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Thursday, 13 September 2012


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"Yet emotions are also our indispensable tool for navigating, for feeling our way through, the much larger domain of stuff that isn't susceptible to proof or disproof, that isn't checkable against the physical universe."

I'm an atheist, but I like what he says about emotion - it's just what we do, we guide ourselves emotionally through otherwise impossible complexities. I'm no fan of Dawkins and his irrational faith in rationality - there's something about the man I can't get on with.

That's my emotional guidance - and I trust it.

Yes, I read the Spufford article a few days ago, and might even buy the book. He writes beautifully, doesn't he? Many of the "Comment is free" crowd seemed to miss the point of the article entirely.

I do not object to people having hobbys. If they want to call thrirs "religion" thats just fine by me.


XX ome of them even contrive to feel oppressed by the Church of England, which is not easy to do.XX

When, in Britain, I can buy beer from a supermarket, or anywhere else, all day Sunday and "good Friday", THEN I will agree that there is no oppression from the CofE.

Yes, AK, and I had never thoguht before quite how enormous the part of emotion plays in our lives, partly, I suspect, because afterwards we like to rationalise our decision-making.

"Many of the "Comment is free" crowd seemed to miss the point of the article entirely". Why am I not surprised, 'W'?

'FT', calm down, dear! Not being able to buy a beer at a supermarket on Sundays hardly ranks as "oppression". A very minor irritation, I suppose, but one worth paying for a tolerant society, surely. Actually, I wish they'd ban beer sales at supermarkets every day because that might stop the tattooed yobs and yobettes from congregating in our High Street and boozing from midday, when they get up, for the rest of the day - leaving their cans littered for someone else to pick up, naturally!

Of course, the people littering the street with beer cans are breaking the law. Make them pick them up or go to jail. It's just a matter of enforcing the law.

I tried to the other day in Yeovil High Street. A confrontation ensued! It ended with the malefactor agreeing that he would pick up his discarded can but only after I left him alone. My courage having dissipated with my earlier irritation, I thought that was a fair compromise - and anyway, the Memsahib was giving me one of her looks - terrifying, I tell you, terrifying!

I am not suggesting that you should do it yourself Mr Duff. We pay a lot of expensive policemen to enforce the rule of law.

And when, pray, did you last see a policeman in your High Street?

Also, I make Victor Meldrew look like a saint of tranquility and patience! In due course, no doubt, I will let you know which hospital I'm in and you can send a card.

" I don't know if there's a God." 'God' singular: why so modest?

'Nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility', DM, and really I am an example to you all!

Well, the whole thing really comes down to the toss of a coin.

Yes, there is a god ... no, there ain't.

As my old mother used to say, "You pays your money and you takes your choice."

Fanaticism is another thing altogether. Surely it would be ideal to have people believing in their little (or enormous) god or gods quietly and politely and not bother anybody else who may choose to believe something else (or nothing at all).

Unfortunately, there's no chance of that ever happening.
I see it as a kind of brinksmanship. My god is bigger, better, smarter, sexier, whatever, than yours!

So up your god! I am still appalled by the actions of the so-called "bringers of light", the missionaries who dedicated themselves to converting "the savages" of the world for a century or so and managed to destroy the entire histories and artifacts of so many civilisations and cultures.

What a bloody cheek! To decide that your god is so superior to everybody else's god that you'll teach all these heathens the error of their ways, or kill them if they won't be told.

The utter arrogance!

Well, at least we know that, if their is a god, it must be male. No female god (goddess) would put up this nonsense.

But, Andra, what about the atheists who insist that the theists behave in a manner contrary to their beliefs? The problem is that everywhere in life there are boundaries and, alas, not everyone is as polite and easy-going as me!

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