A Meditative Interview with God for Ash Wednesday

A cave, Bethlehem. [Photo source: livingpassages.com]

by Wilfredo G. Villanueva

He wasn’t surprised to see me. He’s all-knowing after all. But I was. Didn’t know he lived a simple life. His place reminded me of the animal shed where the Son was born, in Bethlehem. But his face. His face shone like the sun, the moon and the stars. That I could see him without turning blind is a miracle, one of the many that I would experience when I threw him questions and tried to understand his answers, all the way to the last one.

“What do you want to know, my son?” He asked.

“First,” I said, “I want to thank you for welcoming me into your humble abode…”

“No prob,” he said, “People can actually come into my kingdom any time, but not many turn to prayer and reflection. Not only that, you need to have the heart of a child to be able to see me, for I am nothing without wonderment.”

“I know you’re busy, so I’ll start my questions.”

“Go ahead.”

“Is the world coming to an end?”

“Why do you ask that, my son?”

“Well, Trump is president of the most powerful nation on earth, Duterte is the head of a country at the other extreme, bookends …”

“Shh, don’t say that of your country. Your country is a gift from me, you have to love it. To love it is to worship me because only a kind God can make you one of the most joyful peoples on earth in spite of the direst circumstances known to man. Storms, earthquakes, too much rain, too little rain, drying dams, flooded city streets, bad leaders, you know the drill.”

“But is the world coming to an end, Father?”

“It’ll end when humanity gives up faith, hope and love.”

“Will we ever see the end of it?”

“The end of what? Of Duterte?” God asked, reading my mind.

“Yes, Father.”

“Duterte is a creature of your imagination. You don’t think you deserve a good leader, you get someone like Duterte. He is the personification of your nefarious negativity. Do you not notice how vulgar, how utterly disrespectful and off his rocker he is? Doesn’t he remind you somewhat of you as a people in general—volatile, given to excesses, drifting with the wind?”

Without waiting for my answer, He continued, “The moment you come to terms with your own inadequacies, the moment you find peace within yourself (tapping his chest once), is the moment Duterte will lose his power. He is feeding on your collective self-doubt.”

“What should we believe in?”

“Well, for starters, you have to have faith in yourselves. Duterte was manufactured by propagandists, he remains in power because of propagandists, and as long as you despair and believe in the negative things about you, that you have to be scared to be governable, he will never leave.”

“Why do we behave this way?”

“From the very start, you were not easy to teach. The Spaniards tried to teach you religion, but you combined your superstitions with Christianity and look what happened. People go to Holy Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation, have their devotions, throw themselves in abandon to representations of me and Mary your Mother, then laugh at a joke about raping a dead woman, or about shooting a woman there. It’s bizarre, a circus of horrors.”

“So, it’s like the Beatles’ song Hey Jude, ‘the movement you need is on your shoulder’?”

“Yes, something like that. I like the Beatles, by the way.”

“So do I, Father. Paul or John?”

“John.”

“Paul. Can we pray for maturity?”

“Hahaha! Of course I can grant you that, I can do that, but do you want that? I gave you free will so that you could tell your children that you were able to keep on the straight and narrow by meeting your challenges head-on, adapting to change and winning.”

“So, self-respect?”

“Exactly. What’s the point of making it easy for you if you do not develop your character which your children, down to the generations, can emulate? I didn’t create spineless crybabies.”

“So back to Duterte, can You not just take him in his sleep? He’s an unbearable heaviness of being.”

“My son, you have to slay your inner demons. See how you wish him ill, yet you ask for a better life. You have to be consistent.”

“Sorry, Father.”

“It’s all right, believe me, my inbox is full of prayers along that line.”

“Why do people say that you are dead, or worse, malevolent, because you lead us to challenges which are difficult to hurdle? It’s like you’re an Indian giver. You give, You take, give, take…”

“Think about it, my son. Adam and Eve were in the place in which I wanted them to be. But I am not a dictator. My greatest gift to man is free will. That’s why I gave you physical bodies, fingers to press the buttons for mutually-assured destruction or fingers to write a love poem to your wife or girlfriend. Hey, it’s Valentine’s! But it’s up to you.”

“Happy Valentine’s, Father!”

“Happy Valentine’s, Will!”

“But will there come a time when we won’t be so conflicted, when the only option is to gaze at the sun of your face, and feel loved to eternity?”

“That’s why I gave you death which activates your a free pass to heaven, but only when you choose between me and Lucifer. Nothing I give is forced on you, you have to have the appetite for it. The most pitiful person is the one who has no desire—lukewarm—and the desire of heavenly life is man’s greatest gift to me.”

“Do we ask too much of you, Father? Are we bilmoko (Tagalog for buy me that), gimme, now na?”

“Hahaha! I love it when people pray for the grandest and silliest things. At least I am in their minds. But I am happier if prayers are for others, your fellow travelers, your loved ones. That triggers my endorphins.”

“You have endorphins, Father?”

“Created in the image and likeness of…”

“Ah, yes, how heartwarming, how utterly simple it is to talk with you. I wish I had talked to you sooner.”

“Oh, my son, I know you, we talk a lot. I know your name, your UP student number, your number of girlfriends, how much you love your wife Renée and children, Liz the Belgian Malinois, Jock the Whippet, who is incidentally with me now, all your dogs I know, how you love to run. I listen to your rosaries, I am happy that you resist temptations of the flesh when as a youth I knew you to be a vagabond…”

“Oh, Father…”

“Hahaha! Just kidding you. Anything else you wish to know, my son?”

What’s the line in the sand for you, what’s the point when you will say that you’ve had it with mankind, that you shouldn’t have created Adam and from Adam, Eve, that you want to reset and start all over again?”

“Good question, let me think about that.”

After a few minutes.

“When Mary herself gives up. She cries a lot, you know, about what’s happening. She’s a mother after all. She keeps me from drawing on my temper, my famous temper. What a woman. I love her dearly.”

“And as long as Mary is around, your patience is inexhaustible?”

“Whoa. Don’t bet on it. I am still in charge here. My watch.”

“If 12 o’clock noon is the time you stop mankind from despoiling your creation, where does the hands of the clock point now?”

“11:59.”

Seeing my face fall, God said, “I am utterly unpredictable, don’t you think? I am not three coins in the fountain, not goody two-shoes. I am more like a drill sergeant with a hidden kind heart. I have to place my children, believers and unbelievers alike, out of harm’s way. But it has always been tough love. I parted the sea so the Israelites could cross, lighting their way, and then they negotiate the desert for 40 years when two months was tops. Tough. Mankind has to make the right choices. How is this possible? Mistakes are the best teachers. Earthly life is just a journey to eternity where your Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit reside. Life has many pitfalls, but the journey itself, to reach the destination, releases endorphins, don’t you think?”

Without waiting for my reply, God continued, “The world is not a safe place to live. It’s too volatile, like geographically, you live on the Ring of Fire of active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. This is not your home. A father would never place his children in such an unstable environment. All the more people believe in heaven. For if earth is all there is to life, what’s the point in living?”

“People praise your name more often now, Father…”

“Yes, I know. I’m happy-sad for that, for the gate is small, the way narrow, but the rewards are indescribable. I myself am out of words. Just be patient, my son. I know what I’m doing. I’ve got your back. I can do this.”

So to have faith, hope and love is all that we can do. God knows what He’s doing. We have nothing to fear, I thought to myself, as I made the sign of the cross and turned on the car stereo, having finished my rosary while driving to work at 5 in the morning, thankful for the little joys, like no traffic, and I could feel the engine kick like a hundred horses at full gallop, the aircon wind at my face.

A cool dude, I thought. I am refreshed, renewed.

 

Comments
273 Responses to “A Meditative Interview with God for Ash Wednesday”
  1. edgar lores says:

    *******
    Cool. But the faith glides and elides over details.

    If we have nothing to fear, why resist Duterte?
    *****

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Resistance can come in many forms, one of which is non-resistance. Or being the opposite of the enemy.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Will, thanks.

        I will have to strike the answer as nonresponsive because my question was Why and not What.

        I did not ask, “What are the forms of resistance?” Neither, “What is the best form of resistance?”

        I asked, “If we have nothing to fear [because God knows what He is doing], then why resist Duterte?”

        I guess we will leave the question and possible answers for readers to ponder and meditate.
        *****

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Why resist Duterte? I have to present a personal viewpoint: every bone and sinew in my body resists him. He is the exact opposite of God’s definition of an upright man.

          He gave me discernment so I can avoid a pothole on the road in pitch darkness, just as I would veer away from a leadership that is ill-intentioned.

          Man proposes and God disposes. Having given us the tools to survive in a hostile world, He leaves resistance to our faculties.

          Like a good father, He has given us principles to live by, and is proud of our achievements, allowing our complete faith in Him to guide us.

          Why resist Duterte? Why does a fruit fall from the tree?

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Will, thanks.

            1. That’s a passionate and honest answer.

            1.1 I’m trying to reconcile this personal answer with the ontology/teleology of the article in which you say all that is necessary are faith, love, and hope.

            1.2. Now you add resistance, albeit this arises from our faculties.

            2. The ontology (the nature of being) bothers me.

            2.1. To use your analogy, isn’t the pothole part of God’s Plan? Isn’t that part of his tough love? Indeed, isn’t the entire road part of the Plan?

            2.2. (This is basically the issue in Item 2 through to 2.2 of my 10:09 am post.)

            2.3. And why does He give you discernment? Why does He give it only to a select few? Why not give it to everybody? Again, to use your other analogy, why does the fruit not fall from the tree for everybody?

            3. And if the ontology bothers me, more so the teleology (the purpose of being).

            3.1. But I will leave my questions on teleology hanging as they are beyond the scope of Ash Wednesday meditation.
            *****

  2. andrewlim8 says:

    I have a curious question to the floor: for those who have witnessed/watched a real live exorcism by a qualified priest, the “possessed” victim is almost always seen spouting expletives, curses, foul-mouthed blasphemies.

    Now my question: is there a parallel here for people who love to speak in foul language, expletives, curses and blasphemies?

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      I have not witnessed an exorcism, although I believe the nation is undergoing one right now.

      Duterte’s cursing reminds me of Tourette’s Syndrome. I believe it was Alan Robles who characterized Duterte’s disorder as coprolalia, which is a symptom of Tourette’s.

      Is Duterte possessed? Figuratively, yes. Literally, I don’t know.

      If Duterte is a creature of our imagination as the article suggests… then demons are not real? Or we are the ones possessed? We are as he is?
      *****

      • I’ve never witnessed an exorcism, though I love the movie.

        But I’d think, the worst kind of offender won’t be the guy that curses a lot but the eloquent one, with sweet tongue.

        My interview with the Devil

        Me: Do you have a sweet tongue?

        Devil: Yes, I do. I see you’ve been doing lots of sit-ups, is that an 8-pack I see?

        Me: *blushing* (and giggling like a teenage Japanese girl)

        • Devil: I also notice that you’ve been doing lots of squats.

          Me: You know me all too well, Satan.

          Devil: Please call me Lucifer, or the Morning Star or Son of the Morning; Light Bringer.

          Me: Kinda think of it, you do look familiar…
          (hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…) Are you and God like a team? Are you related? Are you one and the same?

          Devil: What do you think?

          Me: Who came up with the Adult Breastfeeding idea for Muslims? You or God?

          Devil: Well it is both practical… and nutritious. Just remember that bacteria thrives in milk. Luis Pasteur got it right.

          • Me: So that particular idea was a collaboration? You= practical; God= nutritious?

            Devil: Me and God, or WE, like to wager a lot. Remember Job? Jonah? Jesus in the wilderness (which was kinda cheating since God= Jesus), but hey you try living forever…

            Look, we thought it was funny, I wagered some Muslims would actually take it literally and think by suckling on their female colleagues teets, they’d be able to work together alone. And God upped the ante, wagered that only BBC would pick up the story and not the American media (but it was a big deal in the Arab media).

            God won; He always does by the way. But in a manner of speaking, I win too in our wagers, since God’s more about the bet while I’m more about the giggles.

            Me: So much for FREE Will.

            Devil: What?

            Me: Nothing. Forget it.

            Do you think good can come out of evil and evil from good?

            Devil: Ask edgar, I gotta run… Me and God, or WE, have a golf tee at 10am. Oh, here’s some trivia for you… What’s the shortest poem by man?

      • andrewlim8 says:

        I have long speculated on this: there are forces- not of this earth- that are at work here.

        If you can make people laugh at cursing the Pope, or clap and laugh at rape jokes or if you can make people like evangelicals and catholics in the US to justify Trump’s behavior because they approve of his stand on certain issues, then people are essentially making a Faustian bargain- they are willing to go to hell if there is promise of heaven on earth.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Definitely, Andrew, definitely. That’s why being the opposite of evil is in and of itself the purest resistance.

  3. edgar lores says:

    *******
    Another gliding.

    1. I don’t know that anyone has accused God of malevolence.

    2. Micha has posed the Epicurean paradox. To wit:

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

    2.1. The defense, which was raised by Chemrock and is repeated here, is that of Free Will.

    2.2. I have noted that the defense is untenable with the concept of an interventionist God, which is clearly the case here. Here, we have a God who parts seas and allows Duterte and the PNP to kill with impunity.

    2.3. There is a further issue with the notion of Free Will. I do not dispute that man exercise their will, although St Aquinas says that secondary causes, of necessity, align with the primary cause (which, to my mind, logically negates the notion). What I question in the term is the notion of “Free.” If one recognizes and admits that ignorance is a constraint, then is Free Will really free?
    *****

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Ignorance is still a choice.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Will, thanks again.

