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 IAmAnAtheist » Imagination


The below item is part of my "Conversations" series.

An atheist and a Christian at Disney World

Ralph: That was fun!

Sally: I don’t know — it was too much of a kids’ ride for me.

Ralph: The little purple dragon character was cute.

Sally: What are you going on about it so much for? The whole theme of the thing was "imagination," and I thought you were an atheist.

Ralph: Atheists have imagination.

Sally: Imagination proves that God exists. You couldn’t imagine God if God didn’t exist.

Ralph: That’s ridiculous. I can imagine the purple dragon flying around but purple dragons don’t exist.

Sally: All the elements of the purple dragon do exist, though. Lizards, bat wings, the color purple — those are all real things, so you can imagine them. But you can’t imagine a white thing that’s all black or an ant that’s so short that it’s taller than you because those things don’t exist.

Ralph: I can’t imagine those things because they are logically impossible.

Sally: That’s good enough for me. We can imagine God, so that proves that God is logically possible.

Ralph: It might, if you could actually imagine God, but I don’t think you can.

Sally: Sure I can! I can see Him in my mind right now.

Ralph: What does he look like?

Sally: I don’t know. What do you mean?

Ralph: I mean that if you’re imagining some old bearded guy, then you’re just imagining an old bearded guy named God. You’re not imagining a real God any more than I’m imagining a real dragon.

Sally: It’s not like that. I don’t imagine that God looks like anything, except for Jesus.

Ralph: Then what are you imagining when you imagine God?

Sally: You know — God. The creator of the universe.

Ralph: You’re imagining the creator of the universe.

Sally: I just said that.

Ralph: Fine. How does it work? How does God create universes?

Sally: I don’t know. With infinite power.

Ralph: If you don’t know, then how do you know that you’re really imagining the creator of the universe? Maybe you’re just imagining incorrectly labeling something "creator of the universe." The same goes for infinite power. I don’t think you can imagine any such thing.

Sally: I certainly can. I can imagine God doing anything.

Ralph: How? How does God do things?

Sally: By willing them, and then they happen.

Ralph: You can imagine willing things and you can imagine things happening, but I bet you can’t imagine the part that comes between those two, and that part’s the part that you need to prove that God exists.

Sally: Actually, you’re right. I can’t imagine how God works, but I don’t think that matters.

Ralph: It matters if your argument is that imagining something proves that it exists. You can’t really imagine the things that distinguish God from a material being, so you can’t prove anything with your imagination.

Sally: Well, shoot. Thinking about it that way — you may actually be right.

Ralph: Glad to hear it. I think the Mexico ride’s the next thing on our list.

Sally: Good. There shouldn’t be anything there for us to argue about.

Ralph: I can’t imagine.


If you have a conversation that you’d like me to consider publishing on this blog or in an upcoming book, please see the conversation guidelines.

Posted on June 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Conversations

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