Thoughts out of season 2

Friends, my countrymen and women are a really a peculiar group of people. I don’t mean to take lightly the ongoing siege that has been on since Saturday at one of our shopping malls, that is not the aim of this post. In this post I want to make a few observations that make us a very peculiar lot. My sincere sympathies and condolence goes out to those who lost their lives, those whose lives have been forever shattered and all those who still find themselves holed up in this mess. I hope that it ends quickly and well for those still held hostage. These are not in any hierarchy:-

1. The belief that their god is somehow in control

There have been enough prayers said on twitter on the last two days than have been said since we went to elections early in the year. What I find really worrying is there are people have heard thanking their god they were not in the mall while we have so many who were either injured or lost their lives, who should they petition? Is it not time they fired their god for allowing this mess to go on for so long. From where I sit, I ask myself a simple question, if these people believe their god is in control, what the fuck is it waiting for and where the hell was s/h/it when these people were planning this attack? Wouldn’t have been prudent to scatter their plans at the planning stage as he seems to have done in Genesis when he scuttled the plans of those who building a bridge to heaven by confounding their language so they couldn’t communicate with one another?

2. Patriotism and unity

Am not a patriot. But my countrymen, who ordinarily would go for each other’s jugular now show a solidarity that is unprecedented. The last time they were this close was 15 years ago when an Al Qaeda cell bombed Nairobi. In fact I think the only thing that unites us is a national tragedy or athletics. And since I abhor war, maybe there should be enough sporting events in the year where Kenyans win gold, that way they may just forget they are a patchwork of tribes. The show of unity is amazing to say the least, I hope they keep it this way when we have to deal with corrupt and inefficient legislature, executive and judiciary. I look forward to a day when they can say it is enough and send all the thieves we have in government home. That will be a great day and I hope I will be alive when that day comes.

3. Kenyans and risk

Whereas in most places people would run away from gun fire and allow security personnel and medics to access the scene, the reverse is true here. Kenyans will run closer to the scene just to be able to have a story to tell. The police have had quite a difficult trying to manage the crowds around the shopping mall. I understand you want to help or help yourselves to something, but please, what is the point in making an already dangerous situation even worse still?

4. Our useless fourth estate

These are a bunch of some not so bright people. While people are trying to hide for their lives, they were busy with footage showing where people are hiding, showing us gory images, whether to scare us to numbness or to get viewership, the jury is still out. Maybe it is how or the duration of their training, but I hope someday, the media will be populated with more brains than they currently have.

5. Our borders and the situation in Somali

We have had porous borders, as porous as a damaged sieve, for so long that one could sneak an elephant through. There has been filtration of small arms, the domestic situation hasn’t been any better. Unemployment is on the rise, the cost of living getting ever high and the gap between the rich[ the thieves] and the poor getting ever larger that there is not a shortage of youth to be recruited, with the promise a few of a few shillings, to such cells. The country should recall our soldiers in Somali and let them continue to butcher each other as they have done in the last over two decades. Maybe someday an intelligent lot will rise out of that piece of rock and stop the senseless killing. As long as we have men and women in that vast country, we will be sport for Al Shabaab and anyone with the wherewith to acquire a grenade or plan a similar attack.

End of observations, I will continue to populate the list when and if I feel like it.

The world will not be a safe place as long as their will be someone ready to kill another in defense of their god or because of an idea. Let us be reasonable. Let us, as a race, for once, rise up to the challenge of acting with intelligence that every man prides himself to have above other brutes and have all the stockpile of weapons destroyed. Guns, bombs, grenades, missiles, chemical weapons and other arsenal were made with only one thing in mind, to kill or to make killing many people easy. It is time we stopped the merchants of death from making profits by helping us kill each other quickly, violently and easily. Let us all work together towards a world where there is equity. We must act with courage. We must act with resolve to ensure resources are equitably distributed, that no one group of people are exploited. Let the hate and bigotry, that is fueled by religion come to an end. Let us be reasonable. If the religious people can’t do this on their own, then dear atheists, naturalists, agnostics and other non believers out-birth them. There is not enough love to spare some for gods that don’t exist. Let us love each other and forget about the gods.

