Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Death warmed up.

That is the most apt description of me today, and I still have a mountain to climb in terms of work, but at least I'm at base camp one.
What do you suppose happens to you when you die? I don't think anything does, well apart from being turned to ash in my case. Then loaded into a blunderbuss and shot through the doors of the nearest Reiki centre ( a gal can dream can't she).
I only ask because I was among actual breathing people the other day and during the lunch the converstaion bounced unaided into familiar territory when the subject of the teen suicides arose.
There was some, 'oh it's terrible' and some talk of epidemics and some more talk of how difficult life is and...
I said I thought if people stopped glorifying death and talking up something as nonsensical as a angel filled afterlife, perhaps teens might place a big more value on the life they already owned and might yet still have.
I said this in a rather mild manner-I was eating polenta at the time- but I did notice some taken aback faces.
'What?' I said.
'Do you really believe that?' One woman said.
'That people ought to stop glorifying death?'
'No, that there's nothing after death? That death is the end.'
'Honestly, apart from the physical changes, yes, of course.'
There was some head shaking and a few mutters and I decided that-for once- because I wasn't on my turf and therefore not at liberty to take bloody over and be all bossy and condescending, to keep my big yap shut.
But it's true. I don't believe in anything after death, I don't believe in souls and sprits and rebirth or heaven and hell, the whole thing seems ludicrous to me.
Why the need for it? Why the fretful hope that this world, this existence can't be all there is to life? What's wrong with this life?
A belief in a retribution filled after life is one of the things that bugs me most about dogmatic religious people. It's always the same line of patter, 'you live your life in a manner I don't approve of, ergo you'll burn in hell if you don't repent/change/do as I do.'
Which is patently unprovable is it not? So why worry about it?
A belief that because you were pretty in the mortal world- or famous or a good singer or stupid enough to murder yourself- automatically gives you free passage into a heaven filled with angels- of which you are now one- is also too ridiculous for words.
Despite all the hucksters in the world there has never been tangible proof of an afterlife. Nor tangible proof of a god or gods. Sure people like to believe in a god, but I like to believe that Haribo Tangfastic Jelly Sours aren't fattening.
Belief just don't make it so.
I often wonder what it would be like if people stopped believing in gods and mumbo-jumbo. Would we disintegrate into a heartless secular society, morally bankrupt and free from other worldly fears?
Historic evidence from Stalin to Pol Pot would suggest that atheist rulers are even more blood thirsty than the religious when they secure power. Perhaps it's the human condition that is really at fault, perhaps despite what we strive to be-be it pious or secular-power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
I don't know, I don't have any answers. I just know it's Wednesday, it's sunny, and I'd rather live and enjoy the here and now than pin my hopes on any form of post death hoolie.
In the mean time I ought to work on my social skills, such as they are.
Or stop going places.

Labels:

55 Comments:

Blogger Lou said...

Amen to that Cat! I don't believe in anything either, but like you I don't press the issue, I have a great-aunt who's an nun, and while I personally believe she has squandered her whole life praying and clearly not shaving her legs even once, it's not my place to tell her that!

BTW I ran a half marathon on Monday. Not the most fun way to spend the evening, but am damn proud of myself so am telling everyone!!!

Hope you feel better :-)

10:50 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Can. Worms. Spilled all over the place...

I don't think Atheism had anything to do with the actions of Pol Pot or Stalin, its just another idea they hid behind in order to achieve or justify their goals.

10:52 a.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

You are right when you say death should not be glorified and that this life isn’t all that bad but, if some people didn’t have hope and faith to ground them there would be anarchy. I mean look at children today they are wild. When I was small I was afraid of two things, my mam and going to hell. All off my peers feel the same. I don’t believe in God but I appreciate why people do and if it alleviates anxiety they are harbouring who are we to criticize? A couple of weeks ago I watched my friend bury her still born son, I think I told you about her she was gearing herself up for labour with hypnosis. Anyway, the baby didn’t survive, now I know that the only thing keeping her going at the moment is the believe that one day she will meet her baby boy in haven. I think it is ludicrous, as I said I do not believe but I still sit with her nodding in agreement.

