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Looking at Thanos in a deeper sense will help us comprehend his reason for eliminating half the universe. Aside from this, we get to analyze his behavior during the course of the movie. Many factors contribute to the development of intelligent beings, such as emotional, physical, and psychological events; from this alone, we can see how interesting it is to look into a person’s experiences and connect them to his/ her ideologies. As a result, we decided to link Thanos to the system of our school, ELJSHS, to further grasp his philosophy in life. In addition, some societal issues and happenings were included, as well as other related philosophical concepts.
The relationship between Thanos and ELJSHS explains the significance it has on us as a human being in an absurd world wherein to achieve our idea of salvation we must conceptualize and connect other factors that can affect it. Our free will, freedom, morality, and ethics are more likely to be present in this. Ideally, we must be held accustomed to the norms of the society, being socially accepted and morally right. This concept paper discusses further than what is accepted or not by the mass interconnecting of the ELJSHSCMSHS with Thanos whom portrays a good example because of his ideals and beliefs towards salvation. As a human being, we would instantaneously think that Thanos is evil because of his dedication to fulfilling his destiny. To change that kind of perception about Thanos, his actions and his philosophy are explained through the parallels between ELJSHS’ system and Thanos’s philosophy.
Inside Thanos’ head we can see his idea of salvation. We all have our own ideas on how to save the world, but his requires a strong will. He believed that the universal scale is unbalanced and that might lead to destruction. Because he thought that resources are limited, he sacrificed half of all life in the universe to reduce competition and leave more food for the surviving half. His idea of salvation is committing mass murder to fight overpopulation. Now let’s look into the perspective of a person who wants to get admitted to ELJSHS and pursue media arts. Our idea of salvation is to achieve our dreams, to graduate. When we get to that point, we are saved. But first we have to go through the screening process. Those who did not get in are the ones who are not able to fit the requirements and are illegible to pursue their dreams in ELJSHS, thus not obtaining the school’s salvation.
Behind Thanos’ idea of salvation and the ELJSHS system is their own idea of mission and vision for the benefit of humanity. Humanity is in the heart of Thanos, because his intentions are humane; he thinks that his actions are to combat overpopulation and overconsumption. Thanos’ vision is to bring happiness and a better life for the future generation of humanity. For him, the sacrifices he’s made is not suffering, it is salvation.
Humanity, in connection to ELJSHS system, is also present because the school’s vision and mission exists for the benefit of future media practitioners. The school is also established not only for ourselves as individuals but also for Filipinos as one nation. The problem the school wants to avoid is the creation of media practitioners who spread fake news and bias all over media platforms.
Thanos has utilitarian perspective wherein he sacrifices an individual for the greater good. This utilitarianism can also be observed in the system of education in ELJSHS. The administrators of ELJSHS can change the system to make ELJSHS better. The minimum grade of 85 may become 90, the standard for portfolios will be raised, and there might be additional requirements in the future. The school does not enhance the system in accordance to a single student, but according to what the school needs; for the betterment of media in the Philippines. The administration also believes that if a student is really great, he/she will be admitted, regardless of their situation. Additionally, there are changes in the school’s rules and regulation and policy; it became stricter to discipline the students and get them ready for a college as the system aims to produce future media arts practitioner that will bring change to the nation’s media.
This system can be compared to the systems of science high schools and public universities wherein there’s quota per courses and a maintaining grade. Once the students failed to reach the standard, they will be kicked out and will cause the school population to decrease, similar to what happens in Infinity War.
In order for us to combat our moral dilemmas we have to use our hearts and our minds interchangeably. In Thanos’ case, it’s either sacrificing half of the population or his beloved daughter. In both cases, he loses something. In ELJSHS, the daily schedule of educational administrators is filled with moral dilemmas. The administrators encounter a crossroad, the path to being honest and the path to being morally good. In the stressful month of college admissions, a pertinent example is the letter of recommendation the students ask their teachers to help us get to their preferred universities. But what if the student is obviously lacking? The teachers want their students to succeed. Hypothetically speaking, they may write down things they don’t entirely believe themselves in the recommendation letter because they don’t want to appear harsh and judgmental for the fear of derailing someone’s career. This is also evident in companies. Should an employee report the criminal offenses of his company, or go with the flow to avoid the consequences of being a whistleblower? Either way, these hard decisions make or break the society.
