The Gatekeeper’s Question: A Parable on Biology and Spirituality

As sunlight broke through the celestial clouds, Saint Peter stood vigilantly at the Pearly Gates, the arbiter of souls seeking passage to Heaven. His ledger, etched with the deeds and beliefs of all humankind, lay open before him.

First came Alex, a transgender man who had navigated a labyrinth of societal judgment and self-discovery during his earthly life.

“Ah, Alex,” Saint Peter began, peering into the ledger. “Tell me, what guides your belief—biology or spirituality?”

“Spirituality,” Alex declared with conviction. “My essence transcends the corporeal; I am more than the sum of biological parts.”

Saint Peter nodded approvingly, “Your spirit’s recognition of its own nature is both wise and profound.” With a gracious motion, he beckoned Alex through the gates into eternal life.

No sooner had Alex crossed the threshold than another soul approached—a British Tory politician, known during his time on Earth for vehemently asserting that transitioning genders was tantamount to denying biology.

“And what of you?” Saint Peter inquired, already knowing the answer. “Do you place your faith in biology?”

“Indubitably,” the politician proclaimed, “Biology dictates our essence, it defines me as a man!”

Saint Peter looked up from his ledger, meeting the politician’s gaze. “If you are but the sum of your biological parts, then I regret to inform you that your biological self has met its end. Eternity is not comprised of cells and chromosomes, my friend. This is the end.”

With a sigh, Saint Peter closed the ledger. “Your existence, confined solely to the biological, finds no place after biological death. Farewell.”

And so, the Pearly Gates closed behind one soul ready for eternal life and remained shut for another, bound by earthly definitions. The ledger turned its page, awaiting the next spirit and the next answer to the Gatekeeper’s eternal question.

Plot by moi, 99% written by GPT-4 ♥

“En Retard”

So there’s a new discussion about “biology,” you say? “A man is a man, and a woman is a woman, that’s just common sense,” as British prime minister Rishi Sunk put it in a vile speech?

In the context of the Tory Party Convention in 2023 the British Conservative Party is lamenting the “denial of biology” in “scientific research.”

Similarly, in the lead-up to the Swiss national elections in 2023, the right-wing Swiss People’s Party—known for its controversial and polarizing stances—is criticizing  denial of “biological reality of sex.”

Though neither party provides further detail, their assertions seem to relate to the medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria (coded as 302.85 in the DSM-5 as of 2013, and as HA60 in the ICD-11 as of 2021). There are no indications suggesting they would relate to anything else.

The statements from both parties leave room for interpretation, but one would primarily associate them with the phenomenon currently known as gender dysphoria. The original diagnosis was termed “transsexuality” in the DSM-3 as of 1980 and in the ICD-10 as of 1992.

Curiously, the diagnosis was recognized as early as 1977 in the ICD-9. It’s unclear why a contentious, more political than scientific, public debate over transsexual and transgender individuals is only erupting roughly 50 years after the initial medical recognition. Some people seem to be looking backward rather than forward—or “en retard,” as the French might say. Moreover, this phenomenon was known long before its official medical recognition.