11:17 a.m.  
Blogger Lou said...

This God/Otherwise is a bit of a popular subject today:

http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/oh-my-god-its-a-836425m-question-1292345.html

11:18 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

We all begin again as molecules and it takes thousands of years to become very basic forms of life. We very gradually evolve into more complex lifeforms over millennia. It's all part of Xzltgyvjstlwryd'z plan.

Xzltgyvjstlwryd is the Great Nematode living under the Taiga crater.

11:32 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Well done Lou, that's some fine running, fine running indeed. How did you feel after? Legs good?
Sorry about your friend Nonny, not nice to go through a whole pregnancy only to lose the child in the end.

Sheepie, I don't think atheism was the cause of their murderous campaign, but rather an example that either with or without the banner of religion people can commit atrocious acts.

Conan, sounds like cratorism to me.

11:52 a.m.  
Blogger Lou said...

Not awful actually, it was treadmill running because I freak out a bit about running in the dark in south London, and I was fine to walk to work the next day. No shin splints or anything. I am doing most of my weekday training on the cross-trainer though because I think it's less stress on my knees. Cross trainers are so odd, it's like skiing while operating a crane... Spinning seems to have really increased my stamina too.

Actual marathon in about six weeks. Eep!

12:01 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Eep indeed! Well done on the training. You should try the rowing machine too, I found it gave me terrific stamina. fast 6k and 10k sessions really amped up my lung capacity.

12:05 p.m.  
Blogger Lou said...

Does it wreck your hands though or do you have gloves? I did do rowing but I was getting callouses so I stopped, but it was a great little calorie burner so I would like to go back to it...

Also discovered the step machine, my new nemesis!!

12:15 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Doesn't bother my hands at all and I think that's more to do with my grip. I usually hold it using the second pads of my fingers and not pressed into my palms, plus thumb across the bar.

It bloody eats the calories does it not? I've burned off many a cheese fest on it.

12:22 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

Oh FMC I can only imagine the looks that you were getting, as I got ones just like that during a conversation with some acquaintances, only it turned into a full blown witch hunt, and yes, I was the witch. It was just after my friend had taken his own life in November, I was really angry, angry at the world and angry at him for not being able to come to me or any one of his many many friends for help and instead took the easy way out.
I was talking to some people who sort of knew him (you know the type, knew him years ago, hadn't seen him in yonks but still believed them to be really close) and they were bollocking on about him being an angel in heaven looking down on us and all this "he was too good for this world" shit. These people were mildly religious, I am not at all. They knew this already and used it against me. They actually brought my non religious mixed marriage parents into it and also the fact that I was never baptised, one of them even came out with the cracker that "of course YOU would think that way Babs, you still have original sin" WTF?? And then went on to say that because I had no "spiritual guidance" in my life as a child or now that I obviously had no hope. I got up to walk out of the room because I wasn't taking it any more but then I sat down and told them exactly what I thought. If god was so great then why did he take people away when they were so young (like Nonnys friends baby and many other babies) why did he take my friends away when they were ages 12, 17, 19 and 23 (and that's just the ones who took their own lives) why?? If someone chooses to take their own life then that is their choice, it's a horrible and selfish thing to do. I understand that they think that there is no other way to deal with it, but if God was so great would he not show them the way out no?
All I know is that I have lost some amazing people to suicide, all male, all young seemingly couldn't be happier males. And people talk about them like they are angels, when in fact they are just rotting or rotten away or burnt, they are not in heaven, if there is such a thing, people who commit murder are not supposed to be in heaven are they not, because that's what taking your own life is, it's a crime for some reason even though how are you supposed to be punished for it. You are not, the people who you leave behind are though.

