Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 27, No. 6. 1964.
Dear Sir,—Cecil J. Sodom should confine his efforts to the activities which his surname is suggestive of rather than affront Salient readers with his peurile, muddled and childish observations. His hollow cynicism and pseudo-intellectualism really irritates. Is he really as unintelligent as his article would lead us to believe? it is a hopeless hotch-potch of superficial rationalisation.
Sodom carries his "brown brother" complex too far. So "Kiwis" are "miserable little white supremists" (how condescending this great, mind is) merely because the great majority of us saw the act of digging up the cricket pitch for what it was, the impetuous and vandal act act of a woolly-minded group who had nothing better to do with their time. (The word "vandal" was emphasised also by The Evening Post not because it is emotive as Sodom bleatingly suggests but purely because it factually describes their action).
Years of labour go into the careful preparation of a good cricket pitch. The South African cricket team were not politicians and much of the enjoyment of this important sporting occasion was spoilt for many thousands of people.
Those responsible must have seen in retrospect that their action did far more harm than good to the cause which they purportedly stood for, yet they have made since, pathetic attempts to justify their selfish act.
Sodom speaks of the scruffy individual who had "the guts" to express approval of the deed. May I suggest the substitution of the word "stupidity" for the word "guts"?
The Bantu people I am sure would be equally as unimpressed by this futile and pitiful method of protest as the majority of New Zealanders were.
The protest could have been far more effectively channelled in other directions.
Grow up Cecil!
L. H. A. Wiles
Dear Sir,—One or two things about Professor Coulson's talk should be pointed out; First, Christianity as such, is not trying to impose an ethical system on an unbelieving world. Christianity has a great deal to say to Christians about what they should do, but the only thing it says to non-Christians is "Put your entire trust in, and follow completely the teachings of Christ." Professor Coulson may be trying to impose on a generally non-Christian group of scientists the moral code of Christianity, but this is not what Christians should try to do.
Secondly, Christianity claims that it gives its followers the ability to keep its massive code of ethics, if they want to. It claims that man by nature is not capable of keeping this. It does not seem very sensible trying to force a system of laws or morals down people's throats unless they have the ability to keep them.
I would agree with D.P.W. that Christians in general do not always think or act as they should and would suggest this is no excuse for a blanket dismissal of the subject.
I would disagree that starting from his axiom one can obtain an "ought" of his kind infallibly. I suggest it would be nearly as easy to construct a purely egotistic materialism.
Christianity or any religion in general does not do this but just points to the teaching of its individual founder and suggests strongly that reliance should be placed on it and its ethical system should be followed.
N. E. Whitehead.
Keep Vic Pure
Dear Sir,—I note that at last the men who administer our university have decided to cut out our dead wood. Over one hundred students have been excluded, at least eight months before the majority would be leaving the university anyway. I trust the practice will become an annual rite. The benefits to us as a University will be enormous. In five years time our role will be 6,900 instead of 7,000 (400 of the 500 students excluded would have left anyway). 100 worthy students who otherwise would have been turned away will be welcomed to the University. (I await Dr. Williams' report on the number of students who have been turned away for lack of space).
And Sir, the saving to the taxpayer will make the government love us. All those unsatisfactory students who would have been paying full fees will go, and their places will be filled by the most worthy of the multitude waiting to take their place. All the money that would have been spent building more space for the two or three unsatisfactory students attending each lecture (and these students are all about us) will be spent on space for more worthy students.
And Sir, the public will love us. They know that graduates are fine people. They know that students are mostly a rotten lot. Throw out the rottenest, Dr. Williams. Keep our University pure. Then the public will give us Halls of Residence.