Plouă cu misionari în ASE, București, dar ai cui sunt? Am vorbit deja cu 2 dintre ei, și acum îl întalnesc și pe al treilea.
Pentru ateii dornici de dezbateri, propun să petreceți o zi în campus cu un tricou pe care scrie "What's my purpose in life?", "Waiting 'til marriage!" sau, în cazuri disperate, "Let me into your cult!". Fiindcă e probabil exact ceea ce caută.
Las conversația care urmează în engleza, fiindcă așa a avut loc și nu-mi place să schimb des între limbi.
Vine așadar numărul 3, un tanar din Germania. Zece clase terminate, copil de divort si etnie italiana. Interesting.
(read after the jump, it's really long)
"Hello, may I ask you a couple of questions?"
I look up from my netbook. This again?
"You know you're the third person this week asking me that?" I said in a bemused tone.
"Yes, a Romanian guy and an English speaking guy asked me in the last few days. Something about purpose in life, living for others and purity. The first guy wasn't very good at making his case. But I had a fairly good conversation with the second one."
"So, am I bothering you? Are you busy?"
"Ah, no. Just wondering. Are you using these questions as conversation starters or is it actually a survey?"
"It's a survey."
After answering the standard questions much briefer than the last times and assuring my conversation parter it was due to repetition and not annoyance, we've gotten to the point where he offered to go with me through the first parts of the seminar, if I had an hour or so time. Yay! Convince me there's a god! I did tell him though, that I would ask a lot of questions and expected high standards from any convincing process.
"If you're really open, these steps will let you find God. From my experience, I can promise you this 100%."
"That's how you found him?"
"Yes, I'm not telling you to believe everything I say. Just think about it and be open."
Boy, I'm more open than a triple-c*nted hooker (props for anyone who gets the reference).
He got a book out with fairly simple yellow covers. Opened, it looked like a collection of powerpoint slides, with big graphics and an even bigger font for the 4-points list underneath. I imagined it could be well seen from 5 steps away. Useful for running after someone.
It basically started like this:
Humans have always been searching for the truth from either science or religion. More and more people choose science instead of religion.There I have to interject.
"I don't think people are necessarily choosing one over the other. Science just set higher standards for the way people are researching things and better methods for finding out. Now people judge religion by higher standards and expect higher quality arguments there too. If religion would provide better quality arguments, there'd be no problem."
There are two kinds of truth. Internal and External. Neither answer all questions.Internal truth is basically subjective opinion, while external truth was defined as naturalistic explanation. Well, I don't agree that's the best course of categorizing, but whatever.
To really answer our questions, we need a new kind of truth.Yours, right?
Humans have an original mind and an evil mind. The evil mind came after the Fall.
Fall? Ring ring ring, there go the alarm bells.
"I have to ask you something here. Do you mean that metaphorically, or do you believe Creation actually happened?"
"I believe it actually happened, yeah." he said. Un creationist, manca-ti-as!
"Cause I believe it's meant to be a metaphor." Just to be clear on that.
"Well, the Fall explains where the evil mind, that makes us do evil, selfish things."
"So there was no evil mind before the Fall? How'd Eve even decide to eat the apple, if she could think no evil thoughts?" I ask, already seeing the swiss cheese unfolding.
"Ummm... the serpent, kinda, convinced her real slow. You know, kinda like boiling a frog slowly, it doesn't notice." was the answer. I wouldn't let it go at that.
"But it still was a selfish decision, no matter how slow the convincing. 'Hey, eat this, know how to be like God!' How on earth is that not selfish?"
"Yeah, but she didn't know what evil was. The serpent was sneaky."
"Yet she would be disobeying a direct order from God. That'd make him sad."
"Well, the serpent was really, really good at manipulation."
"Even though Eve had only an original mind back then?"
"But we weren't perfect. God didn't make us perfect."
"Huh? Why are we striving to eliminate the evil mind then, if we weren't perfect from the get go?"
"God wants us to become perfect. To be like him, in a way. Like Jesus, who is the most perfect human."
"But he created us imperfect." More of a disaproving statement, than a fact. "And Jesus instructed his followers to steal a donkey."
"Oh, really? I haven't heard of that". Right now, I imagine he's blushing, don't know why.
"It's in the Bible. I read it, haven't you?"
"No, I should look that up then. That Jesus stole a monkey."
"That's donkey." My spidey senses sense a minor language barrier here.
"So, what I'm saying is, there's some sort of duality in everything we see. Theres internal and external truth, and also male and female."
"How's that work in bacteria? Or this table?" I knock on the table.
"Well, not the table obviously. It has to be alive."
