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The Dangers of Being A Ghanaian Atheist | You Suddenly Become the Anti-Christ

 

Atheism

When you ask me on a good day, I would describe myself as an atheist and on a bad day, simply opt for ‘I am agnostic’. No matter which of these two positions I take, I am and perhaps will never be accepted, appreciated and be regarded the same within a Ghanaian setting…

A few months ago, my own mother called with cries, and it’s not that she had come across one of my many articles with which I boldly talk about the God delusion. But it’s because a friend of hers had informed her I had written a piece stating that, gays have rights too—and that there is nothing wrong with homos*xuals.

I cannot point to the article which caused this emotional chaos—and it’s not because I don’t remember saying this, but it’s because I have written so many articles advocating for gays’ rights that I don’t know which particular one pulled the trigger.

My mother is in her mid 50 and I was no ready to have a long phone conversation with such a woman about human rights, gays’ rights and stretch it to cover God. I simply pulled the plug; and so what?

I added “Yes, I wrote that and I believe in that so if that changes my position as your son—let me know and I wouldn’t bother to call you again and you shouldn’t bother to call me again. Because, I am not about to start hating on gays because of your ill-informed worldview, caused by your own personal experience, religion, geography and education…”

Since then, my mother has not brought up that conversation and we’ve remained fine—perhaps, she doesn’t want to loose a son over what she regards as a worldview.

This is just me advocating for ‘gays rights’—something we don’t even have to discuss, it should be inherent and bolded in our conscience.

Therefore, can you imagine going beyond this and taking a position such as “it’s highly probably there is no God or I sit on the fence when it comes to whether there is a God or not” in a society like Ghana, where people attribute everything to God. It wouldn’t be regarded as being insensitive to their religious views, rather, an assault on their persons and total existence.

Morality and Religion1


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This is in summary what a Ghanaian atheist or agnostic has to face each minute of his life—you are regarded as an individual going straight to hell but does not know. You are regarded as that lost person who has launched an assault on God, His many angels and the millions of believers. You become the enemy of the society—and a lot of people ridiculously wouldn’t want to associate with you.

Beyond the borders of the family intimidation and somewhat being regarded as a pariah, your love relationship will suffer—one way or another.  Tell me, which Ghanaian/African woman would want to tell her parents or friends that my man has no faith in God? To this race of people, faith is more important than evidence…

At this stage, it’s no more a challenge; it’s a war scar you would have to live with for the rest of your life. Trust me, people will call you all manner of names—and these are people who claim to believe in a God who commands them to love all. Just this experience is a silly confirmation that there’s no God to me, and that those who claim to hold onto His existence are intellectually dishonest—or else, why would you consciously and regularly break the commandments of this powerful God?

I know a lot of Ghanaians whose positions on God fit either the agnostic or atheist box but they cannot openly discuss this or make it known for the fear of that avalanche of backlash.

The greatest challenge as a Ghanaian atheist or agnostic is not the widespread shun and attacks which would come your way but the fact that you cannot hold any sort of intelligent conversation on the ontological question; ‘Does God Exist’ with almost everyone with a Ghanaian DNA—it’s pretty much a taboo which will end you on their blacklist.

And if you push it, the best response you would get is; ‘Jesus loves you’ or ‘you are going to hell’. Pretty much a scary thing to tell someone who does not believe there is even hell…right?

You can blame the deeply held dogmatic religious views of Ghanaians on education and hard-core indoctrination—but this is to just some extent. Because, there a good number of educated Ghanaians who you would believe should be able to engage in a honest conversation about the ‘God’ subject, just as they can engage in a healthy dialogue about philosophy, politics and science.  But you wouldn’t even catch these people daring to do so, because of their intolerance and the towering fear religion headed by the God concept have planted in them…

It’s therefore a safe haven for the many Ghanaians who hold opposing views on God and religion to pretend—at best, look the other side when the issue comes up.

However, such a timid and dishonest position does only one thing—it allows the smooth transfer of this ill indoctrination from one generation to another without anyone questioning it source, benefit and direction…And it allows the many charlatans parading themselves as hands of God on this earth to continue to prosper to the detriment of society, brain-wash their followers without any real challenge or call to accountability.

