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Name: Vicua, Christian Vincent E.

Section: TFD 1

THE PHILOSOPHY IN ME

Making judgments on different things has always been a challenging task for me to do. It

took me a lot of experience and learning before I was able to judge different things the way I

could now. I believe that different people have their own standard of judgment on different

things depending on their views, culture, experiences, and the ethics of the society in which they

live in. Making judgments on certain things follows that we should have some sort of a reliable

basis before making such judgments because without such our judgments would become more

prone to criticisms, criticisms that could weaken the essence of our thoughts and arguments that

support our judgment. One thing I find difficult to do is to judge the morality of actions done by

different people from different places, different cultures, and from different times. Ever since I

was a kid, it has often been difficult for me to judge whether an action is to be considered right

or wrong. My first moral judgments were often based on the first things I learned from my

parents and from my early experiences as a kid. Growing up became an interesting journey for

me since I was able to learn many different things which contributed a lot in all the judgments

that I have made.

Ever since I was a kid, I was raised in what I usually call as the traditional way in which

parents would usually bear a lot of attention on the familys religious aspect especially when it

comes to the judging the morality of things. Having been raised in this kind of way somewhat

made me develop a way of life wherein God was considered as the ultimate source of everything

and we should not do anything against His will. But as time passed, I was able to develop a
unique way of life, a way of life where I am able to make my own decisions and act on them. I

was able to develop a considerable sense of independence wherein I am able to make my own

decisions and moral judgments on the basis of my own set of ethics. Growing up also became a

challenge for me since as I grew older, and so did the challenges I continually face got harder. It

took time before I was able to define a considerable set of ethics with which I could live by.

One thing which I thought had influenced a lot in my development of ethics was religion,

like in my case, the Roman Catholic religion. Growing up as a Catholic has affected my life in

almost all its aspects especially when it comes to morality. Ever since I was a kid, I was taught

to live a moral life which was in line with the ethics of the Roman Catholic religion. My early

moral judgments were often based on the things that I have learned from the Roman Catholic

religion. Although the moral principles of the Roman Catholic religion can be considered by

most of us Catholics as a reliable basis for our moral judgments, we still can never make use of

the same principles in judging the morality of the actions done by people who belong to a

different religion or culture. This is because people from different groups and cultures have their

own set of ethics and therefore we cannot completely judge the morality of their actions based

on our own set of ethics. We must always remember that the morality of a group is based on the

set of taboos and prescriptions that they have in their folkways by which they live with. It is also

possible that even if a person is a member of a particular group who has its own set of ethics, he

or she has his or her own set of ethics with which she lives by. I believe that different people

regardless of the group they belong to have their own set of ethics. In addition, we live in an

ethically pluralist society wherein there is no single code of ethics but only different values,

folkways, and rules. This is the reason why different people have their own set of ethical

priorities regardless of the group or culture in which they belong to.


The movie The Crime of Padre Amaro has given me a lot of confusing queries,

especially when it comes to the relation of religion to ethics. Having watched the movie, I was

made aware of the prominent conflict between desire and obedience. There were many instances

in the movie when the desire of one seemed to have gone over obedience and vice versa. There

were also many instances in the movie where the people seemed to move away from their

groups traditional ethics and chose to live by their own set of ethics. This is illustrated by

Father Amaro when he moved to Los Reyes in order to start his life serving the church. Having

known Amelia, everything changed. It was like as if Amelia gave Father Amaro a new set of

ethics. This was because ever since Father Amaro became infatuated to Amelia, Father Amaro

had somewhat changed his outlook in life. They were also some who held strongly to their

ethics. This was illustrated by Ruben who was not a believer of the Catholic religion. Like in

the early parts of the movie, Ruben and Amelia were already in the verge of contemplating to

marriage. However, one thing which became a problem between the two of them was the fact

that Amelia was a Catholic and Ruben was not. This often caused a lot of misunderstandings

between Amelia and Ruben which eventually led to Amelia dumping Ruben. This showed that

Ruben held strongly to his ethics by not giving in completely to Amelias Catholic beliefs.

