"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."


Monday, August 29, 2005

Fetusville

Once a sperm fertilizes an egg we have a human being. If that human being dies, God forbid -- say they’re aborted by an evil teenage murderer -- that fertilized egg would go to heaven, right? Where it seems to me it would have three options. One, it can live a peaceful, carefree life in a very special place called Fetusville. Two, it can suddenly become its potential, just instantly be, say, a 25-year-old person. Or three, it can be raised by a heavenly family until he or she is an adult.

I think we’d all agree that the first scenario is absurd. In the first place, it’s obvious that Fetusville would be a natural breeding ground for hatred. It would only be a matter of time until the miscarried began to feel superior to the still-born, who would in turn learn to despise the aborted, who would wind up taking out their frustrations on the lowly stem cells. The last thing God wants in his house is class warfare.

Okay, what if they were instantly 25, then? Sounds good! Let’s do that! Wait, wait, wait. There might be a problem with that, too. What about that whole nature-or-nurture thing? I mean, they’d have their parent’s genes and chromosomes, right? But what about potty training, learning to walk and talk? What about education and socialization? Where would his or her value system or personality come from? Plus, if you think about it, without any memories or the ability to control their bladder, you might as well just make ‘em all senior citizens.

Hey, no problem. They can be raised by a nice, heavenly family. Great! Problem solved! Well, you know, I do have one question. Who, exactly, would raise these kids? The people who conceived them would be the obvious answer. But the odds are that most of those parents aren’t even couples any more. And since the vast majority of people, including the mothers of the aborted fetuses, would all be vacationing on Lake Magma, it’s obvious that many of these children would need to find new parents.

So some people in heaven are going to have a brand new baby. Great! That should make them very happy. But what about the people who don’t get a baby? Are they going to be unhappy, or jealous, unfulfilled? Of course not. Nobody is happier than anybody else in heaven. In fact, in heaven nobody is happy at all. They can’t be, because happiness couldn’t be felt, or really even imagined, in a world where unhappiness doesn’t exist. The notion of positive only has meaning as a counterbalance to negative. Take success, for another example. If every business ever undertaken made lots of money, none of them could ever be thought of as "successful." They’d just be businesses. It’s only because some businesses can and do fail that others can be seen as successful.

The ultimate example of this is life and death. Trust me, you do not want to live forever. Value is based on scarcity. I know this from personal experience. Which proves this adage, which I hope I invented because it’s really kind of cool: an unlimited amount of anything ruins it.