Saturday, December 5, 2009


Much appreciation

For the fascination

And the sensation

Of much elation

Though you’re not Haitian

Trying out immigration

With the expectation

Of a better life.

My motivation

Is the realization

Of eventual transformation

Even with trepidation

Of the impending situation

Of an ending life.

I’ll turn off the TV station

Get some relaxation

Do one respiration

Out of obligation

And preservation

Of my own life.

There will be no hesitation

For a future conversation

With one so full of animation

And deserving of much admiration.

Tag in imitation

And with double acceleration

With no explanation,


Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Favorite Short Story by an Unknown author

La Isla de los Sentimientos

Érase una vez una isla donde habitaban todos los sentimientos:

La alegría, la tristeza y muchos más, incluyendo el Amor.

Un día les fue avisado a los moradores que la isla se iba a hundir.

Todos los sentimientos se apresuraron a salir de la isla,

se metieron en sus barcos y se prepararon a partir,

pero el Amor se quedó,

porque se quería quedar un rato más con la isla que tanto amaba antes de que se hundiese.

Cuando por fin ya estaba casi ahogado, el Amor comenzó a pedir ayuda.

En eso venía la Riqueza y el Amor le dijo: Riqueza llévame contigo.

No puedo – le contestó – hay mucho oro y plata en mi barco,

No tengo espacio para ti.

Entonces el Amor le pidió ayuda a la Vanidad: por favor ayúdame.

La vanidad le dijo: no te puedo llevar tu estás todo mojado,

Vas a arruinar mi barco nuevo.

El Amor le pidió ayuda a la Tristeza: Tristeza me dejas ir contigo?.

Ella le respondió: Ay !! Amor estoy tan triste que prefiero estar solita.

También paso la Alegría, pero ella estaba tan alegre,

que no oyó el Amor llamar.

Allí fue cuando una voz le llamó; ven Amor yo te llevo, era un viejito, pero el Amor estaba tan feliz que se le olvidó preguntarle su nombre.

Al llegar a tierra firme le pregunto a la sabiduría:

Sabiduría, ¿ quién era el viejito que me trajo aquí ?

Ella respondió: era el Tiempo.

¿ El Tiempo ? preguntó el Amor,

pero, ¿ porqué solo el Tiempo me quiso traer ?.

La Sabiduría le respondió:

Porque solo el tiempo es capaz de ayudar a entender un gran Amor...

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Conceptual" Metaphysics

[An essay written for a philosophy class in an effort to logically show the essence of a human starting at conception. However, we all know that abortion is one of the most illogical abominations and the grace of God is the only way to penetrate such hardened hearts and minds]

A pertinent decision must be made as to whether human embryos develop into humans or as humans (2, 220). John R. Meyer states that to prove the existence of a person in such an early stage, empirical evidence alone does not suffice and he insists on the necessity of a metaphysical component. Through an understanding and acceptance of the Aristotelian-Thomistic hylomorphic soul-body theory, allowing for modification due to advances in embryology, the intellective ensoulment must necessarily occur at the moment of conception, thereby giving the newly fertilized egg (the zygote), the status of personhood.

“Personhood” has developed into somewhat of a subjective term leading to many interpretations from the broad (“e.g., a living human individual”) to the more descriptive (“e.g., a life that displays self-consciousness, voluntary actions, and contributes positively to society”) (2, 208). However, the more descriptive definitions tend to exclude and devalue many of those with mentally and physically debilitating disorders (2, 208). In order to appropriately pinpoint the qualities of a “person,” it is necessary to mark those qualities that are common to every human being, rather than looking at a particular individual human being (2, 209). In addition, personhood cannot be ascribed based primarily upon specifically human body parts, as it is more than just our physical nature that distinguishes us from other species (2, 211). In reference to abortion, if doubt exists as to exactly when this “personhood” begins, the “mere probability that a human person is involved would suffice to justify an absolutely clear prohibition of any intervention aimed at killing a human embryo” (5, 10). To Aristotle and Aquinas, it is the presence of an intellective soul that determines the status of “personhood.” This soul, as a “perduring” and “permanent substance,” helps explain some “basic human experiences, such as memory, moral responsibility, promises, [and] the urge to carry projects forward to a chosen goal” (2, 211).

To understand the Aristotelian-Thomistic hylomorphic soul-body theory requires an explanation of the intellective soul (the form) and its union with the body (the matter). The word “hylomorphic” itself may be broken down into the prefix ‘hylo’, Greek for ‘matter’ (, and the suffix ‘morph’, Greek for ‘form’ ( Thomas Aquinas’ Aristotelian view upholds that a “human person is essentially a composite unified being” with the two main ingredients being form and matter (3, 137). Matter holds certain defining qualities, such as having a specific size or the ability to sense, through form (3, 137). In reference to composite beings, meaning those consisting of both soul (form) and body (matter), it is not possible for matter to exist without form and form never exists apart from matter (3, 137). Matter is considered potential being while form is the “entelechy” that causes matter to become actual thus leading to the actual being (4, 19).

