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A Conversation With an Atheist Friend

“How is your damaged eye doing, Rick?” I had a cataract operation five months ago which didn’t work out very well. I am currently seeing a cornea specialist with the real possibility of needing a transplant.

“It’s a little better, but it still has a long way to go.”

“That’s a shame. You seem to wear sunglasses all the time now.”

“Too much light overwhelms that damaged eye, but there is a silver lining to all of this.”

“What’s that?”

“My cornea specialist is teaching me all about how the eye works. It’s a miracle.”

“The biological processes are pretty complex and amazing.”

“I have a hard time comprehending how the eye could have emerged from random processes alone.”

“Here we go again with the God thing. You just need to consider the mathematics behind random processes. Over long periods of time, the possible combinations are almost infinite.”

“What about the human brain? That’s even more complex than the eye.”

“The mathematics of random processes can explain that too.”

“Ok, Sarah. Let’s really get serious about Darwin. Where does love come from? I don’t see it coming out of the evolutionary chain that Darwin describes, and I can’t find it buried somewhere within me despite all the time I have spent looking for it there.”

“Where does it come from then?”

“Martin Buber (I and Thou) and my friend Peter Gabel (The Desire for Mutual Recognition) say it exists in the between, the social space between two individuals. When two people respond to each other in empathetic ways, love enters the relationship from a space that is between them.”

“And you’re trying to tell me that this love is a manifestation of God.”

“It makes sense to me.”

“I’ll have to think about it.”

Review & Commentary