I had an interesting conversation with an older man on the train this morning. This is one of the things I like best about public transportation.
We were sitting across from each other - the cars have some seats that face each other - and I was doing a little research for a story. I've seen this gentleman before and we have exchanged polite 'good mornings' but never engaged in any real conversation. This morning was different.
"God is a myth... he doesn't exist." Well, as opening lines go...
"That is rather a provocative remark to make to someone reading this." I hold up my Bible, which anyone with reasonable eyesight would not take for something else.
"You don't really believe all that, do you?" He gestures to my Bible.
"Yes... I do. Why do you think God doesn't exist?" Talk about a loaded question to make to a stranger!
"From the dawn of time, man has searched for something to keep out the darkness. There are myths and beliefs throughout the history of man. 'God' is one of those."
"So, you don't believe in a supreme being, a Creator of Earth, man and the cosmos?"
"No, I do not."
"And God is only one more 'fairy tale', told to make man feel safe against the darkness?"
"Would you disagree then, that, if only inferentially, there is a God figure in a lot of those old fables and fairy tales?"
"No, but that doesn't mean a God exists."
"Actually, I think it argues that He does exist. Let me ask you this. What do you think is more believable - man, Earth and all the cosmos were created by the random joining of quarks and atoms borne out of a great explosion eons ago, or....
Man, Earth and all the cosmos were created by a supreme being, a Creator...by God?"
The man looks at me for a moment.
"Then, where did God come from?"
"Where did that great big explosion come from?" I reply.
Just then, my stop is announced and the train slows.
"I'm sorry... this is my stop. It was nice chatting with you. Bye."
As I prepare to disembark the train, I look back. The man is watching me, a faint look of consternation on his face.
I offer up a little smile and step off the train.
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
21, March 2013