- 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
- 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
- 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.
tribe do YOU think would survive the longest?