My good friend who is a metallurgical engineer boldly asserted to me that the truth is a matter of perception and viewpoint or personal choice, and therefore I should leave people alone to believe or have faith in any theory or ideas that work best for them. When I asked him what the function of science was if everybody is entitled to his own viewpoint, he lounged into psychobabble of irrational argument and incomprehensible verbiage.
So that we can allow every perception or viewpoint to carry in this world, and that if you think your mother or father or brother is a witch, then we need not enquire any further because you are entitled to your own opinion and viewpoint?
And if you think that other humans are animals or angels or demons, then we should let you beat them or burn them or harm them, all because your thoughts or viewpoint or prejudices work well for you. And if you think that some people have more than you do, and that you can go ahead and kill them to appropriate their wealth, you may do so without compunction.
If you follow the logical consequences of this il/logic that there are no universal principles or logic or philosophy or dogma worthy of human study and critical inquiry, it leads to the absurd consequences that we can do whatever we want in this world, and nobody can question us.
What this person said, as spurious and specious as it may sound, also appears widespread among Ghanaian intellectuals of faith. Especially when it comes to the matter of religion, people believe whatever they want to believe and do whatever they want to do as the worship of their God. And most of those leading the irrationality and laissez faire are themselves Engineers and lawyer and doctors who are trained to know better. The creme de la crème of our intellectuals are leading others into the mad house of belief and faith, and nothing else matters because to them, it is more profitable to lead in hokum, than to lead in logic.
The truth is that all truth is one, and therefore there should be a universal pathway to establish the truth: The truth should simply be evidence based. And once we get to this simple understanding, we will get rid of all the lies and frills in life. We will avoid all wars and conflicts in life. We can never be deceived. We will not live in delusion and illusion. We will not be confused. We will not be subject to blame, ridicule or opprobrium. Everything will be crystal clear to us…….We will become people of knowledge and honor. We will then destroy the fabric and foundations of all religious thoughts that goad us on to have faith and belief, and leads us to be massacred for profit.
For example, if you tell me that God has spoken to you, you have made a claim which is unprovable on its face. But we can agree as to the method of establishing the truth of the claim itself: How does God look like? What is the texture of his voice? What is his dialect or idiolect or the mannerisms and the idiosyncrasies of his speech? What concomitant extra-segmentals accompany the content and style of his message?
If we cannot establish all these nomenclatures of speech, then we cannot accept that God has spoken to anybody. And even if we can establish all that, it is still what we have decided to be the standard for determining the truth as it pertains to our peculiar context. It may therefore be true or false; but at least this standard will be superior because it is democratic and will have the contretemps of law or logic. Our standard will be better than somebody going to hide in a corner and returning after some time to claim that only he has heard the voice of God but all must obey.
The courts are supposed to be the arbiters of truth, and their rules and methods are concocted and agreed upon in the same way as the above standard to determine the truth. But their methods ought to be serious enough because they have the power to declare the matter of life and death, the questions of what is lawful and unlawful, and even the ways of our leadership. The best method of the courts in determining the truth is evidence, for which the courts have over a long period of time, evolved a consummate pathway. The process establishes rather convoluted hearsay rules, whether a declarant’s assertion is admissible or inadmissible. There are facts considered relevant and irrelevant to a cause of action, those to be taken on judicial notice, procedures for interrogating witnesses, for direct and cross and recross examinations, and the opportunities for raising objections; or in lieu of tangible evidence, for requesting for a directed verdict……..
If somebody makes a claim, or is charged for an offense, or is accused of anything, there is this elaborate scheme or process for which the guilt or innocence of the citizen is determined. If the process works well as it should, then we have justice. The court system is therefore the pathway we have developed to arrive at the truth. And we all agree to its procedural and evidentiary standards.
