• Published 25th Apr 2015
  • 5,645 Views, 441 Comments

If Horses Had Gods - Ponky

Twilight Sparkle asks each of her friends, "Do you believe in God?"

  • ...

Chapter Two

“Rainbow Dash,” asked Twilight Sparkle, “do you believe in God?”

"Heck no!" Rainbow said, opening one eye to glare at Twilight. "What kind of question is that?"

Twilight blinked. "Uhh... a curious one?"

"Pff." Rainbow cracked her neck and stood on the tiny cloud, facing the airborne Twilight with a half-lidded expression. "No, Twilight, I don't believe in God."

"Why not?" Twilight asked.

Rainbow guffawed. "Because that's just like the Tooth Breezie or telling kids that the ghosts of Clover the Clever and whoever else bring gifts on Hearth's Warming Eve! God's just a myth to help kids feel better when their pets die."

"Rainbow!" Twilight said. "That's not very nice."

"Well, it's true!" Rainbow said, eyes wide. "Why? Do you believe in God?"

Twilight fidgeted in the air. "Ugh. I don't really know yet. I asked Applejack and--"

"Ha! Lemme guess, AJ believes in a big white Alicorn with a cloud-beard that talks to ponykind through the Holy Spirit or something."

"Uhhh... she didn't say anything about a Holy Spirit. Or cloud-beards."

Rainbow laughed and shook her head. "Twilight," she began, jumping off the cloud and flying lazy circles around the Princess, "you can't expect somepony like Applejack to tell you what's true about God. She's had, like, tragedy in her life and stuff. Ponies like that need to believe in God and heaven and whatever else."

"You think so?"

"Oh yeah, for sure. At the least the weak ones."

"Applejack is not weak!" Twilight argued. "She's the strongest pony I know."

"Uh, besides me!" Rainbow said. She sighed and hovered at Twilight's side. "Look, Twi, I don't mean to burst any kinda feelings bubble you got from your conversation with Applejack, but believe me: there's no such thing as God."

Rainbow sped away. Twilight frowned and tried to follow. "Then where did everything come from?"

"Huh?" Rainbow asked, glancing over her shoulder.

Twilight swung her hooves at the ground. "Everything! The world, life itself, magic... where did it all come from?"

"You said it yourself, Twilight," Rainbow called. "Magic! You can create stuff, can't you?"

"Well, not out of nothing," Twilight said. Rainbow slowed down enough for her to catch up. "Magic is more about reorganization than creation."

"Well, then, that happened," Rainbow said with a shrug. "There was a bunch of stuff floating around, and then bang! Magic organized it."

"That doesn't make any sense," Twilight said, rolling her eyes. "Things don't just get organized. There's entropy and natural law and decay."

"Around here, maybe," Rainbow said, "but who's to say there's not some, I dunno, alternate dimension that exists to counteract entropy? Maybe everything started there and floated over here and then, poof, life happened along the way."

Twilight stared at her. "Alternate dimension?"

"I dunno! That's a theory I've had since I met Pinkie Pie."

Twilight laughed.

"And then Discord proved it."

"Ha ha ha! Oh, Rainbow Dash. So you really don't think there's a God?"

"Not a chance!" They suddenly arrived at Rainbow's cloudhouse. Twilight landed awkwardly on the porch while Rainbow unlocked the front door. "You wanna come in?"

"Sure," Twilight said. "It looks bigger than it used to be," she noted as she walked through the doorway.

"I've made some adjustments over the years," Rainbow said. "It's pretty easy, actually. All you need are clouds."

Twilight giggled. "I just don't get it. If you don't believe in God, what do you believe in?"

"Nothing." Rainbow leapt onto a large cloud-couch and stretched herself out.

"Nothing?" Twilight squinted.

"Absolutely nothing."

"You can't believe in nothing, Rainbow."

"Sure I can. It's called nihilism."

Twilight rolled her eyes. "Rainbow, that's not believing in nothing."

