God Under the Knife
Posted by Jerry on November 8, 2007
Doctors in Bangalore, India, just completed a successful surgery to remove a set of limbs on a two-year-old girl. The little girl was born with 8 limbs–the extra four being that of her parasitic twin that did not develop fully inside the womb.
Seeing a child with 8 limbs, the primitive minds of Indian villagers saw similarities with their goddess Laxmi, from which the child gets her name.
The Indian villagers believed that the girl was a reincarnation of the goddess and lost no time in getting down to venerating the infant Laxmi.
ReasonPharm made some good observations about this story. Here’s one of them:
Reason triumphs over mysticism. The girl’s parents could have decided that their daughter was indeed Lakshmi reincarnated, and that they shouldn’t tamper with the body of a goddess. Instead, they realized that their daughter is a human being who could not have lived a normal life in the body she was born with. “It will be great to see our daughter have a normal body,” her father Shambhu, who only goes by one name, told reporters. “We were worried for her future.”
It is indeed noteworthy that these Indian devotees of Laxmi were willing to let their goddess Laxmi (or her reincarnation) go under the surgical–and rational–knife, almost literally severing mysticism from reality!
Contrast this with the attitude of Christian fundamentalists in the US–presumably the more “educated” and “civilized” counterparts of the Indian devotees–with regard to stem cell research and biogenetic engineering. And these cells are not even reincarnations!