Masturbation compared to nutionless food, smoking, etc

[quote="Inquiringperson, post:20, topic:242695"]
Notice that I said sex is also for unity. Does food serve the purpose of uniting?

[/quote]

Yes. Dating if not mistaken, involves restaurant maybe? Two people. Male female. Gettin know one eachother-uniting. So....Eating solo Sin? :confused:

So far. I learned have. Smoking damaging tobacco good. Bon Bon eating over good. Touching skin bad.....Ok. Have clearer much understanding Cathlolic view. Thank folks. :)

Dating is not part of the marital act. Eating is also not part of the marital act (you could argue that it can be, but it is not integral to the procreative and unitive gift that should be reserved for marriage.

If you believe that God has created this gift and wants us to obey him in how we use it, then you can understand that abuses in eating are in a totally different category than abuses of the flesh.

I was told once that the spiritual world and the physical world are very closely linked, so much so that physical acts can have spiritual effects. This can be seen in sacraments, where physical actions are used to have a spiritual effect (grace). Sex and other actions of the flesh have a spiritual effect on us, so we should be very careful.

8upmunchkin, I think your command of the English language is a little better than you let on.

[quote="TedDC, post:19, topic:242695"]
You criticize other responses as being legalistic. But your own reply essentially comes down to "because the Church says so". And you never address why you believe masturbation to be so universally harmful that it is declared "gravely disordered".

[/quote]

My response is not so much about "because the church says so" as it is an acknowledgement of the wisdom of the Church realizing that human sexuality is a very special gift that really surpasses other gifts. Honoring and appreciating the gift and not misusing or abusing the gift is a simple matter of decency.

If someone gave you a new car, deliberately driving it into a stone wall (while you may have the freedom to do so) is disrespectful and insulting to the giver.

The "universal harm" is a damaged or broken relationship with a benevelent God who invites us into participation with His creativeness.

The consequences of failing to love this Good God may not be known in this lifetime...

[quote="cargau, post:24, topic:242695"]
...Honoring and appreciating the gift and not misusing or abusing the gift is a simple matter of decency.

If someone gave you a new car, deliberately driving it into a stone wall (while you may have the freedom to do so) is disrespectful and insulting to the giver.

The "universal harm" is a damaged or broken relationship with a benevelent God....

[/quote]

So, why does this same argument not work for showing how smoking is gravely disordered? Is it not disrespectful and insulting to the giver to abuse one's lungs by using them in that manner (certainly not the purpose for which God gave them to us)? The point of this thread is to understand why masturbation is gravely disordered and smoking isn't.

[quote="LeafByNiggle, post:25, topic:242695"]
So, why does this same argument not work for showing how smoking is gravely disordered? Is it not disrespectful and insulting to the giver to abuse one's lungs by using them in that manner (certainly not the purpose for which God gave them to us)? The point of this thread is to understand why masturbation is gravely disordered and smoking isn't.

[/quote]

I would love someone to explain this is well. Sometimes when I am tempted to masturbate, I will even smoke a cigarette, which as we know makes sex more difficult and relieves the tension. This sure doesn't help me quit smoking. ..

Several of the responses have mentioned the way masturbation causes men to think about and treat women. While this is certainly a legitimate concern, it really does not address the problem of why masturbation is wrong of itself. Sexual fantasizing is not an essential part of this particular sin.

[quote="cargau, post:24, topic:242695"]

The "universal harm" is a damaged or broken relationship with a benevelent God who invites us into participation with His creativeness.

[/quote]

Why does not always using our sexual faculties for the best purpose break our relationship with God?

I find it fascinating that no one can really explain the Church's stance here. We can go on and on about gravely-disordered lusts, feelings, etc., but if there's no real catechesis it all flounders.

The subject only brings up more confusion and questions than real answers. I cannot understand why smoking is not condemned with masturbation (or why masturbation isn't accepted with smoking), because they're both exactly the same sort of act. One is a grave misuse of the respiratory faculty, and the other is a grave misuse of the genitive faculty; conversely, one is a harmless attachment to a passing pleasure, and the other is a harmless attachment to the occasional release of sexual tension. It looks like the Church is being inconsistent in giving us one and depriving us of the other, since they are so very similar. :confused:

[quote="GloriousOrder, post:29, topic:242695"]
I find it fascinating that no one can really explain the Church's stance here. We can go on and on about gravely-disordered lusts, feelings, etc., but if there's no real catechesis it all flounders.