"It is too! I learned about it at college."

Twilight tilted her head. "You went to college?"

"Pssh. Yeah, duh! How do you think I got so smart?" Rainbow leapt from the couch and flew into another room. Seconds later she came back with a rolled up diploma in one hoof and a blue graduation cap in the other. "See? You're looking at a graduate of the Cloudsdale College of Meteorology."

"Wow! Rainbow, that's fantastic. I'm so proud of you."

"Ah, stop it," Rainbow said, flicking her hoof at the joint. "It's nothin', really. Anyway, my first year there I had to take this philosophy class. I thought I was gonna hate it, but it ended up being awesome. The professor was really loud and lively. We learned about all these different ways to, like, think about stuff."

"Wow," Twilight said, smirking.

"I didn't read the textbooks much, but one of the writers we talked about really spoke to me," Rainbow continued. "Freerich Neightzsche. You heard of him?"

"Of course."

"Good. From hearing about his stuff I found out that the world is basically just a big illusion, and everything came from nothing and will go back to nothing. Eventually. But we don't have to worry about that, because we're alive!" She beamed. "We're living between the Nothings, see? So it's our privilege and our duty to, like, live the heck out of life." She flew around the room. "None of this morality junk or religion or anything that holds us back. The key is to live however we wanna live as if the world is ending, because it pretty much is. All the time."

Twilight was unimpressed. "Rainbow, Neightzsche criticized nihilism. He called it dangerous."

"Yeah, well, he wasn't perfect." Rainbow Dash set down her cap and diploma and returned to the couch. "The way I see it, Twilight, life is like a flash of lightning. The only way we're gonna enjoy it is if we move as fast as it does."

"It's impossible to move at the speed of light, Rainbow Dash," Twilight reminded her.

"You know what I mean."

"Not really."

"Okay, look." Rainbow sat up and stared directly at her concerned friend. "You don't have to be a nihilist, but don't believe in God. There's no such thing, and the only thing a belief in God does is hold you back from having fun for fear of not getting to heaven."

"What are you talking about?"

"Didn't Applejack tell you about hell?"

"What's hell?"

"Hell is like... Tartarus, basically. But for dead ponies. If there's a God, they say that good ponies die and go to heaven, but bad ponies die and go to hell. It's, like, eternal punishment or something."

Twilight's jaw dropped. "That's awful! Applejack didn't say anything about that."

"Well, it doesn't make sense for the bad guys to go to heaven, does it?"

"I guess not..."

"Exactly! In fact, none of it makes sense, because it's not true." Rainbow tossed her mane. "There isn't a heaven, there isn't a hell, and there isn't a God. There's just you, and you get to make your own choices without any guilt or weird Cloudicorn who only talks through prayer and soul-whispers."

"Living without morals doesn't seem very conducive to friendship," Twilight said softly.

"No, not without morals. Ugh, Twilight, I thought you said you knew this stuff." Rainbow slid a hoof down her face. "You can have all the morals you want, but that's the point: they're your morals. Nopony else is telling you what to do or not to do. It's about, like, tolerance and stuff. It's the only way friendship works. The six of us, we're totally different. We all believe different things, we like different things, and we probably want very different things. But it still works, because there's no God hovering above us saying Applejack's right and Twilight's wrong. You get to believe whatever you want, let everypony else believe what they want, and we all skip around merrily for as long as we can until the Nothingness decides it's sick of the universe and settles back in."

"That's..." Twilight struggled. "Kind of sad, Rainbow. That last part, anyway. But the friendship part makes sense."

"Hey, the truth hurts," Rainbow said with another shrug. "So, are you gonna believe Applejack and worry about hell for the rest of your life, or are you gonna join me and Neightzsche and do whatever you want?"

Twilight sighed. Her lungs felt heavy. "I don't know yet. I'll have to think about it."

"Just don't pray about it," Rainbow said with a wink.