I love Philosophy. And today I’m treading in dangerous waters because I’m mixing philosophy with politics.

Epistemic responsibility. Photo courtesy of Crash Course.

Epistemic responsibility is the responsibility we have regarding our beliefs, according to Crash Course 1It’s the shortest and simplest description I could find.. It requires us to have proofs for our beliefs, thus avoiding believing something blindly. And I think it’s very handy in having political views.

Whenever my friends and I get into a (local) political debate, usually after many drinks, I would often find myself against them. Most of them like our current president, while some are apathetic. Firstly, I don’t think we should be apathetic about politics because it affects us whether we like it or not.

Personally, I don’t like our current president because he prefers to wage a war against drugs, thus killing his own people, rather than to focus on more important matters such as education. If you actually want to know more about why I don’t like him, click here.

W.K. Clifford on epistemic responsibility. Photo courtesy of Crash Course.

My friends like him because they believe that “crime is/has lessened when there are less drug addicts around” and so they support his war on drugs. The problem is, they are supporting this absurd claim without any evidence.

In fact, there are studies that show that drug addiction is an illness and that not all drug addicts are criminals.

People (cops and vigilantes alike) have killed for the sake of this war on drugs. And even if you haven’t killed anyone but you believe that absurd claim, you have already done wrong, according to W.K. Clifford, that dapper mathematician and philosopher on my post thumbnail. Why? Read below:

Photo courtesy of Crash Course.

So, why do people still blindly follow politicians even if there are solid arguments against them? Here’s an excellent quote from the New York Times’ opinion article, I Loved My Grandmother But She Was A Nazi.

My grandmother heard what she wanted from a leader who promised simple answers to complicated questions. She chose not to hear and see the monstrous sum those answers added up to. And she lived the rest of her life with the knowledge of her indefensible complicity.

Politicians say what we want to hear in order to be elected. Whether you believe in epistemic responsibility or not, it is your responsibility to be vigilant as to who you elect in office because it will affect you and your loved ones. The ones who voted for our current president also suffer from this war on drugs and they now regret voting for him.

Do you exercise your epistemic responsibility?

P.S. Check out Crash Course, they’ve got interesting topics that you can learn for free in under 10 minutes. Plus, John and Hank Green host some of the subjects! 2I’m not sponsored, I swear. I just love them! :lol:

—OPTIONAL READING—

Why I don’t like the President

I listed the reasons why I don’t like my country’s current president so you guys know I don’t blindly hate him lol. I never liked Duterte. In fact, I don’t like politicians who are part of a political dynasty 3To my Filipino readers, I don’t like the Aquinos either so rest easy.. But here’s an itemized list of grievances, as Alexander Hamilton would say. Read at your own pleasure. I’ve included links to back up my claims.

  1. He waged a war on drugs that has killed 6,000+ Filipinos 4It was 7,000+ last I heard on the TV., most of them poor and not bosses of drug cartels. Cops and vigilantes alike are killing innocent people in the name of that war.
  2. He doesn’t take full responsibility of his people. A kidnap-slay of a Korean businessman by Filipino policemen temporarily put a stop on the war on drugs. The police chief only made them do push-ups and shipped them off to fight on the front lines instead of making them face justice.
  3. He doesn’t take criticism well. He called an ex-Colombian president an idiot for saying that he is repeating his mistakes for taking on the war on drugs because it cannot be won by killing.
  4. He doesn’t speak like a diplomat, which is probably why the masses voted him into power but it doesn’t sound good to hear a president cursing anyone, especially prominent international figures like the Pope and former US Pres. Obama among others.
  5. He has flip-flopped on his stances on protecting the country’s territory against China and same-sex marriage.
  6. He let a dictator be buried in the Heroes’ Cemetery.
  7. He introduced the son of aforementioned dictator as the next VP if he wins his electoral protest against his current VP.
  8. He literally divided the Filipinos on a national holiday that celebrates independence from said dictator.
  9. His Press Secretary is likened to Kellyanne Conway because of his alternative facts.
  10. His Justice Secretary had the gall to ask his supporters who to arrest next after a prominent critic of his got arrested.
  11. His Solicitor General wants to free the woman who headed one of the most infamous government scams in PH history.
  12. He hit on his VP, admitting he ogles her knees during cabinet meetings, which is probably why he was portrayed as a guy making an advance towards Madame Secretary in the US TV show.

I know a fair amount of my readers here are Filipinos and I’m not here to preach. If you do like him, kindly tell me why, I would like to know your side.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. It’s the shortest and simplest description I could find.
2. I’m not sponsored, I swear. I just love them! :lol:
3. To my Filipino readers, I don’t like the Aquinos either so rest easy.
4. It was 7,000+ last I heard on the TV.


