Author Topic: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke  (Read 1394 times)

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Offline Sunshine Superman

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God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« on: January 14, 2012, 09:25:10 PM »
I\'m reading this at the moment. This is the book ---> http://www.play.com/Books/Books/4-/17210374/God-Collar/Product.html

It\'s a serious book, but not without humour.   It came about because one of Marcus\' best friends died a few years ago, they were very close chums, and Mr B can\'t bear to think of his mate\'s consciousness and self being completely obliterated, snuffed out, and not existing somewhere someplace in the Great Beyond. So, this atheist (and alter-ego of Giles Wemmbley Hogg) wants to know, is there a God or isn\'t there? The book is the thoughts and investigations of someone ( MB ) who would like to believe, but doesn\'t. And can\'t. But desperately wishes he could.

I\'m enjoying it a lot. Got a lot more to read - I\'m currently on Page 54 of 336 - and I\'m enjoying the journey. I think that you would too.

Offline lifeonmarsfan

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2012, 02:36:11 AM »
I heard an interview with Marcus a few months ago and he said something to the effect that there is somewhat of a comfort to believe in something like religion. Perhaps that\'s the reason people do cling to religion and their idea of \"God\".

I like that people are free to believe or not believe as they want, what I don\'t like is people who don\'t believe belittling or devaluing the beliefs of others. Even if a person believed in a holy toaster, what makes that belief less valid than any other?

Christians don\'t make fun of non believers, but non believers certainly go out of their way to make fun of those who believe. Why is that?

Offline Lady Penelope

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2012, 10:18:36 AM »
Interesting thread SS.   I will keep a look out for the book.   I think Mars has put his finger on the point with the word \"comfort\" .   I know people who use relgion as a \"comfort blanket\" and it saves them looking at nasty realities and thinking things through.

It was a Dervish who said \"The lamps are many, but the light it the same\" - same thing really as Jesus \"In my father\'s house are many mansions\" (though I am sure there is a mistranslation in there somewhere)


I believe there is some form of omnipotent Deity...   Anyone who enjoys gardening and seeing the seasonal miracles can\'t but.  (Though I wonder if it was really necessary to create slugs and bindweed, must have been an off day!)

I occasionally attend Church (and get told off for not doing so more often!) but I have too many good and kind friends of another faith to accept an exclusive religion.  If they dont go to Heaven, I dont want to either!.    Does it matter if we call Him (or her!) God, Allah or Jehova or whatever providing the path we chose goes in the same direction?

Right, rain stopped,, must get back to tackling that bindweed!

Offline lifeonmarsfan

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2012, 06:26:41 PM »
For me the Church gets in the way of my relationship with my God. I don\'t attend service so much any more because of how progressive the Church has become (I mean that in the political/Woodrow Wilson way). I don\'t want to go to any other denomination because that\'s not what I believe in. I understand now some of the objection to organized religion. It\'s the humans who run the Churches who give religion a bad name (I guess the same goes for any religion be it Islam or Buddism or whatever) so I am doing like my grandmother did, she just direct lined it to God and she did die peacefully so what she must not have been too disapproved of.

Offline Janaru

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2012, 08:48:55 PM »
Christians don\'t make fun of non believers, but non believers certainly go out of their way to make fun of those who believe.

Perhaps not make fun of them so much, but certainly many of them sit in judgment of them....sorry to say.....which is much worse. :(
Note to self:  Use your powers for good, not for evil.....

Offline lifeonmarsfan

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2012, 10:37:47 PM »
But sometimes it is easier to swallow criticism than ridicule.

Offline Janaru

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2012, 10:52:39 PM »
\"Pride goeth before a fall\" and, \"Judge not, lest ye be judged\". So even though it\'s harder to take, as a Christian, it\'s better to swallow ridicule than to judge another.

I\'m just sayin\'.
Note to self:  Use your powers for good, not for evil.....

Offline lifeonmarsfan

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2012, 11:00:47 PM »
I guess I just never ran across any of those staunch judgemental religious types, and I have lived in the \"heartland\" too so I have lived among the Bible thumping, gun hugging folk, and they were more than welcoming if anything. Don\'t see the extreme judgement here in the Bay Area either, not from that side. Maybe there isn\'t enough to voice that opinion. There\'s a lot of judgement by non believers of the Christians though, so I guess it depends on where you live.

Offline Janaru

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2012, 11:17:58 PM »
You\'ve never heard the likes of..... \"Gays are going to hell\" or \"New Orleans deserved Katrina\" I heard all of that on broadcast television...nothing to do with were I live. That\'s pretty friggin\' judgemental, dude, not to mention cold hearted.

