Two Dialogues between World Systems

By Neil Lock

(Hat tips to Galileo Galilei and Jan Lester).

In both these dialogues, the protagonists are Believer (B) and Skeptic (S).


B: God is real, he’s omnipotent, and he’s good. Worship God and be saved!

S: Prove your god is real! And exists in the universe I inhabit!

B: Here’s the proof (thumps bible). God created the Earth and everything in it!

S: I’ve read that crap, and I don’t believe it. Show me proof that the Earth was created. And show me proof that it was your god that did it.

B: Here’s the proof (thumps bible again).

S: You can’t prove anything about the real world without evidence. Evidence that can be checked by anyone with the time and resources. Where is your evidence?

B: But He’s omnipotent. He can do anything. That’s evidence.

S: You mean, he can create a weight he can’t lift?

B: He has prepared Hell for those who ask such questions. If you don’t worship Him, you will go to Hell when you die. And you’ll boil in fire.

S: I’ll take my chances with your dubious deity. If I ever meet it. And fire’s a better way to go than ice, anyway. To mis-quote Robert Frost, ice may be nice, but fire takes you higher.

B: But He is good. He cares about human beings. He will not allow his disciples to be hurt.

S: Excuse me? Hitler? Stalin? Pol Pot? George W. Bush? Tony Blair? Vladimir Putin? Boris Johnson? Your “omnipotent” god allows such scum into positions of political power, where they can harm or even murder innocent people?

B: God’s meek and obedient believers will get justice in the afterlife.

S: Prove there’s an afterlife.



B: Climate change is real, it’s an existential problem, and it’s caused by human emissions of carbon dioxide.

S: Prove that what you call “climate change” is real. (You’ll need to define it clearly first!) Prove it’s a problem for human civilization. And prove it’s caused by human emissions of carbon dioxide.

B: Here’s the proof (thumps IPCC report).

S: I’ve read that crap, and I don’t believe it. Show me the proofs I asked for.

B: (thumping IPCC report again) DENIER! We must give up fossil fuels NOW! If not, we’re DOOMED!

S: And show me hard evidence of the damage that has been caused by “climate change” and would not have happened without it, along with proof that all or most of that “climate change” was caused by human emissions of carbon dioxide. Where is your evidence?

B: Cease your sins of emission, or you’ll boil in Hell! Or freeze, of course – we reserve the right to change our prognosis at any time. But either way, you’re damned.

S: You mean, hot weather is caused by “climate change,” and cold weather is caused by “climate change” too? And floods? And droughts? And gales? And doldrums? And snow? And lack of snow? And all other meteorological aberrations?

B: But it’s a crisis! We must do something!

S: You mean, you want to kill off our human civilization for nothing more than a pack of lies?

B: But our current way of life isn’t sustainable! We must make sacrifices now for the sake of future generations!

S: You bloody well make the sacrifices, then. Go live in a commune of like-minded people, and prove that an economy without fossil fuels is sustainable. Without subsidies, or any other outside support than trade in the market. We’ll see you in 50 years.



  1. Well I agree with the first part. There is no proof.
    The second part is utter nonsense. The evidence from myriad sources is overwhelming. To prefer conspiracy to science is as bad as believing in an invisible spirit. As an intelligent statistician, you should know better. You’ve nailed your flag to a sinking ship.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Opher. We’ve discussed green issues many times, and we disagree. A religious fundamentalist would disagree with me on the religion part, too. The point of this essay was to bring out the similarities between religious and green points of view and ways of arguing.

Leave a Reply