Scenario ONE: A technologically advanced alien race attacks the earth. It wants to brand and kidnap humans to be used as slaves on their home planet. Anyone who refuses is destroyed. The aliens are very powerful and ruthless. Rather than simply kill those who rebel, they punish them by inflicting torturous pain, loss and suffering. However for those that agree to become slaves, the aliens’ technology can extend your life for a very long time.
Your options: You can either give in and possibly live out your life bowing and scraping to the alien leaders and doing humiliating service, or you can rebel and face the consequences. There is no “right” choice. However, if you’ve seen ANY alien invasion scenario movies EVER MADE, you’ll note that the heroes refuse to be dominated and find a way to destroy the attacking alien hoard. They are courageous, and say things like “for humanity and freedom!”
Scenario TWO: God is coming down to gather his faithful, who will be required to sing his praises day and night forever. If you were raised in a Christian family you’re probably safe. Everyone else must deny their culture, family, faith and upbringing and accept God and Jesus as their savior. Those who do not will face terrible punishment; plagues, attacks by giants scorpions, earthquakes, death… by fear and pain they will be forced to accept God. Those who STILL refuse will be burned for all eternity.
Your options: You give in. God is clearly omnipotent. Who cares if he’s just, good, kind, forgiving; you accept him because it hurts too much not to. You give up your ideals, your freedom, your uniqueness, all of your own wants, desires and goals. You give up your own happiness, your own responsibility, courage, valor and independence. But it’s worth it, because you can’t imagine suffering any more pain. OR – if you’re crazy enough, angry enough, or stupid enough, you say “Screw You” and let the dice roll.
This may sound horrendously blasphemous. It might make you angry. If so, you probably believe that God loves you. But do you love God? One of the reasons I love my best friends is that they aren’t afraid to tell me when I’m being an asshole. They also aren’t afraid to tell me to fuck off – either playfully or in genuine anger. That freedom is based on the fact of power equality. I would never say that to a teacher or a boss, because I would get in trouble. There would be consequences. They don’t love me enough to forgive me, and I don’t love them enough to trust that I could express myself freely around them. However, if a teacher or boss is being unjust, unfair, cruel, or picking on other co-workers or classmates, you need to stand up and tell them they better clean up their act. The only God I can believe in is one who listens to input and changes accordingly, who isn’t an asshole, and who I don’t have to be afraid of.