farewell to the anthropocene



An eccentric billionaire came to me and said, "I want to give you a test."


He'd commissioned a foolproof surveillance system and trained it on me. GPS, hidden cameras, infrared sensors. He gave me a demonstration. Sure enough, no matter where I went, what I did, at all hours and everywhere, they could see what I was up to.



The test was to be whether I could obey the ten commandments without fail. If I broke even one, they'd know for sure.


  1. 主が唯一の神だと認めること
  2. 偶像崇拝をしないこと
  3. いたずらに主の名を口にしないこと
  4. 安息日を守ること
  5. 父母を敬うこと
  6. 殺人はNG
  7. 不倫はNG
  8. 窃盗はNG
  9. 虚言はNG
  10. 不当な切望はNG

Here's a list of those commandments, for reference:

  1. Have no other gods.
  2. No idolatry.
  3. No taking name of YHWH in vain.
  4. Observe the Sabbath.
  5. Honor parents.
  6. Don't murder.
  7. Don't adulter.
  8. Don't steal.
  9. Don't bear false witness.
  10. Don't covet.



if I could last a whole year, the reward was to be a hundred million dollars.


At this point the billionaire actually produced a sworn affidavit, brought in a dozen lawyers, showed me the Swiss bank account number, and generally proved beyond doubt that this was for real.


So basically, I knew what I had to refrain from doing, I knew they'd catch me if I slipped, and I was assured of my reward if I complied. Given all this, it ought to be easy!


Even if the task were harder (say, more restrictions to obey, a lifetime term), were the reward also greater (say, eternity in paradise), it would have to be a breeze.


Because if you believe in the reward, it should be easy to obey. If you find it difficult to obey, that's a sign you don't really believe in the reward, right?


(There are certain religious types who claim to "know" that what they believe is true. They also end up apologizing to their deity on practically a weekly basis for "making mistakes". The obvious conclusion is that they don't really believe what they claim to believe.)



Anyway, I turned the billionaire guy down. Money isn't everything.