Suicide

•February 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I chose suicide not because someone in my family has committed it or someone close to me now, but I chose it because I believe it is very significant personally towards me. Usually, the majority of people who commit suicide are the youth. This is because of numerous problems like troubles at home, change in schools, being bullied, too much stress, getting dumped by someone, social struggles, among others. I believe that everyone has thought of the same idea as I did before: there has been at least one instance in which you wanted to just die because of something bad that happened. I have certainly experienced that. I transferred to Xavier 4 years ago and luckily, I got along well with my batch mates. I was not bullied and I enjoy my tenure in Xavier. However, I have seen other people bullying younger or weaker people. I wonder what they are feeling that time. It is possible that they have also thought of suicide. Suicide is intentionally ending one’s own life.

Even though the reasons for suicide are quite logical, I believe that suicide is WRONG. Suicide is like giving up on everything: your family, friends and everything, including your life. Most of those who commit suicide probably think that they have accomplished nothing and no longer contribute to the society. I do not think that it is right because God gave us a life and to give up on it just like that would be a sin against the church, the family you’re leaving behind and God since it is one of God’s 10 commandments that “thou shall not kill”.

Though suicide may be wrong, there are indeed some instances where it is not considered bad or sinful. This is evident in some countries like Japan and India. In Japan, they have a tradition called hara-kiri, a form of suicide by samurais to “die in honor than under their enemies” and is also part of the samurai honor code. In India, they have a ritual called suttee where a widow would jump into her husband’s funeral pyre. Suicide may also be justified from the perspective of the person committing it. I say it that way because it is a possibility that we don’t know everything that really happened to the person. The bearing of the problem(s) could have had a much larger effect on the person than what we though would.

From my answers, I think that I am a moral rationalist when it comes to suicide. I think that suicide is indeed wrong and sinful, but there can also be some instances where it can still be justified, so it depends on the situation.

Good day, Friend.

I do not know why you are asking for my help regarding suicide, but I’ll try my best to help you. In my opinion, suicide is wrong. You are unlikely a Japanese samurai or an Indian, so in my opinion if you commit suicide, you will go to hell. I don’t have a lot of advice, but I can give you a tip. If you want to commit suicide, first go through three roads: reason, caution and suspicion.

The road of reason is the process in which you will weight out and scrutinize the options. This will require your own judgement in deciding. The second road is the road of caution. If you are unsure whether committing suicide would be right or wrong, assume it’s wrong and don’t do it. According to Pascal’s Principle, that’s going to be a win-win situation. The last road is the road of suspicion. If by committing suicide you think it involves pleasure, which is not likely, and avoids pain, which is most likely, you have to cast some doubt with your decision because you will not be accounting for whether it is right or wrong. You may also be biased because you think suicide is more convenient and avoids pain. You should act against your inclination; to pursue pleasure and to avoid pain.

Listen, Friend. I love you and I would like you stop thinking about suicide already. I think it is wrong and I wouldn’t want you to commit it. If you have reasons for it, you can tell me too and I can help you solve them. Just remember, God gave you life, and it would be wrong to intentionally die. However, if you really think that you must do it and have reasons for it, I have no objections.

Good luck, Friend. May you choose wisely.

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GMO foods: Helpful or Harmful?

•January 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

“The term GM foods or GMOs (genetically-modified organisms) is most commonly used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques. These plants have been modified in the laboratory to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content.” (http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php)

Examples of GMOs:
-soybeans
-tomatoes
-golden rice
-sugar cane

Advantages of GMOs:
-pest and herbicide resistant: farmers won’t have to use so much pest resistants on these GMOs, resulting in more appreciation for the food.
-nutrition-rich
-pharmaceuticals: some of GMOs contain edible vaccines, which are obviously cheaper than form clinics

Disadvantages of GMOs:
-causes Allergies
-unknown effect on human health

I think that GMOs are generally acceptable in society. They give people a cheaper and relatively healthier alternative to regular foods. On the whole, with the exception of possible allergenicity, scientists believe that GM foods do not present a risk to human health. This is one of the major factors which made me decide that GMOs are OK and safe to eat.