When it comes to Thanos, the free will is in his actions according to his own idea of salvation and will. With his free will, he searched for the infinity stones and fulfilled his destiny. He may have free will but he lacks freedom. Throughout his quest, he did not abide to any moral rules and took away the freedom of others.
When it comes to ELJSHS, the students located in the 2nd and 3rd floor and represent free will. They are free to leave the school whenever they want but they have the responsibility of attending their classes because they are now under the system. They must set aside their freedom because of the social contract. If they wish to reclaim their freedom again, the students can utilize their free will to exit ELJSHS.
Thanos used his free will to decide what actions he would do. The things he did became evil because he didn’t consider the fact that the individuals he killed were capable of thought and decisions. They did not volunteer to die early for of Thanos’ idea of salvation but he disintegrated them anyway. Because Thanos had a Utilitarian perspective, he thought that disintegrating half of the population was a necessary sacrifice for the greater good.
To those who’ve defied the memorandum and school authorities, although we can say that what they did was evil, it’s hard to tell if the people themselves are actually evil. There are many views about evil in the real world, some heavily tied to religion. For example, Confucianism’s primary concern is with correct social relationships and the behavior appropriate to the learned or superior man. Thus evil would correspond to wrong behavior. Similarly, the opposite of the cardinal virtues of Taoism, compassion, moderation, and humility can be inferred to be the analogue of evil in it. Aside from the definition of evil, the rule breakers may have a different philosophical view wherein they think they’re doing the right thing but in reality, their actions are evil, similar to Thanos’ situation.
Evil can be seen in real life through North Korea’s President, Kim Jong-un. Although Kim Jong-un implemented some economic and agricultural reforms, human rights violations and brutal suppression of opposition continue to be reported under his rule. He also continued the country’s nuclear testing and development of missile technology in the face of international condemnation, though he announced intentions to be more cooperative in that area via historic meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U. S. President Donald Trump in 2018. Random Disintegration The idea on whether is Thanos’ disintegration of half of the population is random or not is still a debatable matter. Only its next movie can answer the questions surrounding the idea of randomness behind the disintegration of the characters that were present in the movie. But in the group analysis, the group stands by the idea that it is not a random disintegration but a type of disintegration that had a basis. You see, the stones present have something in store and the concepts of universal causality and determinism exists. In all of the 19 movies that Marvel created for these heroes, they have spent years introducing how these six stones will work in certain circumstances. From these circumstances, one can infer that these stones can be controlled by a certain wielder while is still has its own principles.
This inference about principles was shown and supported in the Avengers: Age of Ultron wherein Tony Stark discovered and proved that one of the stones, specifically the mind stone, acts like a powerful and unknown entity with a literal “mind of its own. ” Hence, leading to a conclusion that if one stone has a mind of its own. The others could also have their own. With this inference, the disintegration of the characters became symbolic. The other halves of the most notable members are taken away; the Winter Soldier/the White Wolf is to Captain America, Spiderman is to the Iron Man, Groot is to Rocket Racoon, and a lot more. Therefore, there are scenarios and circumstances that acknowledge the concept of determinism and universal causality behind the disintegrations that are not randomized.
If in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there is no random disintegration, well, it is also the same for ELJSHS. Before entering ELJSHS, students must first undergo a screening to see if they are qualified to be a student of the institution and because of that, there are only limited number of students that are just enough for the number of resources that school has in store. Disintegration happens since not all applicants are accepted in ELJSHS. Also, this has become necessary to prevent scarcity in school. The disintegration that happens during the screening isn’t random as well since the screeners follow a criterion to determine who passes the screening or not. This idea is associated to the theory of Malthus wherein as the population increases, the number of resources become insufficient. This doesn’t just happen in the MCU and ELJSHS- it is also applicable to our society. In fact, law makers in Britain made a policy not to give food to the poor since they believed that it would motivate the population to reproduce. Since they do not want the population rate increase, they let the people starve. But by doing this, they also had to face unintended consequences.
