Wednesday night’s episode of Stephen Colberts The Late Show proved to be an interesting one. Colbert, a Catholic, had guest Ricky Gervais, an atheist, appear on the show. Colbert is one of comedy’s most devout Catholics, and even teaches Catholic School, while Gervais is an outspoken atheist who regularly gets in religious debates on Twitter with anyone who disagrees with him.

Wednesday night’s show turned into such a discussion.

Colbert started with the question: “Why is there something instead of nothing?”

“That makes no sense at all,” Gervais was not afraid to say. “Surely, the bigger question is not why but how. Why is irrelevant, isn’t it?”

When Colbert asked if there is a “demiurge” that started everything, Gervais replied, “Outside of science and nature, I don’t believe so.” He then described himself as an “agnostic atheist,” meaning “no one knows if there’s a God.”

“So technically, everyone’s agnostic. We don’t know,” Gervais continued. Colbert conceded on this point.

If Colbert believed in just one God, Gervais said, and “there are about 3,000 to choose from,… you deny one less God than I do. You don’t believe in 2,999 Gods. And I don’t believe in just one more.”

Colbert cracked a smile at that, and said, “I know that I can’t convince you that there is a God, nor do I really want to convince you that there is a god,” but that he personally has a “strong desire” to direct his “gratitude for life towards something or someone.”

Colbert then tried to liken Gervais’ belief in science to people’s belief in faith. “You just believe in Stephen Hawking and that’s a matter of faith in his abilities. You don’t know it yourself, you’re just accepting it because someone told you.”

At this point, Gervais went in for the kill. “If we take something like any fiction, any holy book, and destroyed it, in a thousand years’ time that wouldn’t come back just as it was. Whereas if we took every science book and every fact and destroyed them all, in a thousand years they’d all be back, because all the same tests would be the same result,” Gervais said.

Alas, even Colbert had to admit that was a good argument.

“That’s good,” Colbert said, nodding appreciatively. “That’s really good.”

Whether or not Colbert’s faith was shaken by Gervais’ argument, one thing’s certain: Colbert now believes in the power of Gervais’ debating skills.

Check out the interview here:

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