Filipism is what ails the Philippines

By Chemrock

Filipism is a belief system that the path to law and order is found by slaughtering drug dealers, users and innocents and totally subverting the criminal justice system, that defeatism and proffering economic opportunities to a strong intruder is the best foreign policy, that sexism and profanity are nouveau virtues, that ethical and moral decadence has its rewards.

Well, I lied. Filipism can’t be googled. It’s a new ‘ism’ I coined to delineate a segment of the population of 16m. It is not classism since it cuts across social divides from the uneducated jobless to the educated in call centers, from residents in cardboard houses to gated communities, from workers in the fields to workers overseas, from provincial civil servants to men and women in the hallowed halls of Congress and Senate.

There is a disease in the Philippines, nay, its all over the world. It is the rejection of TRUTH, in part consequential to the inability or unwillingness to learn from history, in part the abandonment of ethical and moral norms. In the words of Samuel Taylor Coleridge “passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives us is a lantern on the stern, which shines only on the waves behind us.” It’s a casual observation of humans turning away from the light that guides in front, looking instead to the dark long shadow that follows behind.

At the lighter end of the spectrum, ignoring history leads to silly mistakes in life. Take the case of Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr who changed his name to Muhammad Ali because he said he wanted to be associated with his people, and not to a white slave owner. Ali assumed ‘Clay’ came from a white slave owner as it was the custom in those days for African slaves to take on the owner’s name. The TRUTH is, ‘Muhammad’ was the Prophet, and ‘Ali’ was his adopted son (eventually the 4th Caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate). Both were slave traders who owned Arab and black African slaves. The prophet was a very white Arab, his light complexion mentioned consistently in Islamic holy books. The boxer’s black father was Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr who was given the name by Ali’s grandfather to honor a white Kentucky planter and politician of the same name. Now, the white Cassius Marcellus Clay was an abolitionist and he was instrumental in getting Abraham Lincoln to pass the law that emancipated black slaves.  It’s reminiscent of the abandonment of Edsa1 to edging towards a return of Marcosian rule, a dumbass move that will become clearer in 2019.

On the other extreme, not learning from history has serious world leaders deadly worried about the Thucydides Trap that many fear may suck China and America into a war that no one wants. The Greek historian Thucydides recounted the Peloponnesian War in the 5th BC conflict between Sparta and Athens. His post-mortem was a new rising power, Athens, invariably presented a fading power, Sparta, with insecurity, which led to the war. The world has shown that war is historically inevitable because nations always fail to manage a power shift. Henry Kissinger once said that knowing the Thucydides Trap helps one to frame the events and actions of nations and makes it easier to understand what’s going on. The relevance to Philippines in all this is the fact that a Thucydides war is often caused by a third party. All eyes are on North Korea or Philippines to be the spark to ignite a US-China military conflict.

If TRUTH is rejected, the alter ego LIES are embraced. History has shown how easy it is for a single individual to build their power on the alter of LIES and lead millions of people into misery and death. Stalin was responsible for the slaughter of 15m Russians, Mao for hundreds of millions of Chinese, Hitler for 6 million Jews, etc. Modern technology now facilitates the propagation of lies. With technology within easy reach of everybody, and every body easily reached, the disease of rejection of TRUTH can only get worse.

To the power that fears TRUTH, silencing dissent is a fait accompli. And so Senator De Lima got thrown into jail. There she will languish for the full term of Duterte’s presidency, a victim of political persecution. Senator Trillanes is now in Duterte’s cross-hairs. The independence of Regional Courts 148 and 153 will be strongly tested when they hear the unusual case of whether Trillanes’ amnesty granted by Pnoy, for coups against Arroyo, is valid. Chances are they, too, will fall like ten-pins. It won’t stop there. Duterte has made no bones about it that he will go after other dissenters under the guise of preventing groups from destabilizing the government.

It is the 16m imbibed with Filipism I’m interested in. Why do ordinary people who are our friends, colleagues, and relatives, choose to reject TRUTH and embrace LIES? Many are the explanations offered, from James Fallow’s ‘damaged culture’ to so many other indigenous factors, much of which we learned from TSOH commenters Irineo and Edgar. I had also offered the causality of damaged genes from inbreeding due to the absence of family names pre-Spanish colonial rule. Another possibility of which I have been too polite to ever bring up, but as a literary discussion here, I will be brutally frank, is the fact that Philippines is a badly bastardized country. The sociological consequences are at play to a certain extent. At the micro level, all causalities for the low ethical and moral bearings of the population ever commented here at TSOH, possibly has played a role.

The Philippines is not alone in this. All over the world, the axioms of ethical and moral bearings have been turned upside down. The bad guys are now the good guys. It does appear that in the eternal fight between good and evil, Satan is gaining the upper hand. In exasperation, one is tempted to scream “What the bloody hell happened?” It is in the philosophical ‘isms’ where the macro causality lies. One era’s ‘ism’ is the cause for the next era’s problems. Let me explain through the time capsule of philosophical ‘isms’

Thousands of years ago, Moses came down from Mt Sinai with God’s commandments. The Laws of the God of Abraham bring sacredness into our lives. Life is sacred, marriage is sacred, our property is sacred, etc. There was Moral Absolutism – an ethical view that all actions are intrinsically right or wrong. Killing is wrong. Stealing is wrong. Knowledge comes from revelation. TRUTH was in the words of God. Solomonic wisdom was easy to understand.

The Age of classical Greek thinkers 400 BC, of Socrates, Plato, gave us Rationalism – a view that  Man is a rational being and all knowledge can be acquired through rational logic. Be critical, rational and logical and TRUTH can be ferreted out. In other words, ideas and issues are to be processed in our craniums. One particular concept of Plato I like is his ‘divine idea’. He illustrated thus – imagine someone first thought of the concept of a chair. That is the original thought which he called ‘divine idea’. The man put his thought into action and made a physical chair – that is ‘idea first removed’. Someone else saw the chair and he came up with another model — that is ‘idea twice removed’… and so on. It’s up to you to interpret what he meant. Many will say ‘divine idea’ came from GOD. Me, I say Plato hinted at the existence of God in his simple logic, and thus TRUTH. Look at the mountains, look at the trees, the stars, and all nature around you — whose ‘divine ideas’ are these?  I’m being naive, today, anyone with a ‘divine idea’ will head straight for the Patents Office. Critical thinking is irreplaceable, but the downside is that rationalism subjugates our beliefs in moral absolutism.

Then came 18th century Age of Enlightenment with people like John Locke who introduced Empiricism — a philosophy that emphasizes knowledge is closely related to evidence. To hold that which is true, it has to be tested against observations of the natural world. Hail science and data. Revelation and intuition went out the windows. With great faith in science, attention turned to public enemy number one – Dogmatism, which is an approach to ideas that emphasizes rigid adherence to doctrine over rational and enlightened inquiry. It was the time when the thinking western world threw everything against the Holy Scriptures. The Church came under heavy scrutiny and its belief system attacked and challenged so vigorously and sustained over a long period such that it has never fully recovered to this day. Empiricism, and most ‘isms’, have their useful purposes, but are often misappropriated. Videos showed Senator Trillanes submitting his application form for amnesty, they asked where is the form.

19th century idea of Fallibilism came to the rescue of the Church. Fallibilism is a view that absolute knowledge is impossible. It says hold your horses, empirical knowledge is not absolute because it can be revised in the face of future data. Skepticism holds that all knowledge are uncertain. Fallibilists say that empirically tested knowledge is fine but place a caveat that future data or event may render it unreliable, even for things that are axiomatically true (such as mathematical or statistical theorems) because there may be yet unknown human errors in its computation. The days when science refuted the Holy Scripture has turned around to science proving the veracity of the Bible. Archaeologists have found relics on the Red Sea floor which suggests Moses’ crossing indeed took place. Scientists have proven the carbon dating of the Shroud of Turin to only 728 years old was wrong. For those who put their faith in empiricism instead of God, how bitter-sweet for Aldous Huxley, an atheist, to say “We are living now, not in the delicious intoxication induced by the early successes of science, but in a rather grisly morning-after, when it has become apparent that what triumphant science has done hitherto is to improve the means for achieving unimproved or actually deteriorated ends.” In simple English he meant science brings good means but disastrous ends. State of the art weaponry has given us MAD (mutually assured destruction). AI is bringing us to Singularity and an Arnorld Schwarzenegger Terminator scenario. Filipists ask ‘How do you know bowing to China is bad for Philippines economically, how do you know there is a debt trap?’

In the 1900s, modern thinkers teach us Relativism – a view that human beliefs and value systems have no universality. Every thing is now subjective, relative to perceptions and situations. Absolutism, empiricism, and even rationalism are under attack. Moral truths, ethical truths, heck they are all relative. The profanities that Duterte sprouts? Heck man, that’s the way he is, he can’t change. 120 million Filipinos ought to change to understand him. The courts are open house. What is a simple guy to believe in now?

Fairly recently came the Do-Gooders with Humanism thrusting a range of views that hold common human nature to be the source of values. The world was lined up for clashes between men guided by right hearts and those who rule with the right hand (power). While humanism does a lot of good generally, a bleeding hearts approach to solving the world’s problems often itself adds to the problem. It comes down hard on the problems, but soft on the solutions. Simple case in point — the Ateneo High School kid with tae kwondo credentials who bullied and used his skills to bleed a classmate. There were cries for severe punishment, but many too suggested psychological attention for the bully. It’s kiddy glove treatment for the commission, and for the damaged, it’s c’est la vie, just move on. At more serious levels, the issue of millions of illegal immigrants in Europe and US. Allow them entry and bear the consequences of crime and religious acrimony years down the line, or a cold-hearted ban? Humanism tends to over-reach on one’s rights, and missing out on what’s right.

