Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Scary quote from six-year old girl at one of today's Halloween Howls - 'Children are baby ghosts!'

Dog walking is a sort of encoded socialising. You see certain dogs and their humans. I think it may be different for me than for others, could be the same. Some dog owners allow their poochies to sort of air kiss with Whisky. They remember Whisky because he looks like an ewok. We talk about dog stuff, stuff that doesn't even remotely interest me. What interests me is people, the people behind the dog. And yet, I don't really want to talk to them in any depth. The dog air-kiss is an encoding because it allows you to swap a few sentences on the level of cocktail party banter and then move off before it gets awkward.

And so to the opposite of dog. God. Yes, even though it's mid-week, I have been thinking about God.
Coincidentally, Raymond touched on something I had been thinking about in a recent post.

Why, I was wondering, do we need religion? Marx said that it is the opium of the people and I think he didn't just mean that the establishment uses it to dope us into submission and non-thinking, but that we also develop an addiction for it.
What do people get from it?
Some people need to feel that there is a supreme being watching over us, others, that there is substantiation for their ethical system. I think some people like the outward pouring of religious feelings, I personally like the inward, the spiritual, the centring it gives me.

Why do we need to believe in God?
Like Raymond, I have studied Philosophy, it was my subsidiary subject for my first degree. And I taught it to A-Level for twelve years. One of the papers on the A-Level syllabus was 'Arguments for the Existence of God', which led us to question why this was important.
I felt it was important because the idea of God underpinned several ethical systems, some of the arguments about the nature of our own existence and some accounts of how we gain knowledge - Epistemology. We also looked at Freedom, Law and Authority - another paper on the syllabus, and many political ideas cannot be considered without considering notions of God and whether God has actual existence.

I do think that we create God in our own image. That doesn't mean I don't think that God has existence, but that our perception is altered according to our needs and experiences. But then it is in the nature of that which contains all perfections, to become all things to all beings.

And if you like dogs, you might consider Anubis, although not a god for the faint-hearted. Anubis protected the dead, brought them to the afterlife and weighed their hearts. A soul with a light heart would be allowed to proceed, a heavy one would be destroyed. Hopefully recycled. And indeed, Anubis' head is black like the colour of rotting flesh and the fertile and thus life-giving river Nile.
Through death we come to new rebirth.


Sleepy said...

And to the other dog owners you will only ever be known as, 'Whisky's Mum'...
Nor will you ever rocognise them if they are without their dog.

Schneewittchen said...

Hopefully, yes, but there is always the needy one who asks and remembers your name.
And you're right about the without dog recognition. It worries me the number of people who now wave at me and I haven't a clue who they are.
Of course, some of that could be because they know my alter-ego is Witch Hazel.

Raymond's Brain said...

My understanding of philosophy is only marginal, but I can say that Anubis is very useful when playing Age of Mythology as I used to, once upon a time.

Schneewittchen said...

Ah, you can never have too many uses for a jackal-headed god.