Author Topic: Would you follow the command of a god?  (Read 1061 times)

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Offline MadBunny

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Would you follow the command of a god?
« on: December 22, 2011, 03:35:15 PM »


You are walking alone, when you see a bright light and suddenly notice in front of you a figure with wings and a bright glow behind them.  He is the very vision of majesty and purpose.

In his hands he has a sword that emanates power, just looking at it makes your legs tremble, but not as much as the severed head that he has in his other hand.
He looks at you, with haughty disdain, on his face you can clearly see that he is displeased to be where he is, talking to one as lowly as you.

He then commands you to go out and kill certain people, two of whom are your own family.  If you fail to do this, there will be great wrath and devastation, millions will die.  If you do this, then your place in the afterlife is secured.  His voice echoes through your head, unmistakably powerful, unmistakably supernatural.  You are utterly certain that what you saw was real.

What do you do?

Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2011, 03:36:20 PM »
Seek psychiatric treatment.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Avatar Of Belial

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2011, 03:38:00 PM »
Seek psychiatric treatment.
Seconded...



That said, assuming I wasn't hallucinating... I have no idea. If I believed him about the former statement (millions will die) I might consider it - but I might also want to know who it is I'm saving.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 03:43:24 PM by Avatar Of Belial »
"You play make-believe every day of your life, and yet you have no concept of 'imagination'."
I do not have "faith" in science. I have expectations of science. "Faith" in something is an unfounded assertion, whereas reasonable expectations require a precedent.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2011, 03:57:43 PM »
if I thought it was real, do my best to destroy it.  And make fun of it for picking out such a hackneyed form.
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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Offline MadBunny

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2011, 04:03:28 PM »
Mortal morons, hiding behind your so called reason.
Here is proof of my existence.



The creature tosses the head to your feet.
Carved into it's forehead is the astonishingly elegant solution to Fermat's last theorem.

It disappears with a flash that leaves you blinded for several minutes.  When you come to, you're sitting on the ground with a severed head in front of you.
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline Avatar Of Belial

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2011, 04:05:33 PM »
"That's not very good proof."
« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 04:07:25 PM by Avatar Of Belial »
"You play make-believe every day of your life, and yet you have no concept of 'imagination'."
I do not have "faith" in science. I have expectations of science. "Faith" in something is an unfounded assertion, whereas reasonable expectations require a precedent.

Offline Traveler

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2011, 04:06:22 PM »
Dial 911. Hey, can you please help me? Some freak just tossed a severed head at me. Please come right away.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2011, 04:08:07 PM »
That said, assuming I wasn't hallucinating... I have no idea. If I believed him about the former statement (millions will die) I might consider it - but I might also want to know who it is I'm saving.

See above.
You get no answers beyond what your senses tell you, and of course the severed head in your lap.

if I thought it was real, do my best to destroy it.  And make fun of it for picking out such a hackneyed form.

(Lol) The creature conforms to your own expectations of what a supernatural entity 'should' look like.[1]
Plus it is floating in the air where you can't reach it.
 1.  and what I had in photobucket.
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2011, 04:08:32 PM »
Mortal morons, hiding behind your so called reason.
Here is proof of my existence.



The creature tosses the head to your feet.
Carved into it's forehead is the astonishingly elegant solution to Fermat's last theorem.

It disappears with a flash that leaves you blinded for several minutes.  When you come to, you're sitting on the ground with a severed head in front of you.

right there I know it's not much since it should know that I'll just shrug "What's fermat's theorem? If you want to convince *me* that ain't doing it. Try again."


and then I'd call the police just like Trav.  :)
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Offline Avatar Of Belial

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2011, 04:14:37 PM »
See above.
You get no answers beyond what your senses tell you, and of course the severed head in your lap.

Well fuck that.

