Archive for May 22nd, 2012


Warning: The following content might be disturbing.

Point: In defending certain sexual ethics that violate the Scriptures such as homosexuality, some will no doubt hear the argument made that such a behavior cannot be wrong because when one look to the animal kingdom, such behavior occurs in nature.  However, the Christian apologist must take this form of logical argument to it’s absurdity.  If certain behaviors are observed in nature, does that mean it’s okay to commit them?  It’s always useful to have a few ready examples to reduce this kind of moral reasoning to absurdity (see the previous apologetics sermon illustration #6).  The following example for the apologist’s illustration arsenal will be from the observation that female praying mantis at times (though not always) killed their male mates during mating.


From About.com we read this about Praying Mantis:

Entomologists would offer a captive female a potential mate, and would quite often be horrified to watch the female bite the head or legs off the smaller male. After the male had served his copulatory purpose, he was nothing more than a good meal to the female. For a long time, these observations of praying mantis sex in the lab were thought to be the way things were in the mantid world.

Once scientists started observing praying mantis sex in a natural setting, the story had a different ending, which is good for the males. When unconfined in laboratory terrariums, the majority of praying mantis mating ends with the male flying off, unharmed. By most estimates, sexual cannibalism by praying mantis females occurs less than 30% of the time outside the lab. Those are pretty good odds for the fellows. Praying mantis sex, it turns out, is really a rather romantic series of courtship rituals that typically ends satisfactorily and safely for both parties involved.

There is a decided advantage for the female, however, if she does decide to behead her lover. The praying mantis brain, located in his head, controls inhibition, while a ganglion in the abdomen controls the motions of copulation. Absent his head, a male praying mantis will lose all his inhibitions and consummate his relationship with wild abandon.

And what if she’s hungry? For certain, a slow moving and deliberate predator like the praying mantis is not going to pass up an easy meal. If a male makes the unfortunate choice of a hungry female for a mate, he’s probably going to be toast once they’ve mated.


(Note: While it does not happen all the time, scientists have observed this cannibalistic behavior to note that it’s a regular phenomenon.)

Here is also a disturbing video to shore up the veracity of this phenomenon for the skeptic to make the point that these cannibalistic behaviors does exists:


Non-Christian (NC): Well, you can’t say that _____ is wrong, because scientists have observed that behavior in nature.  Thus, the act of _______ is natural and should not be prohibited or condemned as wrong.

Christian (C): Am I hearing you correctly that your argument is that _____ is ethically permitted because ______ is observed to have happened in nature?

NC: Yes.

C: By chance, you do believe that it’s wrong to kill and cannibalize someone don’t you?

NC: Yes of course I believe it is wrong.

C: What about the fact that this behavior is observed in nature?  Here’s a Youtube video of Praying Mantis practicing cannibalism while mating.  I could cite more examples of cannibalism occuring in nature.  But the point I want to make to you is this: Does this justify cannibalism as right?  I want to challenge you to reconsider this type of argument justifying an act just because it’s observed to have happened in nature.  Again, does this fact that cannibalism occur in nature justify it as right?


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