THE COST OF PEACE 02/01/18

Peace be with you! If genuine peace can only be achieved by acceptance of difference and co-existence, then differences between the sexes cannot be bridged. Men and women can never be the same.

Peace is the freedom of conscience to practice belief; free from state, social and political interference. It is the avoidance of violence or war; the avoidance of social and psychological struggles.

Peace treaties are maintained by enactment of the law. An act of the law is sanctioned by agreement of all parties involved.

In an arbitration court, it is understood the arbiter is not attempting to legally resolve differences between parties, rather attempts to have them agree at some point. Thus their agreement does not necessarily adhere to the points of law.

For example, someone in a position of power or wealth is pursued for damages by someone who is not well off. The less well-off party agrees to a lessor deal at the expense of mitigation a genuine violation by the well-off party because he/she cannot afford to pursue what is lawful and right.

By agreement, both parties have agreed to settle and maintain peace although the less well-off person is hard done by because he/she has no other choice but to minimise the loss.

The arbiter may exercise discretion by imposing a diplomatic decision. This is usually ruled not in favour of either party but in between. Sometimes, this decision is political or democratic. Whether diplomatic, political or democratic, the less well-off party always loses out as their positions are not equal.

And this is the point. First, arbitrary impositions or agreements are not necessarily valid resolutions according to the law. That means peace achieved as a result of an arbitrary imposition is not valid or genuine peace.

Second, an agreement based on diplomatic, or political and democratic decisions are made to influence peace but are not fair to the less well-off.

Therefore the only decision that frees the individual from unfairness is a valid point of law. This enables the accused to restore his/her social obligation but also frees the bailiff from alleged harm imposed.

The former decision is an agreement made directly between private parties. The second decision is influenced in the name of peace. Both decisions are not necessarily adhered to the law and unfair to the less well-off party thus both decisions cannot validate peace.

How many arbitrary impositions are achieved in favour of the less well-off person however, but peace is somewhat achieved.

It's fair to say therefore that peace is often achieved by unfair agreements and arbitrary impositions. We often hear of peace treaties between nations where the more advanced nation is always better-off than the less advanced one.

And for as long as there are inconsistencies in arbitrary agreements, the difference under peace treaties is maintained by enduring struggles. At the same time, struggles are sometimes maintained to avoid war and violence. And that means differences or inequalities are necessary for the sake of peace.

Unless concerned parties decide to co-exist and accept each other's difference. And this is it. Diversity is a modern form of social organisation.

How then can we achieve freedom of conscience to practice belief free from social and political interference?

There are political demands imposed by feminism as well as bigotry among social groups. Who is ever going to admit to responsibilities and start working towards genuine peace is not really true of modern practice.

I will not disclose the social groups responsible for adversarial social relations but for as long as such coercive force is present, expect social consequences to surface. And these social consequences also contribute to the maintenance of so-called peace.

For as long as individuals are suffering social and psychological struggles that war and violence are avoided. It is 'fake peace'. And this is it. Not many groups can cope with struggles without resorting to violence and crime.

Not as much as Christians. In the face of persecution and terrorism, how many modern Christians have gone out of their belief to start a war and acts of violence against their perpetrators? Apart from those Christians who continue to point the finger at other Christians, I dont know...!

A visiting lady had once told me the story of a growth development that turned most beautiful under the scorching heat of the sun and cold from the rain. But a true Christian is not struggling from the social elements.

It is freedom of conscience to practice his/her belief that he/she is not struggling. The tree is not exactly suffering from the scorching heat or cold rain; instead it is taking in the necessary minerals to grow beautifully under the harsh condition.

The conscience is intuitive awareness of pure principles. Practical belief is the practice of such principles that quantify the material into beautiful being.

It is particularly remarkable when the outcome is produced in the face of adversaries. Beauty in a place of ugliness is a lamp in the dark. The believer is not struggling to endure coercive impositions, instead his/her conscience is free to exercise his/her belief.

Arbitrary impositions like democratic decisions are sometimes made to maintain peace but at the expense of sacrificing the welfare of the least among the people. But true peace is achievable by acceptance of difference and co-existence. And this is achieved by freedom of conscience demonstrated by Christians.

The conscience is pure and free from unfairness, political or diplomatic influence. It is absolute and absolute peace is valid law. It is a virtue exercised by the practice of belief.

Real peace will never be achieved by diplomatic and political decisions or arbitrary impositions. It has to be a valid law or practised principle. And it is the practise that quantifies pure principles of belief into objective beauty of being.

These principles can be implemented in economic participation with fair access to resources. To resolve inequalities therefore is to accept differences in the name of peace. It means that women are not the same as men.

And like any other year, this year I shall continue to practise my belief in the face of adversaries of my modern environment. Peace!