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7/25/2015 6:04 pm  #21


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

iwpoe wrote:

Here's a question: are male nocturnal emissions themselves violation of the natural law?

No.

iwpoe wrote:

It's not clear to me that intent is required for a violation.

It is.

 

7/25/2015 6:11 pm  #22


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

Well, why? The whole point is that the law is supposed to reflect a greater natural order by which you are supposed to direct your will- that's the whole point of all the telos talk: X faculty has Y telos and activity A uses X to thwart Y.

Clearly the faculty engages itself and then thwarts its own end in some sense. Granted that's not a misdirection of the will but my worry is about the order of the body itself- particularly whether Y is correctly understood.

Last edited by iwpoe (7/25/2015 6:15 pm)


Fighting to the death "the noonday demon" of Acedia.
My Books
It is precisely “values” that are the powerless and threadbare mask of the objectification of beings, an objectification that has become flat and devoid of background. No one dies for mere values.
~Martin Heidegger
 

7/25/2015 6:52 pm  #23


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

iwpoe wrote:

Well, why? The whole point is that the law is supposed to reflect a greater natural order by which you are supposed to direct your will[.] . . .Granted that's not a misdirection of the will[.]

I think you've just answered your own question. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png

Moreover, I don't think it's at all "clear" that a nocturnal emission in some way involves a faculty engaging itself. A faculty is a faculty of the organism as a whole, not of some of its parts. You may be falling back into "organ-level thinking" here.

Now, if your question is whether nocturnal emissions might be symptoms of a strictly bodily disorder, then yes, I suppose in principle they might. But even if there were such an underlying disorder, in and of itself it would be no more a violation of "natural law" than a head cold is -- and the associated nocturnal emissions would be no more a violation of "natural law" than sneezing is.

Either way, a nocturnal emission that doesn't in any way involve the will is of no more moral significance than rolling over in your sleep and accidentally hitting your wife.

Last edited by Scott (7/25/2015 7:16 pm)

 

7/25/2015 7:37 pm  #24


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

I suppose I should have made a proper distinction between natural law and natural order, as the former involves but is not the same as the latter. So the question proper is whether or not the nocturnal emission is in some sense against the natural order. And this question is asked in order to raise further questions about our knowledge and means of understanding the natural order.

Also, I don't take myself to be falling into organ level thought. A (natural) faculty seems to be an organic system with a set of identifiable ends: I have a faculty of locomotion and mostly employ legs to carry it out. The legs themselves do not to constitute the faculty proper, though you might in a certain kind of loose thinking substitute them as an image of the whole in a metonymious way. I take it that a faculty doesn't require the activity of the will. I take it both that lesser life, including plants which clearly have no will, still have faculties and that we ourselves have faculties, particularly faculties of growth and homeostasis which do not involve the will. A nocturnal emission does seem to engage the reproductive faculty as a whole, even to the point of involuntary fantasy and simulation, though without engaging the will.

If that is a proper description, then we would seemingly need to conclude that the nocturnal emission also is against the natural order just as masturbation is, though it is not a violation of the natural law because the will is not engaged. In other words, we would have to consider it a disease.

But the entire way that we determined the natural order is by means of observing the operation of our faculties. And this particular action of the faculty follows upon the normal operation of the body that supports it. Its not like a cold, which is clearly the takeover of the faculties by some external force or else some calamity of the physical construction of the body. It is part of how the body operates in facilitating the reproductive faculty for most men most of the time.

That would lead me to conclude that my initial description of the natural order is incorrect, and either the body is manifesting a separate faculty, perhaps some kind of maintenance faculty, through the operation of the reproductive organs in the nocturnal emission, which isn't thwarted by the nocturnal emission or that the reproductive faculty itself has been missdescribed and includes within itself and excess that needs to be eliminated.

But if we admit that, then there seems to be a rout wherein masturbation can itself be allowed under the natural law, provided that the intent is towards a maintenance function.

Last edited by iwpoe (7/25/2015 8:33 pm)


Fighting to the death "the noonday demon" of Acedia.
My Books
It is precisely “values” that are the powerless and threadbare mask of the objectification of beings, an objectification that has become flat and devoid of background. No one dies for mere values.
~Martin Heidegger
 

8/06/2015 11:39 am  #25


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

I also am having trouble grasping "perverted faculty" arguments.  I think that my difficulty centers around the term "faculty".