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Not so pleasant news

Friends, those of you, who, like me, don’t watch TV and rely on other news sources maybe unaware of what is probably one of today’s big stories around the world concerning the motherland, maybe only second to the suicide bomber somewhere in the middle or far East who killed people at a funeral. There has been a security situation, I think as far as I can tell, the second of its kind, if you count the 2005 incident in which balaclava clad men raided a media station holding journalists hostage for a few hours, good thing no one was hurt, where armed and I think masked gunmen have raided a shopping mall and so far many people have lost their lives.

I feel sad for those in the middle of this mess and sorrow for all those who have lost loved ones in this incident maybe because it is death that hasn’t come naturally or in a way of their own choosing similar to all those who have lost lives in suicide attacks, malaria deaths, road accidents, and in of 1000 ways to die.

This situation made me think of this documentary

And a few twitter updates

More on the atheist’s god challenge

A few days ago, I did write a post where one christian apologist, Tim Koop, invited atheists and agnostics to a challenge which I pointed out was far from polite. Those atheists who have commented on his page have said a lot of things that he ought to have addressed but hasn’t but keeps delving deeper into buffoonery and idiocy, that only an idiot of the first degree, as M. Twain would say, can get into. 

I asked him, before we could continue with the challenge, to tell me what he thought god was. In his response, he told me god is the one who originally designed and created the world. This as you all know, is crap. It is only in the mind of one so steeped in religion who thinks the world was designed and created from nothing by his god. Such a response doesn’t tell us what god is but multiplies problems tenfold. We will ask, how did he create, what did he use and why did he create it among other questions. This however wasn’t the reason for his challenge. He wants us to say a few things to convince ourselves a god exists. I have a very simple question for him, what is god

After calling his response BS, he writes finally

Maybe you are blinded not only to the existence of God, but also to what he is. Try taking the test, but instead of testing yourself on how sure you are convinced in his existence or not, test yourself on how firm a definition you have of what he is.

(Comments are limited to 7 deep, so you get the last word)

which apart from being deeply condescending is really quite stupid. Tim, you can wear blinders all you want, maybe you want to go to heaven and sing hallelujah for eternity or maybe you are afraid the sky will come crushing down if you were to admit there really is no god. That is good for you! To expect me, to wear stupid blinders, then repeat some silly words for a month to test whether phantoms really do exist is to push your luck with me and am not going to try it. 

For your benefit, I have no belief in anything supernatural and I will not take your stupid test. Ask yourself, though, what the word god means to you. Is it so hard a question? And if it is not a hard question, then, provide an answer, but don’t tell me he did ABC. The world exists, I exist and these cannot be used to define what your god is. 

And what with warnings? Who is the administrator on your blog Tim. You can have the last word all you want.

Get your foolish blinders off, for that is what they are, and start answering some questions! 

 

The atheists’ god challenge

Friends, here you shall find what the OP has presented as a challenge. I will, if you allow me, paste the challenge here and then show why the premise upon which the challenge is based can’t stand and advice the author to either formulate a proper challenge or drop it altogether.

The challenge reads as follows

Before you begin the challenge, ask yourself what you consider the probability that God doesn’t exist. You might be 80% sure, 90% sure, 99% sure, or 99.99% sure. So the way this scale works is this: Let’s say that if you are at 50%, you are an agnostic, and at about 75% or higher you are an atheist. If you go too far below 50% you actually become a theist, since you are more sure that God does exist.

Then once a day, for the next thirty days, say these words out loud, with as much feeling as you can muster:

“God, please open my eyes so I can see you. Reveal yourself to me. Demonic forces blinding me, leave me alone.”

Then after thirty days, reevaluate what you consider the probability that God doesn’t exist. If the number goes down significantly, that might be evidence that you live in World B. If it doesn’t, that might be evidence you live in World A.

