In Douglas Adams' novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, part of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, readers are introduced to the Total Perspective Vortex, the most horrible torture device ever invented. The Vortex gives its victim a true sense of perspective about his infinitesimal place in the vastness of the universe, causing painful death. Adams writes,
When you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little mark, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says, "You are here."In a materialist universe such as the one that the atheist Douglas Adams believed in, humans really are irrelevant specks in the infinite cosmos. However, in the supernaturally created universe that Christians believe in, a single person is more important than all of the matter and energy in creation. The human intellect is a testament to our importance because we can observe the universe but the universe cannot observe us. Far from killing people, the Total Perspective Vortex would only offer its "victim" the greatest astronomy lesson ever taught.