Atheist: So, you believe in ghosts and gods and magic?
Atheist: It’s nonsense. Only science is real.
Animist: What do you mean by “science”?
Atheist: Things I can see and touch. Things that are real, that can be proven.
Animist: So, what if you saw a ghost?
Atheist: I wouldn’t. There is no such thing.
Animist: Humor me. What if you did? What if the ghost of someone you know has passed on wandered into this coffee shop right now?
Atheist: That’s impossible.
Animist: Sure it is, but what if it happened? You watch them walk in the door and come over and sit down with us right here.
Atheist: Then there would have to be some other explanation than “ghost”. Maybe I’m hallucinating.
Animist: And if I see the ghost, too, the three of us sitting here and having a conversation?
Atheist: There still has to be another explanation, because there is no such thing as ghosts.
Animist: So, even if you could see and talk to this ghost, you would still be convinced it wasn’t real.
Atheist: Yes. Because it can’t be.
Animist: Based on what?
Atheist: It just can’t be. I don’t need to prove that ghosts don’t exist. They just don’t.
Animist: So, even confronted with a personal experience with a ghost, you would still refuse to believe in them.
Atheist: Of course. There is no such thing.
Animist: Your faith is impressive.
Atheist: It’s not faith! Everyone knows there is no such thing as ghosts.
Animist: Not everyone.
Atheist: Ok. Fine. Everyone who doesn’t believe in nonsense.
Animist: So, if someone disagrees with you on this, they are wrong?
Animist: And if they have seen ghosts?
Atheist: They are mistaken, lying or insane.
Animist: So you believe there is no such thing as ghosts, and any evidence to the contrary can safely be ignored, and anyone who disagrees with you is mistaken, lying or insane?.
Atheist: Yes, because there is no such thing as ghosts.
Animist: That doesn’t sound very scientific. In fact, it sounds like the opposite of science. You can’t just ignore all evidence that doesn’t support your hypothesis.
Atheist: The existence of ghosts is not a hypothesis. It’s nonsense.
Animist: Well, that clears that up, then. I suppose you are pretty sure the world is round, too?