Yesterday I was talking to my wife about how it is disappointing that some people enter into failed relationships/marriages that could have been avoided. Yet it is often the case that a child comes from that relationship/marriage that would not have come to be had it not been for the misstep. For instance, both my grandmother and mother married men who really struggled as husbands forever altering the outcome of their (my grandmother and mother) lives. While I wish that they could have married someone else so their lives would have been better it must be said that, in some sense, I must be grateful for their “mistake” (if it can be called such a thing).
Without my grandmother and grandfather reproducing my mother and my mother and father reproducing me there would be no “I” as “I” know it…or would there?
Is there any sense in which I would have been I? I don’t see any possibility since this is genetic, but it is an interesting question to ask.
From another angle, if God wanted me to be on this planet for his purpose did God have a hand in my grandmother and mother choosing less than quality men? Is God’s mercy of being given to me only possible by his allowing of relationships that negatively impacted the lives of others?
Would I be I any other way?
Would you know if you didn’t exist? 😉
I see this question can only be answered within the area of our personal theology. If we believe that every action and reaction is caused by God, then the answer has to be yes!
However if you believe that God knows what is going to happen; even if he doesn’t cause it to happen that then raises a different set of questions.
I understand reproduction in that God created humans to reproduce; this is his work within, through and over us within the reproducing life. And therefore God has his hand in all life within the womb; without being specifically involved in the every fertility experience…I understand this in the same way God causes the rain and sun to fall on all.
I believe that God also will answer prayers to reverse barrenness and within this circumstance God specifically intervenes in the fertility of reproducing…through the normal process of fertility.. whether through science or apparently natural means.
“I” am glad you are exactly you. I’d do it again to have you and Jason. No one’s life is perfect, but I have gold in my pockets from my journey.
@Craig: I agree that humans are the primary agents of reproductivity. I guess the question becomes about identity. Can “I” be constituted any other way than genetically? If so, how?
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