I made this post on Facebook today:
“So about two months back some chick I used to know threatened me that if I didn't give my life to Christ that the bad luck of my losing my first banking job and been involved in a car accident would continue. I cut off and unfriended the dumb bitch right away. And now recently some chick I’ve become good friends with in the past four years judges me that I’m a bad person and ungrateful to God for surviving my accident because I don't speak in tongues, read the bible, attend night vigils and pay tithes. As if that's the only measure of a good person. Abeg beam me up Scotty, there's no intelligent life down here!”
And one of the comments in reply read in quote: “I guess the part that gets me is the constantly implied drivel that somehow being agnostic correlates with increased level of intelligence”.
I think I should give instances why agnostics reason better and are generally more intelligent than people who steadfastly affirm to a religion. It’s for you to read the examples and put two and two together. So here goes.
1) If I put a bowl in front of your door at night with such items like an egg, a white feather, a white cloth, sprinkled blood, a chicken head and a bead, nine out of ten people wouldn’t use that exit in the morning. They’d call some sort of pastor or priest which would indirectly cost them at least a thousand Naira; who would pray for at least 5 minutes, sprinkle holy water around and set fire to the bowl. All this taking at least an hour and distracting you from the job of the day. An agnostic would throw the bowl in the dustbin and immediately be off to work.
2) When the infamous slapping by David Oyedepo of a girl who claimed to be a winch for Jesus came to the fore nine out of ten people defended him. In accordance to the “do you know who I am” creed they opined she was evil and came to disrespect and tempt the Bishop. Very few saw it as child abuse…battery, and as an instance of a mentally disturbed girl who found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
3) Work real hard, have lots of skill and some luck and meteorically find yourself in the limelight as a music star. Don’t kill anyone, don’t steal, don’t cheat, don’t commit any crime against humanity just be popular. And you can be rest assured that somewhere in Ajegunle in the slums, two boys over a bottle of beer…or in Victoria Island, two ladies while fixing their hair attachments in the salon are bantering over the conspiracy theory that you’re a member of the Illuminati Cult. Their discussion will not change the price of garri in the market but they’ll argue and deride you all the same.
4) When I was in the university in my third year one of my roommates and his twin brother were Seventh Day Adventists in their first year studying medicine. During exam time one of their papers; a core course was rescheduled for Saturday. They never did write that paper preferring instead to worship at church. Subsequently down the years they had academic problems. Their status as medical students was not tenable and they never did graduate as Doctors. Stuff along similar lines is still happening today in Nigeria.
5) When adults my age were kids…and I’m sure even till date, if you grew up in a Christian home and had Muslims as neighbours you were never allowed to eat the meat given to you as gifts during Sallah celebrations. Such meat always ended up in the dustbin. The only consolation being offered by parents being that God forbids you contaminate yourself with food offered to foreign gods. Yes, Nigeria was a green land and food was never our problem.
6) Islam is the dominant religion of Northern Nigeria. And one day should an unidentified person use a torn page from the Quran to wipe his bum after defecating be rest assured that the religious clerics there will easily mobilize more than five million devotees to wreck havoc on all Igbo traders within reach. Yes Allahu Akbar, God is great. And suicide bombings and killings against Americans while exclaiming Allahu Akbar is a manifestation of such greatness.
7) Islam is for the pious. Dutifully all women should compulsory wear the hijab and if possible cover their whole body in black cloth. Men are weak spirited and should not be tempted. A woman’s body is the sole property of her husband and should be kept so. Men on the other hand were created in God’s own image and likeness and should enjoy the sunlight and be proud to display their bodies in various attire as a tribute to the Most High who created them.
8) Allahu Akbar; God is great and we must raise our young ones to know so. Our young boys should be sent away to indoctrinate this religious education into them at a tender age in informal Almajiri institutions. They should roam the street and beg to imbibe the culture of meekness. Forget that it breeds poverty and illiteracy as other skills are not imparted into the kids, at least they can always live a righteous life as sugar cane sellers, security men, bread and tea kiosk owners or manicure and pedicure experts.
9) Finally a look at the world map shows Nigeria is at the center of the world. Yes we are God’s own nation and as such our Government should continue to lavish billions of Nairas each year sponsoring Hajjs to Mecca and Pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Forget that there is no direct or indirect benefit of such expeditions on our GDP or standard of living; we must just continue to do it. As Femi Fani-Kayode, then Special Assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo often said when rebuking Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe “we are not ashamed of that fact that we are a nation of believers...we believe that God rules in the affairs of men”. Yes what distinguishes us from other people is that we are a praying nation, little wonder we’re recognized as the most religious and happiest nation in the world. How wonderful!
Update: I think my line of argument in this post was misunderstood. I was not saying that being outstanding intellectually is directly proportional to being atheist/agnostic. I was saying you stand a higher chance of success at tackling many problems of the world if you approached it from the agnostic front...the rational front. Hence my listing 9 typical everyday challenges.