What Would Capt. Kirk Do on the RH Bill?

“Space… the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life forms and new civilizations; to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

To all you Trekkies out there (oh c’mon… admit it) ever wonder what Captain James T. Kirk will do in the voting of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill should he take the Enterprise at warp factor 12, sling shot around the sun, go back in time and witness the historic voting on the RH Bill in the Philippine Congress and Senate? Will he allow history to unfold or will he set his phaser on stun and zap Senators Santiago and Cayetano, as well as the Congressmen who voted for the Bill? I guess it depends whether Capt. Kirk is a liberal or a conservative. What do I mean by that? Well, I think there is value in understanding the thought process of different people instead of labeling one side as agents of Lucifer and the other side as out-of-touch relidiots. Although I must admit, this habit is tougher to break than trying to eject a morbidly obese man holding a Krispy Kreme donut while sitting in James Bond’s car. Incidentally, James Bond is still harassing me to pay for the damage I caused to the seat ejection system of his car.

captain_kirkOkay let’s start with the Prime Directive. The United Federation of Planets has a general order to its Starfleet that there can be no interference with the internal development of alien civilizations. So let’s grant, for the sake of argument, that Capt. Kirk is an alien to Earth during Earth year 2012. If he knows from history available in the year 2248 that the RH Bill is going to lead the Philippine culture and civilization to further degradation and extinction and if he believes that acts that lead to human suffering and death are immoral, will Capt. Kirk still stand firm on his sworn duty to obey the Prime Directive or will he interfere and save the Filipino civilization from further degradation and extinction?

If Capt. Kirk is a liberal, I submit that he probably would still let the legislators vote in favor of the RH Bill. Why? Because liberals tend to be moral relativists rather than moral absolutists. For liberals, morality is not determined by a single holy book or institution. For liberals, each individual (or even each society) has the right for self-determination and to decide what is right for him/herself. If we are talking about a society, then the majority’s voice in the society dictates what is right for that society. Hmmm… seems pretty consistent with the pro-choice mantra to me. For a liberal Kirk, every society has the right to decide for itself what is right or wrong according to its values and beliefs. Although Kirk has future knowledge of the consequence of such decisions, Kirk has no moral standing to stop the 2012 Philippine legislators for paving the way to its civilization’s demise.

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In contrast, a conservative Kirk will probably get Scotty to beam him down with an away-team to interfere with the RH Bill voting. For him, interfering to save the Filipinos from paving the way to their own extinction is like saying that what the 2012 Filipinos regard as morally right for them is in fact morally wrong. So in effect, this is saying that laws made by humans must be judged by higher laws or absolute truths. This is essentially the common denominator amongst conservatives. Of course this notion presupposes that “higher laws” or “absolute truths” exist. This also does not mean that all conservatives believe that God or gods exist. But what it is suggesting is that conservatives reason outward, from unchanging principles to policies.

Conservatives have no problem with absolutes. They embrace unchanging intellectual and moral yardsticks. They recognize that there are solid lines out there that separate right from wrong. Liberals don’t like absolutes. If unchanging intellectual and moral yardsticks exist, then things can be measured! We know where that leads to, right? Ranking and inequality! Bobby, who is responsible and who is diligent in his studies, has higher grades than slacker Dan who is failing class. That’s not fair! We ought to take Bobby’s extra grades which he doesn’t need anyway and redistribute those to Dan and others who are failing so that everyone is equal and no one is left behind. I’ve heard supporters of the RH Bill tout that the RH Bill is pro-poor, that it would give a chance to the poor to avail of more resources (since there will be lesser competition for resources with a drop in the population) and this will, in turn, elevate them to the middle class. Of course the funding to sustain the contraceptive freebies will be coming from the taxpayers, you know…. the ones who work for their money. So it would be okay to take from the “haves” to redistribute their hard-earned money to the “have-nots” so that in the end everything is equalized and balanced. Perhaps equality is the ultimate absolute moral truth for liberals and this end justifies whatever means is taken in order to get it, however unequal the means seem to be.

Look, I’m not saying which of the two (moral relativism versus moral absolutism) is right. The discussion may take us up to Stardate 38774 and we still won’t reach a definitive conclusion on that. What I’m merely saying is that before we go out bashing people’s view on the RH Bill, we ought to try to understand people’s thought process in their value judgments as well.

