Friday, November 30, 2007

Cities Of Man And God

On St. Augustine's City of God. What is the meaning of the "two cities," one of which is "of this world," and the other of which is "of God"? How does St. Augustine's analysis of these two cities and their histories help organize and structure this work?

Is St. Augustine trying to say that all the cities which existed here on Earth are earthly, and therefore is bad and unholy?(Since the "heavenly city" cannot exist here on Earth...)

When St. Augustine talked about the "two cities" (one being the just and the other being the wicked), did he say that the two are intermingled in the society during his time? Because I think the each of the "two cities" exists, however they exist together and meddling each other.

If the City of Man is like a testing ground to prove that you are worthy to be in the City of God, how can a man be tested? Is doing good enough to pass to the City of God?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

You Must Be Ruled First

According to Aristotle's The Politics, it is said that a person can be defined as a citizen if both of his parents are born citizens and also if his third or fourth ancestry also happen to be citizens. Unto a person's citizenry, does it mean that there is rather no chance for a slave to ever become a citizen? Does it also mean that the future children of a slave and of his children's children have no chance of ever becoming a citizen? If there is, what instances would that be?

What does Aristotle mean when he said that polis is a group of villages which "grows for the sake of mere life and exists for the sake of good life"? According to Aristotle, the polis is prior to the individual. Will this line of argument feasible at present times? I think people are too short-sighted for such an idealized concept.

According to Aristotle, "in order to rule, you must first be ruled.” Would this be applicable in a state wherein everyone is grabbing for power and influence by all means?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Will Abolishing The Family Bring Good

Plato's The Republic continues to bug my confused mind. Here are some of my questions left unanswered:

Was Plato successful in his goal in reshaping the society so that man might realize the best that is in him, as what The Republic is all about?

Are we obligated to tell the truth in all situations? If not, when is lying or deception permissible?

If the stronger party is said to be correct or just for some instance, probably to their interest, how can the weaker party represent themselves? What is the stronger party in today's context? The majority or the skilled?

I agree to some points of Plato but I do not to his concept on abolition of family. The family is the simplest or the most basic community, abolishing it means destroying the foundation of the country or state. is the idea of Plato for the abolition of the family a good point and can bring good welfare for the republic?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Plead

I remember this. No one from them achieved what they have been fighting for. After years of war, all the efforts of combating troops remained futile. It was too late for them to realize that what they have been doing only gave people nothing but misery and despair. Blood scattered all over the place. The roars of people echoed from end to end. Despite all of these, fighting troops seemed not to care.

But what has been the cause of this battle? It is because basic rights are neglected, basic needs have not been met. There is an inequality in the distribution of the resources. The issue here is politics. For them, force is the only way to meet these lapses. This is for the rebels' side. The government on the other hand, has its share of idiocy. It approaches this kind of problem by using guns and deadly weapons without considering several innocent people around that might get hurt.

The worst scenario is this: the innocent lives are the victims here. Those poor people who have no idea what's happening, they are those who are affected most. And they don't know what's happening because they are rather more particular in their daily struggle for survival.

I plead. stop it now so that we may all live in peace.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Please Stop

I can barely forget it. I heard distant gunshots coming from a military camp just five kilometres away. All of us at home were so scared and we had no one else to turn to but God. Our village was so lucky because the rebels had not reached us but our neighbouring municipalities weren’t.

My heart aches every time I remember the days when the people suffered so much of scarcity and property destruction brought about by the conflict between the military and armed rebels. Almost all of the products of their hard work weren’t spared and the worst thing was, even the lives of their loved ones were taken. I can still imagine clearly in my mind the scene of people screaming while running for the lives, mothers trying hard to protect their children and fathers risking their lives for the safety of their families. They were all trapped in between flying bullets and exploding grenades. Those people had nothing to do with the conflict but they were the ones going through the cruel consequences.

Please stop. Stop.

Monday, November 19, 2007


One crazy reason why I am still at school and bearing with law stuff is the kind of enjoyment I get when reading the crazy laws of all the lands and reflect on them. Why are these laws created? Who have thought about these? Here are few of the peculiar laws around the world:

Drunk drivers can be punished by death, even before a firing squad. This is true in San Salvador. In Chester, people are banned from entering the city before sunrise and from staying after sunset. Another strange law is in UK. When you found a whale in the British coast, it is automatic that its head belongs to the King. The tail, on the other hand, belongs to the Queen, just in case she needs the whale's bones for her corset. In Bahrain, there is a law that prohibits male doctors to examine directly the woman's genitals. These male doctors can only examine through a reflection in a mirror. In Vermont, a written permission from their husbands is necessary if they desire to wear false teeth.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Decapitation Is A Penalty In Indonesia

I find this one interesting. While all of us think that laws are supposed to be rigid and tough and firm, there are those who are even so cool, we think it's stupid for the legislators for having had passed such laws.

For example, it is illegal in the City of London that cabs carry rabid dogs and corpses. It is also illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament as much as it is treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down. This obviously means disrespect for their royal family. In Miami, Florida, it is illegal to skateboard in a police station. Also in Florida, unmarried women who parachute on Sundays can be put to jail. In the UK it is very fine if a pregnant woman relieves herself anywhere she wants even if it is in a policeman's helmet. When you go to Indonesia, you will learn that the penalty for masturbation is decapitation.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Make Sense?

For my friend, Jessa, there are laws that are worth her read. While she was citing these all to me, I literally laughed out loud. I thought to myself, yes, they're really weird. Only if one doesn't think of the cultural differences, one may think all these are idiot laws. Take a read:

When you are in Massachusetts, it is against the law if you go to bed without taking a bath first. But there is also another law in the same state that prohibits bathing on Sunday. So what do we have here? Well, I guess the only solution to that is to sleep very late on Sundays. Take a bath when 12:01 am strikes. That means it's already Monday and you can already take a bath, at the same time, you can already sleep when you're done with shower.

