My Philosophical Interlocution With Prof. Francis Etim Before His Demise – David Antia
I received the news of the demise of Prof Francis Etim fortnight ago. I am still grieving. I pray him rest.
Prof, it is sad that you died mors immatura, but we who are alive to mourn your death today are proud of the achievements you left behind and the lives you impacted at the period which you lived. May your Soul rest in Perfect peace.
Who Is Professor Francis Etim?
Before his demise, Professor Francis Etim was a Lecturer at University of Uyo, – A Philosopher and Theologian with specialty in the field of Metaphysics and Ecclesiology.
Our Incomplete Philosophical Interlocution
Professor Francis Etim was an expert in Metaphysics. I read a lot of his research publications in Academia.edu. Around March, 2021, I reached out to him to make enquiries on the problem of evil.
I wrote a reply to him on his philosophical proposals on the problem of evil and a particular statement he made in that relation, in which he asseverated that,
“what God cannot do , does not exist, is not true, God does not lie, but lie exists. God cannot die but death exists, There are many other examples – This Statement is philosophically and theologically incorrect, Quote me. – But what God does not permit does not exist”
At another time he also said the following;
Our success depends on many things. In this clime, it involves among other things overcoming the hidden, unseen hands and forces that we may not even be aware of but do beset our lives and progress. Sometimes, our efforts though apparently outstandingly does not attract success like that of others. The problem may not be from us but this inexplicable hidden hands. I read about it in economics as an economic principle bf I knew of it metaphysically. In this part of the globe, some understand it as mkpo ufok. In any case, some know about them early and try to tackle them, others are quite unaware of it. The truth is that there are inexplicable reasons about life. Certain things just happen despite our careful planning and executions. Some make it in life without equal or as much effort as ours. Some do not even break even after putting in so much or better than others. How do we explain these; providence, fortune, luck, ill luck, carefulness, mkpo ufok or what?. I call it metaphysical hidden hands.(Prof. Francis Etim- 29th, August, 2020).
Because Prof Francis Etim recognized the existence of Mkpo ufok , and also believed that God permitted evil, I decided to engage him in a philosophical argument, asking him to bring a sharper relief to issues I raised concerning his opinion.
My argument was centered on how the belief in Satan may be influenced by our dualistic nature and how the concept of metaphysical hidden hands may spell the end of God as conceived in judeo-Christianism.
I chose to call this Interlocution, ‘incomplete’, because Prof promised to reply me but couldn’t because of his deteriorated health at the time my enquiries got to him. Prof told me he was in the hospital and was deprived of energy. I was not very close to Prof and didn’t know the nature of his illness. Just recently I am told by a friend who was very close to him , that his health condition at the time he talked to me on Phone, was mournful.
Below was my reply to him concerning his opinion that What God cannot PERMIT does not exist
It is with immense pleasure that I write to you, after reading your thoughts on subjects which I have concerned myself with for a long time now, I was content- as it may please you to know, that after coming across your many articles on the internet, my hope for discreet explanation to the obscured will not be ripped to shreds.
Having immersed myself in your eclectic philosophical presentations and analysis, I was more enticed and irresistibly ensconced in the annals of your open horizon. So I had to take a leave from academia.edu to search for you on Facebook.
In doing so, I came across this statement you made about God, “ what God cannot do , does not exist, is not true, God does not lie, but lie exists. God cannot die but death exists. There are many other examples . This Statement is philosophically and theologically incorrect. Quote me. But what God does not permit does not exist’
Dear Prof, we humans have experienced various forms of sufferings, some of which are too terrible for words or recollection, some of us writhe on the ground of ill luck, and it appears as though the God that is a God to other people(who are evidentially enjoying good life) is not God enough for us. Sometimes our problems are always a sight for the Angels to weep over.
Sometimes, we bear little or no blame in the cause of this sufferings and difficulties. It behoves us therefore to resolutely rededicate ourselves to certain salient questions like ; where does our sufferings come from? Metaphysical hidden hands?
In this enquiry, I humbly seek for you to provide a rich trove of details to the concept of this ‘metaphysical hidden hands. (Which you propose)
You said that what God does not permit does not exist , and I would love to humbly invite you to look through that idea in the light of Government.
Because God is all-powerful, we believe , at least as it has always been impressed, that he is the Ruler of the world. If we do not renage on the agreement of the nature of God as being all-powerful and all-good, we must then expect a responsible order in the universe.
But this expectation has not been met. As we find in the sublunary, a leader is spelled with the qualities of greatness and deemed through his beneficent inclinations that attracts the praises of his subjects, If and only if he uses his power to PERMIT what is good and to PREVENT what will plummet his subjects to frosty thralldom of misfortune and evil.
Again, Prof, if God cannot do evil, but can permit evil, does he then have a moral standing to blame?
As in government, if for instance , there is a President (who is all-powerful- a Chief Commander of the armed Forces) who while still in power , a set of bandits destroyed a certain community, we often see that the citizens blame the destruction on the President and the reasons are not far from the fact that the President has the power to prevent the evil.
His not preventing the evil, means he permitted it , and if one is to think that he did not permit it, then it emerges that he did not have power to prevent it. Between the bandit and the President, who do you think, Prof, should share the highest blame?. In reality, we always blame the President. So we are then left to revise our thought on which locus should wield the attribution of blame. Satan or God?.
You seek in your statement to retain the all-powerful quality that make God, God-worthy, by asseverating that he permitted the evil, without which, he would have been seen to lack the power to prevent it. So in saying that he permitted it Prof, you lead me inexorably to question his beneficence ( all-goodness) quality and his moral standing to blame.
If God( The Ruler) permits the devil( the metaphysical hidden hand) to afflict his subject(whom he owes protection), then does he deserve the loyalty and praises of his subject?. Does He have the moral standing to blame his subject when they engage in immorality (as a result of the external locus of control on them, exerted by Satan)?
The conception of His nature and its attendant contradiction with common logic, may smash the judeo-christian God to myriads of shards and unavoidable annihilation. Prof, is that extermination avoidable and how would you argue that? Don’t you think that God’s willingness to permit evil means he is not all-good? Does the existence of this metaphysical hidden hands not spell his end?
Dear Prof, I have argued ( in my manuscript titled, “what if Satan does not exist?” and subtitled “an examination of human causation and the epistemic utility of the belief in Satan”) that the deus absconditus realized from the western conception of God and the assignment of evil to Satan( in the same conception) has no divorce from the fact that we are inclined by nature to dualism.
We have two legs , two hands, two sections of the brain, two kidney, two eye and by social unified divergence seen in Good and evil or even the physical hot and cool, we hazard leadership. We main one as superior over the other. This bias, I argue, has a derivative from our physiology – for we naturally apotheosize the superiority of one same organ over another , we think the right hand is superior to the left, and in our linguistics we therefore place a scorn on ‘left’ and anyone whose behavior is not in tandem with the dynamics of our social network is said to go left.
This same physiological inclination has left us to think that the male is superior to females, because in the world, one thing does not exist without it’s opposites, and among the two, one must be greater than the other.
That is why we think good is greater than evil, light is greater than darkness and God is greater than Satan. But I am disposed to think that this misconception which is singularly prevalent among believers which has to do with the creation of Satan to absorb evils we cannot accept about God(who is practically to be blamed if we follow simple logic) may be the highest hypocrisy of believers and most fatal prevarication. In this connection, Dear Prof, I seek again for you to weasel off this fatal implications of the concept of metaphysical hidden hands , by deserving it with an argument and more details.
On this my proposition of dualistic conception being derived from the implications of our physiology, I also seek to be checked by your voice of authority.