You know there is a problem when entertainment comes to town with Sensualism — it is a view that sensations and perceptions are the basic and most important form of true cognition. Knowledge is derived only from sense perception. Whereas we see through our eyes and pass the info into our craniums to process, we now only see with our eyes. Processing is irrelevant. So here comes Hollywood, or media, to show you what’s TRUTH, and we suck up everything from the large screens, to small laptop screens, to the smallest smart mobile phone screens. Here come the prosperity preacher moguls the likes of Joel Osteen and we see and hear without processing. Here is Pres Duterte presenting the drug list, or Trillanes foreign bank accounts – there on TV, must be the TRUTH. There is a big problem when people spend a major part of their days outside their thinking brain, and surrender themselves to the intoxicating adrenaline of anti-intellectualism in things like the Eat Bulaga shows hosted by self-admitted rapists and suspected murder master-mind.

Sensualism comes with the salesmen of Expressionalism — it distorts reality for enhanced overexagerated emotional effects. The more Kafkaesque the higher the literary score. Highly emotionalized, highly charged, the unthinking minds want to rush out to share their new-found revelations on social media. The tears of Imelda will convince millions that no taxpayers money were ever stolen. The hysterics of the road shows of POA Persida Acosta had more side-effects on 16m Flipinos than Dengavacia vacine.

Finally comes the cult of Hedonism — ethical or aesthetical view which holds that pleasure as the highest good or valuable thing. There is nothing wrong with the pursuit of their pleasures. The means to their ends have no moral or ethical ramifications. And so plunder, cheating, lying, misappropriating, smuggling, are all amoral. We see our celebrity heroes/heroines leading super-charged wild lives, we spend hours watching the immoral Kardashian family members parading naked here and there, we see a niece of the president in million peso gowns on birthday bashes, we see a gathering of plunderers of Philippines at posh birthday dining tables together, we had an aerial view of the sprawling Binay Hacienda, etc and we begin to think ethical or moral values perhaps serve us no purpose. Why be losers? Why chain ourselves to ethical and moral boundaries?

TRUTH is under assault by these ‘isms’. If we don’t know, don’t bother or are unable to process TRUTH, then it is easy to fall for the LIES. TRUTH underpins moral and ethical bearings. What then is the meaning of TRUTH? How does one view at something and determine the veracity of the proposition? TRUTH is a statement or description of that which describes a reality as it actually is. Do not get stopped at reality and be led down the rabbit hole of subjectivity. There is a universality to the reality. Absolutism does exist in reality. Look out for the two critical components in the proposition — correspondence to the reality and a cohesiveness in ideas. Killing drug pushers and users extrajudicially is wrong. it’s universal, it’s absolute, it’s TRUTH, and that’s the reality no matter how the administration tries to justify it. In the recent Revilla plunder trial, no matter what legislative acts or precedents, or convoluted logic presented by the 3 regional court judges, its conclusion of no case for plunder, and the court order for Revilla to return the 280m pesos deposited into his bank account, it’s contradictory and not cohesive.

The test for TRUTH is to subject the statement/(s) to:

  • Logical consistency test — is it logical and consistent? The testimonies of Arturo Lascanas and Edgar Motabato at the senate inquiries on Davao Death Squad certainly passed this test.
  • Empirical adequacy test — is there independent evidence to support the claim? Convicted drug criminals serving life sentence and offered rewards of better cell conditions for their co-operation to testify against De Lima certainly fails the empirical test.
  • Experiential relevance — does it really work in real life? Duterte and his jetski – no brainer.

In a world now failing to understand TRUTH, being besieged by LIES, FAKES and damaged by ‘ISMS’, what are the righteous to do? In the broadest sense, the issue boils down to how do we anchor the moral and ethical values of the Filipino people. I am no sage here, but I think in order to reach out to folks to make them understand the LIES they have been told, we first need to understand them. No die-hard supporters of a wrong cause will ever concede they are wrong when presented the TRUTH. Understanding them will help us know how to approach them. It is in the ‘isms’ that give us some clues. There are 3 groups to confront:

The denialists : Denialism is a person’s choice to deny reality, as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth. The motivations and causes of denialism include religion and self-interest (economic, political, financial) and defense mechanisms meant to protect the psyche of the denialist against mentally disturbing facts and ideas.

Denialism is a coping mechanism. No data, no litmus test, no smoking gun, can ever convince a denialist. No facts can ever win an argument against a reality-challenged person. You need to firstly build trust and this is done by trying to share some of their bedrock values. Next is to suggest the outcome of an anthithesis to your proposition. Only then will the outcome of your proposition be palatable to a denialist.

The fatalists : Fatalism — a view that deliberations are fruitless, they cannot alter events, there is nothing they can do, whoever they vote for will turn out the same similar trapos. If they don’t care for themselves, I wonder if they care for their future generation.

The nihilist : Nihilism – a view that the world and human existences is without meaning. purpose. comprehensible truth or essential values. Go away, I’m not interest in politics. If you try to persuade him, both you and he should go to a psychiatrist.

At various times and places, it is possible to discern a certain ethos of the people. This is like the soul of the people and they march to a certain tune. Western countries have for centuries been driven by judeo-christian values, with Europe leaning more towards rationalism and the US on moral rationalism. India is more into some spiritual transcendalism, and many Eastern Asian countries on a Confuscianist sense of cohesion in a structured society. Unfortunately, pluralism (multi-culturism, multi-religion) is slowly but surely bringing disruptions into the social and political fabric. Part of the noise and confusion in many countries today are the undercurrents coming out of pluralism. In the Philippines, it is challenging to determine the ethos driving the people. What is the dominant ethos in the land? For me, I think it is still impunity. This was terribly pronounced in Arroyo’s administration and it manifested itself in the ‘wang wangs’. Pnoy has managed to abolish ‘wang wang’ – but he has merely taken care of the form of impunity, not the substance. It is still prevalent and it underpins many of the evils in the Philippines and is a prime factor for the ethical and moral dysfunction in the land.

Truth has lost its way in the Philippines. I ask what will you do? Will you be like Pontius Pilate who asked ‘What is TRUTH?’ but never stopped for the answer? Or will you bear the Cross and do your part to spread TRUTH, remembering always that bearing the Cross entails great sacrifices. Understand that De Lima is at peace in jail because she realizes her predicament is a sacrifice for TRUTH. Teach people that to tread the straight and narrow path, one needs to find a spiritual mooring. For those not too religious, anchor yourself to some ethical and moral boundaries. Never let Filipism get to you.

 

Comments
119 Responses to “Filipism is what ails the Philippines”
  1. arlene says:

    Wonderful and impressive article Chemrock. “There is a disease in the Philippines, nay, its all over the world”…and it is more pronounced in the Philippines. Some people have become deaf and blind.

    • chemrock says:

      Good morning Arlene. Thank u. I’m inclined more and more towards the idea that those susceptible to Filipism are people who have loss their spiritual soul.

      • arlene says:

        Good morning! Sometimes I wonder, what’s happening to the world? What’s happening to us? It used to be that we were more careful and selective in our choices.

    • popoy says:

      I am only third of the way reading and Eureka this is a TSoH CRANIUM BOMB.

      • popoy says:

        Cassius Clay, Lew Alcindor, Martin Luther King Jr, etc. What’s in a name that’s not Hitler, Muzzolini, Ceausescu? A LOT IN A POSITIVE SENCE. may be. RESPECT may be. AFRO-Americans by their names shows profound acceptance of the Founding Fathers like Washington, Jackson, Adams, Hamilton, Madison, etc.

  2. Sup says:

    Thanks for this…So many ”just surviving” Filipinos have no time to fact check what is going on..As result so many agree with this government…I fear the future…Just look at the senatorial survey..Lito Lapid? Ask what he and his son did in Pampanga….Not even building ”sand castles” but ”stealing” the sand”.

    • chemrock says:

      At the end of the day, it’s free will. As a Filipino, good or bad, you live with the choices made by a democratic society. If Filipinos by and large, discard history and make silly mistakes like Muhammad Ali, too bad the bell tolls for thee.

  3. Bernard adan e. Ebuen says:

    Your detailed homily on acquiring knowledge of good and evil is enlightening. However, the conclusion to spread the truth and bear the consequences is severely wanting. Spreading the truth needs a galvanizer, an organization, a movement, a Moses, a Mandela…and nobody, specially the TSOH, wants to wear the mantle of leadership ! Of what use are your superb social commentaries if they do Not result in meaningful events? As one of the Rappler editors wrote last.week

    • The blog expressly takes no official political positions and I discourage calls to action. “Leadership” is not a part of our mission, due mainly to laws discouraging foreigners from taking a part in political activities. The ideas presented by Chemrock and others are among the best in the nation, which is why the blog is followed by legislators, professors, lawyers, and other movers and shakers who can participate in politics. It is possible to separate ideas from action, the former being protected by human rights laws (free speech), the latter having some restraints under law.

    • chemrock says:

      Bernard, thank you for taking the time to read the article.
      As Joe who police the site says, this is not a rabble rouser’s platform nor an evangelical pulpit. It’s just a place for espousing ideas and sharing.

