(A one-sided phone conversation, recently overheard)
Hello, Welcome to the Marvel Universe Emporium!
Why yes, we have superheroes here.
The Mighty Thor? I'm sorry, but he's dead. Yes, the other Norse gods, too. Ragnarok. Shall I put you on the call back list when they return?
Captain America? I'm sorry, but he's currently wanted by the Government. Yes, I know he represents the country. It's kind of complicated.
Iron Man? I'm sorry, he might be crazy. He was also recently the Secretary of Defense. No, I don't know if the two are connected.
Hulk? Off-planet. Yes, his bosses didn't like him, so they shot him into space. No, I don't know if he had any robots with him, why do you ask?
Daredevil? He's in prison. It's kind of complicated. We do have a temp in the position, will that do? No?
Yes, we do have super heroes. We wouldn't be much of a superhero universe without them, would we?
Fantastic Four? It’s a bad time, they're breaking up. Thing? He's rich now, so he sets his own schedule. No, we don't represent the New Warriors anymore. Legal liabilities. Exception for Nova. No, he's in space.
Nick Fury? He's dead. Or maybe it was his LMD. Or maybe it was both him and his LMD. I'm never sure.
Why yes, we do have mutants! We always have mutants!
No, he's been depowered. He's been depowered too. She's been depowered. No, he hasn't been depowered, but he's dead. No, he's depowered. Depowered. Dead. She's getting married. Depowered. Depowered. Depowered. Dead.
Who do we have? Well, we still have Leach. His ability is to depower mutants. What do you mean, that's ironic?
Of course we have Spider-Man. What kind of a super-hero universe would be without Spider-Man?
Well, he's a little runny.
Well, quite runny.
I think he's a bit runnier than you'd like.
Well, let me see. No, wait he's dead! Cat got him! Hang on, he's alive again, but has new powers. And even newer powers because he has an armored battlesuit from Iron Man.
No I don't know what a radioactive-spider-themed hero needs with an armored battlesuit.
No, I don't know why a god would need a starship, either. Do you have a point?
Dead. Dead. Depowered. In space. Depowered and dead. Dead, no, alive, no dead again. On vacation. Revised. Made retro. Dismantled and rebooted. Parental leave. Revised, dead, depowered, alive, retro, dead again. Lost in the timestream. Dead here, but doing real well in another universe.
No, I really don't know why comics are doing so poorly. Why do you ask?
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