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Monday, July 2, 2007

When something sounds right but the conclusion is wrong....

The hard part about working and discussing with people things moral and immoral is that they take the truth and then run into the ocean or up the cliff instead of continuing on the shore.

Case and point and be found here:

Last week, the Catholic clergy restated its opposition to the use of condoms. But they should understand that sinful sex has nothing to do with condoms, but morality. To use or not to use condoms is a decision the faithful should be allowed to make. Safe sex should not to be fought; it should be encouraged.
Sabastian Wandera,

The way that I have learned to deconstruct this type of argument or conjecture is as follows below.

First, lets begin by identification of what is true in the post:
  1. Sinful sex is a moral problem.
  2. Safe sex should not be fought but encouraged.
  3. The Catholic Clergy restated its opposition to the use of condoms.
  4. To use or not to use condoms is a decision that the faithful should make.

Now, lets dissect how the author goes astray with each of the above numbered points.

  1. Obviously the moral guidelines surrounding sex are what determines its sinfulness or moralness. The falsehood that is presented in the argument quoted above that the mechanics of the sexual act has no determination on the morality of it. However, if the mechanics of the sex act are not what effect the moralness of the act then what does? Driving a car is not immoral but when you pull up on the sidewalk instead of on the road and place pedestrians in danger, then we have a problem. Mechanics of the act and deviations from the way God designed things are what determine the objective morality of an act. The moralness of sexual relations is determined by whom, with whom, where and how, what else is there?
  2. Yes, this is sooo true, but what is meant by safe sex? Is it safe to have sex that doesn't give oneself fully to the other? Here the author quoted above turns to just looking at physical safety and gives no consideration for the mental impacts of adding a layer to the act not designed into it by God that has the potential to objectify the other party. A good well written source on this is Humane Vitae itself. If you haven't read it, you should, it's not a difficult read.
  3. While it is true that the clergy restated the prohibition on Condom usage, it is defending that which is handed onto it as an immutable truth from God. The clergy doesn't make this stuff up on a whim. The rules are just defended by the clergy, they are given to us from God. The rules on the morality involving intercourse was given to us by the design imparted by God during creation.
  4. Yes, the faithful have free will and the ability to chose to use or not use condoms. What should be remembered is what they are choosing between in an eternal perspective, the choice between a moral choice and an immoral one. This life isn't for temporary pleasure but our eyes should stay focused on the prize and with a well-formed conscience we are able to make choices that are in line with God's eternal truth. Yes, the faithful have the ability to choose, they choose to be faithful or unfaithful.

The problem with the quoted letter above is that it fails to state realities and utilizes only partial truths, or that is the attraction in the human heart to the kinds of arguments demonstrated above. We are attracted to the truth in it but if we fail to see the falsehood, stated or unstated, then we can buy into the Master of Lies and his ways. I believe that most people that buy into contraception have a poor world view and don't really understand the reasoning against it, they may be hardened through an attatchment to sin, the comfort of their current life or just a good old fashion poorly formed conscience. Whatever the case may be we must proclaim the truth.

Hopefully, I have been able to shed insight on a method to do this. Pick out the truth in the argument and then see which way they go.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

1 comment:

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