      The change as this blog suggests is in building ethical and moral moorings. This is always in the realm of the personal. To change, one has to start from within. The suggestion to take the Cross is to help brothers and sisters of the need to rethink and reset their moral compass. If this article helps in any little way to show some light on the difficult times we live in, and help lift the cloud of confusion for some, it would have more than achieved it’s purpose.

      • Bernard adan Ebuen says:

        In other words, we are mere masturbators , Not genuine seekers of the TRUTH, the GOOD, the BEAUTIFUL ….was that not used to be a MORTAL SIN?

        • Not masturbation per se, Bernard, but spilling the good stuff on the ground,

          Genesis 38 King James Version (KJV)

          1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.

          2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.

          3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er.

          4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan.

          5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him.

          6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.

          7 And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him.

          8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.

          9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

          10 And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also.

      • stpaul says:

        Bravo Chemrock! Nailed it.

  4. HI chemrock, thanks for breaking things down.. the most important thing being the Judeo-Christian value system of the West.. one part Jewish-Christian morality, the other part Greek-Roman thought.

    The difference between America and Europe you have expressed clearly – for Europeans, the American way seem strangely moralistic while Americans may find us here to be of little faith. Though Eastern Europeans from the Orthodox tradition are again more on faith, in fact deeply.

    Pure Enlightenment can lead to a certain coldness, in fact moral indifference. Correct, there are things you cannot prove, even in math there are axioms you have to assume. And morality / order are what keep society working properly, whether you go by Confucius or by the Torah, it is needed.

    ——————

    I still see the main issue in that Filipinos somehow think they can run a nation like a village. Bayan and bayan are not the same, but sensualism and expressionalism are what run small villages, not only in the Philippines but everywhere in the world. In the village, your senses and your feelings about how people are, based on REALLY knowing them, are the countercheck. Nowadays, there are people who truly think that De Lima is guilty because everybody including their relatives in Canada say that she is. TV and Facebook are mistaken for reality by people lost in modernity, their sense of things and people not schooled for it, as Filipino schooling is mostly just memorizing.

    Hedonism is also the village mentality from a culture that was once based on abundant nature. Merely 600 thousand people lived in the archipelago in 1521. Much space for everybody to live.

    ——————

    So:

    1. you need evidence (not just witness accounts (c) MRP) and logic because Filipinos no longer live just in one big barangay where one can see after a while which wife takes the long way home.

    2. You need some morality as it did not matter much if you stole some fish or bananas back in 1521 – you either got cut up by the owner or were no caught and the owner could replenish them easily, and after a while people would catch up with you anyway in the small communities of olden days.

    3. Besides there are serious differences of power, a bad datu in the old days probably faced the bolos of everybody after a while, today he has guns, gold and goons – or even PNP and AFP, on his side. Probably the old values (datus leave when people no longer want them = “People Power”) no longer work as before people who violated rules where isolated socially and that was bad for survival in a society of small, interdependent (mainly) subsistence communities. Everybody said you were “aswang” and that was remembered for generations, today nobody cares about that.

    Trouble is, other cultures (East Asian and Western especially) had a long process of evolution from small group societies to civilizations. Try leapfrogging millennia in just decades.

    • Of course villages had elders who exercised moral authority, but what if the boss himself is a bad example? Even in highly developed England, what the King did determined fashion, wearing the lower button open in a suit is only because on of the Georges was very fat..

      So you have moral discussions of this format, with one elder like VP Leni admonishing the other elder Digong: https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/01/06/robredo-reminds-duterte-of-impact-of-his-joke-about-molesting-his-familys-housemaid

      Guess this worked in a barangay, but the sheer waste of time and energy is obvious – larger societies solved this by having an elder go up Mount Sinai and ask an abstract elder in the sky, or by philosophers writing down their idea of wrong/right and it being taught to all.

      In the Filipino discussion, there was one poet who shared how the Mayas determined right and wrong – by a fluid discourse, with elders and Kings discussing and adjusting parameters.

      As one can see, the Philippines might be at a similar stage, even in its Supreme Court.

      • “passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives us is a lantern on the stern, which shines only on the waves behind us.”

        try imagining a conflict in a barangay or bayan of old. Reason did not matter at all. Your alliances mattered the most. Your utang na loob to someone. Your deals with someone.

        There might be three kinds of Filipinos in that value system:

        1) those that truly know reason and are dedicated to the truth – very few.

        2) those that know reason but will bend it for “passion and party” – the Tiglaos.

        3) the majority that are led by both “passion and party” as well as fake reasoning.

        • In those few lines, a very clear statement about what we witness day to day. I can’t figure out exactly what to do about it except keep making noise about values, principles, and civility. Try to push 1) out by picking up a few people from 2). The majority seems pretty much immune to anything from outside the localized gossip bubble.

    • chemrock says:

      “And morality / order are what keep society working properly, whether you go by Confucius or by the Torah, it is needed.”

      That’s really the whole gist of it is’nt it? So with morality, there has got to be a Moral Law. Now the problem with morality is it has to be internalised. Perhaps that is the challenge that God gave to humanity. You know the rules. You can’t eat that Apple. But you have free will.

      • Yes, it must be internalized. That is what the educated, moral elite have failed to do. They have failed to help people FEEL hope and the idea of self-fulfillment through team commitment (or nationhood). We should bring a few NBA players over here during the off season – Steph Curry for one – and ask them to speak about self-sacrifice and commitment and accountability.

    • Nice elaboration and explanation. I particularly appreciate the last thought, that the Philippines has been a nation of villages until only recently, and it is hard to adapt minds and emotions to new ideas like nationalism and fairness, as expressed in human rights laws but not village codes.

  5. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. This is a courageous attempt and a hard one to digest and to comment upon.

    2. The survey of isms is handy. But ultimately all isms are rejected as assaults on the TRUTH.

    2.1. Among the isms cited, I am partial to secular humanism but not according to the definition in the essay. I quote two aspects from Wikipedia:

    o “Secular humanism posits that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or a god. It does not, however, assume that humans are either inherently evil or innately good, nor does it present humans as being superior to nature.”

    o ”Fundamental to the concept of secular humanism is the strongly held viewpoint that ideology—be it religious or political—must be thoroughly examined by each individual and not simply accepted or rejected on faith. Along with this, an essential part of secular humanism is a continually adapting search for truth, primarily through science and philosophy.”

    o To science and philosophy, I would add introspection, intuition, and insight – especially in their spiritual dimensions. Gnosis.

    2.2. I am also partial to Pluralism. It should not be seen as lending “noise and confusion” to the world. Pluralism is the natural condition of the universe. In whatever realm of existence there is – oceanic, earthly, or heavenly — there is a diversity of forms and shapes and colors. And I shout “Hallelujah!” for the beauty.

    3. The essay upholds Truth but does not exactly define what it is. Well, there is this: ”TRUTH is a statement or description of that which describes a reality as it actually is.”

    3.1. The term, of course, is impossible to define. And the definition begs the questions, “What is reality?” And, “How do we know what it actually is?’

    3.2. From the discussion on vantage points, we know that we only see slices of the Truth. And each man sees a different slice.

    3.3. The essay posits three tests for Truth – logical consistency, empirical adequacy, and experiential relevance — but certain models will pass the tests without wholly containing the Truth itself.

    3.3.1. A model that will pass the tests is classical physics, which does not explain quantum physics.

    3.4. Furthermore, due to the second and third components, the tests can only be applied retrospectively but not prospectively.

    4. Truth is a huge and endless subject. Therefore, let us narrow down the discussion. This brings us to the question: What kinds of Truth are we talking about?

    5. I preliminarily submit there are two classes of Truth:

    4.1. Class by Belief

    o Objective truth (OT) – scientifically proven
    o Subjective truth (ST) – personal truth
    o Intersubjective truth (IT) – accepted by many

    4.1. Class by Subject Area

    o Religious truth – generally IT or ST
    o Scientific truth – generally OT but may be IT
    o Political truth – generally IT
    o Legal truth – generally IT
    o Moral truth – generally IT or ST

    5. I presume we are talking of the last three areas — political, legal, and moral Truths. As noted, these Truths are generally intersubjective. The problem is that intersubjectivity is pluralistic – that people group themselves by a commonly held belief that is not universally shared.

    o Politically – there are Democrats and Fascists
    o Legally – there are Independents and Groupthinkers
    o Morally – there are true Catholics and cafeteria Catholics

    6. In each area, there are standards for Truth which serve as anchors. They can also serve as the basic tests for Truth – prospectively and retrospectively.

    o Politically – there is the Constitution
    o Legally – there is the Constitution, the Laws of the Land, and the Rule of Law Handbook
    o Morally – there is the Decalogue, the Constitution, the Laws of the Land, and established facts

    6.1. Rationally, any view or action that is not aligned with the standards is not the Truth and is a Lie or a Misdeed.

    6.2. Adding the tests of empirical adequacy and experiential relevance would be icing on the cake.

    6.2. These standards and tests should be simple enough to understand… except for emotionalism and Denialism.

    7. For me, the dominant ethos is expediency. In expediency, there is the absence of principle. And in the absence of principle — say, that everyone plays by the same rules – impunity reigns.

    7.1. In reality, most relevant principles have been pre-defined and pre-exist. There is the Constitution and there is the Bible. Perhaps the dominant ethos is ignorance.
    *****

    • “The dominant ethos is ignorance.” Seems to be.

      Politically, legally, and morally. Of the three, morality defines laws and laws shape politics. We need to work harder at establishing the moral truths, the anchors by which we live, or are jailed.