        The reply is in response to 2.3.

        The reply is nonresponsive to 2.2.

        As with my first question, we will leave 2.2 for readers to meditate and ponder.

        The reply is an observation and is also nonresponsive to the question posed in 2.3. It does not confirm or reject that ignorance is a constraint on Free Will.

        Yes, ignorance is a choice. That would be willful ignorance. There is also what I might call involuntary ignorance.

        o If an Ilocano votes for Bongbong out of tribal loyalty, is his vote an exercise of Free Will? His tribal loyalty could be considered involuntary ignorance.

        o If Duterte appoints Mocha to a high-paying government position out of utang-na-loob, is this an exercise of Free Will? The utang-na-loob meme is cultural conditioning and could again be considered involuntary ignorance.

        o When a Catholic supports Duterte despite the commandment not to kill, is this an exercise of Free Will? The man’s Catholicism may be an accident of birth and not a conscious acceptance of the tenets of Christianity. Again, this may be involuntary ignorance.

        The above examples are just to highlight corollary issues in the Free Will defense argument.

        Again, I will leave it for readers to meditate and ponder.
        *****

  4. My interview with God

    Me: Hey, God, what’s up? Remember me?

    God: Yup, I gave you a bit more time when you were in Iraq, how’s the wife?

    Me: Wrong guy, God. I’m not married.

    God: Sorry. If there weren’t so many of you, I’d remember. I never intended for you all to actually over-populate the earth.

    Me: So you actually don’t know me?

    God: Should I?

    Me: No… I guess not.

    Well, let’s begin. I know you’re busy. First question, what’s the actually punishment for adultery? The Old Testament’s pretty clear, the New Testament where you (I mean your son) said “Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone” (or something to that effect), didn’t really negate the Old Testament; and then you got the Prophet Muhammed supposedly writing down stoning as punishment but was lost, eaten by a goat.

    Were you the goat?

    God: No.

    Look, the Old Testament has got it wrong, when I (eeeeerrr… my son) drew something on the ground and said, “Cast the first stone” I meant it specifically at that moment since I knew those Pharisees were dirrrty, with 3 R’s.

    Let me be clear, I meant small stones, tiny pebbles only, more to cause a nuisance.

    Me: Ahhh… Thanks for clearing that one up. That’s mighty humane of you.

    My second question, is about genocide , specifically by You, example, your order to kill off the Amalekites (hell, even their animals, what gives?) , the Flood, Sodom & Gommora and I guess now Global Warming. What’s up with that?

    God: Don’t blame me for Global Warming, that’s on you guys.

    Me. True that.

    God: But, the Amalekites had to go, the Flood had to happen and Sodom & Gommora had to be set alight. It’s all by feeling , that’s how I work, I can’t explain why really, but I hate sinners (but I also love them).

    Me: Well, that’s not very comforting. But hey, you’re God.

    Last question, and I hope you don’t find it frivolous, I don’t know if you follow TSOH, but here goes… can evil beget good, and vice versa, good beget evil?

    God: Well like they say, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”, I didn’t come up with that pithy quote, though I did come up with this Mark Twain one, since me and old Samuel Clemens are good buddies,

    Your last question is a good one, and not frivolous at all. When it comes to good and evil, no question is ever frivolous.

    Me: Thanks , God. Oh by the way, what do you think of DU30 and D5?

    God: Never heard of them.

    • Me: Oh, before you go, God.

      Is the Devil truly in the details?

      God: I’m there too.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Does the devil live in a palace, Lance? Hahaha!

      • LOL! For my interviews I met up w/ God and the Devil at Starbucks separately (although the Devil looked a lot like God, and vice versa 😉 though I couldn’t really tell since God’s face was too bright to discern, whilst the Devil’s too dark).

        I’m still trying to figure out, what God meant by that whiskey and water quote. You obviously need water to make whiskey. The answer to my question as to whether evil can produce good, and good evil , is in that quote somewhere.

        As you know God likes to speak in riddles and metaphors. I’m hoping edgar can tease out the whiskey and water quote from God via Mark Twain. If we can finally ascertain that Evil can come out of Good and Good from Evil, then we’re half way there, to understanding the mind of God.

        I did detect, the big guy had a sick sense of humor, eg. how could he not know me? I’m well loved by all. 😉

        • karlgarcia says:

          If you don’t fight for water, there will be no whiskey!

          • Is whiskey then evil and water good, karl? What causes the fight? Mark Twain (eeerrr… God) said whiskey’s for drinking and water’s for fighting over, so why fight over water? Is this simply about water rights?

            Maybe… but there’s something deeper, otherwise why would God have brought up that particular quote by Mark Twain? Remember the original question was whether or not evil can come from good and good from evil.

            God even mentions it in Wil’s interview also, so it’s no coincidence, karl.

            “Storms, earthquakes, too much rain, too little rain, drying dams, flooded city streets, bad leaders, you know the drill.”

            Whiskey is man-made, and water not, yet the fight is in the water, while whiskey’s for drinking. Why? hmmmmmmmmmmmmm… What’s God trying to tell us?

    • Mayongod says:

      Its interesting how God really used the quote from Mark Twain distinguishing whisky from water. In relation to good and evil effect, may i also share my 2 cents understanding.

      Let me start my re-wording the quote as “Whisky is for pleasure; water is for life”. We need water to stay alive(worth fighting over with) and in order to experience life, we sometimes explore and experiment and comes out the pleasures/misfortunes of being alive. So if we drink too much whisky, it’s intoxicating and at that point it can lead to good or bad depending…

      There shouldn’t be confusion about good and evil relationship. They are very different and one doesn’t come out from each other. good begets good and evil begets evil.

      • Mayongod,

        Thanks. Your last 2 sentences should be your starting off point. Tell us more, support, use rhetoric, drawings, anecdotes, interview God himself, etc. convince me (us, yourself). But

        “Whisky is for pleasure; water is for life”. We need water to stay alive(worth fighting over with)

        is gold, pure gold. It’s own meme. Can you expound on your last paragraph, we have no takers as of yet, so you’d be the first to dive in.

        • Mayongod says:

          I see problems in understanding the natural cycle of living existence and mixing it to the artificial or invented objects to see which is good or bad. They should be separated and approached in a different manner. Thus, may i posit the following:

          1. All natural cycle of living existence are supposed to be considered good and necessary for maintaining life cycle. Whatever reason that we may not understand, they just happen naturally so its beyond this discussion.
          ex.
          a) Natural reactions inside brain after drinking whiskey.
          b) Natural calamities like typhoons, earthquake etc – They are necessary for mother earth as a way of preserving itself or any other reasons we may not understand. These are not acts of God to commit murder as previously pointed out by some.

          We limit the scope of determining good or bad and the application of the quote “Good begets good; evil begets evil” below:
          2. Human inventions and actions are intended for good purposes. However some living human experimentation may turn-out either good or bad. Then the question is ….

          Can either one(good/bad) springs-out from the other?
          a) Whiskey good or bad? – discussed below
          b) Killing good or bad?

          • “They should be separated and approached in a different manner. “

            Thanks!

            So,

            Whiskey = “artificial or invented objects”

            Water = “natural cycle of living existence”

            and never the Twain shall meet?

            • Mayongod says:

              If taken in the context of God quoting Mark Twain:

              “Whiskey is for drinking;water is for fighting over”

              Water = God => Interesting to note that majority of conflicts around the world is about God/religion. Probably the reason why Mark Twain said “water is for fighting over”.

              Whiskey = Satan/devil => God’s angel who at first was all good when under control. Only when Satan separated from God that he become evil/bad.

              Interesting parallelism indeed.

              • Okay, fair enough, so to re-cap…

                Water = God or “natural cycle of living existence”

                &

                Whiskey = Devil or “artificial or invented objects”

                Question:

                When God caused the Flood, by Water

                ————
                Genesis 7

                17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.

                18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.

                19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.

                20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

                21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:

                22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

                23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

                24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.

                ———–

                … was this event good or evil, Mayongod? Remember Water = God.

              • p.s.~ ooops, almost forgot,

                addendum… good or evil, from an ‘outsider’ and ‘insider’ perspective (ie., God wanted to clean house w/ Water).

                a). Outsider view (evil or good) because ________________________ . (ex. bad for those who drowned, good for those who didn’t)

                b). Insider view (evil or good) because _____________________________ . (remember you can also interview God, that’s an option)

                or

                c). God = Water = Good, all of it (no if’s and but’s, that’s also valid by the way)

              • Mayongod says:

                Was the flood (act of God?) consider good or evil?

                This is part of my exclusion which i stated earlier but for the sake of this discussion, let me try to contribute my 2 cents understanding. For God’s viewpoint as the actor, this “CLEANSING” is good and necessary process but at the same time, its also bad for all those unfortunate living organism(all forms) that are outside Noah’s arc since they all perished.

                Our problem actually is trying to subject acts of God inside our own standards of good or bad. God’s justification is more complex and often misunderstood. As observers, our justifications are very different from the actors so if i am pro-God, i will standby on “good side”, otherwise may say bad or evil.

                Who is in the better position to judge an act whether good or bad?The actors or the observer?

              • “Who is in the better position to judge an act whether good or bad?The actors or the observer?”

                Remember we’re trying to get at the Mind of God here, Mayongod, via our own minds.

                There’s another example with Water ,

                Let me throw your question back to you, Who is in the better position to judge an act whether good or bad? The actors or the observer? p.s.~ We are the observers.

              • Here’s the parallel,

                God (US soldiers) + Flood (water torture) + life on Earth (Filipino) = annihilation (death)

                Good or Evil?

                For this one, focus on life on Earth (Filipino) good or bad for them? Then annihilation (death) good or bad, just in general when death is caused?

                Then, apply said formula to DU30’s EJKs,

                DU30 + EJKs + CDE folks (druggies) = death (culling)

                now focus on CDE folks (druggies) and death (culling).

                ( by the way, I’m pro-culling, Soylent Green, and other means to lower Earth’s population,

                I’m just simply interested in how you view good and evil, and this difference you’re espousing between acts of Man and acts of God/nature , I’m usually at odds with edgar and everyone else here at TSOH, but what’s interesting is it seems you too are amoral? or inadvertently pushing the amoral view?)

              • By the way, I would also be pro-Flood, or God’s cleansing, with or without the Ark (no Noah & crew), since it was apparent that life regenerated regardless…

                ——–

                Genesis 8

                10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;

                11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.

                12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.

                ——–

                So cleansing is in and of itself good. And your,

                “Our problem actually is trying to subject acts of God (DU30) inside our own standards of good or bad. God’s (DU30) justification is more complex and often misunderstood.”

                My question to you, Mayongod, is

                can’t we also give benefit of the the doubt to DU30 , wherein DU30 = Water = following God’s will (or His example) , and simply doing a cleanse?

                at this point, I’d encourage edgar to hop back in the discussion. Is this false equivalency, Why?

              • Mayongod says:

                To understand someone, you have to walk with his shoes and follow the same path in time. What would you do differently if given the same conditions and only options available?

                Observers sometimes are quick to judge without understanding the whole sorts of fact. They simply judge it according to their standards. Placing acts of God and subjecting it to your own standards is really preposterous. Standards and understanding among men varies from person to person so now we have different sorts of religions/beliefs each pushing their own as the true and only one. There comes now the problems – conflicts of all sorts everywhere.

                Perhaps what i’m trying to say is: Why not just agree that everything natural is beyond discussion and just believe they are all good and necessary for life existence? Even if we come to understand some, there’s nothing we can do about them anyways. They just happen naturally-beyond our control.

                Whiskey or whatever it represents on the other side is more realistic and within our level and scope where we can do something about. good or bad?

              • “Why not just agree that everything natural is beyond discussion and just believe they are all good and necessary for life existence?”

                Exactly! So man (as “artificial or invented objects”) is not beyond discussion. Make your judgement already, you as observer and justify your good or bad.

                I can tell you from that particular example above, at that time and place, of US soldiers water boarding one Filipino, that was not done necessarily to elicit information (this wasn’t “enhance interrogation”) many of those who suffered this fate died, that’s from history.

                So if I were to place myself in their shoes (of these US soldiers) I can tell you I’d be thinking “I just wanna go home”; “this worthless island nigger”, “this bastard just killed my buddies”, “I don’t much care what information he has to offer”, “I just want him to suffer, as I am or as my friends did as they died”.

                And that’s not good, that’s bad, Evil even. hence the act is Evil.

                (we’re calibrating our sense of good, bad, evil here , Mayongod, whether you are moral, immoral, amoral, this whole exercise would be more enlightening if you participate and actually make judgement good or bad or evil, as observer.

                My point, is eventually you’re gonna have to make your own judgement— if you prefer leaving God/nature alone, fine— but you have to say this is bad, this is good, this is evil, to make this discussion bare fruit. So please make a judgement of the above photo and explain.)

              • Mayongod says:

                Let me say: your illustrative sample pictures are on-point.

                1. Water cycle of life = really magnificent. No debate = all Good!
                2. US Soldiers + water + Filipino = Death
                I may dis-agree with the representations. My reading goes;
                US-Soldier = Whiskey; water = God
                => Whiskey/US soldier using water/God(inappropriately) to Filipino equals death to the Filipino.

