11 March, 2011

Pricing Brains...

In the hospital the relatives were gathered in the waiting room, where a family member lay gravely ill. Finally, the doctor came in looking tired and somber. 'I'm afraid I'm the bearer of bad news,' he said as he surveyed the worried faces. 'The only hope left for your loved one at this time is a brain transplant. It's an experimental procedure, very risky, but it is the only hope. His insurance will cover the operation, but you will have to pay for the brain out of pocket.'

The family members sat silent as they absorbed the news. After a time, someone asked, 'How much will a brain cost?'

The doctor quickly responded, '$15,000 for the brain of a religious person – you know, a Christian, Jew, Muslim, or such; or $2,500 for an Atheist’s brain.'

The moment turned awkward. Most of those assembled were Christians, except for Ed, the black sheep Atheist of the family, and they smiled at each other over the fact that their brains were considered so much more valuable than those of a non-believer.  Finally Aunt Tilly, unable to control her curiosity, blurted out the question everyone was dying to ask, 'Why are believers’ brains so much more valuable than them-there non-believers’ brains?'

The doctor smiled at Tilly’s obvious innocence and patiently explained to the family, 'It's just standard pricing procedure. We have to price the Atheist brains a lot lower because, after all,   they've been used.'

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