Sunday, September 20, 2009

A rabbi, a priest, and a rationalist atheist

A rabbi, a priest, and a rationalist atheist are bound for the guillotine. The rabbi was marched up onto the platform first. There, facing the guillotine, he was asked if he had any last words. And the rabbi cried out, "I believe in the one and only true God, who shall save me if He so desires." The executioner then positioned the rabbi below the blade, set the block above his neck, and pulled the cord. The heavy cleaver plunged downward, but then, abruptly, it stopped with a crack just a few inches above the would-be victim's neck. To which the rabbi said, "I told you so." "It's a miracle!" gasped the crowd.
And the executioner had to agree, letting the rabbi go. Next in line was the priest. Asked for his final words, he declared, "I believe in the Lord, who will rescue me in my hour of need." The executioner then positioned the priest beneath the blade. And he pulled the cord. Again the blade flew downward... stopping just short of its mark once more.
"Another miracle!" screamed crowd. And the executioner for the second time had no choice but to let the condemned go free.
Now it was the atheist’s turn. "What final words have you to say?" he was asked. But the rational atheist didn't hear. Staring intently at the ominous engine of death, he seemed lost. Not until the executioner poked him in the ribs and the question was asked again did he reply: "Oh, I see the problem," the atheist said pointing. "You've got a blockage in the gear assembly, right there!"
Poor atheist! He was so committed to his ambition to disprove miracles that he deprived himself from the “miracle” of saving his own life.


Brian Westley said...

Rather odd you'd use a "joke" where the atheist was right. Were the rabbi and priest also executed, since it wasn't a miracle after all?

John C. Snider said...

Yes, this joke seems rather to miss the point. I've heard this joke before, except the third condemned guy is an engineer. It makes much more sense that way.

John C. Snider