I met up with my father at a local bar last night. He plays darts in a league and asked me to join him there. One of the other players came over to my table to introduce himself and we got talking politics. My father introduced the topic knowing my political bent and this guy’s, and knowing my penchant for passionate debate! Somehow the opportunity presented itself for this guy to mention he’s an Atheist. Well, that’s all I needed.
I was under no illusion that the discussion to follow would be productive. He was drunk and I’d had a few myself. He rejected the Bible citing an Adam and Eve, that the Bible says the Earth is only 7,000 years old — even though it doesn’t (and was wholly unfamiliar with modern scientific dating of the universe) etc. Eventually I wanted to hear what his explanations for things were. How old is the universe, how do you know? Where did all this come from, was it nothing or was it always here?
Needless to say, he admitted he didn’t know. In fact, he confessed he is an Atheist because “he has seen life”, and that because we don’t know where anything came from, he’s an Atheist. He summed up his reasoning thusly: ‘I don’t know, nobody does. That’s how I know God isn’t real’. As the night wrapped up, I wasn’t even trying to counter his objections. I focused more on the fact that his reasons didn’t support his conclusions. For example, he repeatedly said he knew God didn’t exist because of life’s general tragedies. Ok, I get that, but it doesn’t follow. He cited the Vietnam and Korean wars, therefore… He said he never met anyone who died and came back to tell him what the other side was like, therefore God isn’t real. I just wanted him to see that he wasn’t making sense, but he wasn’t having any of that.
It was a fun discussion anyway.