catholic by birth; scientist by choice; sinner by merit. gaidhlig-speaking neuroscience student at oxford. likes to question everything! @di_macd

His Dark Materials

The first time I read His Dark Materials, I wandered around for five days thinking Metatron was going to spear me to death at any moment for reading such heresy. I was actually afraid. That, my friends, is why telling an eight-year old boy that if he dares disobey Catholic teaching he will go to Hell is always wrong.

"And when death comes to call me,

I’m soothed by the everlasting sleep

Of being buried as a Christian

With a headstone beside the sea.

My only wish is there be hundreds

Of every kind of flower giving life at the grave.

With that thought, thank God

My soul, at least, will be smiling.”


Domhnall Eirisgeach, Crowned Bard 1949.

Translation from Gaelic by Candide.

Paradise Lost Animated Short.

It’s such a beautiful poem.

"Why I Am Not A Christian"





A man who was his own father impregnated his own (virgin) mother, grew up and went about giving well-meaning but impractical advice while planning to get himself tortured and crucified to sacrifice himself, to himself, to exploit a loop-hole that he created to save humanity from an arbitrary rule that he created, after which he rose from the dead and became a man in the sky who loves you and who will do worse than kill you if don’t love him back.

You’re not a Christian because you make straw man arguments to get out of understanding, or even trying to understand, what we actually believe.

There is no such thing as a “man in the sky” for one, because God is incorporeal. Just for one thing.

Jesus is not the Father, and the Father is not Jesus, but both are God. So no, again, you are factually incorrect about that.

“well-meaning but impractical” advice? It’s only impractical if you don’t find ways to make it practical. Because treating others how I would like to be treated is pretty practical. It means you don’t be a douchebag to other people, basically. You don’t treat them like shit. you respect them.

“Will do worse than kill you”. Uhm… No. God doesn’t send people to Hell. People send themselves. If you don’t want to be around God, God isn’t going to force you to be with God. That would completely undermine free will.

Is this not the second time you’ve reblogged my rather tongue-in-cheek post??? And also: having been raised by devout Catholics, and myself still a churchgoer (for family reasons I can’t help), I feel that is quite a reasonable summary of Christian belief. And of course, because this is an exercise in religious discourse, I am can quite simply say this is what I [=my Church] believes and you have no right to question it. I have faith that this is why I am not a Christian, I have faith that this is what most Christians believe. You have faith in Christianity. Let’s be religious and respect each other’s views cos, well, we believe ‘em don we?

Well, you’ve admitted now that you only go because you’re made to go. You probably haven’t taken a theology course beyond the high school level, and if you have, I find it probable that you didn’t take it seriously.

This post is insulting to me for being a Christian. You think it’s tongue-in-cheek, but it’s not. It’s derisive and inflammatory. I’m not questioning what you believe, I’m saying that what you said is insulting.

Well, I am in high school so that can’t be helped. For what its worth I spent this afternoon discussing ‘what is life’ with the school chaplain (who has a doctorate in philosophy) and he seems to think I have a decent head on me…


May I ask: so what???

If I were to write a post, say, criticizing Marxism by taking its doctrines and theories literally in a tongue-in-cheek fashion , would ‘but you’re insulting my beliefs’ be a satisfactory response? In a free society one has the right to criticize, possible offend, the political beliefs of others. Why not the religious beliefs? Science progresses by self-criticism and peer-review - why is it only religion that is allowed to get rid of criticism by calling it ‘insulting.’???