Are you a Christian

And going to college? Then here is help for you. A good Christian has written a book on how to stay Christian in Campus that will help you drive those secularists away.

I didn’t realise staying Christian in college was that hard. I know my friends who left campus as Christian as they joined it the first day. But it could be this advice ain’t meant for them.

Do you know any science teacher that would come to class and with a straight face claim science has shown life is meaningless? Well, there is advise on how to deal with such a science teacher.

Postmodernism is also addressed. So we can say all bases are covered.

If you are a parent sending your very Christian child to campus, this is the book to buy for them. That way you will protect their faith, adopted second hand from you who didn’t know any better having adopted the faith from your parents.

Christians try so hard.

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

by David Wallace- Wells

I will be honest and state it here that i read 2/3 of the book and quit. I should have done so much earlier but you all know what sunk costs mean.

You might ask why I didn’t finish? Well, first I think the book has the wrong title. It should be the Uninhabitable California. In the first section of the book California gets more treatment than the whole continent of Africa. You might call me petty, but I have come to find books that pretend to deal with global issues while treating Africa as a footnote impossible to read. I can’t. I am African and Africa is in me. When David mentions the coastal cities that are threatened with ocean flooding, he can’t find any such coast in Africa. Well, he mentions Asia a bit, maybe because they are so many there but that’s just it.

I found the book too alarmist. I don’t deny the reality of climate change. But the picture Wallace paints is one such that one would be tempted to say why do anything when 2100 looks like the final chapter to the earth as we know. We can wait for 2100 and act from there, that is if those who will survive flooding and heat will act together to avoid human extinction.

His long sentences almost killed me. Sometimes you even get lost in a sentence.

The point he makes that I agree with is that the countries that have not polluted as much will unfortunately bear the greatest burden of climate change while at the same time being unable or unprepared to cope with the challenges. If the earth heats up by say 1 or 2 degrees, places that are already hot are likely to get hotter, heat waves in summers may increase and such which are matters of real concern.

He also makes the point, which i think is reasonable that individual action is insufficient in the challenge we face. To address any human caused climate calamities, we have to do it collectively- politically. And banning single use plastics-straws and all- is a commendable effort, it does little to nothing in ameliorating global warming- human caused or otherwise.

Does the book advance scholarship on climate science? I think not. In fact, I don’t think it helps much in moving the discussion about climate change by being too alarmist. It’s almost a put off.

He is right on some other thing. Our forefathers left almost no mark on the earth. The period we call pre-history is much longer than the duration we have been around. Let’s all hope that this is not the end of history as Fukuyama claimed. I don’t want this to be the end of history. You see, Hegel, that renowned thinker said Africa had no history or something to that effect and I don’t think Fukuyama’s end of history has Africa as a chapter- maybe as a footnote. SO you see, this is personal. I want time, long enough time, for Africa to have history.

Maybe some of you who have read the book have a different feeling and I would love to hear your thoughts on the book.

Happy weekend friends. Enemies also.

The uninhabitable planet

Is the book I am currently reading and to say that it presents a scary picture of our planet’s future would be an understatement.

The author argues that the climate crisis is worse than most of us think. And the worst bit of it all is that those countries that have ravaged the planet the most will not suffer the most, at least at the beginning. This is ironic justice.

Whether we should have children given what is coming? The author argues to not have is to surrender before even the battle has been won or lost. It reminds me almost of Albert Camus and his writings on the absurd life. Kirilov commits suicide because life is absurd. For Dostoyevsky, faith is what overcomes an absurd life.

Places in Kenya and east Africa generally have in the past month been receiving crazy rains. Some places have seen rains last seen 25 years ago and others received rains in one day they usually receive in a month.

While Ark doesn’t watch the news, Venice declared an emergency last week or the week before because of flooding. The water mark was last hit 100(?) or so years ago.

And below is a video of just how things are this side of the woods.

Monday highlights

I was crawling on the internet and came across some very interesting articles for Monday.

Is gender a social construct?

What is the future of religion?

Who knew

For one thing, many atheists are ignorant of the religion they criticize. They think about religion a lot, especially Christianity, but most of what they think they know about it is wrong. I realize that there are plenty of thoughtful atheists who harbor no ill will against believers and respect their beliefs. The trouble was I kept running into the other kind.

and when did argumentum populum become a valid argument? And just in case you don’t know it yet, there will be no atheists in 2050. The world will have become peaceful and prosperous.

And finally something on the enlightenment

Is any death meaningful?

Many times the phrase let their deaths not be in vain has been uttered like at moments of civil strife and I am here asking myself, if deep down these deaths were meaningless. Did someone have to die for something to be achieved?

Take for example the over 30 people who were killed by police in our last election. What did they die for? What, if you were to meet their parents or relatives, would you tell them was achieved by their deaths?

In the movie silence, based on the Japanese inquisition of the 16th century (2016) by Scorsese, a number of Japanese endure torture and some even die to show their faith in Jesus. Was this rational? What was the point?

who knew

There was a direct link between anti-natalism and atheism.

The author of Ecclesiastes (my favorite book of the bible) wrote

4 Next, I turned to look at all the acts of oppression that make people suffer under the sun. Look at the tears of those who suffer! No one can comfort them. Their oppressors have all the power. No one can comfort those who suffer. I congratulate the dead, who have already died, rather than the living, who still have to carry on. But the person who hasn’t been born yet is better off than both of them (emphasis mine). He hasn’t seen the evil that is done under the sun.

And Nietzsche in the Birth of Tragedy writes

There is an old legend that king Midas for a long time hunted the wise Silenus, the companion of
Dionysus, in the forests, without catching him. When Silenus finally fell into the king’s hands, the king
asked what was the best thing of all for men, the very finest. The daemon remained silent, motionless
and inflexible, until, compelled by the king, he finally broke out into shrill laughter and said these
words, “Suffering creature, born for a day, child of accident and toil, why are you forcing me to say
what would give you the greatest pleasure not to hear? The very best thing for you is totally
unreachable: not to have been born, not to exist , to be nothing. The second best thing for you, however,
is this — to die soon.”

Since I find nothing odd in the observation of Silenus and Qoheleth, I am inclined to argue they make a lot of sense and while an argument can be made that all of us who write in support of anti-natalism do so only because we have been born, this argument doesn’t defeat the arguments for anti-natalism. And whether those who support anti-natalism are atheists or agnostics is not an argument against the position. It proves nothing. It is neither an argument against atheism nor against anti-natalism.

Allowing for a moment that most of those who support anti-natalism are atheists, is this an argument against any of the two positions?

Maybe, just maybe, we are like Kirilov in the Possessed who commits a logical suicide.

two things i like

First is the Martin Scorsese’s movie Irishman that was released not long ago. You will need to have 3 free hours to watch the film. It has some of my favourite characters.

Next is this paragraph from Man without qualities

The train of events is a train that lays down its own tracks as it goes along.

The river of time carries its own banks along with it.

The traveler moves on a solid floor between solid walls, but the floor and the walls are strongly influenced by the movements of the travelers, though they do not notice it.