Hot Topic

Of the many highly divisive issues in the poll, I chose gay or lesbian relations because of the issue’s commonness and increasing relevance and also because I just want to share my own two cents.

I would count gay or lesbian relationships on its own along with potential implications like gay marriage as “neutral” because I reason that it is so by considering why it is neither “right” or “wrong”.

A few reasons why it isn’t wrong:

1.  First, one has the right to choose and be in a relationship with whom he or she wants to be with. Not allowing two people of the same sex to have a relationship is essentially the same as denying them an exercise in free will. 

2. There is an increasing number of studies proposing links between homosexuality and a number of genetic, hormonal and neuroanatomical factors resulting in it. These studies are worthy of consideration in spite of their potential weaknesses e.g. natural selection and the culture of the society in question.

3. Not allowing or tolerating gay or lesbian relations can be seen as being discriminatory towards them, especially when under normal circumstances a relationship between two gays or lesbians is virtually identical to a normal heterosexual couple. 

It can be said that gay or lesbian relations are not right as well because:

1. Many religions consider homosexual relations as a sin. Many people of faith disagree with these kinds of relations because of this and they have every right to do so.

2. They run contrary to the “natural law” from a Catholic standpoint. After all, only a male and female union can result in procreation, “closing the sexual act to the gift of life”.

3. It can undermine the nature and institution of marriage. If gay relations lead to this and if it were to be legalized, people are more liable to, in a nutshell, take marriage less seriously.

With regard to there being situations when the action doesn’t need to be considered bad or sinful, I believe that the act itself is sinful based on Catholic principles but not “bad” or morally wrong in itself. Personally, I feel that if two gays or lesbians were in a relationship characterized by mutual trust and understanding, then by no means should it be considered morally wrong.

Based on my standpoint on only this issue, I am most probably a moral relativist. I’m most concerned with the circumstances of the relationship and the people involved rather than considering the nature of the act itself. I’m still quite capable of being evaluativist, though, especially in other issues such as adultery or killing another human being.

Scenario: If I was giving a pep talk to a friend in a gay or lesbian relationship or thinking of getting into one:

Think hard. Be very sure that your partner will treat you with utmost love and respect, and that you will do the same. This should be your foremost concern. Who am I to judge or condemn you for your decision, especially if it can make your life so much richer? However, this also means that you must be sensitive towards others, especially to those who disagree with your course of action or at the very least are uncomfortable with it, so tread softly. 

Sources:

http://www.balancedpolitics.org/same_sex_marriages.htm

http://civilliberty.about.com/od/gendersexuality/tp/Arguments-Against-Gay-Marriage.htm

http://www.flyfishingdevon.co.uk/salmon/year2/hormones/tahir.htm

http://www.catholic.com/documents/gay-marriage

 

 

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Shocking Similarity

Last December’s VC with St. Joseph’s in Lebanon essentially involved straight-up, honest sharing of our schools’ representative students’ respective values. Granted, we, the Xaverians, were more talkative than them, but they certainly asked fascinating questions about our own culture and lifestyle. A lot of the sharing revolved around Christmas and our respective schools’ ways of living out the Christmas spirit, and about one’s attitude towards God. In spite of the formal tone, the sharing between schools was quite successful, and we had a lot of fun.

 

Personally, though, I found their commitment to community service and their ability to live in harmony with those of other religions to be the most admirable. Those are traits that I’d like to emulate more for a better society and less friction in my relationships with others respectively.

Food for Thought

Foods like fish sperm and eyes, fried insects, raw duck eggs with their embryos and human placenta aren’t “weird” but exotic. I believe that it’s a joy in itself going out of one’s way to eat food like this and experience the taste. The creepiness of the ingredients or cooking techniques used only adds to the charm. Bonus points if I actually enjoy the food, I say, but knowing that I’ve eaten something unorthodox or not mainstream makes me feel alive.

 

Where there’s food, there’s life. All living things must take energy from the environment in order to keep on living and to eventually produce offspring. Food is the means by which animals get their energy by consuming or plants by absorbing. The key difference between humans and other animals, though, is that humans eat while animals feed. While they eat to live, we live to eat, so to speak.

 

Normal food is only a question of demographic. I’d say what is normal to one population depends on what kinds of food are actually available and the cooking methods used. I’d say if it’s not on the shelves of the supermarket chains then it’s less on the scale of normalcy. Ingredients like animal blood and innards or meat from something that isn’t a pig, cow, sheep, chicken or cephalopod definitely count for something as well.

 

Personal 5 Weirdest Foods:

1. Egg Yolks

-I abhor these stuff with a passion. I find the taste and texture of liquid yolk in my mouth quite sickening.

 

2. Tar

-It’s too sticky and mushy for my own good and has a funny aftertaste IMO.

 

3. Duck Egg with Embryo aka balut

-It has a horrible, horrible smell. After I take a few whiffs of it I sorta feel numb already.

 

4. Maggot Cheese aka Casu Marzu

-Italian delicacy. I would probably really enjoy its flavor, which I’m assuming is super sharp.

 

5. Fugu, Pufferfish

-Japanese delicacy. Its stomach lining contains tetrodotoxins, requiring especially skilled and certified Fugu chefs to prepare. It’s reputed to have an exquisite taste, and I’d love to try it.

CLE Matters

Awesome Topics:

1. Social Justice

2. “Perspective”

3. Epistemological World Views

 

Lessons Learned:

1. A change in perspective can lead one to understand so much more about a situation and helps immensely in empathizing.

2. Be aware. Analyze. Act. These three steps can guide us in making positive change wherever.

 

In spite of being short on hours, my CLE class has helped me apply what I know about my faith in judging and acting in various contexts not by a long shot. I’ve seen ways how reason can go hand in hand with what’s practical while still being in line with Christian morality and ethics.

All for One and One for One

A key theme in Catholic social teaching is the promoting of the common good. If always protecting and upholding human life and dignity and focusing on the needs of the poor are hallmarks of an upstanding Christian, many of us could surely use a re-education and some attitude adjustment. I hate to be writing this, but for most of the time we don’t pay enough attention and divert much needed time and resources to the less fortunate and marginalized who really need it most especially without some sort of impetus such as incentives or a chance to look good in others’ eyes. Business and the government these days are also all about small handfuls of the depraved and filthy rich centered on accumulating even more wealth and power as opposed to providing what the public needs in needed products and services. Ours is a dog-eat-dog culture, and those who are weak continue to struggle, suffer and die, and in order to make a lasting difference with more staying power than the good news segments of our showbiz-poisoned news shows, careful planning and decisive action are needed in the ways we do business and govern the country with the good of all and not a few constantly in mind.

Two Cents for a Jeepney Driver

I believe that Rogelio’s less than ideal status in life as a low-paid and overworked PUV driver in the Philippines is because of the nature of his circumstances or context. Rogelio happens to lack a formal college education, has an ailing wife and a large family to support and has quite possibly no other means to to make money save for driving a jeepney, and these factors all contribute to situation. The country’s societal problems such as overpopulation, governmental corruption, political instability and lack of high quality education for the majority do not help his chances and those of millions of others as well. It’s not necessarily his fault that he is in the state he’s in: really, in spite of being resilient and a hard worker, the odds are stacked against him where he’s at.