Every action that we do leads to unintended consequences. In the film, Thanos must collect all the Infinity Stones for him to save the humanity and this is his main goal. His action resulted to an unintended drawback when he was required to sacrifice Gamora’s soul for him to get the Soul stone. This left a great impact on Thanos because we all know that Gamora is special and close to his heart. In the end though, Thanos benefitted from this action because he was able to become one step closer to the end of his mission and he got to collect another stone.
We can relate unintended consequences to ELJSHS right now. We have a way of limiting the students who can enter our school and this is through the screening. Its benefit is to ensure that only deserving students are given a chance to utilize the school’s resources. But, we are not sure if those students who didn’t pass the examination or screening process were actually undeserving of a slot in our school; what if these people were too nervous to think straight or they were merely tired of the events that occurred that day? The main unintended consequence of this action is that the school might have lost a student who can also contribute in bringing excellence to this school. Also, the student had lost his or her chance in receiving quality education from ELJSHS. We can also relate this concept to the society that we have right now in the Philippines. Our inflation rate keeps on increasing and it’s become a major issue, especially for those who lack financial stability. Officials put tax on the different products that we consume every day and these taxes are added to the budget of the government; this added money then aids them in creating projects for the betterment of the Filipino citizens. Ironically, we can see that most of the people are struggling to budget their money since the price of various products are too high. The unintended consequence here is the further suffering of those in the lower classes. Deontological Perspective Deontological perspective occurs through the presence of moral law and moral ethics, wherein if both are applied, moral obligation unfolds.
In the MCU, the moral ethics of the heroes (Avengers and Guardians), which is to save the world, contradicts the plan of Thanos to eradicate half of the population. In this perspective, we can justify that Thanos’ plan was wrong through the moral ethics that the heroes tried to impose. It is the moral ethics of the heroes that serves as the standard to determine whether the plan of Thanos is acceptable or not.
On the other hand, in the ELJSHS system, the memorandum and orders of the institution determines whether the action of a student is right or wrong. The rules set by the authorities of the institution is the moral law. If a student follows the rules, they obtain a moral obligation.
Deontological perspective focuses not on the consequences of an action. Instead, it uses the process of a certain action to determine whether an action is positively right or negatively unacceptable.
Thanos himself is not a Kantian because he did not regard humans as free rational beings capable of rational behavior. In fact, he believed that what he should do is the action that will produce the greatest amount of happiness and least amount of misery, disregarding the fact that the parties involved are also capable of rational thought. Kant said that you should act toward others only in a way that you would be willing to make a universal principle for all moral beings. You couldn’t make “sacrifice others for the greater good” a universal principle, lest everyone end up sacrificed. Kant’s ethics focus then only on the maxim, or purpose, that underlies actions and judges these to be good or bad solely on how they conform to reason. Steve Rogers is such a Kantian that he can’t sacrifice Vision, even though it would have saved countless Wakandan. He can’t sacrifice anyone else, even when they want to be sacrificed, even when it would obviously help.
In ELJSHS, those who go to school beyond the grace period without writing their names on the late comers’ slip because he/she is an officer or maybe a friend of an officer from the council, do not observe this concept. The council should not be biased because there is an imposed regulation regarding latecomers and this rule encompasses every student who studies in our institution. Another example is the heroic act of Desmond Doss, a Seventh-Day Adventist and a United States Army corporal who served as a combat medic with an infantry company in World War II. He acted like a Kantian would during the battle since he chose to save not only those from his troops but also their alleged enemies despite the fact that he could’ve retreated earlier to be safer from harm.