Live long and prosper.

39 Replies to “What Would Capt. Kirk Do on the RH Bill?”

  1. Maybe we should all go back in time. Since the Philippines is an off-shoot of the concept of a representative republic shouldn’t we understand how the concept came to be after centuries of evolution? In my mind, both sides are wrong. Freedom means being allowed to make mistakes but not if it means taking freedom away from someone else. We must all face the consequences for our own actions and not rely on hand-outs to cover for our own stupidity. Freedom also means not using the government as a hammer to beat down anyone who dares to “step out of line”. The reason the representative republic has failed is that it requires the citizens to be self-disciplined. That is a concept not encouraged in this culture, therefore, whatever freedom people think they enjoy today is likely to disappear in the future.

    1. I hear you, T4Man! I prefer personal responsibility myself. I also tend to be skeptical about the government in many things as well. Like I said in my previous article, I think dole-outs will just make our mendicant and mooching society worse. Thanks for reading!

  2. Dear fellow trekker (or trekkie, whichever you prefer),

    i personally am pro RH bill and would vote for it. i have never used population control and pro-poor as reasons for being pro RH bill. i have attempted to use logic as vulcans do. it was cited by some that the magna carta for women is enough but if it was enough then why do we still have high maternal, prenatal and infant deaths. i see the RH bill as a bill that further clarifies and enhances the provisions that relate to motherhood and maternal health in the magna carta for women. it addresses specific issues such as teen pregnancies such as caring for them as well as the more trivial matter of preventing them. it emphasizes and further elaborates prematernal, maternal, neonatal and infant care. the RH bill may not be perfect but i have not seen anything that is currently effective or even efficient in handling these issues so i would rather give it a try. i ask now what the anti-RH bill group done for these issues that was effective or even efficient? have they even proposed a better solution, a different solution other than what they have already presented in the past such as “love”? (this was so vague, the person who gave the speech did not even clarify how it will work or how it will be used or how things should be done, he just said love. we have different reasons why we are pro or anti RH bill and i gave mine.

    1. Greetings, fellow Trekkie! 🙂 Thanks for your input. I too would have loved to hear from the anti-RH folks more sensible arguments and proposals. They could have addressed the concerns through other means focused on the economy that would offer alternative solutions to the concerns raised by the pro-RH folks. The problem, I think, is that the anti-RH folks mostly focused on religious grounds… which was a huge mistake, I believe. Thanks for reading!

  3. I’d assume he’d go Kobayashi Maru and cheat his way to passing it without causing substantial friction, since apparently it’s being painted as a lose-lose situation either way. 😛

      1. It was Wrath where he said he did not believe in a no win scenario. In Search for Spock my two favorite quotes were “I have had enough of you” and “I’ll kill you later” to John Laroquette I believe.

      1. 🙂 hehehe You know Ariel Joseph Santos of the GRP Community FB page shared a funny Youtube video that shows Kirk spreading space herpes. I guess Kirk would not care to use condoms in his time because Bones would have a cure for STD in stock for him in the the 23rd century. Here’s the link to the video: http://youtu.be/WM4cKaX3dqc

        1. HOHOHOHOHO, LOL! Thinking about it, men can feel better with no rubber on, if you know what I mean. So following the logic of Kirk not caring to use condoms. >:)

  4. Kirk: You’re becoming more and more human everyday.
    Spock: Captain, I consider that an insult.

    Pinoy: You’re becoming more and more Pinoy everyday.
    Get Realist: I consider that an insult. 😛

  5. @ Hector G

    Too late! Your hero Capt.Kirk have been napping on the Enterprise, that guy from Malacanang outsmarted him by directing his friends in congress to pass the RH bill while every moron in the country is busy getting drank and caught up celebrating the holiday season.

    Capt.Kirk can beam down the palace for the signing of the bill and hang out with the panot, sister Kris and members of congress. Feliz Navidad…LOL!!!

    1. LA702, yeah it’s too late… but it wasn’t because Kirk has been sleeping on the Enterprise. Knowing Kirk, he was probably getting it on with someone on the ship and there’s not much sleeping going on. 🙂 hehehe Thanks for reading!

  6. capt. kirk will be sweet talking every female out there, alien or not, with three tits or three horn. he’ll be f*****g all of them just the same.

