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Beware Of The Boys
Topic Started: Nov 19 2012, 10:36 PM (1,653 Views)
Ruggahissy
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Paris' expression softened as he listened, leaning his tiled head against a hand.

"Fossils and faith aren't mutually exclusive. I think maybe you've just kind of got the wrong idea about it. I'm guessing none of your family is really much into it either. The idea of someone watching over is supposed to be comforting. Not so much a scary dude who watches you when you pig out on pizza, but someone who deals with ultimate justice. Good people don't have to worry about Him because they are rewarded."

His voice was kind and gentle as he spoke. He seemed completely and utterly sincere.

"It's about having a code to live by and believing in something bigger than yourself which leads to a sense of community. In having faith you automatically have a whole, huge family of people who share a common identity and believe that's based on a really nice code; being nice to others, respecting parents. If you want, you could come with me some Sunday to see what it's about. Being someone who values empirical evidence, it would only make sense you experience something personally before dismissing it."
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Violent-Medic
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"No, none of my family is religious, at least to my knowledge," Naomi said. She grabbed her coffee and took another long sip of it, trying to delay the rest of her response. Because she really didn't want to be dragged off to a church. She didn't have to listen to a priest ramble on about God to know that she wasn't going to like it.

Issue was that she couldn't say she was busy, because he hadn't specified which Sunday. Just 'some' Sunday. She couldn't reply with 'I'm busy every Sunday and there's no possible way to clear my schedule.' That was far too transparent. She also couldn't just say no, because then he'd think she was close-minded.

So rather than answer whether she'd like to come along, she honed in on the rest of what he'd said.

"How is a religious community different from any other sort of community? It isn't necessary to believe in a god to form a community, because every person belongs to several communities, regardless of beliefs. I doubt kindness and respecting parents relies on believing in a god, either." Naomi took another sip of coffee and added, "If someone is only kind because of religion, I would imagine that says something very negative about them."

Naomi paused for a couple of seconds, thinking on this point, before saying, "God doesn't have to tell me to respect my parents, because I already do. They're intelligent, respectable people and I have nothing to be ashamed of. And perhaps it's none of my business... but you didn't seem to respect your father very much, judging by your description of him earlier. So religion doesn't seem to make a difference in that regard, either."
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Ruggahissy
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"It's different than other communities because the people are bound together not only by their belief which is a personal thing and quite strong, but as well by common practices and ideals. I doubt you could say that about your neighborhood home owners association," he said with a bit of a laugh.

"You are right that there are other types of communities of course, but this is a special sort. Since you admit that neither you nor your family has first hand experience with it, well, I suppose it makes sense that you would characterize it as such. That's alright though, if you aren't exposed then it's hard to have an accurate impression."

Paris leaned forward just slightly. His look didn't waver, though seemed to be running over her as if looking for something.

"I think that the codes are something that give good people reinforcement and less kind people guidelines. What about laws, Naomi? Wouldn't you say that it doesn't speak very well for a society that needs laws in order to make sure that people don't do bad things? What does it say about one that does? And in any case, I think that deep down, you agree guidelines are necessary. What about your young man from your book? Weren't you so miffed when he suddenly became good of his own accord because it didn't fit? Because people don't just switch like that? Because you think that he needed those perimeters that were placed on him to be good?"

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"No, but see... I'm not under the impression that we don't need rules. We do. Without them, society would collapse. But there's a difference between rules that are decided upon by a government, with input from a democratic system, then there is from rules thought up by a group of men who think they're enacting the will of a God."

Naomi was getting far more into this than she'd intended. The inner debater inside her liked pleasant arguments where there was nothing at stake. All that would happen if she lost was that she'd get dragged along to a Sunday of boredom, and that would hardly affect her life in general. So she met his gaze squarely as she tried to argue her point.

"I mean, say that there is a god. How can we know what he wants us to do if he never directly tells us? All we have to go on are the estimates of men who believe in him. Even if God truly spoke to the men who wrote the Bible, I'm sure they mangled parts to their own ends. Plus, it's been thousands of years since the Bible was written, so parts have likely been changed around. The Catholic religion is just interpreting what they think God would want.

"So, since you brought up the comparison to laws... well, I wouldn't trust a president who no-one ever saw, and who lived in the clouds all day while everyone else tried to guess what he wanted. So why would I choose to believe in or trust a god who, at his core essentials, does that same thing?"

