Friday, April 13, 2012

A Future Conversation

I found a new word in an old dataslip. "Atheist." I'm an atheist.
Oh, no. Not again. *Sigh!* Never heard of it. What does it mean?
It means that I don't believe in God.
What's God?
God is a superpowerful, supernatural being who created the universe.
And God is also the source and paradigm of all morality.
I see. And you don't believe in this God?
That's right.
And you felt some need to express this sentiment precisely why?
A lot of people once believed in God and used that belief as an excuse to kill other people and stifle inquiry.
What? Why would they want to do that?
To make sure everyone believed in God. Or at least to publicly claim they did.
And people went along with this?
"Source and paradigm of all morality," remember? It was seen as morally obligatory.
And not killing people was not morally obligatory?
They said it was, but they didn't act that way.
OK. So ... what was the evidence for believing in this God-thingy?
There was none. God was commonly defined so it could not be evidenced.
Then how did people believe in God then?
They used faith.
What's "faith?"
Faith is believing something when you have no reason to.
That's crazy-talk. You made this up just to torment me, didn't you?
So, you are going to go around claiming not to believe in something there is no reason to believe in?
OK. Well, to each their own, I guess.
But, you see, you are an atheist too.
What? How do you figure that?
Do you believe in God?
Well, no. Of course not. Why would I?
Remember the definition?
But I've never heard of this before.
Doesn't matter. According to the definition, you are an atheist too.
Are you kidding me?
In fact, you have always been an atheist. From the day you were born...
That makes no sense...
...according to the definition.
Wait, so you are claiming me, as a baby, in the name of a stance on a definition I never heard of until today?
Yes. The logic is clear.
What about that rock, or this tree. Are they atheists too?
Well, no.
According to the definition...
Oh, come on. Trees and rocks have no concept of God.
And babies do?
You're just trying to avoid the point.
That might be true, if there was a point to avoid.
Law of excluded middle. You have to choose. Theist or atheist.
You expect me to choose sides over a nonsensical concept?
Sounds like an unnecessary, contrived conflict to me.
Maybe unnecessary. Maybe contrived. But there it is.
Can I just pretend I never heard of this concept before?
I hate you...