Sunday, May 7, 2017

Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: God and Research Autonomy

I gather the point of the blasphemy law in Ireland is not to move us back to the times of the inquisition, but to prevent people from  giving deep offense to others of different faiths. So, let’s say, to prevent something like the Danish cartoons that debunked mohammad? Or to prevent expressions of anti-semitism; and, collatorally, to prevent similar antii-christian sentiments from being expressed. Perversely now it is in the expression of protecting diversity that a law inhibiting speech is enacted.

Maybe the dutch had some such similar notions in mind—like the French, make it all laic, applied equally.

Thus laicity, originally intended in the enlightenment to counter “l’infame,” the abuses of a repressive church, turns into an instrument of control.

In a sense, the logical outcome of liberal sentiments that framed resistance now, as dominant, becoming the target of rightwingers, in the name of protecting religious freedom….




Kenneth Harrow

Dept of English and Film Studies

Michigan State University

619 Red Cedar Rd

East Lansing, MI 48824



From: usaafricadialogue <> on behalf of Cornelius Hamelberg <>
Reply-To: usaafricadialogue <>
Date: Sunday 7 May 2017 at 11:00
To: usaafricadialogue <>
Cc: Adeshina Afolayan <>
Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: God and Research Autonomy



Ten years ago one of my best friends (atheist) gave me " GOD IS NOT GREAT " as a birthday present. I took offence.

To the folks applying at the lower levels of the stairway to paradise there was this appeal by Don Pius Adesanmi : No Testimonies in Official Forms Please!

By the "lower levels" is meant applications to graduate school etc. - where praising "God - the merciful, the omniscient, the omnipotent " brings omni-science to the attention of he/she that he/ she is not omniscient. And that almost brings all of us down to the same level. (Ten Ph.Ds is not much closer to infinity than One Ph.D. Even 1,000 Ph.D. = Not omniscient)

Whether the "praise God" is in their personal letterhead / family coat of arms or in the holy preamble that precedes the nitty-gritty details of the applicant, calculated to touch a tender spot in the heart of the co-believer or the heart of a non-believer or atheist who might think of the applicant in terms of "poor deluded bugger" - it could be a plus or serve as an argumentum ad misercordiam.

When I first read the headline I thought , ah Holland - Spinoza country - maybe a university named after Spinoza where they are not likely to encourage any personal or monumental effusiveness about God. Or giving God any credit for the magnificent thesis or for the creation.

Or maybe Richard Dawkins (seen here exploding) has just been appointed the new VC - and you know him, he would like to do away with any such pitiful acknowledgements of the Almighty.

I also assumed that it could be dangerous for some people to declare their religious affiliation to whom they know not - the examiner could be some fundamentalist or Zionist Jewish professor and the student praising Jesus or Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) or Allah subhan t'ala - could only get such a Professor to see red.

However, at the doctoral level (the praise not being part of the dissertation) given the Dutch freedom of religion (to hold whatever religious ideas) - it is a surprise . But there is only this single example for that.

Having now read their justification for prohibition of giving thanks and praises where thanks and praises are due ; I think that their argument - all of it is ludicrous - better put the summation of a tightly argued philosophical response : " arrant nonsense!"

The thanks and praises after all is just a humble & sincere piece of poetry, prayer.

Now, if the student had praised Olodumare or Eshu or Saraswati or Zeus or Chukwu or H2O had been issued with the same prohibition - we could have thought - discrimination !

Of relevance : English Language buff Stephen Fry is being investigated for blasphemy - being investigated by the Police and not by the theology department of this and that religion.

Worst case scenario :

"At a deeper level the University system , a much more integrated structure than people realise , has sold scholars a common view of world history to which it became necessary to adhere in order to receive those necessary academic accolades on which acceptance and success depended. So narrow and strict are the parameters of this agreed doctrine that on one occasion a student at a distinguished French University submitted a doctoral thesis which contradicted the new world view and found that his examiners accepted the validity of his thesis, and this, by implication, his scientific methodology had demonstrated his case, only to be stunned by the decision of the French government to revoke his degree, something unheard-of in a thousand years of French intellectual history." ( For The Coming Man by Shaykh Abdalqadir al-Murabit)

"For the coming man " - Hitler's last words

On Sunday, 7 May 2017 00:20:36 UTC+2, Adeshina Afolayan wrote:


A Dutch university prohibits a PhD student from thanking God in his acknowledgments | Practical Ethics

A Dutch university (Wageningen University) prohibited a PhD student from thanking God in his thesis acknowledgme...




Adeshina Afolayan, PhD
Department of Philosophy
University of Ibadan


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