Another more persuasive pathway to the truth to which we again agree is the scientific method. Here too, evidence forms the nexus plexus to the destination of truth. Through observation, experimentation and measurements, we get to see what is true concerning life, materials and substances in existence. We get to determine the truth through repetition and consistency and predictability of outcomes…..
The social sciences: economics, sociology, political science, psychology, geography and philology.....They all arrive at their conclusions and theories by the use of statistical data, research questionnaire and reliance on authoritative and tested findings which could be validated and authenticated at all times. They are all therefore a pathway to the truth.
The common thread between science and the justice system and all this body of knowledge, is the proposition of hard evidences as the sine qua non for ascertaining truth. You need hard evidence in all these disciplines because they all subsist on this to arrive at their outcomes. In a sense therefore, they are the same: Justice is about science inasmuch as science is about justice, and all these other disciplines. They all serve the cause of truth through the rigid rigors of careful study.
The beauty of justice and science and social science/studies is that they all evolve over a long period of time. If the evidence is found to be wrong in the contexts of the principles of scientific research and methodology, everybody is willing and able to adjust to the new method without sticking to any sacrosanct position. They are all searching for the ultimate truth after all, and will adjust their principles and jettison wrong conclusions to accommodate new knowledge. That is how knowledge evolve over time in its quest to apprehend truth. In this way, everybody is satisfied.
Culture and tradition must also subsist on both science and justice and social sciences and studies if it were to purvey the principles of truth. The principles of truth may however be shrouded in both culture and tradition. Our culture and tradition may subvert scientific truths and promote injustice. They may allege the divine rights of kings and the superiority of blood line. They may even allege the superiority of tribes and the inferiority of other tribes. They may convince us to go plunder others and enslave them and or take over their property. They may be abusive of the rights of women and children or the weak. They may not make sense. They may therefore be considered as nothing more than myth, just as anything that cannot be justified with evidence may well be recognized as lies or myth.
But culture and tradition may save itself from all the mythical defects and effects by adhering to evidence-based science and the object of justice. The culture and tradition will then transmogrify into truth and become justiciable, having the same universal standard for truth and justice.
If our societies and countries have the same standards for determining truth and justice via evidence, there will always be peace in the world. And that is actually what the United Nations seeks to accomplish as a world body: To achieve the goals of world peace and justice by use of unimpeachable evidence and the promotion of a singular standards in human rights and justice.
But militating against all these noble concepts of evidence-based principles of science and justice are the creeds and dogma of religion. Religion destroys all need for evidence and promotes faith and belief as their substitute. And on the sole basis of this faith and belief, it has constructed a God. Religion also tells us that someone has been appointed to tell us everything about this God and what God wants us to do, which people are chosen or unchosen, and which of our money and resources we must surrender to these deputies of God, and how we must also obey and worship this God. We must do all these based on faith and belief alone with obedience without questions. In fact, sometimes on the pain of death or torture, we have no right to seek evidence, to ask questions or to seek the science of this because the request for evidence will constitute sins for which we might even lose our lives. In fact, millions have died in the past for seeking evidence, for asking questions, or for doubting the chosen ones.
Our evidence-based science and justice system took thousands of years of human evolution to reach their present destination. They are still imperfect but seeking perfection as long as they are allowed their natural pathway to evolve. But religion blocks both science and justice by imposing on them its sacrosanct force of will. With religion, we must abandon all our thinking and reasoning and logic altogether. We must abandon change wrought through the studious rigors of thought. We must abandon evidence altogether. We must abandon modernization altogether.
With religion, what is, must remain forever what it is. Some are chosen to tell us what God says and to interpret what God means via the spirit where we cannot make sense of what he actually means. All things are to remain exactly as they say. If you therefore list all the follies that this religion will make one do, you will discover rather that there is nothing that religion can’t make one do. One can kill or maim or torture or hate or war or destroy or plunder or burn another or spit on his neighbor or drink other’s spittle or bath water or urine, all in the name of religion.