The form, referred to as ‘soul’ by both Aquinas and Aristotle, may be divided into five genera of powers, with the soul itself functioning as the “organizing principle of matter” (4, 108; 3, 137) and these include the “vegetative, the sensitive, the appetitive, the locomotive, and the intellectual” (4, 108). Aquinas defines the soul in general as “the primary actuality of a physical bodily organism” (4, 23), with the same kind of actuality as knowledge (4, 22) with “organism” implying potential life (4, 23). The soul possessing the same kind of actuality as knowledge implies that the soul and its powers need not be employed to be present, such that one may have knowledge without actually using it at all times. The actual body is one that has been “informed” and a body without the form (soul) can in no way have potential life (1, 77). Life is inborn in the soul and the body participates in this life (1, 77). Of the different types of soul/powers of soul, the intellective soul is the only one found solely in human beings, allowing for powers of rational thought and those human biological powers unique to the functions of the intellective soul (3, 138). The form also has the power to individuate matter (3, 138). In other words, the form creates a distinction “between one instance of matter and another” and separates individuals (3, 138) ensuring personal identity in reference distinction between species (2, 211). Even it is within the soul’s power to create this personal identity, Aquinas elaborates that ‘my soul is not me’, and by this he means that the person and the soul are not identical to each other and the person cannot “be reduced to any faculty of the soul, such as the mind, will, or consciousness” (2, 216) and this point further stresses the utter compositeness of the human being in regards to the soul (form) and matter (body). Due to the intellective soul possessing the power to understand, it is immaterial and subsistent in that it is the “‘form’ by which the human being exists as well as that which has being in itself” (2, 216). The body-soul relationship can be further described in that “the person thinks by way of the soul” (2, 216).

Ensoulment is the instant in which the “human soul informs the matter of the human body” (3, 139). In the Aristotelian-Thomistic hylomorphic soul-body theory, the form metaphysically exists before the matter, as it is what determines the very nature of the matter. The instant upon which the matter (body) comes into being, the soul informs its nature (3, 139) and does not reside in a specific place within the body but rather it is connected as “in a relationship and in a presence” (1, 82). The possession of an intellective soul, the indication of a “person” according to Aquinas, can be observed through the activities pertinent to this type of soul such as being “alive, capable of sensation” and having or in the process of developing “the organs necessary for intellectual thought” (3, 140). This unification is not in any sense an “extrinsic addition” to the intellectuality of the soul, but rather an “internal completion of the soul in the line of its very intellectuality” (1, 40) having the power to be joined but unmixed (1, 80). In Aristotelian terms, this unification exists for the sake of the soul (1, 40). Aquinas explains further that the human soul is neither immersed in the matter of the body, nor totally contained by it (2, 218). The intellective soul is not to be considered as a second substance as it is a “metaphysical (not integral) part of the whole human being” (2, 218).

Aquinas believed the human soul to be directly created by God and, at the moment of its creation, the human soul is simultaneously infused into the body (5, 11). He argues that the intellectual powers of conceptual thought belonging to the soul are independent of matter and thus do not require any bodily organ, thereby implying the intellective soul itself is independent of matter.

Due to the inadequate embryological technology at the time of Aristotle and Aquinas, the human soul (form) was thought to join the body (matter) at a later time than conception. Aquinas believed that the “vegetative and sensitive bodies initially generated in human reproduction are not human” and he estimated the formation of a human body with an intellective soul to occur somewhere between 40 and 90 days gestation (pregnancy) (2, 214). Aquinas erroneously theorized that the “vegetative and sensitive bodies initially generated in human reproduction are not human,” but rather a human body with a soul eventually forms around the time period stated above (2, 214). However, with advanced technology the observations of human development demonstrate that there exists no such distinct separation of stages (such as between the vegetative and sensitive). In looking at early human development, within 11 hours after fertilization, also known as Carnegie Stage 1, the first polar body containing excess chromosomes exits through the zona pellucida and determines the gastrulation axis (, Thirteen days post-ovulation, Carnegie Stage 6, a “primitive streak” appears, indicating bilateral symmetry and the beginning of gastrulation ( The gastrulation process creates the three layers, the ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm, from which specific parts of the body develop such as the nervous system, the reproductive system, and the digestive tract, respectively ( This implies the intellectual soul’s (form) intentional and continuous organization of the human species from the moment of conception leading to its respective biological organs. In Aquinas’ statement that the soul does not exist before the “organization of the body,” John Haldane and Patrick Lee believe his “argument only shows, and he surely only held, that the beginnings, or primordial, of such organs, and in particular, the primorium of the brain, must be present” (5, 13). Aquinas supported that the presence of organs is necessary for human ensoulment. However, John Haldane and Patrick Lee state that his view does not necessarily mean the “organs must be developed to the extent of having a directly exercisable capacity to support the operations relevant to them” (5, 12). Through applying Aquinas’ metaphysical points to current embryological information, they claim the conclusion is that a person is present from conception (5, 17) and give Aquinas’ general metaphysical point on the matter: “Now it belongs to the natural order that a thing is gradually brought from potency to act. And therefore in those things which are generated we find that at first each is imperfect and afterwards is perfected” (5, 17).

