It was a warm evening. Perfect for a walk. But we didn’t know that it until we decidedto take the walk. .I’m very glad we did. I don’t know if he is, though. He’s been weirdly quiet since I said Yahweh doesn’t seem very alive to me. You’d think I said Yahweh wasn’t alive at all. I mean, I do think that, but I didn’t actually say it.
We walk in silence. He’s on my left side, closer to the passing cars. He said something about being gentlemanly that I didn’t buy. Something about keeping me safe. I wonder if he’ll switch sides now that I blasphemed. Let me get hit by a bus or something as punishment. Or is the gentleman in him greater than the believer?
“Your lack of faith in him doesn’t make him any less alive.” He breaks the silence, looking at me and smiling.
His smile is the ‘Aha!’ kind of smile. I smile back. He’s right. Half right, at least. He’d be totally right if he ended with ‘…to me’ or ‘…to believers’.
A battle begins within me. The pacifist in me is very willing to change the topic. To understand what he was really implying. ‘Conviction is the key’. But the part of me that’s bored wants to let him know that conviction isn’t life. It’s a source of life, an indicator, a manifestation, but definitely not life. Not in an absolute sense.
Right now, I think I spaced out during the silence because the last landmark I remember taking note of is the bookshop, but we just walked past the tennis court. We were silent for that long?
“But you see, it does. He is less alive because I say he is. And because I can say so. And he’d be very near dead if enough people just said so.” I shrug.
Looks like bored me won. I hate when this happens, and it happens a lot. I can tell it will take a while before I shut up, even though I’m aware that you can’t reason someone out faith. Only they can do that to themselves.
True to myself, I keep going.
“God is alive because you say he is, but he also isn’t because I say he’s not, and that in itself is argument against him. Can something truly be if its being can be debated? Not really. Not in an absolute sense, and the inability to attain the absolute sense is very underachieving for an all-powerful being. Not like he isn’t typically underachieving under the guise of ‘God knows best’ anyway.” My voice is laced with humour, and I don’t think that’s helping me relay my message.
At this point, I don’t even think there’s any message to be relayed. I’m simply engaging myself in argument I know I can not win, not because I’m not making sense, but because faith requires you to dispel logic. How else would you fathom a being that exists outside everything you’re constrained to when you can never make it out of your constraints? The only way is accepting that you will never fathom a being that exists outside everything you’re constrained to. It’s doable. It’s easy. So it’s popular.
“If we all woke up one day and agreed god didn’t exist and we all believed that, he wouldn’t exist. Because we said he doesn’t, he wouldn’t. But you lot say he does. And there’s a whole lot more of you than those of us who say he doesn’t. So he does.” I pause when I notice he makes a face.
A grimace. The kind you make when you taste lime juice—even though, before drinking it, you were aware it’s lime juice, and you had prepared yourself for it. I think he thinks I’m being ridiculous.
“You’re being ridiculous.” He blurts.
I laugh. Now he’s probably thinking I’m laughing at his faith because that’s what sense does at nonsense. Laughs. But I’m really just laughing because this is the first time since this conversation started that he’s saying something I was already thinking.
“Am I? Why is Greek mythology just that? Mythology? Are the stories in the Bible not as wildly interesting as that of Greek mythology?”
He shrugs. He has a look on his face that I interpret as ‘God please’.
“Because enough people today say it is mythology, Zeus and the whole of Olympus is not. Because we say they’re not. But lots of years ago, enough people in Greece said they were. And they were. But today they’re not. Because we say they’re not. And that’s the same thing that will happen to Yahweh. Eventually. I probably won’t be alive to witness it. You probably won’t be. So, for now, Yahweh is. Because you lot say he is. And if you say he is till you die, then he will be till you die. And will be in the world around me till I die.” I am genuinely surprised I wasn’t interrupted at all.
At this point, it’s starting to feel like I’m rambling. I hadn’t even realised how long we’d been walking, or why in this direction, but I see the Admissions Office, and the feeling that I’ve talked too much changes from feeling to knowledge. I really have spoken a while. I’m also no longer bored. Therefore, I no longer have the will to go on. It’s not like I have much more to say anyway. Nor is this a conversation. It’s mostly been a monologue so far.
“So you said something about having an entire folder dedicated to Tom Cruise, right?” I ask, my voice cheerier than the soliloquy-ish tone it’s had until now.
He gives me a sideways glance, and I know he wants to tell me that I’m wrong. Somehow. Just somehow. There’s something wrong with accepting that he’s God’s god.
“Just wait for your own encounter.” He finally lets out.
I smirk because I have heard that line a hundred times before. To any secular moderator, that’s concession. Actually, it is to the believers as well. But a different kind. One that says ‘I can not fight God’s battles for him’.
In a way, I think it makes sense. If he had tried even more to convince me himself, he would have been further proving my point. He would have been (although ignorantly so) showing that he is, in fact, God’s god, and that for God to be, it is required of him to assert that he is.
Tom Cruise, it is.