    • chemrock says:

      Edgar, I wonder if English Literature was part of your curriculum. Your literary criticism skill is unmatched. Me, I used to ace my composition papers, but my literary criticism paper is only above average. As for philosophy, I’m still trying hard to snatch that stone, still a grasshopper at my advance age.

      1. – You are right, it’s only an attempt at something out of my depth. But it’s fun, and I always approach a subject matter from a common sense point of view.

      2. – “isms” used as just an angle to approach a discussion. Yes, ‘isms’ one way or another, can be and have been misappropriated and used to assault Truth.
      2.1 – Secular humanism has the same weakness of subjectivity. The whole point is, we moved away from the sacredness of moral laws giveth by God which was held with moral absoluteness to the various ‘isms’ that alas, brought subjectivity into the fold.

      3. Truth, as admitted in the article, can be subjective. Thus the caveat not to be led down the rabbit hole of subjectivity. We need to discern the given situation, and invariably within the ambience of that specific situation, absolute reality exists. Take the case of this coversation between Betrand Russel (Atheist) Frederick Copperstone (Jesuit)

      FC : How do you differentiate between good and bad?
      BR : Same way as I differentiate between blue and green.
      FS : By your sight?
      BR : Yes
      FS : So how do you differentiate between good and bad?
      BR : On the basis of my feelings.

      Let’s ask BR – there is a community that welcomes outsiders, and there is another community that eats outsiders. How do you feel about that?

      4. Yes indeed, Truth is such a wide topic. Perhaps we should talk about Lies. It’s about the lies we have been told. In particular in the context of Philippines, – its cleaning up the drug threat within 6 months, its the jetski ride,Trillanes’ bank accounts, Delima’s drug business, Marcos was a hero, China good-US bad, etc etc.

      5. Yes, scientific and religious truths are not on the table. For religious truths we need to line up addition criterias like test of origin, faith, destiny, etc etc.
      What you indicated are boundaries for Political, legal and moral truths. I refer to simple situational truth. Whether a statement in a particular situation is simply true or not, prospectively and retrospectively. The jetski ride – there is no political, legal or moral confines to say its true or false. The absolute reality is it did’nt occur, thus it’s a lie…for now.

      7. Your ethos of expediency and ignorance probably is probably shared by many.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        1. It’s not only fun; it’s necessary as part of the individuation process, the process of fulfilling one’s potential.

        2. To me, an ism is a version or kernel of the Truth. It may fail to reflect the whole Truth.

        2.1. I view subjectivity as a strength in secular humanism. In essence, one rejects convention and authority. One only accepts what passes through the filter of one’s sensibilities. It is a mistake to assume that one’s Truth in secular humanism is purely sourced from one’s mind and heart; that everything must be original. One’s subjectivity may be a co-optation of another’s truth. It may be a co-optation of Divine truth that is accepted… not because of its Authority but because it resonates with one’s heart and mind. In this sense, it is the conscious internalization of external Truth. We agree on the importance of internalization.

        3. The highest Truth is that which aligns with Conscience. The highest arbiter of Truth is Conscience (or Thawt or Intelligence). Not merely feelings as BS claims.

        Truth can be cultural or traditional. Cannibalism is a survival mechanism. It has religious elements in it. It may be an honoring ceremony of the dead or of the living. It is symbolically entrenched in Christianity in the sacrament of the Eucharist.

        4. To discuss lies is to discuss the Truth.

        5. Prospectively, the jetski ride was a lie because there never was the intention to do it. Morally, it was wrong because the motive was propaganda, to project a false image of nationalism. Retrospectively, it has been confirmed to be a lie because rather than defending the WPS, Duterte has virtually surrendered it.
        *****

        • chemrock says:

          3. There is a contradiction with subjectivity. Where is the conscience of one in high position that is given to public pronouncements of revolting personal indiscretions? Molesting a maid – is that a Joke, or is it Truth but acceptable to a moral level that is below waters?

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            1. There are many definitions of secular humanism. There is no set definition.

            1.1. Humanism in itself is the “philosophical stance that emphasizes human fulfillment, scientific inquiry and it maintains that human reason must help us act morally.”

            1.2. A dictionary definition of humanism is “any system or mode of thought or action in which human interests, values, and dignity predominate.”

            1.3. The “secular” portion simply means “that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or a god.”

            1.4. In the other quote I lifted from Wikipedia, there is the adverb thoroughly: “Fundamental to the concept of secular humanism is the strongly held viewpoint that ideology—be it religious or political—must be thoroughly examined by each individual and not simply accepted or rejected on faith.”

            2. If we combine all of the above, we can derive the following propositions. Secular humanism:

            2.1. Is primarily concerned with human interests, values, and dignity.
            2.2. Holds that ethics and morality are possible without religion or god.
            2.3. Maintains that human reason helps in the development and practice of ethics and morality.
            2.4. Expects that individuals must thoroughly examine ideas and isms by reason and not by faith.

            3. The last point emphasizes the individual… which is about subjectivity. But secular humanism is not about subjectivity alone. All the points must be taken together. And as I have explained before, subjectivity embraces external Truth. Therefore, my version would add the following personal proposition:

            2.5. Embraces religious (and other external) norms that have been filtered through individual human reason.

            4. Going now to the one in high position, I will concede that his conscience is subjective. But is his conscience:

            4.1. Concerned with human interests, values, and dignity?
            4.2. Without religion or god? (This question may not be relevant.)
            4.3. Been developed with an acceptable level of human reasoning?
            4.4. The result of a thorough examination of ideas and isms by reason and not by faith?
            4.5. Formed from religion (and other external) norms as filtered through logical reasoning? The religious norm may be “Cause no harm” and the other external norm could be the Constitution.

            I daresay the answer to all these questions is “No.”

            5. So subjectivity must be filtered through certain criteria. I would point out that the voice of conscience is not universal — in any existing code of morality.

            5.1. It is entirely possible that secular humanism may not arrive at a universally accepted secular code of ethics.
            *****

            • sonny says:

              “1.3. The “secular” portion simply means “that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or a god.”

              This would render, I feel, the belief of Christian Incarnation and the Eucharist unreachable.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                The reason for the Incarnation is divine redemption (John 3:16).

                If we jump to the Harari quote in the next blog, a reason secularists reject redemption by Christ is the belief in personal responsibility. One is responsible for one’s actions. If one has erred (or sinned), one atones for one’s sins and does not pass it to another (or to the Christ).

                In a way, as has been discussed before with @Andrew Lim, Christianity encourages impunity. One can have salvation and eternal life by simply believing.
                *****

              • the Jews have no personal saviour, but in terms of responsibility (both spiritually and worldly) the bar – bat Mitzvah play a big role in delineating responsibility. sonny, does the Catholic confirmation (the most similar rite of passage) do something similar?

                “Prior to reaching bar mitzvah age, the child’s parents hold the responsibility for the child’s actions. After this age, the boys and girls bear their own responsibility for Jewish ritual law, tradition, and ethics, and are able to participate in all areas of Jewish community life. Traditionally, the father of the bar mitzvah gives thanks to God that he is no longer punished for the child’s sins.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_and_Bat_Mitzvah#History

              • sonny says:

                “In a way, as has been discussed before with @Andrew Lim, Christianity encourages impunity. One can have salvation and eternal life by simply believing.”

                Help, Karl. I will search the above topic on impunity, salvation & belief per edgar’s reference; I’d appreciate any help (i.e. search, at your convenience) locate that thread of edgar & Andrew. Thanks.

              • sonny says:

                @ LC

                The 4 sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Penance & Holy Eucharist would be the equivalent of what the Bar/Bat Mitzvah is all about: Original Sin (Baptism), Personal Sin (Penance), Forgiveness (redemption), earthly union w/Christ (Holy Eucharist & salvation, real-time then at end-of-life). Death & impunity are part of the context of accountability. This is Christian soteriology as Catholics understand it.

      • sonny says:

        “… Me, I used to ace my composition papers, but my literary criticism paper is only above average.”

        I’m glad i’m in good company, chempo. Composition was my better skill but i totally missed out on Literary Criticism, vis-a-vis Mark Van Doren. Now I feel this subject must really go hand in glove with grammar & composition and should be given much earlier than when I took it (soph college).

  6. And God answers it in this cartoon (you have to scroll down as you read, very enlightening, God truly works in mysterious ways), click link:

    https://www.webtoons.com/en/comedy/adventures-of-god/ep-1-answering-prayers/viewer?title_no=853&episode_no=1

    “In the Philippines, it is challenging to determine the ethos driving the people. What is the dominant ethos in the land?”

    the grass is greener on the other side. Although on one hand this is what promoted progress and movement westward for America. The way a Filipino thinks (their ethos), on the other hand, is more akin to ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, there’s constant envy I noticed.

    Which I ‘m sure is what leads to your impunity, chemp, but locate the source of that constant envy, and you’re half-way to a solution.

    I’ll end with this,

    “The man of ressentiment is neither upright nor naïve, nor honest and straight with himself. His soul squints; his mind loves dark corners, secret paths and back-doors.” — ‎Friedrich Nietzsche

    ###

    10. War and Warriors

    By our best enemies we do not want to be spared, nor by those either whom we love from the very heart. So let me tell you the truth!

    My brethren in war! I love you from the very heart. I am, and was ever, your counterpart. And I am also your best enemy. So let me tell you the truth!

    I know the hatred and envy of your hearts. Ye are not great enough not to know of hatred and envy. Then be great enough not to be ashamed of them!

