Hello. I hope you're all well and happy. Thanks for coming back.
I've been a bit rubbish again, and I'm sorry. This blog is basically turning into one long string of apologies, half-explanations and inept rhymes. I don't want to deluge you with trivia, and blogging about the more interesting parts of my life at the moment with any degree of truth is a bit too surreal, but bear with me - I promise I'm writing new stuff for you to read, it's a lot funnier, and most of it isn't about my two favourite topics of atheism or buses.
Until I upload it, here's an interview I did for Credo, Independent on Sunday. Where are my arms? I am totally 'armless.
Secondly, here's a sympathetic piece on the campaign (see "Wednesday") from BBC World Service. Which was nice, and quite unexpected.
And lastly, here's the text of my Thought For The Afternoon, which was broadcast on Radio 4 on January 10, and which a few people have asked for (someone also kindly uploaded the broadcast - thank you). I hope you enjoy all these things - and I promise to write again soon.
Thought For The Afternoon
We live in a beautiful, fascinating and complex world, and we’re all trying to make sense of it as best we can. There are 6.7 billion of us living on this planet, belonging to hundreds of different belief systems. Most of us want to live peacefully, yet we also want to think that our own personal beliefs are the right ones. And if we are right, whatever we believe, that means millions or possibly billions of other people must be wrong.
As a world full of individuals, we are never all going to think the same way. What we can do is accept that we hold many different beliefs - and focus instead on what unites us as human beings, because we are truly similar in so many ways. We all want to feel loved, and to give love freely; we all want our children to be happy, healthy and safe, and for them to receive a good education. We all want to live long, enjoyable lives free from fear and pain. And we’re all muddling through life the best way we know how.
What’s important are not the beliefs we hold, but that we are free to hold them, and that we always express them peacefully. That we see all other people as individual human beings just like ourselves, who love and hurt and laugh and feel pain and hope. That we share our lives with people of different backgrounds; that we talk about all kinds of ideas calmly and openly; and that instead of letting our differences divide us, we let our similarities bring us together.
Britain is a wonderful country where people are free to believe in whatever they like, and that includes non-belief. Many people think humanists and atheists don’t believe in anything. This isn’t true. We may not believe in a God, but like most believers, we think we only have one life on this planet. Nobody knows for certain what happens after this, but we know that we only have a very short time to experience all the excitement, adventure, love, fun, humanity and kindness available to us. We’re lucky to be alive - and to live life to the full, we need to share it with others and learn from them - whatever you, or I, believe.