The Gross National Debt

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Divine monkey wrenches

Jim Joseph, one of my two favorite college professors, gleefully wrote a letter of recommendation for me when I left the hallowed halls of excessive alcohol consumption to enter the real world.

Among his comments, I paraphrase, “Ben enjoys deflating stuffed shirts.”


It is equally accurate to say I enjoy slapping people upside the head with empirical evidence which destroys their cherished mistaken beliefs. Before I continue in this vein, lemme point out you cannot prove anything with a negative. So if you intend to try and convince me God does not exist, you don’t have anything except negatives to make your case.

That being said, I was looking more into the recent bird deaths and came across a link at the Journal of Improbable Research

Homosexual ducks. Not only homosexual but necrophiliac homosexual ducks. In other words, a male duck that had sex with a dead male duck.

It is to laugh.

While this particular case of duck domination may be isolated, homosexuality in the animal kingdom ain’t. Google it if you don’t believe me. If not, eyeball these links.

Now if I am to believe the Bible and God created everything, then He created animals. The Bible doesn’t offer a firm opinion on whether or not animals are capable of reason.

Myself, I believe they are capable of reason, albeit limited, and certainly capable of emotion. Fat Booger, my late spaniel bird dog, could get his feelings hurt so fast you’d think he was a teenaged girl. Animals with the capacity, however limited, of operating with reason do things with a will. In other words, they plan ahead and carry out an action with the intention of achieving a desired result. If they don’t achieve the desired result, they quit.

This is, as I say, limited. Researchers have tested this. They found a species of bird in Africa which builds intricate nests. Scientists cut the bottom from the nest. The bird continued to build the next and even laid eggs, which of course fell out. After this, the bird went and built a new nest. That’s no reason. That’s instinct.

If you believe animals are not capable of reason, then you have to say what they do is operating on instinct.

Let’s take my idea first. Limited reason. How limited? Are the animals capable of distinguishing between right and wrong? Or at least right and wrong as we humans see it? Oy. That brings up a whole ‘nother existential arena which I ain’t getting into now.

Which is the problem inherent in my idea. If animals have reason and are self-aware, then how do we determine this and the extent to which it exists.

Let’s go back to the mallard above. Did the duck know he was attacking another male? Did he know he was raping a dead duck? Which then means we must ask why the male mallard was doing this. I know of no way to interview a duck.

Arg. That’s the same problem humanity will run into if there is intelligent life in space and we some day encounter it. Coming to an understanding.

A simpler solution is that animals, like the duck and most others, do not reason. Everything they do is driven by instinct. Instinct, according to this line of reasoning when matched up with the Bible, means the Hand of God moved and instilled in these animals the actions and reactions they make.

That being so, God created the homosexual animals as homosexuals.

Uh oh. There’s that monkey wrench I promised.

Lemme jump back to my thought - animals can reason. If you accept that as a truth, then how do we, as humans, reconcile this with the Biblical prohibitions of same gender sex? Does God hold animals to a different standard? Lemme inject here - shepherds certainly knew their flocks engaged in homosexual sex. As a former rancher, I don’t remember the number of times I saw same-gender bovines mount each other.

Do I then serve a God of double standards?

If God did not give such animals, as this mallard, reason, and created it as a raping homosexual, then is it possible God also created people as homosexuals? Or are we looking at yet another double standard here?

Matthew 7:1-2 Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

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