Browsing by Author "Jones, Chris"
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- ItemBeauty appears in sadness, misery and folly an ethical perspective(Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, 2019) Jones, ChrisThis chapter focuses on the beauty that often appears in and from (extreme) sadness, misery and folly. It argues that the experience of beauty is an ancient impulse, and that one need not progress through the lower hierarchical levels set out by the psychologist Maslow before experiencing the higher, more sophisticated level of beauty. It looks at how beauty and ugliness are often interwoven with each other, but also how each one takes its own form and style in society. Beauty calls and attracts us; it is present in everybody and all around us; there is a transformative power in beauty that invites and encourages us to become the changing music in this world and transform it through a cosmic dance that radiates further beauty. With a view of John’s vision from Patmos of the New Jerusalem, we must try to transform our cities with beauty, goodness, and truth.
- ItemBuilding blocks of consciousness : revealing the shared, hidden depths of our biological heritage(AOSIS, 2020) Van den Heever, Juri; Jones, ChrisHuman consciousness has been a hard problem for thousands of years and, in the course of time, variously interpreted and often too narrowly defined. As a result, the possibility of animal consciousness, sentience or even the possibility that animals can experience pain, received no, or very little, attention. Driven by the trope that animals lack the basic neural attributes to even experience pain, humans have seriously endangered the natural existence of untold multitudes of sentient organisms. However, humans are not the only conscious organisms on the planet, as suggested by a variety of research results, attesting to the fact that even lower vertebrates possess sentience and feel pain. Multiple research findings have now stressed the need for a phylogenetic approach to consciousness, which, in the long run, will have extensive theological implications. Succinctly put, these findings indicate that we live in a world of minds, and that only some of them are human. Contribution: This article is part of a special collection that reflects fundamentally on the origin and evolution of the universe as well as what the future possibly might hold. It is based on historical thought and contemporary research. Different, conflicting sources are being interpreted, and the research approach is in line with the intersectional and interdisciplinary nature of this journal. We do not directly engage theology and religion, although the research and empirical data are underpinned by a moral imperative that cannot be avoided by theological and religious disciplines.
- ItemBuilding blocks of free will : in conversation with Dick Swaab(AOSIS, 2020) Jones, Chris; Van den Heever, Dawie J.The issue of free will is a complex one that has occupied the minds of many theologians and philosophers through the ages. The two main aspects of free will are the freedom to do otherwise and the power of self-determination. This means that an agent must be able to choose from alternative possibilities and that he or she must be the author or source of that choice. Defined as such, it is clear that the issue of free will is undeniably closely linked with the concept of moral responsibility. However, if we live in a deterministic world, where everything is governed by the laws of nature, including our thoughts and behaviour, does this leave room for free will and moral responsibility? As Dutch neurobiologist and author Dick Swaab argues, the answer is an emphatic ‘no’. In this article, we will look at Swaab’s case against free will. We will also see what modern neuroscience has to say about this hot topic and whether it supports or discredits Swaab’s views. And finally, we will touch on what this all means for moral responsibility. Contribution: This article is part of a special collection that reflects on the evolutionary building blocks of our past, present and future. It is based on historical thought and contemporary research. It fits well with the intersectional and inter-disciplinary nature of this collection and journal.
- ItemChild killings in the Western Cape(AOSIS, 2019-08-27) Jones, ChrisIn the light of requests from certain civil organisations in the Western Cape (WC) (South Africa) to the provincial government to establish a judicial commission of inquiry into child killings in this province because of the high incidence of killings, a research committee from three WC universities was put together to review existing research into this matter to determine a way forward. This committee looked at primary drivers of child murders in the WC, gaps in existing government services, the potential value of instigating a commission of inquiry or some other mechanism, and recommending a way forward. A summary of its findings was presented to, among others, the provincial cabinet that adopted all its recommendations. Reflection on these final findings and recommendations forms the first part of the article. The second part focuses in more detail on the research data presented (and provided) by experts and practitioners who informed the research committee. Important aspects discussed here are child death reviews, age- and sex-specific rates of child homicides, sexual killings of children, the possible influence of unfortunate, traumatic childhood experiences in becoming a violent adult, physical violence against children (and women), children’s perception of their safety and risk factors for children specifically in the WC. The purpose of this article is to provide well-researched information to role-players and decision-makers regarding the lives of children to address the violence and its causes that so many children (and women) are exposed to. Although the focus is on the dire situation in the WC, the broader South African and international contexts will also be brought into play in the second part of the article in a way that will (hopefully) be helpful with regard to the crises and challenges the WC is struggling with in this respect.
