Ask Me Why: Does God exist?

Two classmates delve into the divine.

January 21, 2011

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(Flickr/Duncan Cumming)
Yes? No? Maybe?

Shay Senior and Henry Pye are juniors at Global Citizenship Experience High School, a tiny tuition-based school in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

The school has only 16 students, which means Henry and Shay take every class together. You’d think they’d know each other pretty well as a result. But this week they had the opportunity to get to know each other even better, by having the kind conversation they might not have in class.
 
For this next installment of Ask Me Why, our recorded conversation series that explores the personal roots of our differing beliefs, Shay and Henry chose a question that has vexed philosophers since time immemorial: Does God exist? And if he does, does he play a role in our everyday lives?
 
Henry and Shay come from very different backgrounds and their upbringings are reflected in their differing opinions on religion. Shay grew up on the South Side of Chicago going to church with her family every Sunday. She believes there is a God who is with us every step we take. Henry grew up on the North Shore. Religion was not emphasized in his home and although he believes that God may have existed at one time, he has now has no presence in our daily lives.
 
In the edited version of their conversation posted above you can hear them probe each other’s reasoning before eventually finding common ground.
 
Ask Me Why is produced in collaboration with the Illinois Humanities Council, and was made possible by a grant from The Boeing Company. If you and someone you know are interested in participating in this series, you can download the application form here.