The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Whether you think I'm reading this just in time for the holidays or because you might think that this story might be one custom-designed for our modern world, I'll leave it up to you.
Let us just say that this is the ultimate test of our ethics, distilled down to the bare necessities and presented in such a way that there is no value judgment.
If you could have a near-perfect society where everyone is cared for and is happy, for the cost of the abuse of one child, would you maintain it or walk away?
Let's look at our world. There is lots of abuse and systematic abuse at that, within all walks of life and across any kind of line we care to draw. Very little is being done to stop any of it.
I think we've collectively agreed to maintain Omelas, and cheaply, too, because we get very little out of it.
If you ask me why I would point to the holidays, then I'll ask a certain subset of you this: if the abuse of one man redeems the rest, then what, exactly, does that mean to a Christian? Oh, sweet baby Jesus..
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