Sunday, January 27, 2013

What Sophie Should Have Said

Religion & Philosophy


German Officer:
Did he not say, 'Suffer the little children to come unto me.'?  [long pause] You may keep one of your children.

Sophie:
I beg your pardon!

German Officer:
You may keep one of your children. The other one must go.

Sophie:
You mean I have to choose?

German Officer:
You are a Polack, not a Yid. That gives you a privilege, a choice.

Sophie:
I will not choose.

German Officer:
Choose! Or I will send them both over there!

Sophie:
I will not choose. I refuse to choose. I love my children. My choosing one or the other absolves you of the responsibility for the death of the one sacrificed and places it squarely on my conscience. I will not absolve you of murder nor have the death of either of my children on my conscience. Further, you are in no position to give me a choice. I am free to refuse the so-called choice you offer, which is really a non-choice since it is you who desires to do evil against my children. You have the choice of murdering them or not. So, I have no choice in this matter and therefore cannot choose, but you have a choice to do evil to my children or to not do evil to them. If you murder them you cannot put the blame on me; the blame rests squarely on your shoulders. So keep the choice you offer me and use it for yourself, for you need it. And may God help you.

[Photographic Art by Ric Couchman]