Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Theological Inquiry in The delagar Household

So I'm writing away on my current novel, listening to Gangstagrass through my neon-green earphones, when my kid comes and stands patiently in front of me, which is how she always gets my attention when she wants to talk.

I pull off the earphones.  "What."

The Kid: "If Christians...some Christians...believe that life begins at conception, you know, like when the egg gets fertilized...?"

Me: Yes, what?

The Kid:  "Well, what do they do about identical twins?

Me:  "What now?"

The Kid: "The egg splits after it's fertilized.  Right?  So what do they think that one twin doesn't have a soul?  Is it a demon sort of thing?  Or that the twins have one soul between them?  Or what?"

Me: "They don't actually believe that life begins at fertilization, is the answer."

The Kid:  "Well, but if they did believe it.  How would they handle twins?  Does God put two souls in the egg he knows is going to split? Or..."

Me: "You are way over-thinking this.  They don't bother thinking about any of this in any kind of depth."

The Kid: "When does God put the souls in?  I mean, could he come along and stick an extra soul in after?  Does one of the twins not have a soul for awhile, and then --"

Me: "Some cultures used to kill one of a set of twins, you know.  Maybe because it's a demon."

The Kid: "But how would you tell which was the demon?  I mean, they're identical.  Also, how does God get the soul into the fertilized egg?  Is it like an automated process, or does he reach down and poke it in along with the sperm."

Me: (Putting back on my earphones) "Way over-thinking this."


Contingent Cassandra said...

Smart kid.

Anonymous said...

I initially thought it ironic that a non-Christian teenager is thinking deeply about fundie Christian belief in a way that the fundie Christian can never do without going over the edge, but then irony isn't the right word for something that happens all the time and isn't the least bit unexpected. And besides, the Lord works in mysterious ways, ya know?

She is way overthinking it, because the idiotic belief in question doesn't deserve this much of her attention, but that doesn't mean it's a waste of her time. She'll know how to handle politically-complicated religious idiocy for the rest of her life. So good for her. --L

Athena Andreadis said...

The Kiddo is destined to become a scientist. Or a scholastic philosopher...

D Shannon said...

I once used a slightly different question regarding the soul rhetoric.

There are people who qualify as chimeras - their genetic makeup comes from two different fertilized eggs. In one documented case, the person involved has one testicle and one ovary, which demonstrates that at least someone is average.

If each fertilized egg has a soul, what happens in the case of a chimera? When two zygotes fused together to form one zygote, neither one technically died, since the cells involved kept reproducing.

I'd tell the Kid to ask some religious figures about this. I did it once -- the response was, "I've never thought about it." My guess is that some theologian, somewhere, has thought about these things.

And, while she's at it, she could ask those who believe in a gender binary what sex a person with one testicle and one ovary is.

Incidentally, I'm surprised someone who is creating a comic about a Janus cat didn't even mention dicephalus twins.

delagar said...

D. Shannon, you made her go "hmm!"