  7. Hector,

    Personally, I’m a LIBERTARIAN. Conservative when it comes to politics and economics. Liberal when it concerns sex. Or whatever you call that thing you do in the bedroom.

    To the Catholic Church: Keep your nose out of my business! AND KEEP YOUR HANDS OUT OF THE CHILDREN’S PANTS!

    To the Liberal/Leftist Philippine government: Get your hands off my wallet! Get your hands off my guns! STOP TRYING TO TELL ME HOW TO LIVE MY LIFE!

  8. I’m more of a moral absolutist, but I’m neither pro or anti RH really. I mean, will it really make an impact, and the right impact at that? That’s the right question at the moment for me.

    1. Let me add, one of the traps set by the Catholic Church is opposing the Bill was to turn it into a moral argument. The pro-RH people could have avoided it, and kept it technical. But they failed, and got suckered into the moralist discussions. Had they resisted the urge to go moralistic themselves, they would have avoided the controversy thrown on the bill by the Church, and would look less foolish when arguing on the bill.

      1. Hi Chino. I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with using moral arguments. The problem is the type of moral argument used. Granting that it was in the RCC’s nature to appeal to the divine command theory of morality, any thinking person can shoot holes in that argument. Is something right because God commands it? Or is something right because it is right? Embracing the former would suggest that rightness is arbitrary. So what if God says that senseless murder is right, would that then make it right? However if one is to choose the latter, it could suggest God’s great wisdom for recognizing what truly is right. This means that God and morality are two separate things and neither one determines the rightness of the other. That, I think, hold more power in today’s society than the divine command theory of morality. Thanks for reading!

      2. Hector & ChinoF,

        But it isn’t even about morality. This is all just rhetoric — a technique of persuasion. Therefore the objective was to put forth opinions with which (most of) the intended audience will agree, to supply arguments that are difficult to refute, usually with language that will arouse in the audience emotions to convince the majority that the argument being proposed is appropriate. The aim of rhetoric is to achieve a consensus. This is where the Church argument falls apart.
        With overbearing arrogance, it degenerated into name calling, lies and intimidation. They threatened excommunication and made idiotic pronouncements about divine retribution in the form of Typhoon Bopha. Many were genuinely shocked at their absurd behavior. In the end, their useless, overemotional words failed to fool the public. In the end the Church was exposed as just another political hack desperately trying to cling to secular power.

        1. Correct, it wasn’t really about morality but the RCC was packaging it with morality. The problem was their packaging was so outdated. I think the anti-RH folks should have diversified in their attacks. They could have still kept their moral and religious argument but they also could have used some fiscal conservative policy arguments and also made the case that the cost of the program will end up hurting the economy more and will burden the taxpayers and consumers. The cost of living is increasing as it is without the RH Bill, what more if another program will be shouldered by the taxpayers. More to the point, if the RH Bill is being touted as pro-women, what will happen if businesses decide to avoid hiring women as the Bill would mandate businesses to spend for women’s contraceptives, prenatal medical care, etc.? I mean they could have attacked the Bill at different angles simultaneously; perhaps even the equal protection of laws angle as the Bill is designed to favor women over men. Why the anti-RH folks decided to merely focus on the argument of “sin” and “abortion” is beyond me.

        2. Another thing… maybe the anti-RH folks could have framed contraceptives use as a “lifestyle choice” rather than a “sin”. The question to ask the common taxpayer is: would you want to pay for the lifestyle choice of another person? The problem is there are more people in the Philippines who do not pay taxes and are motivated by “free stuff”. Competing against an entitlement and mooching mindset is tough. Even for the taxpayers who are sick of bailing out the freeloaders, they might say that they would rather pay for someone else’s contraceptives rather than to pay for someone else’s kids’ school and other social and infrastructure needs. I certainly once claimed that in a discussion I had with an atheist friend of mine. In America I wouldn’t go for this kind of dole-out program. In the Philippines.. well… it’s a little different there. The Philippines is a hopeless case if you ask me. I hope I’m wrong.

        3. “made idiotic pronouncements about divine retribution in the form of Typhoon Bopha”

          My church mate told me that Pablo got angry with Pedro, and I said yes, referring to Galatians 2 in the Bible.

          He later clarified that Pablo (typhoon Bopha) got “angry” with the sainthood of Pedro Calungsod!

          Gee, divine retribution can be so relative and biased!

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