Socrates: Greetings kind sir! What are you doing?
Atheist: I’m studying DNA.
Socrates: You are studying letters? How interesting.
Atheist: No. It stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It’s what contains the genetic make-up of every living substance.
Socrates: What fascinating things you have discovered!
Atheist: And what about you? You’re dressed up like you’re some Greek dude.
Socrates: Well I would hope so considering I am.
Atheist: I’ve been to Greece. They no longer dress like that.
Socrates: They did in my day.
Atheist: Your day? Who are you?
Socrates: Why, I’m Socrates.
Atheist: Right. And I’m George Washington.
Socrates: Pleased to meet you George.
Atheist: That’s not my name.
Socrates: You said it was.
Atheist: I was joking.
Socrates: You joke about your name? I consider names serious? Didn’t you ever read the Cratylus?
Atheist: Never mind. I don’t believe in dead people coming back to life. We gave up on such fairy tales a long time ago.
Socrates: Fairy tales?
Atheist: You know, myths about things that can’t happen.
Socrates: Ah. So the dead coming back to life can’t happen.
Socrates: And you know this how?
Atheist: We’ve never seen it happen.
Socrates: I see. And that means it can’t.
Atheist: Not with all events, but these are laws of nature.
Socrates: Laws of nature?
Atheist: Yes. Dead people stay dead. We know that.
Socrates: Kind sir. So did we. We practiced burial. I even told my friends what to do for me when I died.
Atheist: Right. The Phaedo. Uh huh.
Socrates: Good. You know my story.
Atheist: I do. But what’s your point?
Socrates: It’s just the dead staying dead is hardly news.
Atheist: But there are some people who believe that the dead don’t stay dead.
Socrates: Ah. Interesting.
Atheist: They’re called Christians mostly. They believe their leader died and came back.
Atheist: Which we know violates natural law.
Socrates: But didn’t they know that back then?
Atheist: Most likely. They just base things on faith.
Socrates: And what do you mean by faith?
Atheist: I think for the Greeks, the word was pistis. It means believing in something without evidence.
Socrates: My friend, you are speaking my language, but you are not speaking my definition.
Atheist: Then what does it mean?
Socrates: It means trust in what has been shown to be reliable.
Socrates: So that brings us back to why you don’t agree with these Christians.
Atheist: Because I don’t believe in miracles.
Socrates: Why not?
Atheist: There’s no one to perform them.
Socrates: What about the gods?
Atheist: You mean God.
Socrates: Did the rest of them die and only Zeus remain?
Atheist: Wow. You play your acting part well. No one treats Zeus seriously. The Christians treat their God seriously. He’s called YHWH and he’s the only God they say there is. Omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, etc.
Socrates: What an interesting idea.
Atheist: But they have no evidence that he exists.
Atheist: And I don’t believe things without evidence.
Socrates: Then may I ask you a question?
Socrates: You require evidence for all your beliefs?
Atheist: Of course.
Socrates: So you want to test everything and hold to what is true?
Atheist: Figures you’re a Christian really?
Socrates: Excuse me?
Atheist: Christians tell that to me all the time. It’s in the Bible.
Socrates: The Bible?
Atheist: Their holy book.
Socrates: It may be in that, but my friend, it is just good advice.
Atheist: Get to your point.
Socrates: Okay, you said you should believe only what you have evidence for.
Socrates: And you say Christians have no evidence for their God.
Socrates: I assume you have evidence he doesn’t exist.
Atheist: Well, he’s never shown himself to me.
Socrates: And that means he doesn’t exist?
Atheist: Not necessarily.
Socrates: Then might you not be like some philosophers who just believe that he winds up the clock and lets it go?
Atheist: No. I believe natural law covers it all.
Socrates: But does that rule out God?
Atheist: Not entirely. Some theists apparently believe in evolution.
Socrates: What’s evolution?
Atheist: It’s this belief that all life comes from simple life.
Socrates: That’s hardly news. Aristotle knew that life is in sperm.
Atheist: Not just that. It’s taking those single cells and saying that life was originally just that and eventually improved until it became what we see today.
Socrates: Fascinating theory! I assume it’s well-established?
Atheist: It is, unless you’re religious?
Socrates: A lot of religious people don’t believe it?