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18 Comments | Leave one? ⇡

    On April 4th, 2017, Gellie said,
  1. He is a charming president for the masses. He speaks the language of the streets and that’s how he managed to win them over. I am not a fan of Duterte but I still acknowledge the good things he has done so far. One of the things that hurts me the most is how our country is subtly becoming more sexist each day. Yes, there are people who are standing up against sexism and all that but if our president will continue disrespecting women the way he does, it would have a domino effect on his fans. And what’s funnier is that these people aren’t even aware of how horrible they have been acting. Providing additional maternity leaves and equal wages for women isn’t the sole proof of being a feminist… There’s so much more to the word than that.

    I’m glad to have stumbled upon your blog. :)

    xoxo,
    Gelleesh.com
    Gellie recently posted FOTD: Fab Working Girl Makeup LookMy Profile

    [Reply]

    On April 5th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Gellie, thank you for making that case! I completely agree. I forgot to include his anti-feminist statements in the earlier part of the post. It is very sad to see men look up to him and echo his statements :(
    I’m glad more and more people are becoming “woke” regarding gender equality :heart:
    Thank you, I’m glad to have found your blog also! I especially love your post when you stood up against catcallers ^^

    [Reply]

    On April 6th, 2017, Hidden Ninja replied:

    @Gellie,

    I think it’s classist to say he speaks the language of the “masses”. He does not. Being part of the common people or poor does not automatically mean they are crude, sexists, racists, insensitive. Many people who grew up in poverty or are mere common people are not as ill-mannered as him, nor curse like him. There are many rich people or socialites who are very ill-mannered and curse a lot. He is an example of it.

    What he speaks is the language of the elitists.

    [Reply]


  2. On April 4th, 2017, Hidden Ninja said,
  3. I would say that you are brave to voice out your opinion why you don’t like Duterte. It’s even quite dangerous to criticize him on the internet/social media because you will be bullied online, too.

    I don’t like him either and I am actually bothered by the rational as why people support him. It reeks of elitism, ignorance of the constitution, lack of critical thinking and “as long as it does not happen to me I do not care” mentality. Most people I see that support him are people who were able to attain education, and most of Duterte’s victims are people from poor communities. It’s a class war disguised as war on corruption.

    But Duterte’s rise isn’t all of a sudden. It was part of years and years of feeding people wrong information, and people believe anything said to them without trying to verify. For example, the claim that Davao is the safest city in the Philippines, but if you look at PNP statistics, it actually is still the murder capital of the Philippines, and second to Quezon city when it comes to rape.

    And the claim that he is not traditional politician? His father was the governor of Davao province (before it was partitioned) and I believe was part of the Marcos cabinet. Then, people turn blind eye to his admission of bribery (“Emilio Aguinaldo”). Not to mention, when the Commission on Audit tried to investigate him for his 11,000 ghost employees in Davao, he told them to “f*ck off”

    And look at how he treats Leila de Lima. Lots of contradicting “facts” against her, but if you dig further, it is easy to see why he is persecuting De Lima: She had the guts to investigate him while he was still Davao mayor regarding his human rights violations(the alleged 1,000 EJK in Davao city).

    I think Duterte belongs to a mental facility, not in Malacanang.

    One question to the Duterte supports, if you’re family member or friends become victim of EJK (no due process, false allegation, mistaken identity), will you still say “They deserve it”? If these people think that the EJK victims deserved what they got, they better not complain if the same thing happens to them or to someone close to them. I dare them say that their family/friend “deserved it”.

    [Reply]

    On April 5th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Hidden Ninja, I agree with you, that it’s actually “a class war disguised as war on corruption.”
    Ugh, yes, his supporters keep defending him even when there’s clear reason to doubt him.
    I actually wanted to include that part re: de Lima but the post would’ve been way too long. I completely agree. Duterte sides with his cabinet members with multiple wives, children (e.g. Pantaleon) but antagonizes de Lima and ridicules her because of her affair.
    I asked one of my friends that question and he said that “Yes, they do deserve it.” I don’t think he was serious, though. He just thinks it’s impossible to happen. How can their lord and savior do that to them, right? /sarcasm

    [Reply]


