Kellers in Africa

our life in Zambia

Elections in Zambia

Tomorrow is Election Day in Zambia. There are about 12 candidates for president and, from what I’ve heard, over 300 for MP (Member of Parliament). Elections in Africa are notorious for getting out of hand. Zambia is much safer than her neighbors, as the nationals here are generally easy going people. So far local rioting has been limited to drunk young men from the communist party bashing whiskey bottles on car hoods. Not so bad when you compare it to South Africa’s necklacing (burning people in stacks of tires), Zimbabwe’s gun point voting stations (didn’t you ever wonder how Mugabe gets re-elected?), or Sudan’s lip and ear removals. In some of the hotter political areas (such as the towns and villages where the candidates live or come from) there will be much more violent rioting and outbursts. However, in Kabwe I think the worst we have to worry about (and we’re hoping for it) is disappointed communist party members egging our gate (that result will be worth a sticky gate).

Social negotiation in Africa can be a rather violent process

By far the most interesting aspect of African elections is the means employed to coax individuals to vote for a particular candidate. It’s truly an incredible thing to listen to the Zambians debate who they will vote for. Here is a little something overheard at the building site next door:
Person A: We should really vote for Sata. He’s been to Kabwe FOUR TIMES!
Person B: Yes, but he hasn’t given us anything. At least Banda brought t-shirts and hats!
Person C: Yes, but Sata has promised to build schools for everyone.
Westerner: Where will he get the money?
Persons A, B, & C: Huh?
Westerner: Where will Sata get the money to build schools?
**pause**
Person C: He will get it from America.

The Village Forum

It’s truly sad to see how so many African people are educated just enough to get by, but never enough to think for themselves or to apply logic and problem solving. It is times like this that make me glad to be involved in education and leadership training here. These amazing people have SO MUCH potential. They have so much enthusiasm and so much love to give. It will be exciting to watch them develop and grow as a nation as their abilities to think are brought to the level of their ability to befriend.

God bless Zambia.

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a wife, a mommy, a missionary, a teacher, a writer. I'm living a colorful life in Africa.

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5 Comments

  1. I find it interesting that you propose to teach them both critical thinking and faith. They are, by necessity and definition, mutally exclusive.

  2. Haha, I know historically that “faith” has been taught to be a blind acceptance of the unknown. But I think that’s a complete misconception of the concept- or perhaps just a lousy translation choice in wording. Nowhere in the Bible do you find God or Jesus telling us, as modern theologians do, “You must just believe!” Ridiculous. I think people MUST think critically in order to even BE ABLE to have faith. Otherwise, how can they know in what they truly believe? And how are they to know if the object of heir tadoration is true and worthy and great? After all, isn’t ALL thinking based on a faith in something?

  3. Hmm. You fail to differentiate between ‘faith’ and ‘a reasonable expectation based upon evidence.’ The idea that the bible doesn’t command blind belief is so insane I don’t even know where to begin, but the second and third commandments might be a good place to start. One might also cite the combination bribe/threat of heaven and hell as a fine example of coercion. “Sure you can question, but you’d better agree with us when you’re done, or. . .”

    All thinking is based upon the fact that if we never trusted that reality exists and logic (to some degree) works, we’d never have gotten out of the savannah, let alone to antibiotics.
    I don’t have “faith” that my chair will support me when I sit, I have an overwhelming body of evidence coupled with a tiny, ever-present twinge of doubt born from my imperfect perceptions and the chair’s imperfect stability.

    Critical thought demands no “faith.” It, in fact, requires faith’s absolute abolition. One doesn’t, for example, exorcise critical thinking and conclude that an invisible, immaterial wizard in the sky conjured everything into existence with no pre-existing matter based upon the multi-self refuting and disparate ravings of ignorant, bronze-age nomadic war-lords and their subsequent, politically-motivated editors and translators.

    I’m afraid this fails on every argumentative* (*read, “critical”) level. The irony of this whole thing is that the two factors that have proven to be most likely to cause poverty and poor education in this world have been 1) the subjegation of women (as commanded by many faiths, including the Christian one) and 2) high rate of religious belief.

    Feel free to check my facts*. (*read, “non-faith based conclusions about reality)
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/09/religions-correlation-with-poverty/

  4. But why and how does reality exist? And where the heck did logic come from anyway? And why does it ALWAYS work? Why do we trust it will work? Evolution should kill that possibility- would reality and logic not evolve as well?

    Interestingly enough, most African countries (very, very poor African countries) lift women up as an example of goodness and VERY MUCH promote them in the labor force- yet they’re still poor.

    I believe faith IS a reasonable expectaion based upon evidence…. and the necessary means to interpret it correctly or incorrectly.

    Interesting article. Thanks for the link. Call me a Christian… but I’d like to point out that it’s the Islamic countries at the top of the poverty poll… and the historically Puritan ones who are doing quite well.

  5. Although I’m appreciative of your response, there are a lot of problems here.
    Insofar as your opening questions go, I’d encourage you to look into the fallacy of “the arguement from ignorance.” It’s one of the most basic logical fallacies, and your opening paragraph is rife with it.
    Example: “I don’t know how light works” therefore, “The functions of light are unknowable” which becomes “light is the product of a magical force” which becomes “YOU don’t know how light works, but I do; it’s the product of a magical force that hates darkness and want us all to wear ribbons in our hair.”

    Here is an excellent video on critical thinking. I hope you find it helpful.
    I’ll leave it there, and wish you the best, here in reality.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSS-88ShJfo&feature=channel_video_title

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