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Celebrate all families on International Day of Families

Published on May 15, 2014 3:49 PM
 
Roger Kok and his wife, Magdalene Tan, with their twins, Natalie (in stripes) and Maximilian (in blue), both 17 months and their youngest child, seven-week-old Iris. In our society, families come in many forms, and the same individual's family can look quite different at different times. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

In our society, families come in many forms. Every person has family, at least at some point in their life. The same individual's family can look quite different at different times. These are empirical facts, not ideological positions.

It follows that the well-being of people within families, and the ways in which family relationships can affect that well-being, should be of interest to all.

Paradoxically, this universality leads to ambiguity in the idea of being "pro-family". Who, after all, would describe themselves as "anti-family"? But if everyone is "pro-family", what does that term, in practice, mean?

When we discuss societal efforts to promote the well-being of families and the people in them, it is important to be clear about what that entails. What or whom are we trying to protect? What specific ethical values and moral practices do we hope to enhance? And, perhaps most significantly, how are these valuable to society as a whole?

 
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