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ETHICS

BRIAND R. DAYDAY
Reflection Paper 1
1. What is the nature of the human being?
2. What is his reason for being?

While going to the readings, the Philosophy of Man, three concepts were discussed, and
from these concepts we can attribute its definitions to the questions above. First concept was,
Man as Embodied Subjectivity, which basically says man is a composite body and soul. He lives
in two separate worlds, the temporal and spiritual, and that the earthly city is only a preparation
for the eternal. Ergo, this concept enables man to distinguish ends and means. Second was,
Man as Being-in-the-world, this concept states that the human body is the link of man with the
world. The things around man are not simply objects; they form a network of meanings in and
on, and around which man organizes his life. And third was Man Being-with: the Interhuman and
the Social, this on the other hand states that the world of man is not just the world of things but
also the world of fellowman. The influence that one has on the other in dialogue is one of
unfolding. 1 If you think about it, all of these concepts make sense. However based on personal
experiences and beliefs. My answers to the above questions are the concepts; Man Being-with:
the Interhuman and the Social, and Man as Embodied Subjectivity respectively.
Based on personal experience and observations, I believe that the nature of the human
being revolves around its society, which I think is very important for I believe society gives
structure to a mans life. The concept Man being with: the Interhuman and the Social validates
this. Man wants to be accepted by its community. Man needs society to determine what is right
or wrong, or what is just from unjust. The decision he makes revolves around what is acceptable
by society. His actions are based on the norms of society. Take for example the simplest form of
society, the family. What is wrong and unjust to your family (regarding values, traditions, and
beliefs) affect and reflect your decisions and perceptions in life. i.e. I grew up in a traditional
family where educational attainment often measures how highly your family members think of
you. If youre just a college graduate, youre just in the shadow and nobody talks about you.
However if you have a masters degree or a law degree, youre the talk of the town so to speak.
1

Dy, Manuel B. Jr., Philosophy of Man-Selected Readings, Goodwill Trading Co., Manila, 1986.

Ergo, that is one of the reasons why Im taking up my masters. Why? Because I want to be
appreciated by my family, I want them to accept me, be proud of me. Just like how man
naturally conforms to society.
This can also be seen in other communities such as the church, and the government, both
bodies have manuscripts telling man what is right from what is wrong, the bible for the church
and the constitution for the government. Go against what is written then youre an outcast. In
the eyes of the church youre a sinner and cannot be forgiven by god, especially if you
committed a mortal sin. And in government, if you committed a crime youre put into jail,
removed from the society. Man conforms to these rules because it is universally accepted by the
society. But why does man revolve around the system of society. He needs society to tell him
what is just and unjust. If not there will be chaos.
Which leads me to my answer to question no. 2. What is mans reason for being? The first
concept, discussed in the readings, Man as Embodied Subjectivity, that life here on earth is
just temporal. Since I studied in a catholic school for more than a decade. Religion and society
made me believe that mans reason for being is to have a better eternal after life. I have to
prove to a higher being, God, that I deserve a better eternal after life by being just and good in
our current world. Or simply put the concept of heaven and hell. Believing in a higher being is
always better, since it also gives man control. For it makes man less powerful and humble. It
also gives him doubt in everything that he does. Is this again, right or wrong? What will be the
consequences of my actions? But then again, this brings back my previous answer that man
revolves around society. If it werent for societys system, I wouldnt believe that there would be
higher being or an eternal after life waiting for me after my life here on earth.
However if we follow the concept of ethical relativism, that there is no absolute truth. Then
the above arguments will be nullified. Man will indeed have total control over his life. Can you
just imagine life without rules and restrictions? Just imagine every man thinking like a dictator.
Itll be chaos. Regardless if there is truth to all of these concepts, if conforming to society and
believing in a higher being are not the answers to the above questions. Id rather believe and
live a life with structure and conform to society than live a life of freedom and chaos.