The first conversation was encouraging. It was with Sup. He is a 21 years old Malay, of South Indian origin. Sup is at Aberystwyth in the third year of his law degree. He anticipates that he might go into copyright law. He is an atheist and I had the opportunity to ask what the big idea was regarding atheism. He wasn’t keen to persuade me of the merits of atheism however, he did share why he rejected the all knowing and all loving God. He couldn’t get to grips with the fact there were so many claims for knowing God, why a supposed good God would permit such devastating suffering in the world and shared with me his understanding of the evolutionary process that discredited the biblical account. Sup was that rare breed of listener and reflector. While he shared he equally gave himself over to listening. I was able to show how his understanding of the Christian worldview was little more than a cultural caricature and share some of the intriguing aspects of the biblical record of human history. We had an all too brief, but most enlightening chat from Bristol to Cardiff.
The second chat was bewildering. A physics student in a Stokes Croft coffee shop shared with me his understanding of the Big Bang theory. We then progressed to discussing laws of thermo dynamics with his other friend a computer studies guy, while their two female friends expressed concern that this was all a bit deep. However, we got onto the laws of maths, logic, science and morality and this is where it turned weird. I sought to establish that two plus two equals four; yesterday, today and tomorrow no matter where you are in the universe. However, I wasn’t expecting obfuscation. I then found the literature student challenging the meaning of words. These were post modernists in-extremist. They weren’t ready to accept the reality of anything, even to the point of acknowledging the painting on The Art Cafe wall behind them had a painter. Should that have been the point to test their theory by punching one of them on the nose? It got really unsettling when I struggled to get them to acknowledge that the rape of a six year old girl was wrong. Totally absurd.