«Natural Law & Sexual Ethics» @ Princeton, by Prof. Ed Feser
#21
(04-24-2015, 05:13 PM)Papist Wrote: It seems like your question is predicated on the false premise that Christian thought and all Greek thought are diametrically opposed to one another.

But I didn't say that at all. I meant this Greek view of womanhood, not every single thing the Greeks thought.
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#22
What is it exactly about this view of womanhood that makes it obviously false from a Christian point of view? It may or may not be true, but it's not obvious to me that it goes explicitly against the Faith. After all, didn't many medieval Christians hold a broadly similar view of women?
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#23
Of course its a myth that women in the Middle Ages were confined to private life in the household. Contrary to popular belief they could even study, in fact, as in opposition to the East, in the West education was something for priests and women, not for "real men", and also contrary to the broader Eastern society (that is, including the Moslems), women did enjoy more freedom.
And of course, this is only culturally, but look at the BVM and the women saints and see if you can imagine them as just being well behaved because they are in a post-coitus bliss or are pregnant.
Even where the Bible comes closer to this view, say, in picturing the seducing whore, its quite clear that this is one sort of woman. Its not in the essence of women to be a hysterical, seducing whore. Not to mention that in every depiction of the whore the fool is always implicit: a person is a fool before he is seduced. So, this claim that men are more rational and thus are not given to the passions besides being patently false its not biblical.
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#24
(04-24-2015, 05:33 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote:
(04-24-2015, 05:13 PM)Papist Wrote: It seems like your question is predicated on the false premise that Christian thought and all Greek thought are diametrically opposed to one another.

But I didn't say that at all. I meant this Greek view of womanhood, not every single thing the Greeks thought.

Fair enough.
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#25
(04-24-2015, 06:20 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: Of course its a myth that women in the Middle Ages were confined to private life in the household. Contrary to popular belief they could even study, in fact, as in opposition to the East, in the West education was something for priests and women, not for "real men", and also contrary to the broader Eastern society (that is, including the Moslems), women did enjoy more freedom.
And of course, this is only culturally, but look at the BVM and the women saints and see if you can imagine them as just being well behaved because they are in a post-coitus bliss or are pregnant.
Even where the Bible comes closer to this view, say, in picturing the seducing whore, its quite clear that this is one sort of woman. Its not in the essence of women to be a hysterical, seducing whore. Not to mention that in every depiction of the whore the fool is always implicit: a person is a fool before he is seduced. So, this claim that men are more rational and thus are not given to the passions besides being patently false its not biblical.

Well, as far as I know, you are right to say that women were not strictly confined to private life in the Middle Ages and generally enjoyed a greater degree of freedom than did women in ancient Athens, but still, it does seem that many medieval people thought that men were generally more rational and women more sensual, though perhaps they did not go so far as to say that women were essentially hysterical, seducing whores. For instance, a few quotations from St. Thomas:

Quote: Woman is subject to man on account of the frailty of nature, as regards both vigor of soul and strength of body.

Quote:There is another kind of subjection which is called economic or civil, whereby the superior makes use of his subjects for their own benefit and good; and this kind of subjection existed even before sin. For good order would have been wanting in the human family if some were not governed by others wiser than themselves. So by such a kind of subjection woman is naturally subject to man, because in man the discretion of reason predominates.

Quote:sensibility is compared to the female, but reason to the man, by whom sensibility ought to be ruled. Hence he is called her head.

Quote:Furthermore, in regard to what is within, man is more especially called the image of God, inasmuch as reason is more vigorous in him.

Now, to be clear, I am not saying that I agree with this view of women, and I think it is obviously limited in certain ways. At the same time, I think the Victorian idea of woman as an "angel in the house" who is naturally spiritual and uninterested in sex is also flawed. 
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#26
Of course I don't dispute difference or hierarchy between the sexes, just this pessimistic view.
Actually, I would even doubt if this is really Greek, after all, it was Odysseus who was unfaithful and Penelope was faithful. I mean, to simply throw this idea that men are reasonable and therefore they are not moved by passions is non-sense. Maybe this could be true in an analogical sense like when people speak of male virtues like restraint and mortification, but that is certainly not factual.
And of course, I'm no Victorian, I've seen my share of women to know they are not angels. But let's be reasonable, eh.
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#27
Well, I watched the video and, as always, it was a pretty good presentation on Feser's part.
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#28
(04-19-2015, 07:50 PM)Geremia Wrote: 37:13 needs a correction/clarification: He says oral or manual stimulation is not a perversion of the natural end of sexual faculties, as long as it is directed toward vaginal intercourse. However, oral sex is never a necessary means to the completion of the marital act!

As mentioned here, St. Alphonsus di Liguori also treats oral sex in Theologia Moralis [PDF p. 325], n. 916 ("copulam in vase præpostero" or "copulating in a preposterous orifice") and says that most moralists agree it is always a mortal sin, even if the act finishes in v​a​g​i​n​a​l intercourse (in vase debito ["the due orifice]), because "est vera sodomia, quamvis non consummata" ["it is truly sodomy, even if incomplete].

Now, the husband could stimulate, orally or manually, the wife or the wife herself. St. Alphonsus discussed this (also mentioned here):
Quote:Interestingly, St. Alphonsus even says that, because the female is generally not as warm (aroused) as the male, that the female can arouse herself (touch herself) even after insemination. St. Alphonsus's question is Theologia Moralis l. 6, n. 919 [PDF p. 328-329 of this]: "An autem, si vir se retrahat post seminationem, sed ante seminationem mulieris, possit ipsa statim tactibus se excitare, ut seminet?" ["Whether, if the man pulls out after insemination (ejaculation), but before the insemination of the woman, she can still excite herself with touches, that she inseminate?"]. In this context, "inseminate" means "ejaculate" (for a male) or "be wet" (for a female); it could, perhaps, also be translated as "orgasm." The moralists who thought she couldn't didn't realize the "semen mulieris" ["female seed"] "est necessarium ad generationem" ["is necessary for conception"]. But most moral theologians agree it is permissible. Here's a rough translation of St. Alphonsus's explanation:
Quote:The reason is that the woman's insemination pertains to the completion of the conjugal act, which consists in the insemination of both Spouses; thus, as the woman can touch herself in preparation for copulation, so also can she to perfect the act of copulation: … All [moral theologians] thus concede that women, who are naturally more frigid, can excite themselves with touches before copulation so that they inseminate while having marital intercourse.
Note: This only applies to the female!
So, certainly the husband can touch the wife so that she complete the act, but never can the wife orally or manually stimulate the husband's genitals.

I've never heard that before.  I've always been taught what Dr. Feser said.  It doesn't make sense to me.  Oral stimulation isn't necessary for the completion of the act, but some form of arosal is necessary. 
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#29
It always amazes me when people get into the minutia of what is and is not permitted in the marriage bed. "What if this act is performed in such a ways as to..." funny stuff.
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#30
(06-18-2015, 06:01 PM)Papist Wrote: It always amazes me when people get into the minutia of what is and is not permitted in the marriage bed. "What if this act is performed in such a ways as to..." funny stuff.
Hm, casuistry can be overdone, but there is certainly a place for minutia because it is simply taking the fundamental moral principles to their logical application. We can analyze in reverse from conclusion (minutia) to premises to see whether those premises are true, and in this area there is need for caution since the very difference among heterosexual, homosexual, or sodomitic relations is dependent upon it. If there are legitimate conditions for oral sex or masturbation, then what principles allow that, and are those principles legitimate? If legitimate, do they also happen to allow for other conclusions that are clearly immoral? Then there's a problem.
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