Saturday 11 June 2011

Morality and Religion

"[Lawyer Paul] Loughran told the court that So [Kam-tong] wished to change his plea as he was remorseful for his crime and had become a Christian."
from SCMP news story (see below)

There's a surprise. How many convicted criminals turn to religion or strengthen their religious fanaticism simply because they are publicly caught for being a bad person?

It is incredible that religions allow mass murderers, psychopaths and generally nasty people to claim that they have "found religion or found god" and therefore will be embraced and accepted into heaven, whereas atheists and other people who are morally good and who do not depend on religion are condemned for eternity. Yes, that makes sense [not!] that god will allow convicted criminals into his "kingdom of heaven" whereas all these good people who happen to be non-believers can burn for eternity.

Religious people who believe this, or who are brainwashed to believe this, cannot fathom that their false idol (i.e. god, allah, zeus, etc) is not just morally twisted but severely sprained (to paraphrase Douglas Adams). Religion is not the source of morality but of dogma.

Morality is doing what is right, regardless of what we are told

Religious dogma (or religious morality) is doing what we are told, regardless of what is right

Critical thinkers understand Why We Believe in Gods (YouTube)

"We are more vulnerable to religious belief when we are powerless ... and we're looking for an attachment figure [a caretaker] and social community."

Related Post
Hey, the Christians Are All Still Here ...

Double killer gets second life term (SCMP; paywall)
Convicted murderer changes his plea to guilty during a retrial over the death of an airline stewardess
Chris Ip and Austin Chiu
Jun 02, 2011

The killer of a Thai tourist whose decomposing body was found on top of an air duct in Revenue Tower was handed a second life prison term yesterday after he admitted strangling an air hostess.

So Kam-tong's guilty plea came part-way through his retrial on a charge of murdering Yau Hiu-yin, 21, in Tai Po on her way home from work early on May 15, 2008.

The retrial was ordered by the Court of Appeal in October after lawyers for So, who claimed police had used violence to make him talk, said the prosecution had not told them about a similar allegation by the victim's former boyfriend, Chu Wing-keung.

Tsang Shuk-yin, a female detective who was accused of beating So's chest and grabbing his testicles, was being cross-examined during the morning session at the Court of First Instance yesterday. During the lunch break, So and his lawyer, Paul Loughran, decided on the plea change.

So, 27, strangled Yau after getting her ATM pin number and later extracted a ransom of HK$100,000 from her parents by leading them to believe she was still alive.

Yau's decomposing body was found in a culvert near Lam Tsuen River a week after her death.

Police traced the ransom money to So's family home and arrested him. He initially pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter, saying he had only meant to choke her until she was unconscious.

Detectives turned up information that led them to uncover his involvement in the killing of tourist Charitar Kamolnoranath in 2005.

Loughran told the court that So wished to change his plea as he was remorseful for his crime and had become a Christian. In addition to the life term, So was sentenced to five years and four months' jail for blackmail.

So worked as an air-conditioning tradesman, decorator and waiter before his arrest on May 22, 2008, for Charitar's murder. The investigation into that death lasted more than 2 1/2 years, during which time So also killed Yau. He was handed a separate life sentence in March last year.

Charitar, the 40-year-old daughter of a prominent gemstone dealer, was robbed, stabbed with a kitchen knife and suffocated in Revenue Tower in Wan Chai in October 2005. Her body was found on top of an air duct more than a week later, near the machine room of the Environmental Protection Department.

So allegedly went up and down in the same lift waiting for a target. He dragged Charitar to a utility room where he killed her.

He pleaded not guilty, but a Court of First Instance jury convicted him of murder.

Referring to Yau's death when sentencing So for the murder of Charitar, Madam Justice Clare-Marie Beeson said the Thai woman had been a random victim but "clearly, you developed your scheme after you committed [the first murder]".


  1. aimlesswanderer11 June 2011 at 01:17

    It's one of the standard tactics, along with insanity and diminished responsibility. But it's really quite dodgy, how one can murder as many people as they want but if they are "saved" at the last minute it's somehow all good - err, right, makes sense to me. You can't wish away all your past actions...

  2. Thanks AW. Christianity, and other religions, don't make sense. They make money I guess, but not sense. It is just a shame that otherwise intelligent people (not to mention stupid people) are brainwashed in to being believers, without being able to critically question the motives behind it all.

    It always makes me laugh when criminals declare they have become christians or born-again christians. How convenient. They are being 'clever' by playing the system and pulling the wool over the eyes of the gullible.

  3. ailesswanderer12 June 2011 at 19:05

    What I also find strange is when a well known/connected person is charged, and during the trial, a parade of their famous friends turn up to tell the court how the accused is such a wonderful person and so on. Do "ordinary" people get that?

  4. Exactly AW. The latest greatest example is infamous HK businesswoman Lily Chiang who has been found guilty of shares fraud. She recently reeled out 40 letters to the justice, all from prominent people who attested to her "honesty" and good person. One letter-writer and signee was Charles Kao, who recently won the Nobel Prize for Physics. Oh, and Kao couldn't even collect his own Nobel medal from the King of Sweden because he is suffering from Alzheimer's. So do you think Kao can remember who this Lily Chiang person is??? Laughable.

    Also, surprised no local HK blogger has commented on this (so far). Ulaca has been following Lily Chiang events closely.

  5. aimlesswanderer17 June 2011 at 22:05

    Hmm, sadly in probably every country in the world, there is an element of the rich and powerful getting preferential treatment. I guess the aim is to limit that as much as possible.

    Though this rule can be reversed when there are serious divisions at the top, whereupon those who lose out in the fight get really long sentences.