Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Establishing a true Belief

The just ended commemoration of the World’s women day open another can of worms in as far as what a true religious belief is.
You see, the Malawi Television got assistance from Oxfam and Galax Media to host a sequence of panel discussion programmes where a cross section of society tried to look at how they can be involved in the increasing or decreasing of gender based violence.
I think the first of such programmes took place last Monday and was about ‘the Role of Politicians in Gender Based Violence. Others that followed were the roles of Government, traditional leaders and civil society organizations on the same.
But I think it was the one on Friday, which was the role of Religious leaders that I would like us to discuss about.
You see there were two pastors and a Sheik in that panel and what came out clearly was the obvious tension that developed over what is the true belief of the two.
A very humble Islamic Clerk said Polygamy is allowed in their religion and the two pastors instantly went to a provocative verbal war which I believe had the Sheik been like them trouble would have ensued.
While I am not standing here to mete out judgment as to which of the two is the right religion, I think it is a vice on its own to be judgmental over the beliefs of the others.
I remember in that discussion there was a lady Pastor Chapomba who was very controversial. This minute she would totally disagree with gender based violence on the basis that the bible does not condone it and in the next minute she would be saying that she would turn violent if her husband marries another woman after transforming her breasts pear shaped attractive breasts into some ugly Pata-pata shaped breasts.
Mahatma Gandhi the Indian statesman a Hindu believer used to say it was not possible for him to believe if he had no respect for other people’s belief.
So, I think the panel should have tackled the problem at hand where together they should have reached a consensus on how the religious institutions could be involved to curb the malpractice because surely what came out of that was a lugubrious aftertaste as to what really the true belief is between the two. These guys just wasted resources as the dismally failed to achieve what the Programme was intending to.
Belief has its basis in what can be described as the truth.
Philosophy ascertains that the nature of truth has baffled people since ancient times, partly because people so often use the term true for ideas they find congenial and want to believe, and also because people so often disagree about which ideas are true.
The World Book observes that Philosophers have attempted to define criteria for distinguishing between truth and error. But they disagree about what truth means and how to arrive at true ideas.
The Foundation of most religions are built with ideas which in themselves desires to profess truth as it would to be difficult to attract followers if the ideas that make up that belief has no truth elements.
Religion is one Philosophical subject that has failed to create a distinctive pattern of what makes them believable apart from instilling in the mind of the people the element of existence, which comes from the creation of man by God.
Based on that at least I don’t expect Muslims and Christians to be in much conflict, as they all believe God created us all.
In Philosophy we have the correspondence theory, which holds that an idea is true if it corresponds to the facts or reality. Really when you look at some tales in both the Bible and the Koran it will only take one’s blind conviction to believe in them, as they do not relate with what is actually and possibly real.
However, Christianity and Islam are based on the pragmatic theory, which maintains that an idea is true if it works or settles the problem it deals with.
If we look at the coherence theory that states that truth is a matter of degree and that an idea is true to the extent to which it coheres (fits together) with other ideas that one holds then perhaps this is where a problem of what to believe can emerge.
No wonder Skepticism theory claims that knowledge is impossible to attain and that truth is unknowable. Throwing people to waywardness as per both Christian and Islamic teachings.
Religious belief is a subject so broad that it very wrong to think that Rastas or animists for example, are wasting time since salvation is the quid pro quo of a true belief.
It is therefore imperative that when media institutions call these respectable members of our society it is not right and proper to abandon what they have been invited for and engage in a war they cannot know how to finish off.

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