Monday, March 22, 2010

To live with Paradigm means to position for the Truth!

Reynard Tubid

The interview we had about the scientific paradigm of a person became interesting when we committed ourselves and allowed it to be nourished with pioneering thoughts and new ideas. The scope of our interview was given by Rev. Fr. Espiridion Celis. He was one of the controversial priests in the Archdioceses because of his inimitable and highly intellectual approach in a particular situation. It was an honored in my part as a seminarian to gaze at the viewpoint of Fr. Boy and recount it to other priests and find out the divergence of the two. When I first saw him with the words coming from his mouth, I immediately sensed he was a scholarly priest with certainty in every word he uttered. The way he constructed his ideas made me to listen attentively and let myself be open in whatever words he would like to convey. He did not pursue a formal way of speaking but it was a conversational dialogue with scientific approach. He was very much particular with the scientific use of words especially when we started the conversation with an inquiry regarding his stand about his existing issue with the Archbishop. Without much hesitation he answered it substantially. Fr. Boy does not believed in a processing that employed a purely intellectual structuring of all things. He compared himself and the other priest in a machine that was very manipulative and straightforward to the owner who used it. In a more scientific way of looking it, priests were not machines that it can understand only what it supposed to understand.
Being a priest in the Archdiocese of Jaro, he believed that the Archbishop did not use the possibility of understanding the situation of the parish priests in the parish. The administration seems to become dependent in the power of their minds than the power of their heart and will. The way they formulate and settle on the certain decisions, it is not directly coming from the perspective of everybody but in the perspective of the few and selected only. They were not getting information and necessary data to the whole in order to validate whether the decisions they made were ideal and applicable.
Evolution of scientific theory does not emerge from the straightforward accumulation of facts, but rather from a set of changing intellectual circumstances and possibilities. Fr. Boy believed in this kind of paradigm. Facts were not enough to support the paradigm of the person. It was not simply an idea that created something different in a situation or condition. The formulated facts do not served only as the basis of getting into the realm of another group of person. Scientific reasoning was not constant; it was a changing composition of thoughts and convictions. The person was not at all dependent from the words he articulated. But the person believed in a changing intellectual circumstances and possibilities. Meaning the idea was not only stagnant in a single point. It does not stay in an idea that was obsolete. In order to secure the paradigm he needs to be more innovative in making the argument both logical and scientific. There must be an intertwined string of consciousness wherein the person knew how to balance the situation. As the world moved faster, the paradigm of the people became competitive and advanced in the level of intellectual. Therefore, in order to preserve the compactness of the paradigm it must be sealed with principle, no matter what happen as long as one believed in the process of his own coerced initiative in taking the step of preserving the importance of it. Even though the scientific approached and the competitive people behind it would argue exhaustively the way you stood on your own conviction, the thing there was you knew how to go with the flow of your argument using the faculty of logic and your own approached. Fr. Boy would say, bisan isa lang ako sa akon panindugan ang importante I am capable of what I am talking and what I am doing. Of course we have different point of views but my approach of the things was not done violently but it was argued intellectually, he added. For me, the paradigm of many people became vulnerable as time goes by because they do not know how to safeguard it and give the best that they can do to integrate new but lasting scheme of thoughts in a highly intellectual loom. But if the challenging paradigm was solidified and unified, it will replace the old paradigm, and a paradigm shift will have occurred.
According to Kuhn, the scientific paradigms preceding and succeeding a paradigm shift were so different that their theories were not comparable. Kung may paradigm ikaw, ara da ang truth but it does not mean nga ara lang da ang kamatuoran. Fr. Boy would insist that sometimes the person would focus only in a one sided phase of the problem. They tend to forget the other side of the coin and sometimes they mean to do it. This was not a just and balance way of looking things in the same perspective. The person instead of getting into the deep core of the paradigm would center his understanding only and will always be in a single possibility. But this was not a good approached in the field of science. Every thing was viewed and clarified according in its form, structure and essence. It must be a resound and thorough understanding of the two paradigms. Meaning both sides were checked and had undergone a rigorous investigation. In order to be more secured with the words you utter and the conviction you stand, it was very basic if you both faced the problem. Do not jump into conclusion without recognizing the other one.
In the case of the coal fired power plant, the local Church especially in the Archdiocese of Jaro, with their representative in the person of Msgr. Oso, would usually argue that the project was not advantageous and would only create chaos in the lives of many people and of the environment as a whole. But Fr. Boy being one of the members of the monitoring team would say this was in contrary to what I experienced. They were saying that the coal fired power plant was very hazardous, have they understood the content of this project? When Fr. Boy asked Msgr. Oso if he knew what a precipitator was, he just nodded and said no! And so, drawing from this answer it somehow made me to reflect and to critic whether it was correct or not. What I mean was, before we defend for something be it in our paradigm or stand we must know first the content of it. Anyway, when Fr. Boy met again Msgr. Oso after 3 months, he asked him again with the same question. Still, Msgr. Oso did not know what a precipitator was. For almost 3 months he did not even research on the use of precipitator and even know what a precipitator was. This was illogical if we try to base it in the context of reasoning. One must be equipped enough of the important details before he could formulate a conclusion. Therefore in an issue there were two sides. If you do not know the process of both sides you are not just but wrong.
