I was talking to these people about premarital sex. They argued something on the lines of “Skiing has risks. Yet we still ski and like taking risks. Eating has risks, yet we eat. So even if it is dangerous, we can still do sexual intercourse outside of marriage” :hypno: Can someone give me arguments against this one and ones which support that premarital sex should not be done. Thank you. (Note that one person who gave me this is an atheist. While the other is an agnostic.
I’m just as much of an unbeliever as those two, but their argument doesn’t contradict the Catholic position. The rule against sex with whoever is based on scripture/(the Catholic interpretion of) natural law. Whether or not it’s dangerous doesn’t really matter, as catholic morality isn’t 100% on bodily risk. If you want to convince them not to have premarital sex, you probably can’t, short of converting them to Christianity.
Also, the risks from not eating outweigh the risks of eating.
Lol. Well, the obvious difference is that, unlike premarital sex, there is nothing inherently immoral about skiing. But I suspect the people you were speaking with would not agree that premarital sex is a sin. And judging by their risk-benefit analysis, they were probably teens (or had the mental acuity of one). The morality of human acts cannot be evaluated on the basis of a risk-benefit analysis.
What I find interesting, however, is that they agree that premarital sex does have some “risks.” I would ask them to tell you what the risks were, and why they view the risks as something to be avoided.
I’d imagine the y would tell me that it would be pregnancy and or stds.
A good source is Theology of the Body that has significant information on how non-marital sexual activity has physical, emotional and social risks. I have to assume you are speaking to males but they should also know about the risks of STDs, unplanned pregnancy, and emotional trauma. Realize that if you follow the way an epidemic is spread, everytime you have sex with someone, you are in fact taking risk for all of his/her previous partners and their partners and their partners. The EWWWW factor is pretty significant once you realize how many came before you. Also in some cohorts of sexually active young people, up to 80% have one STD or another. Often they are ‘silent’ such as HPV which cause a number of health issues, some of them deadly.
For women it’s even more risky as women have a natural bonding hormone that makes them more emotionally attached to the man with whom they may have thought they were having hook up or casual sex.She particularly might think or read more into the relationship than is there. It is a cause of depression, self loathing and regrets. Neither sex gains an elevated status by hooking up or sleeping around. While “loose women” are not as much criticized as in the past it’s still not a point of pride to claim dozens of sexual partners.
Although counter intuitive, the more pre marital partners, the less satisfaction with marital sex. It makes sense in that the marital bond is not taken as seriously if sex is something you can get easily outside of marriage. Even Atheists have feelings, emotions and attachments
The Catholic morality is not based on risk avoidance.
And the risks associated with recreational sex would seem to be more acceptable than those related to skiing, given that the human hormones impel youths to sex, but not to skiing.
IE, argument based on risks really don’t work.
Ok, I’ll look into the theology of the body. Also thank you all for your information. Keep up with the great posts :}
The easiest answer is to look at the world itself and describe what these decades of the pill has brought us.
Sex without the commitment of marriage. An explosion of unwanted pregnancies and the resulting demand for abortions to fix this problem. This is not good for babies, or for the women who go through an abortion. It’s not good for the tax payers who pay for abortions, especially those who do not support the killing of a baby. It’s not good for the young men who seem to think that their behavior has no consequences.
The young women who get pregnant and keep their baby often live below the poverty line. Abandoned by boyfriends who never intended to stay around or have a baby means that these woman made the hard choices. No one says before intimacy that the women are taking on a whole lot of risk with life changing consequences, for themselves and possibly their very own children. The heart break involved. The heart break for the extended family. I know many families whose adult daughters live with them because they had a baby and can’t financially make it on their own now. Not good for women or babies.
Not only is there an explosion of sexually transmitted diseases, but the types that one can catch has now grown remarkably.
As a believer, we understand that God made sex to be the super glue that keeps a husband and wife together through hard times that come to all people. Couples that have sex before it’s time can’t think straight once the hormones kick in. There are many people who have said “I don’t know what I was thinking” regarding their partner later on. The divorce rate is unbelievable, and I believe that pre-marital sex certainly clouded peoples’ ability to discern properly, and excuse inexcusable behavior. Although an atheist wouldn’t buy the ‘God’s superglue’ idea, hormones and biology are a pretty straight forward argument. Once you sleep with someone there’s a bonding that happens. Many people are together that maybe never should have gone past a few dates.
There’s probably more but that’s what comes to mind now. It’s not difficult to present a convincing argument.
How much evidence do I need to confront regarding infidelity?
Teen pregnancy rates (15-19) are lower than they were in the 1940s.
I agree with the other posters. Your friends’ argument lacks a moral element. When I go skiing, I’m not using another person as a means to an end. As Catholics, we believe that a human being is sacred and should not be reduced to an object to be used for own ends (even if the other person would consent to being used).
