"What we call 'morals' is simply blind obedience to words of command." - Havelock Ellis
One fine day, I came across an absolutely challenging question: "If God instructed you to kill your son, would you do it?"
The question was inspired by a wonderful movie called 'The Rapture', 1991. In the movie, the lead Sharon goes from being a sex and drug addict to being a born Christian. It was her worship of God that saved her life. And suddenly one day, she realizes that God wants her to end her daughter's life. Her belief in God makes her kill her own child; she gets arrested and put in jail.
Then comes The Rapture aka Apocalypse, and the spirit of Sharon's dead child appears asking her to join her in heaven just to say, SHE LOVES GOD. Sharon refuses and says; she can not worship someone who asked her to kill her child.
When asked people on Quora, what would they do if such an enigma comes to them, this is how they responded...
"Why is the assumption that my moral compass is the reason I wouldn't do it? God tells me to do lots of things, but I don't do. Selfishness is the reason I don't do them."
"Not only will I not sacrifice my child, but if God tries something like this, I'll make it my life's work to convert or destroy all of his followers. Because, a God like that, if unkillable, deserves to be reviled and/or forgotten."
"God loves us, and so I try to love the way Jesus Christ loves us. But if God tells me to kill, I would not hesitate one bit, and I would do more than kill, I would butcher people, burn down their houses, and take the ashes of their places devoted to anti-God, and cast them into outer space, never to have a place in this world again."
"Of course not. If God ordered me to kill my child, I'd drop whatever I was doing, drive myself to a hospital, go up to the desk in the emergency room and say 'Please help me. I'm hearing voices that are telling me to kill my child. I may become a danger to my family. I need emergency psychiatric assistance.'"
I think the answer for me would be 'probably'. As a dedicated atheist who is pretty much convinced that God does not exist, the only way I'd accept that God was ordering me to do anything at all was if I had somehow developed a schizo-affective disorder and no longer recognized reality for what it was. Convinced by my hallucinations that I was hearing God's voice, I likely would also be convinced by those same hallucinations that killing my child was somehow necessary.
"I voted 'no', but really, I think it depends on the consequences. If it meant we were both going to heaven, I guess it would be the utilitarian thing to do, as much as it displeased me."
"My answer is just plain 'NO'. Even if God was almighty and all-knowing, and I was going to heaven, I'd say send me to hell. Why would I want to go to heaven anyway? Burning forever in hell would only hurt intensely for the first few thousand years, but taking the life of my child would destroy my soul."
"Does the word presuppose negative motives? If so then would a benevolent 'God' tell you to kill your child? Or would the word 'kill' be something we would use ourselves, whereas 'God' would use a different word and/or deeper explanation?"
"God is omniscient; he knows the outcome of his demand. So, he can choose the wording of his demand, his posture, the time, the circumstances, the subtle gestures, etc., in a way that he gets the outcome he desires.
So the outcome of this whole scenario relies solely on the God's decisions. I have no say in it. When he makes this demand, he knows the outcome. I will do what he wants me to do. I will even think that it is my own decision, in fact, it is my free decision but in a setting rigged by God."
"No. Our second child died in infancy. Words cannot encompass the anguish I still live with, almost 14 years after his brief life ended.
I'm not religious, but, even if I were, I'd be inclined to doubt the judgment of any deity that wanted me to take the life of someone.
I am my children's mother. I have a responsibility to the beings I conceived, gestated, and brought into this world. Any God that wants me to abdicate my sacred responsibility is not a God I'd be willing to follow."
"This probably seems crazy to most of the people, but what if their claims are true? What if God told you to kill your child? Would you obey?"
"My conclusion is that God would not really ask me to do this given the grace that is afforded to us in this age. This would be an attack from the forces of darkness."
"I would never DO it, no matter who says it. Not just my kin, I would not dream of killing, or fatally hurting any one else too. God will never ask me, or for that matter, any one else to even harm, leave alone kill, some one, whatever the cause may be. That is my position."
"God created existence, everything we know and could ever know. As mere squishy mortals, we can't comprehend the divine plan, and our lives are very small on that scale. Our suffering is even smaller. If God wants you to do something and you don't do it, several things will happen."
Well, this is how people reacted. But if God one day asked you to kill your own son, would you?
Drop your answers in the comment box.
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