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Go, Irvinne Heather C.

March 2, 2016

1. What is philosophy?
Life bombards us with questions. There are some that we can answer absolutely as
we have evidences to back it up, like Why is the sky blue? and such, but when it comes to
questions like Who am I? Does God exist? What am I going to be in 10 years? and
such, we would need to stop and think. These questions need philosophy to be applied, and
that is why we call them philosophical questions.
For me, philosophy can be two things. Initially, philosophy is a pursuit of knowledge,
and then a belief system. Firstly, when I say pursuit of knowledge, it means that we think
philosophically to gain a better understanding of the situation. It is like salt to a watermelon.
Without salt, we can only faintly taste the sweetness of the watermelon, but due to salt, it
heightens our taste receptors and there and there, we can taste fully the fruit. Like right now,
we can say that we are in the real world, but anyone can dispute that we are only dreaming.
There is still a big hole left unanswered, a flavor yet tasted. Again, in these kinds of
questions, we dont have concrete verification, therefore it still can be disputed. The thing we
can only do is create a logical reasoning to support it or at least state our case, since it is
fundamentally impossible to be proven with science. A good example of use of philosophy in
this manner and with the issue mentioned earlier is with the topic discussed in class about
Descartes. Descartes, as a Christian, stated a perfect being is needed to validate the
physical world. He states that if God does not exist then what will say that we are indeed in
the physical world, what will prove that we are not dreaming. In his argument, God would not
allow delusions as He cares and loves us, thus in his conclusion God does exist. We are
free to believe it or not, but we do accept that there is logic behind his argument, though
circular. He still was able to shed more light on subject or give more flavor to subject. We
could also dispute it as again it does not hold any empirical evidence.

Following that, I also stated that it was a belief system. You hear people saying that
their personal philosophy is this and that, and usually it shapes how the person act and
behaves. It is like the mission and vision statements of a company; every move it takes
corresponds to those declarations. For example, my personal philosophy is make a line
between personal and professional life. In interacting with someone who I know in a
personal level or someone who I have an aversion with, I would screen out personal feelings
and think objectively, especially in a professional setting. This philosophy has made me able
to put an objective reasoning to most of my decisions in my life, hence I do not put personal
biases into them, unless the situation calls for it. I believe that personal philosophy differs
from person to person, as mine was shaped by my upbringing, values and environment, and
I think it also applies to everyone.
Everyone can think philosophically. We can apply our beliefs to to create our own
reasoning or answer. Philosophy can also be a guiding light for us. With our own philosophy,
we do things accordingly to it. Basically, philosophy is ones own understanding of reality
and how one interacts with reality. It is different for everyone.

2. How can philosophy aid us in understanding or resolving social issues?

Though this issue is already old, more than 2 years old already, it still concerns me a
lot, and this is the PDAF scam, or generally the obvious corruption in the Philippines. Even
before this scandal, the Philippines is already known for its corruption, two of our former
presidents being part of the World's Ten Most Corrupt Leaders.1 Even in indicting the
suspects of the scam, corruption is still evident, until now there is still no final ruling about
the said suspects and these suspects are still in their lofty rooms, I mean jail. 2 This scam

1 Transparency International Global Corruption Report 2004. (n.d.). World's Ten Most Corrupt
Leaders. Retrieved February 29, 2016, from http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0921295.html
2 Diola, C., & Philippine Star. (2015, May 21). Court denies motion to transfer Bong to regular
jail. Retrieved February 29, 2016, from

went on for 10 years, and the only reason we know about it is because of there was some
dispute between the masterminds, and one of them went and told on each other.3 From what
I see, in the government, money speaks, controls and leads. In a sense, justice is only for
the poor and common, but all is free for the rich and powerful.
I know that we cannot fully cleanse the Philippines from corruption, the only thing we
can do is to understand it and try to create limitations to control its spread. Even if I say this,
I find it really difficult to understand what goes on in the minds of these corrupt officials.
When is enough for them? Is it when they suck our nation dry? When I think about it, this
scam really resonates with one of the 7 cardinal sins, which is Greed. These sins are
supposedly committed by every human being, some may be done more than the others,
nonetheless they are sins. I find it almost amazing on how they can cope with guilt or throw
it away fully, but I guess the greed is like the eye cover for the horses in the kalesa for them.
It blocks their view and makes them see one thing only and that is their direction. Only if
there is a selflessness test for officials, not the one with paper and pen, something like the
litmus paper test, but I know it is impossible. Perhaps their personal philosophy is to multiply
ones money by any means necessary. This is only thing I can think of that can explain this
issue. I undoubtedly need more research and time to even grasp the top layer of this issue. I
really cannot fathom why and how can they do this scam for 10 years. The only way I can
think that we can lessen this is to have open information and show every detail to the whole
nation about their revolting acts, possibly by then they can feel humiliation and realize the
monster within them.

3 Benhur Luy admits getting P5M kickbacks from pork deals. (2015, June 5). Retrieved
February 29, 2016, from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/696469/benhur-luy-admits-getting-p5mkickbacks-from-pork-deals