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THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: BABY IN VIETNAM

You are in Vietnam in the war and huddled together with a group of villagers in the basement of a small house. Pacing the boards above your heads are American soldiers who will kill you and the rest of the group on sight. You are holding an infant who, irritated by the dust and humidity, is about to start wailing, most certainly giving away your position, which will result in the execution of the entire group. Do you (A) let the child cry and alert the soldiers, or do you (B) suffocate the child so that the adults may live?

I found this moral quandary on the internet.

The atheist would see killing the baby as the lesser evil.

The religious person would say that the soldiers will not kill them if the baby cries for God will protect them. Clearly that is fanaticism.

Less fanatical believers will say that God may protect them not will protect them. That is not as dangerous as the previous idea but it is still essential fanaticism. Instead of considering only what is best for people, God, is given consideration. A truly good person considers what people need and leaves beliefs about God out of it. If they don't they are saying that people should be hurt over religion. They are endorsing an evil principle and give up any right to complain should a suicide bomber kill for God.

What if the baby is your own child?

One result will be is that your reasoning will probably be impaired or even useless in such a situation. You will end up trying to sacrifice the group for the baby. If you sacrifice the baby this will be done in a frenzy not far off insanity and cannot be called a moral decision as far as your intention goes for your intentions are all over the place.

Some say that they will kill the child if they get into such a situation even if it is their baby whom they dote over.

Abraham in the Bible was going to kill his son Isaac because God asked him to sacrifice him. God did save Isaac but nevertheless praised Abraham's willingness to kill in the name of obedience. Sadly such stories are taught by religion as edifying which shows that they are not as against religiously inspired murder as they pretend. And part of the responsibility lies with them should a nutter kill in the name of God after hearing such tales.

Are the atheists who will kill their babies for the sake of the greater good any better than Abraham?

Some say they cannot deem themselves any better than Abraham even though they may say, "I am killing the child to save lives and not because God wants me to do it for I do not believe in God."

But they are. Killing the baby to do good is way superior to doing it out of obedience to man. Doing it out of obedience to man is way superior to doing it just because you think God wants you to do it. How can you know it is really God or that God is right? At least you know man is commanding you and you are obeying something real.

It may be replied that they are no better than Abraham for like him they are sacrificing their child to prove their loyalty to their moral beliefs. But it is not a belief but a fact that if you know all will die if the baby cries and it is better for one to die than all. And some may believe that killing their baby is wrong but they will do this immoral thing to save lives. It may not be loyalty at all to moral beliefs.

Conclusion: Atheism can and should be better than Bible-Believing religion. It is better in principle if not in the way people live.