Unmerciful reality

February 26, 2016 § 55 Comments

Bonald writes:

Adultery is okay, but only if you don’t just keep a mistress, but also in her favor eject your wife.  Spilling your seed is okay, but only if you make sure there’s still a chance of infecting a partner.  In both cases, the sin is less obvious–one gets the appearance of a normal marriage and normal marriage relations–but the appearance is bought with the commission of a second sin.  Would not consistent mercy be even more merciful?

That is certainly true objectively speaking. But the important thing in modern life is not what happens in objective reality. The important thing in modern life is maintaining our illusions. Shattering illusions is even more unmerciful than infecting your partner with AIDS.

§ 55 Responses to Unmerciful reality

  • Mike T says:

    If contracepted sex is intrinsically immoral, then how was dispensation given even to potential rape victims? Rape is a form of sexual activity, not a separate thing unto itself. It would seem to me that even though the rapist is behaving illicitly, that the victim would be acting illicitly by trying to prevent the natural course of the act from proceeding much like how you can take immoral measures to defend your person and property from violence.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    If contracepted sex is intrinsically immoral, then how was dispensation given even to potential rape victims?

    It wasn’t, actually. The Pope appears to have had the facts wrong.

    Rape is a form of sexual activity …

    That has as much merit as saying “being murdered is a form of violent activity” and suggesting that it doesn’t make sense for murder victims to be given a dispensation from the prohibition of suicide.

  • Mike T says:

    It would not make sense to give a murder victim dispensation from the prohibition on suicide because committing suicide is not a morally licit way to avoid being murdered. Similarly, if contracepted sexual activity is intrinsically immoral, then contracepting acts of rape is immoral.

  • Mike T says:

    It wasn’t, actually. The Pope appears to have had the facts wrong.

    Which Pope? I thought nuns in Africa were given dispensation to use contraception since they were committed to celibacy and would be theoretically having sex against their will.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    I thought nuns in Africa were given dispensation to use contraception since they were committed to celibacy and would be theoretically having sex against their will.

    You thought wrong. But you are in good company (I guess), since Pope Francis also (incorrectly) thought that that had been done by Paul VI.

    ….if contracepted sexual activity …

    I’ll just note that, like a drunken sorority girl with regrets, you keep referring to sexual activity as if it were something that just happens as opposed to a behavior that someone chooses or does not choose.

  • slumlord says:

    Nuns chose to be raped?

  • slumlord says:

    You need an edit function for comments.

  • Zippy says:

    The phrase ‘chose to be raped’ (or equivalent propositions, e.g. ‘forced consensual sex’, etc) is self contradictory.

    I suppose someone might mean something poetic by it. But in the land of non-jabberwocky, consensual rape is an incoherent self-contradiction.

  • Mike T says:

    I’ll just note that, like a drunken sorority girl with regrets, you keep referring to sexual activity as if it were something that just happens as opposed to a behavior that someone chooses or does not choose.

    There are immoral ways to avoid being murdered. If your assailant’s child is with them, you cannot threaten to murder their child to coerce them to not murder you because that is intrinsically immoral. You didn’t choose to be a potential murder victim, but as you like to say, doing the right thing constrains the possible ranges of choice we can make.

    But you are in good company (I guess), since Pope Francis also (incorrectly) thought that that had been done by Paul VI.

    Well, that actually puts him in bad company since I’m not Catholic and he’s the Pope. I have an excuse to be ignorant of Catholic decisions just like he has an excuse to not know the fine points of Sharia.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    There are immoral ways to avoid being murdered.

    So what? If a murderer asks you if you’d rather be shot than flayed alive, and you tell him you’d rather be shot, you haven’t thereby committed suicide.

    The point – which you continue to avoid like a sorority girl with regrets – is that a rape victim is by definition not choosing to engage in a sexual act at all. If contraception strictly speaking is choosing to engage in a mutilated sexual behavior, and a rape victim is not choosing to engage in any sexual behavior at all, then a rape victim is by definition not choosing contraception (strictly speaking). Her actions might or might not be condemnable under some other moral theory, but they cannot be condemnable as contraception (strictly speaking).

