Bloody mozzies! Actually they haven’t been as bad as usual this summer but a few days ago I received a bite on the third toe of my left foot and the bugger is still itching four or five days later on and off. It will invariably start itching the minute I lie down to sleep and all the many unguents I put on of which I have a few: Sudocrem, Jaguar (that’s from South Africa of course), Germoline, Eurax, T.C.P. they have little or no effect for at least an hour. Last night they seemed to have no effect at all and the itch was driving me crazy so eventually I had to take an anti-histamine pill which did seem to work. I fell asleep anyway and the itch didn’t bother me again. How I got bitten on a toe I really don’t know. I don’t walk around with bare feet but maybe it was getting up during the night for a pee when they would have been bare and at risk. (Why put on slippers to walk to the bathroom? Maybe in future I will). Maybe toes are an ultra sensitive part of the body. I’ve certainly found that mosquito bites on the hands seem to itch more than those elsewhere. Why Noah had to take the wretched things on the ark with him I really don’t know but then, having been ordered by God, to take two of everything I suppose he couldn’t go against the Lord’s wishes. If he had maybe God, being the sometimes curmudgeon he obviously is, would have taken umbrage and said, ‘Right, that’s it!’ and sent forth a bolt of lightning to sink the ark on the spot.
Another of God’s critters that should have been left behind is the bedbug. Evidently the US and Britain are suffering an infestation of the little beasts. It’s been put down to international travel; stowing away in people’s luggage. I remember when I was a kid in South Africa we had an infestation and it wasn’t through lack of hygiene. I remember the beds were all stripped and the frames liberally doused with paraffin. Presumably that got rid of them. These days, so the news tells us, like so many other pests, they have become immune to pesticides.
And talking of God, the God/no God debate has reared its head once more and all because of a new Steven Hawking book pooh-poohing His existence and putting creation all down to the laws of physics! There had to be an immediate response of course, a counter attack as it were, and it came from a mathematics professor in Oxford by the name of John Lennox, an avowed Christian who therefore has to believe in the existence of God or his faith is meaningless. He picks at the flaws in Hawking’s arguments without realising there are flaws in his own. For example ‘One of the fundamental themes of Christianity is that the universe was built according to a rational intelligent design.’ Interesting, when you consider some of the oddest manifestations of nature, there doesn’t seem to be much rational design to a lot of it. But that is something a Christian has to believe.
‘Just as strong is the obvious reality that we are moral beings, capable of understanding the difference between right and wrong. There is no scientific route to such ethics.’ Maybe not but could there not be a humanitarian route without the necessity of believing in and being kept in line by some divine creator? And is it consistently true that we can tell right from wrong? If this is the case how do you explain the holocaust? How do you explain the purges in communist Russia? How do you explain ethnic cleansing? How do you explain brain-washed suicide bombers, how do you explain religious bigots constantly at each others throat, Catholic versus protestant, Shia versus Sunni. Hindu versus Muslim? How do you explain all the barbarism and cruelty man is capable of? And don’t put it down to that mythical old figure, Lucifer because you can come down to individual statistics – how do you explain mental disorders, schizophrenia for example where a schizophrenic not knowing right from wrong commits murder? Sorry, Professor Lennox, faith might have uplifted you and your family and I am very pleased for you but you have not convinced me that there is a divine creator, and the more the universe is explored the less likelihood there is of a personal god existing, Jesus Chris notwithstanding. As for the Bible you mention, much of it is a book of horrors that has little relevance to life on earth as it is today.
And talking of books, Tone’s 700 page autobiography ‘A Journey’ is out but more of that next time!