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Sobers 'baits' Thwaites to debate

Published:Sunday | March 25, 2012 | 12:00 AM


As a schoolboy, Jeffrey Dujon was my favourite Sunlight Cup batsman. He was perhaps the most stylish and talented of his time, with his elegance, timing, and deft footwork, as he repeatedly demolished some of the most feared bowlers of his era.

Needless to say, Dujon later became one of the most accomplished wicketkeeper batsmen in West Indies cricket history.

Daniel Thwaites' (DT) 'literary' batsmanship, on the face of it, manifests many of the same qualities as Dujon's - except the capacity to play, on their merit, the balls that are actually bowled to him. In his latest 'innings', DT continues to bat for the mythical team of Christian humanism, while ducking under or being caught off the deliveries pitched to him of fact and reason.

After two innings, DT is yet to offer a stroke to the most fundamental issue I raised in my presentation at the law school: Jamaica's constitutional shift towards the theocratic end of the secularism/theocracy. As I said in my presentation, theocracy tends to contract individual freedoms, while secularism tends to expand them. That remains a live issue whatever DT's views might be on the origins of secularism.

DT stoutly defends his wicket against the charge of conflating religion and morality, but then treads on his wicket by proclaiming that Christianity fills the gap left by 'pure reason'. What's even more laughable is that the very same Aristotle that DT denounces as an amoral exemplar of 'pure reason' is the same Aristotle whose philosophies were eagerly embraced by early church theologians like Aquinas.

Space, and I suspect, the editor's patience will perhaps not allow for a detailed review of DT's latest batting performance. Nevertheless, in the interest of advancing public discourse and understanding of theocracy, secularism, and human rights, I challenge DT to a public debate - subject to such conditions and arrangements as are mutually agreeable.