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Atheism

Are You There God? It’s Me, Hambydammit

If you recall, I have been invited to go to a big time apologetics conference.  I’ll be leaving tomorrow, and will be doing my best to get into as many conversations with as many big names as possible.  Hopefully I’ll have time to blog about my experience in fairly real time, but if I am a day or two behind, I hope you’ll forgive me and chalk it up to exhaustion.

I figured it’s a good idea to give the god idea a fighting chance from the beginning, so I’ve devised a simple experiment.  A couple of weeks ago, I cracked my IPhone like nobody’s business.

That’s not  my Iphone.  I couldn’t figure out how to use my Iphone to take a picture of my Iphone’s front side.  But mine looks a lot like this.  A little worse, actually.

I’ve got an appointment for screen repair tomorrow at 11 AM.  Then I’m off to Charlotte.  If god wants me to really jump on the bandwagon, I’m giving him an easy in.  I’ll make sure that my phone is on my person all day today, and will sleep with it tucked under my pillow tonight.  Nobody will have a way to get to it.  And certainly nobody will have the time to actually repair the thing without my knowledge.

If I wake up tomorrow and my IPhone screen looks like it just came out of the box, brand new — and this part is important — with the same crooked screen protector still on — I’ll be damn impressed.  The screen protector is important.  I was feeling cheap and didn’t want to pay the extra $20 to have the store employee put my super duper screen protector on.  So I did it myself.  And it’s a crappy job.  I know exactly where it’s been stretched, and where the bubbles are, and how it’s lying cockeyed.  I look at it every day.  So I want the god — whoever or whatever it may be — to perform magic on my IPhone and turn my existing broken screen into a new one without taking the screen cover off.

Seems like a small task for a being who supposedly created the whole universe and raised dead people.

Oh, also, I’m going to hold up my end of the bargain.  Tonight before I go to sleep, I’m going to say the following prayer with as much sincerity as I can muster:

Hello, deity.

I do not believe you exist, but I am told that you do.  I am also told that you can work magic and do things that are physically impossible.  If you are real, I’d like to know the truth, so I’m offering you the chance to prove yourself to me.  I am very skeptical by nature, and highly distrustful of my emotions.  In order for me to believe, I will need to see something that could not possibly happen by natural means.  Surely you can understand that I cannot help being the way I am, and if you can read my thoughts, as I’ve been told, then you know I will be unable to believe you exist without a supernatural demonstration.

So, I’m asking you to fix my Iphone.  Specifically, I’d like you to repair my screen while leaving my screen protector exactly where it sits now.  By all means I can think of, this ought to be physically impossible.  If you perform this magic for me before my repair appointment tomorrow, I will believe that you exist.

To prove that I’m not after personal gain from this, if you perform this miracle for me, I’ll donate the cost of the repair — $99 plus tax — to the organization of your choice.  It would be helpful if you’d leave me a text message or a note stating which church is the correct one.

Any theists reading this, I’d like to encourage you to also pray to whatever god you believe in.  If we pray to as many gods as possible, maybe we’ll hit the right one.  I really hope he leaves me a note with his true identity.  It would really suck if I knew there was a god but still had to figure out which god it was…

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Discussion

13 thoughts on “Are You There God? It’s Me, Hambydammit

  1. Hi Hamby!!! HE IS THERE!!!

    Posted by Lara Pace | October 13, 2010, 2:39 pm
  2. If I was a betting man, which I’m not, I’d be willing to put a lot of cash on the “nothing happened” outcome after the prayer … but then as an ex-believer and a skeptic I would of course say this … the basis of that bet would not be faith (or lack of it in my case), but rather the rock-solid evidence that prayer does nothing at all.

