As a freethinker I strongly believe that there is no right more important than that of the individual to be able to think and express his or her opinion on any issue regardless of an offense this may cause to someone else. Freedom of expression should only be stopped when it causes harm. Need I point out there is a big difference between harm and offense. Harm is absolute, offense is relative. In the name of social accordance it is good to avoid causing offense, but the notion that a person should be restricted from expression to prevent offense by definition is intolerance.
In Nigeria we have developed a culture of intolerance such that it not only silences any form of scepticism, but it also encourages fundamentalism. Of all the problems facing our nation, and oh they are many, our addiction to fundamentalism in contrast to reason and logic presents by far the greatest threat. In the name of religion we have for so long arrested our thinking faculties leaving us intellectually and even spiritually lazy. If we do not do something about this culture then I am afraid our nation like all other nations void of secular reason would remain stagnant as far as developments go.
Personally I have no problem with whatever a man or woman decides to call God or believe God to be, but when this belief begins to cloud the use of logic, critical thinking, and common sense, then it becomes a problem. I have often asked a question on the nature of morality. Is an act moral because it is condoned by God? Or dose God condone such acts because they are moral? The root meaning of this question is simple…in a world without God, would right and wrong still exist? Mind you this question is based on the notion of the personified God as seen in the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).
If an action is only moral because God loves it and immoral because He hates it, then is there a criteria He has for picking what is good and what is bad…or perhaps it is a matter of whatever tickles his fancy? If there is a criterion then it brings us back to the fact that there good and evil can exist and be differentiated without the need for God as long as we can adhere to the criteria established.
So why do we as human persist on clinging to dogmatic views of what is right and wrong sinking deeper into fundamentalism instead of looking at the bigger picture and examining the nature of good and evil to enable make rational decisions? Would Christians have declared homosexuality moral if Jesus had said there was nothing wrong with it? I am not writing this post to say homosexuality is morally acceptable, rather I am writing to make you question the nature of why you believe it to be good or bad depending on your opinion.
It is about time we have a shift in the way we think of and discuss matters of theology and faith in relation to our society. With the amount of churches and mosques we have on the streets one thing is evident. Our spiritual leaders are either teaches us badly, or their methods are not working. How else are we to explain being one of the most religious countries in the world with being one of the most corrupt? Think…it’s still free.
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