- ItemThe contentious issue of corporal punishment in South Africa(African Sun Media, 2020) Grobbelaar, Jan; Jones, ChrisThis chapter will focus on how children should be treated and raised in a culture where the distinctions between discipline and punishment have been blurred for decades. Why should a rights conception of discipline matter? The chapter will navigate these and other issues when it comes to disciplining children in a democratic, but often violent society. It will firstly attend to the legal framework for discipline in South Africa, especially regarding school discipline. Then it will describe the current situation in South Africa and also look at recent developments regarding corporal punishment and the continuing struggle against violence that children experience and are exposed to on a daily basis. Lastly, positive alternative ways of disciplining children in order to behave better and how people responsible for children can be assisted in this regard, will be addressed.
- ItemDeath penalty : a human rights issue for South Africa(IntechOpen, 2021) Jones, ChrisIn South Africa, the death penalty has been repealed just after the arrival of democracy in 1994. At present, due to numerous daily murders, especially farm murders, this issue is being debated once again seriously – by ordinary citizens, politicians, theologians, and others. In the media, in particular, it gets a lot of attention and in view of the extent of violent crime in our country, the reinstatement of the death penalty is again supported by many. The death penalty as such will always be contentious because it is about the reasoned termination of someone’s life – which is a radical act. Between 2009 and 2013 I did research on the death penalty in South African prisons (the first of its kind as far as we could determine), in all 9 our country’s provinces. The content of this study, gathered from 467 convicted murderers, and several other core aspects of why the reinstatement of the death penalty particularly in South Africa, should not be an option, will be discussed with reference to supporting international and authoritative research.
- ItemDetermining moral leadership as argued from an evolutionary point of view : with reference to gender, race, poverty and sexual orientation(AOSIS, 2019-06-27) Jones, ChrisThis essay focuses on determining moral leadership, as theoretically debated from an evolutionary point of view in an attempt to reflect on how this kind of moral leadership can contribute, among others, in dealing with issues such as gender, race, poverty and sexual orientation. Although important, not one of the latter issues will be discussed. It is not the primary focus of the essay. But because we are aware of the extent of the challenges regarding these issues, they were specifically identified as examples for applying the moral guidelines developed and determined in this essay. This essay mainly argues that morality and moral leadership require analytical and critical evolutionary thinking and reflection that could contribute to making the world a more just and fair place in which to live. Moral leaders are created when people are constantly striving in an ongoing process of reasoning to become more humane, thereby allowing every person to flourish and to reach their full potential through biologically determined and justice-based moral reflection and action.
- ItemEkonomiese geregtigheid : die groot uitdaging – ook vir Christelike gemeenskappe(Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, 2019) Jones, ChrisHierdie artikel fokus op die noodsaaklikheid van ekonomiese geregtigheid. Dit geskied na aanleiding van ŉ skrywe van Russel Botman, voormalige dosent in Missiologie aan die Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland asook later aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch. In ŉ skrywe van hom aan die outeur van hierdie artikel ongeveer 21 jaar gelede, dink hy onder andere na oor die moontlikheid van die volgende slagspreuk: "economic justice before upward mobility". Hierdie tema, asook die aard en uitdagings van ekonomiese geregtigheid, word op die spoor van sy gedagtes verder in hierdie bydrae ontgin in belang van soveel kwesbare individue en groepe in haglike omstandighede. Dit kyk veral na die uitdagings van ekonomiese geregtigheid vir die gereformeerde teologie en of die belangrike kenmerke van die eerste Christelike gemeentes nog teenwoordig is, nagestreef en uitgeleef word in die kerk en in die lewens van Christengelowiges.
