Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

Total Pageviews

Sunday 28 June 2015

Tunisia in turmoil

I wonder if many Tunisians are having a crisis of faith this weekend. As a nation they have adopted a democratic, secular Government much to the annoyance of those who hanker after an Islamic Theocracy.
As we have seen this weekend, a rogue gunman with links to the Islamic State, can put in jeopardy the entire Tunisian tourist industry, responsible for 15% of the Country's GDP and employment for many, especially and most importantly, youngsters. It must be clear to many Tunisians that the cause of their problems is their faith and because of the apostasy rules, one they cannot easily get out of. David Cameron, in his speech yesterday, reinforced his view that Islam is a 'peaceful' religion but is he right?
From the start, Mohammed found opposition to his ideas and was forced to leave Mecca by the City leaders. How did he press his arguments? By raising armies to attack his former citizens. He was beaten at Uhud, claiming that Allah was testing him and went back to Medina to build a bigger army. This suggests to me that his God wasn't being overly helpful to his 'messenger's' pursuits, allowing non-peaceful measures to prosecute his claims. Hardly the 'peaceful' religion Cameron imagines. I'm bound to ask why, if Allah is omnipotent, he was unable to fill all the people of the world with his grace at the same time, thus avoiding any bloodshed.? But then who am I to ask such an obvious question?
The Tunisians are not stupid; they can see, by social media, the life in the heretic 'West' and by contrast that in the Islamic Middle-East. The apostasy rules effectively stop  people leaving the faith, marginalising those who attempt it from their families and communities. Many people must feel imprisoned. These people need help to throw off the shackles of their religion.
Whole families and then communities need to make the break and the 'West' needs to do more to change hearts and minds of those who adhere to this faith, starting with the leaders of countries such as Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Shortage of GPs

Apparently, despite the high rates of pay, there is a shortage of General Practitioners in the NHS. I'm not surprised: as I wrote  here,  over two years ago, who would want to spend their lives working not only with the general public but the sick general public?

Is the answer to make it compulsory for doctors to do two years service as a GP before being awarded their professional qualification?

Thursday 18 June 2015

Affordable housing

I have previously pressed the case for inexpensive housing using prefabrication.

Now, call me a cynic, but as politicians again ring their hands about the shortage of affordable housing, I feel that they they are to blame. With the answers so obvious, I can only conclude that the major political parties must be in collusion with the major house building companies to stop the use of cheaper alternatives. Can someone prove this?

Wednesday 10 June 2015

BBC Dramas. The Interceptor

I have just started watching the latest BBC1 drama, 'The Interceptor'. The first twenty minutes are filled with violence, chases and basic vulgarity masquerading as entertainment.
I have previously written about BBC dramas- see here
When will the BBC recognise that a public service broadcaster ought to provide dramas that can be shown before the 9pm watershed; that can be suitable for families watching as a group?

Saturday 6 June 2015

Books that I couldn't finish

What do Robert Tressel, Friedrich Nietzsche and Martina Cole have in common? Answer. They have all written books I have recently abandoned midway through.
Tressel's book, 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' was too depressing for words. It's unremitting picture of early twentieth century poverty and hardship proved too much for a reader who simply requires to be entertained or educated, not given a prescription for despair.
Martina Cole's book, 'Faces' was daunting before the start being over 180,000 words long. The story about a crime family in the east end of London was, from the start, concerned with evil; evil, unlovable people committing unspeakable violence with page after page of appalling language. I wondered if the author ever shied away from showing her mother her work for fear of offending. One appreciates that realism must play a part in an honest account but maybe the story is better left untold when all the characters are so despicable. I'm not a prude but this novel failed to amuse, otherwise entertain or educate.
Nietzsche's book, 'Beyond Good and Evil' was simply incomprehensible, being composed of sets of words assembled according to the rules of syntax but without any thought to rationality. He certainly couldn't get his message across to me but perhaps in my requirement to be amused or educated, I fall outside his targetted readership.

Monday 1 June 2015

The Resurrection retold

Christianity depends on, for its core belief, the notion that Jesus died on the Cross to atone for all the sins of mankind and rose from the dead three days later.
To most Christians this is fact; beyond dispute. But is there another possibility? Could it have been a trick, one so cunning that it has fooled millions of believers over two millenia.
At the time of the Crucifixion, people would have been aware of Tetrodotoxins, powerful drugs found in some plants, fungi and more famously in puffer fish. Small amounts of tetrodotoxin will kill but in minute doses, the drug simply shuts down the main bodily organs leaving the victim without any signs of life. Breathing and heartbeat are undetectable, the skin pallor takes on a deathly hue leaving any observers to believe that the victim has indeed died. In hot climates, bodies are quickly buried, unaware that the so called 'deceased' are still alive. It takes the body THREE days to recover from the poisoning, whereupon the victim's normal functions recover. It is not therefore surprising to hear of buried corpses 'rising' from the dead, dazed and disorientated, giving the appearance of a 'zombie'.
What if Jesus took some of this drug on the road to Calvary, leaving sufficient time for him to reach the place of execution before the drug took hold? Following his crucifixion, Jesus would have been observed to have died. A spear thrust into his side by a Roman Legionaire would have elicited no response, confirming the fact. When Joseph of Arimathea asked if he could remove the 'corpse' permission was granted and Jesus was taken down and placed in the tomb. This timely act by Joseph was important. It was the Roman custom to hasten death on the cross by breaking the legs of victims, as happened to the other two at Calvary that day. By taking down the body of Jesus when he did, Jesus still retained the use of his legs when he came round. Three days after taking the drug, Jesus would have recovered, alive and intact although his manner and appearance would have shocked those who knew him.

Is God the problem?

Yesterday's (31st May) 'The Big Questions' on the BBC posed the one question; is God the problem?
To what? one was minded to say but it didn't really matter since most participants were believers offering up their own interpretations without really addressing the fundamental issues.

Amongst those taking part were:
Director of the Religion and Society Programme at Lancaster University professor Linda Woodhead,
Rabbi Miriam Berger of Finchley Reform Synagogue,
Professor Alister McGrath of Oxford University;
Daphne Hampson of the Theology Faculty at Oxford University,
Professor Kate Cooper of Manchester University,
Reverend David Patterson of Sea of Faith,
Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens,
Nabeel Qureshi of the Oxford Centre for Apologetics,
Dr Robert J Asher. Palaeontologist of Cambridge University,
Director of City Sikhs Network Jasvir Singh Degun
Canon doctor Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream.

Nobody, it seems, put forward the idea that the world would be a better place without a God or, indeed, that it was possible for this to be possible in practice. In the absence of any real debate, I suggest that all the above read my book 'Spiritual Man: An Introduction to Negative Dimensions' and learn an alternative view of the world about us; one postulated by the Biblical account of the creation in the first book of cosmology, Genesis. 'In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth'.