Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the word ‘rational’ and what it means.
Through years of schooling, I have learned to see it as a humanist word. When a publication or society is called ‘rational’, one knows what to expect -a largely atheistic discussion, centred on science, that throws arrows at theism and all its branches.
However, back here in Nigeria, that’s the only word that registered in my head in the midst of the stupidity and pandemonium the country has to offer. I would think to myself: Is there no rational Nigerian? Where is common sense? When I decided to unload my frustration on a blog, I struggled a bit with ‘rational’ because of its humanist meaning. I decided to use it as a working title (it was either this or something like Mj’s Musings) then change it later when I came up with something more poetic and exciting. However, I was persuaded by friends not to touch the name.
Yet, can one really call this blog rational? If I take rational to mean sane and sensible rather than humanist, yes, I suppose one can. Then again, I’m the writer. Of course I think my work makes sense.
Bias does play a role in rationality; but how unbiased can a blog possibly be? Moreover, I have concluded that though I think myself culturally unbiased, I am not. What I call neutrality with regards to culture is actually mostly western culture. Neither am I neutral with religion. There will always be an undertone of my faith in my work, just as an atheist’s lack of faith shows in their writing. I can’t help it; our beliefs shape us as humans.
So, rational Nigerian? Well, not completely. Nevertheless, in this centre of confusion, I want to be a voice of reason and call a spade a spade.