Hypothetical Situation (for Theists)

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Thoreau, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. Thoreau Valued Senior Member

    The year is 2050.

    The government has become strongly atheistic, banning all mention and reference to anything about God. Public prayer, religious paraphernalia, and scripture reading/reciting is punishable by death.

    The government then develops a new technology which can detect religious thoughts and activity. This technology involves a microchip inserted on your brain. The government decides to use it on its citizens. Government officials go door to door chipping every man woman and child. Anyone who refuses the implant is shot on site.

    Laws pass, one of which condemns all religious activity, including prayer in your own mind. The government has full power to execute anyone detected to have participated in such activity.

    Essentially, you are given two options:

    1) Pray and conduct religious activity which will surely lead to your death.


    2) Abandon your faith completely and live.

    My question is two-fold...

    Do you abandon your faith, or do you risk death?

    If you choose the latter, continue reading and answer the next question.

    The government then decides that their efforts were not persuasive enough to rid of all religion. They enact a policy where the believer is imprisoned but gets to live. However, they also execute an innocent child because of your acts.

    Do you continue believing? Do you abandon your faith?
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  3. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Post like these cause malls to be shot up.

    EDIT: That was hypothetical.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
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  5. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ KXooo,
    Do you think before you say things, or is it all random gibberish? Just because words fit in a logical sequence grammatically does not make it a sentence. Your 10 word and under posts throughout the Forum mostly constitute trolling even if the moderators don't notice, and this is a perfect example.

    Mall shootings is
    a) Off Topic
    b) inflammatory
    c) extraneous
    with intent to provoke readers into an emotional response.

    That was without a doubt a perfect textbook troll meeting ALL of the criteria.

    @ Thoreau,
    This answer has been answered throughout history. Most people will lie faced with death, but some stand fast.

    You have added the aspect of lie detection. I personally think god exists for non-believers as well as believers so I would likely abandon my faith although technically that might be impossible so my life would be forfeit. I think belief/faith is only required to bring changes/answer prayers/miracles, etc.
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  7. elte Valued Senior Member


    A lot of people would be killed because belief is involuntary based on nature and nurture. Our personalities predispose us a certain way, and our life experiences establish who we are.
  8. Thoreau Valued Senior Member

    Prayer or opening a book to read is not a subconscious effort. One must make the conscious decision to do it.
  9. elte Valued Senior Member

    If people believe in God, they won't be able to stop themselves from praying, and they won't need to read books or have any other theological input to believe. I don't think a government would find it worthwhile to have such strict policies because learning about the universe based on people's observations is apparently already causing religious belief to fade away.
  10. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    If your faith is in God and God is real,
    1. you will not be able to abandon it,
    2. your standing by your faith will not have truly negative consequences - if other people do harm because they believe they are justified to do so because you have faith, the blame falls on them, not on you.

    Negative consequences from your scenario ensue only if
    a) the religion that you have faith in, is false,
    b) the religion that you have faith in, is true and teaches eternal damnation.
  11. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    False dilemma, as the third and most likely option would be wide-spread civil unrest leading inexorably to the collapse of any such government. History is replete with examples. Even if the repressed are a minority, enough abuse draws others to their aid, and very few would tolerate children being killed for any reason.


    Completely agree about kx000. His gibberish is usually too non sequitur to illicit response, but it is still needlessly distracting.
  12. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    But belief is involuntary. No matter what you threaten me with, I will never "believe" the moon is made of green cheese.
  13. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Not in this case, because it's not comparable to historical real examples.

    The OP's scenario is that the government has come so far as to legislate that "public prayer, religious paraphernalia, and scripture reading/reciting are punishable by death" and also has a "technology which can detect religious thoughts and activity" and for which all people have a microchip inserted on their brain, under threat of death.

    I think that this scenario is far past the possibility of wide-spread civil unrest, but is more in line with the docility of people in scenarios such as in the "Stepford Wives" or "Fahrenheit 451."

    We don't know what effect the technology which can detect religious thoughts and activity would have on people - how would people cope knowing that they have no religious privacy anymore? This is an unprecedented case.
  14. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

    Or "1984"

    But you've added the ability to read minds, so any lapse of non-belief or maybe even questioning might trigger punishment. Are there levels in this technology, for instance, if you think about the question of religion would that mean you've violated the law? Or would it be the specific belief in a higher being or some type of something beyond that does it only? Would deism count?

    Can the elimination of believers get rid of the next generation of people who have religious tendencies, or is it something that is not genetic, but just a trait that is present to varying degrees in humans?

    If such a society was absolute in its detection and punishment, and without corruption, it might find that the system itself ends up eliminating its rulers eventually, destroying itself from within. Plenty of stories written about that happening too, first thing that pops to my head is "Logan's Run".
  15. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    You suggest outlawing discussion of 'God,' yet I am the bunk?

    I do believe here, do you know what that means? Christianity, time for that to die, but faith, the eternal one that happened. Religion is natural as faith itself. You have to rite to consider Christianity, or Islam to be religious. They are not holy.

    I am 'god' what now?

    It would be best to give organized religions of earth the yank; Christianity, and Islam, etc. Want to? They don't inspire natural faith, or religion we can tell them take a hike. You know 'God' likes to party.

    The thing is these "religions" have nothing to do with 'God the father.'

    Jesus wasn't a Christian.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2012
  16. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

    You don't have to post if you don't want to actually discuss the topic at hand.
  17. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    How can you respect the notion of outlawing any discussion of 'God.'

    Bunk those Abrahamic religions, and the whole lot of them but faiths states 'God.'
  18. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

    I actually don't, I think such a society wouldn't stop at just religious thought, but any thought that the society deemed inappropriate. I don't like organized religion, I think it tends to be corrupt, and I question religion in general. But I don't support suppression of thought, only discussion of different opinions.

    So no, my addressing the OP wasn't to support the notion, but to play the hypothetical, as it does lead to some interesting questions, many that have been talked about in literature for a long time.

    I just didn't see any point about the actual topic in your two posts thus far. If your faith isn't strong enough to talk about faith, then maybe you shouldn't stray there.
  19. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Those churches house criminals, the worst ones at that. Holy deception. Lets do something about it, for real.
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Moderator note: kx000 has been banned from sciforums for 1 week for continually posting off topic, for posting meaningless nonsense and for preaching.


    From the site rules,

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  21. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Nothing is incomparable to historical examples, aside from complete fiction. If this is just a wild speculation thread with no connection to known reality then I am out.
  22. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    I'm thinking of how this might be scripted for a cheesy B grade movie with really bad acting and some dumb side plot, probably a Romeo and Juliet situation between an atheist and a fundamentalist.

    I think it's likely that religions will evaporate in some future world, one that finally gives all young people a roof over their heads, 3 square meals a day, and a rich and rewarding program of exploration and learning, without indoctrination. In such a world lingering religious views wouldn't be prosecuted, they would simply be treated as crank opinions.

    On the other hand, when governments finally rid themselves of religious nuts, such as the ones who oppose the teaching of evolutionary biology and climate science, or the one who would suggest that God wants the rape victim to give birth, or the one who claimed that God punished impiety in Haiti with the recent disaster there, or Katrina, or any of countless knuckle-headed claims . . . when this finally happens, when government officials can be known for their temperance and reason, then the country will undoubtedly pick up the pace of progress and human advancement, rather than wasting so much time on their absurd, mean and stupid agendas.
  23. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Sounds more like Equilibrium to me. And with the same likely result.

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