Friday, 16 January 2015

Respect Repeat Birthdays

The pope says people's faiths should be respected. I guess he means that if people believe in magic, god-men, parthenogenesis in humans, the power of prayer (despite all evidence to the contrary), men teleporting, the death sentence for apostasy, evil spirits taking over pigs, bread turning into flesh, putting a dirty milk glass and a plate from a roast beef sandwich in the same dishwasher can contaminate your soul, beheading, subjugation of women, hostility to homosexuals, sacred underwear protects believers from spiritual contamination and, according to some adherents, from fire and speeding bullets, stoning to death, genital mutilation, etc., we should respect that. Sorry pope old chap - you have another think coming. I live in the 21st century, not the 10th.

Respect is a positive emotion, and to respect the above you have to respect every crackpot, pseudoscientific theory anyone ever came up with. If science were to operate like that we wouldn't have progressed beyond alchemy and we wouldn't have Accident and Emergency departments bursting at the seams. It's an abdication of both moral and intellectual responsibility to automatically accord the same respect to all beliefs.

Tolerance and respect are two different things and the right to criticise has the same basis as the right to believe. While I may tolerate some of the hare-brained things above, I can't respect them - that would be stretching credulity beyond all bounds.

Criticism is essential to seeking truth, and most believers (illogically) portray themselves as seekers of truth; seekers of self-delusion, more like.

I wonder if the pope respects astrology or homeopathy - he probably does.

Talking of science, yesterday I collected my final, paid, repeat prescription. The next one will be totally free, as I'll have reached that magical age of 60. The next milestone will be the free bus pass at age 65, although I imagine the age qualification will have increased to 70 by the time it's my turn. I really don't know why governments give all this free stuff away - surely it should be means tested and given only those who actually need it?

We're off to Amsterdam today for a long weekend to celebrate Hayley's 50th. The original idea was to go to Belgium to see the grave of Hay's great uncle who died in the early stages of WWI, but the thought of trudging through fields in January was not attractive. Far better to go and have a look at the Foam Museum, or the Museum of Prostitution in Hamsterjam.

Left No.1 Son in charge of the house and the cat. Will I regret it?

I do like this. Couldn't stop laughing when I saw it:


  1. Tin Tin realised he'd lost his sovereign ring while visiting a Yorkshireman's house

    He rang up the host and asked him to look in the Quality Street for it, as he thought it might have dropped off while he was helping himself to a sweet.

    The Yorkshireman went to look for it, but couldn't find it and came back to deliver the bad news....

    "Tin tin tin Tin Tin"

    1. Mama mia: Yorkshire man telling his mum he's home.

    2. Mama mia: Yorkshire man telling his mum he's home.

  2. Did you post twice 'to be sure to be sure'?