BY PET MELLIZA/THE BEEKEEPER
People who oppose the RH Bill see it as “immoral”; it promotes promiscuity, among others. Their latest argument is enunciated by Bishop Socrates Villegas, the bill means “corruption.”
Feminists like Gabriela, on the other hand, favor it as step to assert women’s struggle for gender equality, to control their bodies and gain access to public health care and information to be empowered to make informed decisions, and in so doing, reduce maternal death and, for those who survived, the permanent physical injuries that follow.
Often, the RH Bill from the feminist perspective is muddled as strategy for development, as way out of poverty, which misses the social structure breeding injustice and mass ignorance.
Allow me to retreat to memory lane back to philosophy studies in college on how this brand of morality or sense of right and wrong, as I learned, evolved.
Among the first philosophy pounded on my tender head was Scholasticism.
The universe, according to Scholasticism, is already finished, complete, immutable. Everything is in its proper place because the Absolute Being itself, or AB for short, ordained it so.
The universe comprises the spiritual and material realms and in both, AB reigns supreme. Below AB are the “spiritual beings” the angels and saints. The angels have seven species like the ordinary guardian angel that, as the word suggests, guards us; there are still the seraphims and cherubs. I already forgot the rest. Nervertheless, the senior angels are the “archangels” like Raphael and Michael who crushed the rebellion led by Light Bearer or Lucifer.
AB is also known as Absolute Knowledge, the Perfect One, the Omnipotent or All Powerful, the Omniscient or All Knowing, etc.
Absolute Wisdom ever since, laid down principles, doctrines, laws, edicts, etc. all with the modifier “Divine”. These truths, ideas and doctrines are immutable, unchanging forever and ever.
To whom are these Divine Laws intended for transmittal? Naturally, to the being called “man”, which must be treated as generic to include the other, the “woman”. Omnipotent One finds that not a problem, so he (yes, he is male and Caucasian at that) creates man to his image and likeness, but finding that he is lonesome, creates one from man’s rib, and turns it into a woman. Thus, essense precedes existence. AB has already the substance of what man is, the flesh and bone that makes the man, merely follows from that blue print.
So man (in its generic term) occupies the median of the pecking order of beings. Scholasticism calls him “rational animal”, an animal with the faculty of reasoning. To clarify further, the angels and saints, are not rational, they are “spiritual beings” possessed of “intellect”, the capacity to know automatically, like sunlight permeating transparent glass effortlessly sans need to split hair that humans do.
Below the rational animal are the beasts or “sentient beings” like cats and dogs which can feel but don’t have the faculty of reasoning. Below animals are plants, living but non-sentient beings.
“Being” applies also to non-living ones, the lowest caste. In Scholasticism, the world is perfect, everything in its proper place. Wala ka nang hahanapin pa.
Why is RH Bill evil? Because it is immoral; it violates the law of god that allows only “natural methods”, not artificial, in controlling conception or the union of the sperm and egg that becomes embryo and eventually a baby.
Who says it is against god’s law? Go back to the premises above: god is AB, perfect, omnipotent and omniscient. To review what is laid above, AB is also the source of all knowledge and wisdom which he communicates to his church, namely, the bishop of Rome called Supreme Pontiff and all princes of the church – bishops, archbishops and cardinals – who in turn receive not only the divine knowledge but as well, divine power to enforce belief and compliance.
In Scholasticism, man has a soul destined for heaven if he was good in life, or to hell if he committed “mortal sin” which is available in the inventory of sins that AB transmitted to his pontiff.
We don’t know how the transmission of divine knowledge to the human brain works but suffice it to say, this tradition was born in the Dark Ages when the supreme pontiff, bishops, archbishops and cardinals possessed vast wealth and power, including the authority to sell tickets to heaven in the form of indulgence, and to ordain that the earth was flat and center of the universe.
Organized religion invented the instrument called “holy spirit” to explain for the undisrupted transmission of divine knowledge to the hierarchs. (to be continued).