    And if ye cannot be saints of knowledge, then, I pray to you, be at least its warriors. They are the companions and forerunners of such saintship.

    I see many soldiers; could I but see many warriors! “Uniform” one calleth what they wear; may it not be uniform what they therewith hide!

    Ye shall be those whose eyes ever seek for an enemy—for your enemy. And with some of you there is hatred at first sight.

    Your enemy shall ye seek; your war shall ye wage, and for the sake of your thoughts! And if your thoughts succumb your uprightness shall still shout triumph thereby!

    Ye shall love peace as a means to new wars—and the short peace more than the long.

    You I advise not to work, but to fight. You I advise not to peace, but to victory. Let your work be a fight, let your peace be a victory!

    One can only be silent and sit peacefully when one hath arrow and bow; otherwise one prateth and quarrelleth. Let your peace be a victory! Ye say it is the good cause which halloweth even war? I say unto you: it is the good war which halloweth every cause.

    War and courage have done more great things than charity. Not your sympathy, but your bravery hath hitherto saved the victims.

    “What is good?” ye ask. To be brave is good. Let the little girls say: “To be good is what is pretty, and at the same time touching.”

    They call you heartless: but your heart is true, and I love the bashfulness of your goodwill. Ye are ashamed of your flow, and others are ashamed of their ebb.

    Ye are ugly? Well then, my brethren, take the sublime about you, the mantle of the ugly!

    And when your soul becometh great, then doth it become haughty, and in your sublimity there is wickedness. I know you.

    In wickedness the haughty man and the weakling meet. But they misunderstand one another. I know you.

    Ye shall only have enemies to be hated, but not enemies to be despised. Ye must be proud of your enemies; then, the successes of your enemies are also your successes.

    Resistance—that is the distinction of the slave. Let your distinction be obedience. Let your commanding itself be obeying!

    To the good warrior soundeth “thou shalt” pleasanter than “I will.” And all that is dear unto you, ye shall first have it commanded unto you.

    Let your love to life be love to your highest hope; and let your highest hope be the highest thought of life!

    Your highest thought, however, ye shall have it commanded unto you by me—and it is this: man is something that is to be surpassed. So live your life of obedience and of war! What matter about long life! What warrior wisheth to be spared!

    I spare you not, I love you from my very heart, my brethren in war!—

    Thus spake Zarathustra.

    ###

      • “Colour me stupid, but I have no idea what (10) is all about.”

        it’s the search of truth, chemp.

        Your enemy shall ye seek; your war shall ye wage, and for the sake of your thoughts! And if your thoughts succumb your uprightness shall still shout triumph thereby!

        Ye shall love peace as a means to new wars—and the short peace more than the long.

        but the line I’ve bolded is where Nietzsche first stumbles on envy as something not to be ashamed of. He’d go on to write two more books on this. Inception.

        • 4. “God is Dead”

          Nietzsche’s dramatic assertion about the demise of God is not, as it’s often taken to be, some kind of a celebratory statement. Despite his reservations about Christianity, Nietzsche did not think that the end of belief was anything to celebrate.

          Religious beliefs were false, he knew; but he observed that they were in some areas very beneficial to the sound functioning of society. Giving up on religion would mean that humans would be left to find new ways of supplying themselves with guidance, consolation, ethical ideas and spiritual ambition. This would be tricky, he predicted.

          Nietzsche proposed that the gap left by religion should ideally be filled with Culture (philosophy, art, music, literature): Culture should replace Scripture.

          However, Nietzsche was deeply suspicious of the way his own era handled culture. He believed the universities were killing the humanities, turning them into dry academic exercises, rather than using them for what they were always meant to be: guides to life. He particularly admired the way the Greeks had used tragedy in a practical, therapeutic way, as an occasion for catharsis and moral education – and wished his own age to be comparably ambitious.

          He accused university and museum-based culture of retreating from the life-guiding, morality-giving potential of culture, at precisely the time when the Death of God had made these aspects ever more necessary.

          He called for a reformation, in which people – newly conscious of the crisis brought on by the end of faith – would fill the gaps created by the disappearance of religion with the wisdom and healing beauty of Culture.

          • https://history.hanover.edu/hhr/hhr93_3.html – some of Nietzsche’s stuff IS scary..

            Slave morality supported pity, a sentiment which Nietzsche abhorred. Pity, he thought, had a weakening effect on humans: “Pity stands opposed to the tonic emotions which heighten our vitality: it has a depressing effect. We are deprived of strength when we feel pity.”[19] Pity also allowed what was weak and inferior to survive: “they [religions] have preserved too much of what ought to perish.”[20]

            Ayn Rand also was against pity. Some leading neolibs were part of her cult-like following, including Alan Greenspan. Isn’t that kind of thinking what leads to Bolsonaro, tokhang etc.?

    • chemrock says:

      Lance
      Colour me stupid, but I have no idea what (10) is all about.

      So your Philippines dominant ethos is ‘envy’, which in turn causes ‘impunity’.
      Food for thought. I do agree that is a lot of envy, but I felt this leads more to the crab mentality. “Impunity’ I think, emerges from unbriddled power, at various levels. It doesn’t meant only those at the top can exercise impunity. The lower level too, like a security guard, who exercises impunity because he has a gun.

      As for the cartoon — I would have given each of the athletes the 100m gold medal in different years.

      • Sup says:

        He just like to be the copy paste champion in TSOH 😉

        • chemrock says:

          Haha I plead to temper your impatience, but of course you said in jest.
          Lance is a devil’s advocate par excellence, with tendencies sometimes to irritate some although I understand he just liked to prod. But I like his explosive brain — he is everywhere, which sometimes leads to places of discomfort for some. I think he is a nice fella to sit round a campfire with no conversational restraints. I’m glad though that he pulls back at times and knows when an apology is in order.

          • He just like to be the copy paste champion in TSOH 😉”

            The mere copy/paste is not the trick, Sup; it’s the when and what to copy/paste now that’s the mystery 😉 . Deep search. +20, lol!

            Envy.

            chemp, it all goes back to envy. Envy is good when harnessed and perfectly recognized and tamed; left unchecked though , you have your “ethos” you’re looking for… from the victim maid to the impugned politician to your ambitious professional.

            it’s the string that ties mendicancy (always needing apology and hand-outs), wanting to leave, eduardo’s diskarte and always being on fb, your greed and corruption, affinity to fake news, etc. etc.

            It’s unchecked Envy, chemp. too much Christianity. too much alcohol. They’ve essentially killed God, chemp. The Philippines is the ultimate Nietzschean example of what’s wrong.

            On the flipside, he’s outlined the perfect medicine.

            “For Nietzsche, the 19th century was reeling under the impact of two developments: Mass Democracy and Atheism. The first threatened to unleash torrents of undigested envy and venomous resentment; the second to leave humans without guidance or morality.

            In relation to both challenges, Nietzsche worked up some fascinating and practical solutions – from which our own times have some highly practical things to learn, as he would dearly have wished.”

            • chemrock says:

              I still can’t see why ‘envy’ is the basal cause.
              I’ll try to read up a bit more on this.

              • If we accept eduardo’s “impunity” as the driving ethos for Philippine behaviors, which I agree is certainly feasible given that it even extends to road rights of way claimed by the ordinary driver if he is willing to take that right of way from anyone else, operating under a certain sense that guilt only comes with an accident or getting caught (rare). Envy (and attached subliminal anger) is the flip side of impunity, and arises whenever someone stronger takes the right of way and the loser feels he was abused. This is consistent with the crab culture (the plight of the disadvantaged) and the envy angers directed at good politicians if they should happen to make what is perceived as a mistake. So it is an aspect of the emotionalism of interactions which are . . . well . . . damaged.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                1. There are 2 distinct situations:

                1.1. S1: Not wearing a seatbelt (Eduardo’s example)
                1.2. S2: Losing right of way (Joe Am’s example)

                2. Definitions:

                2.1. Impunity is “exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action.”

                2.2. Envy is “a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.”

                3. Assuming all things are equal and that there are no special circumstances:

                3.1. In S1, there is impunity but no envy.

                3.1.1. The predominant thoughts would be:

                o “I am a safe driver.”
                o “Nothing will happen to me.”
                o Or there is no thought of personal safety at all.

                3.1.2. There is no thought of, “I am not wearing a seat belt because I am envious of Eduardo’s freedom and luck.” (Eduardo is one who disdains to wear a seat belt.) This thought is possible but it would fall under special circumstances.

                3.2. In S2, speaking of the driver who thinks he has right of way but loses it, the primary emotion would be anger.

                3.2.1. The predominant thoughts would be:

                o “PI! I have right of way, but that SOB stole it.”
                o “Ma-karma ka sana. May araw ka din.”

                3.2.2. Impunity – or rather the lack of it — enters into the picture in the last expressed sentiment.

                3.2.3. I doubt that envy enters into the picture unless there is a special circumstance. In a dog-eat-dog world, envy may be a secondary motivator but dominance, as a matter of Darwinian survival, would be primary. As a secondary motivator, envy would generally fall under special circumstances.
                *****

              • Makes good sense. Impunity rules!

              • Joe’s tracking Nietzsche, chemp. That’s about right. But I’m going further in saying that impunity comes from envy, the result of it.

                1. Own up to envy

                Envy is – Nietzsche recognised – a big part of life. Yet we’re generally taught to be feel ashamed of of our envious feelings. They seem an indication of evil. So we hide them from ourselves and others, so much so that there are people who will sometimes say, with all sincerity, that they don’t envy anyone.