I don’t think they are able to appreciate the risks. Get hold of some Army, Navy, Air Force training films on " hygine. " If that doesn’t convince them nothing will. Though you might warn them they better have their proposed spouce have a medical check up to make sure he/she doesn’t have STDs or worse.
When we ski, we also don’t have some basic innate anger/jealousy when our spouse or girl/boyfriend is a significantly better & more experienced skier than we are.
People can be atheists/agnostics if they want to be, but IMHO very few of them would be fine with the concept that their spouse, before they met them, was essentially engaging in all sorts of sex acts with other people, just as they’d want them to presumably be monogamous with them going forward. That’s natural law in action: There’s “something” telling us that we don’t like it when our spouse has been intimate with many other people before us, and that we don’t like it when our spouse is intimate with someone else, while they’re married to us. The “something” is natural law. The fact that the physical intimacy can lead to pregnancy; STDs; and emotional bonding ought to tell people that it’s somehow significant enough that it should not be engaged in wantonly.
I do not, and never will ski, because I prefer not to risk my neck.
But that is strictly between me and my neck.
Premarital sex involves two people, both of whom can only be worse off for it; or three if a baby is conceived who would then be aborted.
The Church does not deal with risks per se, and counter to the belief of some, is not about keeping people from “having fun.” It seeks to maintain the Godly dignity of persons and their bodies.
Neither is involved on a ski slope.
Skying and eating aren’t ordinarily sinful, though. The main problem isn’t that it is dangerous (though it is) but that it is willfully sinful, so those people aren’t going to understand that the sinfulness is the most serious problem.
Interesting conversation. When dealing with people who do not believe what the Church teaches then using the concept of sin as a determent, obviously, will not be effective. I’m fascinated as to what answers others will provide.
That’s why I focused on the health and societal impact. Had the OP indicated the person with whom they were discussing the issue were a Christian it would be a different approach. I use a secular approach talking to non-believers when issues like abortion or same sex relationships are discussed.
However you can give a completely secular answer to such a question and it reveals the Truth of the Church’s teaching on these matters.
I don’t really care much for Catholic sexual morality any more but even I think your friends could have made a less shoddier argument.
Unless you’re skiing on a really dangerous mountain, the consequences of physical injury cost nowhere near that of unwanted pregnancy.
These sorts of questions are interesting because it makes us examine our principle upon which we decide if something is good or bad, right or wrong…
Is it bad because:
(a) some trusted authority told us so?
-which would explain why we ourselves don’t actually understand why or cannot see any convincing reason.
- maybe we don’t understand why because its beyond our ken (but God knows best)
- it doesn’t matter if their is no good reason, if God tells us not to then its a sin to disobey Him regardless.
- so atheists will never buy into this angle
(b) physical consequences?
- well people will argue over this with contrary views until the cows come home. You say STDs, I say what if I use condoms and am careful I only choose virgins…
© mental consequences?
- this is prob a better consequentialist argument, esp as some have noted the girl has more to lose if things go awry despite all the care in the world.
- however those who advocate promiscuity the most often seem to be “imbalanced” anyway so aren’t particularly affected by breakups (though they are a threat to many normal people).
(d) communal consequences?
- it destroys the moral fabric of a Nation?
- I am not sure that has actually been proven. They used to say that of Roman civilisation (esp in paintings) but apparantly it was all propoganda and there is no actual evidence that sexual decadence leads to the ruin of a civilisation. Most privileged classes in most Nations have been fairly decadent behind a pretence of Public morality.
(e) Its a recognised disorder at the level of principle.
- this is probably the main reason the Catholic Church puts forth.
Casual sex does not well protect the ends of sex. Namely the generation of children and a right to a stable upbringing (best ensured by committed parents and a home).
- Therefore its a sin against the purposes of nature (as seen by right reason) which these days is obscured by contraception. Though that doesn’t always work.
(f) God personally calls us to purity of heart of which purity of body is an outward sign.
- This would suggest that chosen promiscuity bluntens the soul and eventually makes us less loving persons.
I think only some of the above reasons would make any sense at all to atheists.
As St Francis said, preach at all times, and if necessary even say a few words.
This is prob an example of one of those times where words won’t help much but the witness of your own life will.
There is a big difference. Skiing involves risk to only oneself. Premarital sex involves risk to oneself and to others.
The moment that the risk of skiing escalates to the point that it involves risk to others, it becomes much less a moral choice, does it not?
It is less about what we should or shouldn’t do and more about fully enjoying the experience. Do they ever wonder what they are missing? Would they feel bad if a child resulted who never had the experience of parents who are bonded together in a family?
Which is sweeter, the temporary reward or the hard-earned reward? Do your friends know the experience of fully giving of oneself to their spouse? Can they fully trust and love each other in a far deeper way than just a piece of paper from a judge? Can they see forever in the eyes of their mate?