John C. Wright (johncwright) wrote,
John C. Wright

A Question I Never Tire of Answering

A reader I hope is young and not being serious asks:

Let me get this straight: you, a presumably rational

individual who writes science fiction stories for a living, sincerely
believes that the creator of our 13.7 billion year-old universe of 70
sextillion stars magically impregnated a human female about 2000 years
ago – a woman who then gave birth to a son named Jesus who performed
miracles, rose from the dead and served as the creator’s messenger to

This might make for a mildly interesting, if outlandish, science
fiction story, but the source of your belief system? If you’re going to
base your life philosophy on absurd myths, why not choose something a
bit more interesting? Why not master the Dark Side of the Force or the
Golden Path, becoming a Sith Lord or a God-Emperor and strive to rule a
Galaxy? Why choose something as ridiculous and wretched as Christianity?
I must admit I am rather perplexed…

My answer:

I am more than a presumably rational individual, I am a champion of
atheism who gave arguments in favor of atheism so convincing that three
of my friends gave up their religious belief due to my persuasive
reasoning powers, and my father stopped going to church.

Upon concluding through a torturous and decades-long and remorseless
process of logic that all my fellow atheists were horribly comically
wrong about every basic point of philosophy, ethics and logic, and my
hated enemies the Christians were right, I wondered how this could be.
The data did not match the model.

Being a philosopher and not a poseur, I put the matter to an empirical test.

For the first time in my life, I prayed, and said. “Dear God. There
is no logical way you could possibly exist, and even if you appeared
before me in the flesh, I would call it an hallucination. So I can think
of no possible way, no matter what the evidence and no matter how clear
it was, that you could prove your existence to me. But the Christians
claim you are benevolent, and that my failure to believe in you
inevitably will damn me. If, as they claim, you care whether or not I am
damned, and if, as they claim, you are all wise and all powerful, you
can prove to me that you exist even though I am confident such a thing
is logically impossible. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation in
this matter, John C. Wright.” — and then my mind was at rest. I had
done all I needed to do honestly to maintain my stature as someone, not
who claimed to be logical, objective and openminded, but who was
logical, objective, and openminded.

Three days later, with no warning, I had a heart attack, and was lying on the floor, screaming and dying.

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