Masturbation compared to nutionless food, smoking, etc

[quote="LeafByNiggle, post:39, topic:242695"]
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.
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]

Its not about the outcomes, its about the gift. Which has a greater value. If your Dad gave you two gifts, one was a tongue depressor and the other was a family heirloom that has been handed down for 50 generations and you were selected to be the caretaker for this generation, which one would you treasure more?

Which one would offend your Dad more if you walked over and threw them both in the garbage?

There is a real difference in the nature of the gifts. We cannot assume that just because there is a coincindental similarity in that they both happen to have a biological element that they are both the same. They are not. The gravity of the sin when we misuse or abuse of the gifts we receive, likewise is not always the same.

Abortion is not even close to being a logical line of reasoning to what I am saying. I don't know where you are going with that?

[quote="GloriousOrder, post:1, topic:242695"]

Now, how can we compare masturbation to anything else by allegory? I compare it to eating nutrition-less foods, or smoking. We consider a bit of absolutely-unhealthy chocolate now-and-again to be acceptable, or even a pack of cigarettes on a Sunday. These are not considered grave sins, only disordered pleasures! Nutrition, however is the very point of the digestive faculty, and proper-breathing is the very foundation of the lungs. By comparison, masturbation is an abuse of the sexual faculty; so, all faculties in a human body being equal, masturbation can only be a disordered attachment, not a grave sin. The parallel is complete.

If you can eat a big chocolate cake once a year, why can't you masturbate once a year? Smoking? Red wine? Fatty foods? How far can this stretch? We cannot deny everything to our bodies, like gnostics. This is very frustrating because I see no problem whatever, yet my conscience has been formed entirely around avoiding masturbation. :(

[/quote]

I'm going to take a stab at this.

First of all sin separates us from God. Regardless of what sin it is it puts a barrier between us and Him.

Smoking, drinking wine, eating choc cake, etc. could be a sins depending on a lot of different factors, but they are covered under other sins and are not expressly set out separately.

Specifically in regards to smoking, while it may be bad for your body, it is not necessarily bad for your soul. I'm not sure exactly how to explain this. Smoking doesn't violate any of the Big Ten, except maybe the coveting your neighbors goods part if you're all out and your neighbor has a full pack.

Masturbation is seen as a mortal sin because it violates one or two of the big ten. The sixth commandment prohibits adultery. Adultery in its basic definition is having sex with someone other than your spouse. Since you cannot be your own spouse you would be committing adultery. Also masturbation usually involved thoughts for someone else which could violate six or ten depending on the person you're thinking about.

Now for the analogy (this may be bad...just warning you) You're driving on the road to God. Driving is inherently dangerous just as smoking is, yet you can smoke and drive at the same time because you can still pay attention to where you're going. You can't masturbate and drive at the same time because your entire focus is taken off the road and on to your ...ahem... You will ultimately run off the road to God. [End of bad analogy] :blush:

[quote="cargau, post:41, topic:242695"]
Its not about the outcomes, its about the gift. Which has a greater value. If your Dad gave you two gifts, one was a tongue depressor and the other was a family heirloom that has been handed down for 50 generations and you were selected to be the caretaker for this generation, which one would you treasure more?

Which one would offend your Dad more if you walked over and threw them both in the garbage?

There is a real difference in the nature of the gifts. We cannot assume that just because there is a coincindental similarity in that they both happen to have a biological element that they are both the same. They are not. The gravity of the sin when we misuse or abuse of the gifts we receive, likewise is not always the same.

Abortion is not even close to being a logical line of reasoning to what I am saying. I don't know where you are going with that?

[/quote]

[quote="cargau, post:41, topic:242695"]
Its not about the outcomes, its about the gift. Which has a greater value. If your Dad gave you two gifts, one was a tongue depressor and the other was a family heirloom that has been handed down for 50 generations and you were selected to be the caretaker for this generation, which one would you treasure more?

Which one would offend your Dad more if you walked over and threw them both in the garbage?

[/quote]

Do you really think the gift of sustaining biological life (as represented by the lungs) compares to the gift of sexual reproduction like a tongue depressor compares to a 50 generation family heirloom? I'm sorry but I just don't see it. I can agree that the two gifts from God are of a different nature, but I fail to see why this difference implies that one gift is so much more worthy of honor than the other. To me both gifts are incomprehensibly grand. I cannot rank them as you did.

