The Story of Tom, Auto Worker and Philosopher

dashboard saint

When I was a philosophy tutor at Mt San Antonio College I had a student, Tom Swope, see me about some arguments for the existence of God he was having trouble understanding. You know, Anselm, Descartes, that kind of stuff.

Tom, by the way, was one of these cool old dudes with a wry sense of humor. He carried around all his class notes in a binder he labeled “THESONOFABITCHFROMTHEFRONTOFFICE,” which was apparently a reference to his days as an auto worker for Chrysler.

Anyway, Tom and I are talking about God stuff when he lays his own unique argument for the existence of God. More specifically, he claimed that it was impossible to be a true atheist, therefore God must exist.

“What do you mean, Tom?” I asked.

“Well, take for example, when a so-called atheist says ‘Goddamn’ or ‘Goddamnit!”

“Yeah,” I said patiently.

“Well, if an atheist says there’s no God, then who is he asking to damn something?”

“I don’t know, Tom. Good question.”

Anyway, Tom somehow passed his philosophy exam with an A-, for which I’m willing to take some of the credit.

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