  • Marissa says:

    The kind of contraception that is being referred to is in fact abortifacient, right? I don’t see how it would be moral to take it if one believes one might be raped since it doesn’t prevent conception but implantation. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Zippy says:

    Marissa:
    Particular method is unspecified, but obviously the moral parameters of abortion are distinct from the moral parameters of contraception. If it helps you can consider barrier methods only — e.g. rapeugees are rioting through the streets of Berlin, is it morally licit for a perfectly continent nun to insert a diaphragm? That is the kind of question I am currently addressing. Obviously murdering a child is always evil, no matter how he was conceived and no matter how short of a time ago he was conceived.

  • […] Source: Zippy Catholic […]

  • Mike T says:

    then a rape victim is by definition not choosing contraception (strictly speaking). Her actions might or might not be condemnable under some other moral theory, but they cannot be condemnable as contraception (strictly speaking).

    Strictly speaking, she is choosing to use contraception as an insurance policy against the unwanted impact of future sex that might happen presumably against her will. She didn’t choose the sexual activity, but she did choose how to prepare her body for the possibility it might happen. Therefore she did in fact form a positive intent that should it happen, this is how she will deal with it.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:
    It is one thing to disagree that choosing a sexual act is essential to contraception as a morally wrong act. (Though since you don’t agree that contraception is morally wrong in the first place you are hardly in a position to argue that what a hypothetical nun does in this particular case is morally wrong).

    The pretense not to understand what is contended though – that contraception is the choice of a disordered sexual act and a rape victim is not choosing a sexual act at all – doesn’t really flatter your intelligence.

  • Mike T says:

    I do understand what is contended, and I am saying that you are being inconsistent if you argue that her consent or lack of consent to the sexual act is relevant to her effort to frustrate conception. She is not choosing to have sex, but she is choosing her reaction to the outcome of the disordered sex which is to prevent the sexual act from achieving its ordinary physical purpose of procreation.

    If contraception strictly speaking is choosing to engage in a mutilated sexual behavior, and a rape victim is not choosing to engage in any sexual behavior at all, then a rape victim is by definition not choosing contraception (strictly speaking).

    You have often said that the telos of sex exists independent of subjective human intent. That is then true for rape victims too. The reason why a woman does not want to conceive a child is not relevant to her decision to take concrete measures to prevent it from happening.

  • Mike T says:

    If contraception strictly speaking is choosing to engage in a mutilated sexual behavior, and a rape victim is not choosing to engage in any sexual behavior at all

    That leaves out the possibility of a rape victim choosing to add her own mutilation to an act that is already well outside of God’s plan. She may not have chosen the act, but she can choose to make the act even more outside of the natural law (assuming contraception is intrinsically immoral) than it would have been otherwise.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    I am saying that you are being inconsistent if you argue that her consent or lack of consent to the sexual act is relevant to her effort to frustrate conception. She is not choosing to have sex …

    If you understood what I am saying then you wouldn’t still be saying that it is inconsistent. You might still disagree — and that disagreement might carry at least a tiny bit of credibility if you actually thought that contraception is immoral.

    Again, the contention is merely that contraception consists in choosing a disordered sexual act, and that a rape victim is not choosing a sexual act at all.

    Disagree with the principle if you like, but pretending not to understand it – or that it is inconsistent – just makes you look foolish.

    You have often said that the telos of [choosing sexual behaviors] exists independent of subjective human intent.

    Correct as re-worded. The meaning of chosen sexual behaviors is not reducible to whatever the person choosing them wants it to be.

    That is then true for rape victims [when they choose sexual behaviors] too.

    Can you spot your error – in grasping the concept, if not agreeing with it – yet?

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    That leaves out the possibility of …

    … a different theory of yours which makes a convenient straw man.

  • slumlord says:

    @Marissa.

    There is no definite proof that the pill acts as an abortifacient. It is assumed that, as the pill thins the uterine lining, it will make implantation of the conceptus more difficult. Those there is plenty enough documented evidence of women being on the pill for a long time getting pregnant. Even the Yuzpe method of using the pill to induce abortion–which I disagree with–is now believed to work by inhibiting ovulation rather than endometrial disruption.

    http://ec.princeton.edu/references/Mechanism_of_action_Contraception2006.pdf

    @Zippy and Mike T.

    Both of you miss the point. The use the the pill in this instance has nothing to do with the sexual act, rather, the question at stake is, “Is it licit to private a woman of her fertility for any reason, not just sexual?” It’s quite possible that none of these nuns would have ever been raped. If it is intrinsically evil–as it is with a simplistic natural law conception–then it is always evil to do so, even for standard medical treatments.

