Control and responsibility: How faith, reason and superstition determine social directions

Control and responsibility: How faith, reason and superstition determine social directions

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By Ogunlela

Without a doubt, superstition is the greatest problem of the black race while the biggest asset of the whites is their empirical or scientific approach to issues today.
Superstition creates a host of problems but basically, its worst attack is that it takes power out of their hands and places it in the hand of the gods who are usually capricious and mostly unreliable.

  1. It disables the individual by telling him he is not in control and the powers that directs his affairs are way beyond him.
  2. It takes away from him a sense of responsibility, a trick that can even provide a seeming escape valve from big issues of life.
    The two items above are responsible for neutering, for totally disarming generations of black people and they come in various religious veneers.
    Before the advent of Islam and Christianity, they were here in the forms of indigenous belief systems where the gods chose the unquestionable kings and by this securely neutralized the ability of the people to evolve a stable political system – you can never improve whatever you cannot question. These gods cast the destinies of their worshipers in stone and deviations from their admonitions and directions are unthinkable.
    Modern monotheistic religious leanings further generally reinforce the idea of an Almighty God who rules out affairs such that our choices and struggle to pursue particular directions are in vain in the face of that God’s decisions which are often against the tide of our wishes. The admonition is usually to urge us to submit to this default state as divine will with a subtle warming to do nothing that seems to counter the Almighty’s ways. This notion has been the death of many ideas that could have lifted individual lives and revolutionizing our societies. I can easily say that this traditional way of thinking about ‘God’ has planted a secret fear in the heart of many against seeking to do things differently, lest they offend the divine will. A lot of theology and morals is built around such acceptance of low stations in life with titles like humility, temperance, contentment and the like.
    I don’t know if you have also ever examined this, that people steeped in the form of thinking above are also patently afraid of making bold moves that can succeed against what seems the ironcast will of God because it might just succeed!
    So what?
    Oh, that’s the worst fear of all: of it succeeds, their faith will be ruined because ita bubble and illusion have been shredded. A lot of faiths are preserved by avoiding a bold attempt at life and by sidestepping the real, bare facts in several issues of life. People fear that if these facts are addressed, their faith will not be able to stand under the outcome. The largest portions of our race are lost in the wilderness of finding the sweet spot of faith and reason and so, they choose superstition, which is the abandonment of reason so as to preserve a belief system that is thought to be potent.
    Now the basis for the scientific approach – which the western world has adopted (after centuries of wallowing in seedy superstition) is that we humans have a good level of both control and responsibility.
    I think this is the real deal in the whole subject: Control and Responsibility.
    If you don’t have control, you cannot have responsibility and vice versa. Have you noticed people who hand over the control of their lives to some other person and then hold those person’s responsible for outcomes in their lives? Oh they are everywhere, especially in religious circles. You will usually know than by how much they venerate their ‘man of God’ in our contemporary society.
    Humans dread responsibility and many have evolved a complex habit of a system of buck passing, of outsourcing control of, and subsequently, responsibility over their lives to second parties and they actively pay for these ‘services’. Whenever we don’t accept responsibility, we concede that we so not have control and this can become a permanent worldview for us and we may not even realize it.
    This is the subtle reason people pray year in year out and don’t ever leave there believing God has answered and it is time to take action. If they believe God has answered, they will begin to have responsibility and they don’t want that because responsibility is a huge issue, demanding that we do things right, take pains, study hard, grow and mature and finally, face inescapable consequences. The way to escape all of this is to hand over control altogether and hide under superstition:
    God will help us.
    God will do it.
    It is in the hand of God.
    God is in control.
    If we are truthful, these are often language of superstition that helps us avoid responsibility by ceding control and once we realize that and decide to do something about it, we break free from superstition and take our destiny in our hands.
    When certain people read comments like this, they quickly shield their minds from its penetration by suspecting atheism. They get cold to you because you have not helped them put everything in the hands of God.
    And this is the thing killing our society today – leaving things in the hands of God who has left those things in our hands in the first place and wants us to take pains with them and with courage and sacrifice, come up with positive results.
    Faith that is useful and effective understands that we have responsibility and God will never come to play our roles for us. Such faith does not stay on its knees praying forever. It prays, believes and acts. In fact, Jesus told his own not to keep repeating their prayers “the way unbelievers do” knowing what harm that does to human lives – it dupes them into a permanently attitude of helplessness and powerlessness and traps them in the deceptive superstition that they cannot effect changes. I believe these are some of the important issues for our religious society to honestly address today if we are to come out of this hole of national paralysis. This is the evil that our white cousins identified about two centuries ago and they began to take a more pragmatic view of life, even though they have their own extremes.
    Ogunlela
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