Just thought I would expound upon a common philosophical question here, through the eyes of the Azu-girls.
Minamo shuffled her way into the school, narrowly avoiding tripping herself on the steps leading up to the door. She even had trouble turning corners because the extra weight on her left shoulder refused to budge at times. That weight had a name though; it went by Yukari Tanizaki.
"Move your legs Yukari, geez...", Minamo urged her lazy friend.
"I'm trying to, dammit!", Yukari responded with her venomous tongue.
Minamo heaved a heavy sigh. It was bad enough to try and wake Yukari on a normal morning. Add the fact of a school day along with her drinking the previous night and the problem simply becomes worse and worse. Sometimes, like today, Minamo simply wanted to punch the woman's lights out for being so inconsiderate and foolish.
"Stand on two feet, Yukari! We're at your classroom!", Minamo chastised as she slid open the classroom door.
She hated to embarrass herself like this. She did not care so much about Yukari's embarrassment; that woman did this to herself often enough anyway. So, upon placing Yukari in her chair behind the desk, she turned to exit as soon as possible.
"Dammit all!", Yukari cursed. "God really does have it out for me.", she grit her teeth in absolute anger.
Minamo turned back to her friend and leaned down to her ear and hissed,
"You know, you can't keep blaming 'divine intervention' or whatever all the time! You brought this upon yourself!"
"Like hell I can! It's all karma and crap!", Yukari shouted, not noticing whatsoever the uncomfortable looks she was receiving from her students.
"Only you can change that, Yukari!", Minamo said as she turned, flitting a nervous smile at the students before walking out the door.
The students stared on in silence. They had seen their teacher come to school with hangovers before, but they had never seen such a discussion between the two teachers. They had heard Yukari curse fate before, but never had she openly expose her thoughts that she was indeed cursed.
"Hey, Yukari! I hear the Big Man Upstairs has a vendetta against ya!", Tomo yelled to crack that icy silence.
"You're damn right he does! Hell, that or he doesn't exist in the first place.", Yukari complained as she covered her eyes with her hand to block out the light which was making her headache all the more terrible.
Chiyo nervously made a statement then.
"Um...Yukari-sensei...you know that your drinking problem is not fate."
Chiyo crouched down into her seat, terrified at how the irate teacher may react.
Yukari simply sat up in her chair and began her monologue.
"Yeah, sure. That and my being ticketed by the police nearly every week, my GREAT reputation, my luck with guys! Sure, that's ALL my fault, right!? It HAS to be fate! I can't control what happens! God hates me!"
Chiyo stuttered as she spoke next.
"Y-you can't say that. Responsibility is something one learns through experience."
Yukari glared at the little girl with dark, malicious eyes.
"Ok, Chiyo-chan. You did it now. Everyone! Your assignment now is to prove to me God does or does not exist! Due at the end of class!", she shouted moments before her head clocked against her desk.
"Oh, thanks a lot Chiyo-chan!", Tomo yelled.
Chiyo was not very upset that Tomo was unhappy. Tomo would have been unhappy regardless of the assignment. Instead she just put her pen to paper and began her musing.
She knew for a fact that Yukari's flaws were not at the expense of the divine, that was obvious enough. It was simply her lack of willpower and responsibility that kept her from transforming into a better person.
If anything, that was proof of God. The fact that Yukari was not dead already from her excesses and dangerous behaviour.
But, Chiyo had to go further than that. She always had a sense of wonderment towards what the divine might be. Her lust for knowledge simply enhanced that bemusement. Chiyo was a firm believer in the theory of the Universal Mind; a theory that states every being has the capacity to know anything, but it is the awakening to that conscious field that stands in the way. Through that, the mind is thus connected with some over-force that harbours all knowledge. And if one can learn...
An idea hit Chiyo at that moment. That would be her answer!
Knowledge is nothing but an abstract concept that we accept as fact because we can prove them to our satisfaction. Yet, no one can prove knowledge itself. It is an intangible object that seems to exist, and originate from, somewhere outside the brain. And Chiyo knew that was one thing Yukari had, despite her lack of compassion and self-control; she possessed knowledge. And thus was her proof.
Kagura had never really thought much about God before. Sure, she referenced the concept when saying 'God dammit!', but other than those occasions she thought little of the mystical and divine.
But here she was in class being asked, no, commanded, to prove or disprove the existence of God.
She had never had any religion or even any pseudo-spiritual belief system. Kagura simply lived day-to-day and poured her energy into her love of athletics. She had no time to wonder about the intricacies of the universe. Nor did she have any mystical experiences to prove to her that there was 'something more'.
The only proof, however slight it was, stemmed from her almost accidental meeting of her new friends. Tomo, Yomi, Sakaki, Osaka, Chiyo-chan...all of them seemingly becoming part of her life through an inexplicable axiom.
'Fate, maybe?', she thought.
She shook her head. She had never believed in fate. One had far too many options and opportunities to shape life around them that nothing could ever be predetermined. So, thus became her argument. God cannot exist because fate does not exist. If God did exist, then everything would be unexplainable and predetermined to the point where nothing could be predicted. Humans would have no free will, because even that will would have a static result.
If she wanted to run, dammit she would run. Any semblance of God could not change that.
