It is often said that humans are rational creatures...
Any fans of C.S. Lewis, especially of The Screwtape Letters, will really enjoy this modern 'addendum' to his book by Meghan Cox Gurdon published in The National Review Online. Here are four short excerpts of the conversation between Screwtape and Mildew.
"Screwtape presses on. "What does Man want? He wants sex, he wants comfort, he wants to be young. He does not want to be told he can't have what he wants, or to be inconvenienced, or, worse, to be told his desires are wrong. This is where the Enemy's agents end up doing our work for us, Mildew, countless times!" Screwtape chortles. "Man is a creature of appetites, Mildew. Remember that."
"It is true," Screwtape continues with a shrug, "that much of the groundwork was already laid. We had already convinced people of the rightness of destroying inconvenient life. Now they talk quite coolly of "blastocysts," and "clumps of cells" and "surplus embryos." My genius was to recognize that they needed just a little push to be convinced, with their mania for recycling, that by harvesting something that would otherwise be chucked out, they are doing a positive good! Think of it: They believe they occupy "the moral high ground." Oh, the profits for us — "
"Do you think," says the uncle witheringly, "that people who believe that life on earth is the only one they have, that once they die there is nothing, that there are no consequences to their choices — one of Our Father Below's most successful slogans, by the way, choice — do you think, my boy, that they will hesitate if we give them the chance to cut and sew their medical destinies for the mere price of another's life? As Our Father pointed out to the Enemy during that unfortunate incident involving the man Job, "A person will give up everything in order to stay alive."
"The wonderful thing for us? It is increasingly easy to take that Enemy-given sense of intrinsic worth and twist it into cruel self-interest. With man's vanity, and a little medical breakthrough here and there, we can tempt them the prospect of a life without illness, inconvenience, or parasitical relatives. It will, for humans, be heaven on earth.""
Take time to read the whole piece.
(A Tip of the Hat to The Anchoress).