By Pet Melliza/ The Beekeeper
In Scholasticism, the world is already complete in both material and spiritual realms. Morality is well defined with all principles neatly laid down by Divine Wisdom, and these set of precepts are transmitted to the hierarchs of religion who, in turn, are mandated to hand them down to the faithful and enforce them. There is nothing left for the conscience to discern. Wala ka nang hahanapin pa.
The inventory of sinful acts – mortal and venial – is already provided by Absolute Being (AB). Man or rational animal has a soul destined to heaven if in the lifetime he/she has committed no mortal sin. The soul saddled by mortal sin has to go elsewhere.
In ethics or morality, the human mind needs not belabor itself to know that violating the Divine Law is immoral, thus, mortal sin.
The RH Bill is immoral for that and also mortal sin.
That brand of epistemology flies in the face of history. If the reader may notice, I hint of myself in the title above as “atheist” to shake people from their dogmatic slumber.
Scholasticism is peddling a wrong sense of right and wrong. It is marketing a brand of diety that has become irrelevant today. What it peddles is tyranny led by, well, a tyrant.
History teaches us that while Christendom during the Dark Ages hounded intellectuals and scientists, torturing and torching them, while its apologists argued on how many angels could dance on the point of a needle, the other side of the earth under Islam flourished: enjoying the golden age of civilization.
The peoples ruled by the Moors witnessed humanity leaping forward in science, technology, literature, trade. Traces of that are seen today in arabesque architecture in Spain once ruled by the Moors. The conquerors respected the faiths of the conquered.
That is seen, too, in what is now the Philippines. Scholars Nizam Abubakr and Majul, write that by the 12th century, the ports of Jolo, Cebu, Yrong-Yrong and Manila were bustling scenes of international commerce with Arab and Chinese traders.
In elementary, we learn in catechesis that eternal bliss awaits us had it not been for Adam and Eve who god installed in Eden and told to relish all except the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge, but defied their benefactor. God expelled them from Paradise and condemned them to moral and physical frailties culminating in death. Organized religion calls that “The Fall”.
That myth, says existentialist thinker Jean Paul Sartre to the contrary, is “The Liberation”. Humanity merely asserts its capacity to think and decide for itself. Adam and Eve finally rid themselves of the tyrant.
For Sartre and the existentialist philosophy, it is “Dasein” that creates, defines itself. God does not exist which, thus, challenges the Scholastic principle “essence-precedes-existence”.
Life to the Dasein is “absurd”, “meaningless”. Dasein refers to “thrownness”, “being-in-the-world”. Man comes to life without its consent. Dasein alone “creates” what it is and will be. In existentialism, no god but only the Dasein or being-unto-the-world, Heidegger argues, is its own creator. Existence precedes essence.
Scholasticism informs the response of the princes of the church, from the pontiff down the bishops, their acquiescence and flirtation with fascism in WWII. The Vicar of Christ dined and wined with Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini un-revolted by the inhumanity that the two criminals subjected Europe and parts of Asia to.
The princes of the church in the Philippines, mostly Spanish prelates, were “Phalangists”, fans of Spanish dictator Victor Franco, and de facto allies to the occupying Japanese Imperial Army (Constantino; Philippine Past Revisited).
In WWII, Sartre joined the armed Resistance in France against the Nazi occupiers. He became member of the Communist Party in the process.
In one essay, Sartre writes of a young man who like other Frenchmen, are revolted by Nazi terrorism. He wants to join the Resistance but he has a mother to tend to and he is all his mother has.
The Frenchman has only two options: join the Resistance and save France, or stay with the mother. He has to decide: there is no pre-defined answer for him from almighty god, writes Sartre. (to be continued)