Dialogue with an atheist - Part 1


Dialogue with and atheist - Part 1 - by P.K.Odendaal - October 2012 

This is a continuation of my previous dialogues, and like the others, this is also a hypothetical dialogue. Not that it is fictional. It is a summary of all the discussions and arguments I have had with atheists and agnostics over many years, and of the principles of their unbelief written in many books I have read. In this dialogue my own words will be prefixed by the acronym GLC meaning a God Loving Creature. 
GLC:        So Atheist, what do you believe in?
Atheist:   I can better tell you what I do not believe in. I am an atheist and I do not believe in God. I only believe in things that I can see or observe - things material and physical. Things which I do not believe in is anything else. I do not believe in the meta-physical world or something intangible.



GLC:        So you do not believe in consciousness or emotion or love.
Atheist:   No, I believe in those things, but they are all functions of the brain which is a physical thing. That's why people who treat human bodies are called physicians.
GLC:        Ok, I understand partly, so let's engage in this game. Which playing field do you wish to play on?
Atheist:   I prefer this one here - you can see it is quite level.
GLC:        Yes, I see. But why is it so short and so wide*. The ones I usually play on are long and narrow - much like a rugby field with half-lines, quarter-lines, goal-lines, dead-lines and goal posts in the form of an H - and of course some flags on the sides.
               (*Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:)
Atheist:   Oh, I do know that sort of field, but I do not believe in all those other areas. I only play on my side of the goal area. That is why it looks so short and wide. You are looking from the wrong perspective - along the breadth of the field. You can measure it. It has the same dimensions as your field, but it only has my own goal area. I am not responsible for what happens in the rest of the field - in fact I do not even believe in it, and I don't care about it.
GLC:        But, I think that is quite unsatisfactorily to only play on a part of the field. Why do you not believe in the other parts which contain the meta-physical and the spiritual world?
Atheist:   Because it does not exist. I cannot see or feel it.
GLC:        What do you see in these two back corners of this field?
Atheist:   Oh, those. Yes, I see square flags with large round holes in them. It looks quite nice. Oh, yes, and now I see - it is the letter zero.
GLC:        Yes. And do you see how the colour and form of that hole changes as the wind blows? When the wind blows quite strong, as now, the hole is serrated, much like a crinkle cut chip.
Atheist:   Yes, it is beautiful.
GLC:        The colours of this hole is even more beautiful. Can you see that while the flag moves around, the colour of the hole changes from green (grass) to blue (sky) and sometimes even white (clouds).
Atheist:   Yes, I can see how its colour changes all the time.
GLC:        Can I let you in on a secret?
Atheist:   Yes, I like secrets.
GLC:        That hole does not exist!
Atheist:   I do not believe you!
GLC:        For sure. I am a physicist, and I can tell you that that hole does not exist as a physical or material thing.
Atheist:   But still I can see it and it is beautiful. I think it is caused by the form of the flag, which is physical, much like my consciousness is a function or property of my brain which is physical.
GLC:        You have a point ... a very shaky one ... but you have one. The words used for this are figure and (back)ground. The flag is the figure and the hole is the ground. If you are someone, like me, who believes not only in physical things, but also in meta-physical things, not only in material things, but also in concepts, not only in consciousness but also in things which are called something and nothing, you will see the hole as the figure and the sky, grass and clouds as ground. But of course, you cannot see it that way, because something that does not exist physically cannot be a figure.
Atheist:   I think you are leading me into a trap.
GLC:        Yes, I think so too. If you do not believe in all things, you will end up in various traps. Of course, then you will say that you do not see it, as you should have said here when we started to look at the hole.
               Look at this attached picture. Isn't it a beautiful vase?

Atheist:   I see no vase. I only see two people shouting at each other.
GLC:        Yes, I see that too, but I always look at the bright (white) side of things, but it seems to me that you only look at the dark (black) side of things.
               Can I tell you another secret?
Atheist:   But, no surprises this time.
GLC:        It is even a bigger surprise, but hold tight.
               In a certain sense that hole we are seeing is anti-matter, if it was caused by matter, like a large bullet, passing through it and tearing the fabric. So tell me - do you also believe in anti-matter - or, are you also an anti-materialist?
Atheist:   Yes, I believe in anti-matter - it has been discovered by scientists. For every million atoms of matter, one atom of anti-matter is created, but it is totally unstable in the presence of other matter.
GLC:        So it just disappears immediately?
Atheist:   Yes.
GLC:        So what does it become? Because, if matter disappears it turns itself into another form, like energy. So, where did this anti-matter go?
Atheist:   It ate another atom of matter so that both matter and antimatter disappear.
GLC:        You are sure it does not become a substance that has no mass, like energy, or an idea in the meta-physical world?
Atheist:   I do not talk about the meta-physical world - it does not exist - it is just an idea - a very far-fetched one.
GLC:        But why can't anti-matter be anti-physical or meta-physical as the word is used?
Atheist:   I don't like your tricks. See you another time when you are in a more realistic and practical mood.
 
GLC:        I can't wait for another time. Bye now.

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