Tcharles the Atheist

Tcharles had a very simple rule in life: he did not suffer fools. In his opinion, there were certain common sense things that everyone should agree on in this day and age, and if someone disagreed, he felt a great need to expose his stupidity for what it was.

When he saw the man reading the bible on the train one day on his way to his affairs, he knew he had found one of those ones.

He approached the man and tapped on his shoulder lightly.

“Excuse me sir, may I interrupt you for a minute?”

The man looked up with a smile and closed his bible.

“Of course. How may I help you?”

“Well let me introduce myself. My name is Tcharles and there is something which is troubling me. I don’t understand how somebody living in the 21st century, knowing everything we know from science, could still believe in that nonsense.” He sent his hand to gesture to the book.

The man glanced briefly down at his bible and smiled, extending his hand.

“It’s nice to meet you Charles. I’m curious why you-”

“Tcharles, not Charles. There’s a T in the front.”

“I’m sorry?”

Tcharles smiled, shaking his head, as if at a child who had just said an outrageous thing.

“You religious folk, you really have a way of closing your ears and eyes to reality.”

“Why does my faith bother you?”

“Your faith bother me? Don’t be so flattered. I could care less if you, an adult living in the 21st century, with access to all the science that that a four year old knows, still believes in an imaginary sky daddy. No. What bothers me is the hypocrisy. You conveniently trust science when it suits you — for medicine, technology and every other scientific advance. However when it comes to this unanimous scientific fact, you choose to ignore it.”

“About my belief?”

“About my name. Tcharles has been established to have a T in the front. This is now considered linguistically correct.”

The man’s look of readied combativeness gave way to complete bewilderment.

“Excuse me? I don’t care how scientists spell your name. Why should that make a difference to me?”

“You see? Exactly!” Tcharles looked triumphant. “You pick and choose what science you like. The fact that science states that there is a T should be enough.”

“Let me explain something to you, my friend.” The man shook his head, chuckling softly like he had said something fantastically simple but yet stubbornly not understood by the other party. “I love science. But only when it brings something helpful, something positive into my life. I love new medicines and new technologies. But abstract theories which don’t improve my life? Why should I care? I am happy spelling Charles without a T and I can’t see how adding the T will improve my life. If anything I find it strange and perhaps somewhat ugly.”

“Science is not subjective. It is an objective fact.” Tcharles said insistently. “It’s aesthetic appeal is irrelevant. If science agrees unanimously that this chair,” he pointed almost angrily to a vacant seat beside the man, “is a bob, this bob is not a chair.”

“That will always be a chair to me.” The man said calmly. “I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.”

“No!” Tcharles seemed offended. “One cannot disagree with science. It just is.”

“Oh my.” The man sighed, looking up at the roof and then down to his bible, as if regretting this whole interruption. “Anyways it was nice meeting you sir, but you’ll have to excuse me.”

With that the two men parted ways, the one deeply satisfied with himself, the other relieved, though a bit confused.