What exactly is a "faculty" in A-T?  Are the terms "power" and "capacity" synonymous with "faculty" in this context?  Where exactly should I situate faculties in my "A-T metaphysical mental model"?

More generally, there are several subtleties of "faculty-speak" that I don't yet grasp.  For example, I was taken aback with Scott wrote,

Scott wrote:

Objectively, it is the "reproductive faculty" that is being used in (male) masturbation, and it can't very well be otherwise if the outcome is ejaculation.

Now, I get that the reproductive organs are being used.  I get that these organs are being used in a way that frustrates their purpose, which is to play their part in reproduction.  But in what sense is the reproductive faculty being used?  Certainly, the owner did not in fact reproduce.  I suppose that I assumed that a faculty, to be used, must be used successfully.  Analogously, you can't use your faculty of sight with a blindfold on.  You can only try to use that faculty, but your attempt will fail, so that, in the end, the faculty remains unused.  At least, that's how I'm inclined to use the language in that case.

Could someone recommend a text that gives the A-T position on the metaphysics of faculties in general (not just in the context of their perversion)?

 

8/13/2015 12:40 pm  #26


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

I am a novice in these matters as well, but it seems to me that whether or not one's faculties are frustrated correlates closely with the particular kind of act in which those faculties are being utilized in the first place. Utilizing the feet in the operation of a car's gas-pedal obviously does not frustrate the natural ends of the feet precisely because the intrinsic potencies of the feet include the kinds of movement being actualized: to move them about, and to interact with physical objects to the extent that they can be manipulated, ect.  (Potency, as I understand it, is a description of those powers innate to a thing that correspond with the kinds of potentials (potentials being different from mere 'possibilities') a thing can actualize).  However, if you're trying to operate the gas-pedal of a car, then it would fundamentally frustrate the utilization of the feet if one were to tie cinder blocks to them and inhibit one's control over the vehicle to the extent that it becomes impossible or tenuous to control the speed of the vehicle. 

This, as I understand it, comports with the notion that the utilization of one's faculties is always directed to ends extending beyond the mere utilization of the faculties.  Even if you are just shifting your foot from one spatial location to another, the movement of the foot is still be directed toward some end: changing the location of the foot.  Such as it is, can we not also say that utilization of the faculty is also central to the questio nof whether or a particular faculty has been frustrated? 

Utilization, here, is the operation of bringing into actualization the innate potencies of a faculty, and utilization instrumental in bringing about some end for which the faculty is directed (for the end cannot be achieved in a causal sense unless the faculty is utilized).  Fertilization of the oocyte is not achieved under typical coital scenarios unless the penis reaches a point of stimulation where ejaculation occurs, for instance.  Does contraception, then, frustrate the utilization of the penis during intercourse, given that the penis is still able to reach a state of arousal necessary for ejaculation?  It seems not.  However, is this even a relevant (non-trivial) observation given that the ends of the faculty have been, nonetheless, inhibited?  

It seems clear that the one's sexual faculties are not inhibited in the same way that the feet would be if one were to tie a concrete block to them and attempt to drive a car, but the sexual faculties would still be, all the same, prevented from "driving the car", so to speak.  

I realize that I'm framing all of this in the most confused way possible, and that I've probably gotten quite a bit wrong, so I apologize up front for that.       
 
 

Last edited by Mojo Hand (8/13/2015 12:42 pm)

 

8/13/2015 1:16 pm  #27


Re: What is it to "Oppose" an Organ's Natural Function?

Tyrrell McAllister wrote:

I also am having trouble grasping "perverted faculty" arguments.  I think that my difficulty centers around the term "faculty".

[...]

Now, I get that the reproductive organs are being used.  I get that these organs are being used in a way that frustrates their purpose, which is to play their part in reproduction.  But in what sense is the reproductive faculty being used? 

When the organ is functioning, the faculty is being either used rightly or wrongly (misused). When the organ does not function, the faculty is in potential, not in actuality - in ordinary language, the organ is unused in this case. There's a difference between misused and unused, isn't there?  

 

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