I’d like to thank the reader who got in touch in response to my column about assisted dying. Judging by her long and impassioned letter, I am guessing that she is a fundamental Christian, and one who is genuinely concerned for the destiny of my soul.

According to her letter: “We were never meant to die! Eternity was to have been right here, right now. But because of Satan's trickery and our following after him instead of following after God…We've shut Him out of our schools and everywhere else (even some churches don't preach the truth as recorded in the Bible). We also allow the murder of millions of unborn babies.”

She believes that even if a human is suffering terribly at the end of their life, God is still by their side and (if they follow God) the good Lord will soon welcome them into Heaven.

By the same token then, if they are a Satan-following non-believer, they will have no need to pack their Big Coat for their final journey, because where they are going it is going to get very, very warm.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The Holy Bible

It baffles me that a fair number of seemingly rational people still believe that God created the earth in a remarkably productive seven days. This is despite the fact that since the old and new testaments were written (between about 600BC and 80AD) our knowledge of science, nature and how the world works has come on a fair bit.

People like the reader who wrote to me are very hard to debate with because their belief in an all-powerful Christian god is unshakable and any argument you offer against it, no matter how much is based on indisputable scientific fact, is batted away with the explanation that it is God’s work or God’s will. Any bad stuff happening in the world is because, as she told me, says, “…Satan is, as yet, still 'prowling the earth to seek whom he may kill and destroy'.” So her god bears no responsibility, and all non-believers bring about all this horrible stuff because our faithlessness allows Satan to run riot. 

It is what is known as blind faith – the belief in something without question. It brings to mind scary people like Donald Trump, who has been proven to lie over and again, but is one of those people who will repeat and repeat the lie with such zeal and conviction that his followers believe it, and then they repeat it, and so it goes on. Having done a bit of research into the psychology of lying (which means I am now an expert) I have discovered there are six categories of liar (thank you to the Newport Institute for the info).

Some might call Trump a pathological liar, that is someone who doesn’t even realise they are lying, and will not admit to it, even if presented with evidence to prove it. They repeat the lie so often that it becomes the truth in their own head. Pathological liars have often suffered some form of trauma in the past or have a mental health disorder and the lies are their coping mechanism.

Then there is the prolific liar, someone who lies for the heck of it and does not feel a jot of guilt about it. Don’t confuse them with the compulsive liar, who is a bit like an addict, in as much as they get an adrenaline rush each time they lie. The habitual liar does so to save their own skin because it is easier and more convenient than telling the truth, and will get them off the hook, at least for now. Then we have the occasional liar, who lies at times to make themselves look or feel good, or to get a result they want (I think we may all have been guilty of that at least once in our lives!). The best liar to be is of course the white liar, who tells a mild porkie in order to protect another one’s feelings. What a good liar the white liar is.

Good enough to get into Heaven?

Do you have memories to share or ideas for this column? Contact me via my webpage at countrymansdaughter.com, or email dst@nne.co.uk.