My maternal grandma (who was truly one of the few \"walk the walk\" Christians, I\'ve ever known) always said, \"I\'m glad it\'s going to be God judging me, and not other Christians\". I think I have to agree. He\'s a lot more merciful in my experience.
Note to self:  Use your powers for good, not for evil.....

Offline tepeethetroll

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2012, 11:33:16 PM »
I read this book over the Christmas holiday and found it both absorbing and thought provoking, with a deal of wry humour thrown in.

It seems that MB and I share a problem. Whilst the rational scientific self denies the possibility of a God existing, a little worm gnaws away down inside, trying to find what my religious friends would probably call  \"The Light\". Up to now not one of them (and I include my wife in this) have been able to convince me that they are right. I should mention that I have only discussed the subject with Christians - and thinking about it, they have all been Roman Catholics.

I suffer in particular with the \"What caused that?\" syndrome.  Often, when the boundaries of human knowledge are expanded, this question comes into my mind. OK, I believe the theory of evolution to be no longer a theory but an established fact. No problems with that one. But when it comes to the \"Big Bang\" I cant help but help but think \"Fine, I accept that, but what (or maybe who) brought that about\". No doubt one day the Astro-Physicists will come up with an answer to that one as well, but I can\'t help but feel that the \"What?\" question will be repeated.

One last thing - for now, anyway: I quite like the  fact that MB and I also share undisguised contempt for Richard Dawkins.
I\'m NOT paranoid......thats just what THEY want you to think!!!

Offline lifeonmarsfan

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 12:51:57 AM »
Outside of tv reports, I\'ve never heard those words from any fundamentalists I know. Obviously there are extremists among the religious as well as the non religious and we mustn\'t really make the mistake of broad brushing and including everyone in the way one particular group of people think.

As for atheists, the one I really liked and respected was the recently departed Christopher Hitchens. That is the kind of atheist criticism I can take, the one that looks at things in a balanced way. Dawkins is too smug for my taste, although when I heard him on a recent episode of The Infinite Monkey Cage, he seemed to have dialed it all back a notch. I know Douglas Adams held much the same beliefs as Dawkins, but he didn\'t hit you over the head with it.

I think members of the RC are more open minded and progressive where science is concerned. It\'s a lot of back pedaling from the time of Galileo and Copernicus I guess. It is the acceptance of truth outside the Word of God yet is within the realm of the Word of God.

Offline Janaru

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 01:10:50 AM »
I think, no matter how you work it, at some point you bump into the \"faith\" thing, and you either have to let go and have it, or not.

It always reminds me of the scene in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade where Indy has to step out into the nothingness. The narrow bridge is there even though he couldn\'t see it. You either step out or you don\'t and no one can choose for you.

My husband (and my mother-in-law for that matter) has always been an agnostic of the \"I don\'t know if\" variety. We\'ve had a lot of talks over the years but I\'ve never tried to convert him. At this point in his life he\'s \"I don\'t know what\" variety. He feels like there is something but can\'t quite define it.

I should mention that I have only discussed the subject with Christians - and thinking about it, they have all been Roman Catholics.

I\'m not Roman Catholic, so I can\'t speak to that.



Obviously there are extremists among the religious as well as the non religious and we mustn\'t really make the mistake of broad brushing and including everyone in the way one particular group of people think.

I\'m apologize it came out that way. It wasn\'t my intention.

As for atheists, I\'ve known some and we\'ve just agreed to disagree, which works fine for me.



I think members of the RC are more open minded and progressive where science is concerned.

I don\'t know about that. I\'ve known lots of Christians of different denominations who have an open mind about science and God.
Note to self:  Use your powers for good, not for evil.....

Offline lifeonmarsfan

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 01:35:53 AM »
I only said that about the RC because it has never been an issue in Catholic schools whether they teach evolution or Creationism. Both are taught. Dogma is taught, but they don\'t hold you to it or hang you over an open fire until you relent. You won\'t be recruited or brainwashed if you are educated in Catholic school. Comparitive religions is taught as early as junior high too.

Anything humans are involved in will be imperfect, and to expect religions and atheism to be perfect is rather unrealistic. We have to as individuals choose what is right and wrong for each of us individually

Offline Janaru

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2012, 01:39:41 AM »
Anything humans are involved in will be imperfect...

True dat! :)


I think we\'ve unintentionally hijacked Superman\'s thread.  Sorry \'bout that. @\'.2\'@
Note to self:  Use your powers for good, not for evil.....

Offline Sunshine Superman

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Re: God Collar by Marcus Brigstocke
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2012, 04:18:18 PM »
Just to bring you all up to date. I never finished the book. It got too flippant, and, in places, a little coarse. I couldn\'t even bring myself to pass it onto a charity bookshop, so in the end I just threw it out with the rest of the rubbish.

Shame, it promised much and started so well....