Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Darwinist's Nightmare: The Serial Killer Challenge

Heather MacDonald says, "In the personal sphere, conservative atheists and agnostics lead lives as ethical as those of any believer. The Golden Rule and innate human empathy provide ample guidance for moral behavior."

True (I hope). However, here is the key: as long as they choose to. They have no foundation for recommending that belief to others. For example, my serial killer challenge, which I posted on numerous forums some years ago: you are in a basement, immobilized, with a Darwinist serial killer who does not believe in God. He kills others to reduce their gene pool and maximize his own. (His reproductive strategy is another matter.) He is not crazy; he is entirely rational. He is, like Hitler and Stalin, simply taking Darwinism to its logical conclusion.

He challenges you to convince him to not kill you. (You have, say, two days, after which he will kill you.) How would you do so?

Responses usually start off with societal contracts and other things which, I explain, the killer isn't concerned with. He doesn't care if society breaks down. He is totally confident in his own intelligence and ability to survive. His only other concern is evading the law - something which he believes he can do indefinitely. In any case, his progeny - his genes - will live on.

Most atheists, after a couple of failed answers, resort to "I kill him." Well. That underscores the frail underpinnings of simply wanting everyone (or, in most cases, everyone else) to follow the Golden Rule - cuddly (except the part about punishing those who don't follow it), but naive.

However, it's at least possible to rationally argue a Christian theistic viewpoint that will convince this killer to spare you. There is no shortage of angles from which to tackle this - historic, moral , logical, legal, scientific, etc. And Christianity is the only worldview for which this can be done.

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