"God doesn't exist."

"Yes he does," she countered. She still didn't believe me. "You can't prove that he doesn't."

"And you can't prove that he does." It was the same old argument, one that we had had many times before, she being a devoted Christian and I being a stout atheist. Since we both strongly believed our convictions, it was impossible to convert the other's way of thinking, but it was still fun to try.

"Do you actually believe that God takes an active part in your daily life? That he makes decisions for you, or protects you?" She wasn't so devout that she would pray whenever faced with a difficult decision or anything like that, but she did go to church every Sunday and continued to contend that God existed.

"No, not always. But he does do things for people, and he does exist!"

"Mindy..."

"Tyler..."

What she didn't know this time, however, is that I had something up my sleeve, an argument borrowed from a book I started to read earlier in the summer. I just had to get the conversation to go the right way.

"Why does God have to exist? What does he do that can't happen without him?"

"He created people, didn't he? You can't tell me that we evolved from monkeys."

"But we did..."

"No we didn't. Men, maybe..."

"Mindy, evolution happens all the time."

"Explain it then. Tell me how humans evolved from monkeys."

"Do you have a few weeks to spare?"

"And God created the universe. Or how else do you explain how it got here?" She was leading herself into my trap.

"So God created the universe. Right?"

"Yeah."

"So God was here before the universe existed. God always exists."

"Yeah."

"So where did God come from?" This wasn't my trap.

"He just was. And is. He always existed."

"So God, who just exists and didn't come from anything, created the universe. That means that God must be fairly complex, right? Much more complex than the universe, since he created it."

"Yeah, so?"

"Well, the way I see it is that the universe always existed, and didn't come from anything. Kinda like how you see God."

"Okay..." She wasn't sure where I was headed, and was worried. But rather than appear worried, or confused, she put on a face that said "why am I talking to this uneducated dunce?" Hard to believe that we are best friends.

"God is more complex than the universe, since he created it, right?" I always re-iterate my points when I'm trying to win an argument, so that they don't have any doubts about where I'm taking my conclusions from.

"Right." She was getting bored. Time to make my point.

"So isn't it easier to believe in something that is less complex, like the universe, than something that is more complex, like God who created the universe?" This was my trap.

"No," she said with resolution.

"Why do you believe in God, but not that something else created God? I could argue that there is another being that created God. Why couldn't you believe in that? Something must have always existed, either the universe, God, or whatever created God. The least complex thing in that list is the universe. Why do you have to have this more complex thing that created the universe to believe in? Isn't it easier to believe that something less complex always existed?"

"No, because it had to have come from something. The universe had to have been created by something."

"But God didn't?"

"Right, because he always existed."

"Mindy..."

"Tyler..."

Tyler Jones, November 9, 1993