                Let’s examine each one of them(as observers) and see whose good or bad.

                a) Whiskey = US soldier = Surely by this time people say he’s BAD!!! but can we really judge him in totality with all his person just by this single time doing the torture? We do not know everything about the person and he may at other point a hero to his countrymen. This difference of judgement at both sides will remain as “DRAW” if no side gives way. The only way everybody can agree is when the judgement is based on the act. The judgement passed will be ” Soldier is guilty of TORTURE”.

                When Filipinos received the judgement and being passed-on, the message changed and only says. “Soldier is guilty.” Notice how they remove the other words “of TORTURE” from the judgement. -another characteristics among men which may need to be re-examined.

                b) water=God = always good. Its only the manner on how it was used can we say its bad.
                c) Filipino = tortured, there’s no way we can say he is good or bad. But we all can agree what happened to him is bad.
                d) Death = bad for the dead Filipino, good for the Soldier who accomplishes one more job.

                I saw your parallel formula representation with Duterte, EJKs, etc. My approach may just be the same as above. The problem i see among other observers is that they seem to attach their judgement to the person/object and not limit to the ACT which can be classified good or bad.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Hmm. Why separate the act from the actor? So a person who kills deliberately is not bad and only the act is bad?
                *****

              • Mayongod says:

                i may also dis-agree with your equating DU30 =God…… oh pleaseeee, more like Whiskey isn’t he?

              • Mayongod says:

                “Why separate the act from the actor? So a person who kills deliberately is not bad and only the act is bad?” -Edgar

                Responsibility maybe passed on to the actor because it’s really inappropriate to judge his totality based on a single act alone. If you judge the actor, you have to consider all other factors to come up with acceptable judgement for all.

                Please consider the difference of my sample above.
                1. Soldier is guilty of torture.
                2. Soldier is guilty.

                Notice the impact when you only say #2. That is judging the soldier in his total person and that maybe unfair especially those coming from his party. Besides, you are incapable to give judgement unless you really know the soldier.

                One may ask. How can we judge an object? surely we know everything about it but how can we say whether they are good or bad? – The judgement should be based on the manner or situation they are used and/or the effect they have towards those whom they are used. Only that part can be distinguished as good or bad. That way, the separation of good or bad is recognizable.
                Good and evil are distinct from each other. One should come out of a proper word to describe the space between them for it really deserves one.

                ex. moral – amoral – immoral

                example by LCpl X. “Cleansing” in general is good but not all the time specially when used like that of LCpl X situational illustration.

                -Cleansing by DU30 of those druggies can not be compared to the CLEANSING done at the time of Noah and apply the judgement of cleansing being good.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                I find the discussion confusing.

                1. Again, here, there is a miscategorization error. Are we talking about acts that are considered bad:

                1.1. By consequence — purely in the ethical domain
                1.2. By deontology — in the ethical domain but I also denominate it as existing in the legal domain

                3. By legal deontology, there is no difference between (a) solider is guilty and (b) soldier is guilty of torture… because by definition torture is illegal.

                3.1. In this case, the claim that I am incapable of rendering judgment is moot. I do not have to know about the soldier, only that he committed an illegal act. Judgment is not subjective, it is objective by virtue of law.
                *****

              • I agree. In the professional world, ethics do not allow even one perversion of proper behavior. One mistake and the whole of one’s professional character is defined, and properly so. A president ought to be the most strict ethical reader, and there should be no ‘free passes’ that PRESUME good intention. That said, transgressions should be weighed by judges as to severity. Murdering one’s own citizens ought to be terminally severe even if the economy is booming.

              • Mayongod says:

                response modification regarding picture of soldiers: I realized the meaning deviates when i changed Devil to Whisky which was the original thought.

                US Soldier + Water + Filipino = Death to Filipino

                If US Soldier = Whisky = Devil, Water = God God’s words…. My reading says on the picture;

                Devil applying God’s word inappropriately to Filipino equals death to the Filipino.

                ^same applies to DU30 equation.

              • Mayongod says:

                Okay, lets have simplified version….let me introduced you with someone

                Me: Pedro meet Edgar,Edgar, meet Pedro. Then I whisper to your ear some people say he is very good, but some say he is bad.
                Edgar/you: (Your first time to meet him) …. Is he good or bad? who will you believe?

                How will you judge him?

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                1. There are 2 forms of judgment: considered and unconsidered.

                2. On meeting Pedro, I will make an unconsidered judgment. This judgment is independent of thought and mostly intuitional. The judgment may be subliminal or conscious. It will take the form of an instant like/dislike, or neutrality, or complete indifference.

                2.1. Your aside will certainly color my unconsidered judgment, but I will reserve final considered judgment of Pedro. Your aside may also color my judgment of you.

                3. Considered judgment will come, if at all, after some time based on many things — impressions from continued personal interaction and also impressions from others. Considered judgment will confirm or disprove the initial impression. It may take one of several forms (the list is incomplete):

                o Pedro is good
                o Pedro is bad
                o Pedro is neither good nor bad, just in-between
                o Pedro is neither good nor bad, just fun (fun is not necessarily good)
                o I do not judge Pedro at all because he is a friend
                o I do not judge Pedro at all because he is not a friend

                4. The judgment, whatever it is and if it does exist, will be mine alone. I will believe myself.

                5. The considered judgment may change, even be completely reversed, in time.
                *****

              • “Cleansing by DU30 of those druggies can not be compared to the CLEANSING done at the time of Noah and apply the judgement of cleansing being good.”

                Instead of evil vs. good;

                let’s say for now like begets like (not yet imbuing qualities, just similarity), like begets like, whether or not we use the word cleansing or culling or murder … not yet. Let’s just agree on like,

                Is DU30’s cleansing like God’s cleansing? If , yes, how so? If no , how so? No evil or good, yet. Just agree or disagree, as to types— DU30’s cleansing; God’s cleansing. For example , are there dead people? what’s the justification used? etc. etc.

                Does like beget like?

                ========================
                “a) *** see edgar’s line of questioning

                b) water=God = always good. Its only the manner on how it was used can we say its bad.
                c) Filipino = tortured, there’s no way we can say he is good or bad. But we all can agree what happened to him is bad.
                d) Death = bad for the dead Filipino, good for the Soldier who accomplishes one more job.

                US Soldier + Water + Filipino = Death to Filipino

                If US Soldier = Whisky = Devil, Water = God God’s words”

                ========================

                Mayongod, I feel that your re-tweaking of the formula is flawed, essentially it’s

                Devil + God + Filipino = Death to Filipino

                shouldn’t it be,

                (Devil – God) + Filipino = Live Filipino ????? Wherein God is an active variable?

                Which, I’m afraid , brings us back to,

                At this point this paradox is now cliche, so let’s really hammer down like begets like above, so we don’t get lost in the above paradox, then continue on… yes?

              • Mayongod says:

                addendum:
                oppss.. i forgot to mention Pedro is dead so the possibility of interaction(present and future) isn’t possible. Will there be any difference?

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Ahaha! So you are introducing me to a dead person?

                Then why are you whispering?

                In that case, I probably wouldn’t bother to form an opinion or judgment. I will leave it to God.
                *****

              • Mayongod says:

                Its still part of the discussion. by making him dead, it becomes an object so will you judge him?

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Most probably not. I would have no basis except your whispered aside. I do not accept “authority.”
                *****

              • Mayongod says:

                edgar lores says:
                February 18, 2018 at 10:25 am
                *******

                1. There are 2 forms of judgment: considered and unconsidered.

                2. On meeting Pedro, I will make an unconsidered judgment. This judgment is independent of thought and mostly intuitional. The judgment may be subliminal or conscious. It will take the form of an instant like/dislike, or neutrality, or complete indifference.

                2.1. Your aside will certainly color my unconsidered judgment, but I will reserve final considered judgment of Pedro. Your aside may also color my judgment of you.

                3. Considered judgment will come, if at all, after some time based on many things — impressions from continued personal interaction and also impressions from others. Considered judgment will confirm or disprove the initial impression. It may take one of several forms (the list is incomplete):

                o Pedro is good
                o Pedro is bad
                o Pedro is neither good nor bad, just in-between
                o Pedro is neither good nor bad, just fun (fun is not necessarily good)
                o I do not judge Pedro at all because he is a friend
                o I do not judge Pedro at all because he is not a friend

                4. The judgment, whatever it is and if it does exist, will be mine alone. I will believe myself.

                5. The considered judgment may change, even be completely reversed, in time.
                *****
                ==============================================================

                Let’s try to clear the confusion and check if we can agree focusing on the points mentioned.
                a. Need of separation of actor and the act. and judging the act
                b. Difference between “Soldier is guilty with torture” and “Soldier is guilty”.
                c. Judging an object.

                1. Meeting Pedro(alive),
                1.1. Unconsidered judgement -neutral
                1.2. Considered judgement – neutral
                1.3 All considered = may changed, even completely reversed(still neutral).

                => you just did (a) above separating the actor(Pedro) and judging Pedro on different criteria based on your present and future interactions with him and others that is clearly recognizable as “good or bad”.
                Either good or bad doesn’t apply to Pedro 100 percent because he maybe good on one-thing but will do bad on another so declaring “Pedro is good” will be questionable because you see him do bad at some other points, “Pedro is good with jokes(assuming he is)” will be more acceptable, point (b)

                2.Meeting Pedro(dead) = neutral(no judgement) -even with my whispered “people says…”

                Granting Pedro = Marcos (as more realistic example). How can we reconcile the difference between those who says he is good/bad to come with “acceptable for all” conclusion?

              • Mayongod,

                I’m still waiting for your like begets like response, BUT

                your line of reasoning reminds me very much of the Turing Test (Imitation Game) , as you know this wasn’t so much really a machine vs. man test, but his personal inquiry into whether or not he (as a gay man) can trick another man.

                Sure Turing can be both good and bad, but for some the act of being gay is in and of itself enough to render the man irredeemable. My question, and this is still in keeping with my like begets like questioning, is Turing in Hell??? not as an actor, but I pose that question to you as an observer, Mayongod.

                Is Alan Turing in Hell? guilty vs. guilty for being gay doesn’t quite matter now, or does it, What do you think?

              • Mayongod says:

                “Devil + God + Filipino = Death to Filipino

                shouldn’t it be,

                (Devil – God) + Filipino = Live Filipino ????? Wherein God is an active variable?” -LCpl X
                ===============================================================
                Actor = US Soldier = Whiskey =devil=satan
                Method = “Water cure” = God’s words/works
                Victim = Filipino
                Result = Dead Filipino

                The method is “water cure” so i treated it like God’s words/works since Devil can not really use God. Besides we can not give judgement to God but we can recognize his words/works

                I wonder why u prefer minus(-) instead of plus(+)?

              • Mayongod says:

                The Society of Honor says:
                February 18, 2018 at 8:47 am
                I agree. In the professional world, ethics do not allow even one perversion of proper behavior. One mistake and the whole of one’s professional character is defined, and properly so.
                ==================================================================

                Isn’t it injustice to the person if he was judge like this? So if he was a confirmed hero all his life then involved in a driving violations.

                1. He was bad in driving. = Judging the driving
                2. He was bad. = Judging the person

                What causes the accident? The person or the “bad driving”?

              • “I wonder why u prefer minus() instead of plus(+)?”

                Mayongod,

                You placed Devil and God in the same equation.

                My point was simply that if God is pitted against the Devil (whether by subtraction or addition, makes no difference), God (or God’s words) should have some effect, positive or negative vis-a-vis the Devil, no? Hence the Epicurean paradox, God or +God , the Devil’s work should change no? (when you place God and Devil in the same formula). That God is not a neutral force? or is He?

                We are getting ahead of ourselves.

                My point wasn’t plus or minus , my question was about whether or not like begets like. Answer that first. Then we’ll proceed.

              • “What causes the accident? The person or the “bad driving”?”

                Mayongod,

                In your example, person via his bad driving caused the accident, no? Unless you can separate the person from his bad driving, the person has to be at fault no?

                Let me throw the question back at you, Can you punish and/or imprison “bad driving“?

              • Mayongod says:

                “Is DU30’s cleansing like God’s cleansing? If , yes, how so? If no , how so? No evil or good, yet. Just agree or disagree, as to types— DU30’s cleansing; God’s cleansing. For example , are there dead people? what’s the justification used? etc. etc.”
                =========================================================
                LCpl X,

                – Definitely not. As mentioned DU30 is more like “Whiskey” or whatever whiskey represents. Just considering DU30 = God is already ….???
                ————————————————————————————–
                On the other topic(picture of US soldier). I just explained my formula:

                Actor+medium used+Victim = RESULT(based on history is death)

                How did you come up with your formula? (basing on the picture)

              • Mayongod says:

                “Let me throw the question back at you, Can you punish and/or imprison “bad driving“?”
                ================================================================
                Justice throws the one responsible in prison. Will the accident caused by “bad driving” solved? More drivers commit the same mistake and more accidents will still happen.

                Instead of solving the problem(bad driving). They are creating more problems by throwing people in jail. Dangerous effect of judging people instead of the acts.

                Basically what the DU30 is doing on his EJKs.

              • Mayongod says:

                A better solution naturally is addressing “bad driving” by giving more training a seminars but since people are contented to pointing who is responsible. They fail to recognize the real problem which is bad driving.

              • “How did you come up with your formula? (basing on the picture)”

                God (US soldiers) + Flood (water torture) + life on Earth (Filipino) = annihilation (death)

                That’s my original equation, Mayongod. You re-tweaked it to be this,

                ( Actor [Devil] +medium used [God] ) + Victim = RESULT(based on history is death) [italics & parentheses mine]

                In my equation, its either God or Devil (not both) , method not really relevant (flood, fire/brimstone, stoning, war, etc. etc.), since the result is bad (or good).

