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Contraception Philosophy of Love and Sex. The Christian Tradition But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brothers.

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Presentation on theme: "Contraception Philosophy of Love and Sex. The Christian Tradition But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brothers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Contraception Philosophy of Love and Sex

2 The Christian Tradition But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brothers wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother. And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and he slew him also. (Gen. 38:9-10) Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery [pharmakeia], enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. (Gal. 5:19-21a) Didache (2 nd century): thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not use magic; thou shalt not use philtres [ou pharmakeuseis]; thou shalt not kill a child by means of abortion, nor slay it after it has been born On oral sex, the Epistle of Barnabas (written between 70 and 132 AD): one should not [b]ecome such a personsuch men as we hear committing lawlessness in their mouths through impurity; nor shalt thou cleave to women who are impure and who commit lawlessness in their mouths. On contraception, Hippolytus of Rome (c AD): For this reason women who were reputed to be believers began to take drugs to render themselves sterile [epicheirein … atokiois pharmakois], and to bind themselves tightly so as to expel what was being conceived, since they would not, on account of relatives and excessive wealth, want to have a child by a slave or by any insignificant person. See, then, into what great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by teaching adultery and murder at the same time! Contraception then condemned by St. Clement of Alexandria, St. John Chrysostom, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, Luther and Calvin. 1930: Anglican Church at Lambeth declares that contraception is a matter for the couples own conscience.

3 John Finnis and Germain Grisez Principle: It is wrong to intentionally interrupt any natural process directed at human life. Objections: –This prohibits contraception even in cases of rape. (Finnis and Grisez are Catholic scholars. The use of contraception in cases of rape is permitted by US Catholic healthcare guidelines.) –there is a difference between interrupting a process that preserves an existing life and interrupting a process that produces a new human life

4 John Paul II Principle: Sex should be complete self- giving. Consequences: To hold back on commitment or fertility is, and thus limit the self-giving, is wrong.

5 John Finnis, Robert George, Alexander Pruss, and others Sex is a union as one body.

6 Three views of pleasure Pleasure is always good. Pleasure is always good when one isnt taking pleasure in something bad. Pleasure is good when and only when one is taking pleasure in something good.

7 Natural Family Planning The fertile time consists in seven days preceding ovulation, because that is how long sperm can survive in the female reproductive system, and then hours after ovulation, since that is how long an ovum can remain viable for reproduction. For women with regular cycles, the fertile time occurs at approximately the same point in each cycle, and can be approximately predicted solely by use of the calendar. Additional days of abstinence can be added before and after the estimated fertile time period for safety. Abstinence guided solely by such data is known as calendar rhythm. When a modern version of the method is followed correctly by a woman with regular cycles of length days, it will be 95% effective annually; i.e., 5% of women correctly using the method will get pregnant in a year of use. The particular algorithm here was implemented through a simple ring of beads, appropriate for use by the illiterate. It is possible for the woman to observe mucus secretions, changes in temperature and other symptoms, which, in turn, allow for an estimate of the potentially fertile stretch of time even for women whose cycles are not regular. These methods, collectively known as Natural Family Planning (NFP), when used to prevent conception, typically involve about 1.5 to two weeks of abstinence per cycle, though at certain times (e.g., toward the end of breastfeeding) significantly more. The efficacy of the method when used correctly depends on how much abstinence the users can tolerate, but effectiveness figures as high as 97% or even 99% or more can be achieved. A very recent German study found an actual use pregnancy rate of 1.8% per woman per 13 cycles, and for couples that used the method correctly, the pregnancy rate was 0.4% per woman per 13 cycles. Actual effectiveness depends on the couples motivation, including the commitment of both the man and the woman.

8 Analogies for NFP Analogy 1: Suppose Bob and Jane are married, and Jane really gets on my nerves. In fact, Jane can drive me crazy and induce a heart-attack in me. Of course, Bob loves Jane, and Bob is a friend of mine. I would like to invite Bob over for dinner. However, if he brings Jane, it will spoil everything. I have three options. (A) Never invite either one. (B) Invite Bob but prevent Jane from coming, by telling him that I dont want to see Jane. (C) Tactfully invite Bob only when Jane is away on a business trip. My intentions in all three cases are the samenot to see Jane. But option (B) is just bad manners and inhospitableI am saying to Bob that he is not entirely welcome, because the one he loves is not welcome. Option (C) is the tactful option. Option (A) is like total abstinence. Option (B) is like contraception. Option (C) is like NFP. Analogy 2 (Donald DeMarco): You and your fiancé are planning a wedding. There are some acquaintances whom you do not wish to come to the wedding. The traditional option is: (A) You dont send them a wedding announcement and invitation. Option (B): You figure out that you can send them a wedding announcement, but you will include a note that says: You are not invited. The goal is the sameensuring the person wont come. Sexual intercourse is like sending out a notice. If one doesnt invite in a child, one doesnt send out the noticeone abstains. Contraception is like an explicit disinvitation. Note that the difference isnt one in effectiveness. Not sending out a notice may be an even more effective means of preventing the guest from appearing.

9 Corvinos argument in defense of homosexual activity The goods available to same-sex couples are the same as those available to infertile heterosexual couples, plus one. Pleasure –Objection: But is pleasure always good, or only when one takes pleasure in an independent good? Interpersonal communication Emotional growth Stability Undercutting of stereotypes –Objection: Chastity does that even more effectively.


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