Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Hypothetical Challenging Pacifism

In my opinion, pacifism, itself, can be immoral. Here is my hypothetical on that subject.

Idi Amin, dictator of Uganda, breaks into an orphanage and kidnaps 30 children. He ties each of the children to a stake, arranged in 3 rows of 10 stakes, each with one child.

You, a pacifist, are behind a rock about 20 feet behind Idi Amin. You have an elephant gun, containing one (1) bullet. You have no other ammunition.

Idi Amin, on the other hand, is armed with a Kalashnikov, and he has a large bag of magazines filled with bullets.

Idi Amin says, "Oh, how I hate these orphans and the tribe they are from. I will shoot them now, one row at a time."

As Idi Amin rams a magazine into his Kalashnikov, you think to yourself, "No! I won't shoot him! I'm just another killer if I do!"


Idi Amin empties his first magazine into the first row of kids. They are all dead, now, while the other children scream in terror.

As Idi Amin rams a second magazine into his Kalashnikov, you think to yourself, "No! I won't shoot him! Maybe he will feel guilty about killing the first row of kids, repent, and change his evil ways!"


Idi Amin empties his second magazine into the second row of kids. They are all dead, now, while the remaining children scream in terror.

As Idi Amin rams a third magazine into his Kalashnikov, you think to yourself, "No! I won't shoot him! Maybe if I ask him politely, he will change his ways!!"

So, you stand up. The third row of orphans sees you and your elephant gun, and they cheer wildly -- until you suddenly throw down your gun and shout, "Mr. Amin, see? I have disarmed myself, because I believe in peace and love!"

The remaining orphans look at you with shock, like a flying saucer manned by aliens has just landed in front of them. You say, "Mr. Amin, surprise these children with your ability to change! Spare their lives! Please!"

Idi Amin sets his Kalashnikov for "single shot," takes careful aim, shoots and damages the elephant gun, and then he shoots your leg to keep you from running away. He says, "I'll deal with you later!"



Idi Amin empties his third magazine into the third row of kids. They are all dead, now.

Then he walks up to you, and while laughing wildly he slowly shoots your limbs, and then finally your torso and head, with more and more bullets until you die.

Question: Will you go to Heaven or Hell?


  1. 2 entry answer due to length, plz read both:

    Is it within the realm of possibilities, that we too (the shooters) would have to be given the moron's pass to heaven?
    Perhaps our consciences, molded by the 1950s good guy gun slingers shooting down the bad guy and riding off in the
    sunset may actually have warped consciences? Could God grab us by the collar and say

    'you moron, you shot Idi. He was MY child. MY creation. He was warped, yes, his conscience was warped to
    a high degree. The 26 children I can handle.

    I thought there was 30 God

    Thats a blog for another day, my son. Anyway, the children are in heaven. I hear the cries of their relatives.
    They will all be united soon.
    You see, you think as man, not as God. You interpret the moment. You do not make provisions for My workings
    over your lifetimes and the lifetimes of others. You all want to find comfort and peace, starting in your
    life on earth. That is good. For it is peace I want you to find, and I want you to seek heaven, as that is where
    you will have peace, gauranteed.

    But sometimes, some one like my Idi goes astray in a very bad way. Some of it because of the paths he entered and followed,
    other times because of the paths he was pushed away from and pushed on to.
    I don't know if I could have worked with him, he may be in total rejection of me. Some of you people say I already see
    the beginning and the end. I do. but I see the beginnings and the ends. possibilities. I made you in my image.
    You are of free will. Sometimes you can make boulders roll up hill. sometimes you can make waters roll up hill (in your soul)

    My Idi certainly was following a very etched path. it seemed unlikely that he would muster the energies of his soul to
    stop listening to the noise in his soul, and start listening to my whisper. BUT it has happened.

    BUT, now he's dead. He was killed at a time in his life where he was stark raving mad, a murderer. Ideals
    and greed were appetites to be fed, reguardless of the human life he ruined. I have him right now. HE wants to run away
    forever. I am trying to work with him, but its hard in this state of mind. The time for changing mind is over.
    I can only work with what he brought me. I can heal if he will allow. and if he brought something that can be healed.
    But, in his state, there are many things just not there. gone, nothing to heal. I can create too. but, one thing,
    just one thing I made that is inviloate, and that is his free will, your free will. If it is not offered up for me
    to heal, to create, to rebuild, to make right, then I will not do so.

    IF Idi lived to a ripe old age, was mellowed by his aging body, mind, reflection of the past, then, perhaps . . .

    And you are lead away by an angel as God sadly stares into emptiness pondering what could have been.

  2. I go off on this little flight of fancy because I think most of us get into heaven on the moron clause, as I call it.
    Here we are climbing around in God's perfect morality garden, stomping on its beautiful flowers, having our gunfights,
    enforcing all that is good, trying to change things to be our way. Why can't these people I have to hurt see
    what Iam trying to do, and cooperate!? Why must I use force. Why must I kill Idi, why must Idi try and take
    over the government and rule the way the country SHOULD be ruled, why must he defend the government from all those
    dissenters, all those from other ethnic origins . . .

    Each of us, in our own little corner of the morality garden leave a mess to some degree or other.

    Unless I'm told otherwise, I'm a moron. Maybe I'm not that far off the mark. I dunno.

    If there are 15 booths in a row, and each one has a degree of righteousnes marked on it, from super righteous
    down to moron, and you are instructed to go to the booth where you feel you most fit it. By the way, each
    soul will be exposed to the fire of truth. If you overestimated yourself because you have warped your conscience,
    then you will be burned to a crisp.

    You won't be hurt if you get near what is your truth. If you say you were a 13, but you were really an 11, I won't harm
    you. but if you are a moral and behavioral idiot, leaving a trail of suffering and destruction behind you and you hop
    in booth 15 for moral super man/super righteousness, then you're toast.

    What booth are you getting in?

    I'm not accusing you of not knowing that you're a knucklehead like the rest of us. ITs just my reaction
    to being limited to heaven/hell with the implication of the pacifist action leading to the death of 31 individuals = hell
    and taking a shot at the back of Idi's head and saving the recipients of his actions, from him = heaven (assuming
    heaven was the default had our main character not been dropped in the middle of this situation)

    Um, did I get a little long winded. Better stop

  3. I'm aware of that argument, Tom, but I think that its defect is that it is never finished. In effect, it has God giving mass murderers who interpose their own lives as a price for avoiding mass murder a "license to kill."

    So, a police sees an al-Queda terrorist wiring his dead man switch to a 50 megaton weapon to incinerate New York.

    If the terrorist says, "Please, Mr. Policeman, don't cut the wires to my bomb -- I want to kill people," the policeman is entitled to cut the wires and make an arrest.

    But if the terrorist says, "I'm sorry, Mr. Policeman, but you must kill me to stop me," then you require the policeman to answer, "Hmmm, I have been warped by 1950s Westerns. And you are God's child, Mr. Terrorist. And God can handle the 27,000,000 people about to die. So, you're right. You win. I'm sorry to disturb you, Mr. Terrorist, sir."

    The bomb goes off one-half hour later. It kills 15,000,000 people. Over the next year, 12,000,000 more people suffer agonizing pain from burns, and die.