- ItemEksplorasies in 'n postnormale landskap : Suid-Afrika duskant en anderkant Covid-19(Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, 2020-12) Spies, Philip; Jones, ChrisDie Covid-19-pandemie is aanvanklik gekenmerk deur lewensbedreigende griepagtige infeksies, maar later het grootskaalse beheergedrewe ontwrigting die toon begin aangee. Die inperkingsmaatreëls vir infeksiebeheer het mense van hul werkplek, hul vriende, hul familie en hul ontspanningsgeriewe afgesny. Voorsieningskettings het verbrokkel, sakeondernemings het ineengeval en werkloosheid het toegeneem. Die uiteindelike maatskaplike en ekonomiese gevolge hiervan is vandag onpeilbaar en dit bring groot verwarring mee: dit is 'n golf van verandering wat nie beheer kan word nie; dit kan hoogstens verstaan en gestuur word. Deur terugskouing en nadenke het mense skielik begin besef dat daar reeds dekades gelede waarskuwings gepubliseer is oor die moontlikheid van ontwrigtende globale griepagtige pandemies. Waarom is tóé nie daarop ag geslaan nie? 'n Tweede vraag is waarom het hierdie pandemie die bestaande wereldorde sodanig ontwrig dat mense sukkel om oplossings daarvoor te vind. Drie toekomsnavorsers by die internasionale Centre for Post-normal Policy and Futures Studies beskryf die Covid-19-pandemie as 'n "perfekte postnormale storm" en voeg daarby dat ons vandag in "postnormale tye" leef. Hierdie artikel gebruik enkele aspekte van hulle navorsing om die Covid-19-ontwrigting te verklaar en ook van toepassing te maak op die Suid-Afrikaanse situasie. Die voortstuwende ontwrigting wat Covid-19-beheermaatreëls veroorsaak het, is in wese kompleks sistemies. Dit is 'n groot uitdaging om kompleks sistemiese verandering te verstaan vanuit gevestigde gespesialiseerde kennis ("kognitiewe tuisland"). Dit vereis eers die erkenning van "onoorwinlike onkunde" in die gevestigde denkpatrone en dat ou denke daarom vervang moet word deur nuwe denke: 'n eksplorasie in die denklandskappe van wêreldbeskouings, paradigmas, waardes, mites, metafore en perspektiewe. Die rol van geleide selforganisasie deur die bestuur van sogenaamde "vreemde aanlokkers" (strange attractors) word bespreek. In 'n maatskaplik-ekonomiese omvorming kan onder meer inligtingsbestuur, waardebestuur en leerprosesse aanleiding gee tot nuwe kollektiewe insigte, paradigmaskuiwe en nuwe wêreldbeskouings, wat as "vreemde aanlokkers" vir geleide selforganisasie kan dien.
- ItemGeregtigheid, vryheid en die mens as beeld van God : 'n teologies-etiese studie na die betekenis daarvan vir menseregte(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 1990-03) Jones, Chris; Du Toit, D. A.; Theron, P. F.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology.AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING:
- ItemDie kwesbaarheid van kinders in die konteks van Suid-Afrikaanse huishoudings en families(Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, 2020-12) Grobbelaar, Jan; Jones, ChrisIn hierdie artikel bespreek ons die kwesbaarheid van baie kinders wat in Suid-Afrika woon, met die doel om noodsaaklike insae in die daaglikse lewensomstandighede van soveel kwesbare kinders van Suid-Afrika te bevorder. Die artikel begin deur kortliks te verwys na die sosiale en politieke kontekste wat die lewens van kinders bedreig. Dit fokus dan meer spesifiek op huishoudings en familiestrukture en hoe ons oor hierdie ingewikkelde, vervlegde en moeilik onderskeibare konsepte behoort te dink. Hierna volg 'n kort bespreking van teenwoordige en afwesige ouers, wat uitwys dat Suid-Afrika uniek is in die mate waarin ouers, veral vaders, afwesig is in die daaglikse doen en late van hul kinders. Ook kom grootouers wat in die afwesigheid van ouers na hul kleinkinders omsien, aan die beurt, en die belangrike rol wat die uitgebreide familie in die grootmaak van kinders speel, word uitgewys. Dan word stilgestaan by migrasie, veral deur adolessente, met die oog daarop om toegang tot nuwe geleenthede te kry. Uiteraard gaan daar bedreiginge hiermee saam. Hierna val die soeklig op weeskinders, asook op huishoudings wat net uit kinders bestaan en waar 'n minderjarige gevolglik as die hoof van so 'n huishouding moet funksioneer. Laastens kom die baie belangrike kwessie van behuising en basiese dienste aan die beurt, en word die groot ongelykheid in ons land soos weerspieël in die toegang of gebrek aan basiese dienste, aangetoon.
- ItemMale initiation and circumcision : a South African perspective(African Sun Media, 2020) Jones, ChrisI have been interested in and following this rite of passage for a long time, knowing that it creates contexts and opportunities within which children can be extremely vulnerable1. On top of this, so many responsible individuals and institutions have been relatively quiet – especially since the dawn of our new democracy (1994) in South Africa – about botched circumcisions, dehydration, infections and the annual loss of lives during this ritual. This chapter does not rely on statistical and other data as its primary resource, which would be a typical social science approach, followed by a number of chapters in this book, but rather on presenting important views and contributions by mostly African people and scholars who are/were in different ways involved in this ritual, with its accompanying culture. The role of religion in this ritual will not be discussed. I will often refer to the significant report on public hearings on male initiation schools in South Africa, published by the Commission for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities2 (CRL Rights Commission)3. In their executive summary, they define culture as “the totality of human creation and expression in both tangible and intangible forms” (CRL Rights Commission 2014:5). For them, the tangible forms of culture “include all material products created by a society as a result of human ingenuity. Intangibles comprise, among other things, language, beliefs, tastes, attitudes, rituals, religion” (:5).
