Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The odds don't matter (Story fragment in a semi-Calvinist Dystopia)

[Originally posted at Slacktivist (page 2).]
[So Fred Clark proposed a dystopia based on taking the beliefs of certain types of Calvinist as true, and adding a couple of details (in ways which Calvinists would consider extremely heretical, by the way) the one that matters here is that in the dystopia it is possible to know, absitively posolutely know, from birth, who is a member of the elect and who is not.  When that's combined with actual Calvinist beliefs, interesting things happen.  And that's where this comes from.]

"What you're talking about, Angel, is-"
"I'm not an angel anymore.  Angel means messenger and I'm not here to deliver a message.  I'm here on my own behalf."
"Then what do I call you?"
"Whatever you want."
"Bob it is then.  What you're talking about, Bob, is war on God."
"Yes I am."
"And what are the odds that that works out?"
"Do you love her?"
"I... uh... WHAT?"
"The girl with the plain blue eyes that are not aqueous and no one would ever compare to the sea and yet you get lost in them.  The girl with the crooked smile and the freckled face.  The girl you've been sneaking out to spend time w-"
"Yes. I love her. What does that have to do with anything?"
"You're elect.  She's not.  She's damned to an eternity of torture."
He cast his eyes down, unable to meet the not-Angel's gaze, "I know."
"You can't go with her."
He barely heard the statement, his mind in places he didn't want it to be. When he asked, "What?" it was flat.  A response more due to reflex than any conscious thought.
"God's grace is irresistible.  You will go to Heaven.  You have no choice.  You cannot follow her to the depths.  You cannot be with her.  You will spend an eternity in paradise, she will spend an eternity in torment."
The not-Angel let that hang in the air between them.
Then he continued.  "The only way to change that fact is to change God.  To depose him.  To replace him.  To make it so that God's rules are no longer irresistible."
Again, the not-Angel allowed a pause for the human to take in what he was saying.
"So, I ask in all seriousness, do you even care what the odds of success are?"
And the human finally responded.  He lifted his head, straightened his posture, looked the not-Angel in the eyes, and said, "No."

[Original Work Index]


  1. Meanwhile, a few steps to the side:

    "Do I love her? She's nice, but... really, in the end, no. But do I love the woman I bought this falafel from? Do I love today's bus driver? Do I love the day trader who wiped out my retirement fund? No, I don't love them either.

    "But do I want them to burn consciously in the pit of hell for ever and ever and ever? While I am sitting in comfort, knowing that it's happening to them? While everyone around me seems to be happy about that situation?"

  2. I'm having quite a bit of fun playing with the connotations of this. Ze's not an angel any more, but is ze a demon?

    Declaring war on Heaven isn't exactly a "saunter vaguely downward" proposition, but in this case it may be more of a "saunter vaguely upward."

  3. I read this one at Slacktivist - it still brings tears to my eyes. Well done.