Love as an emotion.

​Emotions, those states of consciousness in which we soar to heights of pleasure of depths of despair. But really what are emotions? Well, by way of negation we can say emotions are the non-volitional side of our minds. 

Contemporary psychology posits emotions are judgments held against a baseline of our goals.As such the state of being happy would be a cognitive judgement that one or more of our goals are being satisfied, just like getting a high paying job satisfies the goal of financial security. Or being proposed to satisfies your romantic needs. Similarly, sadness is the awareness that your goals are not being met.

Those whom differ from this characterization of the emotions have argued that emotions are basically physiological perceptions. That is emotions are being aware of changes in your body, such as heart rate, breathing rate, perspiration, etc.

Now the critical question to ask on either of these conceptions of the emotions, is whether Love is an emotion? On the first account, if love is indeed an emotion then our conception of love would be how well someone satisfies our emotional needs. On the second account it would be if we perceive certain bodily changes when we are with someone or rather if someone causes certain bodily changes. Examples abound, such as “she makes my heart skip a beat”, “he makes me have butterflies in my tommy.”

Notice on both of these theories love is not volitional, that is it is not something you decide to do. But Jesus commands in Luke 6:27, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you”. Since this is a command it without question refutes both notions of love as a psychological perception or cognitive judgement. For how can you love an enemy who does not satisfy any of our life goals? Or an enemy who does not arouse any sort of feeling from you?

Most assuredly these notions of love are too reductionistic, Love must be so much more.

The morality of the death wish. 

Is it ever morally permissible to wish someone dead? First of what is it to wish?  Wishing is a psychological state in which we long for a certain event to come to fruition.

So is it ever morally permissible to have such a longing that another human kicks the bucket?

Take the case of a soldier who is on the verge of an imminent battle. He knows he might die but hopes this would not be the case. But in order to stay alive he must kill. But if he wishes not for the death of the other men on the battle field does  he not reduce his chances of survival? In such a case is it not morally permissible for him to wish the death of others as that would guarantee his survival?

I think the answer to this and other such questions lie in the psychological state of wishing. The essence of a wish is a strong desire that something comes to pass as earlier noted. Desire is almost always bound up with pleasure, for what we desire is what would give us pleasure.

Hence, when we wish for someone’s death invariably what we are doing  is  being expectant of the pleasure we would derive from such a person’s death. But we may ask why is this wrong? If morality is relative then there is no point asking such a question, but thankfully it is not. So can’t we wish for the death of really wicked people? The answer is that we can’t for there is a higher ideal for us to wish for concerning those whom we think are wicked. That is such persons change their wicked ways and become good. It is much better for a bad man to become good than for him to perish in his wickedness. 

So to wish death on someone is to wish them cut off from all means of restitution and redemption, for it would give us more pleasure to see them damned than saved. All this assumes that the person who has the wish is good and the person he wishes dead is indeed wicked. But this is never the case, as we are all wicked except for the mercy of Christ.

The fool.

​PSALM 14:1.—The fool hath said in his heart There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

There is much to glean from this sweet morsel of holy writ. We may begin our enquiry by asking who is a fool? 

In the verse under consideration, the word for fool in Hebrew is נבל. It is transliterated nâbâl and Pronounced naw-bawl’. It is defined as being stupid or wicked (especially impious). We can clearly see from the verse that being a fool has to do with moral deficiency and not necessarily lack of mental prowess. For who are they that are corrupt? The fools that say in their hearts there is no God.What is the evidence of this corruption? It flows forth in the streams of the abominable works which they effortlessly perform. Finally this corruption is universal, for there is none that doeth good. This last statement unequivocally tells us the condition of every single human who has ever lived that is outside of Christ. Those who would wish to protest their innocence should do well to ask themselves the same rhetorical question the psalmist poses in Psalm 130:3, “if  You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?” Also you should consider Job’s question in Job 15:16, “How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinks iniquity like water?”

Notice that in the first part of the verse the fool “hath said in his heart.”  These are words said to oneself and not spoken out. Hence there might be an outward affirmation of God’s existence but a tacit denial in the thought processes. Some might not have the courage to voice out their opinion but in their minds the God of the bible could not exist. Also this could refer to those who affirm the existence of God but live as if he does not exist. They might go by the name evangelical or tick the box for Christian on a from but live as if they are heathens. What the bible says is of little importance and they rarely try to obey it. They are no better than the fallen angels whose knowledge of God causes them to tremble but cannot love or obey him.

Antiquarian 👨 

Titillating air. Strong, sensual and sweet. Almost beyond what words could describe. For the first time my lungs felt alive. The body of water by my feet was crystal  clear, almost as if it was a mirage. The forage before me; lush and greeny as if it contained infinite chlorophyll.

I immediately began making my way through this incredible scenery looking for my subject. Finally I caught sight of him hiding behind some thick vegetation. Everything about him seemed normal except his eyes. They were glassy and lifeless. I think he noticed I was there for he skipped past me and headed for a near by tree. He took one of the the fruits and munched with utter indifference. 

