Atheist: This does not really exist. I must be having a dream.
Peter: It exists all right.
Atheist: And you must not really exist. You are a figment.
Peter: No, I'm real.
Atheist: That's impossible. All that exists is physicality. I am a philosophical materialist.
Peter: Let's take a look at your moral record, shall we?
Atheist: All morals are subjective. I did what I thought was right, but what I thought was right was something I imbibed from my culture which in turn imbibed it from the evolutionary principle of survival. Morality is a practical affair. What's moral is what works for the survival of the tribe. I did not base my morality on the writings of Bronze Age goatherders. I have been a man of exemplary moral character thoughout my life. If God did exist, he would be cruel. I have worked for the good of the human race, spending my energy trying to help others to live a life free from the ancient shackles of superstition and bigotry. I have based my life on the principle that if I can help one fainting robin back into its nest again, I shall not have lived in vain. I have appreciated the world for its awesome beauty.
Peter (patiently): Let's see now [flipping through some papers]. 3,922 lies told, most of these however of the "white" variety.
Atheist: What are you talking about? I'm one of the most honest people I know.
Peter: Oh, our records are quite accurate. Let's move on to sex.
Atheist: Sex? Sex? Sex has nothing to do with morality!
Peter: 14 cases of outright fornication, 2 cases of outright adultery with married women before your marriage. 112 cases of lusting in your heart while married. Tsk, tsk, that number is a little high.
Atheist: I'm a very sexual person. Your God made me that way! I couldn't help it.
Peter: 12 cases of theft.
Atheist: What? Maybe I took a few things from the office. It's a big rich company. They could afford it, for Christ's sake. And there was that little incident with the income tax returns . . .
Peter: Now let's move on to more serious matters. (Peter looks him in the eye).
Atheist: Yes, what have I done? I don't believe this. How unfair you are!
Peter: Hypocrisy. 5,223 cases.
Atheist: What hypocrisy? I always said what I thought.
Peter: Not according to our records, which, as I said before, are quite accurate.
Atheist (passing his hand over his eyes): I don't know . . . what you are talking about.
Peter: I think you do.
Atheist (groping with the idea): You mean, I suppose, that I didn't always . . . cherish what I said I cherished? I suppose I pretended a few times.
Peter: That's the tip of the iceburg.
Atheist: You mean that my motives were not so high-minded after all?
Peter: Now we are getting somewhere.
Atheist: That my pretense of unselfishness was not so unselfish?
Peter: Keep going.
Atheist: That . . . what mattered to me was me, foremost and always?
Peter (smiling): Sir, you are makng progress. The end of the journey is to arrive where you started and know yourself for the first time.
You're off to Purgatory. It will not be as bad as you think. A learning experience, to be sure.