  • Zippy says:

    It is at least mildly interesting that some people’s theories of sexual sin posit that it is possible to commit sexual sin without ever choosing or intending to choose a sexual behavior of any kind. Perhaps that is an indication of the unreality of their theories.

  • donalgraeme says:

    Zippy, with all due respect, you are not making your point clearly here. I am still not sure that I get you, and so want to clarify. Are you saying this:

    If a woman (nun, in this case) takes some sort of contraceptive, but never intends to use it as part of a sexual act, then she is not committing a sin? Reason: The sin lies in intentionally carrying out an unnatural sexual act, and since the woman did not intend to carry out such an act, she did not sin?

    Taking that a step further, and assuming I read you right, then this means that if a woman takes a contraceptive without ever intending to engage in a sexual act, but is raped, then she is not committing a sin? Reason: since the woman was the victim of rape, which is by its nature not an intentional act by the woman, then she could not have had the requisite intent to carry out an unnatural sexual act and thus could not have sinned?

  • Donal,

    I dunno. Maybe I’m totally getting Zippy wrong here and hubris will be my downfall, but…this seems about as straightforward as straightforward can me, and I’m not sure where the confusion lies.

    If you take a contraceptive with the goal of preventing conception by forced intercourse only, why would that be a sin? You’re not engaging in intercourse. You’re not planning to. You’re not “disrupting fertility”, as you’re doing nothing that would involve being fertile in the first place. In our emergency, high risk world where your chance of rape is obscenely high, you’re merely preparing yourself for the most rotten possible outcome, barring death or dismemberment.

    It would be as if you were in an area where armed robbery was considered a near certainty, and so you left several valuables near the door in the hope that it will keep the robbers farther away from you. You’re not inviting the robbers to rob you. You’re just trying to prevent a terrible situation in the event something bad happens.

    To put it another way – I know somebody, who is not, and does not intend to be, sexually active whatsoever, who takes the pill for hormonal reasons; if she did not, she would face legitimate, serious health issues.

    This isn’t a hypothetical, by the way. This is stated fact about a person I know personally. You can take my word for it.

    She takes the pill. Is this moral?

    A man has testicular cancer; treatment will almost certainly make him sterile. Is it immoral to get treated?

    I don’t get why this is considered a “Difficult case”. It’s dead simple to me. But maybe I’m totally wrong.

  • Mike T says:

    It is at least mildly interesting that some people’s theories of sexual sin posit that it is possible to commit sexual sin without ever choosing or intending to choose a sexual behavior of any kind. Perhaps that is an indication of the unreality of their theories.

    Or perhaps it is a limitation on your theories because you don’t consider someone saying that the intend to respond to a hypothetical act in a certain way to be a moral choice they chose in advance.

    If you take a contraceptive with the goal of preventing conception by forced intercourse only, why would that be a sin? You’re not engaging in intercourse. You’re not planning to. You’re not “disrupting fertility”, as you’re doing nothing that would involve being fertile in the first place. In our emergency, high risk world where your chance of rape is obscenely high, you’re merely preparing yourself for the most rotten possible outcome, barring death or dismemberment.

    A nun who uses a diaphragm is by definition intending to prevent pregnancy, not regulate a part of her body that is disordered. Unlike the woman you know, she cannot say that the restriction on her fertility was accidental as she inserted the device with the full intention that if she is raped she will take measures to prevent the child from being conceived rather than leave it in God’s hands whether she conceives or not.

    There is no disputing that the nun is starting from a perfectly moral position of choosing no sexual act that is out of God’s will. She is, however, saying to God that should one be forced upon her that she will respond by trying to deliberately prevent a child from being conceived.

  • Zippy says:

    Malcolm:

    It is dead simple. Contraception is a disordered sexual behavior like masturbation and sodomy. If you aren’t choosing any sexual behavior at all you are definitely not choosing a disordered sexual behavior.

    We are so steeped in perverse metaphysics though that sometimes the mind rebels against a very straightforward chain of reasoning, even in someone who is just genuinely trying to grasp the reasoning and has no other agenda.

    We use words in a very plastic way, of course, and ‘contraception’ is no exception. But (goes the straightforward chain of reasoning) when we use ‘contraception’ unequivocally to refer to the sexual sin, it is proposed that you can’t commit sexual sin unless you are actually choosing a sexual behavior or preparing to choose a sexual behavior.

