Monday, 9 August 2010

Sod 'em all

Abraham-Abraham spoke to God about that business ...

That business? Refresh my memory.

Yeah, you know, your stated intention to wipe out those city sinners.

What of it?

Well, what if there were, I don't know, fifty good men - women included - in that city? Surely it's not fair to exterminate them all?

You have a point, I suppose, at least on the surface of it; so, I concede, it does seem a little unfair that the minority should suffer for the majority.

About that, what if there were forty-five? forty? thirty? twenty? or even ten good people?

I see what what you've done there: the slippery slope argument, but suppose there's just one good person among this den of inequity. Should I turn a blind eye to the sins of the multitudes? Is it okay to ignore the mass beating, raping and stealing?

But by killing that one person - let's call it "murder" for that's what it is - are you not also participating in indiscriminate violence and, by doing so, tacitly endorsing it? You know, lead by example?

I'd hardly call one person's death indiscriminate, not when weighed against the consequences of woolly, yogurt knitting, laissez faire, non-interventionism. It hardly even counts as collateral damage.

It counts for one. Okay, okay, anyway, but here's the thing that confuses me ... mass murder is not really interventionism, if the intention is to change people's behaviour for the better, right?

Go on.

Is there no way in which you can help these people change or, at the very least, why can't you simply remove the sinners and leave that one - that one good person - alone? Surely that's within the purview of the all powerfully? Surely their life and deeds are worth something? Surely, you treat each and every individual on their own merit and not by the rule of mob they just happen to be caught up with?

Yeah, that's really the purpose of final judgement, once they get to meet their maker - moi, we can work these things out.

Isn't that, I don't know, lazy? Horse bolted, the closing gates, etc.? You ever read Kafka's "The Judgement"?

And your point? – don't over indulge my patience.

So what's the point of bothering living if, in the end, good only counts after you end? If you are excluded from the process of judgement, except as a character witness in the epilogue, by which time the story has ended, what's the point of participation? And, while we're at it, about that indulgence, is not your patience infinite?

It's not the end, it's the beginning of the end!

That's all a bit retrospective – retroactive judgement ... let me tell you a story: one day a Christian is about on his business when he hears a cry for help ...

What's a Christian?

It's an anachronism, but you should already know that, back to the story: At first, he cannot locate the source of a call for assistance; however, after much searching, he comes across a well from which he distinctly hears the estranged voice pleading. Without deliberation, the Christian unpacks from his backpack a length of rope and lowers it down the well. After much heaving and a-tugging, the fallen individual is hoisted to the surface. The individual in question thanks the Christian and remarks upon his random fortune to be saved by someone who happens to have a rope handy. “Oh, that was no lucky accident,” says the Christian, “I always keep it with me just in case I come across someone who has fallen down a well.” “Why would you do that,” asks the individual, “ I never miss an opportunity to further my case for eternal heaven before the final judgment.” “Isn't that a little selfish?” asks the individual. “Not really,” replies the Christian, “I didn't make the rules.” A bit of a cop-out no?

With each concurrent question from Abraham-Abraham, God's voice diminished to the point of inaudibility and then the skies opened with the brilliant fire of volcanic, violent vengeance and vanquished the city dwellers.

“I don't know why I bother.” Muttered Abraham-Abraham under his breath. His patience was a testament.

No comments:

Post a Comment