Of Christian sects and cults

Here I was strolling on the internet when I meet with this post and I got really interested.

While I laud her proposals, they don’t go far enough. It is not enough to just question ones faith but all god claims. Parents must as a matter of course not indoctrinate their children in their beliefs but to create an environment where children can know of different beliefs observed by others around them and to question the validity of any of them or all of them.

The type of group she discusses matches millennium cults that were prevalent in Europe between the 7th and 16th centuries of the current era. And while education was at play, the biggest drive was economic and they were based on loose interpretations of apocalyptic literature such as book of Revelations and Daniel. Instead of dismissing the followers as blind and uneducated, it is far more productive to us who don’t believe to investigate the motivations behind such groupings. Who says they are not political?

And while at it, she should be fair to her readers and start with a definition of a cult.

For me, the difference between a cult and a mainstream church is in real estate. Others I know have added a farther qualifier that in a cult the founder is still in many cases alive while in a religion the founder is long dead.

Finally I agree with her concluding remarks. She writes

However, it is imperative that we all use our brains for what they are meant for – to think! [Emphasis by me]

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Pope cuddle on atheists 

The Pope cuddles while addressing a church gathering said 

But to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.’ It is that: scandal

But this is an insult to atheists. To compare dishonest and hypocritical Catholics to atheists is to claim we are dishonest, which we are not and it is a poor reading of his sentiments that would make anyone think he has respect for atheists. 

CNN

I,too

Is a poem by Langston Hughes. He writes

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.
So while I am an African, and maybe proudly so, that poem is relevant in the discussion we are about to have. Africa interests me in many ways than one. In an earlier post, I did ask if an African philosophy exist? Today I want us to revisit the topic by addressing a different question, the challenge to African philosophy. As Hughes says in his poem, I want to say with him that tomorrow, Africa will be part of humanity and history and that her philosophy will be worthy of study.
In the Journal of African Studies Vol 1, Taiwo argues that Africa’s philosophy is haunted by the ghost of Hegel. This ghost is to be found in his, Hegel’s, seminal work, the Philosophy of History in which he claimed to treat the philosophy of the world.
Hegel’s work begins thus
The subject of this course of Lectures is the Philosophical History of the World. And by this must be understood, not a collection of general observations respecting it, suggested by the study of its records, and proposed to be illustrated by its facts, but Universal History itself.
And one might think with such a bold introduction, the world does not mean northern Europe alone but the everywhere he human spirit is to be found. This however is not the case with Hegel. To Hegel, Europe is absolutely the end of History.
According to Hegel, we are told
Africa must be divided into three parts: one is that which lies south of the desert of Sahara–Africa proper–the Upland almost entirely unknown to us, with narrow coast-tracts along the sea; the second is that to the north of the desert–European Africa (if we may so call it)–a coastland; the third is the river region of the Nile, the only valley-land of Africa, and which is in connection with Asia
And I think it is this view of Hegel that has lived on to present day, where pundits talk of Sub Saharan Africa. In Taiwo’s view, Hegel does this to make Africa safe for History. Since Egypt is no longer in Africa but the middle East, it can now be considered as making part of history. While placing Egypt in Middle East, North Africa is in Europe!
If Hegel is to be believed, the Negro
“exhibits the natural man in his completely wild and untamed state and has no knowledge of an absolute Being, an Other and a Higher than his individual Self.
One wonders then why others writing about Africa argue that it is littered with gods. That the Yoruba have a pantheon of 400 plus 1 gods if he, the Negro, has no knowledge of anything above his individual self. One wonders if this lack of knowledge is what led the colonialists to argue the African had no religion.
Taiwo concludes his piece thus
Until it is taken for granted that Africa is part of History, that the study of anything cannot be complete unless it encompasses this significant part of the world, no amount of iteration of what Africans have done will move the victims of Hegel’s ghost. Until they get rid of the voice of the Hegelian ghost whispering in their inner ear that Africa is not worth it, that Africa has nothing worthwhile to offer, they will continue to botch the challenge that Africa poses to philosophy.
Africa interests me also in its paradoxes; so rich yet so poor. Take DRC for example. It is a mineral rich country yet so poor in terms of human development, infrastructure, is insecure and has leadership challenges or Kenya for example where the ruling class are thieves and the ruled are idiots, following the thieving class blindly without question.
The second question then is what must Africans do to change their situation? My first answer is education. And no, I am not saying we are not educated, that isn’t it. Our education has failed to produce engaged citizens, thinkers and revolutionaries. It has failed to produce a people that demand accountability of their leaders. It is an Africa where the wife of a 90 year old president can proudly say the country will, if it comes to that point, be led by her dead husband. It is a shame.
The second solution, is that Africa must become less religious and more skeptical. The idea that whenever calamity strikes, everyone from the president to the poor fellow in the village hopes some god will do something must change. We must begin to question what is it in our system of doing things makes us so vulnerable. We must ask why our leaders, our research and development institutions are not coming up with solutions to some of these problems. Drought should not mean we start starving. Why are we not investing enough in foodstuff. We have a storm and floods everywhere in our cities. Why have not improved the drainage systems and so on.
On the economic front, Africa must demand fair trade agreements with her bilateral partners. Trade between African countries must go up and finally, value addition. Africa must manufacture. It must industrialize. It cannot produce cocoa and import chocolate from whatever or produce coffee beans and import processed coffee at double or three times the cost. That must change. This is the Africa I want.
Lastly, I dream of an Africa where Africans will emigrate not because of conflict but because they can afford to live elsewhere. They will not be looking for work or security but maybe for bad weather, you know like cold climes or tornadoes and such.
A man can dream.