12:23 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Poor old darling Babs, that's why sometimes it's a COMPLETE waste of time talking to folk who think that way. That's way I shut my normally yappy yap the other day too.
I usually try my utmost not to get involved in god conversations, unless it's here or I'm asked my opinion then I say what I think and don't hold anything back.
But the fact that these folk were stupid enough to talk absolutes and tedious enough drag your parents and your lack of belief into their equations-all while engaging in angel talk- allows you to fire at will in my opinion.
If people want to believe in god and toothfaires and angels and reiki and whatever other mystic shit keeps them ticking over then have at it, as long as they don't expect anyone else to give a shit or value their beliefs over their own.
Saying, 'I don't believe any of that' is no more confrontational than declaring -with nary a shred of evidence- that god has taken your dead friend to heaven to work as an angel.
You're entitled to grieve in your own way. You're entitled to be angry over a senseless death. Bollocksology should keep its big fucking beak out of it.

12:59 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

Less of the old!! :)
I don't believe that he was taken to heaven by god to work as an angel, neither do his parents (and the parents are normally the ones who start with the angel stuff). The only time I have ever agreed with the angel thing is the same as Nonnys case where a friend lost a baby. And I only did that because I think if I had disagreed or said anything to the contrary she would have killed me.
Losing someone you love is hard enough to come to terms with without pretending that they are angels or something else even more ridiculous.
I like it better when people say things like "you will always be in my thoughts and dreams" rather than "now you are an angel I know that you will be looking down on me and protecting me". If I had that many angels looking down on me and protecting me nothing bad should ever happen. But it does. So they're obviously not there.

1:07 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

couldn't agree more FMC.

this might interest you : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_spaghetti_monster

1:09 p.m.  
Blogger Glinda the good witch said...

Ah, tangfastics... Mmmmm. The angel thing is v popular at the moment. Did you know that a white feather on you means your angel is watching you? Not that your pillow/duvet/down filled body warmer by Patagonia is leaking, nor even that a seagull has passed by - it is ANGELS, d'ya hear? I am with every word you say on this one.

1:12 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Indeed Babs.
Oh I'm aware of his noodley appendage Anonymous.
Too true Glinda, I notice this angel hokum is gaining momentum but what if it's a black feather? WHAT THEN?! Maybe it's a sign I need to go eat more jelly sours...mmm, yes that's what I think I will believe, huzzah!

1:36 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

Religion is a means of control. Didn’t somebody call it “the opium of the masses”? Some people feel that if the poor and unsuccessful did not have religion with the hope of something better in the next life, in a democratic society there would be chaos and anarchy. (This is already happening to some extent in the increasingly secular society that is now the UK – there is a section of the young black community in London who are not afraid of anything, there is no God, and no law that they are prepared to obey – life is not sacred to them and they are prepared to kill to get rich). I guess, given a choice, I’d prefer a belief in religion to a dictator who ruled by fear and horror - like Sadam or Pol Pot – but the church is also guilty of intimidation and past horrors. My whole childhood was riddled with fear – almost everything that was fun was a sin. The mortal sin which would guarantee a trip to hell was always hanging over our heads. Load of bullshit.

1:53 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

while i must confess my love for the nematode (oh genetics - the course that continues to follow me wherever i go) as well as the fsm... i am adamantly non-religious. interestingly, my father emailed me not too long ago and asked why we didn't send out christmas cards. i wrote him back and told him that because we're atheists, we don't celebrate christmas. which unleashed a tirade of 'don't EVER tell anyone. being an atheist will always hold you back!', blah, blah, blah.... so i wrote back and pointed out that people like abraham lincoln, einstein, etc (there's quite the list floating around online) were atheists, and what a shame they never reached their full potential due to their logical, rational thought, and utter disbelief in a holy being.

that being said, i've no problem with other people practising their faith. i think that if you chose to enter a faith, under your own volition, because that is what works for you, more power to you! i begin to take issue when people preach to others, convert "the nonbelievers", or are forced into religious beliefs. oh, and when religion becomes a basis for political ruling. that really gets me going.

2:06 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Feral youth are the result of a social and economic problem as well as a deity free one I imagine, although I do see exactly what you mean. When morality has no foothold what replaces it is anarchy.
As you quite rightly say, it's a load of bullshit.

2:09 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Sorry Daisy mae, we crossed. How funny about your dad, he's allowed believe what he likes but is aghast that you do the same. Why he sounds just like someone I know, somebody lilac wearing.
Right, I've got to go and act as the fucking cat butler for the one millionthy-third time today. Bloody cats, why must they ALWAYS want to go places?

