Dialogues in English 4: Does God Exist?

PRESENTER: (Northern accent) Welcome to English dialogues. Billions of people follow his laws, millions of people have fought wars in his name, thousands of buildings in this country are dedicated to him. Despite this, however, zero people have ever met him, seen him, or can even explain why he’s referred to as ‘him’ rather than ‘her.’ That’s right: in today’s dialogue, Rokeby and Jack ask a simple but powerful question: does God exist?

JACK: (Scottish accent) So, Rokeby…Does God exist?

ROKEBY: (Classic English accent) Yes.

JACK: Wow, that’s an unusually direct answer. Tell us what type of God you believe in…and why.

ROKEBY: Well…to understand what type of God I believe in, it’s necessary to understand what type of God I don’t believe in.

JACK: I’m all ears.

ROKEBY: The type of God I don’t believe in is a God who chooses to communicate to the human race by a book.

JACK: You mean…the bible.

ROKEBY: Yes…and any other book which humans claim was dictated by God.

God created the universe, the speed of light and the human brain…he’s the perfect designer of systems. Therefore, the idea that he chose to communicate his message to humanity through a book is absurd because…there are so many obvious design problems with choosing a book to communicate your message.

JACK: For example?

ROKEBY: For example, a book is fine when there’s only one book, but God – who knows everything – knew that there would be other books from other religions. How would humans know which was the real word of God? This is an obvious design error in choosing a book to communicate a divine message…but God would never make errors…therefore, it’s impossible that he chose to use a book.

JACK: But maybe he wanted to test us with false Gods.

ROKEBY: Maybe…but why would the creator of billions of galaxies do that? Would an advanced being really be interested in seeing who is loyal and who is not? Donald Trump would do that…God would not. And even if he did…wouldn’t the test be clearer? How are people supposed to choose correctly between the bible and the Koran and the book of Mormon? And if it’s all a test because god hates people being bad…then why create people with potential to be bad instead of a race of minions? And anyway, because he knows everything – he already knows who’s going to pass the test or not…so the test is pointless.

JACK: It does seem strange, I have to admit.

ROKEBY: Also, another problem is that books appear late in human history. If it was important to God that we live by his message…why would he let homosapians exist for 100,000 years before telling us that message. Furthermore, books are open to interpretation. Think of laws about alcohol in Islam and the word, khamr. Different translations say the word means strong wines, intoxicants or alcohol, so people interpret the law differently. Again, God – an advanced being who wants us to follow his laws – would not put these laws in debatable language that needed teachers to interpret it. A perfect God would formulate his law perfectly. No debate. And then it wouldn’t be possible to have divisions like Sunni/Shia, Catholic and Protestant at war for a thousand years. God would communicate an indisputable message.

JACK: But isn’t it the imperfect humans who take God’s perfection and contaminate it? In other words…God gave us the gift of the book and then we chose to misuse it?

ROKEBY: In that case, we return to the idea that its bad humans who make life bad, and it’s all a test to see who’s bad and who’s not, which bring us all back to the question of why God created a race of people with the potential to be bad…especially if he’s going to end up punishing them in hell for eternity. And…if it’s all a test…it would have to be a fair test…because God is perfect and fair. The test, however, is blatantly not fair.

JACK: How is it not fair?

ROKEBY: The bible says homosexual sex is an abomination that should be punished with death. But if God created everything…he created homosexuality. And not just in humans…homosexuality exists in thousands of species so why create it if you hate it so much? We also know that gays can’t choose to be gay…so they are born with this thing that God hates…but it was God who gave it to them. That’s like your dad giving you some cocaine for christmas and then calling the police you when you take it. Gays have no choice…they feel gay desires every day of their lives and God gave them those desires.

JACK: But it’s not being gay that’s wrong in Islam…but having gay sex.

ROKEBY: And that’s justice? Humans are programmed by nature to think about sex constantly…except the thing gays think about constantly is a crime. This means that God intentionally gave them something that would tempt them towards crime…dozens of times a day. That’s cruel. If God is testing us…then the test has to be just…because he’s a just God. That is not just…because heterosexuals don’t get tempted dozens of times a day to commit an act punishable by death. Therefore, as this is unfair…and God would never be unfair…it means that it was not him who wrote the bible.

JACK: I get your point, Rokeby, and it sounds rational…but God is about faith — not trying to use your pathetic human reason to understand divine intention.

ROKEBY: But why would God give us reason if he didn’t want us to use it? Why create a logical system like science…and then make yourself completely illogical. Why would God – if he didn’t want us to question his holy book with reason – intentionally give us minds that question his holy book with reason?

So, that’s why I do not believe that God wrote any books. God inspired the holy books and their message of compassion, hope and obedience, but humans wrote them. I have deep respect for religious people because they have a moral code…but they have to see their books as inspiration from God…not a word by word dictation.

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