Wednesday, November 9, 2022

My Transition into Faith

July 13, 2009

I am rarely entertained by debates between atheists and theists. I can usually see through the attempts of the theists to prove the unprovable. Sometimes, though, the theist comes up with something that sounds very plausible.

I just stumbled upon an exception to debates between theists and atheists, which fail to entertain me. D'Souza vs. Hitchens at Freedomfest 2008 are a pleasure to watch.

In my humble cab driver view, both show a deep desire to know and understand the truth, whatever it may be. Both also bring with them a powerful arsenal of knowledge with which to make their case.

After watching, I am still an atheist.

I shall probably remain an atheist until such time as perhaps I face some dire emergency. Maybe I will find myself in a foxhole, with bombs blowing up all over the place, and a hoard of angry environmentalists coming over the hill to stick a bayonet in my gut for using my toaster too many times, or for buying black market carbon credit ration books, so I can get more than my fair share of Angus burgers at McD's.

What would those ration books look like? I am guessing; a thin little booklet with each page containing a grid of squares… and every time you buy a burger or gasoline or whatever, the clerk will stamp one of the empty squares with an image of Al Gore. Man that is so, uhm, WWII—you know, another great crisis that statists did not let go to waste. No, today we would have a swipe card that we can refill online at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Don't you just hate that Tim Horton's radio ad… "Jim, Jim, Jim, if only everyone could see the world through your rose-coloured glasses."

Or maybe, God forbid, just as Canada finally sees "the light," and dismantles the fraud of government funded medical care, I will have some doctor tell me my tobacco habit has just made me the unlucky one of the nine other smokers who did not get cancer, and that the only hope I have of surviving is to undergo very expensive treatments, or hope for a miracle.

Well, I sure hell can't afford expensive treatments. If I had any cash left at all, I would go for the miracle with the best odds, in my estimation, of succeeding… yes, I would buy lottery tickets. Lots of them.

But what if I were actually in a foxhole in some war type scenario? I've seen lots of movies and historical documentaries of war stuff. There always seems to be a religious guy around… a Chaplin or a witch doctor or something, to comfort the men. (Ooga booga!)

But there never seem to be any lottery huts. Damn!

Ok, so here I am, in need of a miracle with nothing but a garbage can full of pieces of paper with "Play Again," or, "Good Luck," written on them. Cough.

Ok, I AM ONE STUBBORN BASTARD. And now that I have truly run out of options, I think my mental economics have finally got me cornered into being a true believer. The audacity of hope finally appeals to me. After all, what have I got to lose from investing the only thing I have left, which is my ability to pick true from false based on my, necessarily limited, view of the universe, in this "fund," that promises me riches beyond the grave.

If I am wrong and there is a god, this last throw of the dice probably won't work. My sudden "belief," would be no more sincere than an official apology coerced from me from a Canadian Human Rights Commission for incorrect opinions on more secular matters. And God, being no fool, would see right through me.

So I guess, I still ain't buying into this cosmic ghost notion no matter how dire a scenario I envision.

Well, I do have one final test of belief. God, or Allah or Thor or whichever one of you is the ONE TRUE GOD… here is the deal. I will pray.

Here is my simple prayer:

God, or whomever… please, please, please. Deposit one million dollars directly into my checking account before noon tomorrow… and just in case there is hyperinflation coming. Put about a million bucks worth of gold and silver in the trunk of my car. (Ok, if that is too daunting, make about half of it in physical bullion and the other half in Canadian precious metals and energy sector funds.)

If you want to add a little drama to the whole occasion, by all means, put some really bright object in the sky, with a beam of light pointing directly to my underground parking lot.

When you have done all of this for me, I will be a believer.

Or, if what I have written here really pisses you off, well, I guess you can have a bolt of lightning strike me at any time. Or I could get hit by a truck, or stabbed in an altercation, or have a heart attack.

In which case, you will have proved yourself, not that it will benefit me much. And not that it will benefit you much, either. After all, you have all the power, it costs you nothing to exercise your power. You seem to be obsessed with having me believe in you, with or without credible evidence.

So why don't you just wire the funds?

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