The subject only brings up more confusion and questions than real answers. I cannot understand why smoking is not condemned with masturbation (or why masturbation isn't accepted with smoking), because they're both exactly the same sort of act. One is a grave misuse of the respiratory faculty, and the other is a grave misuse of the genitive faculty; conversely, one is a harmless attachment to a passing pleasure, and the other is a harmless attachment to the occasional release of sexual tension. It looks like the Church is being inconsistent in giving us one and depriving us of the other, since they are so very similar. :confused:

[/quote]

The fact is, several very sound answers were provided for you. You just are not willing to accept them. We are not talking about a "harmless" release of sexual pleasure but a betrayal of God's infinite love. That is called sin. While we all may sin, we are playing with fire when we seek to diminish the sinful nature of an act to suit our own pleasures.

You are in my prayers...

[quote="cargau, post:30, topic:242695"]
The fact is, several very sound answers were provided for you. You just are not willing to accept them. We are not talking about a "harmless" release of sexual pleasure but a betrayal of God's infinite love. That is called sin. While we all may sin, we are playing with fire when we seek to diminish the sinful nature of an act to suit our own pleasures..

[/quote]

There has not been a single answer in this thread that explains the distinction between the disordered nature of masturbation and the disordered nature of smoking. So don't say that answers have been provided. If I am wrong, please tell me which post addresses this question, which was, in fact, the original question of this thread.

[quote="LeafByNiggle, post:31, topic:242695"]
There has not been a single answer in this thread that explains the distinction between the disordered nature of masturbation and the disordered nature of smoking. So don't say that answers have been provided. If I am wrong, please tell me which post addresses this question, which was, in fact, the original question of this thread.

[/quote]

Human sexuality is a special and unique gift of God that invites us into direct participation in the creation of a new human being with an immortal soul, eternally loved by God for all time. The lungs and digestive system are necessary to sustain life but their use cannot be compared to the holiness and sacredness of the physical human bond that occurs between a husband and a wife.

I am not an apologist for the cigarette companies, nor am I saying that deliberately acting in such a way that harm is done to the body is not sinful. I am merely saying that the act of smoking or eating candy, red meat, etc...cannot compare to the gravity of disordered sexual acts like masturbation, same sex marriage, lust, homosexuality, IVF, birth control, etc.

[quote="cargau, post:32, topic:242695"]
Human sexuality is a special and unique gift of God that invites us into direct participation in the creation of a new human being with an immortal soul, eternally loved by God for all time. The lungs and digestive system are necessary to sustain life but their use cannot be compared to the holiness and sacredness of the physical human bond that occurs between a husband and a wife.

I am not an apologist for the cigarette companies, nor am I saying that deliberately acting in such a way that harm is done to the body is not sinful. I am merely saying that the act of smoking or eating candy, red meat, etc...cannot compare to the gravity of disordered sexual acts like masturbation, same sex marriage, lust, homosexuality, IVF, birth control, etc.

[/quote]

So are you saying that abuse of the body in general is not a grave matter - unless those parts being abused are related to reproduction? I have not seen where the Church draws such a qualitative distinction between various parts. It seems to me that a case can be made why the lungs are at least as sacred as any other part. Does not it say in Gensis that God breathed life into the nostrils of Adam? If God so honored the breathing function by making it the means by which He gave life to the first man, is it not all the more insulting to God for us to turn around and use the lungs as a delivery system for an addictive substance that tends to cut life short, and is certainly contrary to the life-giving purpose of lungs?

[quote="LeafByNiggle, post:33, topic:242695"]
So are you saying that abuse of the body in general is not a grave matter - unless those parts being abused are related to reproduction? I have not seen where the Church draws such a qualitative distinction between various parts. It seems to me that a case can be made why the lungs are at least as sacred as any other part. Does not it say in Gensis that God breathed life into the nostrils of Adam? If God so honored the breathing function by making it the means by which He gave life to the first man, is it not all the more insulting to God for us to turn around and use the lungs as a delivery system for an addictive substance that tends to cut life short, and is certainly contrary to the life-giving purpose of lungs?

