Birth control speculation


Suppose a new food was found (say an edible sponge in the ocean) that was very tasty and nutritious. It was deemed safe and marketed by food companies. Suppose also it made women temporarily infertile for a period of time after ingesting. If a woman were to eat this, not with the intent of birth control, but just for the enjoyment of the food, would this be considered engaging in the sin of birth control?


Is it presumptuous of me to read between the lines and think you have an issue with the Catholic Church’s doctrine on birth control? Your scenerio is way out there.


Does the woman know of the food’s effect? In other words, is she knowingly disabling part of her body’s natural function for the purpose of something that isn’t necessary? If so, is she also willing to abstain from the Marital act until such time as the negative effect has worn off? Is she even married in the first place?


A natural food source can have side effects. A very beneficial side effect of natural birth control should not be considered problematic. The usual objection toward the other birth control methods is that they are not “natural”. Just like NFP is considered acceptable, because it does not employ any non-natural methods.


How is this relevant to anything?


The issue isn’t that it’s artificial. Otherwise coitus interreptus would be considered moral and it’s not.

The issue as I see it is the only moral way to avoid babies is not to have sex.

As to the scenario in the OP I think someeone unmarried could eat it with a clear conscience.

For someone married I would say definitely immoral if the effect was to prevent implantation.

Otherwise if the effect is short term I think it would be moral if eaten occasionally. If the effect is long term I think it would be immoral.


Based on his history of postings, nope. “Problem with the Church” is his overall theme.


I respect your opinion. However that opinion is rejected by not only the non-Catholics, but also a sizeable percentage of the Catholics as well.

What is “moral” and what is not is contingent upon the ethical system one subscribes to. I am sure you know that there are many different ethical systems, consequentialist, utilitarian, virtue-based, deontological, divine-command based, and many more. The same act is evaluated differently in different ethical systems.

So your opinion about the “morality” of birth control is shared by many people, and rejected by many others. Fortunately there is no pressing need for consensus in this matter. Let’s just follow the “Leben und Leben lassen” (live and let live) ethical system and everything will be hunky-dory. :wink:


I have no issue and so what if the scenario is “way out there”. Much of theology is “way out there” and there is nothing wrong with speculation.


Do people eat sponges from the ocean?


What if? Once upon a time. Since this is only speculation, it is hard to consider.


A food so toxic that it would cause infertility would be inevitably be a banned product.



The meaning of the Book of Revelation is endlessly speculated about by theologians. Much of theology is speculation with no decree one way or the other by the Church (for example theory of evolution). I posted this as a way of better understanding principles behind the teaching about birth control. It is not inconceivable that my scenario could emerge in future and I was wondering how Church teaching would apply.


New technologies can result in a lack of clarity. When these situations come up, the Church can address the moral principles at stake.

I… don’t think a prudent Catholic conscious should eat such food unless healthy, reasonably affordable food alternatives were unavailable and avoiding such foods would result in significant nutrition deficiencies. I don’t really see how regular consumption of such food (given alternatives) could be, in practice, not used for contraceptive planning. The thought would be on people’s mind, and with no medical justification. But this is just an untrained layman’s speculation.


I’m still most interested in why sea sponges is where your head went.


I can truy a speculation myself…

The OP might have think if a sea sponge as an exemple of birth control side effect because sponge is/was already a form of BC in itself ! I do notre Say it is conscious but might bé unconscious.

Aaah speculation !..


When the path diverges: one road leads to life, and the other road leads to death, - but let’s suppose they are both unmarked: no signs pointing to which is which.
Are you content to ask opinions about whether to go right or left?


So there is no need to come to a consensus on ethical systems if we all just consent to your ethical system?



This isn’t correct. The Church’s teaching contraception is not based on “natural” or “unnatural”.

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