                But when you place both God and the Devil in the same equation, shouldn’t God over power the Devil — thru subtracting the Devil, or adding to make the Devil positive?. That is my question regarding your equation, because it seems, God=zero (in your equation), neutral no? Irrelevant.

                —————————————

                As to like begets like ,

                Definitely not. As mentioned DU30 is more like “Whiskey””

                If it’s the same killing, as punishment, how are you able to say God’s use of violence is good (you as an observer, not God); and DU30’s use of violence is bad (again , you)? You’re making a judgement no? If not , how are you able to discern then, that it’s God and not the Devil operating, Mayongod?

                Remember flood, fire/brimstone, stoning, attacking, war, etc. etc. all violence attributed to God. How do you discern? How is it not like the other?

                —————————————-

                “Justice throws the one responsible in prison. Will the accident caused by “bad driving” solved?”

                Mayongod,

                Wasn’t justice also rendered during the Flood, in Sodom/Gomorra, to adulterers, the Amelikites, etc. etc.? Was “evil” solved then?

                All like, no (punishments)? If not like, how are they different? How were the above problems solved? They were punishment, no? If not , what were they then (flood, fire/brimstone, stoning, etc. etc.) ? I’m sure you’d agree that they were punishment, yes?

                How do you discern then , compare/contrast one form of punishment to another? And whether or not it was effective?

              • “A better solution naturally is addressing “bad driving” by giving more training a seminars but since people are contented to pointing who is responsible.”

                You do realize that with all the training and seminars in the world, that accidents will still happen no? From fender benders to deaths. There’s negligence, there’s cellphones, sleeping behind the wheel, speed, road conditions, etc. etc. etc.

                If you (a mere mortal) can separate man from bad behaviour (ie. punish the murder, but not the murderer), pray tell why did God fail to do this Himself? Why the flood, fire/brimstone, stoning, genocide, etc.? Why didn’t God offer more training and seminars? is Mayongod more moral than God?

              • Mayongod says:

                “For this one, focus on life on Earth (Filipino) good or bad for them? Then annihilation (death) good or bad, just in general when death is caused?

                Then, apply said formula to DU30’s EJKs,

                DU30 + EJKs + CDE folks (druggies) = death (culling)

                now focus on CDE folks (druggies) and death (culling).

                ( by the way, I’m pro-culling, Soylent Green, and other means to lower Earth’s population,”
                ====================================================================

                L Cpl X,

                I might add more to this if I may:

                DU30 +EJKs+Drugs+ CDE folks = 2(death/culling)

                * as long as DU30 is not equal with water/God but “whiskey” instead. Then its double the results.

              • “* as long as DU30 is not equal with water/God but “whiskey” instead. Then its double the results.”

                Mayongod,

                This is my point, how do you know DU30 does not equal God? From God’s pattern, DU30 seems to be following His example (flood, fire/brimstone/stoning , etc.). So how are you , Mayongod , able to say for certain that DU30 does not equal God, “but ‘whiskey’ instead“?

                We are proceeding, and now examining Mayongod ‘s power of discernment. Can you elaborate? How are you able to differentiate EJKs and flood/fire/brimstone/stoning, etc. as two different types?

                And take heed that,

              • chemrock says:

                “Justice throws the one responsible in prison. Will the accident caused by “bad driving”ved? ”

                Mayongod is of course right in that. And he went on to say we should instead be addressing the problem of correcting bad driving. I think it’s missing the wood for the trees and if I may say so, dangerous logic. Justice is about …. justice, the cause and effects. Solving bad driving is an entirely separate issue. As clear as black and white.

                And to Lcpl who tries to draw a parallelism of D30’s EJK to God’s floods and genocides, I say two wrongs don’t make a right. There can be no elevation of D30 to any godly comparison. It bothers my senses. Blasphemy. I appreciate Lcpl is just making a point and he is no supporter of D30. No amount of philosophising can wash the sins of D30. I am alas butjust a Man so I can only justify from my humble views. God broke no laws. We are his creation. Just as you laptop or mobile are yours, you are free to discard them if you no longer want them. Du30 on the other hand, broke all those damn Laws of the land.

                Most times, it helps to see things in plain simple ways.

              • Mayongod says:

                I am disappointed LCpl X..Perhaps its my mistake to answer your queries believing we are simply discussing the issue(nothing personal) nevertheless, i am replying to you for the last time to clear the clouds.
                Let us re-visit our pre-conditions discussing the issue starting from this post below:

                https://joeam.com/2018/02/14/a-meditative-interview-with-god-for-ash-wednesday/#comment-244666

                Continue reading and we see some overlaps and insertions but everything seems Ok until DU30 was introduced in your formula. Disagreement whether he is =God(yours) or =Whiskey/Devil(mine). I believe you are a pro-DU30 and took it personally when i disagreed. Starting to attack my morals instead of sticking to the issue.

                Your Formula:
                DU30 + EJKs + CDE folks (druggies) = death (culling)

                ACTOR = DU30= GOD
                METHOD = EJKs(Cleansing)
                VICTIM = CDE folks
                RESULT = death

                I refuse to comment on this if DU30= God… because its flawed. If DU30 is God. Everything is deemed to be good without debate as part of our pre-conditions. So my recommendation formula below, so that we can continue with the discussion:

                DU30 + EJKs + Drugs + CDE folks (druggies) = 2[death (culling)]

                Actor = DU30 = Whiskey representation(NOT God)
                Method = EJKs(Cleansing) + Drugs to facilitate the results
                Victims = CDE folks
                Result = Death

                Problem of DU30 (according to him) ; DRUG ADDICTION and related crimes.
                Solution: Death for drug addicts by way of EJKs.

                Concerns:
                1. What happens when all the CDE folks were killed?
                2. Killing will escalate to AB folks? since all the other factors are still there is a big possibility.
                3. From that formula alone, its not sustainable.
                4. Too much focus on the WHO? instead of the WHAT?
                – WHO are drug addicts? BANG!!!……
                – Not focusing on the WHAT? meanwhile enables the continuous supply of drugs.
                – There are few instances i recommend to focus on WHAT but even here they seem to be ignored.
                5. IF only someone listens, its obvious that drug is the culprit here. Removing drug will reduce drug addicts -> reduce EJKs-> reduce death = more voters for DU30. Of course everybody already knows it but nobody says anything because maybe drugs are also have some connection with DU30.

                We also have difference of opinion about “Cleansing” You claim cleansing done by God is same as that of DU30. I disagreed. Let us make a representation formula with the “CLEANSING” by God.

                ACTOR = God
                Method = Flood
                Victims = All living things outside Noah’s arc
                Result = Cleansing

                in mathematical formula will be

                God + Flood + victims = Cleansing

                PROBLEM: Sinful Earth(DIRTY)
                Solution: Cleansing

                Concern: The “CLEANSING” was used as solution… opposed to DU30’s who used it as method to drive a “presumed solution” that was unsustainable.

                So LCpl X: Do you notice the difference?

                ENDING NOTE.
                It was obvious from the start that everything discussed here were just representations. Thank you all for your indulgence. I really appreciate them.

              • Thanks for the time you spent here, testing our ability to think in new dimensions. LCX often takes a contrary position on matters and pursues it and various diversions relentlessly as he perfects his ability to irritate people. 🙂

              • NHerrera says:

                Sharp characterization of Lance. Addendum: if we lose Lance in TSH, we lose some of the spicy flavor that makes TSH such a good dish!

              • “I believe you are a pro-DU30 and took it personally when i disagreed. “

                No I’m not, and that’s my point, the irony of your position is that you seem to know right from wrong, but unable to apply it when it’s made obvious (ie. God is like DU30, DU30 like God, when it comes to solutions, Biblical or EJKs).

                “The “CLEANSING” was used as solution… opposed to DU30’s who used it as method to drive a “presumed solution” that was unsustainable.

                So LCpl X: Do you notice the difference?”

                The only difference I can detect in your above itemization, Mayongod, is that DU30’s solutions is specific (druggies); whilst God’s is general (all mankind in the case of the Flood, all Sodomites/Gomorrans, all Amelikites, all adulterers, etc.).

                I still fail to see the difference aside from specific vs. general, Mayongod, is not God’s and DU30’s solutions still drastic, cruel, unusual, thus same-same?

                You don’t have to respond, but I do thank you for this intercourse. Don’t listen to Joe, it wasn’t my intention to irritate you, but NH is correct, I’m just spicing up the Epicurean paradox a bit. Cheers!

              • “God broke no laws. We are his creation. Just as you laptop or mobile are yours, you are free to discard them if you no longer want them.”

                chemp,

                Laptops or mobile I don’t mind. But insert puppies, kids and servants, would that last sentence still hold? “free to discard them”?

                re EJKs, does “free to discard them” also hold water? I’m sure you’d say no , chemp.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Is whiskey good or bad?
        *****

        • Mayongod says:

          Whisky remains to be whisky. What we do with it is the one that determines whether its bad or good. Its good when we drink it moderately and therefore enjoyment, bad when drank without control which may cause the intoxicated person harm himself or others.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Thank you.

            1. The original conclusion was: “…one doesn’t come out from each other. good begets good and evil begets evil.”

            2. In paraphrase, the admission is: “Whiskey is good in moderation, bad in immoderation.”

            3. Do you see fallacy? How can good and bad spring from the same source? The admission negates the original conclusion.
            *****

            • Mayongod says:

              1. Check
              2. Check -see #3
              3. Fallacy?none. whiskey is an object and by itself does not cause anything. It is the “act of drinking whisky” that may result to good or bad effect. The separation now becomes clear on the mode of drinking; moderate and immoderate that brings us good or bad respectively.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Very good.

                One may argue, though, that whiskey is the intermediate “cause” that makes the drinker feel good or make him do something bad. And the act of drinking is the immediate cause.

                The whiskey makes you feel good or bad. It is not neutral.

                But I do get your logic. In the same way, that a gun is not the cause of a murder. The gun is neutral. It is the murderer that is evil.

                Which brings us to killing. Now killing is an act.

                Can killing beget good? And can killing beget evil?
                *****

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Strictly speaking, the claim that “whiskey does not cause anything” is not tenable.

                When taken in, whiskey causes chemical reactions.

                The chemical reaction may cause the drinker to feel good.

                It may also cause the drinker to become drunk, lose his inhibitions, and cause harm.

                So whiskey at the cellular level, unlike a gun, is an active agent. And it can cause good and evil.
                *****

              • Mayongod says:

                Probably the reason why there are so much inconsistencies from our people with that kind of analysis. They always blaming some non-living things instead of themselves doing the act.

                As for killing, i also wonder if there is anything good with it? i consider it evil in every sense

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                We are not only talking about the act itself but also the consequences. We are using the verb “beget.”

                So one might say that killing is evil per se. But the question is: Can it beget good?

                One of my examples was Ninoy’s assassination. It was one of the factors in the downfall of Marcos.
                *****

              • Mayongod says:

                above response only for your 1st post. didnt see u posted 2 in succession. Yes. i agree with you on the cellular level process of getting drunk, but we can not pass on responsibility to the whiskey, Can we?

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Strictly speaking, we are not talking of responsibility. Just flow of cause and effect.

                But I give you credit for seeing that loophole in my question to test your logic. I actually anticipated it.
                *****

              • sonny says:

                Negation can be of different forms: contradictories or contraries (universals, particulars in ontology) and then there are the cases when using changes in outside standards as to the badness, goodness, neutrality of things (using different species). Note: I have to really recall my scholastic epistemology: the true, the good, the beautiful; at this age, it’s a tall order. 🙂 Google, help!

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Ahaha! Me and you, Sonny. Me and you.
                *****

              • Mayongod says:

                @Edgar,

                Killing of Ninoy as factor in Marcos downfall seems to be a broad discussion and we now short of “reply” options to place topics properly.Have some concerns though regarding our baseline of understanding and approaching above-mentioned topic.

                1. For those on victim’s side, the act is evil all the way.
                2. For those perpetrators, they may consider it good for them.
                3. For those outside the two above. depends so it’s “either or”

                thats why it maybe better to leave it as is.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Granted. There are always sides.

                But on certain matters, there is, more or less, 99.99% consensus on which is the evil side and the good side.

                Take WWII. The evil side was Germany (99.99%) it being the aggressor, and the good side were the Western Powers plus Russia.

                Now consider one consequence — the Holocaust (99.99% evil).

                So evil Germany begat the evil of the Holocaust.

                But did the evil of Germany’s war and the evil of the Holocaust beget any Good?

                Some consequences are arguably bad and others are arguably good.

                o The birth of Israel which gave Jews a homeland but also the Middle East conflict.
                o The splitting of the atom which gave us the Atomic Bomb but also nuclear energy.
                o Rocket science which gave us ballistic missiles but also the means to discover outer space.

                So the claim that good only begets good and evil begets evil is untenable.

                The sacrifice of Jesus is another example.

                Don’t take my word for it. Work it out for yourself.
                *****

              • Mayongod says:

                I could see your point. Perhaps its better to emphasize that the quote “Good begets good;evil begets evil” is specially for the actors (1st personas) and may not entirely hold true for the 3rd side whose involvement maybe far lesser and sometimes negligible.

                Who is in better position to distinguish good/bad act if not the actors themselves. This way, any unnecessary events that may turn-out bad be prevented. Unfortunately, we can not take away good and (evil)bad from each other since they belong together positioned at the opposite side of the same spectrum.

