ETHICS MODULE 5: ETHICS THROUGH THICK AND THIN, ETHICS AND RELIGION LESSON 1: GLOBALIZATION AND PLURALISM 1. What is globalization? Globalization in its simplest form constructs the derivation of the word “integration”. Technicalities come in from the long history of chasing power and settling the fire not to burn others but to light them so that no one will be left behind the darkness. Reflecting on the reality, America winning the battle of the Cold War against the Soviet Union (communism) applies its idealisms such as capitalism. Being able to rise with the entitlement of becoming a superpower country, logically, to build an extension of their power to the other countries is what makes them superior. Narrowing the sphere of discussion, globalization goes through the borders of every country and nation. Uplifting the core value of integration for the development and progression of everyone through the exchange of products mainly related to technologies, communications, and investments. This is to allow countries to become more flexible and considerate. The idea of globalization would simply get into our minds as a good idealism. To create connections and help poor countries will simply steal our hearts to embrace this concept. But, on the other side due to the countries becoming more open the preservation of culture gets disturbed, issues including child labor, and multinational corporations overpowering the nation’s interest go in the line of complexity, alteration, and talks about human rights. In summary, as for me, globalization is a powerful binding force the creates integration, only the application as it is dealing with the different contexts should be observed and rightfully be applied in the fulfillment of what should it be. 2. What is the role of ethics in settling international issues such as territorial disputes, human rights violations, and war? In the whole duration of studying the subject of Ethics, I conclude that this concept stands between the walls of culture, law, and an extension of justice and fairness. Well, looking at the paradigm of the subject, it starts from the morality of each individual. From individuals, it penetrates differences as it would imply in the whole parameter of what defines and underpins globalization. Having that capacity to penetrate borders of differences, Ethics for what it values the concept of humanity as it aims to flatten the curves of derogatory practices of humans. Remember the concept of cultural relativism and its principle to do considerations that when we talk about the welfare of the people, the utilitarian approach of inserting what is commonly accepted values even if against one’s culture should rightfully and must stand between. The mandatory female mutilation albeit part of a long history and practice should be considered a violation of human rights as it could become a threat to the lives of many young girls. Ethics talks about the sincerity of our morals to conduct humane practices and decisions. The world is full of complexity but humans have one thing that they should keep in mind, and that is to remember that they are all human. 3. Give and discuss at least three principles of international law? a. Sovereign equality of States The sovereign or the freedom of states should be treated equally by international law. It is the principle that protects small states to be treated unequally. Their position in insisting their claims should be proportionate to what the others have. Even if you are a small country like the Philippines claiming its rights in the jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea against the giant country China was on their side insisting their “historical claims” in the South China Sea. At the end of underpinning concepts, it will always go to the principles of being right and fair to allow every side to be given the chance to get the limelight to elaborate their claims. b. Peaceful settlement of disputes Continuing the discussion, the dispute between the Philippines and China on their claims landed in the Internal Court of Tribunal in Hague, Norway. Under the settlement is the decision of the international court to invalidate the nine-dash line of China and its historical claims. This implies that countries under international law should always put in mind to consider first at their list in resolving a conflict, is to deliberate things peacefully. c. Duty of co-operation As a united nation that adheres to the same law that promotes harmony and alleviates conflicts, everyone therefore should value its presence and existence by cooperation. Ironically, China is one of the founding members of the United Nations still insisting on their invalidated claims thus implying its arrogancy in accepting the decision of the international court. LESSON 2: TAXATION 1. What are the essential characteristics of taxation? Discuss each. In a simple definition, taxation refers to the constitutional power of the government to impose a tax on products or services to create revenue that will fund the government programs. Under this, there are essential characteristics of taxation that all should be reminded of as we can gradually conclude the whole paradigm of the concept by discussing each. a. Enforced contribution Taxation as what we interrelate with the reciprocal duties of the government and people is a shared contribution for nation-building. The people must pay their taxes properly and the government should administer the revenue coming from taxes properly to programs that are beneficial to the people. b. Payable in the form of money Tax is payable in the form of money. Taxes are incorporated in the products and