"Bacteria are alive. I mean, just because they're small, it doesn't mean they don't live. They reproduce asexually, by splitting." Bringing up viruses would blow his mind, I guess.
"I don't really know about bacteria. Is it actually alive?"
"Sure, since it eats and reproduces. Or trees and plants. They're alive surely? What about some oysters, they can change their gender. Or hermaphrodites?"
"I don't know about that. What are oysters?" Language barrier this time.
"Muscheln." I explain in German, giving away my 1337 language skillz. After the obligatory "Oh, you speak really good German!" "Yeah, thanks." dialogue intercession, I wind up explaining what a hermaphrodite is, and some genetic diseases like trisomy 21, where gender is tricky to determine by genetics alone.
"Ah, those people are actually an error." my conversation partner concludes.
"I don't mean that they have no value as a person, but, objectively, it was not meant to be. We were supposed to be male and female."
"Ooookaaayyy... but still, since these people exist, there can be no talk of a duality, right?"
"Yes there can. Male and female. The others are there because of the evil mind."
"But..." Ok, I let it slide. Moving on.
"So, to know God's purpose for us, we must first understand the nature of God."
"Why is that necessary?" Does not follow. It must be a typical creationist line of thought.
"To know what God intended. For that we have to look at his creation. We see everything as a duality, so God must have a duality too."
"Ok, why does that necessarily follow?"
"God's like an artist. If you know artists, they create basically something like themselves."
"Except for commissions. You know, someone says 'paint this and I pay you'."
"Yeah..." I then decide to help the poor guy out and bring up a lot of painters who draw faces very similar to their own. Why am I the only trivia aggregator here?
"But maybe God made this universe as a comission for someone else. Or he made many other universes and this one is just a sketch." I suggest playfully. "Still, a painting doesn't have to be similar to the painter. Why does God have to be like us then?"
Light sparks in his eyes. "Because the Bible says God made us in his image."
"But imperfect." I remind him.
"So if he changed perfect to imperfect, how do we know he didn't change that duality thing?"
No real answer from that, except that that's really obvious and duality is an important characteristic, so we continue with the script.
God has duality: internal and external, male and female."Good and evil." I promptly add.
Dialogue comes to a full stop. "... No." I get after a while.
"Seems pretty prominent to me. Humans are good and evil. You said so yourself."
"No, evil came after the fall."
"So it's just the duality before the fall then?"
"Even though Eve could contemplete committing evil?"
"Yeah, contemplating evil is not the same as doing evil."
"Disregarding God's word is doing evil. And that was before the actual act of eating and ingesting. And letting Eve eat the apple and banish humans was... good?"
"God is only good. He has the original mind only."
"But when Eve had only the original mind, she could commit evil."
"Ah. No. That's because humans were created imperfect. See, aside from the original mind, humans also had conscience. The serpent worked with that."
"So the conscience determined the original mind to do evil?"
"It got confused." Who's gotten confused here?
"So God had no conscience." I conclude.
"If the conscience was the only thing that let the humans, who were created in Gods image, do evil, then Gods goodness can only be explained by him having no conscience."
"No, it's more like... he just doesn't do evil. But humans have free will, like God, and they can choose to do evil."
"You mean everything's the same, only humans choose to do evil? Even if they didn't know what evil was?"
"They get confused." Wha-? O___o Only a Japanese smiley can describe my expression now.
"So if the original mind can be fooled, and the conscience can be fooled, and there's the evil mind too, how can we know the truth?" I ask.
"God chooses to reveal the truth to some people." Ta-DAM! Missionary-boy then proceeds to show an example of a perfect guy, who just happens to get live tweets from God.
And like the trivia magnet that I am, I recognize the guy.
"Ah, the one with the mass weddings." I say. Mass weddings is understated. The guy's head of a coreean christian cult, who places him and his wife as "the perfect couple" on pedestals. Followers see him as the second coming of Christ. What the fuck's he doing at my university?
I do question how he knows Moon's really a prophet and not some L.Ron Hubbard 2.0. The answer that I get is to not take it at face value, but to examine his claims. To follow everything through to see if it works. Gee, Scientology wants its line back.
Apparently, the true Truth this prophet brings is universal, unchanging and has the power to let people find God. Also, world peace.
"So you and people who believe in this are the only people who found God?"
"No, I think others have found him too."
"Yet, they found him through different means." I say. "If their means differ from that of your prophet, but both bring people to God, which one is not the true Truth that is unchanging? Or have other people found God through lies?"
I basically get a non-answer. But then, we get to chapter 2 and our hour's up.
I do agree to meet sometime again. After all, my atheisty senses are tingeling.