                This is logically impossible, insisted Nietzsche, especially if we live in the modern world (which he defined as any time after the French Revolution). Mass democracy and the end of the old feudal-aristocratic age had, in Nietzsche’s eyes, created a perfect breeding ground for envious feelings, because everyone was now encouraged to feel that they were equal to everyone else. In feudal times, it would never have occurred to the serf to feel envious of the prince. But now everyone compared themselves to everyone else and was exposed to a volatile mixture of ambition and inadequacy as a result.

                However, there is nothing wrong with envy, maintained the philosopher. What matters is how we handle it. Greatness comes from being able to learn from our envious crises. Nietzsche thought of envy as a confused but important signal from our deeper selves about what we really want. Everything that makes us envious is a fragment of our true potential, which we disown at our peril. We should learn to study our envy forensically, keeping a diary of envious moments, and then sift through episodes to discern the shape of a future, better self.

                The envy we don’t own up to will otherwise end up emitting what Nietzsche called ‘sulfurous odours.’ Bitterness is envy that doesn’t understand itself. It is not that Nietzsche believed we always end up getting what we want (his own life had taught him this well enough). He simply insisted that we must become conscious of our true potential, put up a heroic fight to honour it, and only then mourn failure with solemn frankness and dignified honesty.

                So for me, chemp, envy is more abstract overarching, and jealousy more personal; resentment a product of envy/jealousy can be both general and personal.

                It’s all about harnessing it is Nietzsche’s point. How to exactly, I’m not so sure, but regarding envy some socieities like say the Arabs and folks in the Mideast , they recognize it (waaaay before Nietzsche wrote about ) and already established traditional counters,

                they call it the Evil Eye over there, and the reason why they hide their women, their homes from sight, feign piety, etc. etc. but if you ask me you’re merely hiding from it. though i suppose it does its job. Nietzsche called for ‘owning up to it’.

                We I think come closest, closer compared to Europeans.

                Here in the U.S. we deal with it not by envying say folks like Trump , but thinking, nay believing that it’s up to us to become like him or simply be as wealthy as him, or die striving for , towards that which we envy.

                Steinbeck recognized it awhile back as well, but he describes it here as delusion, whereas I (as chemp’s doing in the blog) am identifying it as the American ‘ethos’.

                So Americans I think are closer to Nietzsche’s 4-fold problem/solution, while 2-3 somewhat weak in this regard.

                In the Philippines because 2-3 are really strong, that is 2. Christianity/ 3. Alcohol , it amplifies 1. Envy. positive loop cycle.

              • Nietzsche is a hard act to follow.. one should not forget that he died totally crazy, and that Hitler/Nazis made a monstrosity of his idea of the superior person following master morality..

                one also wonders how much Nietzsche is in Ayn Rand, and how much Ayn Rand is in neoliberalism.. yes slave morality in its extreme is mendicant, but master morality in its extreme lacks compassion.. and like Duterte, Nietzsche didn’t like Jesus dying on the cross.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                “There are no tyrants if there are no slaves.”

              • Does Nietzsche live up to his own philosophy? Certainly not, IMHO, he was weak feeble, enlisted in the military was kicked out for being sickly, hated the women-folk of his family (who’d care for him when he went nuts), idolized the idea of his father, in short, he was the exact opposite of what he wrote, Ireneo.

                Usually I ‘m a fan of their bios, especially Spinoza and Wittgenstein, now those two IMHO lived what they preached.

                Nietzsche, you have to read him as his alter ego , as Zarasthusra as his uberman knowing full well, he failed his goal or his imagination.

                But no I don’t think, if properly read, both his thoughts and his bio, he was a monster, no he was not; he was the opposite, like Spinoza a gentle giant of thought, but oh what big thoughts they were.

                So subtract the man from his thoughts , but know he strove to be great, and contemplate only his slave and master morality, that he wished for all to be masters (or ubermen) , that wish IMHO is where lies his compassion towards men, Ireneo.

                The realization of Envy as something not to be ashamed of, that’s the first step. It is also the beginning of diagnosis of the problem.

                I’m not a fan of Rand, she’s misses the point of Nietzsche. But I also understand how Nietszche could be mis-read.

              • “2.2. Envy is “a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.”

                That’s more personal, edgar, hence my distinction between envy and jealousy.

                Envy (and its secondaries bitterness and resentment, which Nietzsche names) is more a state of mind, related or resulting from that state of being a slave— of always answering to someone/something higher other than one’s self.

                Nietzsche uses envy specifically that is as related to /result of being a slave or having slave morality. In connection to his philosophy.

                Let me pin down the definition as per Nietzsche’s use,

                but Joe’s example is something close, but I think if we start thinking of say an expensive up-armored SUV (either a drug lord’s or a praise the lord typa crook) he takes that right of way from other lesser drivers, it’s not just about road rules, or driving,

                it’s something wider and encompassing. Predominant thoughts after would be , I’m gonna git mine too! (connotation, Let’s all partake!)

              • ” I’m gonna git mine too! (connotation, Let’s all partake!)” Exactly!

                The sentiment is that the rich (the yellows, the educated, the English-speakers) always got too much, now it’s the non-English-speaking, brown-skinned, flat-nosed’s (c) MRP turn..

                “and if the gangsta bosses (Digong, Pacquiao, Revilla etc.) are the first in the ghetto to get some, that’s OK, it’s gonna reach us other niggers too, quicker than via Korina Roxas” (this is just to illustrate the logic behind so many and why they vote crooks, thinking it helps.

              • @Edgar: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/what-is-destroyed/

                “as long as we see our countrymen feel privately ashamed, hearing the growl of their rebelling and protesting conscience, while in public they keep silent and even join the oppressor in mocking the oppressed; as long as we see them wrapping themselves up in their selfishness and praising with forced smiles the most despicable acts, begging with their eyes for a share of the booty, why give them independence?”…”if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow”.

                “Begging with their eyes for a share of the booty..” Q.E.D. re envy, even in Rizal’s Fili, though Rizal termed it “vanity”, as in the Philippines it is about showing off status, usually.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                In the master/slave relationship, envy might be one variable. However, it may not even enter the picture.

                There are many slaves who are happy to be slaves, who do not yearn for freedom.

                Some slaves will also wish for others not to have it. As Rizal notes, they “…join the oppressor in mocking the oppressed.”

                My original Rizal quote shows the inherent contradiction in master morality. Master morality presupposes the existence of slave morality. Thus, to paraphrase, “there can be no masters where there are no slaves.”

                Your Rizal quote — “if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow” — describes one of his fears and one possibility. This is the possibility when envy is the dominant variable.

                In contrast, in my quote, the dominant variable is equality.

                Envy is not necessarily the root of the yearning for freedom. It is not “I want to be like my master.” It may simply be “I want to be free to pursue my own happiness.” And “I recognize that all have the same inherent right beyond the master/slave paradigm.” This is the American concept of equality.

                ***

                It is uncertain whether Nietzsche advocated master morality. It is uncertain whether his thoughts on the matter were prescriptive or simply descriptive. He was intelligent enough to see the inherent contradiction.

                From Wikipedia: “‘Slave morality’ comes about as a reaction to master-morality. Here, value emerges from the contrast between good and evil: good being associated with other-worldliness, charity, piety, restraint, meekness, and submission; and evil seen as worldly, cruel, selfish, wealthy, and aggressive. Nietzsche sees slave morality as pessimistic and fearful, values for them serving only to ease the existence for those who suffer from the very same thing. He associates slave-morality with the Jewish and Christian traditions, in a way that slave-morality is born out of the ressentiment of slaves. Nietzsche argued that the idea of equality allowed slaves to overcome their own condition without hating themselves. And by denying the inherent inequality of people (such as success, strength, beauty or intelligence), slaves acquired a method of escape, namely by generating new values on the basis of rejecting something that was seen as a perceived source of frustration. It was used to overcome the slave’s own sense of inferiority before the (better-off) masters. It does so by making out slave weakness to be a matter of choice, by, e.g., relabeling it as “meekness”. The “good man” of master morality is precisely the “evil man” of slave morality, while the “bad man” is recast as the “good man”. [Bolding mine.]
                *****

              • ” It may simply be “I want to be free to pursue my own happiness.”

                EXACTLY, edgar! That is what they Envy , the nobility of it all. His solution, you be noble too! By…

                1. Owning up to your Envy

                2. disavowing Christianity (prevents you from actuating 1. )

                3. no Alcohol (or shabu, or Tanduay , self explanatory )

                4. recognizing (not celebrating) that God is in fact dead (move on! )

                Become Uber-man!!! (not of the ride sharing variety, but Noble, over-man)

              • “quicker than via Korina Roxas” Agreed. Without having to be slapped and kicked and get things thrown at you by her too, Ireneo. 😉

              • “He associates slave-morality with the Jewish and Christian traditions, in a way that slave-morality is born out of the ressentiment of slaves. “ edgar, as explained in that initial link I posted, his views are summed as,

                in the Christian value system,

                sexlessness turned into ‘purity’,

                weakness became “goodness,”

                submission to people one hated “obedience” and,

                in Nietzsche’s phrase,

                “not-being-able-to-take-revenge” turned into “forgiveness.”

                Judeo-Christian traditions do espouse mainly the above, as compared to Greco-Roman, the beauty is the West is of both Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman , whereas the Philippines

                got the brunt of Judeo-Christian traditions without the traditions of actual Jews.

              • chemrock says:

                Thanks guys, a very delicious thread. I’m out of my depth, but I’ll try to catch up.