Pascal’s Wager

•January 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

BHA BHT

•January 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

BHA and BHT are antioxidants. Oxygen reacts preferentially with BHA or BHT rather than oxidizing fats or oils, thereby protecting them from spoilage. In addition to being oxidizable, BHA and BHT are fat-soluble. Both molecules are incompatible with ferric salts. In addition to preserving foods, BHA and BHT are also used to preserve fats and oils in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Benefits of using BHA and BHT
– antioxidants
– used in cosmetics
– food preservatives

Hazards
– can induce allergic reactions
– BHA is a human carcinogen, can cause cancer
– BHA as a Category 1 priority substance, based on evidence that it interferes with hormone function
– BHT can cause toxic in mice and rats
– BHT can act as a tumor promoter in certain situations
– Limited evidence suggests that high doses of BHT may mimic estrogen and prevent expression of male sex hormones
– both are risks but BHT is more safe for humans

All in all, I think that I would prefer BHT instead of BHA, simply because BHA is not that safe for humans. BHA can cause cancer and gayness (probably), while BHT is riskier for animals only. Though both can prove antioxidants and have good effects in cosmetics and in preserving food, I think that if they used BHT, it would be a lot safer and less of a risk than BHA

Food Kropek

•January 11, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A lot of groups prepared different kinds of oils to cook kropek. There were canola, palm, butter, among others. All in all, I found the canola oil the best oil to cook Kropek. The result was very delicious and the taste is very tasty. However, I think it also had to do with the Kropek used. There was one group that used foreign Kropek as compared to other groups using local ones. So, I think that that also has a factor. Not to mention that the other oils used to cook Kropek were also quite fitting. They were also delicious, but I found the Kropek of James’ group the best, probably because they used foreign Kropek.

Food

•January 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Why do they think that those foods are weird?
I think that those kinds of foods are weird because they use different methods to cook them. Unlike normal ways like cooking, some of the food that I found weird were not cooked (some were raw, some were live). Also maybe because we think that animals cannot be eaten live and so by doing this we find them weird.

What is food?
According to the dictionary, food is any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth

What is considered as a normal food and what is not?
For me normal food is any food that is eaten almost everyday, like rice. What is not normal food is for me, the weird food mentioned above.

What would be your 5 weirdest food?
1. Balut
2. Lamb’s brains
3. Tuna Eyes
4. White ant eggs
5. Bat Paste

VC with Dubai Modern

•December 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Last December 6, two learning circles 3 and 7 had a VC (video conference) with Dubai Modern High School, UAE. This was the second VC the group had in a month. This was because the initial VC, which was with Jumeirah College, UAE, both sides experienced some technical difficulties with regards to the sound and the video, particularly the sound. Thus the first VC was cut short for the group. However, the second VC, there appears to be little to no difficulty communicating at all with Dubai Modern. It was my first small group VC and third overall.

Contrary to the first VC, in which the topic was about wealth, this VC talked more about faith and how it has influenced us both personally and in terms of the community. I am pretty lucky that I was able to participate in this VC. I noticed how well both sides were able to communicate and explain their ideas. Everyone was also listening and participating.

The VC started off by playing a video about Xavier and Dubai Modern. Although I had a hard time understanding what the video of Dubai Modern was saying, I tried my best. I think that the decision to play the videos aim to share the history of both schools, seeing that both school are religious schools, would lead to faith, and it indeed. Some topics that were talked about are: “What is faith for you?” “How do you incorporate faith?” among others.

From what I said during the VC, the thing I found most interesting with the VC was how students from other schools do charity work. In Dubai Modern for example, they went out of the country (Kenya) just for that! I was amazed by their dedication and hard work. It kind of inspired me to help the poor. I felt that the most significant insight I learned was that we are motivated to do good because the happiness of the people we serve make us happy.

I was finally able to talk during a VC!! I felt so happy after that! Not only did I approach the microphone once, I talked three times! I think that I can improve on the way I deliver my speech; I observed that I was stuttering a bit when I was talking. Mr. Agtarap also encouraged each of us to speak, which we did, at least once, and it helped in contributing to the success of the VC.