August 30, 2007. (Day 315?) Wow. It’s been a long time since I wrote anything in this blog. A heavy workload is the main excuse. But I’ve been thinking (not drinking!) lately about what it means to “Be fruitful and multiply.” Hundreds of millions of people on earth seem to subscribe to various versions of the Bible, Christianity, etc. Apparently, this particular phrase has largely served as the basis for being against birth control. On the other hand, according to the Catholic religion, as I understand it, it is also a mortal sin to commit suicide. Now, when I say “on the other hand” this is strange from the perspective of people living thousands of years ago when it seemed iffy whether humanity was going to make it as a species and we needed all the children we could get and certainly did not need anyone doing themselves in. Now, however, our greatest danger is overpopulation and the attendant resources. If we do destroy ourselves as a species, it seems likely that it will be from over, not under fecundity. This being the case, there does now indeed seem to be some contradiction between the prohibition against birth control and the prohibition against suicide. Lack of birth control, in effect, is suicide, not just for an individual but for the whole human race. This puts “Be fruitful and multiply” in a whole different light, doesn’t it? Of course, some will stick to a particular interpretation of this message that might be two thousand or five thousand years old. If God created human beings and if God had as much intelligence as a human being (never mind being omniscient) then surely He would realize that we were intelligent enough to interpret things in light of current circumstance. There are animals who do not do this very well and they are called reptiles or insects although even there, behavior is not completely instinctual and rigid. But it is reasonable to suppose that the God as portrayed in the Bible had at least some notion of what he was doing. If that is the case, then using our intelligence to determine what a general rule means in particular circumstances should be expected. In that case, I would have to say that in light of today’s levels of overpopulation and pollution, what “Be fruitful and multiply” means is to take the larger picture into account; that is, to do what is collectively necessary to ensure that human life continues.