The Discipline Of Honest Engagement, Requiem for Shame

2014-09-17 02:44

It seems that South Africans as a people are in continual slavery to presumptions. Most are so allergic to the tides of reason that any challenge to our presuming sees us rising with emotional ruthlessness to crush that challenge with all the bad will and ignorance that we can muster.

Yesterday I rebuked a fellow on facebook by degrading and abusing Judge Thokozile Masipa regarding the judgment she reached on the Oscar Pistorious court case.

The foundation of the majority of people to the court trial and that of the National Prosecuting Authority as led by state prosecutor Gerrie Nel was mostly on speculations about what happened shortly before the shooting and shortly after.

The belief that one can find out truth by speculation alone is one of the most long-lived delusions in human thought. It is the spirit that goes against science that the world have accepted as the guide to truth. Speculating about events leading to the shooting and coming up with fanciful theories was what dominating the discussion on the court case.

Speculation is the spirit that everyone in our daily walk should cast out. Speculation is based on the lack of facts, and the lack of facts can lead one into error.

It is true, speculating is not wholly wrong as people have rightly commented.

Speculation has a legitimate place only when it suggests new possibilities. That is it should only be used on what might have been, but never to conclude what is.

For the simple reason that speculation is devoid of facts it leads us to mere opinions of people not the truth: the basis of speculations is drifting and shifting on possibilities.

Then there were court witnesses during the trial that made statements to what actually happened before and after the shooting. The statements were contradictory. This is pure science: if two statements contradict one another, then one or both of them must be wrong. That is the reality and the truth we must face and not ignore thus not giving a damn about facts so as to cling to our illusions.

Nothing can excuse the common habit of holding two contradictory opinions both as the truth. With these contradictions from witnesses and speculations it was only fairly reasonable for Judge Masipa to keep the rough sketch that was provided by Oscar Pistorius because it was consistent throughout the court case, even though it was lame.

This is the basis of Judge Masipa’s judgment; she has demonstrated and elaborately explained the rationale on the judgment that the State has based their case on the kind of data from which no valid conclusion can be drawn.

But for me the most frustrating part of observing and analyzing the South African experience lies in the fact that the majority of South Africans always want reality to yield its visions to their fictions. Every criticism aimed at enhancing the worth of the market place of ideas is quickly reduced to an imagined corner in partisan divides.

By attacking, degrading and abusing a judge just because she refuses to bow down to our wishes we are creating a whirlpool of social discontent. Attacking and ridiculing a fair court judgment with our vuvuzelas corrodes the pillars of social justice and to insult reason and affront Godly ethics.

We are so accustomed to the strength of vuvuzelas in drowning our opponents that we rely on them every time our presuming is affronted.

My first entry into this debate and my focus as well as others throughout has been how do we as a people begin to learn to draw strength from experiences, good and bad.

I am still searching all over the world to see similar people in love with theatrics at the expense of truth and reality like South Africans.We cannot continue like this. It prevents learning.

Some of the great fun I have since the court judgement was hearing delusional stories  that “God is not special”. Such discredited bouts of modern nonsense and neuroses.My experience is that one of the greatest dangers to the intelligent person is to proceed to the public arena to display self righteous anger.

We have become the new Pakistan, with bombs of malcontents going off anywhere anytime.

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