Thursday, April 11, 2013

Philippine Divorce & Science of Living Together


“Divorce is the one human tragedy that reduces everything to clash.” RITA MAE BROWN

The next congress will introduce the divorce bill in the Philippines after the elections in May this year. At least this is the assurance made by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte just recently.

The proposed measure is expected to again raise the blood pressure of Roman Catholic bishops still clearing the cobwebs in a landmark Reproductive Health (RH) bill setback.

The bill would be about relationship between husband and wife, about companionship in a marital household, about living together permanently under one roof and whether to maintain the roof or abandon it. Scientific studies have rather consistently demonstrated that companionship contributes to good health.

The quality of relationships also is a factor, according to Xinhua Steve Ren, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Boston University School of Public Health and research health scientist with the Center for Health Quality, Outcome, and Economic Research of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, Massachusetts.


Here are some of Ren’s other findings secured by editors of Men’s Health:

Separation and divorce can actually improve health--but only in cases where there were serious ongoing marital problems. Separation and divorce are most detrimental to health when the marriage had no prior serious problems and the crisis arose with the sudden discovery of infidelity.

Being separated is more injurious to health than divorce. The separated were more than two times as likely to consider themselves in poor health than were married folks, while divorced people were about 1.3 times more likely to think themselves in ill health.

The quality of a relationship--whether marriage or cohabitation--affects the participants’ health. Those in unhappy relationships are at higher health risk than those who are in happy relationships and, surprisingly, even than those who are divorced.

Compared to married people, the unmarried tend to have higher death rates from all causes, have higher levels of stress, and use more health services. 

Logic Wins Arguments & Alienates Multitudes

Socrates and Aristotle never met each other in person, but they were parts of intellectual triumvirate that gave Greece glory and provided spark to knowledge and wisdom in antiquity.

In between these two intellectual behemoths was Plato, Socrates’ student and Aristotle’s teacher.

But our subject matter about logic will pit the modern Socrates in the person of Ernie Dayot, a philosopher, in a very interesting tete-a-tete with the modern Aristotle in the person of Richard Plana, a spiritualist, circa 2013: 

Without logic, reason is useless. With it, we can win arguments and alienate multitudes. 


PLANA: There are so many competing philosophies. How can I be sure anything’s true?

DAYOT: Who says anything is true?

PLANA: There you go again. Why do you always answer a question with another question?

DAYOT: You got a problem with that?

PLANA: I don’t even know why I asked, because some things just are true. Like two plus two equals four. That’s true, end of story.

DAYOT: Because I am one smart student of philosophy.

PLANA: That’s another question. But the reason you can be sure two plus two equals four is because it follows the irrefutable laws of logic.


Plana is right. Let me share a classic joke that draws on Aristotelian logic in the Law of Noncontradiction, as narrated by Harvard philosophers Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein in “Plato and a Platypus.”

A rabbi is holding court in his village. Schmuel stands up and pleads his case, saying “Rabbi,

Itzak runs his sheep across my land every day and it is running my crops. It’s my land.

It’s not fair. The rabbi says, “You’re right!”

But then Itzak stands up and says, “But, Rabbi, going across his land is the only way my sheep can drink water from the pond. Without it, they’ll die. For centuries, every shepherd has had the right of way on the land surrounding the pond, so I should too.”

And the rabbi says, “You’re right!”

The cleaning lady, who has overheard all this, says to the rabbi, “But, Rabbi, they can’t both be right!”
And the rabbi replies, “You’re right!”

The cleaning lady has informed the rabbi that he has violated Aristotle’s Law of Noncontradiction, which for a rabbi isn’t quite as bad as violating the law against coveting your neighbor’s maidservant, but it’s close.

The Law of Noncontradiction says that nothing can both be so and not be so at the same time. /MP

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