Thursday, September 27, 2012

The God Particle


According to St. Thomas, “God is simply the act of existing,”[1] and this makes clear the idea that God as the most perfect being means that God is the First Cause. Without a God as prime mover, everything in the world would only be contingent. Contingent beings have one necessary attribute, and that is they start as non-being in the beginning, hence they lack the requisite perfection, and as such, they must be created by something that already is. If everything is contingent, as St. Thomas’ third proof would suggest, then nothing could come to exist.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Hari ng Tondo", Asiong Salonga, Carla Abellana and the Aesthetics of Arthur Schopenhauer

“Hari ng Tondo” is a song by Gloc 9, featuring the alluring voice of Denise Barbacena, a rhythmic adventure that brings into the open a resounding depiction of the life story of Nicasio Asiong Salonga (1924-1951), a notorious gang leader, born and raised in Tondo, with all the acrimony, celebration and parody worthy to mention in any story that interests the mortal in us. Splendid in its portrayal of the criminal world, we thus borrow from Arthur Schopenhauer, who says, "nature is not divine, but demonic" (WR, p.349).

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rights-based Approach to Teaching Ethics

(Conference Paper, Implementing Business Ethics, Ateneo de Manila University, 2012)

The rights-based paradigm can be paired with the capability approach to advance a broader perspective in the teaching of moral philosophy. For students to realize the importance of moral choice in truly democratizing human development, they must have a clear-cut understanding of their most basic or foundational human rights. For instance, the tension between economic growth and climate justice must be seen beyond mere abstraction. The rights-based approach intends to enhance ethical reflection as it links moral issues to crucial aspects of human well-being, enabling students to recognize their indispensable role and stake on important social issues and problems.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Problem of Child Labor

Domination cannot be a necessary fact of human life. Most analysis on human injustice focus on causal links or the empirical without due regard for systemic wrong. This undermines the human being who is the fundamental locus of attention in any philosophical investigation. No human being has a pre-ordained destiny, and for this reason it is important to examine the rootedness of oppression and other forms of human injustice in our culture. Enrique Dussel traces all problems in Third World societies to the egocentric nature of Western thinking.  History, he says, is all about “the space of a world within the ontological horizon is the space of a world center, of the organic, self-conscious state that brooks no contradictions because it is an imperialist state.” (Dussel 1985, 2)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Social Justice and the Dignity of the Poor

In The Filipino Search for Meaning (1974), Fr. Vitaliano Gorospe, S.J., poses this fundamental point of inquiry: "How many Filipinos are really free to take into their own hands their own development and destiny and achieve by their own efforts the full human life to which they aspire?" (p.427) This question above is crucial in the issue of social justice. The ideal of social justice, as a matter of principle, is "based on the dignity of the human person", and incontrovertibly, includes "the relationship of the person to the material world and to the socio-economic structures of society." (p.438)

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Myth of Philippine Democracy

The Philippines as a nation is soaked in the blood of poor martyrs whose dream of a free country has been rendered almost impossible by a systemic disease. We do not even have a real representative form of government. The very requisites of a democratic society – free and fair elections, civil liberties and respect for human and economic rights, are not enjoyed by the poor who constitute the majority in Philippine society.