The first problem with this challenge is that the OP doesn’t seem to know that agnosticism is a knowledge position and one can be an agnostic [a]theist. For agnosticism answers to the question of whether the nature of god is knowable. Having said that, however, it must be noted that there is a bigger problem to be mounted by the person presenting this challenge and that is we must be told what god is! To make the assumption that all of us know what you mean when you talk about god is to be presumptuous.

The next problem with this challenge is the assumption embedded in it, that is, if you repeat certain words several times, then magically it becomes true. Are we back to kindergarten again? What sort of challenge is this you propose to rational adults to engage in? The second assumption it makes is that apart from believing there are demons, he is actually implying that it is these demons that have blinded the atheist! And he has the nerve to call this a respectful challenge! What respect!

So as I told him in my response, let us cut the chase. I can’t even talk about what percentage of belief I hold on the existence of god simply because such a thing hasn’t been defined and the question of its existence is a secondary one. The primary question is and will always be what is this entity and why is it necessary. Once this question is answered, we will move to the next order of day, until then am a naturalist, with no belief in anything supernatural.

And his promise

If you, an atheist or agnostic, are open minded enough to take the challenge, I will be open minded enough to publish your results on my blog, no matter which direction the results lean

To which again, is an offer yours truly will reject outright. My mind is open but not so that my brains can fall off. So, Tim, if you get to read this, you can post it already as a response to your challenge in the knowledge that even if you don’t I have no ill feelings. I think it is a poorly formulated challenge and while you call it respectful, it’s hidden premises border on condescension and insult to people’s intelligence.

I need not say more except to invite you friends to weigh in if there is anything I left out in my response. And while at it, here is a bad way to defend one’s religion.

Man is

his own work before all knowledge and knowledge is merely added to it to enlighten it. Therefore he cannot resolve to be this or that, nor can he become other than he is; but he is once for all, and he knows in the course of experience what he is.

Arthur Schopenhauer in The World as Will and Idea

I suggest they close this faculty

My friend JZ brought this study, if we can call it that, by a Nigerian post graduate student at the University of Lagos purporting to have definitively proved homosexuality is wrong. Those of you on the micro-blogging site, twitter, do know there is usually a love-hate relationship between Kenya and Nigeria which yours truly isn’t interested in today, but I would suggest they close this university for a while.

Please tell me that after reading this,

Mr Amalaha claimed that as the poles of magnets repel those of the same type, this “means that man cannot attract another man because they are the same, and a woman should not attract a woman because they are the same. That is how I used physics to prove gay marriage wrong”

you will not demand that the faculty or department head be asked a few questions and while that is being done, that the faculty be closed to re-asses what their students have been learning. For please tell, how is this science? and by a post graduate student to boot? We have our own problems here, for example 500ml of milk[ a commodity we produce locally] retails at almost the price of a litre of petrol[ a commodity we import] but I think Nigerians have bigger problems. They queue for fuel, which they are the third largest exporter in Africa if my regional knowledge is correct and now they have University of Lagos!

If you thought religion was far away from this research, think again

In recent time I found that gay marriage, which is homosexuality and lesbianism, is eating deep into the fabric of our human nature all over the world and this was why nations of Sodom and Gomora were destroyed by God because they were into gay practice

Read that again and tell me, you don’t want to shoot yourself in the head! His god has a way of attending to his mistakes. Wipe them all out, so that when the inspectors come there is no evidence and you can’t tell who was doing what. Me wonders if the young babies, children and pregnant women were all gays so they had to be killed off? I mean just asking 😛

Now for the real punchline, we are told

Recently my lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Profesor D S Aribuike, pointedly told me that I will win Nobel prize one day, because he found that my works are real and nobody has done it in any part of the world

Me needs a Nobel right away! I mean seriously, seriously, this is cutting edge research that the departmental head is so pleased about. Shoot me, but if this was my university, I would for the time being say I went to a different school.

Chemical Engineers out there, please weigh in and tell us what field of research this is. Yours truly is not a science guy 😛

University of Lagos: Magnets prove homosexuality is unnatural