[/quote]

Abuse of the body is grave matter. But in order for smoking to rise to the level of grave matter, there has to an intent to harm the body. Since one cigarette or one candy bar never killed anybody, the sin, in order to be grave matter, has to involve the act of gluttony.
And, yes, this would be quite insulting to God. Again, I am not sugggesting that smoking or other behaviors are not sinful.

But when you realize that the result of the gift of human sexuality is the creation of a new human being eternally loved by God, you see that the nature of this gift is profound. Yes, even deeper than the gift of lungs and digestive system. If these systems fail, our earthly bodies may die. But without the gift of human sexuality, there would be no eternal life for the new person. There would be no eternal life for you or me.

That is why a gift so precious and givenly freely be a loving and benevolent God must never be misused or abused.

Let me give it a try.

When we speak of natural disorder we are talking about a principle in which the very end to which a given part of the body is ordered is deliberately and wholly frustrated.

So with regard to masturbation, the primary end of procreation and even the secondary end of unitive spousal love are deliberately frustrated so that the pleasure itself may be had in isolation from those ends. Masturbating wholly negates the order of the genitals.

In the analogy I gave above, it would be disordered purposely to vomit one's food so that one may enjoy its taste and yet not derive any nutrition from it, because eating is ordered to nourishing the body. Vomiting one's food wholly negates the order of the stomach.

In these actions the disorder comes from an action which wholly, deliberately, and necessarily thwarts these ends.

Now breathing is ordered to supplying the body with oxygen. And I think the principle breaks down when applied to smoking. When a man smokes, he certainly does not do so purposely to frustrate the end of getting oxygen. Neither does smoke wholly negate the ends to which the lungs are ordered, any more than eating some rich food which is not altogether healthy for us wholly negates the order of the stomach, as long as the nutrition derived from it is received. But just as it is a sin to eat to excess and truly harm the body, so too according to the Catechism (2290) it is a sin to smoke to excess.

Just my $0.02 U.S.

[quote="DavidPalm, post:35, topic:242695"]
Let me give it a try.

When we speak of natural disorder we are talking about a principle in which the very end to which a given part of the body is ordered is deliberately and wholly frustrated.

So with regard to masturbation, the primary end of procreation and even the secondary end of unitive spousal love are deliberately frustrated so that the pleasure itself may be had in isolation from those ends. Masturbating wholly negates the order of the genitals.

In the analogy I gave above, it would be disordered purposely to vomit one's food so that one may enjoy its taste and yet not derive any nutrition from it, because eating is ordered to nourishing the body. Vomiting one's food wholly negates the order of the stomach.

In these actions the disorder comes from an action which wholly, deliberately, and necessarily thwarts these ends.

Now breathing is ordered to supplying the body with oxygen. And I think the principle breaks down when applied to smoking. When a man smokes, he certainly does not do so purposely to frustrate the end of getting oxygen. Neither does smoke wholly negate the ends to which the lungs are ordered, any more than eating some rich food which is not altogether healthy for us wholly negates the order of the stomach, as long as the nutrition derived from it is received. But just as it is a sin to eat to excess and truly harm the body, so too according to the Catechism (2290) it is a sin to smoke to excess.

Just my $0.02 U.S.

[/quote]

Good insight. The only comment I would make is that the dual purpose of sexual intercourse, procreative and unitive are co-equal. There is no primary or secondary. That is why IVF is gravely wrong because it subverts the unitive aspect of the marital act.

[quote="cargau, post:36, topic:242695"]
Good insight. The only comment I would make is that the dual purpose of sexual intercourse, procreative and unitive are co-equal. There is no primary or secondary. That is why IVF is gravely wrong because it subverts the unitive aspect of the marital act.

[/quote]

Well, I disagree on the matter of the ends being co-equal, but I think I'll just lodge my disagreement and leave it there, because I don't think it's crucial to the topic of this thread. :)

[quote="LeafByNiggle, post:33, topic:242695"]
So are you saying that abuse of the body in general is not a grave matter - unless those parts being abused are related to reproduction? I have not seen where the Church draws such a qualitative distinction between various parts. It seems to me that a case can be made why the lungs are at least as sacred as any other part. Does not it say in Gensis that God breathed life into the nostrils of Adam? If God so honored the breathing function by making it the means by which He gave life to the first man, is it not all the more insulting to God for us to turn around and use the lungs as a delivery system for an addictive substance that tends to cut life short, and is certainly contrary to the life-giving purpose of lungs?

