The holiday news vacuum provides us with the opportunity to present you with yet another creative challenge. It involves a conflict between science and religion. This is the scenario:
The evidence is undeniable that some natural disaster is gong to strike the location of a small town. It’s not an asteroid, because that could create too big a problem. It’s a volcano — definitely deadly, but geographically limited, and (we shall assume) predictable with virtual certainty.
You are in charge of a government disaster relief program. You and your team visit the place and advise them about what’s going to happen, and you urgently recommend that they all vacate the area as soon as possible. However, the people all belong to some kind of religious sect that rejects science because it contradicts their beliefs, and they believe their faith will protect them. They refuse to pack up and leave.
Let’s make it even worse — your sister joined the sect a few years ago and now she and your nephew live in that town. Like everyone else, they refuse to act on your advice. The disaster is going to strike in a few days, and you know they’ll all be killed. Now what? Your job is to save lives, and they’re not just a bunch of strangers — members of your own family will perish in the coming disaster.
Your options are simple. As leader of the government team, you can decide: (1) your team will forcibly remove the people; or (2) respecting the town’s freedom to make their own decisions, order your team give up and leave the area. If you decide that your team should leave, you have one more option: you could, acting on your own, force your family members to leave with you.
The form of today’s challenge is that you must tell us, with reasonable brevity:
You know the rules: A successful entry should be self-explanatory. You may enter the contest as many times as you wish, but you must avoid profanity, vulgarity, childish anatomical analogies, etc. Also, avoid slanderous statements about individuals. Feel free to comment on the entries submitted by others — with praise, criticism, or whatever — but you must do so tastefully.
There may not be a winner of this contest, but if there is, your Curmudgeon will decide, and whenever we get around to it we’ll announce who the winner is. There is no tangible prize — as always in life’s great challenges, the accomplishment is its own reward. We now throw open the comments section, dear reader. Go for it!
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