    Someone who does X (whatever it may be) in anticipation of possible rape is not doing X as preparation for choosing a sexual behavior. It may be wrong to do X for other reasons, but it is not wrong to do so on the basis that it is a sexual sin.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    A nun who uses a diaphragm is by definition intending to prevent pregnancy, not regulate a part of her body that is disordered. Unlike the woman you know, she cannot say that the restriction on her fertility was accidental as she inserted the device with the full intention that if she is raped she will take measures to prevent the child from being conceived rather than leave it in God’s hands whether she conceives or not.

    One of the other fascinating things about discussion of contraception is that people who believe contraception is morally acceptable are always vehemently advancing specific theories about why it must be immoral. I’ll just point out that presenting an alternative theory as if it were the only possible theory is that age old rhetorical gambit, the straw man. Positivists are especially vulnerable to straw man rhetoric, but someone who isn’t a positivist will immediately see that just because there are problems with Mike T’s straw man theory it doesn’t follow that contraception is sometimes morally acceptable, which is the result at which his rhetoric aims.

    Mortimer Adler spent most of his life an agnostic, but he often argued that belief in God was reasonable and defensible. There is a difference of course between committing to a particular understanding and grasping that it is reasonable and defensible on its own terms.

  • There is no disputing that the nun is starting from a perfectly moral position of choosing no sexual act that is out of God’s will. She is, however, saying to God that should one be forced upon her that she will respond by trying to deliberately prevent a child from being conceived.

    So is somebody who chooses not to have sex at all.

  • Pope Francis did say one absolutely correct thing, which does work if we’re talking about the legendary nun case: It is not an absolute evil just to prevent pregnancy.

  • Or, to reuse Mike T’s sentence:

    There is no disputing that [a man being robbed] is starting from a perfectly moral position of choosing [not to be robbed] that is out of God’s will. She is, however, saying to God that should [an armed thief] be forced upon her that she will respond by trying to deliberately [let the thief steal valuables quickly as opposed to linger and cause more trouble].

  • Zippy says:

    Malcolm:

    But pointing that out is very inconvenient to moderns for whom morality takes place in a hermetic theater of the mind, where events in the physical world ‘just happen’ and good intentions on the part of the mind-puppets are everything. If we could just conclude that NFP (selective abstinence) is morally the same as choosing mutilated sexual acts (because the puppets in the mental puppet theater look so alike, don’t they!?) we can finally achieve the Lego porn singularity.

    But the one we achieve would be the authentic Lego porn singularity that I and the people walking the same direction I am walking envision (see how shiny our coins are!!), not the Lego porn singularity all those perverts holding up and admiring those filthy idols in their own hands want.

  • Zippy says:

    Malcolm:

    So is somebody who chooses not to have sex at all.

    Indeed. Simply attempting to fight off a rapist is objectively (among other things) an attempt to prevent conception. So if an intention to prevent conception is wrong in itself, rape victims are morally required to lie back and enjoy it.

    If she stabs him with a knife before he reaches orgasm, is she guilty of onanism?

  • donalgraeme says:

    Indeed. Simply attempting to fight off a rapist is objectively (among other things) an attempt to prevent conception. So if an intention to prevent conception is wrong in itself, rape victims are morally required to lie back and enjoy it.

    If she stabs him with a knife before he reaches orgasm, is she guilty of onanism?

    So I take it that I was on the right track then?

  • Zippy says:

    donalgraeme:
    Yes you were on the right track and perhaps even exactly correct in your comment; but I balk editorially at using the word “intention” where you used it, not because what you meant by it was necessarily incorrect but because of the relativist mischief to which that word is so often put.

    The proposition is that a behavior is not sexual sin unless it is itself a sexual behavior or is preparation for choosing a sexual behavior. Preparing for the possibility of being robbed, raped, or murdered is not preparation for choosing to be robbed, raped, or murdered.

    Someone who is perfectly continent is by definition not preparing to choose a sexual behavior.

    Of course a nun might insert a diaphragm and then later choose to fornicate, in which case she is both fornicating and contracepting: choosing a disordered sexual act. Contraception is a disordered sexual act which is often prepared for by what the Magisterium terms ‘more superficial acts’, to wit:

    Persona Humana:

    In reality, it is precisely the fundamental option which in the last resort defines a person’s moral disposition. But it can be completely changed by particular acts, especially when, as often happens, these have been prepared for by previous more superficial acts. Whatever the case, it is wrong to say that particular acts are not enough to constitute mortal sin.

