Born Into Apartheid: It’s Not As Simple As Black and White

AP01-Trapsheet

8218446_f520I was born in South Africa when the world was crying out for justice against the racial segregation caused by apartheid (Afrikaans word meaning “the state of being apart”) enforced through legislation by the National Party. As a boy, I witnessed hateful and abusive behavior, both verbal and physical. The racial tension was externally volatile, an atmosphere that can only be described as evil. This is not how a country ought to treat its own people. I still remember the global sigh of relief after Nelson Mandela was elected 1994; I was ten years old at the time. It seemed that everything, that was Nelson Mandela | 1994undone for so long, was finally on the mend; however, it would take many years and tremendous effort to soften the hearts of the people – the hearts of those that have become so cold, so broken. How can a human heart, I wondered, become so dysfunctional and so disconnected?

Apartheid was not just evil to its own victims, and it left more than a stain on its own nation; apartheid was atrocious to all of humanity. No wonder the world was up in exhibition-the-global-anti-apartheid-movement-in-britain-240-180arms, fervently protesting apartheid. This global uproar demonstrates rather well, I think, how evil really is transcendent. That is to say that, evil is objective and not simply subjective. If evil is only your, subjective, opinion then we can eliminate evil tomorrow by changing your opinion. And if evil is subjective then it would only seem evil to you and not to others. It’s clear that apartheid was objectively evil, given the global anti-apartheid banner waving.

How the understanding of evil becomes complex is: if something is objectively evil, does it come from within us or from some outside agency? When asked about evil, president Obama stated “evil is in the streets of America (Q&A, TV interview with Senator McCain, 2008-08).” This would somehow entail that science can measure evil if it truly did exist outside of us.

“Science is about the facts not the norms; it might tell us how we are, but it couldn’t tell us what is wrong with how we are. There couldn’t be a science of the human condition.” – Jerry A. Fodor

But, according to Jerry Fodor, science cannot tell us how things ought to be, only how they are. That might have something to do with the fact that we only have moral obligations to person’s not to inanimate objects. No person is morally obligated to a phone, or a car, or a building; but, a person is morally obligated to another person. That would suggest that evil comes from inside a person. That we are cold and dysfunctional in our own hearts, that your heart and my heart are broken. Our proclivity, with a broken heart, is to break relationships with people and with God. This is what complicates our understanding of evil, our outcry for justice, and our need for it ourselves, our longing for right relationships and our unwillingness to develop them.

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

The heart of apartheid is man’s separation from mankind, and God. How is it humanly possible to pass this test?

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8 thoughts on “Born Into Apartheid: It’s Not As Simple As Black and White

  1. The Christian church ( the NGK) used the bible to justify apartheid, as Christians of almost every cult have used the bible to justify a great many heinous acts.
    [This portion of the comment was deleted by Admin. Reason: Willful unjustified slander]

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    1. Hello Ark!

      Your equivocation is fallacious. Let me explain. How a worldview is used (correctly or abusively) does not have any bearing on whether one ethical point of view or another is true or not. Those are simply category errors.

      If that is the case then the NGK was not adhering to the command by Jesus to “love your neighbour as yourself.” Thus we can know that they are in error because of the correct understanding of the text. Now most nominal believers from atheism to Islam and everything in between have limited knowledge of what their view actually professes. We should not judge a worldview by its misuse but by its proper use.

      Now to claim that Craig supports slavery puts a significant burden of proof on you. Please substantiate the claim or withdraw the remark.

      As for DCT I think thats correct, the question is how do you know anything is wrong without some objective sense of ethics? Can naturalism justify for such a claim?

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  2. Your equivocation is fallacious. Let me explain. How a worldview is used (correctly or abusively) does not have any bearing on whether one ethical point of view or another is true or not. Those are simply category errors.

    Excuse me? Are you saying the NGK did not use the bible to justify its support of Apartheid and in turn the National Party?

