Honestly, I don’t want points, because this sucks, I just want to be sad and sort of angry.
One of my best friends just found out that their unborn child has a rare condition called acrania. Basically, the fetus does not have a proper skull. The mortality rate is 100% when brought to term. They are terminating the pregnancy because the condition is incompatible with life.
This kind of thing blows my mind. There are so many diseases, illnesses, and conditions that make life miserable for the afflicted, many of which are only sustainable because of modern science.
How can god possibly exist when these kinds of things happen? God is either a dickhead, weak, or non-existent. If we happen to be wrong and god actually exists, then I want nothing to do with him. My friend is religious though and will probably be in church all week.
I’m angry because life can truly be miserable. No one should ever have to go through this kind of thing. I’ll never speak a word of my feelings about this to them, all I can do is be there for my friend…
I come from a different belief system. Hinduism’s the religion I don’t believe in and its gods were more human. I “liked” them and still like the morality stories from Hinduism because they are simply more nuanced than good or bad. The world is greys and rainbows rather than black and white.
I am an abortionist. I hand out medical abortions and refer people for surgical abortions. I have sat in at a few. I do it in a third world nation.
The fact is, it is a baby until we medicalise it. Then it is a foetus. No one refers to a wanted pre-term as a foetus, it is a baby. Because we speak of it in potential. We don’t see it as a bunch of cells but as a future of a new born, then a toddler and then a kid who grows up to be a snotty teenager and finally an adult.
Life is miserable, but it is our job to enjoy it where and when we can. To not let the misery grind us down. We all will die some day, some sooner than others. I know this because there are people around me who die who would not die in the UK. And there is nothing I can do about it but try and save a few today so that they can die some other day.
This is sad, a wanted child that can not survive. But there will be children who can survive. They will not take its place but will have a place of their own. Love is not a finite thing after all.
The aetiology of acrania has less to do with this than the humanity of what everyone can do for each other.
We do not live in a kingdom of god, but a republic of man and it is our duty to build heaven right here for our children. In some cases there is no way we can stop a terrible thing from happening. We can reduce the chances, but never completely stop. And we want a reason to blame.
We blame and petition the gods to help and save us because we are powerless against bad luck and natural disasters. We may as well debate lightning for all the good prayer does.
There are many arguments for the existence of “bad things”. I just think they are a fact of life. We can’t all be winners. We can’t all be the tiger. Someone has to be the deer. Someone has to be second place and someone has to trip over the first hurdle and eat pavement.
What defines us is how we eat pavement. How we respond to that defeat. Most of us have to go through life and learn to lose and lose with grace and lose positively and grow.
That is what being human means. It isn’t just pleading with the storm, some humans fly kites in it.
We have a choice of what sort of human we wish to be. Which is more free than anything religion tells us to be. There is only one way to be a good Christian. There is only one way to be a good Hindu or a Muslim or a Jew or a Sikh or a Jain or a Buddhist.
There are many ways to be a good human. We can endeavour to try.
The gods don’t exist, there are no angels and no daemons. There is only us. And it is up to us to make the choices that count.
We are our greatest daemons. The world is filled with real humans who do monsterous things. Often in the name of good.
We are also our greatest angels.
The line that I find most apt here is from Salk. Inventor of the Polio Vaccine (Injectable). When asked about the patent and how his discovery would make him incredibly rich he responded with an act of incredible humanity.
The polio vaccine would have made billions for him.
He refused to patent it. He said “Would you patent the sun?”. Among all the Pol Pots and Hitlers and Osamas out there, there are also men and women who say and do things like this. And this is why the world is worth living in. This is why all those cruelties of fate don’t hurt as much. Because even in the darkest of places, there can be people who do things like this.
It is admirable you are there for your friend and share his sadness and it is a good thing to do.