In the movie, we have seen Father Benito leading the construction of a large hospital in

their area. This hospital was funded by a drug lord and was meant to serve the people living in

their area. We can then infer that Father Benitos intention is morally right since his project

would lead to the benefit of the greater number of people in their area. But the fact that his

project was supported by a drug lord seemed note Father Benitos project was indeed partially

supported by a drug lord. We can then infer that these funds came from an illegal source since
these funds were basically the profits that the drug lord gained from selling drugs to his different

clients.

The next thing which I found questionable in the movie was about the priests use of

power. In my opinion, such usage of power seemed absurd. The priests are the ones who are

supposed to be models of the moral principles of the Catholic religion but what happened in the

movie was that they were even the ones who were moving away from what is referred to as the

ethics of the Catholic religion. This was illustrated by the bishop, Father Amaro and Father

Benito. The bishop exhibited this absurd use of power by his ruthless and political use of power

and thereby becoming immoral in the basis of the ethics of the Catholic religion. Father Benito,

on the other hand, exhibited this as he had an affair with a restaurant owner. He and his mistress

even had a daughter who was Amelia herself. This absurd use of power was also shown by

Padre Amaro when he wrote a letter of denial about the issue about Father Benito and the drug

lord. Another is when Father Amaro spread a false story about the death of Amelia wherein

instead of him to be blamed for impregnating Amelia, it was Ruben that was accused of such

crime. The news that spread made the people blame Ruben and praise Father Amaro for what

was spread as a heroic act. In my opinion, I believe that using power as a means to justify the

morality of ones action is very illogical. Justice or righteousness must not be viewed as

something that has to be viewed with reference to the demands of the stronger party in society.

It is better to abide by the demands of the greater number of people following that their demands

would also constitute to the societys greater benefit. We must always remember that it is ideal

to look at the purpose or goal in doing something so that we would be aware of the possible

moral benefits that it could yield.


Another thing which I find questionable in the movie is the fact that Father Amaro was

having a sexual affair with Amelia. I believe that this is to be considered as completely immoral

for this is against the ethics of the Catholic religion in which Amelia and Amaro believes in. I

could accept their sexual affair as moral if they were not under the Catholic religion but the fact

that they are believers of such make it reasonable for their action to be considered immoral.

One last thing which I found very questionable in the movie is about the concept of

abortion. When Amelia soon becomes pregnant with Father Amaros child, she tries to protect

Amaro by trying to convince Ruben to take her with him in his hometown. But unfortunately,

Ruben tells Amelia that his love for her had already ended and therefore Amelia was still not

able to escape the town and protect Father Amaro. Soon after, Father Amaro decided to abort

the baby with the help of an old lady in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, the operation

went wrong and Amelia died before Amaro was able to send her to a hospital in a large city. I

believe that Father Amaros decision to abort the baby is to be regarded as an immoral decision.

First of all, one of the purposes he had for aborting the baby was to protect himself. In my

opinion, this act of Father Amaro is to be considered immoral because his purpose for doing such

would not yield anything completely good and will just endanger the life of both Amelia and the

baby. If the town discovers that Father Amaro had indeed committed such crime, this would

affect his image as a priest and would cause the people to go against him. Another reason is that

since Father Amaro is a priest, he is supposed to be a model of the ethics of the Catholic religion.

But what happened was that he himself violated the Catholic religions ethics by deciding to

abort his and Amelias child. This is to be considered immoral in the basis of the Catholic

religions ethics since one of the Catholic religions teachings is that one must never kill. And

also, since abortion is disapproved by the stronger number of people in the town, Father Amaro
looked for a way so that if ever he would abort the baby he would not in any way get accused or

found guilty by the people in the town for doing such.

