Saturday, April 12, 2008

Many catholics, I'm afraid, are taken in by the church's repeated appeal to "Natural Law" It sounds very impressive----"natural" and "Law"----what more could you want. I am sure the heirarchy is quite confident that the laity in general has no idea what natural law is. Natural law is a very complicated subject. Basically today the church uses it to oppose any type of contraception, or "artificial" contraception by claiming "natural law" clearly shows that the main purpose of sexual activity is procreation. Now to go from sexual intercourse can , in limited circumstances, "create" a baby to that is the basic function of such activity is similar to arguing 'tornados' in some instances cause damage thus the "purpose" of tornados is to damage property.

It is interesting to note, as I have before, that the great "natural law" philosopher of the church, Aquinas, believed rape and masturbation are at least equal because the former at least had the possibility of procreation. Aqunas was brilliant, but starting with a fase premise supposedly from "natural law" that the main purpose of sex is procreation---he comes up with an obvious absurdity.

What "natural law" says sex is primarily for procreation? Any particular act of intercourse has a very, very low possibility of fertilization. Out of 8 reasons for sex a survey showed that pregnancy was the number 8 motivator. Also it should be noted that the papal commission set up to review contraception, came back with a recommendation that the church's position be modified but Paul6 turned it down.

Our Church does nothing but lose respect with its attitudes on sex. What our church might acheive if it could get off its sex phobia!! Jack


  1. Natural law was used by Aquinas to legitimize that sex can be good sometimes. That was a huge step forward since many theologians thought that sex was always wrong, or a necessary evil. Aquinas made the bold statement that it is not a necessary evil, but actually good where procreation is concerned.

    I think it is time to follow Aquinas's lead and take another step forward in our understanding of sexuality as a church. For Aquinas's sake!

  2. Faithful Catholic, I'm not sure what your point is. You indicate Aquinas was saying that sex was good where procreation is concerned. Aquinas may have made a small step foreward but he still taught that sex was only for procreation. Would you comment on his idea that masturbation was equal to rape because under the latter conception was at least possible ? My overall point is that the church has much of its theory on contraception,,even, abortion, based on the idea that sexual activity is inferior to celibacy. The celibacy of all church leaders seems to show the hierarchy regards celibacy as essential to church leadership. Jack

  3. Jack,

    I completely agree with you. I was just commenting that it's time for our church today to update our teaching on sexuality, just as Aquinas updated it and gave his time a more healthy view of sexuality than before.

    And an obvious flaw in Aquinas's logic led our church to assume that masturbation can be worse than rape.

  4. Include me among those who have no idea what "natural" law is.

    To paraphrase an ad for DirecTV, I wouldn't know it if it crawled up on my lap and called me "momma."