So I got in my car today to drive to a shop.
It was quiet.
So I moved to turn my radio up a bit.
The Winter Sun was pretty low so I started moving towards the glove box to get my prescription sunglasses out.
Right moving forward. Went to my favourite charity shop BDF Newlife in Hednesford - http://www.newlifecharity.co.uk/ - an excellent charity and a very clever idea for a shop. If you are unaware of them basically what they do is to get shop seconds or out of season clothes (all brand new) and cut the labels off them and sell them at a reasonable price. Which means that you get a new pair of trousers - like today - for 3 or 4 quid and you are doing your bit for charity.
Especially as places like River Island, Ted Baker, New Look and Gap donate to them.
So 3 new pairs of school trousers bought and I started setting off back to my parents.
It is a weird thing not having any music in the car. Makes your internal monologue much more forthright.
And a few threads have been building over the last few days.
Excuse me if my thoughts get jumbled I may start ranting... you are warned.
Actually I will number them in an attempt to keep some form of coherence!
1) I really respect Richard Dawkins. Honestly I do. I think the Selfish Gene is a brilliant book and his ideas on evolutionary biology are brilliant.
Stop trying to prove being an atheist is better than a God worshiping person. It makes you very hard to continue to like.
I refer to this story from the week http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9696000/9696135.stm .
It makes me do a big sigh. Especially when people are thinking along these lines http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13186582 . And all in a week when a council was not allowed to have prayers before meetings because it was unlawful. Oh and there was this speech at the Vatican as well http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17021831 .
OK so here is the thing. I was not raised religiously but I was Christened. I went to a fairly religious Church of England Primary school where we started the day with hymns and prayers in assembly. We said hymns and prayers in assemblies during my time at secondary school. Over time I lost whatever faith I had in a supernatural being, this was relative to the understanding of the world around us that my studies provided me with.
In short the more I learnt of science the more agnostic I became.
Recently I have become an atheist. Though as a scientist I am always willing to be proved wrong and this is the issue I have with Dawkins' findings/opinion/public appearances.
I believe that there is life out there somewhere in the Universe other than the life on this planet.
I do not believe in the supernatural but in science.
The wonder of science and the way things work gives me the warm and fuzzy feeling that I am sure some people get when the read the Bible/Koran/or another religious text.
I love to question things, to understand and to want to find out more about what is going on around me and why.
All of this means that I don't believe in God. As we have seen I believe the Universe is a giant coffee cup.
And that is that. I don't preach my beliefs to people, I don't want to be preached at. I will give my opinion respectfully and in an informed way if someone wants to listen. I am willing to have a theology-science conversation with someone as it is always interesting to talk to someone who has a different opinion to yourself.
But other than that I get on with my life and don't worry about it.
And this is where the news stories above have annoyed me. They are needless. Who cares if people who identify themselves as Christian can't quote Bible passages? Who cares if people around you are praying for 3 minutes before a meeting - they aren't forcing you to pray! And if you are secure in your faith well good for you, can we get on with our lives now?
You know those moments when you are complaining about something, or claiming you are bored, or waiting for something to improve well those moments, that's life. And it is ending one second at a time. So rather than pick a fight or trying to prove your superiority to someone else why not go out and enjoy it?
This brings me to...
2) When did we become a country of people who just complained - all the time.
It get's me down it is so incessant.
I think it has been going on longer than the current banking problems and all that inherent in it but it seems more focused at the moment.
Here's and idea.
Lower the pension ages, make it worth while for people to retire creating a power vacuum at the top for middle management to move into.
This would free the lower levels of the workplace up. So people could actually get jobs.
Oh yeah why don't we scrap league tables for schools so teachers aren't constantly scared of teaching in an innovative way. Free people up to do their job properly rather than all the paperwork with it and you may find that students perform better because teachers are able to enjoy their job and make school interesting. Oh also we need to accept that not every child will get an A some will need to be apprentices and require alternative ways of getting vocational style education - not ones that are supposed to be 12 GCSE's but one that stands alone as a robust worthwhile qualification.
Which means we need jobs for people.. oh yeah dealt with that.
Oh just a thought but why not then allow professionals who are working in the industry to suggest the reforms the industry needs instead of ignoring them http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17083357 .
Also why don't we allow people to have more time to spend with their families rather than working ourselves to the bone http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16082186 or alternatively allow people to retire.. oh yeah done that.
Seriously if you invest time in being a family and enjoying life then surely that can only be of benefit?
What else can I fix?
Oh yeah... lets celebrate successes.
No not celebrity or sport. Actual success that means something more. Let's stop pandering to this vacuous fixation with being famous. Or rich. Let's celebrate people who make a difference to our lives because we don't do enough of that.
It doesn't need to be high profile, just as long as it's done.
Can the news be about the news not just death, misery, celebrities or sport?
There is so much more going on and I am sure a lot of it will be positive.
If we take a stand and start doing things, working together and trying to get along that would be lovely.
3) An addition to my 5 rules for winning and argument. Rule 6 if you belittle your opponent you have lost.
4) David Haye and Dereck Chisora should both be banned from anything to do with boxing and fined heavily for bringing the sport into disrepute. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/boxing/17088021 It is pitiful and just embarrassing really.
5) Wonders of the Universe is amazing Brian Cox should be made some form of national treasure.
6) I think I am done with everything now. Going to wrap some presents, watch some rugby and eat a strudel.
Have a good rest of your Sunday.
And play nice!