An Atheist Interviews God
Atheist: Let me start by asking if there's really such a thing as a hell where sinners writhe in eternal damnation?
Atheist: Do you pay a lot of attention to what is going on in human civilization?
God: Hmm. Well, only from time to time. Sometimes I do amuse myself by watching the complicated mess down there, but then centuries will pass and I don't visit at all. What humans do can be fascinating, but it also can be downright boring or too sad to watch. Often, of course, it's funny.
Atheist: Many people believe God always monitors their activities, or sends angels or such to check on them.
God: They get that notion from the various ancient books they wrote, but it's used for the same purpose as hell. Omnipresent surveillance makes people behave better, or at least that's the theory. (Scoffs) Angels!
Atheist: So you didn't dictate those ancient books?
Atheist: What would it say?
God: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Atheist: That's it?
God: That's plenty! If people concentrated on the Golden Rule the earth would be a much better place. Men wouldn't subject women to rape or mutilation or hide their identities in massive clothing, nor would young children be sexually assaulted by men of the cloth, or thousands of other atrocities—from war to unthinking bigotry—hidden or even promoted by religions. It sickens me.
Atheist: Why don't you stop these things? Why is there such misery in the world? That's always been the big question people ask about God?
Atheist: That's how it seems to me. Why don't they notice?
God: Humans are so afraid of dying—of their existence being stuffed out with no more significance than that of an ant—that they'll believe impossible things and especially about some sort of hazy afterlife. They spend a lot of time thinking about something that won't occur: a destination that doesn't exist. In the meantime they don't concentrate on the journey they take along the way, wasting precious life.
Atheist: But aren't we somehow different from the ants?
God: It's true that homo sapiens are the only creatures with a clear idea they're going to die someday (which is what leads to religion and all these afterlife speculations), but from the ant's point of view, no.
Atheist: Atheists have no expectation of an afterlife. What do you think of them?
God: Well, at least they're thinking.
Atheist: Why don't you just appear and make us all believers?
God: Believers in what? The universe clearly exists. That should be enough. Beyond that, you're all strictly on your own. Some day they'll wake up and stop concentrating on needless ritual and religious books that frequently give bad advice. The astounding hatred of others that has been done in my name should shame everyone on earth. It's mindless.
Atheist: So you don't interfere. The universe just is what it is.
Atheist: Then do you exist at all?
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