The second movie was entitled If These Walls Could Talk 2. It consisted of three

different stories about lesbian couples from three different periods of time. It tackled about the

issue of homosexuality in different societies including the struggle that homosexuals continue to

face in society.

Homosexuality is referred to as the romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual

behavior that exists between people who belong to the same sex. Homosexuality continues to

become a prominent issue in our society. Things like discrimination and equality in rights are

some of the most common issues that our societys homosexuals continue to face today. In the

basis of religion, specifically in the Christianity, homosexuality is said to be condemned in the

Bible since many passages from the old and new testaments speak against it, but we can never

tell since the Bible also has a lot of interpretations depending on different people. Also we can

never use the ethics we have in Christianity in judging the morality of homosexuals from

different groups especially those who are non-Christians. In my opinion, I believe that we

should still respect the homosexuals in our society. Not that I am against the ethics and

principles of Christianity but I believe that the homosexuals especially those who are non-

Christians should still be given equal rights with regards to the society in which they live in. I

believe that we will only have the right to judge homosexuals as immoral people only if they

belong to a group in which homosexuality is against their ethics. As John Stuart Mill said,

actions are right as they tend to promote happiness, we should still respect the rights of the

homosexuals in our society and not discriminate them because it is in being homosexual that

they attain happiness and this also implies that it is morally good for them to be homosexuals in
the basis of their own ethics. As the self-fulfilling prophecy has said, the mind is a construct and

therefore we perceive our own reality and from this reality would come our key to our own

happiness. In the case of the homosexuals, what they perceive as reality is being homosexuals

and therefore it is what makes homosexuality morally right in the basis of John Stuart Mills

philosophy.

In the films first segment, Edith and Abby, an elderly couple, were living a happy life

together until Abby died from falling from a ladder. After Abbys death, Edith called Abbys

nephew Ted to tell him the news. Before Ted and his family arrived on Abbys house, Edith had

already removed all the traces that they were once a couple. From here I was able to know that

Edith knew that Abbys family does not recognize homosexual relationships and so she decides

to remove every trace that would show that she and Abby were indeed once a couple. When she

and Ted talked about the house, Ted tells Abby that he would let Edith stay in the house but she

would have to pay rent. Edith indirectly disagrees by telling Ted that Abby would have liked

Edith to stay in the house. Although Edith and Abby paid equally for the mortgage of the house,

Edith still has no legal right over the house and so Ted still disagrees and tells Edith that it would

be better if she would look for another house to live in. I believe that when it comes to

relationships between homosexuals, we should still respect them because we can never tell that

they are morally wrong since it is in being homosexuals that they gain more pleasure making

them morally right in the basis of Benthams Hedonic Calculus. The issue in the first segment is

that Ted does not recognize Abby and Edith as a morally accepted couple which is why he did

not allow Abby to stay in the house and told her to look for another place to stay. On the other

hand, we can never tell which persons judgment should be considered true and morally right

since again we live in an ethically pluralist society with different sets of values, rules, and
priorities. We need to understand also that as time goes on, then so as our ethics continue to

change.

In the films second segment, Linda and her three lesbian friends found a hard time since

they were a member of a feminist group who was against lesbian issues. When they came to a

lesbian bar they have never been before, Linda meets Amy, a butch woman who works on the

bar. After Lindas friends had left, Linda agreed to dance with Amy and Amy then gave Linda a

ride back to her home and they kissed. The story goes on with Amy getting embarrassed a

number of times before she and Linda ended up reconciling with each other again. On the basis

of the early principles about the moral good, I consider Linda and Amys relationship as morally

acceptable since towards the end of the story, Linda was able to prove that she has fight for her

and Abby. And so Linda was able to establish a set of ethics with which she could live by while

staying in a lesbian relationship with Amy.

