I seldom get a response to my Blogs but a couple of day ago I received a lengthy letter, 5 full length typed pages taking me to task for my antireligious diatribes to which I can only plead guilty. The writer says he does not know whether I am atheist, agnostic, humanist or any other ‘non-believer’ and he doesn’t really care but I seem to delight in taking every opportunity to ridicule the notion of a superior, omniscient omnipotent being as the first cause and creator of everything that exists and the catholic church in particular. Sometimes he believes it could be a case of ‘the lady protesteth too much.’ I would have thought it pretty obvious that I am an athiest and, I hope, a humanist. For me there are only two reasons to believe in a god (1) Pain and the possible alleviation thereof and (2) the mystery and consequent fear of death. Against these two I could put twenty arguments or more. Do you believe that Mohammad flew up to paradise on a snow-white horse? If not, why not? Is the story of the resurrection not on a par when the graves opened to reveal the dead and nobody made much comment on so unusual and frightening a phenomenon?
I am glad I received your letter because this is going to be my last Blog. You have no idea how long it has taken me to get this far with decrepit fingers and every second word yet another mistake.
There are reputedly 1400 Christian denominations not one of which as far as I know has been able tell where I come from, why should I trust any one of them to tell me where I am going? So I close on another Glyn Jones quote, this time from ‘The Muses Darling’ Christopher Marlowe (He would be called Christopher wouldn’t he?)
NASHE: Take care, Kit. Take care. You break all the conventions.
MARLOWE: So I do, so I do. They are there to be broken or what can be new? I believe in the emancipation of reason, I do not believe in superstition, massacres, cruel torture and hideous deaths, men’s bodies broken and the wars we have lived with for so long, all in the name of religion. I believe in the liberation of the spirit so I break conventions. I count religion but a childish toy and hold there is no sin but ignorance. Religion hides many mischiefs
FLETCHER: Go to. Maybe you suffer
from the delusion that you are god.
Marlowe said the beginning of religion was but to keep men in order. That man’s soul ends, vanishes and perishes with his body. We remember nothing before we are born and we shall remember nothing after we are dead. That the sacrament would be better served in a tobacco pipe.