To fully understand a broad topic, you have to link it to yourself first. The idea of Thanos is connected to a wide ideology and his philosophy isn’t just found in the movie “Avengers: Infinity War”- reading hundreds of articles, reviews, comics and movies are required to fully understand him. To discuss all these learnings in an organized manner, one should connect a general idea to a specific idea; this is how our group’s concept developed wherein we related Thanos to the system of ELJSHS. The relevance of this can be seen in the understanding that most systems are related to one another and intertwined.
Thanos’ idea of salvation that he executed with a utilitarianism perspective is the driving force behind his actions that’s why these two are found in his mind. In connection to ELJSHS, the first level represents our idea of salvation, as this is where we apply for admission. Of course what we all desire is to graduate and become media practitioners and we can’t achieve this without first going through high school then college. Next in Thanos’ body is his heart and this represents humanity- both Thanos and ELJSHS have the passion to serve humanity or the people. Thanos had free will in doing his actions, the same way with us students under ELJSHS, but we are all limited by the freedom the is provided by external factors. Meanwhile, Thanos is challenged by moral dilemma all throughout executing his plans, which is randomly disintegrating half of the population in order to save the remaining ones. In terms of ELJSHS, the students’ moral dilemma is if we want to continue pursuing our dreams and if we are able to surpass all challenges up until the end. In addition, disintegration is evident in the screening process of ELJSHS because as we can observe, students are being evaluated more critically than the previous batch every year; this means that there’s an experimentation with the screening method and more students are getting eliminated in the process. Of course, the random disintegration of Thanos and ELJSHS will lead to unintended consequences. If we are to insert Deontological Perspective and Kantian approach in the anatomy of Thanos, they are both contradicting his philosophy. As a result, we considered them as outside forces- for example, the philosophy of the heroes. In ELJSHS we know that the rules are what define actions as right or wrong in the school premises, thus, we can compare them to both deontological perspective and Kantian approach.
Thanos’ ideologies and beliefs are evident in each one of us. Still, there’s no way to consider this as good or bad philosophy because we are the ones who assign meaning to life. As individuals under ELJSHS, and considering those beings under the marvel cinematic universe, we actually lack the power to change or control the system. That’s why for us to coexist peacefully, we should learn how to follow rules and accept reality as it is. Although we can’t control the system as a whole, at least we have the power to influence its change and create new causal chains. ELJSHS is just one of the many systems that can be connected to Thanos’ philosophy. Likewise, there are multiple philosophical ideas that, at the end of the day, are simply absurd. We always look for answers but in truth, we can’t answer everything because there isn’t any answer to be found in this world. Really, we are the ones who give meaning to what we experience and think of- there is no universal law for these ideologies that we have created. Every one of us lives in a meaningless world but that doesn’t mean that our existence is meaningless. We can believe in destiny, God, or ourselves, and do whatever we want; we can initiate changes and influence those around us. Simply put, we are intelligent beings capable of so much more than the beliefs being pressured upon us- we control our life, therefore, we can live according to our desire but we should always consider the consequences of our actions to the individuals around us.
This concept paper will enlighten the future philosophers of ELJSHS. After understanding the concepts presented here, the student may reach an epiphany or achieve an increase in their overall maturity as a human person. In the future revision or adaption of this concept paper, here are some concepts that can be explored. The paper ends with the idea of absurdity, a nice icing on the cake to question the irony of seeking answers in an answerless universe and coping with it. In future concept papers, maybe they can stem from the idea of absurdity to the paradoxical nature of man, wherein man breaks the principal of non-contradiction because of man’s duality. Perhaps duality can be connected to Thanos as well, since he has a good and evil side.
Future studies can also link the concept paper to the philosophical idea of monsters. We focused on Thanos’ identity in the MCU universe, in future studies maybe they can find how the comics version of him is related the MCU one — maybe they exist in parallel universes, maybe the between the two Thanoses, the other Thanos is what happens when he is reincarnated, given new life after death. While adding new thoughts to the paper, the future benefactors of this study should not forget to intertwine every idea to the real world because personal association to concepts can help the readers retain information for a longer time. Real world association also helps in letting the readers understand the concept paper at a deeper level.
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