Knowledge of the finer points of theology is neither irrelevant nor a luxury. Lack of that knowledge can entail great risk and expense. A case in point: Suppose you are a woman capable of conceiving a child. Suppose you read that an insurance company will insure you against "immaculate conception." You fill out the forms and send in the money.

Now we ask why you took out such a policy. Did you read one of those tabloid stories about human par­thenogenesis—a report about a woman who not only swears that she did not have sexual intercourse, but who, the tabloid editors claim, could not have? Yet she became pregnant and delivered a child.
If you read the tabloids, you will, like Alice in Wonderland, believe six impossible things before breakfast. You can believe in such parthenogenesis, such virgin birthing, such conception without a male, and still have room for five more impossibles. So you start fearing that this could happen to you, and you will be disgraced, because people who don't read tabloids will wonder where your baby came from.

Or you might have a second reason for buying an insurance policy against immaculate conception. You may misconceive what it represents and think that it refers to a slip in birth control methods. You intend to have sexual intercourse, and have taken measures against conceiving. But knowing that no method is foolproof, you want to be the fool who tries to prove that you were not with a male. The insurance policy, you think, will cover you if your birth control failed. The insurance company, you think, will pay child support and compensate you for the disgrace you think you will suffer.