  4. On April 4th, 2017, Elisa L. said,
  5. philosophy intrigues me too but i don’t really dwell so much into it. i mean, i don’t read philosophical novels and stuff (paulo coelho? i don’t read his books) unlike my intp friend. it’s sort of amusing for me because we’re intj and my friend is intp, only one alphabet away but we all find philosophy interesting. it’s random, i know haha :grin:

    mixing philosophy and politics is a difficult thing. philosophy alone is difficult enough to dissect. in my major, one of my subjects was aesthetic and it also covers some parts of philosophy – for instance, nietzsche said that time is an illusion and assassin’s creed taught me that nothing is true, everything is permitted. Lol so much for video game reference.

    while i was never exposed to the concept of epistemic responsibility, after reading your explanation, i find myself to be one of those people. i don’t and refuse to believe in something until i see a proof to back up its argument. it’s like crime, you know? if you don’t have alibi, you can’t say you’re not at fault until further investigation. like philosophy, politics will never be a one-sided story. some people will agree while others will object. when it comes to politics, it’s also truth to say that fools are easily manipulated by the higher ups because that’s what politic is, a manipulative game.

    take my country for example. in indonesia, we are currently on our way to elect our governors. the first group is a Chinese-Indonesian man (his vice is pure Indonesian who is a Muslim) whose religion is not a Muslim while the second group consists of two Muslim Indonesians. the first man is stern, strict and does what he promises. he has kept promises and built a better Jakarta. he cares about building a better city for the people. the second man, however, proposed something that sounds like a lie – he promised no down payment for purchases on house. i don’t mean to bash Indonesians but there are more fools in this country as opposed to intelligent ones so in order to win, politic is manipulating them to choose the second candidate instead. plus, they are using religion to manipulate the people by saying provocative words like “are you sure you want your governor to be a non-Muslim?”

    i don’t want to go on and on about my country’s politics because it’s filled with so much bullshit and fanatic idiots. all i’m saying is that it’s easy to believe in empty words and promises because politic is all but a mind game. the people in Indonesia – or in this case, Jakarta – are so easy to be played and pushed around like this because they believe in words without proofs. sometimes, i think people blindly believe in those beautiful words said by politicians as placebo effect, as a way to make themselves fee that the world is a pretty place, give them empty hope, you know? it’s stupid tbh but i try to keep quiet because i cannot stand the people in this country. plus, politic drives me nuts and mad. if i get myself involved in political discussion, i’ll probably butcher someone because he/she has no logical basis for his/her arguments and beliefs (and i’m all about the logical proofs #INTJproblems)

    i personally think there’s no way you can win a political discussion or debate against other people since it involves free thoughts and opinions. i’m not gonna lie and say i know political topics and news about other countries because like i said, i don’t want to be involved. politics make my head hurt (and sometimes, i don’t know if this makes me ignorant and stupid because i don’t always talk or read into politics.) all i know i’m someone who practice epistemic responsibility and not only for politics but also for things in general.

    phew, what a long ass comment. i don’t even know if i’m making any sense here haha
    Elisa L. recently posted The Life & Lies Of Emma ChotaMy Profile

    [Reply]

    On April 5th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Elisa L., girl I haven’t even finished reading one of Paulo Coelho’s books, which reminds me that I should finish it soon :lol:
    Haha, yes Assassin’s Creed coming through in philosophy! It’s one of the reasons I love that series, and also history :heart: Ahh, I love Nietzsche! He’s one of my favorite philosophers along with Kant and Sartre ^^
    It’s so sad that the citizens of our country are so gullible and easily-blinded by empty promises :( I hope your country chooses wisely, though!
    Ugh, tbh I hate politics too because it’s way too much drama (and this is coming from someone who loves drama) but of course I gotta involve myself as journalist :/
    It’s the INTJ in us because we’re way too rational and logical beings :lol:

    [Reply]


  6. On April 4th, 2017, Jenn said,
  7. Interesting read. I don’t really engage in political debates because I don’t really know much about politics (even if I am working in the government). There are things I don’t like about the President but there are also things I like about him. I am not apathetic because I do care about what he does and what he doesn’t because it all affects me. I am more of confused. I like the fact that he is strong and sometimes discipline is what we need in order to become better as a nation. I don’t like him because there are a lot of important things he needs to focus on that I don’t think are being addressed.

    I don’t really know. I am still trying to formulate my opinion about him. He is one of those people who are very unpredictable; you don’t know how he thinks and what his motives are. I just can’t read him.

    [Reply]

    On April 5th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Jenn, it’s okay, at least you’ve read a little now regarding politics and that’s great progress! :)

    [Reply]


  8. On April 5th, 2017, Eena said,
  9. I admire you so much for enjoying Philosophy. It’s the one subject I have always struggled in so I avoided it after I took an introduction class.