2:12 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

So people can't make good moral decisions without the threat of fire and brimstone hanging over their heads in the next life? And we'd all dissolve into anarchy if people suddenly stopped believing in the afterlife, an interventionist god, angels, devils, all that bullshit? Well, if those people who go around saying "without my belief system, all I'd do is bad things, cheat on my spouse, lie, steal, murder..." really WANT to do all that bad stuff, and are REALLY only being good because they're afraid of punishment in the afterlife, then for all our sakes I hope they keep believing it.

But the day I can't make a good moral choice because of some figment of someone else's imagination - I shudder.

I mean - Pardon me, I THOUGHT we were trying to have a civilization here...

2:26 p.m.  
OpenID grimsaburger said...

All I get on my pillow is black feathers. I used to wonder where the bedding manufacturers got all those black geese, but now I know I should be afraid that no-good black angels are swarming around me like mosquitoes on their never-ending quest to get me to do evil.

This sounds not a little like "the devil's always out there, and you have to fight him every step of the way" rhetoric I heard growing up as Southern Baptist.

It's all starting to come together...

2:35 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

Well said Andraste. I think that a lot of people think if you have no religious guidance then you must automatically have no morals or goodness in you. I do good things for people all the time, but as they say I am no "angel" (har har), most of the people I know who do bad things or who have done bad things in the past (stolen, repetitive law breakers, being violent, having affairs, etc) will still say "Oh no I am SOOOO religious" I feel like shoving the ten commandments up their arse. They pick and coose the bits that they like about the religion they chose or were born into. This = bollocks. If you say you are something stick to it don't blaspheme the first chance you get. All of this shit of "Oh I go to mass every Sunday" but they conveniently leave out the fact they had a one night stand with a married man the night before. That's at least two hail Mary's at confession so that their "sin" can be absolved. I believe in not hurting people, in being as good a person as I can be. I believe in having fun, laughing at things that amuse me, making choices that I hope are the right ones, working hard, in not being afraid to admit defeat, in being able to walk away from any situation, in being able to stand up for myself when needs be and most of all, in not being afraid of a God that may or may not be impressed with what I have done in my life.

2:41 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I get my morals from my upbringing.
I don't like religious views like sex is bad, being gay is bad, not popping one child out after another is bad, wanking, bad, not submitting to husbands, bad, only married couples are groovy, cursing, bad, eating cheeseburgers on Friday, bad.
I think it's all bollocks. I think religion is a man made construct and a particularly goal post moving one at that.
But in terms of feral inner city children and a lack of ANY guiding moral upbringing (I"m thinking of parents and family here) then yep, I do think they live by a moral free code with no fears and no laws and worse no guilt or compassion.
When I say an absence of morality leads to anarchy I'm thinking of the day to day morals you and I probably live by, you know, not robbing and not fucking people over. Not because I worry about some finger pointing god giving me the heave ho why I die, but because of how I was raised.

2:44 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Fear not Grims. Black feathers just means you can eat jellies with abandon!

2:45 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Very true FMC - religion most definately is a man-made construct.

If the likes of Jesus, Budda etc did exist (with or without divinity), man has twisted all their ideas into control systems, rather than the intended messages of love and tolerance.

3:01 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

I don’t like the views of the church either; particularly the sex is bad one. Did yee know that not so long ago when a woman had a baby she had to be blessed afterward to rid her of the sins committed by doing the bold thing. That aside traditionally religion has played a leading role in enforcing morality, without morality there would be anarchy, regardless of what people may like to think. Society needs rules and a conscience. Until somebody comes up with a better alternative to church my kids are going to mass. Most people here have been raised with significant influence from the church, how do we know that if we raise atheist the shit won’t hit the fan? Would it not be a greater evil to experiment with our own children?

3:03 p.m.  
Blogger The Hangar Queen said...

"It is all SUCH s fraud isn't it?"

While J was in hospital in Colorado she befriended the Lutheran minister who would swing by once a day to see if she/we needed anything.

To say thanks we brought her out to dinner on our last night in town and she and I ended up in some mad,bad Mexican cantina swilling tequila.

The above quote was hers.

