Of Boiled Frogs and Cooperation With Evil

June 4, 2008 § 1 Comment

The old chestnut goes that if you toss a frog in boiling water, he will jump out. But if you put him in room temperature water and gradually turn up the heat, he’ll stay in the pot and boil.

Most people will balk at cooperating with evil when faced with a stark choice. So if I wanted to design a public liturgy to get a community to willingly cooperate with evil, I’d probably incorporate certain frog-boiling features into it. The ritual would involve regularly and systematically making specific concrete choices of omnibus platforms, where compromise with explicit and definite evil was always required. I would construct it so that there was always some option that would do more overall damage than the other, and make it so that people who refused to play were treated as though they were idealistic bedwetters shirking the grave duty shouldered by other, better men. And as time went on, yesterday’s bad option would continually look like today’s good option; but gradually, not in an instantaneous or revolutionary fashion.

I expect that with that kind of public liturgy and process I could even, over time, get Christians to willingly elect cannibals.

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§ One Response to Of Boiled Frogs and Cooperation With Evil

  • kentuckyliz says:

    When liturgy becomes horizontal (worshipping myself and the community–we’re so great, God is lucky to be able to join us here…until we forget about the God part), then God is dead, and everything is possible.

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