Imagine that you are asked to believe 2 + 2 is not equal to four. You've counted it out on your fingers a number of times and you keep coming up with 4, which you are told is blasphemy. If you keep insisting that 2 + 2 = 4 then you are assured that you will be tortured severely, your friends and neighbors tell you with chagrin. Just believe that 2 + 2 is any number but 4 and you will be greatly rewarded. You will be given millions of dollars (later on) and all kinds of special treatment. You can even run for the school board and all your new-found friends will vote for you, so that you can scream down all those secular matheists, who insist on teaching the lie to our precious children that 2 + 2 is 4.

But can your will make your first two fingers and your second two fingers look like three fingers. You try crossing one pair of fingers. It almost looks like three fingers, but you can still see a little bit of the other fingers. You try squinting, but now it looks like 3 fingers + 3 fingers.

Exasperated, you go to the minister for help. He tells you that many people struggle with this issue and that it is OK to struggle, so long as you don't die tomorrow as an unredeemed blasphemer and end up in arithmetic hell.

The minister tells you that if you could only first believe then you would be able to see why 2 + 2 is never equal to 4 and is only an illusion created by the devil in order to trick and test mankind. But, if you could believe, it would not matter whether you would then understand the reasons, because if you already believed it without reasons to begin with, why would you need reasons after the fact to justify your beliefs. Anyway, you tried squinting and crossing your fingers to make it look like they didn't add up to 4, but you couldn't do it.

Another religious expert at another church tells you that their technique for showing that 2 + 2 is not equal to 4 is to recognize the triune mystery that 3 = 1. Once this is understood then even if you start with the false premise that 2 + 2 = 4 then 4 = 3 + 1 and since 3 = 1, 4 = 1 + 1 or 4 = 2. Therefore transitively 2 + 2 = 2, et voila we see that 2 + 2 is not equal to 4. However, upon reflection, you realize that believing that 3 = 1 is just as hard as believing that 2 + 2 is not equal to 4.

You are told that people have suffered and died for the great “TRUTH” that 2 + 2 is not equal to 4 and their agonies are recounted in graphic detail. Why would these people suffer such horrific deaths unless they were truly convinced that 2 + 2 is not 4? If they could do it, then why can't you?

As you are contemplating these issues, you are hit by a bus and as your life drains slowly onto the pavement you accept it. You are so going to hell.

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