3:07 p.m.  
Blogger Lou said...

Um, Nonny, I was raised atheist and I think I'm doing ok... My Dad was raised atheist too...

I think it's up to the parents to instill a moral compass by teaching and example, something so important shouldn't be left up to a church. Any church.

3:15 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Sheepie indeed.

Nonny, all my kids are going to be raised to think for themeselves, I'm going to endeavor to raise nice polite kind children and I'll be leaving religion out if it. It's not an experiment, I don't believe in religion, so why would I lie to my children or fill their heads with nonsense?
'Mammy, do you believe in god?' they might ask.
'No I don't but some people do.' I will reply.
What's difficult about that?


Miss Queen, I DO like that quote.

3:15 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

I think Nonny is right. Back when people all believed in God there was no war, rape, child abuse, murder, substance abuse, fighting, persecution, random acts of violence or senseless behaviour.

Look how we've let ourselves down.

3:19 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I'm going to the gym.
Lou, you filthy atheist, I'll be hitting the rowing machine with gusto now!

3:22 p.m.  
Blogger Lou said...

Won't be long after you, intend to do an hour on the cross-trainer, ten minutes on stepper and an hour on either bike or rowing machine. Have high hopes for your new grip - will be giving it a go! Also going to do some time on the wobble board, apparently great for your ankles - mine haven't been right since the stiletto incident before Christmas*!


*Which I do believe in by the way, I'm for any and all food or present-centric holidays...

3:27 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

Andraste, I do see your point, but none of us can really put it to the test as I think most of the Irish born have a background steeped in religion, and other nationalities have also had a religious belief system. It seems to be only the current generation who are escaping the shackles of religion and even then, not completely as the brainwashing runs deep. We are also a generation inventing new quasi religious belief systems to replace the old ones - look at Scientology and all the other "alternative" stuff - including Reiki (FMC - har!!!). Babs made me think again - as I am very "lapsed" but I still send Christmas cards, have a tree, enjoy singing carols, love church weddings, christenings, funerals etc. In fact, there are lots of the rituals of religion that are quite enjoyable. I don't believe any of it - am I being a horrible hypocrite?

3:35 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

Ahh no I don’t mean that people who don’t have God in their lives are bad people, I just wonder what the consequences would be without religion or religious guidance. For well-adjusted, intelligent people it may not be an issue but some people need direction. And, yes crime and abuse have always been an issue but people simply don’t care now. Look at the lads killing each other, I went to school with three of them, one of them was just mental, well according to the judge he was not mad he was just bad but the other two, one of them, his father was a whore master and the other guy, his family had a long history of criminal activity. Those lads were reared with no morals, they do not care about anybody. I mean seriously Twenty, at 25 how many people did you know had been shot? Even on a smaller scale, common courtesy is nowhere to be seen, people will not get up for old people on a bus, nobody holds the door for you, you would be lucky if you heard please and thank you once a day. For many, religion can instil hope and values. As I said I’m all for an alternative but you have to think off the masses, for them religion seems to be the only option.

3:46 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

I think we've seen how well religion instills that "moral framework." Rules and a conscience? Like the church has, right? All religion teaches is hatred and bigotry toward others who don't share the same religious beliefs (or any) and guilt, which is a completely useless emotion.

The missing word in all discussions about moral decision making is empathy. If you can teach your kids to feel empathy for others, that's half the battle in moral/ethical development.

These feral, inner city children who 'seem' to have no morals are really lacking that, and you're right, Cat, compassion, more than any 'guiding moral code.'

3:46 p.m.  
Blogger Lou said...

Nope - Dawkins is quoted as saying he's an atheist but still loves singing Christmas carols. So does my Dad. The rituals are nice. I have a Goddaughter, I have never had any religious interaction with her other than holding a candle above her at her Christening, which frankly seemed unsafe, but I love that we have a different bond to just being cousins.

3:47 p.m.  
Blogger PI said...

I think it is important that no-one should be afraid to say whether they are a believer or not without fear of shock - horror reactions. Each to his own. I passsionatley believe
that everyone should be free to choose for themselves and their choices should be respected.