Atheist: No. They think it’s opposed to their holy book.
Socrates: Is that the only reason?
Atheist: No. They try to bring up scientific arguments.
Socrates: Like what?
Atheist: That it’s too hard to happen by chance.
Atheist: No outside interference from God.
Socrates: Ah. So these laws of nature alone did this?
Socrates: Then if it is so obvious, it must be a simple thing. You’re playing with the building block as you said it was now. Right?
Socrates: Do all scientists do that?
Atheist: No. Several do though. We study it in a library and try to re-create the first appearance of life?
Socrates: Re-create it?
Atheist: Yeah. Make life in a laboratory.
Socrates: You incredible people! Have you done so?
Atheist: Not yet.
Socrates: Your minds have yet to make life?
Socrates: But chance can.
Socrates: Without a mind?
Socrates: But minds can’t so far.
Atheist: Not yet.
Socrates: Sounds odd for your position.
Atheist: But Socrates, we see this happening all the time?
Socrates: Life from non-life?
Atheist: Not that. Change from within species.
Atheist: We can breed dogs and get better dogs. We can have bugs become immune to chemicals used to kill them. Animals simply change over time.
Socrates: But it seems the dogs stay dogs and the bugs bugs.
Atheist: Yes. But these beneficial changes eventually produce new creatures entirely.
Socrates: So these changed animals stay this way?
Atheist: Actually, no. They usually revert back within a few generations.
Socrates: Interesting. But somehow, this means that new lifeforms emerge?
Socrates: Has it been observed?
Atheist: No. Not yet.
Socrates: I see. Let’s move on then.
Socrates: Why is it so hard to make this lifeform in the first place?
Socrates: Okay. I’ll repeat. Why is it so hard to make this lifeform in the first place?
Atheist: No no. I mean DNA contains information.
Socrates: It does?
Atheist: Yes. One cell contains thousands of pages of information.
Socrates: Incredible! The great mind behind such a feat!
Atheist: There is no great mind behind it.
Socrates: Why not?
Atheist: Natural Law is all we need.
Socrates: I see. Why not admit God?
Atheist: That will kill science.
Socrates: How come?
Atheist: You can say God did anything.
Socrates: But what if he did do something?
Atheist: It can’t be known through science.
Socrates: What do you mean?
Atheist: I mean that science can’t prove God exists.
Socrates: But it can prove he doesn’t?
Atheist: Well, it eliminates the need for him.
Socrates: But it seems you are arguing in a circle. God is a good explanation you have ruled out which leaves you with only natural law.
Atheist: I believe in science. God kills science.
Socrates: My friend, I had many Greeks who sought natural explanations for things who believed in the gods.
Atheist: But that means anything can happen at any time.
Socrates: Perchance it can, but does that mean it will?
Atheist: Why not?
Socrates: Because I would think that such a world would be chaos.
Atheist: Your point?
Socrates: I don’t see chaos here.
Atheist: So God doesn’t exist.
Socrates: Or he just does these miracles infrequently.
Atheist: Science has disproven miracles?
Socrates: It has? When was this?
Atheist: Well, not one specific time.
Socrates: And which part of science?
Atheist: Well, not one specific part.
Socrates: Interesting. Just science in general?
Athiest: We know men don’t walk on water, virgins don’t give birth, and dead people don’t come back to life.
Socrates: So did we.
Atheist: But you didn’t have our modern knowledge.
Socrates: No. We didn’t. That doesn’t mean we were idiots with what we had though.
Atheist: I just say it happened naturally.
Socrates: How do you know?
Atheist: We are here now.
Socrates: My friend, that is self-evident.
Atheist: And we are here without God.
Socrates: We are?
Atheist: He doesn’t exist. That’s why it happened this way.
Socrates: My friend. I am at a loss for words.
Atheist: How come?
Socrates: It seems you have given no clear sign that God does not exist or that these natural laws are all that are at work in the universe.
Atheist: Well, we can’t prove that.
Socrates: You only seem to have assumptions.
Atheist: Do you have evidence otherwise?
Socrates: No. But I don’t claim to know. I claim to not know. I am agnostic on the claim. You are the one making an assertion.
Atheist: I need to do my studies.
Socrates: Very well, but it seems my friend that you have a lot of faith. Until we meet again.