    If that is the case then the NGK was not adhering to the command by Jesus to “love your neighbour as yourself.” Thus we can know that they are in error because of the correct understanding of the text. Now most nominal believers from atheism to Islam and everything in between have limited knowledge of what their view actually professes. We should not judge a worldview by its misuse but by its proper use.

    Amazing! First you say I am guilty of a category error then straight away you begin with . ”If that is the case then …”

    You really are quite new at this apologetics game aren’t you?

    I did not say they were not in error. They were most definitely in error and yet they used scripture to justify their stance on racial segregation. This is what interpretation is all about.
    This is why some Christians accept evolution and idiotic YECs think your god made it all in six days.

    I know exactly what my view ”professes” thank you very much.

    Now to claim that Craig supports slavery puts a significant burden of proof on you. Please substantiate the claim or withdraw the remark.

    Bollocks! Craig is an innerantist and slavery is in the bible. Ergo he supports the biblical view.

    As for DCT I think thats correct, the question is how do you know anything is wrong without some objective sense of ethics? Can naturalism justify for such a claim?

    I know it is wrong because genocide is wrong.

    What’s the matter with you, are you ill?

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    1. Your previous comment flows together two separate issues. I don’t doubt the NGK used the bible to justify their position. I’m appalled, just as you are, when people misquote scripture to suite their views.

      Now to claim Craig supports slavery is incorrect as the bible describes slavery but doesn’t prescribe slavery. Can you see the inconsistency of people misquoting scripture to suite their views, then misquoting scripture to suite your views?

      So you have a few options: 1) clarify your comment by withdrawing the claim that Craig fully supports slavery or 2) I will have to delete your comment for slander.

      You have 24 hrs to respond.

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  3. Now to claim Craig supports slavery is incorrect as the bible describes slavery but doesn’t prescribe slavery. Can you see the inconsistency of people misquoting scripture to suite their views, then misquoting scripture to suite your views?

    I did state that Craig supports the biblical stance on slavery. Please be careful not to misquote me or attempt to put words in my mouth. Thanks.

    prescribe
    prɪˈskrʌɪb/Submit
    verb

    2.
    state authoritatively or as a rule that (an action or procedure) should be carried out.
    “rules prescribing five acts for a play are purely arbitrary”
    synonyms: stipulate, lay down, dictate, specify, impose, set down, determine, establish, fix, formulate, appoint, decree, order, command, pronounce, ordain, require, direct, enjoin, make provision for, promulgate
    “two rules prescribe the nature of that duty”
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Yahweh( and you believe Jesus was Yahweh( your god) in human form) condones it and sets out rules for it.

    Here is just one example:

    Exodus 21:7

    ‘If a man sells his daughter as a slave she will not leave (after six years) as male slaves do.
    If she does not please her master who intended her for himself he must let her be bought back.

    I never misquote scripture for my own ends as the bible does a better job of damning itself and those who try to whitewash it than I could ever possibly do.

    Now you are either grossly ignorant of the bible, indoctrinated to the point where you accept whatever your teachers are telling you or a liar.
    For now, I am going to believe you are simply demonstrating gross ignorance. But remember, your god judges liars.
    I await your ( honest ) uncontrived explanation.

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    1. A 5000 year old ethic does not apply to Craig’s views regarding slavery today, neither does it apply to Jesus views. So once again If the Bible describes a 5000 year old ethic, does that infer that it prescribes this ethic today? If not then withdraw your comment or quote Craig fully supporting slavery.

      Last chance 🙂

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      1. I did not say it applied to Craig’s view today.
        You state you do not like it when the bible is misquoted and yet here you are misquoting me.
        How’s that for irony?

        I reiterate. Craig supports slavery in the bible/the biblical view of slavery.

        I sincerely hope you understand now?

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  4. In fact, as it is obvious Craig does not support slavety today let me expand on this a little.

    How do you think Craig squares away his position on the total immorality of slavery in the bible, and why does he not ( as far as I am aware)condemn it?

    And on that point, do you condone the slavery in the bible or would you be prepared to do a post that condemns this ” 5000 year old ethic” practice outright – even though it is condoned by your god?

    Like

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