services that we bought (excise and value-added tax) and can also be a direct payment for our real state tax. It simply comes to the point that we mainly use money in our purchase transactions. c. Laid by the State which has jurisdiction or control over the subject to be taxed The government has the authority and power to determine who or what to tax. Things like this are being discussed thoroughly since there are principles that should be considered including fiscal adequacy, equality of theoretical justice, and administrative feasibility. d. Levied on persons, property, acts, privileges, or transactions Taxes are being imposed on persons, property, acts, privileges, and transactions. That are the reasons why we have different kinds of taxes. Some of which are the excise tax, real state tax, and income tax. e. Levied by law-making body of the State Under the constitution, the power to impose tax laws is given to the law-making body of the state or the legislative branch of the government comprised by the upper and lower house or the senate and the house of representatives. They are the ones that make propose provisions, review, and certify tax laws. f. Levied for public purpose The revenue that will be getting from the taxes should be properly administered and used by the government mainly for the programs that will benefit many, as precisely as that. 2. Is the TRAIN Law a solution to poverty reduction? The Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform f Acceleration and Inclusion Law is made to amend some sections of the Republic Act No. 8424 otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997. This is to impose a gradual tax increase mainly in excise tax of products including automobiles, sweet beverages, petroleum, cigarettes, and mineral products to gain adequate revenue for better funding of infrastructure projects (BUILD, BUILD, BUILD of the current administration), health, education, generation of jobs, and social protection for the people. At first glance, people might think that adding an excise tax rate on products that people usually bought is quite deteriorating the capacity of the people to buy goods. But if we assess the list of products that have been mentioned, there are not our necessities or things that we commonly need for survival. These are wants and even vices like sweet beverages and cigarettes that cause diseases and complications on health. And also, the traffic we are experiencing due to the high load of private vehicles. Concisely, the TRAIN Law is a long-term program to create revenue from taxes being imposed on products and services that are most likely to cause health and social issues. It is one way of indirect discouragement for the people to reduce their consumption of these specific products and even get a foo revenue from it that will be used to fund projects to alleviate poverty part by part. 3. Distinguish tax from license. Tax is the money paid by the people in return for their products and services being acquired. Tax forms revenue for the government to be used in programs like infrastructure, education, and health. On the other hand, a license is the police power of the state that regulates a person, service, business, and others to legally exercise something or to allow a specific grant. LESSON 3: PHILOSOPHY OF VALUE 1. What is your philosophy in life as a student? Why? My philosophy as a student is confined to the saying, “Discipline conquers anything.” Discipline is an essential value that everyone should possess. It reflects in our insistence, and our bravery to hold our principles in life. A student has all the obligations to nourish himself in return for his right to education. Discipline sets limits not to decrease your perseverance but to confine your composure into a much more guided and proper way. To make yourself learn not just about your lessons in books but your personality as well. A person provided that he has discipline redeem himself to have strong moral. As a student, time management is very important. It tests how strong your personality is, how resistant you are, and flexible on confining that composure within. People claim that the most powerful thing within each of us is our mind, therefore if you were able to control it, then you have it all to conquer anything. 2. What are the characteristics of values? Discuss each? A value has certain characteristics for it to be so-called. Below are the characteristics that a higher value must possess. a. Ability to endure A value should be something that must be put into consistency. That is why if you have a strong value in life it reflects on your personality. It encompasses patience and tolerance. b. Indivisibility A strong value must be tough and strong enough to be not easily destroyed. It is consistent and concrete enough to be indestructible. c. Generates other values To have a strong value also means something that encompasses or initiates other values in life to be generated. Like your value in discipline fosters values of tolerance, understanding, patience, consideration, and bravery. It can be a central core that connects all other values to build a stronger foundation. d. Gives deeper satisfaction A value that has been rooted sincerely within your soul gives a deeper satisfaction. It is worthy to be able to reflect that you are living with your values in life. e. Interdependence of experiencing organism A person with values in life should let himself be guided by his principles in life. As someone doing it, he should have control of it, especially since his decision could make changes to his values. There will be times that there will be inconsistencies but there are two separate entities here that are interrelated to each other. Someone should conform and something should make someone be formed. 