Technical difficulties, and a question of vampires.


Cripes!

It’s been a busy weekend most of my time having been taken up attending extended meetings with a litany of scoundrels – Jim Beam and Jose Cuervo to name but the two worst offenders – and so I have had very little time for blogging.

And now that I do have a little more time, my laptop is broken.

So, posts from myself, the bleary-eyed-and-sore-headed Reverend Colonel Molerat, will have to be short, quick and vacuous until I once again have the technology at my disposal to spend long evenings reading, researching and writing (I hear cries of relief from those who have suffered through my longer ramblings!).

The first of these posts is, of course, this one, and it is already becoming much longer than expected. So, to try and produce more content for less work, I am going to pose a question to you, O Anonymous Reader, a question I have long pondered and the answer to which I do not know:

How much evidence of God would a ‘real’ western-style vampire be?

If there were a true ‘I vant to suck your blood!’-style vampire, who ticked every ‘vampire’ box (turning into a bat, sleeping in a coffin, hating garlic, etc), how would you interpret their aversion to the Christian Cross? Evidence of a deity, or evidence of vampiric phobia of certain geometric shapes?

How would you investigate? Vampires of different cultural backgrounds? Crosses vs crucifixes? Placebo holy water?

So! Throw off the shackles of anonymity! Embrace the comforting hug of a nym, be it pseudonym or, erm, real nym, and comment below the fold!


Colonel Molerat never drinks wine…

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  1. #1 by Marsh on June 24, 2009 - 13:56

    I think I’d favour testing with a bit of a Transubstantiation-based experimentation. Consider, if you will –

    -Vampires love yummy blood.
    -Vampires don’t drink wine.
    -Vampires are are also not a big fan of Jesus (even his early carpentry work, before he went all hippy).
    -Transubstantiation says that the church wine IS the blood of Jesus… so if a Vampire drinks Jesus-wine:

    1) Will he love it like blood, or hate it like wine?
    2) Will he die from the holiness of it?
    3) Will he say ‘sod this’ and just eat the priest instead?

    All important scientific considerations, I’d say.

  2. #2 by Colonel Molerat on June 24, 2009 - 14:06

    I know that Chinese vampires are quite different to Western vampires. At least according to a film I once watched.
    They drank blood by cutting people’s necks with their incredibly long fingernails and lapping it up, but they could be frozen by a post-it-note thing with some Chinese symbol drawn onto it being stuck to their forehead (if that fell off, though, they unfroze).
    I wonder what their religious views are….

  3. #3 by Marsh on June 24, 2009 - 15:02

    Presbyterian I imagine.

    I imagine that entirely from a position of ignorance with regards to the Presbyterian faith.

  4. #4 by Asylum Seeker on June 24, 2009 - 18:48

    A very interesting and bizarre question! I like it.
    Considering their weakness to sunlight, inability to cross over a stream of running water or to enter a house uninvited, and aversion to both garlic and mirrors, I think that a more plausible theory than Christian sacred items actually having some substantial supernatural power is simply that vampires are allergic to almost everything save their own coffins and the right kinds of dust. But, aside from possibly having more Achilles’ heels than they have fingers, we would need to determine several other possibilities when it comes to the things like holy water and crosses having efficacy against vampires.

    1. Is it simply the religious nature of the items that give them power? To test, one could try to use relics or sacred/blessed objects pertinent to other religions in order to determine whether they can have a similar effect warding off vampires.
    2. Is it simply the person’s belief in the efficacy of that object or the truth of the relevant religion that helps to instill fear in the vampire’s dead heart? Give the cross to a Muslim, or have an atheist fumble around with the religious items to test if they give the same result.
    3. If you get positive results for the above, it could actually be the case that the confidence of the item wielder itself is what wards off the vampire. Get someone very credulous to believe that a Nike shoe or an “enchanted” hairbrush can protect you from vampires and see if they can chase the vampire off by sheer crazy alone. Alternatively, you can just have them strike a dramatic pose or yell random words and phrases at them.
    4. And, finally, if none of the above works, you can bring in the placebo holy water and large, lower case “t”‘s to see whether vampires have a specific weakness to certain geometric figures or have a severe allergy to water, rather than being weak to Christian symbols due to their being Christian in nature.

    If the above tests all prove negative, than there might be something to Christianity after all! But, then again, with a bunch of horrific undead creatures roaming around the countryside and preying on humans, it doesn’t reflect on God too well, even if He gave us the ability to fight off the superhuman monstrosities with magic water, crucifixes, and daylight. It’s adding credibility to the supernatural claims of Christianity while still making their benevolent God look a bit less likely/more insane.

  5. #5 by Nosferpresbyter on June 24, 2009 - 20:10

    The logic of Mr. Marsh is impeccable except for one small thing. Some of us drink blood AND wine – and I am rather partial to a cup of tea before bed.

  6. #6 by Colonel Molerat on June 24, 2009 - 21:06

    Hmm… Despite Marsh and Asylum Seekers’s marvellous ideas for experimentation, I can’t help wondering how one would get ethical approval to act on them… I think the risks involved for the dozens of test subjects forced to approach vampires with shoes, hair brushes and other assorted items may be a little too great…
    Equally, should ‘human’ rights in experimentation also apply to vampires?

  7. #7 by Von Krieger on June 25, 2009 - 00:11

    Ethics regarding vampire testing would depend purely on the behavior and temperament common to the majority of vampires. I would imagine if they cannot control themselves and would go out of control attacking living things whenever they feel a bit peckish, I would presume they would be looked on more like rabid dogs than as sentient beings.

    If however ripping someone’s throat out is more of a personal preference and there would be a decent amount of vampires that are perfectly happy to get their blood supply from the Red Cross, or from non-human sources, I could see there definitely being a possibility of Vampires being given the same rights as everyone else.

    In the former case you wouldn’t NEED to observe Vampire rights, and in the latter you might be able to find a vampire who is willing to help with testing if the results aren’t anything permanently harmful or debilitating.

    For example the repelling a vampire situation could easily be done without any harm to a willing vampire test subject.

  8. #8 by Mike on June 25, 2009 - 09:25

    Surely, from an ethical standpoint, vampires would be treated more like a psychotic serial killer and sociopath than a rabid dog? It doesn’t matter if you’re Ed Gein, it’s still wrong to torture, torment and experiment on you.

    In terms of how the existence of vampires could be taken as evidence for a god–the first thing I would want to determine is if they are supernatural creatures. If vamps are supernatural, then we have evidence that the supernatural is real, which makes the idea of a god a little more plausible. On the other hand, if their various powers and traits can be explained naturally (c.f. I Am Legend) then, staurophobic or not, I don’t think lend any more weight to the existence of gods than any other blood-sucking animal.

  9. #9 by Colonel Molerat on June 25, 2009 - 10:20

    If we were trying to investigate whether vampires were supernatural, what would our definition of the ‘supernatural’ be? If something is real, isn’t it natural? Therefore, however weird a vampire may be, wouldn’t they be ‘natural’ simply by existing? (And wouldn’t the same apply to gods? Whatever modus operandi they use, it has to be ‘natural’ if it affects reality?)

  10. #10 by Mike on June 25, 2009 - 16:45

    It’s a good point, I don’t really know how you would define supernatural. I think H.G. Wells used the definition “something contrarywise to the usual course of nature”.

  11. #11 by Colonel Molerat on June 25, 2009 - 19:21

    But that only means that it is supernatural so long as it is not ‘usual’. As soon as anything ‘supernatural’ happened enough to become usual, or it was explained, it would simply become ‘natural…
    Arrghh! It boggles my mind!

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