Religion and God are very important to Ghanaians and that is the main reason why we ought to subject them to scrutiny—because these things dictate our lifestyle, pace of development and acceptance/denial of certain important things such as gays’ rights, women rights, equality and women empowerment…

Since a non-believer who asks others to critically evaluate their beliefs is by default the anti-Christ, perhaps, hiding in the closet and allowing faith, religion and God to continue with the carnage is the best choice for a Ghanaian ‘atheist or agnostic.’

That above may sound comfortable, however, it’s either you take the bullet or allow humanity to suffer for your dodge.

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Comments

Nii says:

Good article Chris. I agree with you completely.
It is sad how many non-believing Ghanaians cannot fully express themselves due to the bigotry present.
The indoctrination has made it such that the default standpoint in Ghana is a religious standpoint.
As a result, anyone who is a non-believer is going against the norm.
The default standpoint must be an absence of belief because the onus is on those pushing a claim forward that God exists to prove that God exists.
Since you made a comment a comment about the God Delusion, I would like to make a reference to that support me because if someone told you that there is an invisible pink unicorn or spaghetti monster under your bed, is it up to you to prove that there is no invisible pink unicorn or spaghetti monster under the bed or it is up to the liar to prove that there is indeed one under the bed.

KOFI says:

“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”
Chris i read this from you and you still demand evidence of God?
From that statement, my understanding is that absence of evidence of God (which there is) does not mean God is absent.

KOFI says:

Kwabena,
you do believe there are atoms dont you? have you seen any before?
My point is i believe there are atoms because of evidence of atoms, so even though i have not seen atoms , i believe atoms exist because of chairs, tables which are made up of atoms. Now in the same way i cannot show you that this is God but i can tell He exists because of evidence of Him. Like this amazing earth we live in and how fine tuned it is for human existence, i can see the change He brings into lives, that is undeniable, that is reality. He changes lives for good.
And by the way, this idea that belief in God is backward and is taking Africa to the dark ages is absurd. there are Christians in the developed countries. some of whom are scientists. so this idea that to believe in God is archaic and unreasonable is fallacious.
” He made us for Himself and your heart and my heart will find no rest until it finds its rest in Him”
For those searching for truth, i suggest JESUS,
Atheism is dead, God is alive, there is an empty tomb to prove this, google it..

Priscilla Baafi says:

Christ is ever ready to welcome you with open arms Chris Vincent!!!.Your atheist views are apalling

Here we go; why is it appalling?

amare says:

I will never get this as long as I live: Even when presented with irrefutable evidence that they’re wrong, many people will consistently hold their ground as if their life depended on it. Without critical thinking, logical reasoning, causality, and the scientific method,Africa will still be living in the dark ages 100 years to come…

Kofi says:

Amare,
there are christians in Europe you know

Kofi says:

if anything Christianity played a role in opening up Africa and possibly in your education, i dare say. Anyway, i am inviting you to CHRIST and not Christianity. To a person not a system, give HIM a chance in your life and see if it wasn’t worth it

BIBINI says:

Christianity was brought to Africa just about the same time slave trade was introduced. The ship that brought the guns also brought the bible. They have succeeded in discarding all what our ancestors stood believed in and brought in their system. The African man did no research but swallowed everything whole. We suffer as a generation because of this folly. Until we reject their doctrines like the EUropeans did we will remain just as we are.

sobriety says:

God pls have mercy on Chris. Your paymasters must be giving u a hefty amount everyday. All hope is not lost for ur mum because your brother Godwin is a strong believer

amare says:

Chris doesn’t need the mercy of god.Intelligent people don’t believe in a god who will rob the minds of his creation with a book full of *bs*

You see the level of absurdity? I say I do not believe there is a God and you come to say, God should have mercy on me—this is how low the conversation goes

KOFI says:

Chris you are giving no evidence that God doesn’t exist, since you are so into evidence, give me evidence of the absence of God, Please
i really will want know

I need to give an evidence that God does not exist when I have not made a claim; rather, you the one who believes and claims He exists makes a claim, so you provide the evidence in support of your claim—all I am saying is,you have not provided a plausible evidence for your claim so why should I believe the claim?

