Tag Archives: bible

Killing the firstborn

If you're trying to help your chosen people move out of a country by killing the firstborn of everyone else in the country, you might have a small conundrum:

You have promised your chosen people that you would kill all the firstborn except their own. You know that you will not have to kill a child in every family because of high mortality rates: there are not as many firstborn alive as would be expected. And you know that you will be sparing the firstborn of those other than your chosen people: some of your chosen people will convince their neighbors to put blood on the door frames, and you are willing to overlook this exploitation of a loophole.

However, there are certain people whom some argue that you should kill and others argue that you should not. These people had a father or mother who had children before, but are the first child of their other parent. Some of them are the result of men taking in multiple wives, some are the result of remarriages, and others are the result of adultery. They can be argued to be either firstborn or not, which ties in to whether you should kill them or not.

What should you do?

China confiscating Bibles

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, China has confiscated more than 300 Bibles from American Christians that arrived at Kunming Airport. While the title "China confiscates Bibles from American Christians" initially outraged me, thinking that the Chinese government had confiscated personal copies of the Bible (despite what some people might think of atheists, I'm a big believer in freedom of and from religion), it turns out that the Christians brought along a boatload of Bibles to use for proselytizing. This considerably weakens the sympathy I have for the Christians.

Still, I'm unhappy with the way China suppresses religion, where they do things like confiscating Bibles. (I'm not outraged, since it's the kind of thing I've come to expect from them.) While I would like to see more atheists among the populace, I want this to be because they reasoned it out and rejected extraordinary claims with little to no evidence. Incidentally, I'd also like to see more skeptics for the same reason. I absolutely abhor the use of force to coerce people to abandon beliefs; this would just be replacing one arbitrary authority with another arbitrary authority.

For that matter, I don't like all of the censorship that China enforces. People shouldn't have to continuously worry whether what they think or say will be suppressed by the state. They should be able to freely think wherever their thoughts take them. The fact that the Chinese government feels the need for an oppressive degree of censorship might be an indication of what they think of their own system of government.