                Any object of experimentation/invention can not be identified good or bad without any actions applied to it. war, nuclear energy, bomb,etc…by themselves are just objects until they are used and acted upon. At that particular point cab we distinguished it good for those beneficiaries and automatically bad to the victims. Suffice to say that the claim

                “Good begets good; evil begets evil” is tenable and a very good guiding principle.

                Outsiders may claim: good comes from evil or vice versa.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                1. Anyone can make a judgment of good and evil — actors and non-actors (or observers).

                1.1. Naturally, actors will make subjective judgments. All things being equal, observers will make objective judgments.

                2. As observers, we are examining WWII and making judgments.

                2.1. Fallacy of qualified statement. By limiting discussion to actors, you already concede the “debate.” Nevertheless, I will proceed to make things clear.

                2.2. You state that objects can neither be good nor bad in themselves; it is only the actors that use them that are good or evil. The objects you specify are “war, nuclear energy, bombs, etc.”

                2.3. This is cherrypicking error. I cited 3 examples of WWII consequences: (a) the birth of Israel; (b) the splitting of the atom; and (c) rocket science. You have cherrypicked (b) because it conforms to your categorization of objects.

                2.4. There is a miscategorization error. You only regard objects and actors as part of the discussion but disregard processes.

                2.4.1. While Israel may be an object, its birth was a process. (Strictly speaking, Israel is an abstract concept represented by the physical bordered land.)

                2.4.2. Similarly, while rockets are objects, the development of rocket science is a process.

                2.4.4. From your list, yes, bombs are objects. But nuclear energy is a process. And war is a process.

                3. If one looks at the process of WWII as a whole, one can see that that there were several subprocesses, and that each subprocess begat good and evil as I have detailed in the 3 examples.

                4. In Colin Wilson’s sense, I am an outsider.
                *****

              • “Outsiders may claim: good comes from evil or vice versa.”

                Mayongod,

                Just for clarification , as “outsiders” we view A and B above, and imbue it with difference (good, bad, evil, black, white, grey, etc. etc.), yes? But in reality, A and B are same-same.

                My point is, is there an “insider” view, that says good comes from good and evil comes from evil, only? As “outsiders” mere mortals , yes, we can make qualitative observations, but I’m curious about the “insider” view (and how you yourself have come upon this).

                That’s where I’m coming from, in search of the “insider” view (the mind of God, if you will). Will continue above, with our whiskey & water thread.

              • Mayongod says:

                @Edgar,

                I suppose we can come to conclude this discussion with a positive result now. That was apparent when i realized that we are discussing the matter coming from different perspective. You are discussing it as outsider, while i am with it as active player(insider) and trying to classify good or bad before the facts where my quoted claim(good begets good;evil begets evil) was anchored.

                Who is in better position to judge the goodness or badness of things that will happen or those already happened? I suppose the actors before the fact and outsiders after.

                Cheers!!

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Good. I might add, you were seeing the issue from the viewpoint of consequentialist ethics as a norm for future action. In this case, I would agree with you. Totally agree as a norm or as you say a “guiding principle.” But partially disagree because there is such a thing as unintended consequences despite the best of intentions.

                And it should be apparent from the context of LCpl_X’s question, that the issue should have been taken from the viewpoint of observers (or outsiders) engaged in assessing past action. The examples were from the Old Testament, and about stoning and genocide.

                But I am glad we have come to an understanding. You have the power of logic and the powers of analysis. Cheers!
                *****

              • The point is excellent. Being an outsider insider, I can testify that ‘being here’ extends the argument beyond merely intellectual.

              • Mayongod says:

                This sub-topic stems from your question:

                Is whiskey Good or Bad?

                That was where i based my arguments and the reason I replied as such. All the others are just add-on.

                appreciate your indulgence. Thanks!

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                The sub-topic is contained within a higher topic node that begins at

                https://joeam.com/2018/02/14/a-meditative-interview-with-god-for-ash-wednesday/#comment-244281
                *****

              • chemrock says:

                ‘Good begets good, bad begets bad”

                Edgar. I think Mayongod’s perspective is from the Karmic cause and effect, which you have also mentioned. You approach it from the logical fallacies angle. Perhaps as Mark Twain would have it, the twain never shall meet.

                Is’nt it correct to say that an argument which is invalid, or valid but unsound, can still have true conclusions ? . In other words, one should not reject conclusions simply on the basis that the argument is flawed ?

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                1. I have no objection to the formula as stated.

                1.1. What I was disputing was Mayongod’s qualification of the formula. This is in the emboldened part of the two statements preceding it: “There shouldn’t be confusion about good and evil relationship. They are very different and one doesn’t come out from each other.”

                1.2. His characterization of the formula is exactly as Mark Twain would have it.

                2. A conclusion reached by a flawed argument can still be true. The weakness, one might say, is in the advocacy and not in the conclusion. In this case, the right argument must be found.

                2.1. If a conclusion is true, there must exist, of necessity, a valid and sound argument for it. (I must exclude axioms which Godel has proved can be incomplete.)

                2.2. If a valid and sound argument cannot be found, then one must perforce reject the conclusion. Or take it on faith.
                *****

            • sonny says:

              Indeed, edgar. Mr Enriquez (my freshman philosophy teacher) must be having a tingling in his ears. At 74, I’m still sorting out the principle of double-effect; can God, the author of life, commit murder; the Natural Law, etc. etc.

  5. arlene says:

    I love this…..beautiful. thanks Wil. Good morning everyone!

  6. “11:59.”

    Hate to break it to you all, we are going to hell in a hand basket!

    “So to have faith, hope and love is all that we can do.”

    Kuya Will, are you saying that all we have now is Divine Intervention? Faith, hope and love as in the theological virtues of the supernatural kind? Or the actions words of the natural kind where we fight and resist those who commit the seven deadly sins by practicing the seven heavenly virtues?

    • NHerrera says:

      Oops, it’s not only an eleventh but an eleventh-plus hour situation. It is past the time for talking. Options:

      all hands on deck, few good hands though it may be, to man the muskets to shoot as many of those balls as possible rather than the other kind recently expressed (figuratively, if you like) in keeping with “God helps those who help themselves;” or

      abandon ship.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      There seems to be a confusion between faith and work. You work because you have faith. You have faith because you know by experience that work works. Did I answer your question?

      • sonny says:

        Wil, correct me if I am not reading you right.

        We are faced with a hydra of a challenge in the person of you know who. He presents a multi-headed monster in an in-your-face manner by his brazen behavior and decisions in the guise of effecting “good and desirable” results. (We hope he will not do a Henry VIII on us).

        The pushback your allegory proposes, among other things consists of self-discernment and vesting oneself in faith, hope, love. These are armaments for a spiritual warfare to guarantee pure intentions and proportional and appropriate tactical responses as the struggle plays itself out.

        So, the propaganda (soc-med) front is the current battleground. If this is won, we are counting that this will bring the “enemy” to the table a la Runnymede rather than the guillotine basket of ‘les miserables.’

        • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

          Sonny, that’s right. As Sen. Kiko Pangilinan said, and I paraphrase, “We have kicked out two presidents in our lifetime. We should be First World by now.” But it didn’t happen. Why? We just loved the sabong (cockfight), but we don’t clean up our mess. Disregarding the small things—like good driving habits, for example—makes us hypocrites, wanting change in others but not in ourselves. Socmed and TSOH have helped me jell my philosophy, that we have to change ourselves before we attempt to change others. Duterte is in because he was in to begin with. EJK was with us 30 years before the original DDS was formed. Duterte only institutionalized what we blithely ignored or tolerated in the past. Now the corpses are marching into our streets, and we are aghast, another instance of our hypocrisy. Go inwards, not outwards. Plumb the depths of our hearts for our own iniquities before we charge into the bastion of egregiousness, for we have seen the enemy and it is us.

          • “Duterte is in because he was in to begin with. EJK was with us 30 years before the original DDS was formed. Duterte only institutionalized what we blithely ignored or tolerated in the past.”

            ———————

            The first step in solving a problem is acknowledging that it exists. (Problem)

            The second is understanding how it came to be and why it persisted. (Context)

            The third is doing something about it. (Solution)

            Rinse. Repeat.

            ——————-

            For the PH, the second one is usually *ignored* and it is mostly just the first and third. That is why there are little to no results. Good intentions, roads, hell and all that.

            But then again, most of the time, I’ll peg it to the avoidance of tarnishing ‘images’ as they are too attached to their identities. That is why if one does something and it is lacking, there is usually a tendency to double down. Admitting mistakes or shortcomings is seen as tantamount to suicide. Hence, the lack of correction.

            So with that: I fully agree. And if I hear what you’ve said from any politicians, that’ll surely be the day.

            If there is a good place to start, I’d say it is with the 1987 constitutions and their framers. How they’ve been silent for the past 30 years and how they are only speaking up just now as there is a ‘threat’ of reforms. (Ignoring the fact that even they wanted to institute similar reforms at some times in the past.)

      • Yes, you did. Thank you.

        I am a self-confessed cafeteria Catholic. I believe that the religion-metaphysics hybrid makes a lot more sense than the pure variations. I am of the school of thought that organized religion fosters dependence and metaphysical philosophy brings empowerment.

        • sonny says:

          You are not alone in this JP. The Catechism and Religion classes that were the source of our moral and ethical compendium of behavior in our youth must be revisited at the different stages of our development in our adulthood and beyond to be read and re-read, re-parsed and reflected on. Our religion is for life and we label our spiritual progress (cafeteria or saint) as often as needed to take objective readings and pray that we indeed are walking in God’s grace. After all it is a person we follow, the God with us. Pax!

  7. Will, many thanks. I think the following is the main passage, setting aside hard questions of belief:

    “Duterte is a creature of your imagination. You don’t think you deserve a good leader, you get someone like Duterte. He is the personification of your nefarious negativity. Do you not notice how vulgar, how utterly disrespectful and off his rocker he is? Doesn’t he remind you somewhat of you as a people in general—volatile, given to excesses, drifting with the wind?”

    Without waiting for my answer, He continued, “The moment you come to terms with your own inadequacies, the moment you find peace within yourself (tapping his chest once), is the moment Duterte will lose his power. He is feeding on your collective self-doubt.”

    “What should we believe in?”

    “Well, for starters, you have to have faith in yourselves. Duterte was manufactured by propagandists, he remains in power because of propagandists, and as long as you despair and believe in the negative things about you, that you have to be scared to be governable, he will never leave.”

    “Why do we behave this way?”

    “From the very start, you were not easy to teach. The Spaniards tried to teach you religion, but you combined your superstitions with Christianity and look what happened. People go to Holy Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation, have their devotions, throw themselves in abandon to representations of me and Mary your Mother, then laugh at a joke about raping a dead woman, or about shooting a woman there. It’s bizarre, a circus of horrors.”

    http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/the-twelve-commandments/ – the circus of horrors I have already described in my “Satanic” or satirical verses: What if I want to kill my enemy? What if I feel lust for someone who is not my wife? Some say according to Manny Pacquiao, if she is not your neighbor’s wife it is OK. What I have heard from the diwatas of old is that the natives introduced two more commandments, in order to be able to adjust old ways to the new order of things:

    11th Commandment: Thou shalt not get caught.
    12th Commandment: If caught, thou shalt not admit.

    • NHerrera says:

      If we include Pacquiao’s wisdom of a commandment, we have the 13th, hahaha.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, Irineo!

      • Still trying to distill a bit more, not to create whisky but something similar:

        “The moment you come to terms with your own inadequacies, the moment you find peace within yourself (tapping his chest once), is the moment Duterte will lose his power. He is feeding on your collective self-doubt.”..

        ..as long as you despair and believe in the negative things about you, that you have to be scared to be governable, he will never leave.”

        BINGO! https://joeam.com/2018/02/07/the-ignorance-of-the-entitled-or-how-senator-pimentel-is-out-to-lunch/ – Joe’s article about the myth of the Filipino’s lack of discipline.

        Make the rules fulfillable and the law comprehensible and things I think will improve!

        1) re motorcycle helmets – there are special rules for farming vehicles in Germany. They are allowed to be ridiculously slow and some streets warn drivers that they are crossing… This is an example of rules made for an often poorer segment of society – at least postwar.

        2) the bad example: Bucharest decided to forbid horsedrawn carts, usually used by gypsies in collecting scrap metal and other recycling stuff. They said the gypsies could buy pickups instead, but neglected the fact that many a) did not have driver’s licenses and b) were illiterate and therefore could not easily get a license. And c) insufficient transition period, somewhat like the jeepney modernization of the Philippines today. No, you have to pick up people from exactly the level they are at and give them time to adjust to the better ways.

        https://www.facebook.com/nuelle.dominguezduterte.5/posts/220220051857929?pnref=story – this is an interesting take, that the A&B classes are the true “pasaway” of the country:

        In the last two years, I’ve read a lot of opinions about how the Filipinos have no discipline. That’s why they argue that having ‘Tatay Digong’ as president is a good thing because he will impose that discipline badly needed among the citizens. That’s why they say that dictatorship won’t be so bad under him, because people need to be ruled with a firm, if sometimes harsh, hand.

        But let me just point out something I’ve seen over and over during my first 28 years in the PH. There is even less discipline in the class A and B groups than the masses. There is none among the higher government officials in many cities and provinces. How so, you may ask?

        So isn’t more of a problem of A&B classes wanting to crack the whip at those below? I also think of the horsedrawn cart example because it was a vivid example of that elsewhere.

