Monday, November 9, 2009

Chapter 2- The Conversation Continues

(See yesterday's post for chapter one)

The naked cave man and his buddies continued their conversation that started the previous week. Their tennis had been canceled due to a large storm. The meeting took place in the Cyber Cafe located in the upstairs clubhouse. The cafe was almost full due to the bad weather. Many of the customers were taking advantage of the free wireless internet and the free self-serve coffee. There was one empty table in the corner and the three sat down.

Mad Max started off by talking about the San Diego Chargers and their big win against the Giants. Atheist Alex only follows soccer and tennis so his mind wandered as Max recounted the final drive that led to a victory. The game had special meaning for both teams because of the history of the two quarterbacks. The Chargers picked first in the draft but their pick said he would never sign with San Diego because they were such a poor team. The fans in San Diego have long memories and the victory felt really good against a quarterback that had shunned this talented team.

Alex started talking about God and posed a series of questions to his friends. The cave man thought his questions were interesting since Alex did not believe in God. His first question was "why do people invent gods?" He couldn't stop thinking about how the Greeks came up with so many gods to explain everything.

The cave man answered as Max interacted with some Charger fans at the table next to us. The cave man shared his thoughts about man's need to find a sense of purpose. Since the beginning of time, man has always sought the Creator of the universe. Just because false gods were made up, does not mean there is no God.

Max followed up sharing that something cannot come from nothing so there must be a God. He was mad because the world was so messed up and he wanted God to be more active at stopping evil. He also resented all the fighting among religious groups.

The cave man told the group that he did not always feel close to God and many of his views used to be like Max's. Then he shared what is was like to live in a cave with these negative thoughts. He commented that the three had been tennis buddies for many years, yet they knew so little about each other. This meeting in the Cyber Cafe was the first time that they had socialized off the tennis courts.

The meeting went on for nearly three hours. By the end of the evening, the three friends had a better understanding of each other. It became clear to the group that their different views on religion were not going to change in one meeting. Alex wanted to base everything on science. The cave man talked about his best friend who happens to be an agnostic. Ralph has one of those scientific brains and he went into engineering. Ralph always based his decisions on scientific methods.

The cave man told Alex that if he wanted to base his beliefs on science, then being an agnostic seemed more appropriate than being an atheist. After all, atheists have a "belief" that there is no God and agnostics could go either way, depending on the evidence. Alex had never looked at this question from this point of view.

Max agreed with the cave man. He added that a believer uses faith to explain the existence of a Creator. An atheist cannot have faith since he claims there is nothing to believe in. If faith is taken out of the equation, the agnostic makes the most sense. If you have evidence to show there is a God, an agnostic accepts the facts. If there is evidence to show there is no God, an agnostic accepts the facts. What if you show proof of God's existence to an atheist? Alex was silent.

The cave man recounted something he watched on YouTube that had to do with an atheist who had a near death experience. This man had been an atheist all his life until he had a heart attack. His near death experience was horrible. He was trying to recite prayers from his childhood to deal with the evil spirits around him and when he said the name Jesus, the spirits around him fled. Then Jesus appeared out of nowhere and lifted him up. When the man awoke, he was changed.

Max was intrigued and wanted to watch the video. Alex said it was another illusion and that his lack of oxygen to the brain is the reason for his "vision". It was late and time to go home. The group agreed to meet again the following week.

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