Tough Questions Answered

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Can a Fetus Gestate In a Box?

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

As someone who greatly respects the traditions and wisdom handed down from antiquity, I find myself constantly amazed at the way modern man wants to deny inconvenient bits of reality.  Bits such as:

  • Boys and girls are biologically different in significant ways.
  • Children can only be produced when a man and a woman unite in sexual reproduction.
  • When a small group of people is given a tremendous amount of power over a larger group of people, the small group will inevitably oppress the larger group.
  • No amount of education will ever eradicate human sin.
  • If you tell men that they don’t have to commit to women in order to have sex with them, marriages will decrease and divorces will increase.
  • As the traditional nuclear family goes, so goes civilization.
  • Human institutions that rely on centralized command and control inevitably fail as they grow larger.
  • The wisdom given us by our ancestors has been repeatedly tested and proved to work, so we ignore it at great peril.

I’m sure my conservative friends could add numerous bits of reality to this list, but I think you get the point. Those of us who find any of these bits of reality to be inconvenient are struggling in vain. This is the way the world is and has always been, and we have to adapt ourselves to it.

Obviously there are other parts of reality that we can change and should change, but oddly enough, we usually only know that our current reality needs to change because the wisdom of our ancestors tells us what is wrong with our current reality.

For example, I know that abortion on demand is wrong because life is sacred and an innocent life should never be taken without proper justification. I know these things from the highest traditions that have been passed down to us.

I also know that we should be constantly fighting against poverty, disease, and any form of human enslavement, as all of these bits of reality degrade sacred human life, life that is made in the image of God.

Do conservatives fight against the status quo? Absolutely. The difference is that conservatives fight against those things which actually can be changed about reality, while non-conservatives often fight against those bits of reality which cannot be changed. What’s even worse about this second approach is that these folks will force the rest of us, through legislative or judicial fiat, into hopeless social experiments that inevitably backfire and do far more damage than any good they might have achieved.

I was watching the Monty Python comedy, The Life of Brian, recently, and was reminded in a humorous way how silly those people are who want to change unchangeable realities. To set the scene, there are 3 men (Reg, Rogers, and Stan) and a woman (Judith), who are part of a radical Jewish political group, discussing and debating their political demands. During their discussion, one of the men, Stan, announces that he wants to become a woman. We pick it up there:

Reg: Why don’t you shut up about women, Stan? You’re putting us off.

Stan: Women have a perfect right to play a part in our movement, Reg.

Rogers: Why are you always on about women, Stan?

Stan: I want to be one.

Reg: What?

Stan: I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me Loretta.

Reg: What?

Loretta (Stan): It’s my right as a man.

Judith: Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?

Loretta (Stan): I want to have babies.

Reg: You want to have babies?!

Loretta (Stan): It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.

Reg: But…you can’t have babies!

Loretta (Stan): Don’t you oppress me!

Reg: I’m not oppressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb. Where is the fetus going to gestate? You’re going to keep it in a box?

Loretta (Stan): Sniff.

Judith: Here, I’ve got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans, but that he can have the right to have babies.

Rogers: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister! Sorry.

Reg: What’s the point?

Rogers: What?

Reg: What’s the point of fighting for his right to have babies, when he can’t have babies?

Rogers: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.

Reg: Symbolic of his struggle against reality.



				
				

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Comments

  • sean

    The wisdom given us by our ancestors has been repeatedly tested and proved to work, so we ignore it at great peril.

    Social wisdom comes from people, but scientific wisdom comes from science. What I mean by this is that all the great progressions were exactly not people listing to the conventional point of view. Sailing to the new world required thinking it was round. Physics came despite Galileo’s persecution by the church. Evolution came despite What science has shown us is that boys and girls are not very different biologically. It has shown us that men and women do not have to “unite” to create children. The other more social facts you have I do tend to agree with more. We don’t have to adopt the way the world has always been, as you say. That’s the definition of progress. What wisdom did the ancestors of the abolitionists have about destroying slavery? White people found it quite profitable. The wisdom there was that these people were the decedents of the child cursed by Noah, and thus deserved it.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    Hello Bill,

    I’m neither a liberal nor a conservative Christian but a progressive, as I attempt to articulate here:

    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/on-the-definition-and-meaningfulness-of-progressive-christianity/

    Generally I find biases among both liberals and conservatives (and I try to ignore my own biases :-) )

    But here I must say it is really hard to reject one of the things you listed although you and I would probably disagree about the intensity of the damages.

