“Britishness” With the Jingos – A Conclusion

Anon #3: You have been nit picking about one persons definition of British.


Paddy: I think I can simplify this for late comers/the bored/etc.

Say that I’m atheist. Say I’m debating a Protestant.

1. The Protestant wants to convince me God is omniscient, awe-inspiring and generous. I respond that believe the whole idea of “God” is wrong/misplaced.

2. The Protestant asks me to define Catholicism suggesting I’m more susceptible to their claims. I respond, no, I simply don’t believe in God. The Catholic claims that God is mighty, empowering and forgiving do not sway me either.

3. Well, he replies, if you don’t think God is omniscient, awe-inspiring and all-powerful do you at least think in general he’s these things.

Conclusion: Protestant argues as if God is real and I’m not ready to accept that.

In this case:

1. This was Anon #1’s “British entry requirements”.

2. This was when Ronnie asked me to define Nigerian-ness. I argued that was a unpersuasive detour: “Nigerian-ness” is just as shaky/unpersuasive of a concept as “British”.

3. This was when Ronnie asked me to accept that tea-drinking was more popular in Britain than Australia.

Conclusion: Ronnie outlines very specific requirements for British-ness. While I still don’t accept it is a coherent, unified “thing” whatever the specifics. Science, for example, can’t talk about British-ness. My point is we can all have subjective feelings about something which doesn’t exist in the material world. Concepts can be shaky like that.

Just so it’s clear: I think all ideas about nationalism are flawed and that goes for any any Nigerian nationalists out there too.

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