3:49 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

And one more thing if we decide to be the crafters of our children conscience, how do you decide what is moral and what is not? What one person may see as reasonably another may find completely unacceptable, like for example I am anti drug but that does not mean I am right, so how would you find a happy medium or create a level playing field for your kids without third party guidance?

4:05 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Nonny: I think society in general is quite good at self-regulation. Religion was created by society after all, and if as you believe, religion creates our conscience or morality, then it is surely a glorified social conscience.

4:14 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

The root of religion is fear.
Fear of death, the unknown, women, pleasure,etc.
The odd thing is that I know a staunch athiest who is terribly afraid of death, so much so that she exercises incessantly and eats only enough to keep her carcass from collapsing.
Death just can't be that bad.

5:42 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

Nonny I was raised by a non practising Catholic Mammy and a non practising Protestant Daddy, they are not religious in any way, they don't even say things like "ah god" like I do (that's purely picked up from my Cavan friend who I lived with for a long time, also "ah pet" which I hate but I still say it by accident sometimes). We were allowed to have our own beliefs. I believe that being allowed to think for myself at such a young age made me who I am today. Most of my mass going friends have WAY less morals than me. They have been known to steal, to do the bold thing before marriage (which I have also, but I am allowed because I do not have a faith which makes me believe that this is wrong), they have coveted thy neighours wives and husbands, they have not killed but they have almost, but because they go to mass once in a blue moon they still say "ah yeah I am a Catholic", this in my opinion is bollocks. I am all for people having religious beliefs , but if you say you are a catholic at least abide by the fucking rules. Religion is not an a la carte thing, you either do it or you don't.

Being anti drugs is not a religious thing, it's just an opinion. I am also fairly anti drugs (not to the extent that you are but still anti them). This is not from any religion, it's because I have seen what drugs have done to some people I was very close to. Most of the things that you have said today are just common decency, again, nothing to do with any religion. Just because I have no religion it doesn't mean that I have loose morals by any means. There is nothing wrong with me, in fact I think I am better for having no religion because at least I am not a hypocrite like most of the people in this country when it comes to their religion.

6:54 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Pat's right of course, each to their own.
That has to cut both ways though. God believers and non god believer ought not to be afraid or feel uncomfortable saying 'yep, I do/don't believe.'
However the moment I find saying 'I'm sorry, I don't believe in god' is deemed being confrontational or condescending or worse, considered jumping on the band wagon (like we're too silly to think for ourselves when Dawkins et all can do our thinking for us) which leaves the non believer open to rude questions or frank disbelief.
So while we non believers are supposed to be respectful of other beliefs, we never seem to get the same respect back. And I for one have a pain in my hole holding my tongue-which is not in my hole but you know what I mean.
Believe, okay, don't believe okay too.
( Except for Reiki, animal telepathy, baby whispering or bloody psychics. If you believe in any of that shite you're at the wrong website and deserve every arrow of ridicule you get aimed at you)

You have no idea how difficult it was typing that, 10k on the rowing machine and weight and I can't lift my arms up without whimpering.

7:33 p.m.  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

Nonny, it seems to me that you're advocating that people are told a bunch of hokum in order to keep them in line. That's not my understanding of a free society. I can't believe it's a lack of religion making these boys so wild, it's every bit as likely to be lack of reason, balance and rational influence in their lives.

I suspect these people that displayed such shock and dismay, fmc, were not really shocked and dismayed at all. I mean it's not exactly unusual for people to be agnostic or atheist is it? We are in the 21st century - they must have heard of it before.

To get all shocked-looking about it is disingenuous, I reckon. Rather, I think they were engaging in that sort of social pressuring meant to make you feel like a weirdo and encourage you to get back to thinking conventionally. Their mass visible reaction of course, also validates their beliefs one to the other.

Pat's absolutely right. Noone should have to put up with gasps of disbelief about what they believe - unless they're Tom Cruise - it's rude and, as much as anything it's put on to make themselves feel cosier in their own beliefs - beliefs weak enough that they require frequent mutual reassurance in them.

8:10 p.m.  
Anonymous laughykate said...

