The Natural Law/"Mere Christianity"
#9
(02-19-2010, 10:54 PM)Servus_Maria Wrote:
(02-19-2010, 10:29 PM)Walty Wrote:
(02-19-2010, 09:31 PM)Servus_Maria Wrote:
(02-19-2010, 09:26 PM)JonW Wrote: Name one successful, longstanding culture in which lying, cheating, disloyalty, murder, jealousy, adultery, dishonor, cursing God and parents, etc., were looked on as good things to be encouraged and cultivated.  It might also be a good idea to distinguish between the peak of a culture and its decline, when some or all of these things are looked at as, if not quite good, at least more acceptable.  Either way, I think the impossibility of finding such a hypothetical culture as that above strongly vindicates Natural Law.

I will have to do some more reading, but I was more concerned with this:

The reproductive organs primary use is to procreate.
Contraceptives inhibit this function.
Thus contraceptive sex is wrong.

See, that makes sense to me. But then I start applying the same principle to our other faculties and it just seems absurd.

The lungs primary use is to breath.
Smoking inhibits this function.
Thus smoking is wrong.

The eye's primary purpose is to see.
Wearing a blind fold inhibits this function.
Thus wearing a blindfold is wrong.

I'm confused what you are getting at here Servus.  Neither of those things are wrong.  Smoking only inhibits your ability to breathe if you do it in a disorderly amount.  The same can be said for something like eating deep fried candy bars.  There's nothing inherently wrong in it, but if you do it too much your heart will turn to blubber.

And seeing isn't necessary for every single practice.  It's a fun game to play pin the tail on the donkey and inhibit sight.  It would be wrong to blindfold yourself if you were driving or doing something else important.

The difference between this and sex is that sex is a different sort of thing than seeing and breathing.  Firstly, it's voluntary.  Secondly, reducing your ability to procreate goes against a natural law which promotes life.  To inhibit sex is to make a morally wrong action about life just as is blind folding yourself while driving or not breathing so long that you hurt yourself.  There are situations in which putting on a blindfold really affects nothing morally.  The same cannot be said of contraception.

That clears it up a bit. Just to clarify I'm not denying anything the Church teaches, but when I'm trying to understand an argument it helps to look at it from the other side and clear up any objections. Lewis mentions a moral law that runs through every single society and culture, but I can't really think of many moral archetypes other than not hurting another human being and even that isn't evident in most of human history. Can you think of any more? Most societies seem to have differing attitudes to fornication, contraception, homosexuality, religious equality, women, poverty, war, suicide etc. Has the Church actually defined what falls under the natural law?

To my knowledge, the Church has never officially said anything on the matter, but certain philosophers (and some theologians) certainly have.  In fact, Lewis writes a decent amount about it in The Abolition of Man.  That book is more about modern philosophy turning to usurp the Natural Law and replace it with something artificial (Darwinism, Marxism etc.) but it also talks quite a bit about it and contains a short list of tenets of the Natural Law taken from many of the major world's religions.  Have you ever given that book a look?  I'll see if I can dig up any of that list on the internet.
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Messages In This Thread
Re: The Natural Law/"Mere Christianity" - by JonW - 02-19-2010, 09:26 PM
Re: The Natural Law/"Mere Christianity" - by Walty - 02-19-2010, 11:49 PM



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