- ItemMorele leierskap noodsaaklik vir versoening – toegepas op die Israel-Palestina konflik(Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, 2018) Jones, ChrisThis article seeks to show that reconciliation, especially in conflict-stricken areas, is very difficult without moral leadership. Moral leadership is meant to bring wholeness and reconciliation and give people a chance to live according to their full potential and rights. It usually brings about deep and lifelong changes, not only to individuals, but also to communities and societies. The presence or absence of true moral leadership is usually inextricably linked to the emotional maturity as well as the discerning ability of leaders and a country’s people. It also depends on spiritual maturity, although morality is not primarily determined by this. Moral leadership, however, must be brought in line with certain biological key drivers, as evolutionary determined in human beings. Where this is not in line, long-term transformation, based on prosperity for all, justice, trust and knowledge, is not really possible. In light of this, the focus falls on reconciliation that is indispensable if we want to co-exist humanely. Reconciliation, however, is radical. It creates a new kind of humanity. It involves more than the veiling of evil. It is about addressing injustice. Radical reconciliation means the establishment of real relationships, actually life-long relationships, especially with people who are marginalised, powerless and outraged, and whose dignity you did not previously recognise. It is about confession and forgiveness. It is a call to exchange places with the other. Within this framework, the historical and contemporary perspectives of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are explored, and I try to prove how this moral leadership model, integrated with certain important aspects regarding this conflict, may help bring about peace and reconciliation in this age-old Middle East conflict-torn area, obviously in line with international law and human rights (although not discussed). This model is also very briefly related to certain ethical theories and principles. The article reasons that no conversation about the conflict in Palestine is meaningful without asking among others the following questions: To whom does Palestine really belong? Who has the greatest historical claim on this territory? Why is it so difficult to settle the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians? To better understand the decades of conflict in the Middle East the article helps to try and grasp the historical roots that gave rise to this conflict. In this process, it is also necessary to reconsider many of the accepted dogma about, for example, the Zionist movement and their historical claim on the Palestinian territory. The article indicates how land on which the Palestinians lived for more than 1 000 years, was with the emergence of the Israeli state, taken away from them mostly by violence and without their consent. From the beginning it was the Zionist’s goal to alienate the non-Jewish Palestinians from their land. Zionism, however, was based on an erroneous colonialist view of the world in which there is no sense for the rights of indigenous people. The refusal to recognize the Palestinian’s right to self-determination and an own state, appears to be for many years the main causes of violence and bloodshed in this area. It is not good enough for politicians to just manage this crisis, it has to be solved. Activist’s role in this regard, must not be underplayed too. However, this can only be done by moral leadership in accordance with international law and human rights. This is the only way in which sustainable peace will be possible. In this regard, Israel has a lot of work to do. The prospects for peace talks are slim because many UN resolutions, under the diplomatic cloak of the United States, are denied, even rejected. The US supplies provisions of billions of dollars to Israel. This does not even include fighter-planes, technology and weapons. Another last important thought mentioned regarding this conflict has to do with the influence of religion on the current state of affairs. This conflict just shows us how strong age-old (religious) traditions, dividing decisions and discriminatory actions still function in our modern societies.
- ItemRethinking sin and evil through the life of a child sex slave(AOSIS Publishing, 2016) Jones, ChrisThis article rethinks (original) sin and evil through the life of a child called Engela who has been ‘sold’ into sex slavery. Focus is placed on the high value with which children should be regarded, especially children who have been sold as sex slaves. During this argument the emphasis is placed on ecclesiastical evolutionary perspectives on creation as well as relevantand contemporary understandings of sin and evil, and related to this, the devil and hell. Towards the end of the article theological consideration is given to fatherlessness, because Engela’s father was often absent in her life. According to literature, Jesus in all probability grew up without a father too. It seems as if Joseph played a minimal role in his life and education, whilst Jesus’ own experience of rejection laid the foundation for his compassion with the socially rejected, particularly children. Fatherlessness from a black African liberation perspective is also contextualised and applied.
- ItemSouth African perspective on sexual slavery, sex work and exploitation(IntechOpen, 2019) Jones, ChrisAfter millennia, formal slavery in most jurisdictions worldwide eventually came to an end by the middle of the nineteenth century. Yet, all kinds of trapped forms of labour took its place, among others sexual slavery—one of the most serious organised crimes of our time and historically one of the oldest human practices of gender inequality and exploitation. This chapter starts with broad, introductory remarks on the possible causes of sexual slavery and exploitation as well as what we as a society can do to collectively address this pressing issue. It then looks in more detail at the extent of this problem in South Africa. The chapter then moves on to consider antihuman trafficking legislation in South Africa and what it entails; a distinction is made between sexual slavery and sex work; and the reasons, effects and value of decriminalising sex work are referred to. A short account is given of the mythologised life of Sara Baartman, one of the most famous, but also least known, South African woman of her day and what we can learn from her about gender inequality, sexual slavery and exploitation.