Tuesday 3 January 2012

Professor Dalson: Lord of Hell

It was a Friday when Professor Bill Dalson died. He was surrounded by his family, and confirmed his atheism to the last.

He woke up surrounded by fire and brimstone. A demon poked him with a pitchfork.

"Come on," the demon said. "No rest for the wicked."

The Professor sat up, looked around, and then put his head back down on the hot floor.

"No." He replied.

The demon regarded him for a moment, before stabbing him (really quite hard this time) with the pitchfork.

"I said 'come on'", the demon said. "You don't get a choice in the matter."

"It isn't about choice," Dalson said. "There isn't an afterlife, so I can't be here."

"But you are here," the demon said. "I know you are. I can see you."

"That's just anecdotal evidence", the Professor said.

The demon tried prodding, poking and stabbing him with the pitchfork a bit further, but Dalson continued to ignore the demon. Eventually, realising he could do no more, the demon went straight to Satan himself.

After some explaining (which, and let's be honest here, did not go well for the demon, who was trying to do the right thing, but that's Hell for you), Satan arranged for Professor Dalson to be carried directly to him, and his eyes held open with thorns.

"Now," Satan said, "You can no longer deny what is directly in front of your face. After all, any kind of science that atheism is a part of means that you should change your belief based on evidence and experience."

"You make a good point," Professor Dalson said, "but how do I know that this is not a dream?"

"Because this is Hell."

"How do I know I'm not dreaming Hell and, indeed, you?" the Professor responded.

"Well," Satan said, growing more annoyed, "how do you I know that I haven't dreamed you?"

"That's my point," said the Professor.

Satan conceded that he had him there, and signed over ownership of Hell to Professor Dalson before retiring to a life of solitude.

And that's how Professor Dalson became the Lord of Hell and how Hell started to run night classes in classic literature.

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