  8. Sup says:

    Ash wednesday gift for the holy Manalo…….
    Duterte appoints Iglesia ni Cristo leader as DFA special envoy

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/968712/duterte-iglesia-ni-cristo-eduardo-villanueva-manalo-inc-dfa-special-envoy-overseas-filipinos-concerns

    Did we have something about separate church and politics in the constitution? 🙂

  9. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    TODAY Ash Wednesday is also Heart’s Day

    Ash thou art to ash thou shalt return
    with thine heart intact with another heart
    of 5 less than three score.

    My heart is there in the rose garden
    And I must pause till she picks it up
    with a smile only for me.

    VALENTINE

    Hearts may have no petals
    Flowers may have no hearts
    Yet strong Hearts and fragile Flowers
    Must come together
    To celebrate a Valentine.

    To celebrate a Valentine
    Boy worships girl, girl idolizes boy
    The woman a mortal goddess, he a human Zeus
    A smiling glance, a tender touch the hearts beat faster
    To make a leap of LOVE for each other.

    To make a Leap of Love for each other
    Is to have the same, one Valentine all the time.

    February 2016
    CONSTANT WINDS, page 26.

  10. NHerrera says:

    PhilStar Global reports: Philippines, China agree on self-restraint amid sea militarization

    “Both sides agreed to…exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities in the South China Sea that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability,” the joint statement said.

    If you were to bet P1.0 (one peso) that will earn you P10,000 if China exercises restraint for 5 years against getting P0.0 that it will not, will you even bother to bet?

    I won’t bet my one peso; but that is just me.

    https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/philippines-china-agree-on-self-restraint-amid-sea-militarization/ar-BBJ4DJg?ocid=spartanntp

  11. NHerrera says:

    FOR INFO: PESO-DOLLAR LEVEL

    The Peso-Dollar level today is at P52.16:$1. This is the weakest level since the pair closed at P52.17:$1 on July 21, 2006, 12 years ago. (Sorry, Will, for a different kind of meditation on Ash Wednesday.)

  12. edgar lores says:

    *******
    ON LCPL_X PROVOCATIONS

    1. I don’t know if all have been following LCpl_X in this thread. He has taken the role of the court jester, and people tend to laugh and dismiss the role. But the role of the court jester has ever been that he presents kernels of truth – usually unpalatable — in a droll manner.

    2. The central point LCpl_X has posed is: “If we can finally ascertain that Evil can come out of Good and Good from Evil, then we’re half way there, to understanding the mind of God.”

    2.1. Incidentally, I did not say the point was frivolous in itself. I said it was “frivolous within the context.” By which I meant the context was serious, and the manner of asking was frivolous.

    2.2. Let’s put the point in the form of a half question in LCpl_X’s own words: “Remember the original question was whether or not evil can come from good and good from evil.”

    3. There can be one of two answers – yes or no.

    4. To me, the answer is yes. I cannot think that anyone would seriously answer with a no. If anyone does, I would remind him of Ninoy’s death. Or the sacrifice of innocents for a better harvest. Or of Jesus’ sacrifice.

    4.1. If the answer is yes and if anyone has been following LCpl_X, then the next logical question would be:

    4.2. Are good and evil in effect the same? Note the conditional term “in effect.” (From the viewpoint of deontology ethics, good and evil are not the same in terms of intention.)

    4.3. To me, the answer would have to be yes. This answer corresponds with LCpl-X’s Checker Shadow optical illusion. This is more than a hint that his answer is yes.

    5. The next logical question would be: If Good and Evil are the same, are both sourced from God?

    5.1. To me, the answer would have to be yes.

    5.2. LCpl_X has not made known his answer. I believe his answer will be yes if his answer to 2.2 is yes.

    5.3. Believers will come up with all sort of answers to this question. Some will say Evil comes from Satan. Others will say Evil is not a thing. Still, others will say that Evil is a human choice because of Free Will.

    6. Finally, the last logical question would be: If Good and Evil are the same, and if Good and Evil are sourced from God, is God Satan and is Satan God?

    6.1. I believe LCpl_X’s answer is yes. He has hinted at this answer with this observation: “For my interviews I met up w/ God and the Devil at Starbucks separately (although the Devil looked a lot like God, and vice versa though I couldn’t really tell since God’s face was too bright to discern, whilst the Devil’s too dark).”

    And also with this question: ” If God can willy-nilly go on murder sprees (or just suicide), why not man?”

    6.2. To me, the question is a paradox. As a non-believer, I will answer it with another question which has always puzzled me about the anthropomorphic concept: “What kind of a father would make his children choose between love for him and eternal punishment?”

    Moral: Sometimes it pays to pay attention to LCpl_X.

    For your meditation.
    *****

    • Thank you for putting some meaning to a dialogue I did not read. It all makes sense now. 🙂

    • LOL! thanks, edgar !!!!!! That’s what I was looking for. Belay my last comment asking about 1 and 4, not important now.

      Just one minor quibble,

      “Moral: Sometimes it pays to pay attention to LCpl_X.”

      I would change “Sometimes” to ALL THE TIME, to read Moral:

      It pays to pay attention to LCPL X, all the time

      God loves you , edgar— and also the Devil.

    • chemrock says:

      This is a discussion that may belong to the receptacle on heresiology, depending on one’s faith.

      At the gnostic level, it falls on the idea of dualistic cosmology — that all things exist in dual forms and opposites with each other (the yin-yang thingy). This same discussion – the extension of dualism to the creator, or God and Satan is one, have been attended to for thousands of years by much much greater minds before us. It is still an open book so it’s caveat credentes — believers beware.

      Faith is the great defender for all things incomprehensible. But is faith actually a form of Stockholm syndrome? Hey be grateful for stuff you have in your life — eyes to see, good family, healthy body etc… so for these blessing we get it the creator is merciful to us and therefore see the benevolence, as captives do when their tormentors give them minor liberties which they justifies as kindness. The point is, since God gave us a mind capable of critical thought, is it wrong to question?

      On the other hand, my faith leads me to see a more human God. We are made in his likeness. Therefore there is God in us and there are traits of humanity in God. I see the cruelty of God in the Old Testament as the Creator on a learning curve. Perhaps God was amoral in the beginning of humanity for the simple reason it was a learning process. Perhaps the intervention of Jesus Christ was a cleansing process for both humanity and God. If God has moved on into the Benevolent One in the New Testament, surely it beholves on all of us to do the same.

      • sonny says:

        All worth pondering on, chempo, well put.

      • “This same discussion – the extension of dualism to the creator, or God and Satan is one, have been attended to for thousands of years by much much greater minds before us.”

        chemp,

        Agreed. But I don’t recall them ever analogized adult breastfeeding in office settings, with whiskey & water, to include the good and bad intentions leading to Heaven & Hell, to bring home the point that it’s all same-same in the end.

        My point all along is it’s probably not the wisest move to bring in God in these types of human dilemma, because He it seems is having a tougher time trying to figure this all out himself (ie. “learning curve”).

        I don’t think DU30 is a religious guy, but if he was well versed in the Bible, there are so many justifications for wanton murder, it’s not even funny. And you hit the nail right square on the head, chemp. The God in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament are totally at odds.

        Jesus strikes me as a free-loving hippie (based on the first 3 Gospels), it was Paul that made the New Testament drab with his letters (and he’s never even met Jesus personally), Paul sounds more like the God of the Old Testament for sure,


        Letter to the Romans 1:24-31

        I agree also, lighten up be more like Jesus. But his Father is a son-of-a-b!tch, excuse my French, is my point. So no policy discussion on violence and vulgarity in the Philippines can ever out match the violence and vulgarity in the Old Testament. It’s a moot point, a dead end when talking of Ethics.

        • Catholicism is tempered by compassion, has a humanist strain in it, especially since it absorbed a lot of old Greek philosophy as the preserver of the old learning… but what I remember LCPL_X is that you are very wary of American evangelicals… check this out..

          https://books.google.de/books?id=AabywLOknbsC&lpg=PA183&ots=p3pqwSRTJt&dq=alsa%20masa%20evangelical&hl=de&pg=PA182#v=onepage&q=alsa%20masa%20evangelical&f=false

          Soldier of Fortune Magazine is quoted: “The rise of the Alsa Masa has been aided by the phenomenon of the charismatic religious movement. Mystical Christian groups that are vehemently anti-Communist are very popular in the Davao region and largely negate the pro-revolution liberation theology of some Catholic orders that has caused so much trouble in Latin America. Many of these cults have been organized and armed under the Alsa Masa umbrella and have proven themselves to be effective against the communist infrastructure”

          On the same page of that book (182) Col. Franco Calida is mentioned – brother or cousin of the present Duterte SolGen Calida.

          I also noted very evangelical use of language in PNP’s Espenido (“I am but a tool of God” or something similar) who basically was behind the killing of both Espinosa and Parojinog. Even Bato has preached to drug addicts, telling them to “return to the Lord”.

          So it isn’t just Islam that can produce the likes of ISIS. A “Christian ISIS” is not far-fetched and the DDS has strains that date back to a mix of charismatic/evangelic plus pulahan / neo-pagan groups in Mindanao that formed the Alsa Masa back in the mid-1980s.

          • Also from the same book, page 183:

            In July 1988, The Forerunner (the monthly newspaper of the Maranatha “shepherding” group described in Chapter 4) featured a report on the Philippines by Larry Pratt, head of Gun Owners of America. Pratt had recently returned from the Philippines where he met with Brigadier Gen. Honesto Isleto in charge of the “armed civilian self-defense organizations.” Pratt was pleased to notice on Isleto’s wall a photograph of Philippine Defense Minister Gen. Fidel Ramos underneath a picture of President Corazon Aquino, directly beneath a sign “Jesus is Lord”. Pratt applauded the organization of the Alsa Masa chapters and anticommunism seminars for Filipino pastors.”

            Civilian self-defense: those who were called CHDF (civilian home-defense force) in Marcos times were simply renamed CAFGUs (civilian… whatever) in Cory’s period. Matobato for one mentioned that he was a CAFGU and then one of Duterte’s “Lambada Boys”. Since the song Lambada by Kaoma came out in July 1989 and was allegedly the reason for the name, the chronology makes sense.

            • “but what I remember LCPL_X is that you are very wary of American evangelicals…”

              Thanks, Ireneo. This is true. I do feel much of religion is mumbo-jumbo , but if I had to choose I’d rather religion be organized like the Catholic church or Shi’a clerics. Martin Luther & Calvin were right but they also opened up a Pandora’s box, wherein anyone can be a spokesperson for God… and as evidenced by my interview with Him, he’s a very difficult chap to read.

              Over in Africa , all of the sudden Africans are killing homos left and right. Where before no one cared. Well turns out American evangelicals, spouting FOX News and American conservatism, were to blame.

              Most Catholics I know here, are like sonny and NH, Jesuit-type thinking. Which I really like, I don’t much care if one has faith or not, just that they can do step-by-step thinking. But when it comes to Ethics, I’m very wary, God says thous shalt not kill, only He can kill!

              As to science. It’s another religion (at least the way people see it these days). Anything based on inductive line of thinking has to be limited, no by definition? The problem with deductive, is we just are limited with 5 senses, notwithstanding Joe’s ex-wife (I know folks who I’m sure have 6th sense too).

              I like science too, with a small ‘s’. But until scientists can explain UFOs and spontaneous combustion , they’re JV as far as I’m concerned. What do they have to be proud of thus far, blowing up atoms? Please…

              Just don’t bring God to Ethical discussions, is all I’m saying, Ireneo. Because you’d find that God’s actually in keeping with DU30’s policy (and that’s the problem). It’s a lot messier to extricate yourself, when you’re in this quick sand. I know Wil’s intent is to get Filipinos moving towards a certain direction, and I’m sure many Filipinos will heed his words,

              but I just feel here at TSOH we’re talking something bigger. I’m simply staving off fanaticism, because in my experience, this is the greatest Evil. Micha by the way has also exhibited fanaticism, say when it comes to Money (which chemp has staved off with practical on-the-ground banking know-how), and this all-in with science talk is freshman talk if you ask me.

              In conclusion, religion is crap, science is crap, but I’m sure we can still talk Ethics without these, is my point. I’m here for Ethics talk. And why edgar and i love each other. Ethics to me signifies the undiscovered country.

              The reason I bring up edgar, is yes you can totally talk about Ethics without imbuing it with magical stuff or burdening it with statistical/numbers crap. I know he cringes with these types of articles (Joe’s written religion inspiring articles too, to which I’ve responded in kind).

        • Pratt was pleased to notice on Isleto’s wall a photograph of Philippine Defense Minister Gen. Fidel Ramos underneath a picture of President Corazon Aquino, directly beneath a sign “Jesus is Lord”

          I’ve never been to Davao, Ireneo, but for sure Zamboanga was teeming with Born Agains, and I think many don’t realize their strain of Christianity comes from the Bible Belt and remnant of Wild West Christianity.

          I talked to Mormon missionaries over there, and they’ve been around since post WWII in the Philippines, and that’s actively missionizing, which means they were probably part of the contingent that went to Davao post-Spanish-American/Philippine-American wars.

          So I think there’s a direct route of Manifest Destiny to Davao at the turn of the century, as you know the Mormons played a big role in that policy, though they were seen as not entirely Christian, but since they were organized they sent Mormon contingents in the West

          to help out the US Army and pioneers.

