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I struggle accepting the Church's position on contraception, mainly because if I apply the logic to other parts of the body it seems a little absurd. That's an intellectual thing. On an emotional level I struggle with the doctrine of Hell.
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You guys?

edit: I thought I should make a disclaimer. Of course I, and presumably any Catholic who posts in this thread, still accept and believe these teachings even if due to our fallen nature we can't fully grasp them. This could be a good way to educate one another on Church teaching we don't fully understand.
(11-10-2010, 07:31 AM)Servus_Maria Wrote: [ -> ]I struggle accepting the Church's position on contraception, mainly because if I apply the logic to other parts of the body it seems a little absurd.

Please explain.
(11-10-2010, 08:11 AM)Satori Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-10-2010, 07:31 AM)Servus_Maria Wrote: [ -> ]I struggle accepting the Church's position on contraception, mainly because if I apply the logic to other parts of the body it seems a little absurd.

Please explain.

Well, my understanding is that the purpose of the reproductive organs is reproduction, contraception frustrates this purpose and therefor contraception is sinful. I got in to a debate about this with someone I know and he asked me to apply the same logic to ears. The purpose of the ear is to hear, ear plugs frustrate this purpose and therefore ear plugs are sinful. Also, I'm not sure how one gets from "sex can be procreative" to "sex ought to be procreative". Or if, following that logic, women who have reached menopause should not be having sex.  I'm sure there's an answer for it, I just don't have it yet. I need to speak to my priest about it.
Contraception was a real mind-bender for me, coverting from Evangelicalism. But I found Pius XI's 1930 encyclical Casti Connubii pretty helpful:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x...ii_en.html

The dissonance I see is the potential to use natural family planning (permitted by the church) to indefinitely delay conception for selfish reasons.
Quote:The purpose of the ear is to hear, ear plugs frustrate this purpose and therefore ear plugs are sinful.

That is a typical modernist argument - comparing apples to pears.  Sounds great on a superficial level, but as with all these sort of arguments, there is no concern for consequences.  We only have to open our eyes to see the disastrous consequences of the shifting of sex from procreation as its primary end, to pleasure as its primary end.  We end up with STDs, unwanted pregnancies, emotional disturbances and shattered lives.  In no way does this apply to the ears.  It's ridiculous on all but the most superficial level.  It's comparable to the argument of people who say "a foetus is not a baby - would you call a slab of aluminium a coke can?"  Sounds good when you don't think about it, but it is really quite ridiculous.

As for the menopause thing - I'm sure a priest could give a better response, but the point is - if we follow the natural order and only engage in the marital act in the circumstances in which God intended, the aforementioned evils will not take place.  People who treat sex as a right, as something pleasurable that should be enjoyed without consequences because of contraception, is not really comparable to a woman continuing to engage in the marriage act with her husband beyond her reproductive years.

So many of the Church's teachings are about consequences to society.  There may not be any direct, immediate, observable consequences of the evil, but once the practice becomes widespread in society, the consequences to all are disastrous.

I hope that made sense.  I'm pissed so it may not have.   Smile
(11-10-2010, 08:33 AM)Bakuryokuso Wrote: [ -> ]Contraception was a real mind-bender for me, coverting from Evangelicalism. But I found Pius XI's 1930 encyclical Casti Connubii pretty helpful:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x...ii_en.html

The dissonance I see is the potential to use natural family planning (permitted by the church) to indefinitely delay conception for selfish reasons.

Yes, ignore me and read Pius XI's encyclical.  Although I would like to point out that NFP is permitted by the Church, but only with the permission of a Priest - it's not carte blanche.
I didn't understand the dangers of contraception well until I heard Father Corapi include it in one of his talks. In this talk he was only explaining the emotional dangers of the contraceptive mindset to the marriage itself, and although he didn't say it this way explicitly, what I took away from it was that a mind that is entering into the intimacy of a sexual relationship (I love you) cannot at the same time say they wouldn't share the results of that union (no baby, no way!) So basically, I love you--just not that much. It's damaging to a marriage and what damages any marriage damages children and society as a whole. It's only one aspect, but it made sense to me.
(11-10-2010, 08:33 AM)Bakuryokuso Wrote: [ -> ]Contraception was a real mind-bender for me, coverting from Evangelicalism. But I found Pius XI's 1930 encyclical Casti Connubii pretty helpful:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x...ii_en.html

The dissonance I see is the potential to use natural family planning (permitted by the church) to indefinitely delay conception for selfish reasons.

Thanks. I'll give it a read.
Looking at this from the other way 'round. What is the necessity of understanding logically how the reasoning works ? I mean there are things we can never understand as we are fallen and reason has limits proportional to our respective intellects. I'm always puzzled when I see some one trying to put all the pegs in their proper holes, on these subjects. It is a teaching. and by giving our ascent and doing what is required you are a oke doke.
There have been arguments here which come close to saying by reason one becomes Catholic. It seems to me that these are fueled by Protestantism. Faith is a gift from God and no amount of study will give it to you. A case in point is David Berlinski, he is one of the greatest logical mathematicians ever, and he is an Aquinas scholar who can argue as if he was his best student, yet he has no faith, and he has said he has done all he can do, now the rest is up to God. In short he has no faith.
I'm just making an observation and not particularly aiming at anyone. Maybe there is some wisdom in this, you be the judge.
tim 
Tim - I disagree with you completely.  This teaching of the Church is 100% logical.  The arguments that S_M related were 100% illogical.  He asked for reasoning to counter faulty arguments, so we provided them.  I agree with the importance of faith in accepting the Catholic religion but we are discussing one particular dogma that S_M has difficulty accepting with pure faith.

There are plenty of other dogmas that are difficult to justify according to finite human reasoning, but this isn't one of them.
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