Alvin Tan Is Now Being Held Accountable Philosophy Essay

The main issues that were being raised in this case was that an NUS student by the name of Alvin tan is now being held accountable for posting obscene viewing materials of himself and his girlfriend and the secondary issue is that his actions is affecting the Institute’s reputable name.

Alvin tan will need to be disciplined for his actions and he is currently waiting for his judgement made by the panel of authorities that are being represented by the National University of Singapore. Due to his lack of insight, his own personal matter has involved the school and the Public media thus causing the school’s reputation to be tarnished.(Loh,2012, October 31).

2.The straits Times quoted Alvin Tan as telling the NUS disciplinary hearing over his blog that while he was sorry for bringing disrepute to the institution, what he did was done in his "own personal time as a private individual and not an NUS student." Alvin Tan went onto state that "What I did was a victimless crime; nobody was really harmed or hurt in the process." In your opinion, Do you consider the actions of the law student Alvin to be acceptable? Support your answer. (6 marks)

In my own personal opinion I believe that his actions are acceptable to a certain extent because it is true about what he had stated , he certainly did this particular action during his own personal time and his own personal accord and it is also true that his action did not cause harm nor hurt anyone in the process as it only involves his girlfriend and himself but according to Kotwani,(2012, October 18) "Meanwhile, Malaysian authorities are still deciding on whether or not to take action against Mr Tan."

From the statement above we can gather that his actions has caused his own country to get involved in the case thus voiding his earlier statement of not harming nor hurting anyone due to his own actions because it has now become a ripple effect whereby a single person’s action will undoubtedly affect others around him as well. Not only has his actions brought shame to his place of origin but also to his school, when caught.

Also, according to a statement made by a lawyer from Channel News Asia, Tan , (2012, October 17) , "The material question is where the offences were being committed and in this case it seems to be Malaysia. I think Malaysia actually shares an almost identical Penal Code to ours, so the person can actually be charged for a Penal Code offence back in Malaysia, or even under their so—called Malaysian Films Censorship Act."

From the above statement, we can gather that what Mr Tan has been doing was actually being done not on Singapore’s soil thus not being able to prosecute him as severely as he would have if the act is being committed here, in Singapore but nonetheless his act would still be breaching certain act’s in Malaysia as well thus allowing us to come to a conclusion that his actions are still not acceptable regardless of where it was taken place.

In conclusion I have to agree that what Mr Tan did was indeed unacceptable because his actions are actually breaching laws found in Singapore and Malaysia and as a citizen, one must abide by the law.

3. Define morality and ethics. How do you see it may apply in this instance? (10marks)

Before beginning to attempt to answer this question I will give the definition that was given when searching the two separate meanings of morality and ethics is as stated. The definition of morality is as follows, Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour. The definition of ethics is, Moral Principles that govern a person’s or group’s behaviour. I do believe that both Morality and Ethics play a huge part in this scenario because it gives us a brief explanation on how does a person go about doing something that might be hard to comprehend by others. This also tells us about their upbringing and whether their parents had instilled a very good moral and ethical background so that when face with such an instance in the future, they will know how to make the wiser decision.

I will also like to quote Mr Tan in one of his videos updating the public on this entire mess of a situation that will give us a little insight on why parents play a huge role in instilling good moral and ethical behaviour in their kids.

When asked "how is your family reacting to this whole saga", Tan (2012) said "Basically my family members have been supportive actually, they never ever talk about the issue from a moral slant which makes them pretty cool parents actually but they are more concern about my well-being from a legal perspective."

What I can infer from what was being said was that, it was a very clear sign that his parents

are not someone who stands by their morals or moralist if you will as they are very much open with any decisions their son has made as long as it doesn’t get him into legal issues which is the very same reason that got him in this whole dilemma .

Also I would like to quote Mr Tan again on the topic of public apology for causing this huge upset among the community and this is what he has to say, Kotwani (2012, October 18), "What do we have to apologise for? For hurting your soft sensitive feelings? For what? For I don't know, breaching some moral code that you hold dearly to yourself but I don't necessarily hold them myself? So we will not make a public apology,"

There is a little truth in what is said by Mr Tan, the entire news regarding this issue is being blown out of proportion because he is doing something that is going against the moral code of most Asians as they are still more conservative than others thus causing and uproar. Perhaps for Mr Tan, He doesn’t value the same things that most others do thus some may argue that what he is doing may be acceptable because there’s nothing wrong with expressing oneself.

We can’t force our moral system on others as they might have already gotten use to those morals that have already been instilled in them but hopefully sometime in the future, people would be welcoming to other moral beliefs and be less reluctant in accepting it by having a universal moral system( "Morality and Ethics," n.d.)

In conclusion to everything that has been stated thus far, we have to accept the fact that others have different moral beliefs and we can’t just force our morals as a community onto a single person just because their morals are not accepted by the community, in this scenario, Mr Tan upholds a moral belief that differs from which others do and that is why he did what he did and feels no shame nor remorse over the fact that his wrong doings were made public.

