the global voice that articulates hospitality, and it can express agriculture, labour and economic systems, suffering and hunger, and even power; eating meat is a sign of wealth and masculinity, for instance.

In the Book of Job, it writes: “Their strength is consumed by hunger, and calamity is ready for their stumbling,” that the epitome of suffering and unhappiness is the loss of food, indeed Amartya Sen’ Nobel Prize winning research on famine and food distribution during Great Bengal Famine of 1943 is a clear, modern example of this calamity. Read More

Book Review: Ethical Writings of Maimonides

For centuries, from Aristotle to Confucius, Aquinas and Thoreau, moral philosophers have endorsed the idea that a balanced, moderate regularity of character is an important step towards genuine happiness, that excess or deficiency of any sort and the failure to attain a principled attitude toward guiding and cultivating the self toward this mean will lead to the reverse. Thus, one who leads a life attempting to walk down this dutiful path toward a balanced and constant frame of mind is demonstrative of a noble and even a superior person. As said by Socrates, “with his eyes fixed on the nature of his soul, naming the worse life that which will tend to make it more unjust and the better that which will make it more just… all other considerations he will dismiss, for we have seen that this is the best choice.”[i] This choice to lead a life of virtue and justice and abandoning all that is vulgar, vulgarity being interpreted as “the masses and the most vulgar seem – not unreasonably – to believe that the good or happiness is pleasure. Accordingly they ask for nothing better than the life of enjoyment,”[ii] will allow one to adopt a standard that will link them closer to what is beautiful, namely love and honesty.

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Justice: The Book of Micah

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

The origins of human rights law in western legal tradition is said to have begun in 1215, when King John of England signed the Magna Carta Libertatum treaty that established the first set of rules protecting civil rights and liberties. The Magna Carta was not an immediate success but it became embedded in political discourses over the centuries until 1689 when the English Bill of Rights signed by William III and Mary II officially improved civil rights and enabled access for ordinary people to trials by jury and the ability to petition the King relating to disputes. More importantly it was the beginning of what we know of today as the ‘separation of powers’ between the jurisprudential, executive and legislative branches of governance, where the powers of the monarch became limited to ensure constitutional rights were equitable and where they built a democratic and egalitarian society on the foundations of justice. Read More

Is It Possible To Be Pro-Palestinian Without Being Anti-Israel?

There is a great deal anti-Semitism around, even today. A great deal. A quick peruse through social media and you’ll find scores of people posting theories and postulates that iterates previous systemic racism against the Jewish community (i.e. taking over the world), some doing it so well that you have to read between the lines to realise the embedded racism that methodically attempts to generate fear and hatred (‘we give to them and we care for them, but what do they do for us?’). It is no wonder Benjamin Netanyahu’ diplomatic antagonism against the world is so believable and indeed endorsed by the Likud Party that it has penetrated deep into the executive and legislative divisions within Israel. Read More