3. Distinguish the following: attitude, behavior, and values. It goes in simple logical sequences. In making a decision, you have already your values within. It falls off the list of what you consider important, it is your core and something that drives your conscience. Your attitude then processes those things, pondering things of what to follow and not considering factors that could intervene. Your behavior then reflects how you act. These are the external actions that other people notice out of you. SUMMATIVE TEST Evaluate the impact of TRAIN Law in the Philippine Economic and Development using the Strength-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Approach. Consider ethical issues, moral deliberations, and underlying philosophical values. STRENGTH. Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law under its principles aims to enhance the progressivity of the tax system and increase economic activities for inclusive growth rate. Also, it provided the assurance of the proper administration of tax law by the government to use the revenue based on its primary objectives to fund the infrastructures, health, education, jobs, and social protection for people. One of its strengths is to gain revenue from the taxpayers that will be used in specified projects. Thus, directly or indirectly, makes taxpayers even though responsible for settling their taxes properly knowing that there is a benefit for doing that. Well, increasing the rate of additional taxes does not mean to make taxpayers suffer but it incorporates the shared cooperation that everyone is responsible for contributing to economic initiatives. Also, the law provided provisions to assure that the revenue will be used properly. As for that, the people not just the government should be aware of the accountability given to those who handle the taxes. It is the same with people’s accountability to pay their taxes too. WEAKNESSES. If we will be going to look at the horizon of the discourse, taxpayers are not the only ones to suffer the additional rates for taxes but also those who offer the products and services. Targeting specified products such as automobiles, sweet beverages, and cigarettes might weaken these industries. As an indirect discouragement of often consuming these products/services, we can assume that the productivity of these industries will decrease. Increasing the tax also means increasing the prices of which can trigger people to think they are incapable of buying these products that might lead them to a conclusion that they are decreasing to land in the line of poverty. Also, all those accusations in the government of corruption may give a notion for the people that their taxes are useless. It is like an adverse effect of its strength. OPPORTUNITIES. It comes along with the objectives of the law that have been already aforementioned. The higher the tax, the higher the revenue that the government will get. Therefore, they can now fund projects that have been objectified by the law. It is the opportunity of the government, that if the law after years of effectivity brought significant changes in the life of many would increase the interdependency of the taxpayers. Something that they can say is worth it. Also, the progress and development if the law conditionally becomes effective to persuade people to properly pay their taxes. It is a long-term solution, made to become a catalyst for the progression of the country to achieve its goals to alleviate poverty and to make the life of every Filipino better than before. THREATS. As usual, the biggest threat to things related to money is corruption. The country without degrading its honor has the entitlement of being one of the most corrupt governments in the world is a threat. Given this name, would you think that the taxpayers will be satisfied with what they are giving? Do their taxes commensurate to the efforts of the government to prove and fulfill its promises? Certainly, it will affect the trust of the taxpayers. ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS 1. Explain the basis of the inherent power of the State to impose or levy taxes. Taxation belongs to the three (3) inherent powers of the state namely the police power, eminent domain, and taxation. Aiming to know the basis, the theory of taxation which emphasized the government as a necessity is the central core of it. Tax is defined as the lifeblood of the state precisely to prove the importance of the taxpayers to fuel the government. It is a shared duty that both the state of its government and people should do their part in the holistic progression of the country. Imposing taxes to accumulate revenues that the government will use for different programs and projects that must be beneficial to the people of the state. 2. Why is it important for citizens and some non-citizens to pay tax?? As previously aforementioned, taxes coming from the taxpayers become the revenue of the government to initiate programs that will help the people of the country. It also holds the accountability of both parties, the people and the government, to pay their taxes properly the same as the government should use these taxes on where they were allocated. Conditionally, if the government has a strong mandate to hold the principle of being honest and true to their duty, the logic of having high taxes resulting in high revenues in which the government use to fund their programs can be a great system to underpin the country’s objective in progression and development. 