Aug 20, 2019 4:31 PM
Jaime in Fabulous
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"I think they'd notice," says Nina. "Who's that, Richard Dawkins?"

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“God has had more obituaries written about him than most pop stars, I hear it’s the latest fad. Are you religious?”

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"I'm a Thaumatologist."

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“I might attend a service some time, know, see if they have hor d'oeuvres. I’m an atheist.”

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"They usually don't have hors d'oeuvres. Why are you an atheist?"

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“Extensive reading about the evolution of myth and ceremony as means of ensuring social cohesion and cooperation in primitive cultures, and how similar forces can be seen shaping modern religions. Why are you a Thaumotologist?”

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"I used to be Christian like my parents but when I starscaped and I started interacting with the magic I realized there wasn't any explanation for that that wasn't intelligent, and Christianity doesn't really explain why God would do this miracle and not others, but the Thaumatologists know."

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“I can see how that might’ve appealed.”

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"What do atheists believe is judging our beauty?"

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“Scientific phenomenon beyond our current understanding. Microbes. Sufficiently advanced aliens. Our future civilization. Subliminal psionic powers. Swarms, though that just pushes the question one step back. Pseudoscience with the word ‘quantum’ stapled on front. A superintelligent AI with deeply questionable priorities. Genetics, in some complicated way. The people in charge of the simulation we’re in. It varies.”

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"Those don't sound like very good guesses."

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“Most arguments sound stupid when they’re simplified down, and persuasive when you know all of their little details and intricacies; you’re really familiar with how ‘God’ works as a guess, and you know all of the evidence in favor of God existing, and you’ve heard all the best arguments in favor of God existing, and you’ve only heard a simplified account of every other explanation, so of course God seems like a better guess. But then an atheist who’s read a lot about really powerful aliens knows all of the best arguments in favor of really powerful aliens existing, whole books of them, and all of the evidence in favor, and then they probably only know a simplified account of religion, so of course they think it’s aliens.”

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"I think we'd be able to tell if it was aliens."

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This conversation isn’t going to be productive.

“I’m not going to be able to convince you otherwise unless I spend this entire lunch period on it, and several more, because the reasons in favor of it being aliens are really complicated. Do you want to talk about something else.”

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"Sure, I didn't bring up God, you did."

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This is not an unusually low quality teenage girl, she does not deserve to be snipped at, magical contacts might be valuable -

“Great. What do you do, magically?”

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"I do illusion sound!" Tinkly bells sound from nowhere.

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“Oh, how charming. I think that my thing is illusory too, although I haven’t tested whether it can be picked up by cameras, I only starscaped yesterday -“

She makes a little blob of darkness above her hand, and gestures it into wiggling around.

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"Oh, cute. Is it combat capable? Mine's not."

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“I have no idea if it would do anything to a swarm. It might be useful if I could get it to be selectively visible and it blinded them, or if I could make it corrosive, but I doubt it. It’s gesturally responsive enough that I’m planning on incorporating it into dance.”

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"You dance? That's cool. Do the wings make it very different?"

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“I can wing and de-wing without replacing them with anything -“ she de-wings, demonstratively “- and I only starscaped yesterday, so I don’t know, yet. Aerial ballets exist.”

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"Yeah, they do, are you gonna do flying dance?"

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“I dance, I have wings, it seems like a natural next step. What are you planning on doing, professionally?”

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"I don't know yet!"

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