Back already, mainly because I don’t know whether I’ll get any other chances today so best to try to sort as much as possible now.

I heard some stuff on Radio 4 yesterday that I did want to comment on, it appeals to another one of my pet subjects to discourse on namely religion. There was an Archbishop and other members of the Catholic church talking about the end of the current Pope’s tenure and what may happen in the next etc. One of the things brought up was the subject of contraception and particularly the church’s standpoint on it in light of the AIDS pandemic in Africa. The bishop’s comments appeared to be based around the idea that if you lived a chaste life then this wouldn’t happen and therefore there was no need to sanction the use of contraception because that would be somehow to sanctify promiscuity. Now to be fair the others in the discussion took exception to the bishop’s views but nevertheless they were not as influential in the church hierarchy as him. It seemed to sum up to my mind the obsolescence of organised religion and how it cannot keep in step with the times when it constantly seeks to adhere to cherry-picked parts of a text written around 2000 ears ago. After all there is some science from those times and before that holds weight, but most of it has been developed, expanded upon and modified as technology grows and knowledge allows us to evolve our understanding to transcend what may a century ago have seemed the inexplicable.

Religion said Marx was the “Opium fuer das Volk” and I confess as I get older it simply seems to gather evidence supporting it. There are so many instances of persecution between religions and often within religions, this is well-documented and I don’t really need to go into it now. However I think Marx’s point is about religion’s place as part of the whole ‘Manufacturing consent’ process [Chomsky] is one that is often overlooked. The church maintains an elitist status quo by making people believe that no matter how shite things are here, you’ll get your reward in heaven. That’s a hell of a gamble, what if they’re wrong, then you’ll only know after it’s too late and the only consciousness you have was wasted believing that this was only dry run. Even if there is a God, and I really wish there were, it would make the whole death thing that little less petrifying, surely it is better to live and make the most of one’s life here and not waste it in drudgery and toil. What can we actually benefit when all we do is crap we don’t enjoy and miss out on the many things that exist that give us pleasure. Do not get me wrong there must be rules, there must be a code, people must respect one another and that in turn necessitates a society of structure. The difference is that this should be to provide advancement and development for all people and not only for the small minority that conform to a material or cultural norm. I do not see this as something that cannot be achieved.

For this all to work people must be educated to see themselves each as an integral part in the bigger picture, I have already touched on this. It is no good believing that some are better than others when their skills are different. Why does academic excellence have a higher profile than the ability to fix things or the ability to teach complex concepts to people in an understandable way. Every aptitude that we have is a gift that makes us who we are. To deny it to ourselves or to be denied it by others is something wherein all society loses. The individual is unhappy and unfulfilled, and society at large fails to benefit from the talents the individual has to offer. This happens in our current world too often to be calculated.