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1/31/2018 2:22 pm  #1


Natural law: A question on marital sex and contraception

Assuming natural law ethics is true: If your wife decides to start using contraception pills, and you express your disapproval but she goes ahead with it anyway, is it immoral to have sex with her?

Hypothetical question, not personal. I’m still single. Just saying.

 

1/31/2018 7:14 pm  #2


Re: Natural law: A question on marital sex and contraception

Interesting question.

It might help to have in view the more familiar and less controvered case where you and your wife agree that contraception (that is, undertaking to prevent coitus from resulting in conception, not the physical devices themselves) is immoral, but your wife takes an anovulent pill for medical reasons. It is generally thought that it is not wrong to have sex in such a case. Your wife just happens, albeit foreseeably, to be in such a state as she's unlikely to conceive. You can still both decide to perform the marital act, an action reproductive in type.

It's natural to think that when the wife's reason for taking the anovulant pill is contraceptive rather than medical, nothing changes on the part of the husband. His wife is physically the same way she would have been if her aim were medical, and the act of course looks the same. The husband is still open to the possibility that the act results in conception. It seems to be the same for the husband.

I'm hesitant to endorse this appearance because the marital act is a joint action. It seems to involve a sharing of intention. It isn't merely that, in the ideal case, husband and wife both intend to engage in such-and-such reproductive-in-type act, for what a reproductive-in-type act is involves the cooperation of the spouses. That one is attempting to thwart that type of act seems to prevent even the husband from engaging in it.

To put it another way, in marriage, two become one flesh. The husband can't become one flesh alone.

 

2/03/2018 4:30 pm  #3


Re: Natural law: A question on marital sex and contraception

Thanks, that’s a great answer.

By the way, I’ve been using this dating site that lets you answer all sorts of questions and see how compatible you are with orhers, and every Christian I’ve checked out so far is actually OK with contraception. I’m kind of surprised by that.

     Thread Starter
 

2/04/2018 2:54 pm  #4


Re: Natural law: A question on marital sex and contraception

Dry and Uninspired wrote:

By the way, I’ve been using this dating site that lets you answer all sorts of questions and see how compatible you are with orhers, and every Christian I’ve checked out so far is actually OK with contraception. I’m kind of surprised by that.

It's surprising in a sense. But I guess I'm aware that the vast majority of American Catholics, upwards of 90% I believe, are ok with contraception.

Is it a specifically Christian dating site?

 

2/07/2018 6:23 am  #5


Re: Natural law: A question on marital sex and contraception

Dry and Uninspired wrote:

By the way, I’ve been using this dating site that lets you answer all sorts of questions and see how compatible you are with orhers, and every Christian I’ve checked out so far is actually OK with contraception. I’m kind of surprised by that.

How is that surprising? It's a dating site, so they want as little stuff in the way of their dating as possible, while still keeping up the appearance of some sort of integral personality so that a "match" would still be distinguishable from a "non-match".

In a real, true, spiritual and Christian marriage, the match has so extreme requirements that most people have no hope of having a marriage, so they go with second-best, which is strictly speaking no good at all.

 

2/07/2018 1:42 pm  #6


Re: Natural law: A question on marital sex and contraception

Greg wrote:

Dry and Uninspired wrote:

By the way, I’ve been using this dating site that lets you answer all sorts of questions and see how compatible you are with orhers, and every Christian I’ve checked out so far is actually OK with contraception. I’m kind of surprised by that.

It's surprising in a sense. But I guess I'm aware that the vast majority of American Catholics, upwards of 90% I believe, are ok with contraception.

Is it a specifically Christian dating site?

 
No, it’s Okcupid, general dating site. But the profiles I’m talking about are all of religious conservative girls. They are all virgins who are waiting til marriage to have sex, for example.

Perhaps what’s more surprising is that they aren’t just okay with contraception, but they are *not ok* with people who are not okay with it. That is, my stance on it gets “redded” out, just like theirs gets for me.

P.S.:These are girls I’m otherwise a 97 - 99 % “match” with.

Last edited by Dry and Uninspired (2/07/2018 1:52 pm)

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2/09/2018 3:43 am  #7


Re: Natural law: A question on marital sex and contraception

Dry and Uninspired wrote:

Perhaps what’s more surprising is that they aren’t just okay with contraception, but they are *not ok* with people who are not okay with it. That is, my stance on it gets “redded” out, just like theirs gets for me.

This is actually good that there's a chance to state opinions strongly.

However, as a general principle, I think that one's mate for life should be found from among acquaintances that one acquires otherwise in the course of everyday life. Sites specifically for dating offer you a specific undesirable kind of selection. The difference is like food you have grown yourself versus fast food - in the latter kind there is no organic relationship to what you are having, and cannot be. Of course, everyone is having fast food now and nobody grows their own food, so who am I to argue.

 

2/09/2018 8:56 am  #8


Re: Natural law: A question on marital sex and contraception

It's probably good for people who disagree about contraception not to date each other. If you think that contraception is permissible, then you think you're entitled to control when you have children in a marriage. It's hard to see how spouses who disagreed over that could manage their sexual lives. Do they use contraception or not? Neither option will be without tension. Not to mention, they would seem to have very different conceptions of what marriage is.

 

2/11/2018 6:52 am  #9


Re: Natural law: A question on marital sex and contraception

seigneur wrote:

Dry and Uninspired wrote:

Perhaps what’s more surprising is that they aren’t just okay with contraception, but they are *not ok* with people who are not okay with it. That is, my stance on it gets “redded” out, just like theirs gets for me.

This is actually good that there's a chance to state opinions strongly.

However, as a general principle, I think that one's mate for life should be found from among acquaintances that one acquires otherwise in the course of everyday life. Sites specifically for dating offer you a specific undesirable kind of selection. The difference is like food you have grown yourself versus fast food - in the latter kind there is no organic relationship to what you are having, and cannot be. Of course, everyone is having fast food now and nobody grows their own food, so who am I to argue.

 
I don’t think I have any acquaintances who are even waiting til marriage to have sex. I don’t know how it is in your country, but it’s very unusual here. I don’t see any problems in using “shortcuts” instead of looking for a needle in a haystack.

     Thread Starter
 

2/11/2018 10:16 am  #10


Re: Natural law: A question on marital sex and contraception

Dry and Uninspired wrote:

I don’t think I have any acquaintances who are even waiting til marriage to have sex. I don’t know how it is in your country, but it’s very unusual here. I don’t see any problems in using “shortcuts” instead of looking for a needle in a haystack.

Same situation here, and globally I suppose. Don't expect things to be any different on dating sites, except that it's easier to fool others (and oneself) there than in real life where you see people in action every day so you can compare their words and deeds over time.

Gradual slow patient building up is how any and all relationships work in real life. There are no shortcuts in this matter. It's appropriate to look for a needle in a haystack only if you lost one there, but you didn't, so use the haystack for what it's meant for. Keep living regular life, university and job and whatnot, there should be no shortage of socializing the ordinary way now that the population of the planet is counted in billions.

 

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