Starving to death on pleasure

A scientific study which I’d come across before was mentioned in my bionics lecture today. A scientist called James Olds managed to locate the ‘pleasure centre’ in rats’ brains. This is an area which, when electrically stimulated, produces a feeling of pleasure. Olds attached electrodes to the pleasure centre of some rats, and wired them to a button to which the rats had access. They quickly learnt that they could induce pleasure in themselves by pressing this button, as would be expected, but more interestingly when given the choice between immediate pleasure and food the rats starved themselves to death in favour of the short term pleasure.

It struck me that people are no better. The rats died because they didn’t consider the long-term consequences of their choices, but do people? Certainly not! Most people consider only the short-term, physical effects of their behaviour, missing out the eternal spiritual effects. They too starve themselves to death, feeding themselves on extremely temporary pleasure rather than the living bread which lasts forever. Small wonder that they’re spiritually dead!


    1. Hi, thanks for commenting!

      In a sense you’re right, at least for Christianity. Jesus calls weak people to Himself because none of us is strong enough to bear the penalty for our rejection of God’s love. But it is the height of folly for a weak person to pretend they are strong. Far better to recognise and embrace the truth. I am weak, but with all due respect, so are you. We’re both too weak to live in such a way to meet up to our own standards of moral perfection, let alone God’s standards. We’re too weak to defy death, or to provide hope in a suffering world. But Jesus Christ offers us His strength, by which all things are possible.

      A weak person can pretend they are strong, or they can ask a genuinely strong person for help. Only one option makes any sense. Which will you do?


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