    Regardless of how they handle you at the conference, have fun … even if the source of the fun is just poking holes in the beliefs on offer. Looking forward to reading about how you get on …

    I suspect if you are open about where you stand, you will get lots of folks hitting on you in a vain attempt to convert …

    PS check out my blog if time permits … its http://www.skeptical-science.com

    Posted by dave gamble | October 13, 2010, 2:40 pm
  3. Oh side note … I like the word-press theme you have used … its a lot better than mine … I’m tempted to nick it … (assuming thats OK)

    Posted by dave gamble | October 13, 2010, 2:42 pm
  4. Thanks, Dave.

    I just glanced through your front page, and it looks like you’ve got a good blog going there! I’ll check it out when I have a little more browsing time.

    And yeah, I intend to have a good time one way or another. The cool thing about being me in this situation is that I have no desire to change anybody’s mind about anything. I’m going there because I was told they can change my mind. So I’m giving them the chance.

    Posted by hambydammit | October 13, 2010, 3:30 pm
  5. Oh, and yeah… this theme is really awesome. I tried about four or five before I settled on this one. I’ve previewed just about all of the ones that look decent, as well. Great formatting, easy to read, and lots of personalization options.

    Posted by hambydammit | October 13, 2010, 3:31 pm
  6. I still haven’t got my pony

    Posted by cptpineapple | October 13, 2010, 3:55 pm
  7. Hi Hamby!!! HE IS THERE!!!

    I’ll let you know how the IPhone turns out. I’m kind of skeptical, but I’ll be very happy if it does magically get fixed tonight. What do you think? Is it going to be a miracle?

    Posted by hambydammit | October 13, 2010, 4:02 pm
  8. I still haven’t got my pony

    This isn’t the first time I’ve asked for impossible things. And I’ve spread the love around. I’ve asked Allah, Vishnu, Ahura Mazda, and Satan, among others. (It seemed odd to ask Thor since he doesn’t have much of a following, but I did. I figured he might be bored.)

    It may seem odd to ask Satan for a favor, but I figured there was good logic behind it. If I ask Satan to do something impossible and it happens, then it at least proves that something out there is doing magic. It might be that Satan exists but Jesus doesn’t. Or it might be that Satan has a bad press agent and Jesus just managed to get all the followers. But in any case, I’m pretty much up for grabs for any deity that can work magic that I can verify.

    Posted by hambydammit | October 13, 2010, 4:07 pm
  9. “I’ll donate the cost of the repair — $99 plus tax — to the organization of your choice. It would be helpful if you’d leave me a text message or a note stating which church is the correct one.”

    Haha, that’s awesome!

    I’ve been thinking a lot recently that it would be soooooooooo easy for a god to manipulate today’s technology to make it completely unambiguous that something far beyond the ordinary is going on.

    Imagine if everybody around the world simultaneously got an email detailing things only that person could know, and making small and verifiable predictions of upcoming life events, as well as identifying which religion is the right one, etc. etc.

    Or all radios and cell-phones, speakers, headphones, TVs, computers, etc. suddenly started speaking with the same voice all over the world, understandable by all humans, even though they don’t know the language, etc. etc.

    The fact that *nothing* like this *ever* happens is a deafening and damning silence.

    Posted by Wonderist | October 14, 2010, 2:18 pm
  10. God isn’t going to fix your iPhone.

    She’s a Blackberry user & hates virtual keyboards.

    -evan

    Posted by eheffa | October 14, 2010, 4:47 pm
  11. I’m sad to report that my poor IPhone looked the same today as yesterday, and despite fervent requests by me to any deity that might be listening, Steve Jobs got my money.

    Posted by hambydammit | October 15, 2010, 12:48 am
  12. How did you manage to get an invite to this thing anyways?

    Posted by Ed | October 16, 2010, 2:29 pm
  13. I didn’t do a thing. Chalk it up to the indefatigable power of the “God’s Word can Save Anyone” meme.

    By the way, has it ever occurred to you that “indefatigable” is one of the most superfluous words in English? How many damn prefixes does it take to say “tireless, but extra-super-tireless”?

    Posted by hambydammit | October 16, 2010, 2:41 pm

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