3. How does taxation regulate the property of the citizens/residents?? In taxation, there is a property tax that can be identified as a real state and movable property. Real estate taxes are being imposed for the ownership of the non-arable land, residential buildings or apartments, business premises, administrative buildings, buildings or apartments for vacation and recreation, garages, and other building structures. On the other hand, movable property taxes are being imposed for ownership of movable property for passenger motor vehicles, buses, freight motor vehicles, freight trailer vehicles, tractors, combines, floating vessels, and aircraft. The importance of someone to be identified as the particular owner of a property is to ensure the liability to pay their taxes. Thus, in return, the legal ownership and license are given to protect his right by his responsibility of going in under the legal process to legally own a property. To be added, the rate of the tax they will be going to impose on the property should be proportional. 4. Is it moral for a citizen to still pay tax despite the fact that he gets poor as a consequence?? Explain. In the whole duration of pondering the process of taxation, I concluded that yes, the consequence of paying tax could make a citizen poorer depending on their social status and capability. I personally come to a conclusion highlighting the TRAIN Law specifically that taxes are a long-term investment. The first phase of imposing a new tax addition may truly make a significant impact not just on the capability of the taxpayers in need for their consumption but also on the industries that will be affected. The mechanism of particular tax law to minimize the impact into a gradual step-by-step process of making a curve in tax trajectory will be a great aid to do not fully burden the taxpayers. Like in the provision of TRAIN Law to gradually increase the rate of taxes in a particular time frame until it reaches 35% rate. And if the objectives of the government to initiate programs to support the fallback and put the line into proportion would be a great catalyst for a sudden economic pulse. 5. Are taxes paid by Filipino citizens commensurate to the services and programs they received from their government?? Defend your answer. In general, no. When we are going to ask ourselves, where do our taxes will use to? Generally, it should be used to provide a better health care system, transport system, higher educational standard and quality, and or of something that helps to alleviate poverty. Now, the present situation of our country still struggling in those fields mentioned therefore proving the utilization of the taxes is not that effective as it should be. But we should not devaluate the efforts of the current administration to sustain the infrastructure projects (BUILB, BUILD, BUILD) and the other programs like the Scholar Para sa Bayan Act and the Universal Health Care Act. Therefore, to state, it is not a total disagreement but it is a conclusion that the services and programs that currently exist are not enough for commensuration. 6. How do we decide for the common good?? What is the fairest and most just method of distributing goods?? Taxes are imposed by the government to utilize its value that will be going to benefit every citizen of the country. As we are talking about benefits, in what form can the government deliver these benefits to the people? The government initiates programs and projects to respond to the current needs of the people where they are getting taxes. Commensuration should happen wherein both parties do their part in making the system of taxation work. To be reminded, programs are subjected not to a particular individual nor a specific group. It should be something that everyone should be benefited. Going specifically, these are programs in fields that are considered basic needs of the people including education, health, and transportation. 7. Is all income subject to tax?? Explain. Well, in general understanding, all income should be subjected to tax unless there is a law or provision that gives exemption for a certain amount of income. Also, there are lots of other ways that an income for example is not subject to taxation. Like tax insurance benefits and others. Furthermore, the income of churches, charitable institutions, and religious organizations is not subject to tax at all. 8. What are the ways to avoid taxation?? There are legal ways to reduce your taxes or even avoid taxation. One way is to track and claim allowable deductions. It is usually in your expenses relating to business in a way that if you track all your operating and overhead expenses, you can claim them as allowable deductions to reduce tax legally. Another one is when you are personally handling your insurances especially medical insurance. Invest enough to at least reduce your overall annual income for you to be not subjected to tax if it is conditional meets the criteria for exemption. Also, you can donate some to charitable institutions and most especially be informed of the tax reforms made by the government. 9. Is it reasonable not to tax churches, charitable institutions, and religious organizations?? Why?? Yes. It is quite logical to understand for reason that there are existing constitutional laws that separate the church and the government. That is according to Article II, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution. It is then consolidated by Article VII, Section 28 of the same constitution which states charitable institutions churches and parsonages or convents appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit cemeteries, and all lands, buildings, and improvements, directly and exclusively used for religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation. 