4. Assuming you are part of the disciplinary board, what guidelines would you consider in this case? (6 marks)

If I were a part of the disciplinary board, I would most likely refer to the board of discipline’s penalty guidelines but because the guidelines are restricted only to students attending the school, an alternative solution would be to consider going through school’s Code of Student Conduct to check whether the students have gone against any of the rules stated.

According to said Code of Student conduct, Mr Tan has already breached 3 out of the many others that have been stated by NUS.

Of which is inappropriate behaviour, Use of social media and also the university pledge.

This is evident when a second statement was made by NUS. According to Editorial(2012, November 12), "While the National University of Singapore (NUS) does not condone the offensive online postings by Alvin Tan Jye Yee in the recent incident in question, it is not the university’s practice to make public the disciplinary decisions of the Board of Discipline."

This is evident enough to prove that Mr Tan has breach the use of social media’s code. Moreover a statement was made by Minister Heng regarding this issue, Editorial (2012, November 12), "I share the concern and disappointment of the members as well as of the public on the conduct of the student in question. The conduct of the student is reprehensible and unbecoming of a scholar. The ministry does not condone this, nor does NUS. And I’m confident that NUS takes the matter seriously and will do the right thing."

If I am a part of the disciplinary board, I will definitely take this matter seriously as not only did he breached the student’s code of conduct but he has tarnished the school’s name.

Nevertheless NUS has taken the already stripped him of his scholar title thus leaving Mr Tan with no other choice but to pay in full amount for his school fees if he wishes to complete his studies in NUS.(Lee,2012)

5. Enumerate the possible decisions and consequences of this case. (4 marks)

The possible decisions and consequences of this case is rather high because the act committed by Mr Tan has to be of the highest magnitude thus far.

In fact , Mr Tan has already faced the consequences of his actions when NUS stripped him of his scholar title thus forcing him to pay the full amount of his course fee or he will be forfeited of his progression in NUS. This has already been quoted in the previous question thus I would not quote it again. Mr tan would also possibly be charged with a fine of more than $3000 and doing community services while having his scholarship revoked because there was an incident once in NUS whereby he made a comment on his blog saying that "There are more dogs than humans" which landed him in that particular predicament.(Lee,2012,November 12)

6. In your opinion, is there a need for bloggers to follow a code of conduct in the posting of sexually explicit content? Support your answers (6 marks)

In my honest opinion I do believe that bloggers should in fact have a code of conduct to follow because this will help them steer clear of any troubles that they might run into in the future. Bloggers should also have their own freedom in expressing themselves in anyways possible but of course they have to know their limitations. If you are living in a very conservative Asian country and you want to start posting obscene materials of yourself online, you must know that your target audience or your audience in general will mainly share the same views as yourself but you must also take in consideration that many others would also be able to access your blog and if what you are doing goes against their moral standpoint then you would definitely get into trouble because they will make a huge deal of it with the backing of the community.

I have done some research on the content policy listed by ‘Blogger’ a known blogging platform used by many.

Blogger allows users to post explicit contents on their blog as long as they state beforehand that they will be posting matured contents as to not confuse others on the intentions of it and also if you are going to start posting these explicit contents, you must not be using it as a source of income and also not using it to promote other incest and bestiality.("Blogger," n.d.).

This policy tells us that if Mr Tan had used Blogger as a platform to post such explicit videos , he actually would have not break any sort of code of conduct and that he is actually a very ethical person that stays true to what his blog intentions were. In conclusion, I believe that bloggers should follow a code of conduct when posting explicit materials so as to not be misinterpreted of their intentions and also not be breaching any policy set by the platform of their choice. However the blogger must know his limitations when it comes to the general audience that he is attracting and if what he is doing is going against any legal law.

7. Based on what you have learned about critical thinking, explain and discuss the process by which you completed this assignment? (4 marks)

Critical thinking skills have helped me overcome this assignment because it has thought me the different skill sets which is needed to answer each and every question. Before answering any questions, I had to read up a lot on this topic thus requiring me to exhibit critical reading which is a skill that allows me to be more alert in identifying important notes to be researched on. Also, with the help of critical thinking I am able to be more organise in my thoughts thus giving me the opportunity to write fluidly and make proper judgement calls.

Although critical thinking has also changed the way I look at things from a very different and unique perspective outlook, there are still barriers that hinder me when trying to go deeper into the question but nonetheless I was able to overcome it with patience and the guidance of the lecturer.

When researching on information regarding this assignment, I was able to show critical scrutiny by finding a much more detailed and appropriate source to quote from. I also had to be certain that the source that I am quoting from is from a reliable source and it has to be a non-bias point of view so as to validate the statements made thus I had to compare many sources to find the best most accurate source.

In conclusion, without the help of critical thinking skills, I would not have been able to answer the questions given with such an in depth answer and also be able to identify reliable sources and its authenticity.