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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Religion Yes! Questions No!!

My atheism most probably began when I was eight. That was when I started catechism classes and the first question we were asked was "who made you?". The answer was of course "god made me". While the other children continued with the next question, I was lost in my thoughts. I was growing up to be quite the critic, and to me, nothing was above being criticized, which is why it baffles me to this day why Nigerians especially become visibly uncomfortable when the question of god's existence comes up.
The fact that one holds a belief means it can be challenged. The question is how much scrutiny it can endure. Magicians and illusionist challenge their boundaries, and our sanity, with the tricks they come up with, and they talk all the time about perfecting a particular stunt or trick before actually attempting it before an audience. Why then do many people still believe that magic is real? Penn and Teller, a famous magical duo, have talked about the painstaking work the put in to master their phenomenal act of catching a bullet with their teeth. So the only mystery here is that the secret will follow them to their graves; these men have never claimed to have any supernatural abilities. Take a look at a neat trick in the video below and tell me what you think in the comments section.

Why then are questions about god and religion a taboo? Why is it a no-go area? If a man was told his wife was being unfaithful, the logical next step would be to seek evidence. This evidence would form the basis for his next move. He could confront his wife with the allegation, or he could hire a private eye. Either way, he would not just accept such a grave accusation without evidence since the course of his life, and that of his children, if there were any, would ultimately depend on this decision. It is thus not a decision to be made rashly. Why is it not the same for religion? Every child born into a religion is made to believe that the religion he or she is born into is the one true religion. By the time they become young adults, the religion they are born into would have played a major role in shaping their world view; and the culture of accepting without question, the tenets of their religion, would have taken deep roots.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but what happens when those who make or believe such claims fail to even look for evidence? It reminds me of Peter Odili, a former governor or Rivers state in Nigeria who got a court injunction preventing him from ever being tried for corruption. If he had nothing to hide, why the injunction?