Survivor Island

Imagine two tribes stranded on an island for three months, with no means of communication with the civil world. The island chosen consists of a space minimal for the requirements of survival. One tribe confesses to live by faith alone, the other tribe claims to live by reason without faith. The survivors will win life and a million dollars. The losers could die (and perhaps go to Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell).

Who will survive?
 

Conditions for the Faith Tribe:

According to many Christians, one can 'live by faith alone.' (One should not confuse this with the 'salvation by faith alone' doctrine which claims faith in Jesus will ensure survival in the "afterlife," although living by faith certainly owes its evolution out of the salvation hypothesis.)
 
The belief that one can live by faith alone probably began with Martin Luther in the 1500s with his break with orthodox Catholicism and thus the beginning of Protestant Christianity. Martin Luther loathed scientific reasoning and openly spoke against using reason. Luther made claims that "the just shall live by faith alone." This maxim meme has carried itself through Christian evolution and some Christians today still claim that, literally, one can live by faith alone. Although the doctrine of 'faith alone' stems from Christianity, this does not bar the idea from other religions or beliefs (in some Hundu cults, for example, 'enlightened' believers claim they can survive without eating or drinking fluids).
 
Since a living human requires matter and energy to sustain life, we can make measurements in this world to test the 'living by faith alone' hypothesis. To meet these conditions, the members of the tribe must believe that they can, indeed, live by faith alone. Thus all the members of the Faith Tribe must consider themselves devoutly religious and hold to the idea of faith.

The rules for members of the Faith Tribe:

1) Every tribe member must resort to faith alone to help them survive.
2) No member can use reason, logic, scientific methods, or rational thinking to help them survive.
 
Any tribe member can pray, meditate, bless, conjure, beseech, plead, beg, invoke, recite, sing, dance, bounce, jump, or scream to any god, spirit, or invisible entity to help them survive. They may wear religious beads, crosses, or utilize religious bibles or tokens of any kind. They can tattoo themselves with religious symbols or flagellate themselves with sacrificial torture. They may worship any god, idol, or symbol as long as it sits within the 'faith alone' doctrine and does not appeal to any form of reason. If any member gets caught using reason (such as thinking of ways to start a fire, construct a fish net, build a hut, etc.) they will be immediately eliminated from the game. However, if any miraculous events occur, or god constructs or provides physical objects for them (a tent, a loaf of bread, turning water into wine, a fish net, a boat, etc.) then they can use those miraculous items for their survival. The Faith members can utilize any natural bodily instinct to help them survive (eating, drinking, and defecating) as long as reasoned thinking does not accompany the acts. The members can utilize any natural food, or shelter that already exists in the environment. However, if the food or shelter requires extra means by reasoning to obtain them (such as building a ladder to reach a fruit in a tree) then they must abstain. They can, however, pray for the fruit to drop from the tree, or wait for god to drop the fruit for them. At no time may any member drink blood, eat flesh or cannibalize any other member including those of the Reason tribe, regardless of how well it fits with Eucharist doctrine. Any god, spirits, angelic beings, devils, or ghosts are allowed, and indeed, encouraged to participate with the survival of the Faith tribe.
 

Conditions for the Reason Tribe:

According to many agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, secular humanists, infidels, and heretics, a human being can, indeed, live without faith. They claim that reason, without any appeal to faith, can suffice to survive a fulfilling life on earth. The genesis of this idea probably rose from Enlightenment thinking from freethinkers and Freemasons from the 17th century. As silly as it may seem to the faithful, non-believers to this day submit that faith holds no requirement for survival in life. Since a human being has the ability to suspend faith, we can test whether non-faith, indeed, stands in the way of survival.
 
To meet these conditions, the members of this tribe must come from members of the atheist, agnostic, and freethinking community. None of them must believe in a god or supernatural entity and they must have no faith in any thing, god, or supreme being. They must not wear religious tokens or tattoo their bodies with religious symbols. They cannot resort to bibles, crosses, religious documents, sacred writs, totem poles, horoscopes, tarot cards, or symbols of religion of any kind. Thus all the members of the Reason tribe must consider themselves non-religious and hold no faith of any kind.

The rules for members of the Reason Tribe:

1) Any tribe member can utilize reason, logic, rational thinking, or scientific methods to help themselves survive.
2) At no time can a member resort to faith, prayer, or appeals to any god, spirit , ghost or any supernatural entity.
 
The Reason tribe members can use any form of scientific reasoning to help them survive (utilizing reasoning to construct tools, shelter, and clothing, for example). At no time must any member resort to prayer, appeals to god, begging, pleading, or yelping to a supernatural force. If any member consciously or unconsciously resorts to an outburst of "God damnit," "Jesus H. Christ," "Hallelujah," "Have Faith," "Praise Jesus," etc., even if taken euphemistically, metaphorically, or jokingly, he or she will be expelled without appeal. If any member gets caught with their hands closed in prayerful fashion, crossing their heart, meditating, or staring at the sky as if appealing to a god, they will be ejected from the game. If any miraculous event occurs, or if any god or spirit helps a member survive in any way, that member will be immediately eliminated from the game.

At no time may members kill or harm their fellow members or those of the Faith tribe, regardless of how much irritation and grief they may cause. The alleged gods, spirits, angelic beings, devils, and ghosts are not invited to help in the survival of the Reason tribe.

Which tribe do YOU think would survive the longest?
HOME | BACK