[/quote]

Marriage as the Sacrament of Creation. The marital embrace in this context is a supernatural act. Breathing and digesting foods are natural acts. Hope this helps clarify...

Supernatural endowment

  1. The institution of marriage, according to the words of Genesis 2:24, expresses the beginning of the fundamental human community which through the "procreative" power that is proper to it serves to continue the work of creation. "Be fruitful and multiply" (Gn 1:28). Not only this, it expresses at the same time the salvific initiative of the Creator, corresponding to the eternal election of man, which the Letter to the Ephesians speaks of. That salvific initiative comes from God-Creator and its supernatural efficacy is identified with the very act of man's creation in the state of original innocence. In this state, already in the act of man's creation, his eternal election in Christ fructified. In this way one must recognize that the original sacrament of creation draws its efficacy from the beloved Son (cf. Eph 1:6 where it speaks of the "grace which he gave us in his beloved Son"). If then it treats of marriage, one can deduce that—instituted in the context of the sacrament of creation in its globality, that is, in the state of original innocence—it should serve not only to prolong the work of creation, that is, of procreation. But it should also serve to extend to further generations of men the same sacrament of creation, that is, the supernatural fruits of man's eternal election on the part of the Father in the eternal Son—those fruits which man was endowed with by God in the very act of creation.

Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
11 October 1982, page 1
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[quote="cargau, post:34, topic:242695"]
Abuse of the body is grave matter. But in order for smoking to rise to the level of grave matter, there has to an intent to harm the body.

[/quote]

By that same reasoning, one might say that abuse of the sexual organs is only a grave matter when there is intent to harm. And I'm sure you don't mean to say that. In the case of masturbation, the mere fact that the sexual organs are being used contrary to their design is reason enough to say that it is a grave matter. So don't set up higher standards for smoking being grave unless you are willing to apply those same standards to masturbation.

Again, I am not sugggesting that smoking or other behaviors are not sinful.

I am not questioning your beliefs. I am asking how the Church explains this difference. And the fact is that smoking in moderation is definitely not declared sinful by the Church, and I want to know why, in a way that is consistent with the Church's position on masturbation. Now you have intimated that the difference is attributable to the qualitative difference in the two gifts - lungs vs reproductive organs. And I do see your point about reproduction being more essential to eternal life than breathing. But I don't see this difference as big enough to justify why abuse of some parts is grave and abuse of other parts is not. It seems to me that the gift of reproduction would not be much of a gift if we did not also have the gift of lungs to take that first breath after being born. And you have to be careful elevating the act of conception too much higher in importance than the biological life it leads to (e.g. breathing with your lungs), otherwise you get a justification for abortion. Don't see how that follows? Well, one might adapt your argument as follows: "If the lungs fail, the body just dies. But the person still has the possibility of eternal life. So let's abort that fetus and we can at least be assured that the child will have eternal life.". Of course I do not subscribe to this ridiculous notion. But it is one possible conclusion from you line of reasoning that shows how abuse of parts of the body the "merely sustain life" is insignificant when compared to abuse of the reproductive parts.

[quote="DavidPalm, post:35, topic:242695"]
Let me give it a try.

When we speak of natural disorder we are talking about a principle in which the very end to which a given part of the body is ordered is deliberately and wholly frustrated.

[/quote]

I disagree with this premise. Masturbation does not deliberately and wholly frustrate the purpose of the reproductive organs. Those organs are not prevented from functioning properly after a short rest after masturbation. And even if their function is slightly degraded for a while, that is not the deliberate end of masturbation. If masturbation totally replaced marital intercourse, then I would agree with you. But I suspect that such a situation is quite rare.

Now breathing is ordered to supplying the body with oxygen. And I think the principle breaks down when applied to smoking. When a man smokes, he certainly does not do so purposely to frustrate the end of getting oxygen. Neither does smoke wholly negate the ends to which the lungs are ordered,...

I agree with all that. But as I said above, the same can be said of masturbation. Unless you consider that masturbation frustrates the purpose of sex by not having marital sex. But if that is the reason, then abstinence would also be seen as frustrating the purpose of the sexual organs, which is of course, nonsense.

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