10. Submit a reaction paper on the topic “The New Tax Reform Law or TRAIN”. Do not exceed 500 words. Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law under its principles aims to enhance the progressivity of the tax system and increase economic activities for inclusive growth rate. Also, it provided the assurance of the proper administration of tax law by the government to use the revenue based on its primary objectives to fund the infrastructures, health, education, jobs, and social protection for people. One of its strengths is to gain revenue from the taxpayers that will be used in specified projects. Thus, directly or indirectly, makes taxpayers are responsible for settling their taxes properly knowing that there is a benefit for doing that. Well, increasing the rate of additional taxes does not mean to make taxpayers suffer but it incorporates the shared cooperation that everyone is responsible for contributing to economic initiatives. Also, the law provided provisions to assure that the revenue will be used properly. As for that, the people not just the government should be aware of the accountability given to those who handle the taxes. It is the same with people’s accountability to pay their taxes too. If we will be going to look at the horizon of the discourse, taxpayers are not the only ones to suffer the additional rates for taxes but also those who offer the products and services. Targeting specified products such as automobiles, sweet beverages, and cigarettes might weaken these industries. As an indirect discouragement of often consuming these products/services, we can assume that the productivity of these industries will decrease. Increasing the tax also means increasing the prices of which can trigger people to think they are incapable of buying these products that might lead them to a conclusion that they are decreasing to land in the line of poverty. Also, all those accusations in the government of corruption may give a notion for the people that their taxes are useless. It is like an adverse effect of its strength. It comes along with the objectives of the law that have been already aforementioned. The higher the tax, the higher the revenue that the government will get. Therefore, they can now fund projects that have been objectified by the law. It is the opportunity of the government, that if the law after years of effectivity brought significant changes in the life of many would increase the interdependency of the taxpayers. Something that they can say is worth it. Also, the progress and development if the law conditionally becomes effective to persuade people to properly pay their taxes. It is a long-term solution, made to become a catalyst for the progression of the country to achieve its goals to alleviate poverty and to make the life of every Filipino better than before. 11. Describe the role of religion in a globalized world. Is religion still relevant?? Explain. Globalization takes into account bridging gaps and surmounting barriers of differences. Wherein to build a connection is not as that hard thing to do. By losing up the tightness of strict cultural preservation, we become more aware of not just the informative details that we can learn but also the behavior of the people itself even if we are too far from each other. Thus, it creates a conclusion of how significant the culture can affect the behavior of the people. The same with the comparative observation of recognizing one’s roots by observing their ways of interaction with others. Now, religion is part of that culture but the point is that it is no longer an issue in the current status of the world flow. There is not much conflict, in general, that is directly related to religion. The awareness of the people to embrace the concept of cultural differences with an approach to respect and tolerance is something that connects people whoever they are. One contributor also is those religious leaders of today’s generation are more open to understanding and respecting each belief like the Roman Catholic Church and Islam. 12. Does religion affect ethics and vice versa?? Definitely, yes. If you come up with a logical construction of the idea that religion is one of the major influencers of one’s moral recognition, you would probably easily conclude that it has significant effects on ethics. The fact that more people argue about the existence of universal morality will reflect on how strong religion is. Of how it manipulates the mind of the people to be persistent on the beliefs that they are embracing. In conceptual comprehending, religion and ethics are inseparable. Religions do have curves that ethics would like to flatten. From the point they met, the conflict arises. 