The films last segment is about a lesbian couple who hopes to have a child by a sperm

donation from a gay couple. The lesbian couple was Kal and Fran. The gay couple agreed

provided that they would stay out of the babys life. Soon after, Kal decided that she never

wanted to know the father of the baby so they started to search for possible donors. When Kal

found out that Fran was ovulating, she immediately hurries to a donor company and after three

attempts of inseminating Fran, Fran became becomes pregnant. Kal and Fran shared worries in

whatever discrimination their child may experience but they believe that their love would be

enough. In my opinion, we cannot judge Kal and Frans child as morally unacceptable. Not

because the child has lesbian parents that others will discriminate him or her in the society. This

also leads me to my strong belief about love. I believe that love encompasses all things. It does
not follow any standard and therefore love should be free and not limited to the people of our

society, be it the homosexuals. Love moves in mysterious ways as they say, and so we can never

tell who or when a person will fall in love with someone regardless of gender or status in society.

This further leads me to the argument tackling about the morality of homosexuality. Using the

utilitarian approach, I can tell that homosexuality is moral since it would not yield anything

negative to the stability of our society.

Another philosophy that we could use to determine the morality of homosexuals is

Kants Formulations of the Categorical Imperative. This tells us that an action could only be

considered morally right when it follows that one acts on that maxim and at the same time is able

to will that it becomes a universal law. In the basis of this philosophy, we are made to realize

that homosexuality is considered to be immoral since not all people in the world accept the

existence of homosexuals and therefore it is not to be considered a universal law.

The third movie Osama tackles about the somewhat questionable brutal treatment of

the Taliban Muslims to their women. This leads me to the question Are Talibans immoral?.

Let us first examine the situation in Taliban countries. In Taliban countries, the Taliban

Muslims tend to be very cruel when it comes to their women. They deprive them from working,

going out the streets without any male as a companion, merrymaking, studying, and even from

services like medical and hospitalization services. If we are going to base our judgment on the

utilitarian approach, which tells that an action could be considered right if it yields the good for

the greatest number, we can therefore tell that the Talibans cruel treatment of women is immoral

since it yield a lot of negative effects to women who are believed to be the more dominant part of

the world society. Another approach that we could use is the humanitarian approach. Generally

speaking, humanitarianism is the ethic of kindness, sympathy, and benevolence that we render to
humans impartially in our world society. In the basis of humanitarianism, the Talibans cruel

treatment of women is to be considered immoral also since the Talibans do not ignore and

abolish the biased social views, racism, discrimination and prejudices in the process of accepting

fellow human beings in their society.

In the movie, Osamas mother and grandmother decided to disguise Osama as a boy so

that she would be able to get a job and support the poor family. As a boy, Osama was obliged to

attend military trainings and to learn about ablution. Although the only people who knew about

the secret identity of Osama was the milk vendor, a close friend of her deceased father and

Espandi, a local boy, Osama still felt that her hidden identity will soon be found out by the

Talibans. Her secret identity was soon discovered when she started to menstruate after not being

able to go down from the tree which the boys pushed her to climb. She was originally sentenced

with death by the Muslim court but since she was helpless, her life was spared because of an

older man who offered to marry her. This old man had three wives. Osama did not agree with

the offer and insisted that she be returned to her mother but she did not have any choice so the

old man took her to his home. The story ends with the old man conducting an ablution with

Osama. Having watched this movie made me feel very pitiful to the Muslim women of the

Taliban society. I felt an urge which was pushing me to do something to help liberate these

Muslim women from the unfair and brutal treatment that they are experiencing. But again, I am

not in the place to judge them since my ethical principles are far way different from the Talibans

own set of ethics. Even if we do everything to liberate these Muslim women from the hardship

that they are experiencing, we must still put in mind that the reason why these women are treated

in such way has still something to do with the Talibans ethics which leads me again to the

realization that the mind is only a construct and it is us who perceive our own reality and make
our own set of ethics with which we would live by. The only question that remains in my mind

now is How did the Talibans brutal treatment of their women become moral in their own set of

ethics?.