Anyway, the first half of the article basically covers the same emptily rhetorical ground that we've already gone over in previous conversations. Things don't really get interesting until a bit farther down, when what I consider to be Professor Singer's Pollyannish conclusion is addressed. In case you haven't been paying attention, here's what he wrote-
"In my judgment, for most people, life is worth living," he writes. "Even if that is not yet the case, I am enough of an optimist to believe that, should humans survive for another century or two, we will learn from our past mistakes and bring about a world in which there is far less suffering than there is now."
Interestingly, what follows is a challenge from the Christian perspective of Professor Singer's cockeyed optimism. This doesn't surprise me at all. As I've stated before on this blog, and written about somewhat more extensively in my book, the one thing the otherwise goofy Bible has going for it is a realistic appraisal of just how fucked up life truly is-
Though we may hope future generations will learn from our mistakes, history gives little such comfort. And besides, Christian anthropology recognizes the constraints of original sin (Rom. 3:9-20; 5:12-13). If anything, Christians might be considered more pessimistic than even Singer about human prospects. Jesus offered no hope for an ever-improving human condition. On the contrary, he indicated that good and evil would spar until his climactic return and triumphant victory at the end of the age.
Take away the mythological mumbo-jumbo, and I'd say this is a pretty accurate assessment, no? It seems that in this case, Singer is out-faithing the faithful. Continuing on-
Still, Singer prompts us to reflect on why Christians nevertheless enthusiastically bring children into this world. We harbor no false hope about eradicating suffering through evolution. We understand these children to be stained with sin from the beginning. We groan along with a creation subjected to futility, currently awaiting redemption (Rom. 8:19-23). What reason do we have, then, to bring new children into this world?
No false hope of eradicating suffering in this world. So far, so good. Why 'enthusiastically bring children into this world', then? And for once, we are led to believe that there will be an actual discussion, with logical reasons given. Great news, right?
Unfortunately, things go downhill from here. Here's the first 'reason' offered-
The simple answer is that we fulfill God's original command to Adam and Eve: "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Gen. 1:28). God's command alone would be enough to compel our obedience.
A simple answer for a simple people. Do it because the God Whose Ass you're kissing commands it. Just following orders, ma'am.
But wait! All is not lost. Four other supposedly sound reasons for procreation are offered, these being- Design. Blessing. Crucible. and Hope. Unfortunately, these aren't expounded upon in the article, but I think we can perform a little speculation on our own without getting too far off the mark-
Design- God made us. God made the world. If we don't like it, we're pussies, and tough shit, anyway.
Blessing- If we're just willing to put up with the shit, and subject our children to the shit, eventually God will reach down and pull us out of the shit, clean us up, and then we'll be able to spend the rest of eternity kissing His Ass without all the shit, and being ever so thankful that we don't have to live in shit anymore.
Crucible- Shit makes us stronger, presumably so we'll be able to kiss God's Ass for long stretches of time without getting tired.
Hope- Let's all hope that putting our kids through all this shit was worth it.
There IS a little bit more on good, Godly hope a little farther down-
Christian hope differs significantly from the evolutionary hope harbored by Singer. Hope rooted in God's sovereign care for his creation transcends circumstances—even circumstances so dire as Judah's exile into Babylon. The exile, God's judgment for persistent sin, was cataclysmic for everyone in Jerusalem and the southern kingdom. Hope was in short supply. So how did God address his downtrodden people?
So, what was God's sage advice (command) in the face of the Babylonian exile. "KEEP HAVING KIDS!" Thus spaketh the Lord.
The article ends with some more claptrap about having children to please God, BECAUSE it pleases God that we have more children. God didn't HAVE to create people, after all. In fact, He knew when He did it that life would end up in the toilet. Then WHY did He go ahead and do it anyway? Because we'd be that much more grateful when God finally deigned to fish us out of the toilet, making us that much more eager to kiss His Holy Ass forever and ever, amen.
Seriously, that's what it says, more or less. Read it yourselves.