April 19, 2008

Heaven indeed

Ophelia Benson can't help noticing that clerics sometimes say the oddest things. This from the Bishop of Oxford, for example:-
I am sure the Roman Catholic bishops are intelligent, rational people, but their starting point on embryo research is mistaken. They believe that the newly fertilised egg, the tiny bundle of multiplying cells smaller than a pin head, has the same right to life as an adult. But more than two-thirds of fertilised eggs are lost in nature anyway. If each of these really is a person, that is, an eternal soul, it would lead to the absurd conclusion that heaven is mainly populated by people who have never been born.
Ophelia has something to say about that:-
Ah yes, how absurd - but is it any more absurd than the conclusion that heaven exists and that it is mainly populated by people who have been born? Not a lot. The whole idea of a heaven populated by dead people is absurd, yet here is this grown man treating it as a matter of fact.
Indeed. And not only a matter of fact, but a fact which the good bishop knows more about than anyone else.

How did he come by such knowledge?