13. Reaction paper on “Involvement of Filipina Teenage Girls in Premarital Sex.” 500 words or less. The strong influence of social media connects and bridges kinds of behavioral adaptation. We knew about the context of our own culture to be preservative and look up to women as clean, neat, and simple. That is from the fact that our roots are significantly influenced by strong beliefs in Catholicism. Generations have been thought to confine with that thought that a woman should be someone that looks respectful, simple, and clean. But now that the world made its own cracks that somehow build more ways to connect people of different cultures and beliefs, we have been introduced to foreign concepts and behaviors. That made a huge impact knowing that the culture of colonial mentality still exists. Filipinos tend to look up to the ways of Western Culture, their behaviors, and personalities. Highlighting the concept of premarital sex, we can assume that this is western culture. In America specifically, premarital sex seems to be normal in their social context. Teenagers even have engaged in this kind of thing at the age of 13. Now, the fascination of the Filipinos, their colonial mentality gets them to be persuaded to do the same. It is then consolidated by the fact that the internet offers more open pornography access to the people. This talk is not just about female teenagers but the same with males. Their awareness and engagement in social media increase the probability to feed their conscience of what is it feels like. Premarital sex has been a huge issue, a factor that contributes to the increase in teenage pregnancy, education drop rate, population spike, and poverty. The existence of social media could remain forever, we cannot drop it out all at once for it to do not influence people regarding this matter. The only solution is to fight it with fire. Teenage awareness of this kind of sensation should be surmounted by their awareness of how it could destroy their life and remind them of the importance of their selfpreservation. Social media can create an adverse effect to counter the impact of these malicious ideas. Instead of disseminating inappropriate content, everyone should put in their mind the impact that they can bring to save the lives of many from deterioration by sharing awareness to discourage people especially teenagers from doing premarital sex. 14. How did globalization make the world smaller?? Globalization encourages countries to open their borders freer mainly for trade and communication. To highlight, the existence of the internet becomes the catalyst for faster communication not just by talking or for socialization but also to use it in business transactions, and educational purposes. With just one click, you can meet virtually and interact with foreign people allowing everyone to be able to build connections, or a relationship even if far from each other. To use as a tool for transactions, like online shopping in local or international. Allowing other countries to invest and generate jobs for the people in that particular country of investment. Building a better connection is something that binds people and creates a small world by bridging gaps literally and defying borders of differences. 15. Do you agree that universalism devalues moral absolutes?? Explain. Moral absolutism is the belief there are universal ethical standards that apply to every situation. While universalism suggests that it is possible to apply generalized norms, values, or concepts to all people and cultures, regardless of the contexts in which they are located. Well, they do have the same central core as you can assess. Therefore, they do both have the same central theme that there is an absolute moral that can be applied in different contexts as opposed to moral relativism. Concluding, there is no reason for the concept of universalism to devalue moral absolute. 16. How does multiculturalism value acceptance and reject discrimination of people?? Multiculturalism by its term itself promotes integration despite differences in culture. It is another term for unity wherein all cultures are being accepted and given equal opportunities to freely express their position with mutual respect and tolerance. Therefore, if this is the aim of multiculturalism it is rational to determine that by its value it rejects discrimination. If we have our core principles uplifting the values of understanding, tolerance, and acceptance, there will be no such discrimination that will arise. 17. Does religion divide, more than it unites humanity?? Explain. When we are talking about the holistic parameter of humanity, it is yes. We do have different religions with different beliefs and doctrines albeit have some commonalities their insistence to believe that they are the right religion argues people to create barriers in such instances. Therefore, we can precisely conclude that in a general view, religion is more of tend to create division rather than unity for the whole context of humanity. 18. What do you think about the opinions of varying religions on sex and its moral implications?? Do you agree with the opinion of the religion you are affiliated with?? Explain. Well, my religion believes in the sanctity of virginity for women. Thus, discouraging anyone to commit sex before marriage or the thing that we commonly recognize as premarital sex. I agree with this because it values discipline, tolerance, patience, and selfpreservation which are important things that everyone should cultivate and be mindful of all the time. 19. How do you integrate cultural self-awareness in the global society?? What dilemmas are you most likely to face?? In a world that is more open to exposure due to social media, it is essential to have awareness, especially that your thoughts and opinions are open to a bigger platform. From that, we should remember that each person has a personality coming from different backgrounds and conditioning. In instances, our ignorance causes misunderstandings. I becoming hesitant in expressing my opinions especially culturally and politically related discourses. My wording, if this might offend other people or cause misunderstanding and chaos. But, if you are into expressing yourself, know that this world is not just about you, and to think that we have differences each one of us should point out our commonalities which one is to respect. 20. Make/draw a poster slogan depicting Filipino millennials in the globalized society/world.