Reads: 444

A: Is there a God?

M: There is the God of Fairness.

A: I don't think so!  Today somebody was really mean to Emma, and I shouted, "Don't do that!"  So then our teacher comes around the corner, doesn't see what's going on, and thinks that I'm the one who got Emma to cry. 

M: Did you explain the situation to her?

A: No!  She walked off before we ever got a chance to.

M: Well, I'm sure Emma understands that you were nice to her.

A: That's the thing!  She's angry with me too, because she'd hoped we'd get the Team of the Week award.  That's never going to happen now.

M: That's too bad.  You still did the right thing.

A: Says who?

M: The God of Fairness.  At least, I think that’s what he would say.  You couldn’t know what would happen when you defended Emma.

A: What is this thing about the God of Fairness?  The real God is some supernatural person, and we don't even go to church, so you don't know about that God.

M: How can you say that the God of Fairness doesn't exist?  Last week Emma was really nice to you and gave you another cup after the one that she gave you for your birthday broke during the party.  She didn't have to do that.

A: That was nice of her, but what does that prove about the God of Fairness?  Anyway, Emma's family goes to church and we don't, so it's not the same thing.

M: Would you have given her another cup if the situation had happened in reverse?

A: Of course I would.

M: So you see.  I'm sure your friend from India would have done the same thing, and I know from her mother that their family is Hindu.  You don't have to have a specific religion to believe in fairness.

A: But why do you say that there is a God of Fairness?  You keep telling me about science and how miracles in the Bible have natural explanations. If you don't believe in supernatural people, how can you say there's a God of Fairness?

M: The God of Fairness is natural.

A: But he isn't somebody, and he doesn't even really exist, right?

M: Didn't you use Wikipedia for your school project last week?

A: Yes I did, but what does that have to do with anything?

M: So does Wikipedia exist?

A: Of course it does.

M: How do you know?

A: Well, it's there.  I can look at it.

M: So who wrote Wikipedia?

A: I don't know.  Somebody I guess.

M: Who wrote "Harry Potter"?

A: You know that!  It's J.K. Rowling. You got me those books!

M: So if you know the author of "Harry Potter", why don't you know the author of Wikipedia?

A: It's not one person.  It's lots of people.

M: Do you think anybody thanks them for their work?

A: I guess so.

M: You’d first have to know who wrote the article you used if you wanted to thank the person, right?

A: I don't think anybody looks at that.

M: So why do people write those Wikipedia entries if nobody cares about who wrote them?

A: I don't know and I don't care!  Why do you keep asking these questions?  I asked you about God and you are avoiding my question.

M: I'm not avoiding your question.  The people who contribute to Wikipedia believe in being nice.  They believe that if they make their knowledge available, it helps people.

A: So what does that have to do with anything?

M: I'm showing you that the God of Fairness exists.

A: But the world isn't fair!  Just last year we visited an Indian Reservation, and saw all that drilling for oil, and the people who live there don't want that and don't even get anything from it.  That's not fair.

M: That's why we have to believe in fairness, and do things that make the world a nicer place.

A: How can I believe in fairness if it doesn't exist!

M: If you believe in fairness then you do things that make the world fairer. You don't always get rewarded for it, and you may not know what is the fair thing to do.  That can’t be helped.  It's always important to do your best to be fair.

A: The kids in school were really mean to a gay kid, so I don't think God is always good!

M: I don't think the God of Fairness would like it if somebody were mean to a gay person.

A: They said: God doesn’t like you!

M: That doesn’t sound like the God of Fairness.

A: But your God of Fairness is just a joke!  He doesn't really exist.

M: If you used Wikipedia somebody must have written the article you used.  If the person who wrote it didn't get anything for it, that means that there is plenty of evidence that the God of Fairness exists.

A: I'm sure you'd also tell me that Santa Claus exists!

M: I sure would.  Think about how many gifts with label "From Santa" lie around in your grandparents' home at Christmas.  

A: You don't make sense!

M: Of course it makes sense.  If you wanted to know whether there is a Santa Claus who gives gifts at Christmas, you would do an experiment.  One experiment could be to compare the number of gifts labeled "From Santa" on Dec. 25 with the number of similar gifts on a different day.  I'm sure you'd conclude that Santa exists.

A: I don't think Santa is fair.  Santa gives way more gifts to rich kids than to poor kids.

M:  I didn't say that Santa Claus is the God of Fairness.  You suggested I'd argue that Santa Claus exists, and you were right.  I do argue that.

A: So then you think that this Christian God who hates gay people exists too?

M: I don’t really think that the Christian God hates gay people.  But, yes, to answer your question, I do think that the Christian God exists.  I don’t think that there is a question about it.  A lot of people do things because of him.

A: I don’t think that he is fair to gay people!  He says they can’t do things that other people can do.

M: I agree.  That doesn’t seem fair.

A: So then, if all these Gods and Santas aren't always nice, what's the point?

M: The God of Fairness is nice.

A: How do you know?

M: Because if somebody does something that isn't nice then it isn't really fair either, right?

A: A teacher may say, "You have to work harder to get an A", and that may be fair.

M: So then it's nice too, right?

A: I suppose.



M: I’d say it’s time for bed, do you agree?

A: I don't think I believe any of what you said.

M: That's ok.

Submitted: March 28, 2015

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