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  #1  
Old Dec 22, '09, 4:15 pm
Annemariels Annemariels is offline
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Default Barrier Method vs. NFP

Ok, how do I respond to this argument??

If NFP is equally or even allegedly more effective in avoiding pregnancy than barrier methods, then why-oh-why are barrier methods banned by the Church? Seems like if Catholics wanted to be truly open to life, they would chose an inferior form of b.c., like barrier methods over NFP. There would be a higher percentage of pregnancies with failed barrier methods than with failed NFP methods.
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  #2  
Old Dec 22, '09, 4:29 pm
surritter surritter is online now
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

The Church's prohibition on birth control is NOT because the Church wishes to see more pregnancies! The problem is that artificial birth control directly separates the two integral aspects of the sexual act: the unitive aspect (love-giving) and the procreative act (life-giving).

So don't get caught up in which method might result in a greater chance of pregnancy. Rather, simply do more research (even right here on the forums) about the morality of sexuality.
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  #3  
Old Dec 22, '09, 4:43 pm
Annemariels Annemariels is offline
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

I wrongly told this person we were opposed to b.c. to remain open to new life.

I will tell him what you said.
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  #4  
Old Dec 22, '09, 5:01 pm
surritter surritter is online now
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

Well, wait -- it's true that we are to remain open to life. But it's not because of a push to populate the Earth as much as we can.

We are to remain open to life because that is what sex is for! It is also for pleasure, but my point was that the two purposes cannot be artificially separated.

An analogy I've often used is the eating disorder of bulimia. Food also has two inseparable aspects: the pleasure of enjoying the taste, and also the nutritional value to the body. Isn't it wrong for a young lady (or man) to eat a wonderful meal but then throw it up? Most people see the problem with that -- she has intentionally circumvented one aspect of God's design for what a meal should be.

So it is with sex. This is why Catholics see masturbation, homosexual acts, and artificial contraception as sinful. Not because we're prudes or because we insist on population growth, but because these actions divorce the practical aspect from the pleasurable aspect, and that is contrary to God's design.
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  #5  
Old Dec 22, '09, 5:16 pm
Annemariels Annemariels is offline
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

I'm going to print your reply and give it to him - it was a great way to explain our belief without getting too technical. Thanks!
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  #6  
Old Dec 22, '09, 7:26 pm
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graceandglory graceandglory is offline
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by surritter View Post
Well, wait -- it's true that we are to remain open to life. But it's not because of a push to populate the Earth as much as we can.

We are to remain open to life because that is what sex is for! It is also for pleasure, but my point was that the two purposes cannot be artificially separated.

An analogy I've often used is the eating disorder of bulimia. Food also has two inseparable aspects: the pleasure of enjoying the taste, and also the nutritional value to the body. Isn't it wrong for a young lady (or man) to eat a wonderful meal but then throw it up? Most people see the problem with that -- she has intentionally circumvented one aspect of God's design for what a meal should be.

So it is with sex. This is why Catholics see masturbation, homosexual acts, and artificial contraception as sinful. Not because we're prudes or because we insist on population growth, but because these actions divorce the practical aspect from the pleasurable aspect, and that is contrary to God's design.
Awesome response, Surriter!

It is print-worthy!

Merry ChristMass!
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  #7  
Old Dec 23, '09, 5:46 pm
Magdalena09 Magdalena09 is offline
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

In response to comparing birth control to bulimia...

I've seen that a LOT on this forum, from different people. In a way I understand trying to draw that comparison, but I think it is kind of distasteful and inappropriate. Eating disorders are just that--disorders. And many, many people trapped in them wish they could be rid of them forever. It is debatable whether eating disorders are sins and quite frankly it is not the layperson's decision to make, or even speculate about. The priests that I have asked about this, have said that it is not a sin, but a disorder that one should get help for. Quite different from someone who willingly chooses to use condoms and sees nothing wrong with it.
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  #8  
Old Dec 23, '09, 6:04 pm
Annemariels Annemariels is offline
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

Great point. There is a HUGE difference.
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  #9  
Old Dec 23, '09, 6:05 pm
surritter surritter is online now
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

Hi Magdalena,

We are not judging people with eating disorders. Rather, we are discussing the objective nature of any biological act as it relates to God's design. The very reason that bulimia IS disordered is that it skews the notion of food.

I think you are both confusing my use of the word disorder. I am talking in a moral theology sense about something that is contrary to its "ordered" use, not a pyschological disorder.

Like bulimia, artificial contraception is also a disorder (in the moral order, not in a psychological sense) in that it twists the notion of sex into one of pleasure only. So it is a fitting analogy (and of course all analogies fall short a little, but they are meant to show a kernel of truth).

Merry Xmas!
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  #10  
Old Dec 23, '09, 6:21 pm
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Bailey2 Bailey2 is offline
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

No, use of contraception is a "disorder" by virtue of free choice. Eating "disorders" are behaviors of compulsion, where free choice is lost.

The term, "Disorder" in the second case is actually a diagnostic term used in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). There is no comparison that can be made between the two.

I agree with Magdalena, to use it can cause unnecessary suffering for the afflicted. It equates sin with mental illness.... even if that is unintended.
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  #11  
Old Dec 23, '09, 7:24 pm
surritter surritter is online now
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey2 View Post
No, use of contraception is a "disorder" by virtue of free choice. Eating "disorders" are behaviors of compulsion, where free choice is lost.

The term, "Disorder" in the second case is actually a diagnostic term used in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). There is no comparison that can be made between the two.

