Philosophers in the Real World

By Dr. Romulo Bautista

No theory of Social Ethics can operate in a vacuum in the real world. Its abstract theory has to be always verified and/or practiced in concrete situations in the real world. Likewise, the members of Social Ethics Society could not pursue its philosophical vision, mission, and goal in a vacuum beyond the classroom, but always in given situations in the real world.

I would like to use an analogy. An economics graduate who works as bus driver is not an economist in the true sense of the word; a political science graduate who works as artist in an advertising firm is not a political scientist in the true sense of the word. Likewise, a social ethicist or a member of Social Ethics Society who works as a community organizer is not a philosopher in the true sense of the word. A community organizer as such has a different objective from that of a philosopher as such.

The mission of philosophy graduates and philosophy teachers who are members of Social Ethics Society is get themselves involved as philosopher, repeat as philosopher, with the ethical and moral dimensions of the social problems and issues in the real world. Whatever programs and projects of the Society, which they intend to implement in the real world, should be treated as vehicles of measuring the rightness of the moral conducts of people in a particular field of activity, which is in this instance, the proposed vegetable farming in North Cotabato. It is not the vegetable farming by small farmers that that the Society interested in, but it seeks to create an ethical environment of honesty for the participating small farmers in vegetable farming.  

The Masagana 99 Rice and Corn programs of the government were a huge success in North Cotabato in the late Seventies because the rice farmers used rightly their loans granted by the PNB in accordance with the instructions and directions of the Masagana Programs.. Unfortunately, the success was not sustained by many participating farmers because of their dishonesty.. Many did not purchase the correct volumes of seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and other things needed for a successful farming, because they diverted part of the loans to other uses not intended by the programs. The dishonesty of some participating farmers was aggravated by middlemen who acted as legitimate farmers in cohort with some corrupt employees of participating government agencies. This is just one instance of corrosive corruption in the agriculture sector.

The Social Ethics Society should prevent a repeat of an environment of dishonesty in farming. The success of the technical aspect of the proposed vegetable farming can be enhanced by farm technicians and/or agriculturists of USM. However, the ethical aspect of the moral behavior of participating vegetable farmers is not their concerned, unless they are also Social Ethics teachers. The ethical conduct of participating farmers in the proposed vegetable farming is the main concern of Social Ethics Society.

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