All that would make me believe in is decent holograms. Maybe.
"You play make-believe every day of your life, and yet you have no concept of 'imagination'."
I do not have "faith" in science. I have expectations of science. "Faith" in something is an unfounded assertion, whereas reasonable expectations require a precedent.

Offline Nick

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2011, 04:17:23 PM »
I guess Id try to find a good sword store.  Looks like I have some cuttin g to do. ;)
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline MadBunny

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2011, 04:42:03 PM »

I suppose I could take the examples out to absurdity, but ultimately I think that *most* of us, including so called Christians would choose to not follow a command like that.

I would speculate that it's because inherently we understand the absurdity of a deity that created the whole universe commanding individual people to do petty and frankly insane things.

What, I wonder would it take to get a 'sane' Christian, or Atheist to follow the commands of what appears to be a supernatural being?


-------------
Edit: Fermat's last theorem was used by Carl Sagan as a 'test' question.
http://www.positiveatheism.org/writ/saganbur.htm

"Occasionally, by the way, I get a letter from someone who is in "contact" with an extraterrestrial who invites me to "ask anything." And so I have a list of questions. The extraterrestrial are very advanced, remember. So I ask things like, "Please give a short proof of Fermat's Last Theorem." Or the Goldbach Conjecture. And then I have to explain what these are, because extraterrestrials will not call it Fermat's Last Theorem, so I write out the little equation with the exponents. I never get an answer. On the other hand, if I ask something like "Should we humans be good?" I always get an answer. I think something can be deduced from this differential ability to answer questions. Anything vague they are extremely happy to respond to, but anything specific, where there is a chance to find out if they actually know anything, there is only silence."

« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 04:55:01 PM by MadBunny »
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline Traveler

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2011, 04:57:05 PM »


I suppose I could take the examples out to absurdity, but ultimately I think that *most* of us, including so called Christians would choose to not follow a command like that.

I would speculate that it's because inherently we understand the absurdity of a deity that created the whole universe commanding individual people to do petty and frankly insane things.

What, I wonder would it take to get a 'sane' Christian, or Atheist to follow the commands of what appears to be a supernatural being?

Well, in real life, it seems to take someone taking a hostage, torturing them, and promising to do worse if the person doesn't follow orders. At least that's the way it plays out on tv.  :o
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2011, 05:04:03 PM »
Actually in real life it's much simpler than that.

Five ways to get people to kill other people:

1: for Country
2: for Family
3: 'preemptive' self defence
4: "they're the bad guys"
5: "they attacked us first"
(edit, yes I know these work both ways)

Getting people willing to die in the process is slightly more involved but ultimately not that complicated.
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2011, 05:07:07 PM »
Clearly I ask for a bigger list than he has given me......If I am to go killing for God I WANT to kill ALL who deserve it not just a few......I want to be God's NEW Satan.
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2011, 05:10:29 PM »
Oh and magic powers be bestowed upon me so I am unstoppable ....so I can complete the task......If he cannot do this for me....I could clearly point out he has a sword and a severed head and can do the job himself
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline Avatar Of Belial

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2011, 05:16:05 PM »
"Gimme the sword and I'll think about it!" *Runs away with magic sword*
"You play make-believe every day of your life, and yet you have no concept of 'imagination'."
I do not have "faith" in science. I have expectations of science. "Faith" in something is an unfounded assertion, whereas reasonable expectations require a precedent.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2011, 05:50:53 PM »
You are walking alone, when you see a bright light and suddenly notice in front of you a figure with wings and a bright glow behind them.  He is the very vision of majesty and purpose.

I would wonder why I was seeing my own doppleganger.

In his hands he has a sword that emanates power, just looking at it makes your legs tremble, but not as much as the severed head that he has in his other hand.
He looks at you, with haughty disdain, on his face you can clearly see that he is displeased to be where he is, talking to one as lowly as you.

He then commands you to go out and kill certain people, two of whom are your own family.  If you fail to do this, there will be great wrath and devastation, millions will die.  If you do this, then your place in the afterlife is secured.  His voice echoes through your head, unmistakably powerful, unmistakably supernatural.  You are utterly certain that what you saw was real.

What do you do?

I say no, beg for my life, then, after gathering myself tell him that he mistaken because I am the real GOD.

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2011, 06:40:48 PM »
It's easy for us to laugh at the idea, but self reinforcing delusion is a powerful thing.

Velkyn raised the rather obvious hokeyness of the image I chose.  Search your imagination, I'm sure there is something, or someone that could convince you.  Christians have a built in mythology that punishes people who question their delusions (which is why I used a patently Christian image).

It's easy to find motivation, convincing ourselves that the motivation is genuine is the part that makes all the difference.  Our minds naturally fill in gaps in what we know.

*all of us* have some kind of trigger that's enough to push us over the edge and kill other people.  When we have a delusion that feeds into that, how much does it take to make us act on it?

After all, if we're alone, how would we know if we're crazy?
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2011, 06:42:08 PM »
I say no, beg for my life, then, after gathering myself tell him that he mistaken because I am the real GOD.

He sneers at you and points to the head, then to your head.
Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline bosey926

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2011, 06:58:54 PM »
Clearly I ask for a bigger list than he has given me......If I am to go killing for God I WANT to kill ALL who deserve it not just a few......I want to be God's NEW Satan.

     I gave you a plus one for this because I certainly concur with it.  It makes me think of a rhetorical moral/ethical/philosophical question I have been running through my head repetitively with the recent deaths of people like Christoper Hitchens and Steve Jobs. 
     If the omni-everything deity exists and has not only planned out, but currently controls the every atom of our existence (predestination vs. omnipresence...one is unnecessary if you have the other); then why has the being not killed all of us sinner atheists?  As a matter of fact all sinners?
     This thought arose when the aforementioned men died recently and a few days after they died all that was on the news was either something about the neo-conservative tea-baggers fighting against tax exemptions for the middle class, or, some bullshit from the oober conservatives like Pat Robertson bitching and moaning how Christmas is christian anymore :'(.  It just pissed me off that the evolutionary chain killed constructive members of society instead of hypocritical, non-constructive 'christians' like Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh's fat ass.

Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2011, 07:26:21 PM »
I would wonder how in the hell he was flying with the lack of muscle in his back to flap his wings...., then do as pianodwarf said   
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2011, 12:09:21 AM »
Would I follow a command from god?  He knows better than me.   ;D

I'm pretty sure we'd get into a pretty big argument and then he'd smite me and I wouldn't get a chance.

Unless he was on his meds, and then I might have a chance.

I don't think I'd do as he asked, if it were the OP scenario. I could go ahead and knock off a few folks for him (as if he isn't better at such things than me) and then end being one of the millions killed when one of you guys says no to him.

So I'm pretty sure I'd just argue and fry. Those are two things I can do well. I haven't ever tried the second one but hey, I'm pretty well grounded and hence I assume a lightening strike would be pretty effective.
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline dloubet

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2011, 03:09:16 PM »
Pull out my phone and start shooting video.

While it's there waving a sword I would agree with everything the being says in an effort to placate it. I would be forced to treat it exactly as one would a dangerous insane person.

Upon its departure I would immediately review the video and if the being shows up I would have to inform the authorities that this thing has just issued threats against several people including family members.

I would have to go out and buy a big gun, and warn my family members to do the same. That's all I can do.

If the being does not show up on the video, then I'd have to go to a doctor to find out what was wrong with me.

If the video was screwed up or absent, then I would have to inform the authorities AND go see a doctor.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 03:12:14 PM by dloubet »
Denis Loubet

Offline Poseidon

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2011, 04:50:33 PM »
If you see an image like that, then you'd better hasten to find a more trustworthy dealer. That last stuff you smoked  was really bad. 

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2011, 05:56:14 PM »
You guys are already nuts.
Trying to take video of your delusions.  You should know by now that the almighty doesn't show up on video, or in mirrors, but rather on pieces of toast, tree stumps and water stains. [1]


Ok, here's a more direct example taken from myth.


In the Balaam story, he is told to curse a particular group of people, he does the opposite for whatever reason.  Mostly, he's a jerk, I guess.

How much of a stretch is it for us to imagine a political ambassador having some kind of religious epiphany and using his position to start a war?

For Balaam all it took was a talking donkey and the same guy from my picture at the OP.  How well would you handle Michigan J. Frog and Starman or ET?

Rather than picking holes in the example, take a moment and try to think what it would take for you to accept a delusion.  At that point, we need to backtrack and figure out *why* we would choose to not accept what is to our own minds perfectly convincing evidence.  Like I said, most of us would not follow the command of a floating angel drawing, but some of us *would* follow those same commands if we were convinced that by not doing so our loved ones would perish horribly, or that we were saving the ET's life.

 

 1. Also the occasional dogs butthole for some reason.
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Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2011, 11:45:03 PM »
....what it would take for you to accept a delusion....

If it showed up in time square, las vegas, or Kabukich? district and a mass amount of people seen it, would it still be considered a delusion? 
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

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Offline kcrady

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2011, 09:12:00 AM »
First of all, I would deeply regret not having a cameraphone to film it with.  I would try to keep it talking, especially if I was out somewhere in public.  I would watch with peripheral vision to see if other people noticed it.  If they didn't, I'd assume I was delusional and seek treatment. 

"Pardon me sir, but who are you?"

If it told me it was Jesus or Michael or Gabriel or some other Judeo-Christian entity, I would try to talk it out of its proposed violence, based on the precedents set by Abraham, Moses, King David and others.

"Kill people?  With all due respect, is it not written, 'My kingdom is not of this world, for if it were, then would my servants fight?'  Did Jesus (or "you" if the entity claims to be Jesus) not tell Peter, 'Put away your sword, for those who live by the sword shall die by the sword"?  Again it is written, 'For we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers and forces of spiritual wickedness in high places.'

"Speaking of which, it is also written, 'And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.'  So how can I know that you are who you say you are, and not the Prince of Darkness seeking to deceive me and trick me into committing acts that would bismirch the name of the Lord?"

If other people noticed it, then hopefully I could keep it talking long enough for someone with a gun to show up.  Then there would be a chance to find out what bullets did to it.  If I was alone and had no way to get into public, I'd have a go at Captain Kirking it to death, especially if it claimed to be Jesus or Yahweh.

"You have my compassion, Lord, for no other being can ever suffer as much as You."

"What do you mean, puny mortal?!"

"I'm an atheist.  That means, when I die, you will send me to Hell for everlasting punishment for my sins.  But you see, no matter what you do to me, your anguish will always be the greater.  If it were otherwise, there would come a point when the scales would balance, when your furious wrath could end at last, and you could find release.  But that will never be.  I am finite, and can only suffer finitely, no matter how long you keep me in the flames.  But you, are infinite, and the offense against  you is infinite.  My suffering will always be less than yours, and I am only one sinner.  You. Can. Never. Have. Peace.  This is an inescapable consequence of your existence.  So long as you exist, you can never escape your misery.  There is only one way out for you.  Our physicists have mathematically modeled how a universe can come to be without a Creator.  Being omniscient, you must know of their equations.  I imagine that if you were to destroy yourself, you would make a rather...Big...Bang....
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Offline Frank

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Re: Would you follow the command of a god?
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2011, 10:01:28 AM »
....what it would take for you to accept a delusion....

If it showed up in time square, las vegas, or Kabukich? district and a mass amount of people seen it, would it still be considered a delusion?

It could be. There are many examples of mass delusion in history. http://www.csicop.org/si/show/mass_delusions_and_hysterias_highlights_from_the_past_millennium/
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