Flawed Proof Of Concept

| Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Friendly | February 27, 2014

(I work downtown near one of the private religious universities. At least twice a week I am approached by members of one of their Christian outreach groups. I usually just smile and decline politely and go on my way, but this time they follow me to my bus stop.)

Girl: “Excuse me! Did you know that you have a holy mother and a holy father?”

Me: “No… A group of you tried to talk to me about this yesterday. I’m really not interested, thanks. My bus is going to be here soon.”

Girl: “Well, we’ll just talk while you wait! Are you a follower of Jesus Christ?”

Me: “No.”

Girl: “Oh. Well, do you believe in God?”

Me: “No.”

Girl: *disappointed* “Oh. Can I ask why not?”

Me: “You can ask, but it’s hard to explain. It wasn’t one thing. I was raised Christian, but over time I just realized I didn’t believe any of it. And that it’s far more likely that all religions are wrong than that there is one that happens to be right.”

Girl: “Well, have you read the Bible?”

Me: “Yes. Honestly, it’s part of the reason I’m an atheist.”

Girl: “Sometimes people read things but they really don’t UNDERSTAND them, you know? We have a great group and we’d love for you to come and learn more and help you understand the message of the Bible.”

Me: “Again, I’m really not interested. Thanks.”

Girl: “What if we gave you proof?”

Me: “Proof of what?”

Girl: “That the Bible is real.”

Me: “If you honestly think you can do that, then our definitions of ‘proof’ are very different.”

Girl: “Well, you believe in history, right?”

Me: “History is just past events. You don’t ‘believe’ or ‘not believe’ in—”

Girl: “Well, there’s historical things in the Bible! There’s real historical people and places in it! That’s proof right there for you!”

Me: “Yes, but there are also ‘historical things’ in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and that doesn’t make it true.”

(The girl’s mouth drops as she tries to formulate a response. Fortunately, I was saved by the bus!)

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