Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Life after birth

Received via email. Credit given upon request. (Otherwise, I don't name names.)

Two Fetuses

Inside the womb of their mother two fetuses have a conversation. One is religious, the other is not.

Nonreligious fetus: Brother, do you believe in life after birth?

Religious fetus: Yes, of course. It is clear to me that there is life after birth. We are here only to ready ourselves and muster our strength in preparation for the true life that awaits us. So we have been told.

NF: What nonsense! There is no life after birth. The moment of birth defines the end. Can you imagine what life would be like after birth?

RF: I don't know all the details exactly, but I believe that there will be more light, and that we will walk on our legs and eat with our mouths. Lots of things will be different.

NF: What rubbish! That is clearly impossible! We couldn't possibly walk on our own or eat with our mouths. That is ridiculous! Look, we have an umbilical cord that gives us nourishment. Clearly our lives are dependent on the umbilical cord, and they are relatively short. These are the tangible facts. No point in trying to live under an illusion.

RF: I am certain that it is also possible to live outside the womb, but it is a life completely different from the life we are used to living here. One can only attempt to imagine what it will be like, but it will be. Many fetuses believe that this is the case. It would be hard to assume that they are all wrong.

NF: But no one has ever returned from there to tell us first-hand what it is like. Most fetuses don't believe in it, and rightly so. Logic dictates that life ends at birth, and that until then we live in total darkness. That is the reality that is available to our senses.

RF: No, no. I can't exactly say how life outside the womb will look, but I do know that we will finally get to see our mother, and that she will take care of us.

NF: Mother? Do you believe in a "mother"? So where is she? Why don't we see her or feel her? Please! You are talking fairy tales! You appear to be a serious fellow. How do you believe in such nonsense? I believe only in observable facts!

RF: You are wrong. I definitely believe that she exists, that we are inside her, that she surrounds us and watches over us. Because of her we move and live, without her we could not exist for even a moment . . .

NF: Again with your nonsense? I don't see any mother. Obviously, she does not exist!

RF: I disagree with you. Don't you ever notice that when everything is quiet, when you concentrate and listen carefully, you can hear her? That you can sense that she is thinking of us, that she cares about us? Sometimes you can even feel that she caresses us! Open up your eyes, start paying attention! I believe with perfect faith that even now we have a mother, and that after birth she will hug us and only then will our life really begin . . .


Yosef Greenberg said...

A great analogy.

Somewhat related, is what the Chasam Sofer writes regarding the Dor Hamidbar, when they entered Eretz Yisrael, how they related to nature.

Not having known the realities of planting and harvest, they regarded it as the miracle it really is, as opposed to the manna, which was *natural*.

yaak said...

There's a Jewish song called Conversations in the Womb by Journeys that has a very similar theme.

I found the lyrics here

Jeremy said...

This is a Journeys song. The music is beautiful as well.

Hillel said...

What a cute fuzzy story! (with adorable pictures, no less!)

As an actual argument of course, it's garbage.

I have no doubt there's an atheist website with the exact same posting only it goes like this:

RF: I can't exactly say how life outside the womb will look, but I do know that we will finally get to see our mother, and that she will take care of us.

NF: Mother? What is this Mother you are talking about?

RF: Clearly, Mother must have created us. I believe with perfect faith in Mother. She alone created us, and this womb, with no other beings with her. Mother must be omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. She knows all we think and do.

NF: That's ridiculous. Even if there is some Mother being greater than us, you can't possibly know all those things about her.

RF: Of course I know it. I can feel it with every fiber of my being. In fact, once I moved my leg in a certain way, and I actually felt a poke from the outside - it was Mother chastising me! Moving your leg that way is evil! I will never do it again and you must not either!

NF: How do you know the poke wasn't random and meaningless, in no way caused by your leg movement, or that Mother, if she exists, is just like you or me only bigger and stronger. There's simply no evidence either way.

RF: You are a heretic! Mother will hate you and love me, she will punish you and reward me!

NF: Look, why don't you just spend the rest of your time thinking about Mother and not moving your leg. I'll enjoy my time here as I see fit. If we leave this place and there is some sort of Mother who created us, I'm sure she'll love us both.

Like I said, enjoy the piece if it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but please don't treat it as a serious argument.


Shlomo said...

The source

Shlomo said...

The source

frumheretic said...

The above references a link on Chabad.org that attributes this to R. Yechiel Tucazinsky. It doesn't say, however, that it can be found in his Gesher Hachaim.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin