I got into a discussion on the existence of God over at Protein Wisdom. Jeff started it, sort of. He was responding to something I had said in another thread dismissing agnosticism in favor of atheism. After starting the thread, though, he disappeared and the discussion devolved into atheism vs. theism. That's nearly always a waste of time, but once I was involved in the discussion, it was difficult to resist going back. I finally got a visit from the Guy Upstairs, who convinced me to stop banging my head against a wall:
God: (Pops in and begins reading over my shoulder.)
God: Do you really think you're going to convince anyone?
Me: It could happen.
God: Has it ever worked before?
Me: There was that one guy…
God: Wasn't he gay?
Me: Well, yeah, as it turned out, he was, but what does that--
Me: What do you mean?
God: The whole stoning thing.
Me: Wouldn't that just make him alter his behavior?
God: You might think so, but it doesn't work that way. People find the morality that works for them, and then they look for a justification. That's where I come in--or not.
Me: So you're saying that the people who believe in you only do so because you give them a reason to live the way they think is right?
God: Sure. Well, that and because they're afraid of dying. Believing they're going to be with me afterwards means they don't have to worry about that. They sleep better.
Me: So, what? Are you saying I'm a bad person because I'm trying to get them to face reality?
God: No, I'm saying that you're pissing into the wind.
Me: You know, it's not like you're doing them any favors. I mean, the first half of the Bible is devoted to the violent history of a bunch of religious fanatics, and the second half is devoted to the sad history of a guy whose example teaches people that dying for the sins of others is the most noble thing they can do.
God: What, you don't think I wrote that, do you? The slaughters, the stonings, letting my kid get nailed to a cross...?
Me: That's not yours? Which book did you write then?
God: I wrote a book of poetry once, but I couldn't get anyone to publish it.
God: You want to hear some of it?
Me: Umm, well… I was going to finish typing this post.
God: Not giving up yet?
Me: No. There was that one guy…
God: Didn't he become a radical subjectivist?
Me: *Sigh* (*right click *select all *delete)
God: Want to go get a beer?
Me: Hey, did you use the word "pissing"?
God: I invented pissing. Get over it.