Bad Thoughts on Religion
Catholic Metroboy: "Jesus died for your sins."
Atheist Metroman: "So what?"
CM: "So what? So what? I mean, the guy, right, the guy actually experienced an agonizing death in return for which your sins were forgiven."
AM: "But why'd he have to die?"
CM: "So that your sins were forgiven."
AM: "Who said they needed forgiving?"
AM: "Okay, so lemme get this straight: The all-powerful Lord of the universe invents sin, gets mad at us for doing it, and then essentially sacrifices himself to himself to square the books?"
CM: "Well ... Yeah ... You're trivializing His agony on the cross, you know. Would YOU want to experience that?"
AM: "Sure. Why not?"
CM: "You would?"
AM: "Look, according to your philosphy, Jesus = God, right?"
AM: "They're the same guy?"
CM: "Well, pretty much, yeah. It's a bit mystic."
AM: "So Jesus is immortal and omipotent and omniscient?"
CM: "He'd have to be."
AM: "Could have gotten down off the cross and showed everyone a thing or two at any time, right?"
CM: "But he wasn't using his powers."
AM: "Well he did use prophecy, right, seeing into the future?"
CM: "Okay, so ..."
AM: "So he's been alive since the beginning of everything ... billions of years ..."
CM: "Well, okay."
AM: "So to sum up: God pops down to earth for a quick thirty-year holiday whereupon he spends a few hours dying in agony to appease himself, after which he goes back to being immortal."
CM: "Uh ... If you put it that way ..."
AM: "Moreover, he knows he'll be up and around within a few days."
CM: "I really ..."
AM: "So Jesus had a long weekend for my sins?"
CM: "Well ... "
AM: "The dude spends, let's say eight hours dying in agony ..."
CM: "Uh ..."
AM:"I mean, eight hours out of six thousand years ... that's about 1/6,570,000th of his life, right?"
CM: "Well, yes, but I don't think ..."
AM:"And then he goes back to being alive ... If I were offered immortality in return for being crucified for one-six-millionth of my life*, I'd take that deal."
CM: "Uh ... You got any Aspirin? I think I'm developing a headache."
AM: "Not only that, but why'd he have to die in the first place? He makes the damn rules, couldn't he have just given himself a good spanking or something? And how the hell is anyone supposed to learn a lesson from an apocryphal tale six thousand years old? Couldn't he have left us at least a videocassette? Or perhaps he could have engraved it into a diamond the size of a mountain or something? Or created letters of fire a hundred feet high, visible from every place at once? Written it on the moon ... Instead he relies on semi-literate nomadic desert kids to scribble it down on goatskins and parchment. Make a lot of sense, doesn't it?"
And the wrangle, unevenly, continues.
*It'd work out to about 0.06 of an hour, which is three minutes and thirty-six seconds.