Good to take offence sometimes

Society will pay a terrible price if we psych ourselves to tolerate and condone everything, and become immune to being offended ("Vitriol from 'offended' individuals a concern" by Mr Paul Tobin of the Humanist Society (Singapore); last Friday).

Righteous indignation has played a major part in nation building - if our founding fathers had shielded themselves from being offended, there would not have been a Singapore.

Mr Tobin quoted the United Nations declaration of human rights.

However, looking at how the world is today, I hesitate to take the UN as a role model.

It is easy to pontificate on and exhort pet theories, but one must have one's "nose in the game".

It has taken much struggle and hardship to bring the nation to where it is today.

I am not advocating intolerance or vigilantism, but dangerous views, left unchecked, can easily undo 50 years of nation building. 

Michael Loh (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2015, with the headline 'Good to take offence sometimes'. Print Edition | Subscribe