12 October 2010

The End of Atheism?

My friend Steve in this article champions an uncompromising form of atheism which takes the ignostic viewpoint championed by Rabbi Sherwin Wine in the 1960's.

In brief it says that, although the concept of god is meaningful, the word god is not - in that there is no coherent definition of what that word means, or there are perhaps as many meanings to it as there are users of it.

As science advances, and with ever increasing desperation, believers seem to be retreating god further and further into the realms of the unfalsifiable, and the - is there, isn't there? - debate rumbles on with both theists and atheists approaching boiling point, at which time, of course, a nice hot cup of tea will be in order.

I see it slightly differently however, in that I see it as quite a gentle form of atheism: because although it sais we can't know what the word god means, we understand the concept and how and why it has developed in humans, we nevertheless have lots of important things to discuss even if we do lay the word to one side.

10 October 2010

duck or grouse?

It has seemed such a short growing season this year: already we are digging the beds and getting out their duvets of compost and muck to keep them cosy overwinter. The last of the sunflowers droops and no longer bothers to find the sun; 'Is that it then?' It mutters as I walk past.

We took all the old rasberry canes out: they were'nt up to much anyway and we'll probably put a strawberry bed there next season.

So clodlet and I took to the moors to cheer ouselves up. Up on the tops the wind was gusting at 30+ mph and you struggled to open the car door against it.

It fanned the burning heather up on the grouse moors; they flapped indignantly around - as you do when someone sets fire to your house. It was a southerly wind, so not at all cold, and in the shelter of the valley quite sunny and warm enough to be without a coat.

I've been teaching clodlet to lead me astray (not difficult) and to navigate with map and compass. He guided us across our chosen route very well. Just basic stuff really: orienting the map with the terrain and getting to grips with the compass and direction finding.

We marked the car on the GPS before setting out and he was most indignant that, on getting back, the GPS said the car was not where it was supposed to be.

'I suppose we'll pass it on the way home,' he sais, getting into the car...

Chip off the old block, I'd say.

06 October 2010


Dear Jo

Lovely to see you last week. Sorry about the damage to the popemobile…. it would have to be a wet fish lorry we hit wouldn’t it….. :-((

Anyway Mrs Root said that Ignacio, the head of the Pontificia de Academia Pro Vitro , wasn’t terribly chuffed about Robert Edward getting the Nobel prize for medicine for his pioneering work in IVF treatments. Mrs Root was a little dissapointed about this because we’ve have just signed up for another round of treatment with Rob.

We’ve been going at it like rabbits for ages now, trying to do it the natural way, but it just isn’t working…. and who will take over the wet fish counter when we’ve gone?

Mrs Root got very upset when he said there were millions and millions of embryos in freezers all round the world. ‘We’re not having any of that nonsense with ours,’ she said indignantly, ‘”Fresh is Best”, when it comes to fish, and embryos, eh Henry? Womb temperature or nothing, that’s the ticket?’

If the boffins do make a little Rootlet in a test tube though, will we have to bring it to the Vatican to have the soul installed and can we add a couple of drops of holy water to help things along a bit?

I’ve no idea what God does with the embryos of atheist and secular riff-raff, but given that there are ten million spontaneous abortions every day… well… a nod’s as good as a wink to a blind bat, isn't it Jo?

Yours in Utero

Henry Root