Sakaki sat in silence. She knew what her topic would be. It would be something she knew existed as proof of God; fate.
Everything she had ever experienced she knew was because of some cosmic force that she knew was there but of her knowledge was little. Anything and everything from her latent athletic ability, Kamineko encounters, her meeting her friends, even answering a question correctly she could feel was a pull towards the truth. She made very few decisions she could say came directly from her. It was her detachment that she used as proof.
Fate must exist. That fate was determined by some cosmic consciousness. Sakaki knew the feeling well; she had much time to sit and philosophize over that which gave her worry or wonderment. She was even beginning to believe that her love for animals would one day bring her happiness, even though so far it had simply been in vain. It was one of those parts of her that she could only identify as 'feeling right'.
And thus she wrote her argument. Fate was an inescapable force, but it all must end in some sort of plan for the divine. The cosmos has a plan for everyone. Everything, every experience has a purpose even if it be not immediately obvious. So, we take those experiences and learn from them. That is how one becomes in touch with the divine plan.
Yomi tapped her pen against her desk lightly. She knew what topic she wished to write on, but her thoughts were not in order. So, she mulled over her wishes; trying to put them in a coherent pattern.
To her, there was no God. Her relationship with Tomo non-withstanding, her life had been far too mutable to be considered divinely planned. She valued those changes as heralds of new times. No ancient wisdom could explain what she considered to be 'pure free will'. This is not to say she didn't consider the prospect of spiritual dimensions. Indeed, the cosmos was the least of her worries.
She had Tomo to take care of, of course.
And it was not fate that christened her relationship with Tomo. It was chance, free will and coincidence. Here she makes that distinction clear. Coincidence is NOT fate. This is not to say she did not appreciate Tomo; in fact, she could not even imagine where she might be without Tomo keeping the child side of her alive.
And thus she wrote her argument. Fate did not exist. Free will is the 'human God'. To determine one's own destiny is the true path to salvation.
Kaorin grinned sharply at the assignment. It was almost as if she had been anticipating this moment for her entire life. She expounded all her pent up thoughts onto paper at that moment like some manic author of chaos.
There is no God! There cannot be! No merciful force could ever let Kaorin be as miserable as she was. No explanation of fate could shine light on her misery. She wanted one thing in life; Sakaki-san. Even that simply want she could not achieve! God is absent; He must be.
Or...he must have a sick sense of humour. To torment an innocent girl such as herself with temptation! She was no prophet; no great leader! She was but a girl that wanted to find her love in one woman.
Hate...pain...it was all she felt; perpetual. Only then did she notice that her final words had torn through the paper and left carbon-silver lines upon her desk.
For once, Osaka's mind wanderings would be put to good use. She easily encompassed the ideas of metaphysics and theistics; it was her forte. And through that, she knew where the mystical lie.
She gave the example of a dream she had but a few days previous. Within it, she stood upon a white pillar in the seemingly endless abyss of space. She saw around her great whirling galaxies and felt the importance of the cosmic plan. The second mind which we all possess, the unconscious, peaked within her. Through its he felt an absolute sense of completion and peace. Then, at the height of her almost orgasmic feelings, the pillar dropped, leaving her falling through the blackness; speckled with stars. As she fell, she noticed below her a series of bright rings. Quickly, she fell through the center of each. As she passed each one she was enamoured by a different emotion. The first was pain, the second pleasure beyond all compare, the third was sadness, the fourth; happiness, and so forth and so on. She must have fallen through hundreds of them; for she was aware of feeling each emotional outpouring. Suddenly they ended and, although she was still within the blackened space, she could now stand on her own two feet. Slowly, almost painfully, the blackness receded to allow the golden field of swaying wheat to shine forth. This calmed Osaka. Through this calm she was able to feel closeness; communal with the Absolute. Her mind felt the nuances of the universe in all it's glory. This peace, this sense of completeness was all she needed. This was the ultimate goal.
She understood this to be an allegory for the mystical trek towards Truth.
"That's what ya gotta do.", she mused. "Ya gotta get past all them emotions and focus on yerself. No, not like yer body, but YOU."
God is the mystic within all of us.
Tomo didn't want to do this, and unsurprisingly, she wrote but a one thing:
'Hey, Yukari! God hates ya! Can I have my 100 now?'
She knew exactly what would catch Yukari's eye. She grinned as she attached the paperclip to the back of the paper.
Ok! Pass them in!", Yukari growled.
Each student handed her their paper in single file. Yukari noted Tomo's wide grin as she handed in her response.
"Now sit down. These better be good...", she said as she began to peruse the answers. It was difficult to concentrate due to her headache, but she was determined to get a decent answer from her students.
She grimaced as she read the first few. How could people be so stupid!?
This look did not bode well with the teens. They began to whisper amongst themselves, terrified at what wrath their teacher may impose upon their heads.
Slowly, her disappointed look began to disappear until it erupted into a full-blown smile.
Each student wondered what answer had caused her mood to change so rapidly, each hoping that it was their own.
Yukari quickly un-clipped the 2,000 yen bill from the back of the paper and scribbled a '100' across Tomo's work.
That Osaka dream was based on a dream I recently had, and because I believe it to be mystical in nature, it inspired me to write this.