The Aristotelian-Thomistic hylomorphic soul-body theory allows for a better understanding of the metaphysics of the moment of ensoulment. The metaphysics of this theory may be combined with science, but must be adapted to our times in order to allow for the exponentially increasing scientific knowledge. Ensoulment at conception is in complete agreement with this theory, thus endowing the product of conception, the zygote, personhood in the sense that the zygote is a member of the human race with the complete ability to continuously grow and develop with nourishment, if unhindered, just as a toddler continues to grow and develop with proper care.


Anscombe, G. E. M. & Geach, P. T. (1961) Three Philosophers, Great Britain: Basil Blackwell & Mott Ltd.

Aquinas, T. (1999) On Human Nature, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

Eberl, J. T. (2000) ‘The Beginning of Personhood: A Thomistic Biological Analysis’, Bioethics [Electronic], 14, no. 2. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost [Accessed 11 November 2008].

Haldane, J. & Lee, P. 2003. Aquinas on Human Ensoulment, Abortion and the Value of Life. Philosophy, [online]. 78, 255-278, Available at: [Accessed 11 November 2008].

Meyer, J. R. (2006) ‘Embryonic Personhood, Human Nature, and Rational Ensoulment’, Heythrop Journal: A Bimonthly Review of Philosophy and Theology [Electronic], 47, no. 2: 206-225. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost [Accessed November 11, 2008].

MSN. Encarta. 2008. [online] Available at: features/dictionary/dictionaryhome.aspx [Accessed 8 December 2008].

Pegis, A. C. (1963) At the Origins of the Thomistic Notion of Man, New York: The Macmillan Company.

The Visible Embryo. [Online] Available at: /index.html [Accessed 30 November 2008].

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Open Doors

A woman walks towards a building with a man a few paces ahead of her. Her hands are full and the man reaches the door shortly before her. She glances up to analyze how she will maneuver her hands free to hold the door. The man rushes through and in a short moment, without so much as looking behind him, gives the door the slightest extra push, such that the woman is able to quickly slide through before it closes. This is a prime example of the infamous “half-hearted push.”

Women are not expecting a tall, dark and handsome man on his white stallion to sweep them off their feet, whisking them off to happy ever after. No, as nice as that situation sounds, our expectations have become much lower. To have these half-hearted pushes turn into a man holding the door wide open, acknowledging the presence of a woman, would do wonders for our femininity. Men, fear not to be courteous, and dare I say, chivalrous.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Poem of Pensamientos

Among a sea of swarming people

Pensando en sus pensamientos

And wondering why,

¿Por qué nosotros nunca notamos

The thousands of thoughtless

Palabras que persuaden las personas

To hate and harbor half-truths

Y mentiras mientras muchos de

The actions of the admirable anonymous

Persisten y perseveran perfectamente

In a limbo lying lightly

Entre la emoción y el escrúpulo,

Between logic and law

Todo el tiempo?

But timing is all

En esta vida corta.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dear Man,

            No offense intended kind sir, but I do not desire to be you. On the contrary, I am proud to be quite different. This current movement of modeling your clothing and your mannerisms has been pushed upon me by society for far too long. ‘Tis a pity that your foul mouth has infested mine, and that it has become acceptable for me to utter such filth in the presence of others. We have strayed from our feminine ways of modesty, reserved nature, and politeness, exchanging these for provocative attire, brashness, and ill manners. Often such motives are to appeal to your unbridled masculine desires, and in doing so I am losing my identity as a unique and respectable sex. I have been fooled into believing your wants should be mine as well. I have rejected such beautiful and intricate attire for fear of appearing weak or unattractive beside you. My fight for equality has become a fight for the right to imitate and please. In my struggle for equal dignity, confusion has occurred, making it a struggle for your ambitions and manly qualities, or often to appease them, and even you have forgotten who I am.

I have received what the so-called “feminists” of my sex have asked for: I open my own door, walk in behind you, pull up my own chair, and pay for my own meal. In our blindness for more power rather than equality, my innate qualities have been underappreciated. Delicacy does not imply a lack of strength, and displaying my emotions does not mean I lack the ability to be logical.  In envying your qualities, I have forgotten to value my own such as my nurturing nature, sensitivity, and compassion. In lowering my standards, I have equally lowered yours. For this I apologize and promise to work to regain the respect and dignity those in the past have worked so hard for. I only ask that you help me in this fight by supporting my right to be equal in dignity and rights with a role distinct from your own. I now realize that just because I now have the right to act like you, does not mean I should. I desire, not to be treated like your fellowmen, but rather as your compliment and counterpart, whose qualities although quite different, are just as valued.



Wednesday, April 1, 2009