  • donalgraeme says:

    Yes you were on the right track and perhaps even exactly correct in your comment; but I balk editorially at using the word “intention”, not because what you meant by it was necessarily incorrect but because of the relativist mischief to which that word is so often put.

    You are referring to the relativist tendency to separate the intent of an act from the act itself, yes?

  • Zippy says:

    donalgraeme:
    That is the tip of the iceberg of what I am referring to, yes.

  • Mike T says:

    The proposition is that a behavior is not sexual sin unless it is itself a sexual behavior or is preparation for choosing a sexual behavior. Preparing for the possibility of being robbed, raped, or murdered is not preparation for choosing to be robbed, raped, or murdered.

    A woman choosing to fight a rapist or even make him stop the act is different from a woman choosing a method aimed at preventing the finalized act from resulting in conception. Using malcolm’s bad attempt to repurpose my comment for a moment, once an armed robber has robbed you and left it is debatable whether you still have a right to respond the way you would during the commission of the act. You are free to shoot him in the chest during the act, but if he is halfway down the street you have no moral right to shoot him in the back unless there is an immediate threat to someone around the felon.

    At all times, the use of contraceptive devices for the purpose of preventing pregnancy is a person’s design on how to respond to the finalized act since conception doesn’t happen in real-time during the act of intercourse.

    And contrary to your accusation, I am not trying to argue that contraception is sometimes licit. You are borrowing from conversations in previous threads to impute something which nothing I have said here suggests. You should know by now that I very rarely play devil’s advocate.

  • Mike T says:

    A rape victim who uses contraception to prevent an unsuccessful attempt to stop a rapist from ejaculating inside of her is roughly on par with a man who didn’t draw his gun fast enough, gets robbed and then recovers his property by shooting the robber in the back as he walks away.

  • Mike T says:

    You know I am skeptical of some of the natural law claims about contraception. However, what should really bother you is that IMO if contracepting a sexual act is intrinsically evil I am quite content to defend the position I just posted.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T writes:

    [… some red herring stuff which continues to entirely fail to even address the central contention …]

    Why bother commenting at all?

  • Mike T says:

    I disagree with some of your basic assumptions. One of which is that consent is actually relevant to the telos of sex. I don’t think it has any relevance. Furthermore, I don’t agree with your ridiculous definition stretch of contraception to any activity that could conceivably stop conception. Stopping intercourse is a different thing from a concrete method at stopping semen released into the vagina from achieving its biological mission.

    So perhaps there is no point in continuing to comment on these points because we can’t even agree on such things.

  • Sorry, Mike T, I’m with Zippy. I’m really unclear how what you wrote addresses what I wrote at all.

  • Thanks, Zippy, your discussion here cleared away my confusion on these hypothetical nuns.

    On a vaguely related note, do you agree with Fr Z’s judgment here? http://wdtprs.com/blog/2016/02/ask-father-must-sterilized-couple-seek-reversal/
    I get the feeling some consideration is missing in that answer, but I don’t know what.

  • Zippy says:

    Ioannes Barbarus:

    I do not agree with that conclusion.

    We’ve discussed the subject here before (the linked post contains links to other pertinent posts — you might want to start at the beginning and work your way forward, if you are interested in the full picture).

    My basic views on the subject have not really changed in the eight or nine years since we last covered it here. I think that if someone gets a vasectomy a reversal must be attempted in order to make future sex acts licit (much like an IUD would have to be removed to make future sex acts licit, etc). Sex without an attempted reversal is morally wrong.

    Lots of people have told me that the Church says otherwise, but as in other cases that dog never seems to actually bark with an actual, doctrinal Magisterial citation to that effect.

  • Ah, yes, I remember your history on this topic now.

    In another discussion I got this curious objection, and I’m not sure how to reply: “What if every time your husband makes love to you, you are asleep. Are you therefore allowed to go to bed wearing a diaphragm?”

    How is this case understood within the principles that have been brought up in this thread?

  • Zippy says:

    Ioannes Barbarus:
    If you hire a surgeon to perform surgery on you while you are unconscious you are formally cooperating with his surgical actions. They are his actions not yours, but nonetheless you intend them, which makes you morally responsible as if they were your own actions.

    That is why someone who hired a hit man is guilty of murder or attempted murder.

