THE very base of religion is ‘Faith’. Faith is the desire and choice to accept things that otherwise make little sense; defeat common logic, scientific reasoning, and provable rationality, in the staunch belief that the anomalies are the making of a greater deity whose works and mind are beyond that of common mind.
Christianity is one religion founded upon the very tenant of faith. So much so, any attempts to digest or analyse Christian scripture or works is labelled foolish, devilish, and evil. That is well, and acceptable, and I have no desire to take this ‘flaw’ apart in this essay. It is a
n aspect central to Christian belief, I respect the decision of those inclined to the advent to follow it.
However, I must make a case against Learnmore Zuze, his blind man analogy, and blatant attack on atheism.
First and foremost, it is deeply and humiliatingly ironic that a man of faith, can open his two lips and claim that a set of people who choose not to believe in a deity lack logic. Really!
In the game of Logic it is about Evidence: Don’t quote it if you offer none yourself!
The game of rational lucidity is about evidence and fact. Learnmore quotes logic and common sense, yet offers no evidence to support his own reasoning. Perhaps he is ignorant, but I will spare some evidence for him myself.
The earth is 15 billion years, and there is conclusive evidence to prove this. Yet, the bible claims the earth is 6000 years old. Modern humans have been in existence for some 200,000 years making the biblical belief of a 6,000 year old man fabricated.
Yet according to Zuze, “he who believes in conclusive evidence lacks reasoning and logic”.
He objects evidence because, his “faith instructs him against evidence that the earth is indeed just 6,000 years old”.
It is quite disastrous that if Zuze believes in something, it is consequently a fact, and if anyone else does not believe in it, then they are blind. Never mind the evidence. Logic huh?
The most disturbing aspect of Zuze’s consciousness is that he claims that simply because there is no evidence to support God does not exist then it means he exists, even though there is no evidence to support that he does.
Two simple problems here: We all know there is tonnes of evidence to support the notion that God does not exist, or at least that Christianity is blemished to the point where its actuality as a true religion is open to suspicion. Hence Learnmore’s postulation that God exists because science can’t prove he does not is propaganda. It can.Advertisement
A belief in something does not equal truth and, again, EVIDENCE ZUZE!
Zuze is a scholar, a theorist, but sadly I must say, his arguments don’t meet the standard. I have rather noted, with alarm that his thoughts are not contemplates of an intellectual as he purports, but value laden propositions which he has no evidence of.
The problem here is that Zuze tentatively peddles his own personal convictions as fact; he defends them adamantly, and even has the audacity to say anyone who believes contrawise is a ‘mad man’.
Someone needs to tell Zuze that for something to qualify as truth it must be provable, it must be subjected to empirical testing and we must, outside of ethnocentrism and value judgements, be able to asses it and agree that it qualifies as truth-basing on evidence, not suppositions.
But I expect, in the game of faith, it is not a reasoning, or common sense game. It is about faith, and conviction; which is, as I said before, acceptable until, in this case, the blind man starts arguing against a sight able man about the colour of his shirt. Zuze, choosing to remain blind by this analogy, is fine but he must not dare call the sight able man blind. It makes him look like a punk.
Simply because Zuze, in his romanticised notion of creation, believes something is true does not make it true. I have no problem with him holding his beliefs, but I have a problem with him attacking the other person’s beliefs based on his fantasies, which he claims are fact simply because, well, he believes so. That borders on insanity.
Quoting Science in defence of a deity is suicide. Learnmore’s blind man analogy is also inherently flawed and false. You see, while blind men cannot see the sun, they can feel its heat, and their sight able compatriots are able to tell them of the sun, and its existence.
We cannot say the same of deity (ies), in any form or nature. Zuze must realise that religion is a matter of faith, belief and conviction. It cannot be brought to an academic argument as he attempts to. Once a philosopher argues from a point of reference of opinion, conviction, and faith, he loses his title, he becomes just but a ranting lay man. For, philosophy itself, like science, is founded upon arguing with tangible fact, not mental notions.
Zuze attempts to quote Einstein to support his argument, fully aware that his does not qualify as one; he tries to find an authority that endorses his shallow perspective. But, perhaps, Zuze would be informed if he knew, what Einstein actually said about religion.
“It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere…. Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death,” so wrote Einstein in his “Religion and Science,” New York Times Magazine, November 9, 1930.
Obviously Zuze knows nothing about Einstein, Religion, and a lot of other things. It is quite apparent he does not read, choosing instead to peddle his convictions in place of factual arguments.
But, Christianity must not be quoted as moral campus. It is also important to inform Zuze that his argument that atheistic views must be grateful to Christianity for morality is as false as they come.
Human morality was not brought about by the Christian movement. Infact, the Christian movement has a long history of being an enemy of human morality.
Moses and Aaron were given a license to commit grand genocide, rape, and murder, as a reward for their loyalty to God. Abraham was instructed to murder his son. Noah slept with his daughters; the bible condones slavery, and prescribed it. It also instructs us to burn witches, and stone victims of rape to death.
Several years into the advent of Christianity, the Catholic Church made people pay to go to heaven. Criminals are predominantly Christian, et al… I could write a 10,000 page essay on the immorality of the advent, but as I said, it is not the business of today.
“When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.” (Exodus 21:20-21).
“If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29).
Do not take offence, these are just things picked up from the bible, which I did not write, God did.
To quote Dr Gonzalez: “The assumption that human morality is derived from the Bible is as silly as it gets. Humans have existed for millions of years and have lived moral lives before existence of Christianity (2000 years ago). People all over the world live moral lives without never even heard of Christianity.”
You see, there is nothing wrong with faith, or having it. I personally have no qualms about what people choose to believe. I will die defending people’s rights to hold their own beliefs. But when condescending and ignorant men of faith decide to pick holes into the beliefs of others, when their own personal beliefs sit on very fluid ground, I cannot help but engage them, especially, when they, like Zuze make it a point to show how ignorant and clueless they are.
If I may make my own analogy, Zuze reminds me of a naked blind man who chases a man down a busy street only to tell him that his zipper is open, while he himself walks with his tool dangling and buttocks exposed.
Zuze must realise a few things. He cannot go to war with a whip and he cannot throw stones while living in a glass house. Men of faith must never comment on matters of reason, and logic, let alone bring their faith-based convictions to an academic dinner table. To quote him, Zuze, “it provokes character scrutiny”.
In the while, dear Zuze, keep Bible convictions away from scientific analysis, and avoid picking fights with students of logic and reasoning. You embarrass yourself, and you open up your beliefs to strict “character scrutiny”, and we all know how that pans out. Sadly, you also present yourself as a straw logician.
Enough Said, This Is Africa!
Maynard Manyowa is a political & social analyst. You can reach him for feedback via his website www.maynardmanyowa.com , or Twitter – @iAmKudaMaynard or by on his FB page – Maynard Kudakwashe Manyowa