Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Handmaid's Tale

I haven't watched The Handmaid's Tale or read the book, but to judge by reviews, this is a liberal fantasy about Christians. Here's a good review:

I'd like to make a few additional points: 

i) Apparently, the dramatic premise of the story is that an ecological disaster has rendered most women of child-bearing age infertile, so that procreation has fallen far below the replacement rate necessary to sustain the human race. As a result, the remaining fertile women are commandeered to be breeding stock. 

Consequentialism is a standard position in secular ethics. If the human race was on the verge of extinction, forcibly impregnating women would be entirely justifiable from a secular standpoint. Which takes precedence: consent or the survival of the human race? 

Likewise, evolutionary ethics is a standard position in secular ethics. Well, procreation confers a survival advantage. Transmitting your smart genes to the next generation.

There's nothing distinctively Christian about the scenario in The Handmaid's Tale. To the contrary, that would be a far more realistic eventuality under a totalitarian secular regime. 

ii) Ironically, many secular couples are childless by choice. If atheism became prevalent, procreation would drop below replacement levels. That's already happened in secularized nations.

iii) From the standpoint of Christian ethics, it's an interesting hypothetical question whether an infertility pandemic would justify the reinstitution of something like Levirate marriage. 

Moreover, it doesn't require sexual intercourse. A more efficient alternative under that dystopian scenario might be sperm banks and in vitro fertilization. 


  1. At least from what I've read, Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale paints a world in which "infertility" is in large part caused by STDs and chemical or biowarfare. If so:

    1. STDs. Welp! Few are looser in their sexual ethics than secularists.

    2. Chemical or biological weapons. I think a more realistic scenario for chemical and biological weapons being used against humanity is from eco-warriors waging eco-terrorism. Radical environmentalists who think humanity deserves to have its number significantly reduced by whatever means necessary. Hence they're willing to release a lethal contagion to kill a large enough subset of humanity on behalf of saving the planet or Gaia or Mother Earth. That's a plausible and realistic scenario.

    Consider groups such as Earth First, Earth Liberation Front (ELF), Earth Liberation Army (ELA), Environmental Life Force. Consider their criminal including violent track record. Consider how they're even on the FBI watch list. Consider their stated intentions and goals.

    Less physically violent, but no less ideologically driven are arguably people that polite society would admire such as Sir David Attenborough who has stated "We are a plague on the Earth" as well as Obama's former "science czar" John Holdren who has argued for gov't controling human reproduction and thus human population.

    In any case, Atwood herself is a staunch environmental activist. She has made environmental predictions which are nothing less than apocalyptic. I wouldn't be surprised if she flirts with radical environmentalism either.

    And no dire predictions need to be made about radical environmentalists, for they've already demonstrated they pose a real and present danger to humanity.

    1. Thanks, AP!

      I'd like to add:

      1. STDs. Lack of border enforcement as well as poor medical screening at the border has brought in a lot of new and old diseases including (at least plausibly) STDs. All this is largely thanks to liberal policies.

      2. Chemical and biological weapons. Another big group likely to use chemical and biological weapons against other humans is, of course, radical Muslim terrorists. And, of course, liberals and liberal policies allow for Muslim terrorists to more easily infiltrate our nation and our communities.