    Wow. Duterte is something else, ain’t he?

    cabin twenty-four
    Eena recently posted Life Lately – Yurak 5k & Spring FeverMy Profile

    [Reply]


  10. On April 5th, 2017, Michelle said,
  11. I have heard bad things about the president and even read some stuff and he seems like a bad person to put it plainly. Of course, the US has Trump and that’s just as a bad :/
    Michelle recently posted Incredibility Beautiful MemoryMy Profile

    [Reply]

    On April 5th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Michelle, in simple terms, yes he does seem like a bad person 😂
    Same, I didn’t want to touch upon US politics because I don’t live there and don’t experience it first hand. But I guess it’s really that bad :(

    [Reply]


  12. On April 7th, 2017, Liv said,
  13. Hmm this is very interesting! I didn’t really think drug addicts are criminals, but I never thought about how it is an illness. It makes sense! I don’t believe that having a war against drugs will lessen the crime rate – I know that the percentage of drug addicted celebrities in the USA is way high, but I don’t hear about them committing crimes.

    Right now the USA is under Trump exactly because they are blindly following a politician’s false promises. This guy used to be a Democrat and changed his beliefs just so he can have a shot at presidency.

    I’ve never heard of epistemic responsibility, but after reading your post I’m glad that I do take my responsibility. I was mocked with hostility for my beliefs by the people I knew the most, but their mockery had no proof. Without the proof for my beliefs, I might not have been able to stand for it.

    [Reply]

    On April 10th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Liv, drug addiction is a mental illness :)
    Ugh, Duterte is a lot like Trump. I feel bad for you guys :( I have hope that you can get him unseated from his position though!
    Same! I don’t know how they fight for what they believe in if they don’t have any proof to back it up.

    [Reply]


  14. On April 8th, 2017, Nancy said,
  15. I see a big appeal in epistemic responsibility in the political spectrum. Politicians can say something and people will believe them blindly without finding any actual proof. Who knows if what they’re saying is true if no research is conducted. Sometimes, the claim that something improved might not even be affected by their actions.

    eg. Crime rates went down because more people are getting educated – an action done by a different politician or whatever and someone else takes credit for it.

    I am sure Trump won because he said things that people want to hear, even if it’s not based on facts. I try to practice my epistemic responsibility. I don’t really trust news from just one source these days and have to look at multiple references before making a final decision. I’m not familiar with Duterte but I am pretty familiar with political corruption in Asia. It’s definitely not something that helps the society as a whole and kudos to you for preaching!

    [Reply]

    On April 10th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Nancy, I admire you for being skeptical about hearing news nowadays, what with KellyAnne Conway’s alternative facts and fake news circling around like they’re the norm and truth.

    [Reply]


  16. On April 9th, 2017, Chynna said,
  17. Phi-LOL-sophy – I geniunely LOL’d, hahahaha.

    I think epistemic responsibility can be applied to some areas in life. I know if I brought this up in terms of religion to my mother she would just look at me like I’m crazy. You’re right, though, it is very handy when it comes to political views.

    Politics are such a sticky topic to talk about because sometimes they can make or break a friendship. At the end of the day, what political views you have reflects how you as a person feel about what rights humans have, etc. If you don’t believe humans should have rights, then we can’t talk anymore. Bye, Felicia.

    I don’t Duterte. I’ll say it louder for the people in the back. I understand the war on drugs is huge right now in the Philippines, but how is taking lives going to help ANYTHING? Where are the statistics that crime has lessened? Drug dealing is just one aspect of crime — has rape gone down? Domestic violence? Burglaring? TELL ME NOW.

    “here’s an itemized list of grievances, as Alexander Hamilton” — yaasss, sis.

    All your points are so valid. I feel so useless here in the UK when I see everything that’s happening in my country, ugh. Where do I even begin? I will definitely have to check out Crash Course!

    I can’t begin to speak on politics in the Philippines when I myself don’t know a lot, but I’ll get back to you! There is so much to delve into.
    Chynna recently posted A Culture of Casual MisogynyMy Profile

    [Reply]

    On April 10th, 2017, Gillan replied:

    @Chynna, Crash Course should receive the credit for that joke :lol:
    Truth! The Crash Course episode I linked is actually about religion, you should go check it out ^^
    “If you don’t believe humans should have rights, then we can’t talk anymore. Bye, Felicia.” THIS. I’m close to unfriending my real life friends if they keep defending our president :lol:
    RIGHT?! Actually, the crime rate is more or less the same. However, when news of rape and other kinds of crime are brought up, they use the war on drugs as an excuse to “solve” these. Like they would say, “You see, this is why we need to eradicate drug addicts.”
    That’s okay! I’m excited for you to learn more about our country! ^^

    [Reply]