Monthly Archives: September 2017

6th September, 2017. Complacency.

I have very few ‘ornaments’ but one of the few is a little furry elephant figure sent me by the World Wildlife Fund as a proportion of my monthly subscription goes to benefit the welfare of the elephant population of south-east Asia.

A written statement by Claire Morgan, an artist who I have never met, caught my eye recently in the context of a art installation she has created called ‘Elephant in the Room’. She states ‘out of sight means out of mind, and we can more or less experience the world through a device, purchasing things that have been grown, killed, or manufactured cheaply in places we will never visit, by people we will never meet, all the while signing on-line petitions for ethical treatment of humans and animals in order to absolve ourselves of any guilt.

Its a system that offers just enough value, just enough separation, and more than enough convenience to keep our concerns at the very back of our minds’.

The introductory sentence introducing Claire’s quote reads ‘Claire engages with the impact which human activity has on the earth’s life, finding new ways to remind people of the beauty and fragility of the world around us’.

A stern taskmaster, but a right one.

5th September, 2017. Christianity and History.

Independent of one’s own religious beliefs the history of the Christian faith is central to the history of the British nation state (and, of course, many other countries too). Its buildings, from the majestic to the rustic are all fascinating sources of historical evidence and often reflecting in their very fabric the history of their locality – the joy of church studies. Studies to be encouraged at every opportunity in a century when the buildings are listed as grade 1, 2 or 2* and yet face a very uncertain future in a secular age.

Atheist, or whatever, church music invariably has the capacity to lift the spirit and calm the troubled mind.

The liturgy, styles of worship and relationship with the many books of the Bible, all so often through history sources of contention, even fought over, yet central to an understanding of church history, independent of the student’s opinions.

Too often current-day agnostics dismiss church studies on the grounds that divisions within the Christian church past and present have been a cause of strife and conflict – too often the church assumes that only present-day believers are welcome to take an interest in theĀ buildings and history of their faith.

Above picture shows the north side of St. James’, Grimsby, picture taken from near Freshney Place with monument to local fishing industry in the foreground.

2nd September, 2017. Culture and ideas.

Recently a friend, sceptical of my non-scientist interest in science, asked ‘What of culture’? To answer I have to set down my current opinions on both culture and beliefs.

The real god is the forces of Nature that have dictated the development of the Universe and the history of planet Earth.

Traditional religions are the product of Man’s ingenuity in trying to fathom the unknown (back then). Ancient holy books reflect the culture of their time and can be of value when presenting a moral framework for modern society (as well as then), but should not be viewed with unquestioning reverence, as if divinely inspired.

Eternal life is real in the fact that the ‘atoms’ (component bits) of all life return to the ‘melting pot’ after death and are resurrected in emerging life-forms.

The commonality of elements across the Universe is a force of Nature.

Like Einstein, I think there maybe some mileage in the question ‘who fired the Big Bang?’ (my phrasing).

Man is an evolved life-form, not made in the image of an imaginary god, and currently has control of planet Earth.

Human culture – art, music, literature, philosophy – are vital to an appreciation of our species. History is the source of all cultural wisdom as it sets events and ideas in context. Science opens doors and reveals the Truth.

Above illustration taken from the Wikipaedia Big Bang website.