Satan: Evening Matt, how are you feeling today?
Matt: Am I dead?
Satan: Well your body sure is I would think that it’s six feet under at this point. But don’t get yourself too worked up over it, that’s all in the past now.
Matt: So where am I?
Satan: Limbo but that’s not important because we’re leaving.
Matt: Oh so there is a Heaven?
Satan: Yes but none that you’ll ever see you’re coming to hell.
Matt: What, wait are you…?
Satan: Yep the one and only Devil, Satan, Lucifer call me what you like it’s not important.
Matt: But why am I going to hell, I lead a good life?
Satan: Do you really believe that? Please describe this “Good Life” to me.
Matt: Well, I raised a family.
Satan: A family? Anything can raise a family. Every organism in creation can have offspring. Having a family doesn’t make you stand out from the rest. Even a murderer can raise a family.
Matt: Yes, but I also taught my children right from wrong, and I loved my wife. I never mistreated anyone. I donated money to the church. I was a doctor, I helped people.
Satan: Yes, yes and all of that was very nice but why don’t we slow down for just a second. I don’t need you to be listing your life achievements for me, this is no college application. You donated money because you were told to. Yes you were a doctor, yes you helped people. But lets be honest, you were really in it for the money. Now you haven’t answered my question. What makes your family any different from all the others?
Matt: We were happy together, we loved each other.
Satan: Oh, but were you happy because you were in love, or because you didn’t have to worry about anything. After all you were a doctor; money was never a problem was it.
Matt: What is the importance of money? Would the love of my family be considered great had we been poor?
Satan: It may have indeed. You have to realize that you are not telling me why you lead a good life. You are only giving me reasons why you were happy. Love is only a means to find happiness. It does not place any merit upon your life. So far I see no reason why I shouldn’t drag you down into hell.
Matt: But that’s ridiculous. Love is much more than a tool for happiness. I cared for my family. I would have given my life to help them. Just because I never had to doesn’t change the fact that I would. Being happy with my life shouldn’t count against me only because I was more fortunate that others. I never horded my money, I donated to charities, I was generous.
Satan: So is that your definition of the good life than. A generous person who is in love?
Matt: Yes, I suppose it is.
Satan: Very well. But what of other people who are not as fortunate as you. People who never find a person to love, or people who don’t make enough money to be generous? What of them, are they than not capable of leading a good life?
Matt: Of coarse they can, there are other ways.
Satan: How than, according to your definition a good life is based off love and money.
Matt: No I never said money is important, I said that generosity is.
Satan: But what of those who are not able to be generous? You don’t expect a poor beggar to donate the few dollars he has rather than feed himself, do you?
Matt: Of coarse not, if a person is unable to be generous with his or her money than it would be their virtue that is important.
Satan: And does your own virtue matter not than, because you had wealth, because you were generous?
Matt: No, my generosity is an example of my virtue?
Satan: So than generosity is not important?
Matt: No, it is. But only if a person is capable of generosity is it important. For example, a rich man must be generous because he contains the means to be generous. But a poor man with no money has no means to be generous and therefore his generosity has no effect on his virtue.
Satan: So it is virtue than that allows a person to lead a good life?
Satan: But what than of love, earlier you defined this good life as a generous person who is in love. And now you have decided that it is virtue, not generosity that matters. But you have never answered my question about people who are not fortunate enough to find a lover.
Matt: I never said that a person must have a lover. A virtuous person would love everyone who there is to be loved. Yes having that love returned makes a person’s life that much better but it doesn’t seem that a person’s happiness maters much to you. So I would say to you, the good life is led by a virtuous person who loves his fellow man.
Satan: (Now angry at Matt) Very well you may have defined what a good life is but you have not proven that you in fact lead a good life.
Matt: But I did, you said earlier that the only reason I was a Doctor was for the money, but that isn’t true. I wanted to be a doctor for years, when I was young enough to not take money into consideration. I only knew that I would be happy and that I could help people. And once I did find out that money was important I still donated money every week to my church and to other organizations that would help the needy. I raised children and taught them the importance of virtue. I loved my wife and I was loyal to her. I did my best to never sin. I have led a good life and if you agree with my definition than you have no way to claim that I did not lead such a life.
Satan: Fine you have proven your worth and I will interrogate you no longer. Be off I can not stand to look at you any longer.
Satan disappears in a cloud of smoke. As the smoke clears Matt can see gates off in the distance. He goes through them and God gives him a high five for making Satan look like an idiot.