Disclaimer: All attributed comments (even my own) are paraphrased to the point of being semi-fictional and events may have occurred in a different order than I remember. If you don’t like it, put your corrections/perspectives in the comments.
I arrived late, so I hope that some of the other members present will fill the gaps in my patchy and biased recollection.
James expressed his resentment at God, for causing (or was it allowing?) his lack of belief in Him. This resentment was allegedly thrown into sharp relief by an encounter with a particularly happy group of 'believers'. Michael and I tried to tell him that this was OK, as he was right, but James found little consolation in this.
The analogy was put forward that even though he didn’t believe in very much he could defend a very small area of ground very well with the few truths (or is that Truths) he could rely on. James replied that this wasn’t much use as he only had a small bit of ground, and the Christians were out having a good time playing cricket. I suggested that they were actually drowning and they didn’t know it. It was around this time that participants became less enthusiastic with the analogy.
Changing tack, I tried to tell James he had it wrong and that the key to happiness was to “not worry about whether or not you are actually happy” and “not worry about who you are”. I admitted that this was fairly well unfounded other than my own experience. James said that this was not very useful, and that I was full of shit.
We disputed the existence of buses, again. (Did we talk about ducks?).
Samuel Barnes arrived and cast doubt on James’ assertion that all Christians are happier than atheists, by declaring that he wasn’t particularly happy.
At some stage Michael bough theology into it, and we argued about the passive potential of God – That God has to have done everything and is the best at everything, otherwise he isn’t perfectly transcendental. A number of people expressed the opinion that this seemed a bit strange. I asked if God held the record for the performance of a certain kind of act in a public venue. Most people ignored this and Hannah told me that I didn’t say it loud enough because not quite everyone in the courtyard heard. Samuel Barnes seemed troubled. No one could agree on whether or not a God outside of time could act inside of time, or what this even meant.
That more or less concluded our meeting.
If you want to get in on the action ( or lack thereof) meeting details are listed here.