I agree with Magdalena, to use it can cause unnecessary suffering for the afflicted. It equates sin with mental illness.... even if that is unintended.
Bailey, reread my previous post. The way I am using the term "disorder" has nothing to do with free choice, compulsion, etc. I'm using it in the technical sense of how an action OBJECTIVELY aligns with its intended effects.

"Disorder" is something contrary to its rightful, ordered use. We are not talking of "eating disorder" in the sense of DSM-IV. We are discussing Catholic theology a la St. Thomas Aquinas. I have clarified the distinction, and with that understanding in place, a comparison between the OBJECTIVE NATURE of the acts can indeed be made. To do so is not the same thing as discussing the culpability of the people involved! That is a different topic, and in that regard I would agree with you.
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  #12  
Old Dec 24, '09, 4:06 am
Magdalena09 Magdalena09 is offline
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

I apologize, I didn't mean to start any kind of argument or ill will toward anyone, I just know that for me personally the comparison seems almost flippant in regards to the seriousness of bulimia (or any eating disorder) and the feelings of it's sufferers. I do understand your use, now that it is clarified, but I just think there might be a better/different example out there somewhere that is less insensitive, however unintentional.
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  #13  
Old Dec 24, '09, 5:42 am
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Bailey2 Bailey2 is offline
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdalena09 View Post
I apologize, I didn't mean to start any kind of argument or ill will toward anyone, I just know that for me personally the comparison seems almost flippant in regards to the seriousness of bulimia (or any eating disorder) and the feelings of it's sufferers. I do understand your use, now that it is clarified, but I just think there might be a better/different example out there somewhere that is less insensitive, however unintentional.
Agreed. I think we need to be mindful and sensitive.
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  #14  
Old Dec 24, '09, 6:16 am
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Bailey2 Bailey2 is offline
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

Quote:
Originally Posted by surritter View Post
I'm using it in the technical sense of how an action OBJECTIVELY aligns with its intended effects.

"Disorder" is something contrary to its rightful, ordered use. ..... We are discussing Catholic theology a la St. Thomas Aquinas. I have clarified the distinction, and with that understanding in place, a comparison between the OBJECTIVE NATURE of the acts can indeed be made. .
Actually, your explanation re: contraception and sin was fabulous. I actually liked it. I was in a hurry yesterday and was succinct but obviously not thorough. No argument intended---Lord, especially at Christmastime!!!! But please bear with me why I am concerned with these kinds of examples.

The use of the parallel vomiting triggers lots of stuff for lots of people.... as does other things for the numbers of OCD and depressed people who peruse these forums. Would it work to say, that the while the intended use of eating is nourishment, sex for procreation and unification, arms and legs for working, and brain for thinking...... all of which have their corresponding pleasure to encourage right use........ we sin against their intended use by choosing to say, eat too many wrong kinds of foods for health, use contraception, use our arms and legs as weapons (not for self defense and work), and use our brains for propagating harm? It doesn't quite have the shock value as "vomiting" but I think that is your intent in the explanation. I don't know. I'm not sure.

However, I stand by what I said that an illness (bulimia, depression, OCD, etc) is not a disorder in a moral theological sense and should not be used as an example. If an illness is to be used as example, why not use Parkinson's or cerebral palsy? Objectively speaking, these are also disordered because their subsequent acts are also contrary to intended use of the body. Do you see what I am trying to say? No one would use those illnesses as an example in a theological sense. Yet we use mental illnesses as examples and the often unspoken out-of-awareness assumption is that with mental illnesses there is an element of choice ("wrong use"). I think we need to rethink that. I think it reflects the differentiation we still make between physical and "mental" disorders, which are actually illnesses of the brain.

Sorry to have hijacked this thread. Perhaps another thread on this. For what it's worth.
Blessed Christmas. Peace.
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  #15  
Old Dec 24, '09, 7:03 am
surritter surritter is online now
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Default Re: Barrier Method vs. NFP

Yes, I see your point. But I was not questioning the reasons for someone taking an action, but the action itself. Perhaps I erred in using a topic that is too sensitive, and involves a psychological disorder. For that I'm sorry to have offended.

Dozens of threads on this forum have discussed homosexual orientation. Many think that it is a mental illness that is not chosen; in that respect it can be similar to bulimia. Yet would you have a problem with a discussion about the objective nature of homosexual acts?

My point is that we should still be able to discuss the nature of things, be they voluntary or non-voluntary. Certainly Parkinson's disease is not something that is chosen, yet as you have stated, it is a "disorder" in the objective sense. (Although it does not relate as well to contraception because it does not involve a bodily function that has two aspects or ends that are divorced.)

You state that bulimia is not a "disorder in a moral theological sense." It might not be sinful for the individual, but it is a disorder in the theological sense that the action the individual takes is contrary to God's design. I think I should have left out the adjective "moral" because that connotes personal culpability.

Let me try this approach: If someone eats a meal and then pukes involuntarily -- because of a virus or a mental illness such as bulimia -- there is no sin. It is an objective wrong, but not sinful. BTW, nowhere in my previous posts did I use the word "sin." My explanations were strictly about whether an action objectively complies with God's design.

Thus, if contraception is practiced in a non-voluntary way, such as infertile couples, there is no sin. But the OP's question clearly dealt with intentional, artificial contraception. This is disordered in the objective sense, and also sinful when engaged in knowingly.

I guess I should just talk about throwing up in general and leave out the bulimia. Again, sorry to have stirred things up. Merry Christmas!
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