March 30th, 2010


I was telling my daughter, Alice, yesterday, how I'd been re-reading the Alice books- and she admitted she'd never read them. Well I never....

The three chancellors were debating last night on TV. George Osborne has switched from threatening serious economies to promising tax cuts which he will fund by...erm... 

The workmen took down our hawthorn tree this morning. It was too close to the path they're widening. I'm sorry to see it go. Remember how I said the roots of the ivy and the honeysuckle would remain? Well, maybe not. The guys are now digging them out. I wouldn't say our yard was ever beautiful- but it was bushy and I liked it that way. I comfort myself with the reflection that it'll be fun to replant.

Angry Atheists

A happy atheist- by which I mean an atheist confident in their unbelief- wouldn't continually be banging on about God the way Dawkins and Hitchens and Pullman do, they'd just let the matter rest and get on with their cheerfully Godless life, wouldn't they?

I read a piece by Dawkins the other day. (Thanks to chiller  for the link. ) It's very ecrasez l'infame- very shrill. Dawkins thinks he's got the Pope on the run and is giving chase with loud cries.

Philip Pullman is just about to publish a book about Jesus with a provocative title. I doubt that it'll be any good. Fictions about Jesus- for or against- never are. I enjoyed the Dark Materials trilogy, but the anti-God stuff was clumsy. As Eliot said of Matthew Arnold, Pullman is dealing with a subject "in (which) reasoning power matters, and it fails him."
I've been an atheist. I've dreamed that dream. The one where the bastille is tottering and you put just a little more weight on the crowbar and something gives and the masses come staggering out into the light of pure Reason. It's not going to happen.