03 February 2011

If snails can do it...

I've realized that I'm just not convinced by the idea that theoretically perfected celestial beings with immortal, glorified bodies of light who are on a track to omniscient omnipotence still require a penis and a vagina to procreate new celestial or spiritual beings.

I mean, if that's the way it is, then that's the way it is. Maybe it's as simple as living within the constructs we're officially aware of. And if that assumption is made and decided on, then all of this hubbub over same-sex relationships is justified.

Maybe whether or not God could have done it another way, this life has a prescribed purpose, and procreation is central and essential to this life's purpose, and he set us up to need penes and vaginae to procreate, end of story. Naturally, God is a 'he', and a heavenly mother exists necessarily because God needs a heavenly female to complement his heavenly maleness in order to heavenly procreate spirit children. But we don't talk about God's wife...or wives...because she's...they're...so sacred, implying, of course, that God The Male Father is not as sacred because we talk about him all the time, but that implication is not sacrilegious because...well, they just have different roles, so they're equal but our mortal existence only deals with him...for some reason...maybe our heavenly moms needed a break after birthing so many billions of spirit children and they're off getting heavenly spa treatment on the other side of the galaxy... Where was I? Ah, right: So procreation (by divinely arbitrarily chosen method of the union of sperm from a male and egg from a female) and raising souls unto eternal glory is our primary source of purpose and joy, and therefore any deviation from that leads to only partial, or limited, joy and is therefore regarded as 'sin'...you know, for our own happiness.

And within this template, some of us are just tested to see if we'll abide by that system by choice, and in the next life, we'll all be all fixed up into proper, binary male-or-female fashion and rid of any messy wiring which had us attracted to the wrong sex. Maybe hermaphroditic humans are actually just tweaked telestial bodies of a fallen world housing sexually dichotomous 'spirit bodies' and will, in their perfected form, be changed to perfectly sexually differentiated resurrected souls with accompanying, perfectly differentiated and dichotomous gender traits. And we'll all be properly paired, penis-possessors with vagina-possessors (in a one-to-many ratio for maximized production volume, assuming there are that many more vagina-possessors in celestial glory than penis-possessors...perhaps God created more of the former or made them more celestial-prone for this very purpose).

I just find it hard to believe--pardon my skepticism--that if certain wrasses change sex depending on social triggers, and certain snails have mastered hermaphroditic sexual reproduction, gods still absolutely need a penis and a vagina to determine pairing and reproduction. It seems, to me, a touch...inelegant a solution.

But hey, rules is rules. If that's the way things is, then that's the way things is, and we'll be blessed for abiding by it and not rocking the boat to churn up the discontent of the masses even if I'm on to something, here. So we needn't ask questions like whether celestial animals will reproduce, and if so, whether celestial snails will therefore be made male and female in order to follow the "perfect" celestial order of things to match eternal 'gender' roles, or whether they just have their own perfect pattern not related to ours. ...And whether any of those poor, hermaphroditic snails who felt like a male trapped in a he-she snail body will--gotcha!--turn out to have been female spirit-snails all along! We mustn't wonder whether eternal sex, let alone gender, is much more nuanced and complex than some binary male-female physical/spiritual dichotomy or whether males can appropriately and divinely possess traits that happen to be more often found in females but aren't inherently 'feminine' in some eternal sense. That just gets all kinds of intellectually and emotionally messy. No, better to just play along and focus on other easier-to-digest things, like the ward chili cook-off!

What a hoot if we get to the other side, and God hugs us and says, "Hey, so...my first announcement for you newcomers: we're all hermaphrodites here, and gender is more about your traits and complementarity than your gonads. Sorry. I just didn't know how to tell you all in a way that wouldn't make your brains go mushy or throw your sense of gender identity all wonky, so we sort of enforced the whole male-female thing and had that same-sex marriage fiasco to deal with. What a mess, but hey, for your obedience, here you go: I've put a little extra joy in your heart. Doesn't that feel nice?"

Educational supplemental material
Warning: the following video depicts highly erotic sexual activity between hermaphrodites. Please click to acknowledge you are of age to view this material:

I understand and am of age


El Genio said...

I don't think we know anything about eternal procreation, despite the fact that some people seem to be convinced about certain aspects of it.

And even assuming that those people are right, I don't think it necessarily changes things. I don't need to be able to endlessly create spirit children to be happy. And there are plenty of people around who aren't going to want to spend the rest of eternity with their biological families.

Chris said...

Christianity is an anthropomorphic religion and Mormonism is a very anthropomorphic version of Christianity. Maybe these anthropomorphic conceptions of deity will turn out to have some resemblance to the true state of affairs, but at least statistically speaking (assuming God is a life form after all), there isn't much hope that God looks much like us let alone has to deal with our peculiar mode of reproduction.

Along with the wrasses, consider some other interesting biological "abberations" found in every nook and cranny of the biosphere: Most flowering plants are hermaphrodites (monoecious in botanical terms), with both male and female reproductive structures found not only on the same individual, but usually contained in the same flower. Algae have myriad forms of reproduction. Many can reproduce asexually (clonally), so no sex is needed. Some plants and a few animals do this too. Some algae have 2 and 3 part life cycles with different stages. In kelps for example, the male and female individuals are small dimunitive organisms of only a few cells that live on the seafloor and then, after fusion of egg and sperm, form a large new individual plant called a sporophyte (a plant that is a spore producer and that is neither male nor female). Many red algae take things to an even crazier level, having one stage of the life cycle consisting of male and female haploid plants that produce gametes which fuse to form a small diploid stage that is quasi-parasitic on the female. That "organism" then produces spores to form a larger free-living tetrasporophyte stage (again, neither male nor female) which then produces another kind of spore which will finally germinate into separate male and female plants to complete the life cycle. Of course, bacteria have no sex at all, but have different ways of exchanging genetic material (such as picking up bits of DNA from the environment - amazing!). And then fungi do crazy things too, but I'm much less versed in those guys. From an evolutionary perspective, the bacteria have been around for 3 billion years and have been quite fine without sex, so go figure...