Fr. Boy committed himself in the coal fired power plant because he was able to collect facts regarding the appropriate way of handling the power plant. He has gone already in the U.S. and checked the plant there and tried to find out if the plant was releasing a black and dangerous smoke. The people would always testify that it does not affect them. In fact they benefited too much from it. But of course, Fr. Boy did not rely only from their answers. He made an initiative of having further research about it and eventually he found out that it was very useful and it can help in uplifting economic status of the place. In order to become firm in decisions one must see to it that supporters were not a guarantee in order to please them.
When was the time that the formators go against the Archbishop? This was the query which made me again to reflect on the process of getting into the relationship of the formators and the Archbishop. When was the time wherein the formators said bishop you know your decisions do not fit the factual need of your priests. Can I suggest in the betterment of your decisions? So far for about three years of my stay in the seminary I did not heard that the formators disagreed in the decision/s of the Archbishop and the persons around him. For me, the significance of paradigm do not focus on its capacity to know what was right and valuable but rather it was about the battle of doing right for the better. Fr. Boy was one of those priests who will fight and die in the name of principle and paradigm. The Archdiocese does not need a father that will depend only in the decision of the persons around him. A true father knows how to handle the situation and he will seek for the good of his sons. A true philosopher was capable of knowing the truth through correct reasons and scientific approach under the paradigm that was founded in a definite certitude.
Simple paradigm is honesty! Think first before theologizing. If you want to say something and if you think it restrains important points for the improvement of all doing it. Kung may punto ka hambal ka! Stand for the rights of others but not on your own if you know you were right. In the context of presbyterium, especially during the reshuffling of new assignments, the most affected priests were those who are getting older. The range of age matters in this situation. All those who reached the age of 65 will retire and take their rest in the Vianney center. As a young priest Fr. Boy prefer to stand on the side of the old priests. The parish priests as long as he could still tend the flock with enthusiasm and determination must be granted with the right to continue in his ministry of service despite the fact that he is getting older. The age of 65 was not the basis that the priests will stop in shepherding the flock. The point here was, as long as they were not ill and could do well in the ministry they were allowed to continue. The paradigm of Fr. Boy speaks about the consistency of decisions. It was not tackle before. The problem arises when the group of priests entered already in decision making. As scientists and philosopher, decisions were very much necessary. The philosopher must stand on his own paradigm no matter what; even death could not hinder them to do it. This was the ideal philosopher; he must possess it in order to build an authentic and continuous flow of ideas. Although change was necessary we need also to look at the perspective of others. Bisan mango man na sila I know may nabal-an sila nga wala nimo nabal-an! In order to actualize a certain paradigm it was basic if we listen first to others so that the proposition that we were proposing might not be falsified. When enough significant anomalies have occurred against a current paradigm, the scientific discipline was thrown into a state of crisis, according to Kuhn. Eventually a new paradigm was formed, which gained its own new followers, and an intellectual "battle" takes place between the followers of the new paradigm and the hold-outs of the old paradigm. The old priests will not allow that “early rest” be granted unto them. If there was a need for battle between the minds of the new ones and their minds I know they are a lot better than the other one. They have already several experiences that made them successful in their ministry. They will not permit that they will be conquered by new paradigms. The two paradigms will not be reconciled with each other because they were standing with their own belief and conviction. Though new paradigms were formed, still the old ones will not let their selves falter and remain as followers of those who possess the new and strong paradigms. The true winner in the end are those paradigms that are founded in history, experience and resonate way of thinking.
For about many years since the new Archbishop governed the diocese a lot of change in the Church gradually happened be it in regulations, arancel and other forms of ecclesiastical works, it has been evolving and I think will continue to do so. Change was difficult. A lot of priests resist change; however, the process has been set in motion. Kuhn states that "awareness is prerequisite to all acceptable changes of theory". It all commences in the mind of the person. What we recognize, whether normal or metanormal, conscious or unconscious, is subject to the restrictions and deformations produced by our inherited and socially conditional nature. However, we were not restricted by this for we can change. We are moving at an accelerated rate of speed and our state of awareness is transforming and transcending. Many are awakening as our conscious awareness develops. In the end, we could always say even the new paradigms are presented and if the old ones have something to propose also the battle of the minds continues. Respect is very important in order to maintain a balance way of looking life’s perspective and worth. We always seek for the truth and that truth is founded under the rule of paradigms. Each of us believed in our own paradigms. To have a paradigm is not bad as long as we are using it for the betterment of our future. The conformity of truth resides over the authenticity of our paradigm. We become determined with our actions if we allow the paradigm to simplify the things that are difficult and to stand with reason. Fr. Boy believed that the most respected paradigm of all is confined into the paradigm of honesty. If we become honest with our reason and conviction no wonder we could build a strong and a well – founded premises that will result into a perfect conclusion. Paradigm+honesty+determination=TRUTH. Thus, to live with paradigm means to position for the truth.

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