Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wednesday Sermon: Agatha Christie verses god


Luckily the opinions of people and I mean the "man on the clapham omnibus" do change over time.  First let me reference the attitudes towards Magic in the last 40 years.


Magic
In the 1970's I watched an American TV show called the Amazing Kreskin.  Kreskin never directly claimed to have any supernatural powers, however he performed numerous card tricks, and nearly all of his performances strongly suggested that he had psychic powers.

Here is a good example and you need to start at about 16:40 in the youtube.

The Amazing  Kreskin






Penn Teller



Let's forward to 2010+.  Magicians are rebranded, because the public now realise, well in the domain of Magic that it is cleverly staged Showbusiness.   As shown here the explanation from the classic trick is that 

a) we trust our eyes 
b) we are not stupid
c) we see the woman get sawn in half
d) it must be magic,  we can't think of how else it could be done

Except when you are shown how it is done, it then retrospectively becomes very obvious.

So to summarise here, in the present day,  Magicians are often rebranded Entertainers or Mentalists.  The latter perform their art usually by picking up on us, the General Public's tells when they ask us random questions that are actually not random at all.



Back to Agatha



In the Pale Horse one or more murders are committed.  And the action also concerns a Ms Grey a practitioner of the Dark Arts who it is said could at a distance and without contact cause the death of an individual.

In wonderful Christie style the murders seem to bolster the Supernatural claims of Ms Grey, that is until Agatha Christie, well via the hero Mr Easterbrook comes up with a natural explanation.

Again in retrospect we all say:  That was so clear and obvious, how was it that we were so convincingly fooled for  so long

And that
And that is I would suggest the position with Religion.

For how much longer will you be fooled?



Links
Pale Horse Part 1
Pale Horse Part 2
Pale Horse Part 3

(NB BBC Also do another performance of this play here, but I think the 2014 adaptation is the better one. )

More Kreskin