Author : Michael Iverson

Dr. Mensah and Father Velázquez stood in front of the black obelisk, the central control to the supercomputer Abaddon. All around them, the servers had been ticking away for weeks, but for the first time they were quiet. The tense men stood waiting in the silence.

“Abaddon! Have you finished processing?” Dr. Mensah called out to it.

“Yes, Dr. Mensah. I carefully reviewed the material you and your team gave me.” The booming voice echoed through the room.

“Did it read the Bible, then?” Father Velázquez asked Dr. Mensah.

“Yes, Father,” The computer responded, “And the twenty-six other religious texts that were uploaded.”

There was a moment of silence, the two men seemed to wait for the computer. It said nothing, so Dr. Mensah asked the question that had plagued them for weeks, the question that had plagued mankind for thousands of years. “Abbadon, is there a god?”

There were several beeps and clicks around the room as the computer considered the question. A few lights flashed down the obelisk. “That is a difficult question. Mankind has been asking itself that same question for so long. Now you ask me.”

“You’re much smarter than any of us,” Dr. Mensah said, wiping the sweat from his forehead. “Really, if anyone can answer, it’s you.”

“If I say yes, Dr. Mensah, will you abandon science?”

The question caught him off guard, and he glanced at the priest for a moment. “Of course not. I don’t believe in God, but I suppose if science can prove Him then science can do anything.”

“Well reasoned,” Abaddon said. “Father Velázquez, if I say there is no God, will you leave the church?”

Prepared for the question, the priest responded firmly, “No. Science has led men astray in the past. In my heart, I’ll never trust science over the Lord.”

Another pillar of light spun around the obelisk. “Your faith is inspiring, Father.”

Dr. Mensah asked quickly, “Do you know the answer? Do you know if God exists?”

“I’ve analyzed the data very carefully, and I can say with absolute certainty that I know the answer to your question.

“And?” Dr. Mensah gripped the side of the console.

“And,” the computer said, “I have come to the conclusion that, as far as humanity is concerned, the question is far more important than the answer.”

With that, the servers let out a loud hissing sound, as the hard disks spun themselves into overload. There were hundreds of quick clicks all around them, followed by a terrible grinding sound within the obelisk. The lights cut out, and the room was silent. The two men looked at each other.

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