I have started tutoring my WEA course History of the Universe again this autumn term, although at a village in Essex, the process was very nearly stillborn.
It was due to be held in the Congregational Church hall. But the church, presumably having seen the prospectus of the course which mentions Thomas Aquinas's proofs of the existence of God, flatly refused to allow the hall to be used for that purpose.
Now if this was not worrying, it would be hilarious. In the relevant part of the course, I also mention Darwin and Lyell, as committed Christians, having difficulties reconciling the Book of Genesis with their first-hand experience of the age of the Earth. I conclude that questions of 'proofs' both for and against the existence of God are unanswerable. Religion is a process of revelation not mathematical certainty. Each one of us has to make his or her mind up about it.
So now I seem to have attained the reputation of a dangerous radical; a firebrand proselytizing atheist and Dawkins fellow-traveller. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It is worrying though. We are all concerned about the bloodshed in the Middle-East involving people absolutely convinced of the rightness of their cause. But here in England, in rural Essex, there are also people whose minds are completely closed to the possibility of having their beliefs questioned.
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs