I got into a theological debate with the cashier at a gas station convenient store (as I often do) and he was telling me how he was atheist, and how he thought all those nut cases that believed in god were just kidding themselves, and wasting their time. We got into this discussion because I asked him why the bean burritos were so over priced. I asked him, I said, "Hey, boyo, why these bean burritos so over priced? I am outraged!"
He then looked at me and shrugged passively. "It's not my fault. Don't blame me."
I became angry at him for this. Since he and I were the only two people in the store, I really had no other choice but to blame him. I of course can't blame myself, because I'm never wrong and never do anything that isn't good and pure and perfect. And I must blame someone, because everything is always someone else's fault, and that fault needs to be handed out right away. So I handed out the fault to him, because he was the only other person there. It was quite late at night, and the gas station was a pretty out of the way one. The convenient store that went hand in hand with the gas station wasn't actually very convenient, but I suppose calling it an inconvenient store wouldn't help business too much.
Now, you're probably wondering, what brought me way out to this inconvenient gas station in the middle of the night. Well, that's a long and interesting story that involves dazzling adventures with a sexy anthropologist named Bambi, horrifying terror that involves evil killer dwarfs, and humorous sexual escapades with the entire female cast of Friends. I'm not going to tell you about this though. Instead, I'm going to tell you about the boring theological debate I got into with the snot nosed elitist atheist cashier.
So there I was, and the cashier's word's were ringing in my brilliant head. "Don't blame me." I exploded. This hurt, but not as much as one may think.
"What do you mean, don't blame you? There's no one else in this fucking store!" I screamed like a gypsy having an orgasm. "I have to blame someone, and you're the only one here! Unless you suggest I blame God. Who do you want me to blame, God? Do you want me to blame fucking God? How about these potato chips! Shall I blame them!!!"
"I don't believe in god, " the cashier said. I looked at his name tag. His name was Chris. It figured. All people named Chris are atheists.
I shook my head at this, "What the fuck do I care?"
"I'm an atheist, I don't believe in god. I think it's ludicrous. Some all powerful being up in imaginary land controlling our faith. It's all a bunch of bull. There's absolutely nothing pointing to the existence of god. The whole idea is just dumb. People who believe in god are dumb. Any reasonable person, if they think about it, will come to the conclusion that there is no, never was, and never can be, a god. It's impossible."
This annoyed me. Not because I believe in God, because, for all practical purposes, I don't. I consider myself an agnostic. It annoyed me because I wanted to buy my bean burrito, and he was blabbin' on about some stupid god he didn't believe in. He kept blabbing.
"I mean, look at the world around you. There are laws. There aren't angels flying around, touchin' people. Della Reese isn't goin' around saving people and pulling people out of wells. And, you notice it's only nutcases in third world countries that see Jesus in there soup. And really, soup is like clouds, you can see anything you want to see. It's all in the mind. It's all a psychological crutch. Opium for the masses, as Lenin said."
This really made me mad. The reasons why go on and on.
And he continued. "There are no miracles. Have you ever seen a miracle? I sure haven't. And when strange things happen, there's always a scientific explanation. Or it's just a coincidence. There are no miracles, there is no god. The world is governed and controlled by scientific laws and patterns. It's all patterns. This has been proven. God hasn't been proven. Scientist's aren't looking in telescopes and looking into space and saying, 'Hey look, there's God right next to Jupiter. He's waving at me. Wave back, Charly. Man, that guy's got some nice teeth. Who ya think does his dental work?' They ain't seein' that when they look up into space, no siree. They see planets, and asteroids, and science. They see science. All this religion stuff, it's just for the weak. It's for the weak and the stupid."
I was exhausted at this point. I had dropped my bean burrito, and repeatedly jumped on it out of frustration. I had cracked the tile floor. My feet were actually bleeding. They didn't hurt though. I was too exhausted to feel pain.
"So," Chris said, "what do you think?"
I looked up and made that face like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange. You know, the milk drinkin' face. I calmed myself down, and prepared to speak.
"Well, dude, what do you think?"
"It seems to me," I began slowly, "that you're science is just as much of a joke as religion. It seems to me that you're just like all those Bible lovers knocking at my door trying to sell me vacuum cleaners. It seems to me you're as rapped up in all this as a person who believes in God. So really, what's the point either way?"
I angered Chris with this. He gave me a look that I can't describe by comparing it to a movie. Well, maybe I can. Remember the look the T-Rex made before he ate the lawyer in Jurassic Park? It's not that look, but my dog sometimes makes that look, and it's the funniest thing.
"What do you mean? You're completely wrong. I can't express how wrong you are! Science isn't the same joke as religion. Science has proof to back it up! Proof! Religion ain't got no proof. What does religion have? Some 2000 year old dead dudes who talk vaguely about seeing god, and they were probably all on drugs. Drug use has been around along time. How is it we take seeing god seriously, but not the delusions of someone who drops acid! It's preposterous! Fucking absurd! Science has proof. Religion has delusions."
"How do you know you aren't having a delusion right now?" I asked.
"'Cause I ain't on no fucking drugs."
"Yes, but it's late. You're working the late shift, I'm sure you're a bit tired. Maybe you've fallen asleep. Maybe this is all a dream. I mean, what is proof? What are facts? They're just delusions shared by massive amounts of people. Or better yet, they're delusions shared by a bunch of intellectuals who have proclaimed themselves to be the creators of truth. There's no difference between this and religion. You have those in religion who proclaim what they experience is the TRUTH and you have those in science who proclaim that what they experience is the TRUTH. And science is such a baby. Science could prove the existence of God if it really wanted to. Science could prove anything. Science could prove the existence of unicorns if it wanted to. You have the atom for example. Who the hell's seen an atom? No one. Not even scientists. If I'm not mistaking, no stupid telescope can see an atom. The science type guys, they're shootin' lasers or something, and they see the laser beam, it's bouncin' off of somethin', or it's reflectin' off of somethin', or it's slowin' down because of somethin', and they're sayin' ,' Woa, that laser hit something! What do you think it is, Larry?' 'I think we've just discovered the smallest particle of life, Kent. We'll call it an atom.' 'Yes, an atom. We've just discovered an atom. We can't see it, but we know it's there because a laser beam is hittin' it!' The scientists could have just as easily have said, 'Oh my, the laser beam is hittin' somethin'! It must be God! Oh no, we've discovered God, and he's tiny, but he's everywhere!' 'Turn off the laser, Larry, you're shootin' God! You're shootin' God with a laser beam! You're gonna piss him off, Larry!'" At this point, I began to get a little carried away, and my imagination took over.
"'Stop shootin' God with a laser! He's gonna smite us!!' And then God will come and manifest himself, and be like, 'STOP SHOOTING ME WITH THE LASER, THAT REALLY TICKLES. AND NOT IN THE GOOD WAY, IN THE BAD ANNOYING WAY. DON'T MAKE ME GET VENGEFUL ON YOU.' And then God will take the scientist that shot him with a laser, and the scientist will be like, 'Are you going to kill me?' and God will say, 'NO LARRY, I WON'T, I WILL CAUSE AN ACCIDENT TO HAPPEN TO YOU THAT WILL HAVE HORRIBLE, IRONIC RESULTS. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU ARE A HOMOPHOBE, YOU'RE WIFE WILL GIVE BIRTH TO A GAY SON. OR, IF YOU ARE A DOCTER, I WILL GIVE YOU A DISEASE MEDICAL SCIENCE CAN'T CURE. OR, IF YOU ARE A RASCIST, I WILL CAUSE YOU TO BE IN A HORRIBLE CAR ACCIDENT THAT WILL TURN YOU INTO A BLACK PERSON, FOR SOME REASON.' So then, all these scientists will start being nice to God, and they'll offer him donuts and candy. But there'll be these rebel scientists that figure they can destroy God by shooting him with lasers. So they'll all get laser guns and run around shootin' God with lasers, and Nietzsche will come running out screaming, 'Stop it, you're killing God!' but they'll keep doing it, and they'll kill God, and Nietzsche will say, 'Well, there, you've gone and done it. You've killed God. God is dead. Are you happy.' And he'll walk away, and then everybody will see this guy walking on a tight rope, and they'll all look at him and smile and say, 'Hey look, that guy's walking on a tight rope.' And everyone will be very impressed, and then they'll all die." I took a breath. "Can I have my bean burrito now?"
"That'll be $3.99."
"Horribly overpriced, " I said, paying the man, and going back outside to continue my exciting intergalactic adventures.