The Null Device


Some atheists in the US have found a unique niche for making money from evangelical Christianity: by offering to care for pets left behind when their Christian owners are raptured:

Centre, an atheist, guarantees that if or when the Rapture comes, he or one of his 44 contractors in 26 states will drive to your home within 24 hours, collect your dog, cat, bird, rabbit or small caged mammal, and adopt it. (Rapture rescue services for horses, camels, llamas and donkeys are limited to New Hampshire, Vermont, Idaho and Montana.) The cost is $US135, plus $US20 per additional animal. Payable up front, of course, and good for 10 years.
Of course, to make sure that the carers will actually be available to take care of abandoned pets, they're carefully screened, and then required to blaspheme, ensuring that they're ineligible for eternal salvation.

Which raises a few philosophical (if not ethical) questions. If the carers are, in fact, atheists, then by definition they know that they will never be required to deliver the services they are collecting money for (much as their customers know that they will). In which case, would this make this service fraudulent? From the service provider's point of view, it's an easy $135 for doing nothing. Of course, if they leave the country without arranging for a backup to stay around, they could possibly be liable for negligence.

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