                On impunity – it’s a bit difficult to follow what’s said here. Without reference to wikipedia or other renowned writers — just off my head. I think impunity is a propensity to act in a wayward manner just because the person felt entitled (that people ought to defer to his lofty position, such as Jun Jun Binay and the condominium incident, or wang-wangs), or that he is rich and powerful enough to get away with it (the guy with the gun), of the person at the receiving end of his actions are nobodies who don’t deserve anything, or that such actions however unlawful, unethical, immoral, is what everybody is doing.

                Envy and jealousy is difficult to differentiate. Both are negative emotions. ‘Envy’ is one of the Biblical deadly sins. But the Bible seems at times to use envy and jealousy interchangeably..

                Psychologists I think has a better way of differentiating envy and jealousy :
                – Envy occurs when we lack a desired attribute enjoyed by another.
                – Jealousy occurs when something we already possess (usually a special relationship) is threatened by a third person.

                So jealousy arises out of a protective disposition. There is a possitivity to it.

                Envy, on the other hand, is purely negative. Thus the Bible is wisely correct. I like Lance’s position — that envy is natural to all, let’s own it, acknowledge it, but overcome it and turn it into a positive motivator. Eg I envy my neighbour;s promotion to a manager — so I work hard in my own career, setting him up as my model. Never to let ‘envy’ turn into hate for the neighbour.

                So envy is actually neutral — only don’t turn envious, that’s bad. Unfortunately, in Philippines, envy drives the crab mentality. I’m still struggling to see how envy leads to impunity, as per Lance.

                As I understand it, Nietzsche’s view on ‘envy’ is from a the ‘slave-master’ world view. Rather restrictive if I may say so.

                @ Irineo
                ((” I’m gonna git mine too! (connotation, Let’s all partake!)” Exactly!

                The sentiment is that the rich (the yellows, the educated, the English-speakers) always got too much, now it’s the non-English-speaking, brown-skinned, flat-nosed’s (c) MRP turn..

                “and if the gangsta bosses (Digong, Pacquiao, Revilla etc.) are the first in the ghetto to get some, that’s OK, it’s gonna reach us other niggers too, quicker than via Korina Roxas” (this is just to illustrate the logic behind so many and why they vote crooks, thinking it helps.))

                BULLS-EYE. I think that’s the ethos of the barangays.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                The two driver scenarios I presented were at the individual level. I did not find much of envy.

                At the barangay level, the individual level is raised to the social level. As such, other factors come into play. Admittedly, envy is one such factor.

                Envy, as defined, is the longing for something somebody has. It is longing for the same thing. If the longing is for something grander, it becomes more than envy. It becomes greed. And there is an element of domination.

                Envy is keeping up with the Joneses. Surpassing the Joneses is domination.

                And in speaking of envy, one is only looking at the bottom half. Well, more than half.

                What are the motivating forces of the upper half? The barangay, municipal, provincial, and national officials? I would say the primary motivators are greed, status, and domination, which is power.

                To obtain and maintain the fruits of these three motivations, people act out of self-interest, which is expediency. Not only that. People are being robbed and killed… with impunity.

                Not to be too negative, we must also admit and consider altruistic motives.
                *****

              • Envy is strong at the family level, as we can see from bitter breaking apart of families over property divisions after a parent has died.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Aha, thanks. Envy would be mixed with greed and, for the losers, a sense of injustice.
                *****

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Continuation of “Not to be too negative…”

                Rare though it may be, there is:

                o The desire to uplift (Leni’s “Angat buhay”)
                o The desire to render service (PNoy’s “Kayo ang boss ko.”)
                o The desire to transform (Cory’s “There is much that women can bring into politics that would make our world a kinder, gentler place for humanity to thrive in.”)
                o The desire for self-determination (Quezon’s “I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans.”)
                *****

              • So true, Joe. I know most lawyers over there tend to be generalists, but the best practice there based on your Envy observation would be real estate/probate law. It’s nuts how prevalent this is in the Philippines, Joe!

                It’s like dying, no one plans for it apparently over there.

              • Wills are not common here because it is considered bad luck, like predicting you are going to die soon. And so they fight . . .

              • I’m sure the cost too would be a deterrent.

                I take it Life insurance full or term is out of the picture then. I’m wondering now if annuities, essentially you’re betting the insurance company that you’re not gonna die, not for a long time (as oppose to life insurance, you’re gonna die soon) would be marketable there.

                The other folks gaining from all this , aside from lawyers over there, is the Catholic church, ie. screw my family I’m leaving my property to the Church!

  7. Micha says:

    Chempo,
    Do you think a drug user is a criminal?

    • chemrock says:

      Everyone is a drug user, at one time or another.
      I guess you are referring to drug addicts.
      Consumption of specific drugs is a crime in only so much as the laws of the particular country states categorically so. Where the law is silent, the legal truth is it is not a crime.
      We are all aware that addiction breeds crime as the addicts seek resources to satisfy their cravings. But that is not the same as saying drug addicts are criminals.

      • chemrock says:

        Addendum :

        You question probably leads to the moral issue of culpability under the influence of drugs. And so too addition to alchohol, sex, gambling, etc.

        When a criminal act has been committed whilst the addict was under the influence of whatever their addiction was, is their culpability any lesser than a sober person?

        I don’t have the faintest idea. Hope Caliphman is around to throw some light. My common sense tells me the answer is NO. Where then is justice if one assumes no responsibility for whatever they do by their addiction.

      • Micha says:

        Well of course I’m referring to shabu users and cocaine users and LSD users etc. How else would you deduce it in the context of this post?

        Obfuscation aside, one can be held criminally liable when caught in both possession and use of so-called illegal drugs under current philippine law. So my next question would be, would you support or be in favor of a legislation that would decriminalize if not the trafficking at least the use of so-called prohibited drugs such as cocaine shabu marijuana etc.?

        • chemrock says:

          As to your first question, one needs to be specific, this being all about Truth.

          As to the 2nd question — trafficking of course must never be decriminalised. Usage of so-called prohibited drugs, as I understand it, is a current topic in many jurisdictions contending whether to, or not to, decriminalise. Call me a prude, but I don’t support decriminalising use of prohibited drugs. To me, it is a bleeding heart approach to succumb to human weakness. Don’t eat that Apple, why can’t they accept that?

          • Micha says:

            The truth of the matter is it is only the state that arbitrarily declares a particular substance illegal. It’s not something that came out from natural law or, for that matter, law of nature like gravity and thermodynamics. It is no different from back then when the state declared alcohol and cigarettes illegal. Now most state governments know better than criminalizing those substances if only for the fact that doing so also deprived the Italian and Irish mafia of gangster revenue.

            Nonetheless such arbitrary declaration has apparent enforceability of law because state agents have sticks and stones to break your bones if you disobey, not necessarily because it has the veneer of being sound and just. So it is with marijuana, shabu, cocaine, etc.

            Cry if you will about the injustice of it but Duterte, acting on behalf of the state, has the backing of existing Philippine law in waging his drug war. That’s the oxygen the feed his bloodlust. In most cases killing by the state is justified. Anyone who support the state declaration of criminalizing drugs are tacitly complicit in that war.

            • Laws are in place that require police to apply restraint and not use excessive force. The targets are usually poor and have no recourse to lawyers to seek justice. Nor are there functioning public attorney services available as the PAO is busy seeking a political penalty against the Aquino administration for the dengvaxia vaccine usage. Executive has refused to turn over case files of police killings to the Commission on Human Rights. No legislator is willing to challenge the President. So I think the law framework to prevent killings is in place, but what is missing is the governmental, social, and political will to represent the poor. That is why they are disenfranchised, I suppose. The State cares not a whit for due process.

            • chemrock says:

              In governance, the executive agencies often loosely use the word ‘war’ when they want to implement a program to rid the country of whatever scourge they are facing. such as war against mosquitoes, war against ignorance, war against hunger.

              A dimwitted man misuse the term war against drugs to mean killing. In any case, a war against drug has relevance in it’s violent sense only in places like Columbia and Mexico where the drug cartels have better arms than the police. They have a real war there. Let’s quit using the term drug war here. There is no war. It’s a one-side cleansing exercise.

              Bato went to Columbia, but came back learning nothing. I’ll be writing a blog on this, on great lessons that he missed.

              “… the state that arbitrarily declares a particular substance illegal.”
              This in my opinion, needs to be tempered. There are obviously lots of scientific, medical, sociological, etc studies before such decisions are made.

              • Micha says:

                “In governance, the executive agencies often loosely use the word ‘war’ when they want to implement a program to rid the country of whatever scourge they are facing. such as war against mosquitoes, war against ignorance, war against hunger.”

                Bullshit. Stop trivializing the more serious business of war that the state is capable of waging. The war against communist insurgency, Muslim separatists in Mindanao and the war on drugs have real blood casualties. If you think the killings that’s been going on in all fronts can just be condemned from your moral rooftops as universally wrong, think again.

              • chemrock says:

                Muslim separatists, communist insurgency — those are the real wars. You can’t insert something I never claimed into the argument.

                If you consider a night operation that goes like this — info media, turn off CCTV, break flimsy doors and rouse residents from sleep — men, boys, women, kids and babies — men stay where you are, others all out, then shoot at close range, put incriminating weapons by the side of bodies (yeah, the gun with the same serial number used in numerous other shootings, most people are too dumb to know about this) — then feast on what they can find in the kitchen — if that is war for you, than I’m sorry my moral roof is collapsing.