  • Kurt says:

    I think I understand Zippy quite clearly, although I could be wrong. A celibate woman who takes the pill is no more using contraception than a celebate man who puts a condom on is. Choosing contraception implies choosing to have sex. Obviously a rape victim is not choosing to have sex.

  • Interesting… my unassuming questions on Fr Z’s post did not make it through moderation. Someone else’s similar unassuming questions, which were let in, got forceful no-answer answers.

  • slumlord says:

    Choosing contraception implies choosing to have sex.

    Uhm, no it doesn’t. The pill is used for a hell of a lot of things besides contraception. Take, for example, excessive menstrual bleeding. Now the question is: Is it appropriate to sacrifice fertility to stop excessive bleeding?

  • Zippy says:

    slumlord:
    There is nothing wrong with using the pill to stop excessive menstrual bleeding, as long as you refrain from sex. You can’t commit sexual sin if you refrain from choosing any sexual behaviors at all. (It is true, however, that actual self mutilation can be immoral independent of sexual activity – so the question you ask is still relevant to the medical choices of the perfectly continent).

    Ioannes Barbarus:
    This is one of those moral subjects about which people really, really don’t want to think too hard. Nor do they want to look too closely at what founds the confident assertions of the ‘mercy’ tyrants. I’ve looked for magisterial statements where sex after a voluntary vasectomy is authorized by the magisterium (as opposed to simply argued for by theologians). It is another dog that doesn’t bark, as I documented here.

  • P.B. says:

    OT: Zippy, have you ever read Melinda Selmys? She is a NFP practicing lesbian Catholic married to a man who I think does good work bringing people with SSA to Christ. So good on her. On the other hand, she doesn’t seem to think that homosexuality is disordered and frequently suggests that the Church may need to “update” doctrine on the sexual binary. It seems like pernicious anti-realism from an unusually laudable source. If you have the inclination I would be interested in hearing any thoughts you might have. Selmys seems like a nice lady and maybe she would be as well.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/catholicauthenticity/2015/12/the-dead-horse-rides-again-homosexuality-as-mental-illness/

  • P.B says:

    This one and other articles on transgenderism from Selmys is perhaps more relevant to my anti-realism criticism:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/catholicauthenticity/2016/02/does-god-make-mistakes-and-are-trans-people-one-of-them/

    (I’m certainly not saying she’s a heretic or anything)

  • Zippy says:

    P.B.

    I am not familiar with her specifically, though your description reminds me of some of what I have seen from folks involved in ministries like Courage.

    Like you I have great respect for people who are ‘fighting the good fight’ if you will. But nevertheless, attempting to make our defects into principles of personal identity is a basic mistake — a faux merciful way of allowing error in by the back door. There are steps toward the full truth and steps away from the full truth; this is a step away from it.

    The first principle of managing and dealing with our defects in a genuinely merciful way is admitting that they are, in reality (there is that pesky metaphysical realism again), defects. Every ‘mercy’ which is not founded in the truth is not really mercy.

    In order to understand the truth here, we have to realize that sexual desire is not only (is not reducible to) desire for a person. Sexual desire is desire to carry out a particular behavior, and the behavior toward which that desire is directed is what determines if that desire is or is not objectively disordered.

    Homosexual desires (and sodomitical/masturbatory ‘heterosexual’ desires) are objectively defective or disordered in a way in which normative heterosexual desire is not. I’m a tolerant ‘big tent’ guy, so I don’t make a categorical distinction between desire for one kind of objectively disordered sexual behavior over another. A desire for ‘heterosexual’ sodomy may or may not be ‘diet coke’ compared to the desire for homosexual sodomy, but they are both desire for sodomy: objectively disordered desires.

    The desire for normal heterosexual sex is not disordered at all, qua desire. It is properly oriented toward behaviors which are themselves (qua behavior) properly oriented toward the telos of sex, that is, producing children. Fornication and adultery are intrinsically immoral, but desire for them is desire for a kind of sexual behavior which is itself – the kind of behavior – objectively ordered toward producing children.

    So (this kind of) heterosexual desire is not objectively disordered qua desire in the same way that desire for (whatever-o-sexual) sodomy is objectively disordered.

  • P.B. says:

    Zippy: I thought of that very post you linked as I was reading Selmys. It’s a sad situation.

  • […] on recent combox discussions, it is clearly time for a little refresher in basic moral […]

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