Dec 012005

Will you chuck a baby over a cliff for a million dollars? How about for
a billion? You wouldn’t get caught, no one would know. Would you do it
for a trillion dollars? You could buy lots of nice things for a
trillion dollars, you could buy your own country. You could buy
anything you want, you could have anything you’ve ever needed. All you
need to do is chuck a tiny baby in our over-populated world over the
cliff. I’ll make it easier for you, you don’t need to chuck it. Just
say the word, the baby will disappear over a cliff, you don’t even have
to see it and you’ll get a trillion dollars.

Would you do it?

I think very few of us would say no without any hestitation. After a
little pestering, I’m sure some of our gentle kind could even be
persuaded to let this happen.

Human resolution is a bit like certain equations, they break down near
extremes. We’d all like to believe that we would stand firm in our
resolutions, but I believe a lot of us have simply accepted them. And
they’ve never had to be tested.

A case that’s perhaps easier to imagine is one that has something to do
with Batman Begins (Christain Bail’s voiceover when he’s recounting how
he went underground: "The first time I stole so I wouldn’t starve"). If
I was in such a situation (an extreme in many ways) would my resolution
to not steal break down? I like to imagine that I would be resourceful
and intelligent enough to not have to degrade to stealing, but what if
I have no other choice?

Extremes are called that because they test the boundaries of human
existance. Animals who live in "extreme" climates such as penguins and
polar bears don’t feel that. They have their own extremes. Humans have
another dimension of extremes beyond the physical–the mental. The mind
of a person has their own extremes, each mind having a unique extremes.
Spend too long in the extremes and that which happens to the body
happen to the mind. Insanity.

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