Naomi raised her coffee cup, but before drinking added, "And my frustration with that book's ending is because there was no reason for him to suddenly turn good. And for the record, the main character of A Clockwork Orange loved the Bible. If for all the wrong reasons."
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Ruggahissy
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"Then I assume you go to the legislature personally to make sure that they do their jobs and they are supposed to and you read all legislation that is passed in its entirety to make sure that the law is as others say it is, then?"

His drink was fairly forgotten by this point, laying idly in front of him.

"And you know certainly that the things written that you hold true in accordance with your laws, written over two hundred years ago appear exactly as they were intended and written by some men long dead that you've never known?"

Paris smiled his knife sharp smile.

"You have your own faith with your own rules just as I have mine. You don't see it as much, but it's there. So why is mine less valid than yours?"

He leaned forward a bit, his voice, normally deep but smooth, taking on an especially low timbre.

"And you are being disingenuous with your examples, dear Naomi. Saying that someone who is a delinquent likes the Bible, who probably only likes it for the violence present, as a way to try and discredit an argument is like saying that Miranda rights are for the degenerate because someone only liked Miranda v Arizona because of the rape and murder aspect."

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Naomi fluttered her hand in dismissal over the point about the Miranda Rights. "It isn't relevant at all. You're the one who dragged it into this discussion. I simply meant that the ending to that book irritated me because it didn't fit with the storyline, not because it falsely reflected truths of the world or something else roundabout. Good writing should stick with a tone and not bounce the other direction in the last chapter, that's all. The comment about the main character liking the Bible was merely an aside. But that story is... well, just that. A story." Naomi held back the words, 'then again, so is the Bible.'

She was annoyed with his tone. He sounded as polite as ever, albeit talking in a lower voice (Naomi didn't think the tone suited him) but he was getting much more accusatory. Now Naomi was apparently calling his beliefs invalid. Which... okay, yes, that's what she thought. But he clearly thought the same about hers, seeing as the first thing he'd done upon hearing she was an atheist was try to drag her off to church. He made it sound like she'd told him everything he believed was stupid out of the blue. And she'd been mostly holding those thoughts inside her head.

"I don't mean to call your form of belief invalid. I just wanted to explain the reasons why I, personally, don't believe in it. I didn't order you to believe there wasn't a god. You're free to believe whatever you like," she said coolly. "All I ask is that you return the favour and respect my beliefs as well. I think that's fair."

Naomi smiled, though the smile was completely devoid of warmth. She decided was safe from this causing any bad rumours about her being close-minded. If Paris tried to explain it to people, they'd likely zone in on the fact that the first thing he did while getting coffee with a pretty girl was try to convert her to Christianity. Paris already had a reputation for being religious, so it would mesh with their previous knowledge of him. If he tried to explain what had happened, he'd look worse than her.

She couldn't help but add, "For the record? I wouldn't try to convert another girl until at least the third time you've gone somewhere with her. Not everyone appreciates it."

Explains why he didn't have a girlfriend.
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Ruggahissy
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Paris's eyes were intently focused on her. However, she agreed to call a truce of sorts. He shrugged and decided to let it go. "You are free to believe whatever you like."

But then she decided to be rather rude. And though he knew it was wrong to be rude and knew he would feel badly about it later, he couldn't help but be rude back. Paris pulled out his wallet and took out a few bills for the drinks and food.

"For the record, perhaps you shouldn't dismiss things you've never tried full out and then be rude about it. If you didn't want to come with me on Sunday, you just had to say so. Good luck to the next guy who tries to take you out to a new restaurant you've never been to."

He threw the bills on the table and walked out of the café.

((Paris Ardennes continued elsewhere))
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Naomi just sat still, looking mildly surprised as if she'd bitten into a chocolate-flavoured pastry and found out it was strawberry. Except in this case, it was finding out that the polite, handsome boy from her Math class was, well... not as nice as he pretended.

She only spoke after Paris made his comment about guys taking her out to new restaurants. As he walked away, she let out a deadpan "Oh no."

Once Paris was gone, she took her time finishing her coffee. It hadn't been the friendly meeting she'd been expecting. He'd tried to push the Bible on her, gotten a little bit mean when she pointed out that he was Bible-pushing, and then stormed out. His last words didn't even make sense. She had wanted to be here. At least until the Bible came up. He was the one who made it awkward.

Naomi smiled a little to herself as she finished off her coffee. All in all, he'd certainly helped remove the terrible disease that was teenage infatuation. So all in all, it had been time well-spent.

((Naomi Bell continued elsewhere.))
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