              • Micha says:

                Chempo you cannot define for the state what it intends to do, is capable of doing, and has already in fact done. You may not agree that the drug war is a real war but that is how Duterte, who captured state power and is using state resources and personnel to wage his war defines it. He has identified the enemy and has stated categorically that he and his state agents will hunt them down. He will do so according to him to protect the interest of the country. “Wag nyong sirain ang kinabukasan ng bansa” is how he frames it.

                That the casualty count had so far been ovewhelminglly one sided doesn’t make it less of a war according to your definition.

              • chemrock says:

                State has no right to massacre people awoken from their sleep.
                Arrest, prosecute, shoot in self-defence, yes.
                Slaughter, Massacre, NO.

              • Micha says:

                As far as the state is concerned those are not just ordinary people, those are enemies of the nation that deserve to be annihilated, no different from members of underground communist party. And you unwittingly help perpetuate that narrative because you support the proposition in the current law that use and possession of certain substances are deemed unlawful.

              • chemrock says:

                So if you deem shabu not unlawful, the problem goes away? First , you need to get past Duterte. Is that OK for him.

                I hold the view dealing is unlawful. As to consumption, it’s up to the law of the land. If it’s unlawful in Philippines, then I say it’s unlawful. But I don;t hold the view that because it’s unlawful, go ahead and pulverise them. I guess that’s clear as day. Why are we going around the mulberry bush?

              • It seems that Micha’s argument is that drugs are illegal, so the State is justified in using extreme force, but if you make drugs legal, there is no need to use force. By supporting the illegality of drugs, you are supporting the drug war. It’s nonsense to me. Excessive use of force is more illegal than drugs; it is murder. It is proper to hold that drugs should be illegal, as they are in most nations, as well as not support an illegal drug war. I’m not sure what the name for Micha’s fallacy is. False choice or something like that.

              • This was my old argument, Joe.

                DU30 did not mince words, he described in full detail what he was gonna do, that he was gonna kill the corrupt and the druggies.

                Filipinos weren’t tricked, they knew their choice very well. And made it.

                DU30 thus represents the wish of the people, the State.

                I agree which Micha, that DU30 is simply carrying out the people’s wish.

                Whether that’s wrong or not, bad or good, that’s for another discussion.

              • That’s fair enough. It may be Secretary Locsin’s take as well.

              • http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/what-is-destroyed/ says Simoun to Basilio in Rizal’s El Filibusterismo – “Evil, suffering, miserable weeds that will be replaced by healthy grain. I would call it creation, production, giving life” to justify killing..

                I wonder how much Nietzschean Simoun is, or whether Rizal read Nietzsche, or whether that kind of thinking was just current in Europe of that time. Raskolnikov, the crazy student in Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, also believes that there are two kinds of morality – that of leaders like Julius Caesar, who make their own, and that of ordinary people who follow the flock. How do you draw the line and where does always just wanting good create evil, which is BTW the motto of Mephistopheles (the devil himself) in Goethe’s Faust?

              • “It is believed that Nietzsche lost his sanity, with one particular event in 1889 often highlighted as the definitive moment of his mental collapse.

                The story goes that on the morning of January 3, 1889, while Nietzсche was taking a long walk through the city streets, he saw a horse being whipped by its owner. The merchant apparently had difficulty getting his the stubborn horse to move, so in frustration began to flog the animal. Distraught at the sight, Nietzsche rushed toward him in a flight of rage, threw his arms around the horse’s neck in order to defend it from the vicious blows, only to break into tears and collapse to the ground right after.

                Nearly arrested for this unexpected outburst, the philosopher was quickly ushered away by his friend and landlord, David Fino, who took him home. He spent the next two days on a couch in a complete vegetative state. “

                Let’s say for the sake of making analogies,

                Joe is Nietzsche ; and his beloved Philippines is that dead horse. 😉

              • That is about right. Also interesting that today’s blog article will be about retaining sanity in a world of horse floggers.

              • Also interesting that my horse is incredibly stubborn.

        • I guess you are the Socrates of the blog thread, asking the questions, each a trap if others don’t answer to your liking. I think it is a form of fallacious arguing, but I’m not inclined to look it up to confirm that. I just suggest you make your own statement, in a positive manner, and then people can react to you. It is also much more efficient.

  8. Athena says:

    Love your essay … so many truths in there. It reminded me of Francis Schaeffer’s How Should We Then Live? which traced the arc of Western history by looking at its philosophical and cultural moorings. In it he said “If we as Christians do not speak out as authoritarian governments grow from within or come from outside, eventually we or our children will be the enemy of society and state. No truly authoritarian government can tolerate those who have a real absolute by which to judge its arbitrary absolutes and who speak out and act upon that absolute.”

    • chemrock says:

      Thank you Athena.
      We are western-influenced and I must admit the article is purely through western perspectives. I tried looking a an eastern perspective in vain.
      I don’t really know Francis Schaeffer, but a quick search search describes him as a Christian apologetic with a presuppositional inclination. Thus his sense of real absolutes being under assault by authoritarian regimes. But in that he is absolutely right. His concern is a historical fact that keeps repeating itself.

  9. Mac McCarty says:

    Excellent as usual…just entering comment to refresh my “Notify me of new posts via email” box. Stopped getting notifications for some reason.

  10. sonny says:

    1 simply 1 all-around. Thank you, chempo.

    Alexander only had the sword to untie the cart. Perhaps the knot contained the story of the cart’s purpose.

    • sonny says:

      I especially like the discourse on the layers of world civilization: Confucian, Judaeo-Christian, Greco-Roman, Eastern, Indigenous (c. also to edgar & Irineo); I call this the 3-dimensional yin-yang of humanity.

      Special mention to the image of God and the infinite manifestations of his universe. An answer to the question why so: He saw that it was good and in childlike delight he said “let’s do it again!”

    • chemrock says:

      hahah Sonny. You are laughing at my nimble fingers on the gordian knot that has the Philippines warped.

  11. “What is the dominant ethos in the land? For me, I think it is still impunity”
    To add a little more fuel to this point I would say this much: in my study of the Tagalog language I have not been able to find two distinct words that convey in a nuanced way the difference between FAITHFUL and LOYAL. The only word available to convey both ideas seems to be “TAPAT”. Here in Western Europe there are countries where Filipinos live where rules are strict and Filipinos FAITHFULLY observe them (Filipinos who live in Germany fasten their seat belts and abide by other traffic laws). In parts of Southern Europe where there is a widespread atmosphere of impunity, and drivers ignore traffic rules for example, Filipinos follow suit thereby proving that they are only FAITHFUL and not LOYAL (in the sense of abiding by the law regardless of whether there is impunity or not). The fact that Tagalog doesn’t have a word for LOYAL is quite telling….

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Good insight, Eduardo.

      Yes, Filipinos are faithful to their Faiths but are not loyal to the precepts.

      As has been discussed here, the teachings have not been internalized. The faithfulness is pure mimesis.
      *****

    • chemrock says:

      Hi Eduardo
      Visited your site. Interesting contents. Like your thoughts about giving, even when we are down and out. Coincidentally I had a late nite snack with my younger brother and we were talking about the joys of giving, and reminiscing the ocassions in the past when money was scarce and we dug in and giveth. We were talking about people who are successful and had plenty but has no charity, of whom we know quite a few.

  12. karlgarcia says:

    As much as I would not want to accuse the 16 million of being heartless and brain dead beings. the lack of outrage from Duterte’s words and deeds is very appalling.

    Since this blog is not about calling to action, maybe asking people to vote for all the opposition candidates would not be asking for too much.

  13. caliphman says:

    Chem, I drop by here on occasion once in a while and perused quickly through your thought provoking blog and the sundry stirring comments it elicited from TSOH’s cast of deeply cerebral contributors. One would almost need an entire encyclopedia to cover adequately the range of issues from Filipino sociomoral failings, philosophical and common notions of truth, ethics, justice, lawfullness, criminality, and what is right and wrong raised in your presentation and the comments.
    I am no Britannica but let me just say that criminality is a very obscure and fleeting concept. That concept being mainly defined by constitutional, legislated and statutory laws which may not necessarily be moral or just because social values differ over time and from state to state. But to engage in criminal conduct as defined by such laws whether be it drug related or in meeting out its legally prescribed punishment should not be confused with what should be considered criminal by law or not. Otherwise, one may end up embroiled in a logical if not just linguistic Babel. But then again, that sometimes is the nature of blog discussions.

    • chemrock says:

      Thanks Caliphman for that clarity.
      “…laws… may not necessarily be moral or just because social values differ over time and from state to state…”
      “… to engage in criminal conduct as defined by such laws …. should not be confused with what should be considered criminal by law or not.”

  14. LCPL_X: “Without having to be slapped and kicked and get things thrown at you by her”..

    is the choice really that or Dirty D’s finger? 😦

  15. madlanglupa says:

    > Filipism is a belief system that the path to law and order is found by slaughtering drug dealers, users and innocents and totally subverting the criminal justice system, that defeatism and proffering economic opportunities to a strong intruder is the best foreign policy, that sexism and profanity are nouveau virtues, that ethical and moral decadence has its rewards.

    One said that this regression to medievalism came after a long time that some are convinced that Western democracy is useless, in that they feel it would be preferable to reestablish virtual forms of feudalism and monarchism, to be ruled over by one rather than “by the people”; some OFWs from the Middle East insisting on Facebook that despots take Arabic and Singaporean forms of punishment and adapt it to this country as a means of imposing discipline and control.

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