Archive for the Luke Category

Luke 13:1-5

Posted in Luke on 11/30/2010 by Zombie Luther

Zombie Guilt?

AT that time there came some men and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And Jesus answered, saying to them, Do you think that those Galileans were greater sinners than all the other Galileans, because this happened to them? No; but I say to you that all of you also, if you do not repent, will perish in the same way. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Shiloha fell, and it killed them; do you think that they were greater sinners than all the other men who live in Jerusalem? No, but I say to you that unless you repent, all of you will perish like them.

Luke 13:1-5

This short passage in Luke (not paralleled anywhere else) is an even more direct than usual statement by Jesus that tragedy is not a sign of relative moral failure.  The attempt to understand calamity by blaming the victim (presumably for their sinfulness) is as ancient as human civilization.

The zombie enthusiast has been offered two families of causes of a zombie apocalypse that are worth recalling.  1.  The rules of death are universally suspended for some unknown reason (perhaps scientific accident, metaphysical tragedy, etc.); they are essentially undead.  2.  Zombie-ism is a biological condition (virus, genetic mutation, etc.); they are essentially affected human beings.  These will no doubt have an effect on how the zombie enthusiast engages the question, “are the undead being punished/cursed for something they did?  Or, in other words, is there a connection between guilt and zombie-ism?

In the first case there does not seem to be any room for blaming the victims (zombies) for having become undead.  This is clear because any and all who die will become zombies.  It is only a matter of time before everyone is eventually a zombie with the only real question being will there be an ongoing human presence.  The second case is more complicated.  If zombie-ism is a disease or some other alteration of the human species, then it is clear that someone(s) can be blamed for zombie-ism itself though it may not be clear where to confine the blame.  In 28 Days Later, one could blame the lab testing the rage virus on chimpanzees, the animal rights activists, or both.  Zooming out a little, one could also blame the society that allows/encourages such biological testing via financial incentives.  This would include the British government, the university system, and English society as a whole.  28 Weeks Later makes the moral culpability more intriguing by introducing the notion that one can simply be a carrier of the virus that is otherwise unharmed (though brutally killed later).  The sequel was grayer in terms of the innocent, villains, and outsiders killed trying to be good who nonetheless suffer.  Suffice it to say, there is no indication that the zombie enthusiast can draw any conclusion other than this: zombie-ism carries no localized burden of guilt on the individual(s), but is rather a condemnation of society as a whole.