I moved  closer till I was in front of him. “Hello”, I said while waving my arm and brandishing my best smile. There was no response instead I was greeted with loud sounds of chewing. Thinking that probably he was blind I tried to make contact but received a reprimand by a series of successfully quick motions in which I was picked up and tossed into a near by Bush. 

At this point It dawned on me I had made a grave error. I was supposed to observe and remain concealed, but instead I chose to make contact. But that was the only way I could confirm if the creature before me was indeed conscious.

Looking at him I wondered how long before he became conscious. Probably until some ninety thousand years into the future. But then how could a brain physically identical in all respects to mine fail to be conscious?  I had thought consciousness was the exclusive preserve of foldy meaty substances. Anyway it was time to leave this world budding with life but lacking any form of consciousness. This only reinforced my suspicions that mind was an immaterial reality and its  by product consciousness could be present or absent without a brain. 

Tuface and the FeBuhari protest. 

It is no news that music maestro Tuface Idibia is planning a city wide protest. Also this event has the impeccable timing of coinciding with the return of the president from his vacation abroad. What is rather surprising is that Tuface has received a lot of upbraiding from various individuals for this planned action based on what they see as certain deficiencies in his personality. 

First it has been said that he is illiterate. I don’t know when being literate became a necessary condition for engaging or leading a protest. Also the use of the word in the Nigerian parlance means someone is a college dropout or never went to college,  neglecting the true meaning of the term which is inability to read and write. At least we can take the bare fact that Tuface can read and write songs as a starting point of evidence of his literacy. 

Secondly his apparent or pronounced lasciviousness and philandering is brought up as grounds for him having lost the moral rectitude to criticize the government. Clearly this is a case of an ad hominem, where rather than adress the substance of the issue  an attempt is being made to discredit it by discrediting Tuface himself. 

Finally it must be recognized that a Tuface and those who may wish to join him have the right to protest predicated on certain other fundamental rights such as the right to freedom of assembly, the right to freedom of association and the right to freedom of speech. While they may not have any articulated clearly any laws or policies they want changed, I take it that the aim is to raise awareness  of the present economic realities which most Nigerians find unpalatable. While I sympathize with Tuface, it would do us well to ponder if we do not deserve the kind of leadership we have presently. While we hold our leaders accountable let us also hold each other accountable and remember that there will be a day of reckoning  when everyone who has ever lived will be held accountable for his or her actions. 

“apostle” Johnson Suleman and the license to kill. 

The eccentric general overseer of the omega fire ministries is in the spotlight once more, he is the man literally in the eye of the storm after a video of him asking his members to kill Fulani herdsmen went viral. Click on the link below to watch the video for yourself to have a proper frame of reference for this post. 

I think a charitable interpretation of the video is not that of asking people to commit premeditated murder but more along the lines of self-defense. Also it must be added that Suleman obviously does not understand the concept of self-defense if that was indeed what he had in mind. Probably he thinks self-defense is to kill at the slightest appearance of danger. If that was indeed the case then we must bring it to his attention that he has made a grave error and must apologize and retract his statements.

If the alternate was the case then we must remind him that he has imbibed the duplicitous ways of his antagonists. For he is now on the same moral footing as a current president who threatened blood over the outcome of elections.

Also his allusion to David killing Goliath is not analogous to the present case as that was under the context of war and even in war their are codes of ethical behavior.

Furthermore there is no where in the new testament where we see Christians given the charge to kill by any apostle. Only God has such a right for he alone gives life and can decide when and how it is to be taken. 

Finally we must ask where Johnson Suleman gets his authority to speak so emphatically and stake claim to the title of apostle. If it is from God then why are we not writing down his words and adding it to the biblical canon as sacred scripture? If his authority is not on par  as the biblical apostles then he is irrelevant for we have a more sure word from God in the 66 books of the old and new testaments. Hence we can safely ignore him as a charlatan and a false apostle. 

Letter to my unborn son, part 1

Dear son, 

hopefully this will be a series of letters written in anticipation of your coming. Your mom gave me the news of your sex today. Honestly I didn’t have any preference as to whether you were male or female but due to certain societal prejudices I am happy you are a boy. This is because at least your mom would have a say in your paternal side of the extended family. Don’t  worry you will understand such issues when you are grown. 

There is a lot I have to say but since I still have some months to spare before you are born, I will take my time. Suffice to say that since your mom received the news she is super excited. She has been shouting and even the time I had her tipsy with wine cannot compare. 

Naturally we refrained from buying any clothes since we didn’t know your sex but we have made your wardrobe. Hopefully we will begin to buy your stuff soon but the most pertinent concern seems to be the selection of your name. Your mom and I cannot seem to find any common ground, I want something weird and exotic while she prefers something Hebraic. Am sure that eventually we will find some means to settle the stalemate. 

That’s all for now, will write soon as the lord permits. Love you to the moon and back. 

Yours sincerely 

Dad.