In my teens, I began a sincere effort to find out whether god is real. After decades of searching, I was able to finally track down the elusive deity, and spend a few minutes asking him as much as I could about what makes him tick. What follows is an edited transcript of our auspicious and improbable encounter.
Skepticali: God! Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to talk with me.
God Almighty: No problem, glad to do it.
Skepticali: As you can imagine, I have a ton of questions for you, so let me cut to the chase. First, what religion describes you best? Which religion is correct?
God Almighty: Boy, you don’t beat around the bush! Well, I’d have say Christianity does ... You’re Christian, right?
Skepticali: No ...
God Almighty: Okay, then Judaism is the religion to follow ... You’re Jewish, right? You do look Jewish.
Skepticali: No ... I’m ...
God Almighty: Okay, you don’t look Hindu, give me a hint.
Skepticali: Actually, I’m an atheist.
God Almighty: Atheist? ATHEIST??? You’re talking to me - God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, visible and invisible, personal friend of William Lane Craig - are you nuts?
Skepticali: No, actually ...
God Almighty: What’s it take for you atheists? I just don’t get it.
Skepticali: Actually, the fact that I think that I’m talking to you doesn’t prove you exist. It only proves that I think that I’m talking to you. I don’t think anybody else can see or hear this.
God Almighty: ...but what about the people that will read this interview? Won’t that be sufficient evidence for everyone else?
Skepticali: I think that’s the problem, sir, word of mouth is not really evidence.
God Almighty: Technically you’re right, but this word-of-mouth thing has worked for thousands of years ... Has something changed?
Skepticali: No sir, nothing’s changed. It’s just that, over the millennia, things that people used to attribute to you have been discovered to have natural causes - so when someone claims that a timeless, spaceless entity of unimaginable knowledge, power and compassion is the cause of the universe and is personally flipping switches and spinning dials in favor of believers - well, fewer and fewer people think that’s rational.
God Almighty: Rational ... Ptooey! I hate that word. What’s with you guys? Why can’t you just believe what people tell you? And why do you keep calling me “sir”?
Skepticali: sorry sir ... Madam? How should I address you?
God Almighty: Madam doesn’t work, either. What makes you think I have a specific gender?
Skepticali: Well, we humans tend to anthropomorphize you, so we attribute gender to you. Somehow, someone figured you were male. I’m guessing it was a male, your godliness.
God Almighty: Anthropomorphize? That’s a great word! Say THAT five times while you’re drunk! Anthropomorphize ... Another misconception. Why the heck do you think I have a human form? Isn’t that a little conceited? I mean, the universe is unimaginably large, do you think that I’d make a motley crew like you in my image? The Jaggorabex Energy Entities - now that’s probably closer to what I’d morphize - if a non-morphic being could chuck wood.
Skepticali: Excuse me?
God Almighty: Never mind - I'm big on woodchuck humor. Where were we?
Skepticali: Gender - or, how do I address you?
God Almighty: Bob - call me Bob.
God Almighty: Yep! I always liked the name “Bob”. Short, sweet, symmetrical - Occam’s razor and all that. Now - what’s your next question?
Skepticali: Okay Bob. Well ... Since you brought up Occam’s Razor, let’s go there. Occam’s Razor posits that “among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected.“ Given that, how do you explain your existence?
God Almighty: Well ... It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.
Skepticali: That doesn’t answer the question, Bob. How does your existence, and the possibility that you’re omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, and supposedly created the universe, and will judge believers and non-believers upon their death, and assign them to heaven or hell for all eternity depending on some criteria that no one is really clear on, how does all that pass the smell test with people that have even the faintest familiarity with Occam’s Razor?
God Almighty: It usually doesn’t.
Skepticali: Huh? I expected a more robust defense,
God Almighty: Not from me. Say, can I have one of those Twinkies there? That would taste really good right now.
Skepticali: Sure, Bob, help yourself.
God Almighty: Mmmm ... That is one tasty Twinkie. I do love the taste of a good Twinkie. You mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash this down?
Skepticali: Go right ahead.
God Almighty: Ah, hit the spot.
Skepticali: Say, I feel like I’m in Pulp Fiction or something. Could you please answer the question about Occam’s Razor?
God Almighty: Say 'what' again. Say 'what' again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say what one more Goddamn time!
Skepticali: Good grief!
God Almighty: Sorry - sometimes I fall into that “Tarantino is God” trap myself.
...to be continued...