Spock and the Calvinists

Calvinist: I’m saved! I’m one of the Elect!

Spock: How many elect are there?

Calvinist: One-hundred forty-four thousand.

Spock: An intriguing number. A question. How many of these Elect come from this time?

Calvinist: What? I don’t understand.

Spock: Christianity as a faith is two thousand years old. A rough calculation would show that some twenty billion human beings have lived in the past two thousand years. Logic would clearly dictate that the numbers of the Elect would be spread across the past two thousand years, let alone all of time, assuming that it is the whim of the Almighty and not religious fervor that determines one’s status as Elect.

Calvinist: What does this have to do with anything?

Spock: Simple probability theory. As a matter of percentages, one’s status as a member of Elect would be highly unlikely. One might have a better chance of being hit with a meteor than to be selected as one of the Elect. This all depends, of course, upon the initial assumptions one makes.

Calvinist: How so?

Spock: Alter any of the fundamental assumptions, and the probability changes. As our base humanity, are we counting from the origins of the human species three million years ago, or merely from the dawn of the Christian era? Are only those subscribing to the Christian faith to be counted as part of our base set, or all all persons to be counted? Neither of these are unreasonable questions; the first because it speaks to the question of predestination, implying that one’s status in the afterlife is irrespective of one’s religious faith as Christianity has existed as a part of human existence for only the smallest of times. The second question speaks to where Christianity falls within the scope of human belief. There are systems of belief older than Christianity and with more adherents; are we to assume that these persons, secure in their systems of belief, are following an incorrect path?

Calvinist: Of course they’re following the wrong path.

Spock: How do you know this?

Calvinist: Because it’s self-evident.

Spock: It is not self-evident to me.

And we could go on and on and on and on….

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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