Thursday, 27 September 2012

Dreaming something into existence


The post for the Head-Vicar is coming up shortly, and I have a mind to apply for it.

So long as the pubs are closed I can fake the gravitas, but I'm not sure I could fake the theological training and background.

It is not as if you are required to believe in God to be Archbishop of Canterbury these days, but even if you have your doubts, these can all be explained away by professing to a philosophical tradition going back to St Anshelm, if Melvyn bloody Bragg is correct.

You know that old adage, 'If God didn't exist we would have to invent Him'? Well according to Anshelm, we did, and that is the best argument for His existence I have heard yet, but that way madness lies.

There is a good reason why the overwhelming majority of Christians resemble sheep following a slaughterman into the abattoir, and that is because if they understood the truth behind their religion, they would all go stark, staring mad.

There is a wonderful bit in a science-fantasy book by Jack Vance, where someone destroys his adversary by putting 'the curse of all knowledge' on him.  In an instant, the accursed victim assimilates total knowledge of EVERYTHING, and - his mortal frame unable to contain it - rapidly turns into dust which swirls away into the wind, never to recompose. I think that is what happens to all of us eventually, but to have it thrust upon you in the prime of life is insupportable.

In Bertram Russell's case, he had just popped out to the shops to buy some pipe tobacco when he had his revelation, and the revelation was that Anshelm's one-liner proving the existence of God was 'sound'. How very English.


37 comments:

  1. If you EVER became a vicar, I would break a habit of a lifetime and would go to church every sunday

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  2. As a betting man, I would never bet against God. For a start, only death provides the answer. If I wagered he did not exist and won, how would I collect? If I lost the bet, I would be in deep, very hot, shit.

    Reckon you could make a sermon out of that Reverend Stephenson?

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  3. John, you would go to church AND break the habit of a lifetime. Dare one enquire what that habit is?

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  4. Never count out Pascal's Wager.... and that from a devout atheist!

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    Replies
    1. p.s. What's the job description for Head Vicar?

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    2. Talk to the Queen a lot (and I don't mean John, after I have become a vicar).

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    3. I'll have you know that some of my best friends are homophobes.

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    4. No, yours are called 'bits of strange'.

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  5. In my three short months of blogging I have come to the conclusion that, for a lot of the time, it is much like listening to Radio 4. Provided you choose to read a classy sort of blog of course.

    I say this because often a certain amount of imagination is involved, especially when people decide not to include a picture of themselves. Much has to be extrapolated from 'voice' alone. Reconciling that imaginary Tom Stephenson with a dog collar is proving a hard nut to crack.

    Speak to you later (after the pub).

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    1. I have come back from the pub, and I notice you have left out the one thing that blogging and Radio 4 have in common - the age group, 45 to 65 in general, for both bloggers and readers. You will find the odd picture of me if you trawl back through the posts. I look like the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

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    2. You do, indeed! In fact a dog collar and cranberry shirt would go exceedingly well with that coat you were modelling some months back ...

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    3. You have decided for me, Broad. I'm writing to Lambeth Palace this very day. Or is it the Cathedral?

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  6. The rector from my then-church who married us said that whenever someone said he didn't wish to attend church and appear hypocritical, his reply was, "There's always room for one more hypocrite."

    I think once you rise to certain level in any church that you succeed if you are an excellent administrator, and really, that has very little to do with faith or belief. But i also think that's part of the problem with many churches trying to attract new members, either to the congregation or priesthood. Without faith, it's just a sort of club with lots of rules, which doesn't hold any attraction for me. What speaks much more convincingly is someone living his/her faith, and that is quite different from someone who merely follows the rules. There's a different energy altogether.

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    1. You haven't (knowingly) met a Knight Templar though, have you? You have probably met more Sufis than you realise too.

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  7. Being a practical sort of person I wonder if there are any perks to being head-vicar that would make it worth it to apply for the possition.

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    Replies
    1. You get to meet the Queen on a regular basis. Is that enough?

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  8. I think that you would cut a dash in a surplice Tom ......... do vicars go commando under their cassocks and do you need a reference ?

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    1. Here we go - sex rears it's ugly head again (under the surplice).

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  9. Re my original comment (I'm not on the Mac = I can't nest)..

    Please point me to one of those posts Tom, don't make me go back through the lot....

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    1. No chance. My only clue to you is something to do with me being a fashion centrefold of the month. Oh, and Bicester Village comes up as well. My nuts are hard to crack, and my crack and sack need a wax.

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  10. Thank you for that last thought. It's helping dinner go down a treat.

    At least my searching will be good for your stats. But if anyone else feels like offering up any more clues they'd be more than welcome. John? Hippo?

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    1. Oh don't get them started, for God's sake. It's bad enough as it is. (The existence or otherwise of God is discussed in the above post, so it may help His (note respectful capital) stats.

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  11. P.S. I have just heard that J.K. Rowling is a devout follower of this blog. Keep up the good work, Joanne.

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  12. 18 July 2012
    Failing that, September 10 2012 (second post)

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    1. Just because YOU can be arsed to trawl back through them, it doesn't mean that I can. I know what I look like.

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  13. Tweed Pig
    April 2012.

    I was going to say how distinguished you look.

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    Replies
    1. I look a lot more distinguished than that in real life, Rusty. Or did I mean 'extinguished'?

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