In the year 1979. women in Jidda, Saudi Arabia were banned from using hotel swimming pools; I guess for the very reason that women there shouldn't be exposed in the public.

Both of these, make sense, eh?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

That's Why I Love Laws

For people, laws may be boring and not-worth-a-read. This is personally true with my case. The only thing that I loooove about laws is when I heard and read crazy laws. I mean, these laws that are passed to the legislative body and are even ratified, they are supposed to be “proper” laws. Well, by proper I mean the common language game played by everyone else in this world.

For those horse lovers, beware when you go to Wilbur, Washington because it is illegal to ride an ugly horse. Biting someone with your teeth is said to be an assault, so never bite someone when you are in Louisiana. In Athens, Greece, if the driver is caught poorly dressed or unbathed, his license can be temporarily taken away from him. In California, it is against the law when you set up a mouse trap and you don't have a hunting license. You will be penalized for doing so.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

But They Are Constitutional

It is interesting to know that as serious as we may perceive laws, there are, as a matter of fact, laws that we seem weird but are ratified and are deemed constitutional in some places. Here are some:

In New York, they have a law that is a sort of double insult to injury. The penalty for jumping off a building is death (so those who plan to commit suicide, better make sure it's a smooth one). In Pennsylvania, it is illegal that you tie a bill on a string on the ground and pull it away when someone tries to pick it up. If you forget your own wife's birthday, you will be fined when you live in Samoa. Farting after 6 p.m. on Thursdays is against the law in Florida. In France, selling dolls that do not have human faces is illegal. So “E.T” dolls when sold there are immediately confiscated.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Peculiar Laws, Anyone?

While we may think that since laws are ratified, then they have to pertain only to “serious” matters. Hey, there are laws in this world, which, one way or another, we may find peculiar. And take note, these are written laws.

If you go to San Francisco, you will realize that it's illegal to pile horse manure that is more than six feet high on a street corner. In Florida, cross-dressing is a big no no. Men seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown can be fined. In South Carolina, it is actually legal to beat your wife on the court room steps during Sundays. In Salt Lake County in Utah, it is not legal to walk down the street carrying a violin in a paper bag. In Bozeman, Montana, a law is mandated that prohibits all sexual activities in the front yard of the house when the sun sets.

Peculiar laws, anyone?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Greater Responsibility

If we place ourselves always inside the box of outdated Christianity we will never find the solutions which it has mainly caused.

Therefore, let us get out of this box which is formerly pure religion corrupted through the centuries, and stay out of that light-darkness mix, and stand on pure light, that is, the true pure Christianity.

I am a Christian. I believe in Christ. I have look forward to the interests of my citizens. I care for my country. I love my country. I know for myself that I am a responsible citizen. I work and move based on the dictate of the signs and times. I recognize change. But I continue to seek the truth. I live for truth and for justice.

I believe in pure religion. Examine and I would be glad if you could make your own assessment regarding our radical ideas. True Christians possess radical ideas based in the framework of love for God, neighbor and self.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

City of God vs City of Man

St. Augustine's book entitled the City of God presents the history of mankind as being a conflict between the City of God and the City of Man – a conflict that is destined to end in victory of the former. The City of God is what we know now as heaven on earth, a place where we can heartily dedicate ourselves to the widespread of the Christian doctrines. To Augustine, the City of God is the Christian church. The City of Man is composed of those people who are strayed from the City of God.

In deeper analysis with his book, my understanding of St. Augustine's concept of peace is that there is no peace without justice. But he also says that there is no justice without Christ.

Did he therefore imply that one cannot be at peace without knowing Christ? What about those who have other belief systems? What about those who never really know anything about the concept of religion and spirituality? Was Augustine saying that they can never be at peace until they put Christ in their lives?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

St. Augustine's City of God

A social scientist, St. Augustine asserted two things in his writing, City of God. First, the city of man is natural. Second, that each of us must live in this city in order to later on transcend the evils of the City of Man and move on to the City of God.

The second one, I can get it at some point. It actually reminds me of Star Wars, how Anakin had to become Darth Vadr and walked the dark side before he could return and bring balance to the force. It makes sense that before you reach the City of God, you must walk the City of Man to discern the difference and choose the "right path" that will lead you to the City of God.

But, if the City of Man is natural and people are born naturally in it, why punish them for it after? Why create the City of Man to be a natural thing?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Equality For All

For Aristotle, polis is the association of households and clans in a good life. He also said that the polis itself is prior to everything else. Aristotle compared this with the whole being necessity prior to the part, so the state is by nature clearly prior to the family and to the individual. But in order to have a good polis, you must consider your family too. And it is by human nature that we consider our families first before anything else. How do we resolve these opposing statements?

Justice, for him, is the bond of men in states. The administration of justice, which is the determination of what is just, is the principle of order in political society. But he also said, “justice means equality but only for those who are equal and not for all.” Who are then those who belong to his “equal” classification? Isn't it that everyone should deserve equality?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Polis Is the Highest Good

Polis, according to Aristotle, refers to a body of citizens. It is a community that is established to seek the highest good, that is, man should always render good acts for them to achieve a community that promotes the wellness of every man.

It is stated in Aristotle's Politics that the state came into existence and is continuing to exist for the sake of the good life. Why, then, was there the concept of slavery if every individual should experience good life? But of course, this does not mean to say that everyone should rule, but why does one have to rule over another? Then the issue on equality is at stake. As the thinker placed it, men are superior than women. In the households, for example, men play as statesmen while the wives, citizens. How then can one explain the concept of equality here? And in a society where equality is not given its premium, could a polis still be achieved?