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The Debate

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Below is the poem entitled The Debate which was written by poet Brian Terry. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Debate

A Debate

The Atheist
I see no reason for a god
Indeed for any type of god at all
I look around at all the churchmen
The pompous richly dressed ones
And wonder what their founder would have thought
And then at the other end
The shabby unpretentious lot
More primitive, more fundamental and literal
They have however one thing in common
Unshakeable belief in their virtue 
and in their God who’s always there
Despite the evils and the sorrows in this world
They prate so endlessly
About sin
Sin as defined 
in their narrow mind
They cheerfully pray that we can overcome some other systems of belief
by force sometimes.
How can they justify the killing and the torture of other humans?
by their beliefs they are all God’s creatures.
Nobody knows for sure how life was started
But from a simple single cell
We evolved until we’re here
But few accept the clear evidence for evolution
And what about the soul
Of which they speak
What is it?
Where did it come from?
Where does it reside in us?
Where does it go?
Or does it die with us?
That’s if it’s there at all

The Agnostic
But my friend you’re just as bad
Your position, or as so stated, is rigid and admits no other view
I’m with you
I also reject the Churches
They are only human constructs
And have been a source of evil
I don’t know if there is a God
A personal God who cares for us
Or any other sort of god
But until I know for sure
I keep an open mind
Where did we come from?
Again I do agree with you
Why did the first cells appear and how?
I do believe and have some evidence
That there is something in our nature
Which yearns for more
Is this a soul?

The Theist
You really are quite wrong
The simplest hypothesis
The one with least assumptions
Is that something outside of us
Maybe two string theory ‘branes
By chance collided
And brought our universe into being.
Or maybe some vast, uncaring intelligence
Caused in some way unknown creation and then
Left uncaring, uninterested.
If there is an environment friendly to some form of life
It seems to start but we do not know why or how

The Believer
This cannot be
My holy book tells all
There is a God
He cares for us
It says so right here
He created all
Us and the animals
And gave us dominium overall
You worry about the sin and suffering
You cannot know God’s purpose
How dare you take HIS holy name in vain
All three of you will burn in hell


The wives
We didn’t marry for philosophical debate
We married, as we thought for love
He spends all day and often all night
Thinking about, what to us, is unthinkable
What about us?
What is our function?
Is it just to cook and clean?
To run the houses?
To do the shopping?

We all decided that this was not good enough
We started to go together to dinners and to dances
We each met a man we called them Hedonist
They made us laugh and feel like girls again
And then one day
We found there were not four Hedonists but one!
This was a shock
But after long and painful talks
We decided that we didn’t care
And would just share.
After all we did not love him
Nor he loved us
We all became friends but with privileges
But never more than one at once!

The Hedonist
I listen to them talk
Their weighty conversation
It is so bloody boring
Never any realisation.
I do not concern myself with such considerations
Life is far too short
And anyway I’ve got to know their wives
Such fun
They are bored stiff with their deliberations
And bored indeed in bed
So one by one I’ve wined them
So one by one I’ve dined them
So one by one I’ve danced with them
And one by one I’ve slept with them
There’s Stella, Dorothy, Abigail and Claire
They set the rules
No commitment
Just good fun
Fine by me
As long as nobody gets serious

At that so important final moment
They don’t cry out
To:
A random quantum fluctuation
Or an entity full of hesitation
Or then a again a being so barren
Or even worse a jealous god, primitive man’s last bastion
But no
They shriek out loud
Sometimes my name
Or sometimes it’s just Oh you bastard!
Or sometimes it’s just Oh you animal!
Or now and again Please stop O stop you devil
Then I know my duties done



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