Q. and A.

Q.: Is there a God?

A.: Yes. I believe there is a God.

Q.: Do you have proof?

A.: I have my own personal experiences, unverifiable via experimentation.

Q.: So how do you know your proof is valid?

A.: The same way I know anything, such as how blue is blue.

Q.: But shouldn’t your belief in God derive from actual, provable evidence?

A.: Why is that? Isn’t all proof subject to the personal bias of the one that views the proof?

Q.: It is, but, surely there is a consensus view that blue is blue based upon the wavelength of light that constitutes what we call “blue.”

A.: I agree. But aren’t there other things that have the same proofs, but have subjective interpretations based upon culture or historical period?

Q.: Give an example.

A.: There’s the debate on marijuana. We have evidence before us of its potential for medicinal uses, but the US Government continues to keep it classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which is to say the USG holds the view that there are no medicinal uses for it. We all have access to the same proofs, but our conclusions are our own. Forming a consensus doesn’t make it more right, either. If a large group believes a lie, does that make it true?

Q.: No, and, hold on there… you’re asking questions. That should be my job.

A.: Why is that?

Q.: I’m Q. Q. goes with “question.” You’re A. A. is for “answer.”

A.: Not necessarily. In biblical studies, “Q.” refers to a yet-undiscovered source for the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. “Q.” is the abbreviation for the German word “quelle,” their word for “source.” You could be a source, not a questioner.

Q.: And what would that make you?

A.: I could be Alpha, for all I know. If an Omega shows up in our conversation, that would certainly perpetuate the religious nature of the discussion.

Q.: So you don’t really know who you are?

A.: I could be a fictional character in a very well-imagined story, for all I know.

Q.: That would make the author a God-figure.

A.: Indeed. And perhaps some of my experiences have made me aware of that author’s narrative. His will, so to speak.

Q.: Could you relate those experiences to me?

A.: No. There is something of the sacred about them, and sacred things are personal truths. Sacred things lose some of their value if they are shared too openly or too freely.

Q.: Shouldn’t all truth be open and free? Isn’t keeping things obscure a brute-force way of avoiding scrutiny?

A.: No, not all truth should be open and free. Do you tell an old woman in poor health that her husband has died before you give her a chance to sit down and brace herself for hard news? Not if you’re a thoughtful person. You keep a secret for a while. Other things, you keep secret always, such as in the case of physician’s privilege.

Q.: So you have no proof there’s a God.

A.: You have no proof that this isn’t some massive fictional construct we’re in, where we think we’re human with free will, but we’re really just two guys, named Q. and A., whose very existence sprang into being the moment our conversation started and will end as soon as the conversation ends.

Q.: I find such a thing to be very hard to believe.

A.: And very hard to prove, as well. Yet, it may very well be true.

Q.: So, then, what are the most important questions to ask about God?

A.: You complained earlier about my asking questions. Now you ask me to answer with questions. I love the irony.

Q.: I get the irony, as well.

A.: OK, the most important questions… Is there a God? Does he want me to have a relationship with him based upon evidence or out of trust and love? I guess after those, everything falls into place.

Q.: What do you mean? There are so many other questions to ask. What does God want me to do? Where does he want me to go? Who does he want me to help? Millions of questions.

A.: Yes, but if there is a God, and he wants us to follow him in faith, without proof, then everything else falls into place after that. Instead of looking for proof, one looks instead for love.

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