          The circle the wagons type of Christianity that sprouted in the US was just part of a long line of post-Protestant movement iterations of Christianity, from Puritans to Quakers, on and on…

          the fanatical stuff, the dangerous policy affecting stuff, I think happened in the 70s when it evolved into televangelical crap, from then on Born Agains were pushing their fanaticism like they were pushing coke & heroin, all corners of the globe.

          then in 90s, they were churning out lawyers, the most dangerous development being Evangelical law schools, these lawyers started coming to light under Bush Jr.’s presidency.

          Mormons are organized, although they make up a big percentage of the State Dept. and FBI (and other gov’t entities) they don’t tend to preach, these Born Agains less so, but with money moving know-how and private jets and helicopters, and their hands now in the cookie jar of policy making, IMHO they are more dangerous than ISIS or communism.

          You’re right, Ireneo. the Catholic church now is in a way better place, especially with Pope Francis , my reaction to all this God/Ethics talk is indirectly related to this Born Again phenomenon. Maybe I’m just grinding my axe.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Chemrock, thanks.

        1. Conventional religion is accepted heresy.

        2. It cannot be wrong to question. As I have said, skepticism, not faith, is the beginning of wisdom.

        3. Faith can be inside of religion or outside of religion.

        3.1. As you suggest, faith inside of religion can be a form of the Stockholm Syndrome.

        3.1.1. However, faith is a primary motivating source for life, a source of strength, and a creative force.

        3.1.2. At the same time, faith is a homogenizing force and, in that sense, can be destructive.

        3.1.3. The above two points are true of religious faith as well as political faith. In the Philippines, the two kinds of faiths are intertwined. Thus, the particular destructiveness of faith.

        3.1.4. For this reason, it is important for both kinds of faith, the religious and the political, to be examined.

        4. Speaking of faith outside of religion and politics, and speaking for myself, I have faith in a purposive universe. The purpose is not pre-existent; it is evolutionary and emergent.

        5. You speak of an evolutionary God. There is such a concept. Robert Wright has a book on the subject. The Dalai Lama’s religion is kindness. We should all aspire to the practice.
        *****

        • How about the predecessors of Judaism and Christianity that most likely had human sacrifice as a component? There are the references to Canaan and Baal of course, and there is the story of Abraham and Isaac as a symbolic end to human sacrifice.

          But there also was the death of the firstborn in Egypt and only those whose doors were marked as drug-free were spared… oops sorry I mixed up today and yesterday but I think you know what I am getting at. Jesus as the final sacrifice and end to all sacrifices..

          But the Philippines has returned to an ancient religious tradition, that of sacrificing a part of the population for the good of the majority. Whether this happened in Canaan, in North Germany (the famous moor corpses) or among Aztecs is immaterial. It has happened.

          Why do people do that, think it is necessary to do such a barbaric form of cleansing?

          In Christianity, the Inquisition and witch hunts were returns to that form of “worship”.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            I would have to agree that there is more than a hint of human sacrifice in the Drug War.

            Human scapegoating has greater magic than animal scapegoating. It keeps the in-group safe.

            And greater magic if the sacrifice is the blood of a an innocent (or not so sinful) human “lamb.”

            It’s supposed to be an expression of the unconscious defense mechanism of displacement.

            From the Internet: “Displaced aggression is a common example of this defense mechanism. Rather than express our anger in ways that could lead to negative consequences (like arguing with our boss), we instead express our anger towards a person or object that poses no threat (such as our spouse, children, or pets).”

            I believe the initial aggression is directed to criminals and troublemakers.
            *****

            • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

              God is logical even in preposterous joke.

              Old Mang Pepe is poor, has been poor from his ancestors to his grandchildren. But he believes in God though he is SAD every time the Mass collector passes him and he cannot give any amount. He thought he must do something unbelievable before he dies: to ask God forcefully for money not for himself but for his family and his poor neighbors. So he climbs the rooftop of his shack at midnight to ASK God to make him WIN THE LOTTO. He has been doing that for many dark midnights but NOTHING HAPPENED.

              So one midnight angry and frustrated, at his rooftop looking up to heaven he was almost shouting: what kind of merciful God are you? You have not heard me and took pity on me, all my life I wallowed in poverty. Mang Pepe was almost crying.

              All of a sudden the night sky was lighted by flashes of lightning and rolling thunder and Mang Pepe heard the clear voice coming as if from a deep well: “BUMILI KA NANG TICKET.”

              Hear it before but did not get the point? Even in a corny joke, God is logical.
              If the massage applied to snoozers is also the message: God being logical, God cannot be ALSO the Devil. Because even among mortals a Wakatitot cannot be also a Wakarang.

              One plus one can not be equals one. Of course it can be in FICTION. But in real life? A saint admired and loved before who killed by his own hands 20 people is a MURDERER not a SAINT-MURDERER.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Were Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde a Wakatitot and Wakarang?
                *****

              • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

                A Wakatitot once turned Wakarang to do bad things or to kill, he can never return to being a Wakatitot. Some the of notorious dictators and plunderers were born and died Wakarangs. There is BLM and also there is WLDNM (Wakarang Lives Does Not Matter). Like apples Wakarangs do not fall away from the Wakarang trees.

  13. andrewlim8 says:

    Out of topic, but parking it here for a future blog piece.

    http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/14/technology/huawei-intelligence-chiefs/index.html

    “U.S. intelligence agencies issued a stern warning to Americans: Do not buy smartphones made by Chinese tech companies Huawei or ZTE.”

    To think that Duterte wants the Chinese to come in by fiat.

    I have this scenario in mind: China will use the Phil as testing ground for their big brother capabilities- where they can integrate personal data on each citizen, assigning ” good citizenship” scores based on everything they do or say or buy.

    Imagine facial recognition software wedded to all your biometric data, plus financial records, tax records, phone records, purchases, participation in dissent, all your social media posts, emails, etc.

    Tatay, tatay, bakit mo ipinamigay? (sovereignty)

    • Are you writing it? I hope so. Superb topic.

      • I agree, this would be a superb topic, especially as it relates to the Philippines, the whole ZTE and Huawei scare has been on-going since the late 2000s. And there was the whole Arroyo and ZTE scandal over there. But the on-the-ground applications say for 3rd world, vis-a-vis China, is interesting.

        Especially with a society so hell bent on over-sharing,

        Is it surveillance then, if you’re the one insisting on sharing? p.s.~ doesn’t have to be ZTE/Huawei, facebook, Twitter, instagram, etc. already doing it.

        • NHerrera says:

          Me three. As Putin himself said, and I paraphrase, the country that masters the use of AI is the master of the world we live in. We talk about China encroaching on our islands, including what legally is indisputably ours — Benham Rise. To my mind, those are puny concerns compared to the implication of what andrew writes about.

          Please, let us have that blog article. In importance, it is level 10 to our grandchildren and their children.

        • NHerrera says:

          Related to the above, is one summary I gather from the many blog articles and comments in TSH:

          – we are highly critical of Duterte for good reasons;

          – we are highly critical of our deep and many faults — without disregarding some strengths correctly noted both by us and by foreigners;

          – the latter, our main faults, gave rise to Duterte;

          – the last two items have been correctly analyzed by a country such as China and shrewdly moved geopolitically for their ends — a high benefit/ risk ratio to China; in geopolitical terms and fair reading of the history of the world, one may even ask, who can blame her?

          What we do from here on is the continuing top concern; at the very least it is an interesting academic interest.

  14. Micha says:

    OMG, here we go again.

    I know it’s ash wednesday and that Will is a decent honorable person with a moral compass that is more or less in sync with the rest of everybody else around here as expressed in our uniform revulsion at the method of the current Palace occupant. But…

    A blog article like this, I am sorry to say, reveals how utterly childish we still are, intellectually stunted – wanting a Heavenly father to take charge and do things for us.

    This, at a time when SpaceX had just successfully tested re-usability of a rocket system for a program meant to colonize other planets because, let’s face it, Earth has its lifespan. Yes Will, the world is going to end, if by world you meant this world, this planet.

    Yuval Harari excellently captured the emerging zeitgeist of the information and technological age with the concept of a Homo Deus.

    Then too, there is the possibility that intelligent life and civilization exists elsewhere in this vast universe. What that will do to us is the humbling realization that we are not special, that the universe doesn’t care at all if humanity and all life forms on this pale blue dot gets extinguished soon. And at the rate we screw things up, viability and habitability will come sooner than later. The existential threat posed by burning too much fossilized carbon cannot be underestimated.

    Why we still cling to an ancient narrative of ancient desert people about an imaginary mythical figure in the sky at a time of exciting breakthroughs in physics and cosmology is hard to understand.

    • NHerrera says:

      I am an engineer and naturally drawn to science. However, notwithstanding the future-casting of Yuval Harari, I have a healthy skepticism of science and on the other hand a healthy respect for the notes of Will. (Just my one centavo worth of comment.)

      • Micha says:

        It is alright to be skeptical of everything. Demand proof before you believe.

        What is it about science you are skeptical about?

        • NHerrera says:

          One — the promise of energy unimaginable from nuclear power (ala Hariri future-casting) and the horrors of nuclear warfare resulting from that science, on the other hand.

          • Micha says:

            That science has unleashed and discovered energy from nuclear fusion does not falsify its method.

            How humans decide to use that energy is not anymore the purview of science. Nuclear energy is as neutral as a piece of stone. Humans could use that stone to decorate a garden or weaponize a slingshot and aim at your neighbor’s glass window.

            • NHerrera says:

              Clarification: I used the word “skepticism” to mean mistrust. I am not against scientific method.

              • Micha says:

                So you mistrust science because of human agency. Are you referring to the scientists themselves or the policymakers/politicians who make use of what science has discovered?

              • NHerrera says:

                Micha, I will not go further in this discussion. You do raise a stimulating question, though. I believe literature abound on such topic. Whether scientists should pursue science no matter what it is, no matter where it leads, no matter if the consequence clearly points to some dire consequences. Thanks for our note to-and-fro.

        • Science has made many, many mistakes. I’ll reserve skepticism until someone explains to me how my first ex-wife is able to read the future.

          • NHerrera says:

            A resource, a valuable resource: may you avail of her perfect future-casting to know where PH is headed then we may counter that if negative? But then we have the philosophical problem — edgar may dip in — that will destroy her perfect forecast if our counter succeeds. 🙂

          • Micha says:

            @JoeAm

            Madam Curie did not discover radium and polonium in one overnight experiment. There were long periods of trials and errors – verifications, data collections, testing, re-testing, peer review and only finally confirmation. That is science. That is the scientific method.

            Is that what you are skeptical about?

            • I am skeptical about absolutism.

              • To elaborate, I find hard judgments about faith to be as flawed as those who claimed the earth was flat, from what they studied. There is an arrogance to this kind of knowledge postured as absolute truth when we know so little, really. We are all explorers, and the mysteries are as expansive as the universe. I think we can explore without condemning those who are searching along a different path than we are.

              • Micha says:

                Science does not make a claim on absolutism. It makes progress as new discoveries and new understanding comes along. What it consistently and coherently adhere to is reliance on empirical evidence.

                That is in stark contrast to what religion offers: Absolute faith on an absolute God without absolute proof.

              • To many, religion offers as much or more than science and allegedly rational man has or can. A scientist would examine how people come to religion without condemning those who are religious. Faith requires no proof, and is just as real to people as taking vitamins. No one has captured the market on knowledge or can explain where the universe ends, and why.

              • NHerrera says:

                @Joe: I like the kind of scientific statements such as the incomparable Einstein makes — the humility he projects, admitting, for example, to not knowing a lot of things.

              • Yes, and the honesty to admit that he may have been wrong. I agree. Good scientists have small egos, I think, if we define ego to represent the arrogance of having to be right all the time. They are psychologically healthy rather than having to prove something about themselves.

              • Gödel proved that in any logical system, there are unprovable truths.. weird but somehow nice to know that there is stuff out there we will never be able to prove true or false. Just like there are problems which cannot be computed in a finite amount of time by any computer. Any sort of problem proven to belong to that kind is usually dealt with using “heuristics” that is educated guesses which approximate (but may not necessarily be) the best solution.

                The absolute belief in the invincibility of science and technology is so 19th century and went down with the Titanic at the latest – I remember how in the movie many were boasting about how it’s design made it unsinkable. Of course one should apply scientific methods and most especially proper forensic evidence not just witness accounts (c) MRP and not just Bilibid witnesses for important stuff, even if in some minds “Leila de Lima is a drug lord” is true but unprovable. But beliefs that do not harm anyone are what they are, purely personal matters.

              • Heuristics! Now that’s a word that takes me back to those post-graduate seminars, my, my. Sweet nostalgia. Thanks for the trip.

              • Micha says:

                @Ireneo

                Organized religion is NOT a harmless enterprise. Its history is littered with deadly violence and cruelty.

                And even its post modern evolution is still harmful and antagonistic to the empirical truths. Think about how Catholics oppose the use of condoms in AIDS ravaged Africa. Or its opposition to the RH law in the Philippines.

              • Here’s an interesting if lengthy cut on science. http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/EvG/papers/113.2.pdf

                This is the concluding paragraph, which gets to the points I’ve been clumsily trying to make.

                Science proceeds by modeling limited experiential situations—by focusing on a few variables, and deliberately disregarding many. It cannot do otherwise, and it should not do otherwise. But scientists must never drift into the misplaced religious belief that they are discovering what the world is really like. They should always remain aware of the fact that what they are dealing with is not the real world but an observer’s experience—and it is not even all an observer could experience, but deliberately constrained experiences or experiments that happen to fit the scientific model the observer is working with. And sometimes these very constraints exclude elements that afterwards rear their ugly head.

