Friday, January 20, 2012

Catholic Sex Casually

Addition:  The following is not to suggest that there are arguments which are not worth engaging with.  I think all arguments are worth considering and responding to, because they come from people.  Rather, I just want to point out that we can really spin some webs when it serves our purpose. 

I will make up a moral.   
It is wrong to chew gum.  Sure, part of the purpose of chewing is for a person’s enjoyment.  The experience of flavor is a blessing from God, but the primary purpose of chewing is to eat - to gain sustenance for the body.  Chewing gum (particularly sugar-free gum which has no calories at all) divorces the enjoyment of taste from the gathering of sustenance.  It is a denial of the body and God’s created order.
How does one casually respond to an argument like this?  Perhaps with something like.... 
It’s OK....seriously.
The Catholic church acknowledges that sex serves the purpose of achieving intimacy between husband and wife, but it also believes that this intimacy must be married (haha) with the unfettered possibility of conception in order to be right.  Therefore, birth control is wrong and any type of sex besides vaginal intercourse is wrong.  Sexual intimacy must be married to procreation.  Chewing must be married to eating.
There are arguments used by the church to support this view, but I will not debate them too much here.  I am just pointing out that when a rather outlandish moral is offered up, it can be difficult to know where to begin when engaging with it.  
How would you begin to argue with my gum-chewing moral?  Surely there are numerous underlying assumptions, few of which anyone would deem obvious, that would need to be addressed.
Why is experiencing flavor wrong when divorced from consuming calories?  Isn’t this actually a nice thing, because one can have some enjoyment without gaining weight?  Why is it wrong to expand on nature’s “original” purpose for things a bit?  Aren’t art and sports and airplanes etc. all pretty great things which expand on nature’s original purpose?    
So sex using birth control?  Sex in a different way than just vaginal intercourse?     Chewing gum?
It’s OK....seriously.

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