Leadership for the Africa we want

I found this interesting. You can have it play in the background while you cook your breakfast. It saddens that most of the suggestions offered here are not acted upon. A time should come and it better be soon when Africans will demand accountability from their leaders. And I hope that while that is happening, we shall demand visa free travel among African nations, and much more cross border trade that it currently is.

Here we go again: Morality

On the stone god’s blog, I ask

Ark, could you ask your Christians whether a thing is good because God commands it or god commands it because it is good?
Could they give an example of an objective moral and with supporting justification.

and then I get

What is the nature of God. God is good. God is love. Love and goodness are the very essence of God.

God is certainly not arbitrary in His moral actions, nor is God subject to some external standard of morality that governs His decisions…God isn’t arbitrarily deciding what is good and what is evil on a whim. Rather, it is God’s nature to do good, and God never acts contrary to His nature.
…the ground of morality is God’s nature and not some external standard to which God must adhere. God’s sovereignty is preserved as well as an objective standard for morality, i.e., God’s nature.

The Scriptures, God’s self-revelation to humanity, illustrates this quite nicely. A sampling of passages that demonstrate that goodness is grounded in God’s nature:

God commands certain actions as good and therefore to be done and forbids certain other actions as evil and therefore not to be done. What is good is not good simply because God commands it. It is good because it is reflective of His divine nature.

My first question is, did he understand my question? My question is about the nature of good. Are things good independent of god or do they get their goodness from god? And if all that is is the handiwork of god, how can anything be bad? IS it conceivable that a good god has through omission let bad exist? Is this fellow willfully ignorant or do we blame it on his upbringing?

The claim god is good is asserted without proof. The author has not demonstrated that god is and that it is good. It is not enough to claim god is good. God’s existence has not been demonstrated. It is quite evident the author of the above comment is ignorant of theologians who have argued god’s nature is unknowable. I propose they settle this small matter first then get back to us.

By saying god doesn’t act contrary to its nature, we must assume the author implies all a god does is good. That must include, in the case of the god of the bible, drowning all that lives, save a few, is good. Cursing the earth is good. Turning out A & E for a minor infraction is good. A further question is how does this fellow know all this about god? And the value judgement of god? Can he tell us what to god is evil? IS it the same with what he considers evil or are they different?

I have deleted the bible references because they are useless in this discussion. So far as I can tell, the theologian has not demonstrated the bible to be the word of a god, any god. On the contrary, most of the bible passages look like the ramblings of a deranged mind. Or maybe, god is deranged and we have been thinking the bible as is, could not come from a god. I think we have been holding god to a high standard without justification.

The god of the bible gave Joshua express orders to kill the Canaanites. The god of the bible is recorded to have drowned the Egyptian army, to have sent bears to kill children. The list of the moral things this god is said to have done have been listed before by others with much patience than yours truly.

It is tiring dealing with people who will not read.

Do these people read?

I mean the SoMs and Insanity of this world? How else is such ignorance justified in the world with the internet?

They should have come across this quote misattributed to that great ruler, Marcus Aurelius. 

Those who can stand the nonsense Insanity and SoM write daily do a great service to humanity. Maybe someday Violetwisp will bring them closer to the 20th century in thought. They are stuck in the 8th or 9th century.