Heaven’s full of people who were never born
GOSH! You learn something new every day.
Last night we attended a talk given by British atheist and voluntary euthanasia campaigner Dr Michael Irwin, who detailed the background to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill likely to come into force next year.
Dr Irwin, of the Secular Medical Forum, reminded a meeting of the Brighton and Hove Humanist Society that the Bill faced stiff opposition from church leaders – but it was most strongly opposed by the Catholic Church. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, for example, described the Bill as “grotesque”, “deathly”, and “Frankensteinian”, despite its potential to cure some of humankind’s most awful afflictions.
The Cardinal complained:
It is difficult to imagine a single piece of legislation which more comprehensively attacks the sanctity and dignity of human life than this particular Bill.
Dr Irwin then produced this delicious observation by Dr Richard Harries, former Bishop of Oxford:
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 is really 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.