CRITIQUING RH BILL IN THE LIGHT OF GREGORY OF NYSSA’S CONCEPT OF THE MAKING OF MAN AND OF FREEDOM

This paper was submitted to the Faculty of Philosophy of the Rogationist Seminary college-Cebu Punta Princesa, Cebu City by PutraCongkasae

September 15

I.                   Introduction 

There are some countries have legalized RH Bill while some are still struggling with their opposition who called themselves the pro-life association. There are many reasons behind introducing RH Bill into constitution. The fighting between two parties: the pros and the cons are still ongoing.  Well, there are many reasons for the pros to support it, and in contrast, there are also strong reasons for the cons to reject it, just like in the Philippines.

In the Philippines, since the RH Bill being introduced, the issue has won the attention and has become a hot topic for both national and international world. The controversy between the pro-life association and the pro-choice on the RH Bill has become an endless debate. Therefore this paper is conducted as another contribution regarding the dilemma.

RH Bill is viewed as something that has both the good and the bad side. In the Philippines it is clearly stated in the article that RH Bill is introduced in order to release the country from poverty. The government persist that RH Bill is a pro-choice, pro-woman. This idea is supported by some women association who convince that abortion is pro-women. On the other hand, some people who oppose it declare that RH Bill is none the less decreasing woman’s freedom and authenticity, because of the use of contraceptives that are harm to their body. Moreover, they claim that RH Bill is an implicit way to kill women.

RH Bill is defined as an act of providing for a national policy on reproductive health, responsible parenthood and population development, and for other purposes.

The Philippines government maintains that, the main cause of poverty in the Philippines is the number of population that increases every year. The government however faces strong opposition regarding the Bill from pro-life association. And this pro-life association includes Church. The Church in the Philippines shows her strong opposition on this issue for she insists that RH Bill is morally evil. Thus, it is not permissible.

Gregory of Nyssa is his dogmatic treatise “on the making of man” asserts that Man is created in likeness of God. Man is composed of body and soul and that makes man higher than the other creatures. Man has the right to live as long as the Creator permits and no one has the right to take his life up, but the Creator alone. Moreover on the exercise of true freedom, Gregory asserts that our liberty is the coming up to a state which owns no master and is self-regulating; it is that with which we were gifted by God, our Creator from the beginning, but which has been obscured by the feeling of shame arising from indebtedness

The purpose of this paper is to refute the RH Bill by the use of the philosophy of St. Gregory of Nyssa that are relevant to the subject matter: RH Bill, as the means to argue whether or not RH Bill is moral or evil to be a Law? I present some points of the RH Bill which I think will serve as the main tools for the argument and I will argue them in the light of Gregory of Nyssa in his treatise “on the making of man” and “on Freedom”

  1. II.                Gregory’ Philosophy of the making of man and freedom; refuting the  RH Bill

All the points that contains in the RH Bill are all considered as morally dreadful. To take concern to particular section will be bias in my argument. I make my stand on RH Bill as the Anti and this imply to the whole body of the RH Bill. I make my opposition to the RH Bill with the use of Gregory’s philosophy “on the making of man” and on his doctrine of “freedom”.

2.1 Number of children does not matter: the More, the merrier and the more God receives Praises

Gregory in his treatise “on the making of man” asserts that in the creation of man all humanity is included, according to the Divine foreknowledge: “our whole nature extending from the first to the last” is “one image of Him Who is.” This notion awakens us that man cannot be the cause of poverty. For the RH Bill is introduced in order to solve the problem of poverty that caused by the increasing number of human beings.[1]

Following deeper the philosophy of Gregory, he maintains that every individual has the right to exist because he is created to wonder the beauty of God. It is only human beings can give a very pleasant praise to God. In the creation of man there are three things that concern to our bodily nature: in the brain, the heart, and the liver; we consider as being in three parts for the sake of which our particular parts were formed.[2]

God infused soul into the human body because God wanted men to praise and wonder his creation. It is in this condition that God receives perfect praise from his Creation who is resemblance to Him. What happen if we abort the baby is that we simply destroy the plan of God. Don’t we agree that God’s arrangement has been planted in the order of thing that we usually called the Divine Law or the law of nature? How dare we are to demolish God’s Divine work?

2.2 Man as the Beholder of Creation

God manifests man in the world, to be the beholder of some of the wonders therein, and the lord of others; that by his enjoyment he might have knowledge of the Giver, and by the beauty and majesty of the things he saw, might trace out that power of the Maker which is beyond speech and language.[3]

 For this reason man was brought into the world last after the creation, not being rejected to the last as worthless, but as one whom it behooved to be king over his subjects at his very birth. And as a good host does not bring his guest to his house before the preparation of his feast, but, when he has made all due preparation, and decked with their proper adornments his house, his couches, his table, brings his guest home when things suitable for his refreshment are in readiness,—in the same manner the rich and munificent Entertainer of our nature, when He had decked the habitation

with beauties of every kind, and prepared this great and varied banquet, then introduced man, assigning to him as his task not acquiring of what was not there, but the enjoyment of the things which were there; and for this reason man come at the last.

It is a big mistake then, to kill the innocent babies who are designated to behold the world, the creation of God.  Their freedom to life is taken away right before they behold the world. How dare are we, as the mothers, doctors who supposedly to be the healer and the government who are expected to be the protector of lives of the babies.

2.3 Life is the cause of some good life of others

Life is the cause of some good life of others; others again are adapted with a view to the succession of descendants. It is true and Gregory is very clear in his statement that human life is the cause of good for others human being not calamity as what the pro-choice or practically the pro-RH Bill claim that human beings are the cause of calamity, the long suffering from poverty of this country.

It should be understood from the statement of Gregory that the more life are or the more children are the more good will they give to the people of the nations. Thus, RH bill must definitely be wrong then. RH Bill must be very contradicting the reality. Is it not true that the more population is the more good it brings forth for the country? Children are the country’s asset: main asset. All the government has to do is that to help each child to be very productive.

2.4 Right of Choosing of every individual

Reproductive Health Rights refers to the rights of individuals and couples to decide freely and responsibly the number of spacing and timing of their children.[4] This statement sounds pretty abnormal. How can it be called right if someone is dictated, dictated by the artificial things. The right has been taken away from one’s own possession. And you still call it right? Where is the possession? The freedom of couples is dictated by contraceptives!  It sounds crazy, if we think about it the artificial are product of man’s creativity. Men make them.  Gregory extols upon hearing this statement how can they dictate us? Men who are rational, who possesses divine faculties dictated by the things?

Gregory said man is endowed with soul. This soul makes him the image and likeness of God. He has the absolute freedom to decide for his life.

2.5 Human Body is the dwelling place of God

Gregory declares that we can reflect upon Divine activities. Human Being can be aware of the divine being in no other demonstration than that which the testimony of those activities supplies. It is Divine benevolence that operates in our life. God manifests himself in the flesh of human being. He does so because we are his image or rather he is our image and it impossible for God to dwell in the animals like pig, dogs etc. He has chosen human being, rational by soul to wonder of His operations; for in all his work as actually recorded we recognize the characteristics of the Divine nature. It belongs to God to give life to men, to uphold by His providence all things that exist. In every human being there is a Deity;[5] the Deity lives in him. Therefore, law must protect a life because his body is the Deity’s dwelling place.

2.6 Freedom and responsibility of parents

Gregory strongly maintains that every individual possesses full freedom and responsibility. Regarding sex education, why doesn’t the government let the parents to exercise their full responsibility over their children? We should aware that parents teach effectively heart while the teachers in school don’t. They are just performing their duty so that they can continue to live otherwise they will go starve. (Remember children are very curious, they wanted to try very new thing they learn. It is so dangerous).

  1. III.             Conclusion

Gregory argues on the structure of the human body that the soul is not pre-existing other than the body and the soul come into existence together, potentially in the Divine will, actually at the moment when each individual man comes into being by generation soul: but he returns once more, in conclusion, to his main position, that man “is generated as a living and animated being,” and that the power of the soul is gradually manifested in, and by means of, the material substratum of the body; so that man is brought to perfection by the aid of the lower attributes of the soul. But the true perfection of the soul is not in these, which will ultimately be “put away,” but in the higher attributes which constitute for man “the image of God.”

We should not be confused by the dilemma whether or not that God has infused into human body the soul during the first day of conception; because I am pretty sure that why the people do not pay respect on the baby because they belief that the fetus has no soul yet. So it is not a burden for them to abort the fetus.

What would become of this country if RH Bill will be a law, all I can say is that this country will become immoral country wherein all immoral actions are exercise in the country like: sex education that leads to free sex, murder definitely because killing a person, et cetera

Appendix

  1. 1.      Most Controversial Points Of The RH Bill

2.1 Family Planning – refers to a program which enables couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information and means to carry out their decisions, and to have informed choice and access to a full range

2.2 Reproductive Health Rights-refers to the rights of individuals and couples to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children; to make other decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence; to have the information and means to carry out their decisions; and to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health.

2.3 Reproductive Health Care-refers to the availability OF and access to a full range of methods, techniques, supplies and services that contribute to reproductive and sexual health and well-being by preventing and solving reproductive health-related problems in order to achieve enhancement of life and personal relations. The elements of reproductive health care include:

2.4 Reproductive Health Education – refers to the process of acquiring complete, accurate and relevant information on all matters relating to the reproductive system, its functions and processes and human sexuality; and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy and gender roles. It also includes developing the necessary skills to be able to distinguish between facts and myths on sex and sexuality; and critically evaluate and discuss the moral, religious, social and cultural dimensions of related sensitive issues such as contraception and abortion.

2.5 Population Development – refers to a program that aims to: (1) help couples and parents achieve their desired family size; (2) improve reproductive health of individuals by addressing reproductive health problems; (3) contribute to decreased maternal and infant mortality rates and early child mortality; (4) reduce incidence of teenage pregnancy; and (5) enable government to achieve a balanced population distribution.

2.6 The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies and relevant information thereon even as it prioritizes the needs of women and children, among other underprivileged sectors.

2.7 Contraceptives as Essential Medicines. – Hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other allied reproductive health products and supplies shall be considered under the category of essential medicines and supplies which shall form part of the National Drug Formulary and the same shall be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units.

 Footnotes & appendixes

        [1]  Republic of the Philippines. House Bill No. 5043. Quezon City, Metro Manila.

[2]Gregory of Nyssa: Dogmatic Treatises.” Article online. Available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf205.html, 25 Augustus 2012.

        [3] “Gregory of Nyssa: Dogmatic Treatises.” Article online. Available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf205.html, 25 Augustus 2012.

        [4] House Bill, 3.

        [5] Ibid.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: