Saturday, 31 October 2009

Threats and a Dialog

A dialog:

Consumer (C)
Boat Vendor (BV)

BV: (Pointing to an empty space) Buy this boat.
C: What boat? There's no boat to be found.
BV: Well, I don't actually have anything to show you, but I have a book that was written long ago about people who saw the boat and think it's great.
C: Which people? How do you know they are telling the truth, how do you know the report is accurate?
BV: It just is. You should buy this boat, because if you don't, you'll die a horrible death.
C: So, all you have for evidence is a book of questionable authenticity?
BV: Well, you've just gotta believe me that this boat exists. Now, give me some money and you can have it.
C: How do I even know this boat is going to work as planned? Maybe it has holes in it, maybe it'll sink.
BV: It won't sink, it's made of flat steel planks.
C: But, flat steel planks don't float.
BV: If you believe hard enough they will.
C: So, I'm supposed to believe in this boat that you have no evidence for, that you describe as something that won't work, and I'm supposed to buy this from you with no assurance that it'll work or that it actually exists.
BV: If you don't, you'll die a horrible death.
C: I think I'll pass.

Later that night, BV blows up the local dam and floods the town killing C.

Did C ask for the dam to be blown up and be drowned? Did C ask to die horribly by not buying the boat? Isn't this extortion? Would anyone agree that BV's actions here are moral, just, or good? Then, why would we use those descriptors when god essentially takes BV's place in the story.


Anonymous said...

You forgot that the boat turns out to be real and C still dies. Make sense or not, in hindsight it's pretty obvious C shoulda bought the boat.

Anonymous said...

Repost cause I forgot something:

You forgot that BV TOLD C that he was going to blow up the dam, that the boat turns out to be real and C still dies. Make sense or not, in hindsight it's pretty obvious C shoulda bought the boat. Especially considering the boat was free.

Modusoperandi said...

Actually, Anonymous, it turned out that it was DV (Dirigible Vendor), one of BV's children, who was right, so even if C bought a non-existent boat he'd have been screwed. Now how do you feel, Mister Smartguy, looking so cocky and smug in your pretend boat?

ethinethin said...

I don't really find analogies like this clever or appropriate. They always seem to fail at providing a useful commentary on what they're parodying.

The tenants of Christianity betray themselves by being ridiculous enough without drawing an analogy about a boat vendor or whatever else.

No human has the power to inflict the atrocities that the god of Christianity is capable of; hell is supposed to be more than just death and no human is capable of torturing someone else for the rest of infinity.

Yes, Christianity is indeed a protection racket, an extortion scheme from god*. But there's too many ridiculous components of it to simplify it as you did with the boat vendor analogy and for it to be meaningful.

* "Nice soul ya got here, would be awful bad if something were to... -knocks stuff off the desk- happen to it." (I couldn't resist)

Anonymous said...

"an extortion scheme from god*."

So you do at least acknowledge God's existence?

ethinethin said...

Nope. Just using the phrase "extortion scheme from god" to show how silly it is that the christian deity is essentially the same as mafia gangsters offering "protection" to the local establishments.

He offers to "save us" from his own devices. I don't know why anyone believes that.