I reckon alot of people use religion to disguise bad behaviour. (And I think I've talked about this before here ).

'Oh he wouldn't sexually abuse his children, he's head of the Christian Democrat Party.'

Yeah right.

8:11 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Course they weren't Sam, they just needed a catalyst to launch into why I'm wrong and a dunderhead for not getting the spiritual Angel filled world we inhabit.

LK, absolutely, piety is no indicator of saintliness.

8:25 p.m.  
Anonymous Sheesh said...

I don't believe in any of the god-bothering stuff. Or angels/spirits/psychics/mediums and other assorted rackets. I really do believe the (Catholic, at least) religious stuff is all carrot of the "next life" to keep people in line with threats in this life - and obedience (and quite often hefty donations to) the church. And then when you had them trying (and succeeding) in influencing the laws of the country (divorce, contraception etc) - all to keep the flock obedient ... makes me really angry. In my more cynical moments, I think what a business plan! Yeah, obey us, live in fear of divine retribution - but it's ok, come to mass (donate), get masses said for people (donate), leave money in your will for more masses and buy a church bench, yes, yes, you are on your way to everlasting happiness. Turns my stomach.

I think all the "next life" stuff is a big deferral of the realities of this one. Deny yourself now, don't take too much pleasure in your 80 years - but it's all ok, you get to be happy foreverandeverandever when you die! WTF!??! I can kind of see that if someone wants to believe (in a very private way) in heaven, then it makes loss easier to cope with, and that maybe it would be easier to be able to think that way, if you lost someone really close. Having said that, I think it is very important to accept THIS life as it is (warts and all), and try to be as happy a bean as possible - and at the very least to try your best not to adversely impact another person's happiness. I'm not saying I always succeed; but I don't need threats of hellfire and brimstone to make me try (that'd be the upbringing bit - and both of my parents are agnostics). I don't believe that anyone who dies "goes to heaven"; but that they live on in the thoughts of the people who they touched, and hopefully made them happier for having known them. If I can live my life like this, I think that's as good as it gets - and pretty damn good at that. (All devotion and monetary donations accepted!!)

12:06 a.m.  
Blogger famron said...

This one is for Lou. Last year a pal was training for the Ocean to City row in Cork, http://www.oceantocity.com/ and had trouble with blisters/callouses. She got these hand protectors, http://www.newgrip.com/rowing.html, and was fine.

PS Totally agree with FMC on religion etc being all makey up hogwash.

9:16 a.m.  
Blogger Lou said...

Brilliant - thanks a mill famron! I kept finding myself going back to using my old grip so these will really help...

9:51 a.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

Morning, I was just using drugs as an example. I was not saying religion equates to morality, I was more questioning, if not religion then how do you get your children to be moral and have values? What would you call that way of living?

I was at a council meeting last night and I asked a priest, a young guy and really nice. He said that religion is largely subjective; some people feel the need it, and some don’t. He said if believing brings you contentment then why not, “anything for an easy life” where his precise words. He also said that once you are not harming anyone you could believe whatever you like and should be respected. On the morality issue, he said that whilst religion can be a good reference point ultimately society as whole plays a bigger role as does your immediate family and early experiences, they will carve your conscience. I asked what that is term he would use to describe that and he said, “Baby, they call that, life”. Then just for kicks I asked what he thought the meaning of life was and he said, finding happiness without infringing on anybody else’s.

11:02 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

Nonny - your said the young priest said to you "“Baby, they call that, life”" Jeez, is that how priests address the public these days! I thought I was unshockable, but now, I really am shocked.

11:17 a.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

Shebah! It’s not like he was gonna pull me to the floor and take me right there. He is only 32 and is just a normal guy. He was not addressing the public either, he was just talking to me, his friend.

11:29 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Be careful Nonny, I've read The thornbirds!

11:43 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

I loved the Thornbirds when I was about 13 - it gave me a few good fantasy dreams! (I was still in the grip of religion, then and it was before I realised most priests are gay anyway!). Nonny, now I understand your religious ardour!

11:50 a.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

Hah, I laughed out loud Miss Cat.

Shebah, I am happily almost married. Thank you much :)

11:58 a.m.  

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