The burden of proof is on the one who makes the claim.

Kofi says:

you are making a claim too Chris
that an entity is non existant

Kofi says:

why should i be the one to give proof, does that mean you just want to punch holes in my argument to prove your point?
so without my case you have no case?

presdo says:

Kofi,

For example, If you make a claim that I have stolen your car, and I say No I haven’t, then the burden of proof is on you not me.

So the same logic applies in this case. You believe in the existence of a God, all Chris is asking for is Evidence of this God.

Kofi says:

I understand you boss, but i believe atheism should not be based on the claims of religion that makes it baseless and lazy. you require evidence from me as a christian because that is my worldview, why shouldnt i request evidence about your worldview too as an atheist. You want me to back my belief with evidence, i want you too to back yours with evidence. Lets turn the tables around and scrutinize atheism the same atheists scrutinize religion.

No, atheism is the assertion is that a certain preposition (in this regard, God’s existence) is not true. Atheism is not making any claim to provide evidence for it—he who makes the claim must provide the evidence.

You can call it lazy but it’s not only in the world or religion that this is the case—that is the acceptable level of intellectual discussion in science, philosophy, law and everything…

So why should religion be different and be tagged lazy on the part of atheists who are just following established criterion of discussion and truth finding?

He who makes the claim has the burden to proof—rejection a claim for lack of evidence is not in itself a claim.

Kofi says:

Chris, why are you an atheist?
That is all i want to know and i hope you will not try to reject religious claims in your answer

kofi says:

sorry for using the word lazy
Please forgive me

I am an atheist because the evidence presented so far to me in support of God’s existence has not been plausible…That is, even if any evidence has been provided in support of this claim at all.

If today, a plausible evidence is presented with no plausible alternative explanation, I will change to become a theist—SIMPLE

Kofi says:

ok Chris
thats legitimate
how do you differentiate between good and evil?

presdo says:

First and foremost, Atheism is not a believe but the lack of believe in Gods.

Here is definition:

“Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods. Older dictionaries define atheism as “a belief that there is no God.”

Atheist, therefore are not required to provide any evidence because Atheist makes no claim.

As stated in my previous comment, the burden of proof is on the one who makes the claim.

Kofi says:

Two Things Please,
1. so what is atheism if its not a belief, cos u contradict yourself, in older dictionaries the definition is a belief………… but you say its not a belief but a lack of belief……. so what is it really?
2. who doesn’t require any evidence? and who said atheist shouldnt give evidence?

Is lack of a belief the same as a belief to you? Is lack of food, the same as food?

Come on…

The standard is; the person making a claim provides the evidence.

If you make a claim that you are a Ghanaian on an application form, you supply evidence (be it your passport or ID). At any point in time, the one making the claim provides the evidence—absence of evidence means the claim is false (and that is where atheists are). Why should they provide any evidence? Evidence of the absence of your evidence? Does that even sound right to you?

Kofi says:

Chris i am not arguing but he quoted from “old dictionaries” which said atheism is a belief…. he (presdo) did, not me
All i am asking is if atheism is not a belief, what is it?

I said; it’s a lack of a belief! That is what it is…

kofi says:

Granted
how do atheists differentiate between good and evil?

Do you really think the source of Good and Evil/Bad is God? Okay, let me answer this by asking a question;

If tomorrow you wake up and it is clearly evidence that there is no GOD, accepted by all—would you take a gun and shoot your mother dead, rape whichever girl you meet on the road?

If you wouldn’t do that despite there being no God, then, surely God/religion is not the fountainhead of morality—so as not the determinate of good and bad.

Mostly, what is good and evil is relative—and beyond that, we have objective morality. Either you believe in God or not, either there is a God or not, certain things are inherently evil.

What is good and bad is shaped by our civilisation and our desire to survive as primates—part of our evolution.

presdo says:

Kofi,

I would agree that the quote I provided early can be confusing.

I would admit that its not a great definition because it is convoluted.

Chris’s definition is a lot clearer.