              • NHerrera says:

                Well stated, the italicized excerpt in your February 15, 2018 at 8:01 pm post.

                I also read your link in your earlier February 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm post. Here is my comment:

                Simon Jenkins in that link rightly criticized some Climate Change Scientists for their arrogance, worse the suppression of what he claimed to be evidence. Jenkins statements on the arrogance of some scientists are well made. (I wonder if the scientists who suppressed evidence were sanctioned.)

                But I note — on the important subject of Climate Change — that a lot more persuasive evidence has been accumulated from 2010, when Jenkins wrote that article, evidence aided immensely by the great leaps in computer speed and storage, and the vital exchanges between scientists with improved internet connectivity.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Just an observation. I have the impression that the bulk of the strongest “unorganized” resistance to Duterte comes from the ranks of true Catholics. Perhaps I should expand that to “true” believers in Christianity.
      *****

      • Micha says:

        Maybe because he showed the middle finger to their Pope. But as I asked below, what does the opposition up to, how does it propose to govern in a post-Duterte era?

        If it’s going to be the same as in the post-Marcos era then it really makes no difference whether Duterte is still in Malacanang or not.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          A return to the rule of law and decency should make a huge difference.
          *****

          • Micha says:

            There is nothing decent in a country that ignores the plight of its millions who are poor.

            There is nothing decent in a country that allows the plunder of wealth by a very few while millions go hungry.

            The coming into power of Duterte is the poor saying in effect, “kung bastusan din lang naman pala, di lubus-lubosin na natin at mag bastusan na lang tayo.”

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              Micha,

              1. Fact: the Philippine economy is chugging along just fine. No?

              2. Problem: According to you, the problem is primarily economic: the poverty incidence is high; there is no trickle-down.

              2.1. But as you yourself point out in the second paragraph and in your latest comment below (11:56 pm), the problem stems from immorality. No?

              2.2. Therefore, the rule of law is of primary importance.

              3. Solution:

              3.1. Personally, I do not know the solution. I am not an economist.

              3.2. In this thread, Karl has posted one solution from the grassroots.

              3.3. As an economist, may I suggest you develop an overarching solution and publish it here.
              *****

              • NHerrera says:

                edgar: on your Item 3.3, I hope Micha considers that and Joe publishes it. It will be a blog article quite a few here, I believe, will look forward to with bated breath (I include myself).

          • Micha says:

            Also, the return of law in a post Duterte era is not guaranteed. The political and judicial infrastructure is so corrupted almost everyone in it seem amenable to just game the system.

            That was the case in post Marcos era and it will most likely be the case too in post Duterte regimes.

  15. NHerrera says:

    Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno:

    “We can build forever. Look at Singapore,” Mr. Diokno said, citing the “multiplier effect” of infrastructure projects and other initiatives like the jeepney modernization program.

    https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/finance-top-stories/infrastructure-to-offset-train-job-loss/ar-BBJ8pkS

    A > B

    A = Build Build Build Program
    B = The miracle that is Singapore

    But for the implied miracle that may be in store for the Philippines:

    A + C > does not imply > B

    where C is the deep corruption and institutional breakdown that has even worsen in the Legislature and Implementers of the BBB Program, not to mention the abetted designs of China.

    The expected miracle for the Philippines arising from the BBB Program is thus debatable.

  16. Sup says:

    @joeAm..do you agree with this statement of Roque?

    Roque to Kuwait: ”Treat foreigners the same way you treat your citizens”

    The Philippine government has reminded Kuwait of its obligation under international laws to treat foreigners the same way it treats its own citizens.

    “I would like to remind Kuwait authorities of the standards by which aliens should be treated in their territory,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing on Thursday.

    Under international law, Roque said “each country is bound to give to the nationals of another country in its territory the benefit of the same laws, the same administration, the same protection and the redress for injury, which gives its own citizens neither more or less provided the protection which the country gives to its own citizens conforms to the established standards of civilization.”

    is that what Philippines does to foreigners?

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/969045/roque-to-kuwait-treat-foreigners-the-same-way-you-treat-your-citizens

    • I I don’t presume to know Saudi culture or moral standards. The Philippines does not treat its own citizens with respect, so Roque has no moral standing to lecture the Saudis. I think pulling Filipinos from Saudi ought to be done in agreement between nations, not as a knee-jerk response to individual cases of abuse. By the way, I wonder how Mary Jane Veloso is doing.

      • Sup says:

        do you have the same rights as filipino’s/ buying house and lot/ dual citizen/ joining protests/ vote/ to name a few?

        • No. I can’t join protests nor buy a house nor vote. I can buy a condo. I can analyze and opine but not act or encourage action that might be considered meddling. The latter sentence is my position, untested. There are precedents, such as Peter Wallace, before he became a Philippine citizen.

  17. Desert people and moral development…

    I doubt the Egyptian masters of the Jewish slaves that fled believed in equal morals for everybody. They were probably more like the Philippine elite of today. Different strokes for different folks.

    Recently I read that the extreme equality in Finland is because everybody was poor decades ago. Same with the Jews in the desert, wandering around for 40 years – but somehow they started dancing around a golden calf, and Moses had to come down the mountain with 10 commandments.

    The commandments of a God, in place of the orders of a Pharaoh or, even longer ago, the ruler of Niniveh, Nebuchadnezzar. The patriarchal Middle East always had some fathers or uncles giving orders to people, and for entire groups of people, warlords like in Babylon or God-Kings like Pharaohs. Morality was not yet internalized (Edgar may be able to comment more on this) but was based on what a father, an uncle, elder brother, or ruler ordered – much like today’s “Tatay Digong”.

    God had to be invented by Moses to back up the Ten Commandments – an abstract and lasting set of orders by a “Sky Father”. Not orders of a Pharaoh, or weder-weder orders like those of Digong – “send all in Kuwait home”, “close Boracay”, “don’t use condoms”. The idea of morals was formed.

    Nowadays morals are internalized via upbringing – but how about those who do not have morals due to their upbringing yet? Where all that counts is “sabi ni Mayor kasi eh”. Or “sabi ng Pangulo”.

    Religion remains a useful tool to teach morals and even plain decency. So I do respect religions.

    • Micha says:

      Religion remains a useful tool to teach morals and even plain decency.

      Come on Ireneo, I know you can do better than that. You’re not saying you got your moral compass from religion, do you?

    • “Recently I read that the extreme equality in Finland is because everybody was poor decades ago. Same with the Jews in the desert, wandering around for 40 years – but somehow they started dancing around a golden calf, and Moses had to come down the mountain with 10 commandments.”

      The current issue of the Economist (which i’ve not yet read) looks good re Congo , I’m sure lots of lessons for the Philippines.

      But as for this, ‘Religion remains a useful tool to teach morals and even plain decency. So I do respect religions.” it all depends if by coercion, Ireneo.

  18. Micha says:

    The Philippine Catholic religious tradition has, overall, done more harm than good for the country. It spawned dependency and corruption of both mind body and soul.

    That Duterte is a product of Catholic schooling says a lot.

  19. Micha says:

    Moving on now. Assume that Duterte is gone in 6 months. How are we going to solve the problem of poverty, over population and the gap between the very few rich and the very many poor?

    • Sup says:

      by occupying China 🙂

      • Micha says:

        Thank you for validating the point of the question: that the opposition has nothing to offer, bereft of plausible counter narrative when it comes to those complex problems, thus it really makes no difference whether Duterte is in Malcanang or not.

        • I think the opposition has something to offer, the benefits of fairness, civility, and freedom with responsibility. They just don’t know how to reach an audience that is angry and ignorant.

          • Micha says:

            The inability to reach an audience of the angry and the ignorant is because they have nothing to offer to those who are angry and ignorant.

            • And what does Duterte have to offer? Even the angry and ignorant can see that the MRT is down to 3 working trains. Who knows when they will be down to zero working trains?

              Rice and other stuff is getting more expensive. Rice is short or why is Pinol thinking of planting rice in Papua to feed Filipinos? The rage may come even worse if those who were seen as instant saviors prove not to be – and who will take over is definitely totally open.

              • Micha says:

                We already know that Duterte will fuck things up. That should not, however, form the sole basis of the opposition’s opposition. They should offer a counter-narrative, an agenda, an ideology if you will, on how to construct a more fair and equitable society.

                Because if it will only come down to a contest between what Duterte can offer and the vague, mostly lip service offerings of the opposition, then we really are lost.

            • Disagree. They truly believe democracy and laws and citizen engagement is the better way. But the angry and ignorant prefer lies and emotions and striking out. The educated pro-democracy crowd speaks truth and reason and gets no resonance They are not willing, by principle, to tell lies and kill people to be heard.

  20. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    Hah, hah, hahaaaaaaa. The scientiic method it’s been postulated begins with classification followed by repetitive objective experimentation. Men and women have big differences in classification so I had heard from a professorial lecturer in governmental budgeting. It’s idiotic but hilarious.

    Women before puberty: CANNOT BE YET
    Women after puberty: CAN BE ALREADY
    Women after marriage: CAN BE HABITUALLY
    Young widows: CAN BE ONCE IN A WHILE
    Women after menopause: CANNOT BE ANYMORE

    However there’s no problem on MEN’s classification :

    Men before puberty: CANNOT BE YET
    Men after puberty: CAN BE ALWAYS

  21. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    By way of valediction, I’d like to thank everyone for the kind and not-so-kind words. All words devoted to the blog article has deepened my faith and understanding.

    Some lessons for me:

    1. Write as you feel. Sit down, get it over with.

    2. The better part of writing is reading the feedback. The serious writer will come out stronger and wiser, yes, humbler, after a discussion of the article he has presented.

    3. Stick to your principles, but put it in words that readers can empathize with.

    4. Win some, lose some. Life.

    5. Look forward to your next article. What’s done is done. Don’t look back.

    6. Appreciate your gifts, talents, no matter how simple or seemingly insignificant. They are given for a purpose in time and space.

    7. Be thankful always. Approach the world with a smile. Never scoff. Cynicism is out.

    8. Try to read everything in the comments section. There are some gold nuggets which can be used for the next articles.

    9. Definitely, a market exists for serious articles. Fill the need.

    10. Never argue. Celebrate differences. Sometimes, quiet is eloquent.

    • Wil I’m not attacking you directly, I hope you know that. Your articles are for a specific audience. I hope they are read and your intentions for your words find fertile soil. My criticisms are meant for TSOH only, for the regular crew if you will (and maybe for atheist/agnostic Filipinos reading in the background).

      Keep doing what you’re doing Wil. The bulk of my posts on Ethics are for edgar (only this go-round, we agree).

      I disagree with 10 as a rule (though I know most here are of retirement age), but people should argue, hence I know edgar better than most, since we’ve locked horns. Frictions the cause of light. But for people taking heart medications or just generally old, yeah Never argue (I don’t intend to argue when i’m old, what would be the point? I plan on being like NH , staving off prostate complications 😉 every time i get).

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Will, thank you very much.

      All polite discussion is positive as it increases and refines consciousness.
      *****

    • sonny says:

      Wil, I hope your valediction only means a short hiatus from sharing and contributing your blog-articles with TSoH audience. My reason is selfish. The stories and allegories we read are informative, creative, well-thought out and expressed. One needs only to read quant & qual of reactions elicited in the comments. So, yes take a breather but do hurry back.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Hiatus is for sissies, Sonny. Hahaha!

        • sonny says:

          Yes, Indeed. Just so I don’t get mushied up, get a load of this. I found this – a 14-yr old drummer-girl doing the drum cover of the ’60s hit, WIPEOUT. Adjust the sound dials, folks. (Joe, pls erase if out of line 🙂 )

          She does SULTANS OF SWING too.

          • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

            impressive, a diamond of both art and artist. tnks Sonny.

            • sonny says:

              You’re welcome, Popoy. Check out her other cover pieces of classic rock. She’s truly a gem.

              • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

                I shall of course continue watching and admiring how for a few exceptions, the 10,000 hours rule needed to master an art has been breached by a teen age girl.

              • sonny says:

                Well-noted, Popoy. According to her she started intentional study of drums at 10. WIPEOUT cover was done at 14. She’s now 19. My son is a classical pianist and his musicality has changed somewhat over the years. I wonder how Sina will sound now playing the same drum pieces she did at 14.

              • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

                My guess is this Sonny. She has reached her plateau going to her summit and will stay there until drug overdose or senility brings her down. That’s the story of great artists. Never mind if their art is recognized long after their death.

              • sonny says:

                That is a sad possibility, given our times, Popoy. I hope there is more ascendancy in store for her enough to say “we will always have Paris” when recalling her history.

    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      Australia has given the world the BOOMERANG. So it goes too for PUBLIC POLICIES. What a President throws goes back to him; for him to catch with able hands or it hits him in the face. The Ombudsman’s massage could be a message to the International Criminal Court; reasons for its actions regardless. The Drug War national policy for example, is a Boomerang where all other distractions like wind velocity (money laundering?) become mere catalysts that only the future can validate. Like water, international jurisprudence seeks its own level when actions of national courts become IMPETUS (inputs too) to International Courts. Malalim yata kaya lumabo.

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  1. […] recently, in Wilfredo G. Villanueva’s recent post, “A Meditative Interview with God on Ash Wednesday,” new commenter @Mayongod kicked off a long discussion. The main topic of discussion arose out […]



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