    That said our ancestors were wrong in many ways and why we should always be cautious before calling into question their wisdom we have the duty to let new emperical data flow in.

    Lovely greetings from continental Europe.
    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son
    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    I wholeheartedly agree that we should let new empirical data flow in. The problem, of course, with empirical data, is that it often takes many decades, or multiple generations, to collect enough empirical data to confirm the results of a radical new social program.

    Unfortunately, progressives are often not willing to wait for this data to come in, as it just takes too long. So, they just go ahead with their social programs and hope that they are right. Sometimes they are right, but often they are not, and when they are not right, there is grave damage done to everyone who was forced to participate in the experiment.

  • sean

    What would be an example of progressives jumping the gun with harmful effects on society? I’m sure there are some, I’m just curious about some specifics.

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    government housing projects, abortion on demand, lowering of standards for mortgage loans

    All of these social movements/programs were started with good intentions, but all of them have had unintended, disastrous consequences for our society.

    The people who wanted to build free government housing for poor people never intended that these buildings would turn into inner-city war zones.

    The people who wanted abortion on demand never intended for abortion to be primarily used as contraception.

    The people who wanted poorer citizens to be able to afford homes never intended the financial meltdown of 2007-2008.

  • sean

    What would you say about people who fail to reap benefits from changes that were taken at a slower pace? Take reconstruction for example. That era after the civil war saw a lot of forward racial progress that was quickly done away with by conservatives, denying a proper voting voice to many many blacks for a very long time.

  • Andrew Ryan

    “I also know that we should be constantly fighting against poverty, disease, and any form of human enslavement, as all of these bits of reality degrade sacred human life, life that is made in the image of God. Do conservatives fight against the status quo? Absolutely. The difference is that conservatives fight against those things which actually can be changed about reality, while non-conservatives often fight against those bits of reality which cannot be changed”

    I don’t know. When you say on this board that Christians should accept an ‘old earth’, who rejects your argument – progressives or Conservatives? I would say that that is an example of Conservatives arguing against reality.

    With regards to fighting disease, although Nancy Reagan gave a great speech supporting stem cell research to cure conditions such as the one that took her husband, it’s mainly Conservative again who argue against such research.

    If we look at other examples of ‘arguing against reality’ then it’ll just come down to disagreements between us about what the truth is. eg I could say that when it comes to climate change and evolution then it’s mainly Conservatives who appear to deny both, but then you can simply reply that the Conservatives have it right on both counts!

    In other words, the ‘Our side is the one that agrees with reality’ argument will convince only the people already on that side!

    “Boys and girls are biologically different in significant ways”

    Sure. I agree. You can try to bring up your children in a ‘non-gender biased way’ but the boys will most likely want to play with guns and the girls will most likely want to play with dolls. But also it’s hard to deny that SOME boys WILL want to play with the dolls. Conservatives who force THOSE boys to play with guns (or whatever) are denying reality just as much as any progressive.

    “I find myself constantly amazed at the way modern man wants to deny inconvenient bits of reality”

    Denying that a significant proportion of the population are gay (however inconvenient this may be), and ignoring the ramifications of that strikes me as qualifying for the above too. Expecting gay men and women to form heterosexual relationships is no more absurd than expecting Stan to have babies. And the ‘you have the right to have babies even if you can’t have them’ reminds me very strongly of the Conservative argument that ‘Gays aren’t discriminated against because they have the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex as straight people do’.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Also, when it comes to energy policy, who is it willing to abandon tradition and go for the experimental approach?

    Advocating putting unprecedented amounts of Carbon in the atmosphere and just crossing fingers and hoping it won’t affect the climate? Conservatives.

    Advocating the untested methods of ‘fracking’ and figuring if it has major ill effects we’ll just find out as we go? Conservatives.

    It’s the progressives urging caution on both fronts and being shouted down by the conservatives. The ‘wisdom of the ancestors’ here should be telling us not to destroy the natural world to feed our hunger for energy, and to develope more natural, renewable sources of energy like sun and wind. And it’s the progressives advocating that line, and being shouted down by the conservatives.

  • sean

    You seem to be suggesting that Bill’s definitions for conservatives and progressives are not in line with what we generally mean by those terms; is that right? So for example, by these standards most people are either progressive or conservative on most issues, but virtually no one falls completely on one side of this across the board.

    That is something I hadn’t thought about before. Bill, your definition of conservatisim is that you are slow on all matters, cautiously putting toes in and not jumping in the pool. Yet, you have also stated that conservatives fight the status quo. That’s a direct contradiction to the idea that you hold on high the opinions of those before you.

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