And so why must we defenestrate the brain, which is our greatest asset, in order to succumb to the edicts of religion without questions? Is there something wrong with asking questions if we have to invest our human hood and selfhood in religion? Isn’t it the case that the pathway to all knowledge is asking questions? And what is the benefit of the unquestioning behavior, if any? Who stands to benefit in our unquestioning posture?
The answer resides in the vested interests of all these people who claim to hear the voices of God. Indeed, the greatest enemy of faith is inquiry. If we ask these questions, the charade will come tumbling down, and all these magic tricks and lies and miracles will be exposed. And who wants that to happen if they can stop that? If you forbid questions or inquiries, you can impose the contraption of faith and belief perpetually on the masses for thousands of years and freely exploit them for thousands of years without any change in their circumstances. Once they begin to ask questions, everything will fall apart. Remember that for thousands of years, humankind stayed in place without any significant scientific or technological advancement to them because they were not asking questions. Compare that epoch of human history to the last hundred years and see the difference. You will then understand what Jesus meant by his statement that in the last days, knowledge will abound. He simply means the end of the era of deception of which he knew.
When humans used their brains, they overthrew the status quo. And if you are one of these principals making claims that God has spoken to you and making your huge profits and livelihood and deriving your comfort from religion, what will you gain by all these teutonic changes that have come about through human thinking?
So non-thinking and non-questioning are the sine qua non of everyone that will hear the voices and commands of god: We are to become sheep to them. To be led by their stick and rod to the greener pastures…To be fed and fattened and thereafter slaughtered. We are to become like babies without the knowledge of good and bad, so that we will surrender our moneys to them in order to be led into an imaginary kingdom……after we are dead!
Even after they have written down what God has said, they don’t want you to read and understand them yourself. They must shroud it in mystery and tell you that you need spiritual understanding. You may be competent in reading and understanding and analyzing or explaining all books except one.
And why are they doing this to us? It so happens that the book is the worst ever written on earth, full of barbarism and savagery, full of lies and evil, making claims without any shred of evidence, encouraging genocide and holocaust, chicanery and plunder and ignorance and superstition, full of fake miracle mongers, prestidigitators and impostors. If you get to read the Bible and discover all these evil deeds, and then what? You will depart the faith!
So they must interpose this interphase of “spiritual meaning” in order to mislead and brainwash you. Otherwise, when you go to school and study a book, you are encouraged, nay, even required, to use your own brain to analyze, interpret and critique it without any interface of spirituality. So why not the Bible as well? Because if you subject the Bible to any evidentiary or commonsensical criticism, you will find that it is the worst book ever written by humans.
And how do you get to this conclusion if you are not seeking evidence to support or deny its contents? How do you get to its truths or lies without asking questions? And how do you avoid being brainwashed or hoodwinked without subjecting the book to the due process of analysis to determine its credibility or justness?
If you apply faith and belief to study it, its sense and nonsense will be fused into one holy transaction, and everything will become one holistic scripture of composite righteousness. You will then become a victim of the deception and exploitation of those whose prosperity and power depends on your unquestioning faith and belief…people who gain with your loss and ignorance.
Good men and women have lost all their processes of thinking and analyses by succumbing to faith and belief. They have engaged in conscientious stupidity and good faith ignorance on account of their faith and belief. Even where they study science and technology in the school system, their servile faith and belief continue to interfere with this science to render them impotent and unfit for purpose.
Our true redemption is to adhere to the universal standard and pathway to science and justice, the universal standard for determining the truth. If we do that, we will never be confused. We will not have to search thousands of denominations in order to encounter the truth. Everything will be clear to us. And the witches, the demons, the devils and the leprechauns will all disappear from our lives and dreams.
We will appreciate the natural science of cause and effects and make proper use of all our resources and gifts. We will be creative and innovative and solve our problems efficiently without waiting for anybody to appear from the sky to offer us solutions.
Dr. Samuel Adjei Sarfo, Esq.
Email: [email protected]