Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Belief...

A few more quotes… about the way that religious faith can persuade people to be their less charitable selves…

“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion” (Steven Weinberg).
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” (Voltaire).
“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction” (Blaise Pascal).
“Cruel men believe in a cruel God and use their belief to excuse their cruelty. Only kindly men believe in a kindly God, and they would be kindly in any case” (Bertrand Russell)…

All you can eat...

Had an evening out with Helen in Halifax, and tried out a local, ‘buffet style’ curry house. No need to read a menu, or catch the waiter’s eye, or make an order, or decide how many popadums to have. We just took a plate into an adjacent room and helped ourselves from a range of tureens: curries from hot to mild, rice, chips, bhajis, samosas, salad, etc. We finished off with ice cream. All very tasty and - at £11 for all you could eat - good value. I’ll be back…

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Faith...

While writing my book on belief, I’m aware that much of the ground is already well-trodden. Some writers - with Christopher Hitchens to the fore - have summed up a point so compellingly, and with such brevity, that it seems sensible just to quote their words (with attributions, of course). Here are a few favourites, on faith…

“What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence” (Christopher Hitchens).
“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” (Carl Sagan)
“Faith is believing what you know ain’t so” (Mark Twain).
“In religion faith is a virtue; in science it’s a vice” (Jerry Coyne)
“Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has” (Martin Luther)…
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Paul, Hebrews 11:1).
“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (Jesus to Doubting Thomas, John 22, 29)…

Harold Wilson in a hurry, Huddersfield...


Monday, 18 September 2017

Laundry...

When I’ve changed my clothes half a dozen times, I have to find a laundrette. Having got a service wash in Otley, I returned this morning to pick up a plastic bag full of clean, carefully folded washing, and paid less than if I’d sat in a laundrette for an hour, watching my clothes spin round and round. The Otley laundrette will be added to an informal list of amenities which are useful to a nomad. The list includes leisure centres where they spurn my offer to pay, and let me have a shower for free, and my favourite campsite in the Yorkshire Dales, where I’m staying this evening…


Sunday, 17 September 2017

Being alone...

This quote from Krishnamurti arrived in my inbox this morning...

"You see, you are not educated to be alone. Do you ever go out for a walk by yourself? It is very important to go out alone, to sit under a tree—not with a book, not with a companion, but by yourself—and observe the falling of a leaf, hear the lapping of the water, the fishermen’s song, watch the flight of a bird, and of your own thoughts as they chase each other across the space of your mind. If you are able to be alone and watch these things, then you will discover extraordinary riches which no government can tax, no human agency can corrupt, and which can never be destroyed"...

Trying not to drop Oliver, the latest addition to the Redhead clan...

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Battered Mars bar...

A staple of Scottish chip shops... now available in West Yorkshire...


Brighouse...

Kipped in Brighouse last night, where a signpost directs visitors to to the town’s most interesting attractions. There are just two: the bus station and train station, both ways of getting out of Brighouse…