Monday, March 08, 2004

Human sacrifice

People, at least in civilized countries, tend to disapprove of human sacrifice. For some reason they also seem to believe that human sacrifice was a feature of barbaric ancient cultures and is now dead and buried. Nevertheless all or almost all Western countries practice human sacrifice in the form of army draft - AFAIK all the Western countries reserve the right to draft a certain segment of their population in case of war, except maybe for Monaco and suchlike small countries that figure that having an army won't help much anyway. I don't see any fundamental differences between sacrificing virgins to the Rain God, and sacrificing young men to protect the country from another country, except that the latter is obviously much more efficient. In fact almost every time I bring up this analogy the first thing people say is that soldiers and armies are way more efficient than virgins and Rain Gods.

This raises the question: do people really disapprove of human sacrifice to gods just because it's very inefficient, but not on general principle, and would Western people approve of human sacrifices to the Rain God if there really were a Rain God and the sacrifices were indeed rewarded with rain?

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