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If atheists are proven wrong, how will they explain to God why they never bothered believing in him?
My time for struggling with that question, like so many others’, was high school.
I did not have Augustine to debate with, as Michael Masiello did. But it was pretty painful.
I looked over the poems I wrote at the time, to see if I had an answer at the ready back then. To my surprise, I think I did. I’ll append the Esperanto original in comments.
You, who guard the souls turned to shades,
treat them well.
They’ve lived through hell, they’ve missed beatitude;
let them at least find
some kind of rest with you, who
guard the souls turned to shades.
In your night-black cloudless reign,
let some light through now and then,
that the souls turned to shades may move more lightly,
even if, despite it all, still
with no hope, while hope is missing in your
night-black cloudless reign.
You will smash our life’s work to dust, you have had final victory,
you are rotting away all beauty.
Be contented and be compassionate, Great Source of Fear,
for already you are no longer feared
by those you guard, having smashed
their life’s work to dust, having had final victory.