Derek Sivers

Programmer, writer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Thursday = Thor’s day

Last week we had dinner at a quiet restaurant on the Oregon coast, and sat near two people that were obviously on a first date. (“So, do you have any siblings?”)

When their conversation took an interesting turn, we couldn’t help but listen:

“You’re an atheist? How can you not believe in God?”

  “How can you not believe in Zeus or Thor?”

“That’s stupid. Those are old folk-tales.”

  “They were God! You’re dismissing others’ beliefs, calling them folk-tales? So you’re also an atheist for most gods that have ever existed. I just go one further.”

“I’m not an atheist!”

  “You and I are almost identical in our beliefs! If history has named, say, 520 gods, you don’t believe in 519 of them, I don’t believe in 520 of them.”

  ...(long pause)...

“What do you do on Christmas or Easter, then? Do you feel weird as a non-believer?”

  “What do you do on Thursday?”

“Huh?”

  “Thursday was named after Thor. It’s Thor’s day. Do you feel weird as a non-believer?”

“That’s not fair.”

  “All the English days of the week are named after gods, sun, and moon. Look it up on Wikipedia. It’s wild.”

“Why are you so into this?”

  “I’m not. Spent maybe 20 minutes on it, tops. I’m not on a mission to dis-prove God any more than you’re on a mission to dis-prove Zeus. It’s really no big deal to me.”

“So, I guess we’re not compatible, huh?”

  “Of course we are! I like you a lot. And we do agree on 519 of the gods, so we’ll just not mention that last one.”

“OK. Deal. I like you a lot, too.”

  ...(long pause)...

  “So what’s your favorite band?”

“Oh, God.”


I liked the reframing of the situation from “we’re opposite” to “we agree on 519 of the 520 gods.” I always love an opposite point of view.

Thor