Okay, so one of the Christian things is being grateful because "ONLY JESUS WAS WILLING TO DIE FOR OUR SINS!"

With it is tied a bunch of stupid shit about our immortal souls being saved, yadda yadda... you know the drill.

I think that Christians wouldn't die for the sins of everyone, even if doing so meant eternal happy life. So there is that bit of relief that their buddy Jesus took care of that shit for them.

So I postulate this question to you very sympathetic and brilliant science minded folks. Indulge this moronic thought exercize.

Imagine that you were to discover that there was some sort of super being who was causing all of the world's ills, cancer, aids, SIDs, rape, mental illness...the whole shebang.

You happen upon their evil layer as you are out hiking one day, admiring nature, because hey science is cool and nature can be pretty and interesting. Maybe you fell into a cave and found his secret lair. You see a machine and some bizarrely convincing evidence that it is in fact causing all suffering and death in the world.

You find this guy and he's an asshole and he explains that all of this suffering is part of his big ineffable plan. He's a little old fashioned and you notice that his evil machine is made up of giant gears which would fall apart and be destroyed forever (forever because this is already a magic monster story) if something large was thrown into the mechanism.

You have no object big enough to throw but you know that your own body would stop this maniac, his machine and all the suffering of the entire world.

What would you do?

Would you die for the world?

Would you give up your own life if it meant you could rid the world of a real unimagined evil?

Would you only do it for every evil?

Would you do it to eliminate a single evil?

Would you die if it meant no children would ever be molested?

That cancer would no longer form in bodies and lead to a long and painful death?

That AIDS would not cut short so many lives?

That natural disasters would not rip apart lives and communities?



Would you do it, knowing that this is indeed the only life you have and you cannot magically resurrect yourself?


I think I would, and I am an atheist.

Views: 311

Comment by Boatman on September 27, 2011 at 7:36am

Let's see if I have this straight-


I'm in a cave with the Architect of All Evil, and the Infernal Machine.

Everything will be hunky-dory IF the Machine is destroyed.

A body-sized object, hurled into the Machine, will do the job nicely.



Solution simple - I'm tossing what's-his-name into the Machine.


Comment by Dylan Sloboda on September 27, 2011 at 7:41am

lol @Gordon

Comment by Carol Foley on September 27, 2011 at 8:10am

That is funny, but very much not what the question is asking. I'm not asking if you would kill god to end suffering, I'm asking if you as an atheist would sacrifice more than Jesus did. He died for "sins" and an eternal "life" that people still have to suffer through a real life to get to. 

Christians are grateful for this nonsense because "Jesus was the only one willing to die" for their sins. Yet even though he died (and not even permanently according to the mythology) the paradise free of suffering that God supposedly had created before the fall, didn't return.


Err, maybe I'll just simplify this. That god monster is really tiny. The same size as a really angry poodle.


Comment by Rob Todd on September 27, 2011 at 8:56am

Then, I'll kick the runt and climb out the cave and fing a big rock or something, beside have you seen the size of some of the poodles? They should be big enough. :)

Comment by Rick on September 27, 2011 at 11:15am

I'm with Gordon!

Comment by Nathaniel Summers on September 27, 2011 at 12:18pm

Reframed, the question is "if given the choice between continuing to live while widespread suffering also continues and dieing to end widespread suffering, which would you choose?"

I think any good human would choose to end human suffering, many would do so even if it caused their own death. That's just part of what it means to be a good human. Interestingly, if this is something that most people would do, does that reduce the significance of the "sacrifice" of Jesus? Does it render his selflessness mundane/human as opposed to being divine?

In your scenario, I would actually assume I was hallucinating. Delusions can be quite convincing and I would not trust my brain to be behaving properly if I were presented with something so bizarre. I'm actually not sure that a decent formulation of this dilemma could be made.


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