Thursday, January 1, 2009

What is 'Man'?....

I've never been good at New Year's Resolutions. It might be better to have some New Year's Reflections.
According to a news item, a study has showed this: that promiscuous men are better at perpetuating their line of descent, because they have more children than men who do not "sleep around."
That's not exactly news. I knew a man who had nineteen children (yes, that's right, nineteen) - by nineteen different mothers. That's a stark contrast to the Duggar family, who just had their eighteenth child, born to the same two parents who maintain a committed monogamous relationship.
It sticks in my mind, this reported study, because it compares human beings to animals, in describing something as "successful" behaviour. That men who recklessly take multiple partners, and leave them pregnant, might mean their genetic legacy is well and truly passed on the the future, but that is NOT the mark of a life well lived if they've been the proverbial 'dead-beat dad' to their offspring. I blogged once before about the danger of applying standards of animal behaviour to humans. Animals settle issues by fighting, their frequently kill their own kind and in other ways too, act in a way which is unlawful or unethical in humans.
One danger with these men who beget numerous children by different partners: the number of children who are half-siblings to others they do not know could lead to accidental cases of incest or inbreeding. If any one child of a man does not know who all his others are, they are at risk of meeting them unawares and forming a relationship that is biologically unsafe. That's not just speculation. A case of that was reported some years ago, too, in Australia. A woman found that her husband had the same father as she did. He had moved from relationship to relationship, or between one-night stands, and that was what came of it. Then there was the woman who had five children by five different fathers, and did not know where any of those men were now, or what other children they might have. Same risk! Not a clever way to do things!
It all tells me something. I was not always a Christian. Having made the commitment when I was nearly 25 years old, I see more and more evidence that God knows what He is doing making the rules for living that the Bible sets out. The world sometimes admires a 'stud' who is good at getting numerous women to mate with him. But the world can be terribly stupid sometimes. A woman might boast about having numerous partners. The problem could be visited on their children, who may not have a proper father figure to be there for them; and who may not realize who they are related to. So God's laws are not just a lot of kill-joy stuff. The way I heard it put, the Bible is an owner's manual for how to use your life. The man I referred to above, he of the nineteen children by nineteen mothers, had one daughter going to the school where I taught. His daughter did not want to know him at all. He attempted to be in contact with her and she vowed she would go where he would never find her. That girl was an angry, dysfunctional person; and her biological sire was an unemployed hanger-about living off social welfare. It would not be right to condemn the children for the way they came into the world. The point is simply this: having a lot of offspring is not in itself proof of some sort of success. Human beings are not a species of animal. Success for a man in begetting descendants, lies in making sure his children are well cared for and given the right sort of start in life. Part of that comes from having a proper father figure.
So it seems this prolific breeder of a man made junk of his own life by living it in a self-denigrating way. Rather than being a success story he became of victim of his own bad attitude, that to move between partners and build up his number of 'conquest'
was the way to go. People can be victims of their own bad habits.
In that vein, it's worth pointing out that a rapist may beget children, but only in a dastardly way, the same as a thief or con-artist who becomes rich. It is true to say that rape actually has two victims, although one brings it on himself. A rapist can destroy himself, not only by getting into serious trouble with the law but because his own bad attitude consumes him. Sex is not meant to be a predatory thing, like bagging a trophy or scoring a point over someone. To some wannabe 'studs' it seems to become like the Native American idea of counting coup: proving that you can get near to someone despite their attempts to stop you. If a person, male or female, starts to make their sexual behaviour predatory that way, to 'nail' a person as a sort of personal triumph, they can warp their own psyches and leave themselves unable to have a happy relationship. Bad habits can destroy a person. So without seeking sympathy for rapists, or serial seducers, or philanderers, it may be a certain poetic justice that they find themselves losers because they can't be anything better. I should add, the man with nineteen children has no partner. If he wanted to have a happy caring relationship with a woman, it may be something he no longer can do. Dumping women and moving on has left him unable to do anything better.


Nitewrit said...

Is it any wonder that the Bible has so many passages that condemn sexual immorality?

Larry E.

Jenny B. said...

slightly off topic, but I always wondered how Solomon kept his kids straightened out... and how many he had. That seems like an impossible task, even for the wisest, richest man in the world!

jeleasure said...

Hi Andrew,
This is good 'food for thought' for anyone reading who is, or has been a person of many promiscuous relationships.
One may even want to decide it would be good to track his offspring to introduce them to their siblings.

mortonlake said...

interesting blog andrew,thanks for your mail,i thought i would drop by n say hi,take care mort

Marshall Art said...

How dare you force your morality down...

End sarcasm.

The most salient point of your piece is where you suggest that perhaps God knew what He was doing when He instituted laws for sexual behavior. I've often tried to make that point specifically, and that He had it pegged in general. Look at what a rejection of His way has wrought: 25% of teens carry some form of VD some stats show, teen mothers are more widespread than ever, out of wedlock births are high, suicides related to bad relationships are more frequent than in years past. These are just some of the symptoms from which western culture suffers as a result of rejecting God's plan for us. He knew that the best way to make sure we'd multiply was to make the act of procreation extremely pleasurable. He knew that if He did that, He'd have to create laws that would guide the behavior best. The above litany of suffering is the result of rejecting that guide.

Now, so as not to mislead anyone, I feel I must admit to being at least as horny as the next guy. I'm not proud to say that I feel the amount of time lustful thoughts course through my cranial center seems to rival the average teenage boy. But, there was a time when I had HBO as part of my cable TV service (before they went digital). HBO, along with their uncensored showings of R-rated films, had numerous sexually themed shows. No doubt they do this to attract as much viewership as possible, but I have to say that as horny as I believe myself to be, watching a few of these shows made me realize just how pathetic it is to be too wrapped up in sex. "Studs" get no respect from me whatsoever for their scorecards.

The Bible teaches that there is a time for such things. To limit ourselves to those situations is good for us as a species. Health statistics support this notion completely.

BTW, how many despots, thugs and truly evil people were/are virgins?

Andrew Clarke said...

That's a good point, Nitewrit. You might say sex is like water: an essential thing for life to continue but highly dangerous to the misuser. Come to that, the same could be said about fire, and any number of things. Use it properly or stay away from it, you could get burned.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Deep thoughts... said...

Well said Andrew! There are many outward consequences of sexual immorality such as those you've mentioned, but also many inward consequences; or consequences of the heart if you will. The consequence of my past immorality is the images that are burned into my memory and the enemy knows this and uses this against me daily.

Thanks as always for your insightful writings. Happy New Year!

Farrah said...

I couldn't agree more!