2
$\begingroup$

The situation

A human-like entity appeared out of nowhere and produced miracle after miracle -- displaying immense powers like humanity has never seen before and could never comprehend in their entire existence. Not evil of nature, it transforms the world everywhere she goes. Reviving the dead, unlocking the hidden potential of the country she appears in, terraforming the earth or bringing in supreme knowledge -- people are never the same wherever she passed.

It is so big that the entity is seen as a god by most the population.

But at the same time, and due to the incredible power brought with her, the other countries classify the entity as a threat to the world and humanity. They are terrorized by what she could do. Both because they can not comprehend how she works, and because the entity could probably destroy them any instant if she was displeased.

The conflict

In a desperate attempt, the governments (most of them) send special forces to try to collect intelligence on the entity. It is more about deciding whether it is a threat, or whether they can live in symbiosis without risking their total extinction. It obviously fails. The mission ends up with the cover being blown up, the entity displeased, and the special forces left with such terror that they shoot it in the head with a 9mm.

You guessed it. The eldritch abomination does not die from the shot and retaliate by killing all the men sent to monitor her every step in a horrific, incomprehensible way... proving at the same time that she represents a potential menace to humanity.

At this point, all governments on earth are aware of what happened. Yet, there is still distinct political forces differentiating them, and it is no different from today's world (apart from the entity's presence). Thus, it would be difficult to have a quick decision from an institution representing Earth.

That is why, it is one nation that freak out on its own, and arbitrarily decides to nuke the entity to avoid the risk of having it begins a massacre.

The question

What could have led this nation to take the radical choice of nuking the eldritch abomination, disregarding humans rights, potentially alienating all the others country in the world, and likely starting a war ?

PS: I know a nuke is exceptionally complex to launch, it is hardly something you just decide to use like that, and needs a long process to start. But I need something of the like in my setup. For it is required that people understand the terror of the device, and how crazy powerful it is. There has to be collateral damage and long-lasting consequences on the world.

$\endgroup$
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ This likely going to be closed as too opinion-based, since "why would a nation respond harshly to a potential threat" is pretty broad, and we don't really have any real world things that compare to what you're talking about. If anything, we have the opposite. $\endgroup$ – Giter Mar 20 '18 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I would hate to have this question end like this :/ Honestly even a simple 'let a dictator country do it' would be better. $\endgroup$ – Sasugasm Mar 20 '18 at 20:04
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ "As other leaders gather to discuss how to appease the entity, one man stands alone: Kim Jong-Un thinks to himself, 'My whole life has led to this moment', as he finally pushes the button." $\endgroup$ – Giter Mar 20 '18 at 20:15
13
$\begingroup$

There is no god but God.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawhid

Tawhid constitutes the foremost article of the Muslim profession of faith.The first part of the shahada (the Islamic declaration of faith) is the declaration of belief in the oneness of God. To attribute divinity to anything or anyone else, is shirk - an unpardonable sin according to the Qur'an, if repentance is not sought afterwards. Muslims believe that the entirety of the Islamic teaching rests on the principle of Tawhid.

This demigod is attracting worshippers and corrupting the faithful through fear, promises and miracles. An obligation to destroy idols is central to Islam (and arguably all 3 Abrahamic religions if you take the "graven images" thing seriously) but really it is followers of Islam that have acted on this tenet through history.

Your abomination is worse than an idol - an actual false god. It is the responsibility of believers to destroy it. Pakistan is the only Islamic country with the means and in this scenario, Pakistan steps up with their bomb.

$\endgroup$
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ So, no rationality required, just conviction of faith. That is so unfortunately plausible. +1 $\endgroup$ – Samuel Mar 20 '18 at 20:13
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Samuel More interestingly, that might even be considered to be "rational" by others. You'd simply disagree on the tennents underlying that rational thought. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Mar 20 '18 at 20:16
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ +1, originally thought the question was too opinion based, but this is definitely a solid, realistic answer and changed my mind immediately. $\endgroup$ – Giter Mar 20 '18 at 20:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @CortAmmon Thus rendering rationality a meaningless concept. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Mar 20 '18 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ Wow. That's really clever. Exactly the kind of answer I hoped for but could not think of myself. I would give you +10 if I could :) $\endgroup$ – Sasugasm Mar 20 '18 at 20:21
3
$\begingroup$

What could have led this nation to take the radical choice of nuking the eldritch abomination, disregarding humans rights, potentially alienating all the others country in the world, and likely starting a war ?

Obviously, because this nation (and there aren't that many...) thinks that the outcome "eldritch abomination ruling the Earth" is much much worse than the outcoming "nuking a city, no matter how populated, and dealing with that literal and metaphoric fallout.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ This answer points out that we have a bit of a Trolley Problem. It's known that the ethics rules we typically apply prefer inaction over actions that might cause harm. This could lead one to believe that others also feel this way, and would never nuke. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Mar 21 '18 at 0:50
  • $\begingroup$ I feel this is a more correct answer. If a nation's leader thinks the entity will get enough followers to overthrow the government, then that leader will have an easier time making this decision. $\endgroup$ – Muuski Mar 21 '18 at 15:28
3
$\begingroup$

An ICBM lacks subtlety, I think it's more likely that the nuke would be delivered by a truck (the driver doesn't know what he's transporting) and detonated within the vicinity of the entity, close enough to ensure there's no reasonable chance for the entity to flee or somehow defend itself but far enough away that the entity wouldn't be able to see the attack coming even if it had X-ray vision.

The attack could come from the nation the entity is currently occupying, perhaps intended to prevent it reaching a major city or government/military facility, or a rival nation looking to both take out a potential threat and score a major blow against their rival, if a nuke went off in the middle of New York and no other nation claimed responsibility everyone would assume it was the US government which could trigger a civil war.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

War is hell

That's really wall you need. Three words. When you start talking about extreme cases such as entities killing people in unexplainable ways, you enter a realm where a lot of things in human society become fluid.

We, in the West are taught that many things are sacred. "Human rights" simply cannot be infringed, no matter what. Full stop. End of story. Don't wait for a sequel. What's funny is how much philosophers disagree with this position. They spent a great deal of time either trying to find an argument for why human rights exist, or why they do not exist, but they never simply stop because someone said these things are sacred. And it turns out that when you really try to dig at these concepts, they turn out to be a lot more nuanced than they appeared on the surface.

In practice, we know that human rights are violated in times of stress. Just look at Nazi Germany and the experiments they did. They are considered gross violations of human rights, but they happened. Just because they were violations didn't mean that people didn't do them.

The truth is, the leaders of these countries don't have a 3rd person limited omniscient narrator telling them what the limits of this creature are or are not. They are going to use whatever they have at their disposal to try to model the creature's capabilities, and find the best answer. If they believe that there's a chance a nuke will take it down, and they believe the creature is already angered enough that nuking it won't make it all that much worse, then they may just do it.

Remember: humans do things. If you have read about it in the history books, humans have done it. What leads us up to that point is usually right on the edge between rational and irrational, but we do that. And every time, the rational side comes up with a reason to explain the irrational, but every time it's different.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.