Looking at the gift of sexual reproduction, you seemed to place it above life itself by linking it with the creation of a soul, as if God let's us do that too. There is no reason to believe that we actually create a soul. It seems more reasonable that God does that Himself when we use the reproductive gift. As grand as it is to participate in such a glorious act, our role seems to be confined to the creation of the biological component. Then God creates the soul to go with that body. I submit that life itself is the whole point of reproduction. I don't see how sustaining life is any less noble than creating life.

Abortion is not even close to being a logical line of reasoning to what I am saying. I don't know where you are going with that?

OK, that one was a little off, but it goes something like this. You said that the lungs merely sustain life, but reproduction creates a person meant for eternal life with God, and is therefore a greater gift. So in elevating reproduction you devalued the sustaining of life. So if sustaining life is not that important, then what is to stop us from aborting babies so as to speed them to eternal life? Since that is nonsense, it must follow that sustaining life is of immeasurable importance, on a par with reproduction. And as I said before, reproduction without some span of the biological life that follows it is a bit empty.

[quote="Dawnia, post:42, topic:242695"]
...Masturbation is seen as a mortal sin because it violates one or two of the big ten. The sixth commandment prohibits adultery. Adultery in its basic definition is having sex with someone other than your spouse. Since you cannot be your own spouse you would be committing adultery.

[/quote]

I don't think the Church has called masturbation an instance of adultery. It shares some of the characteristics of adultery, but it also has some significant differences, so I don't think that strictly speaking it really is adultery.

Also masturbation usually involved thoughts for someone else which could violate six or ten depending on the person you're thinking about.

That is a good point, and for those types of masturbation, I think you are right. But the object of the thought could be a cartoon character, or even something totally non-sexual. The objections that I have seen do not depend on what you are thinking. They seem to depend on the very fact of the use of this function in a way that is contrary to it's intended purpose.

[quote="LeafByNiggle, post:45, topic:242695"]
I don't think the Church has called masturbation an instance of adultery. It shares some of the characteristics of adultery, but it also has some significant differences, so I don't think that strictly speaking it really is adultery.

[/quote]

Sorry, I am all out.:shrug:

Under adultery is where it is listed in numerous Examinations of Conscience.

But seriously, why would you even want to take the chance if you know in your heart that it's wrong? Wouldn't it be better to direct your focus on other pursuits...like maybe smoking :D

Anyways...Good luck finding the answer you're searching for.

[quote="cargau, post:30, topic:242695"]
The fact is, several very sound answers were provided for you. ... You are in my prayers...

[/quote]

Believe me, my friend, I converted because of the clarity St. Thomas Aquinas. Had there been any sound arguments up to this point, I would have been convinced. That saint is notorious for hurting our feelings when we are convinced that we're right about something and we're actually wrong. :p None of the arguments have really touched my heart and put a light off in my head, so I can't say I'm convinced.

Out of a sense of guilt, I went to confession - but the guilt was more put on me by others, and I'm not sure if it's really a guilt from my conscience. :confused:

Abuse of the body is grave matter. ... gluttony.

If smoking becomes a grave matter only by a harmful intent, then masturbation should become a grave matter only by harmful intent. I'm trying to establish strict rules of logic here, not emotional reactions. If masturbation is truly a grave sin, then the form, matter, intent, and substance of the sin should be patterned by other grave sins. Either smoking is a grave sin and masturbation is a grave sin, or neither one is. Both of them are so similar in disordered attachment, in spiritual misdirection, in superfluous pleasure, and in selfishness, that it's impossible to say they're all that different.

[quote="Dawnia, post:42, topic:242695"]
First of all sin separates us from God. Regardless of what sin it is it puts a barrier between us and Him.

Smoking, drinking wine, eating choc cake, etc. could be a sins depending on a lot of different factors, but they are covered under other sins and are not expressly set out separately.

[/quote]

Why is the deliberate over-stimulation of the glottis, tongue, pleasure-receptors, etc. only "potentially" a (venial) sin, whereas the deliberate over-stimulation of the glands-penis or clitoral faculty always "actually" a mortal sin? This seems very odd and dualistic.

Specifically in regards to smoking, ... your neighbor has a full pack.

The body and the soul are intimately united. The holy Church teaches that essence and existence are not separate, as in Platonism, but are united, as in Aristotelian thought. Our bodies are the temples of our souls, and of God's Spirit too. This flesh is not corrupt or detached, but is an intimate part of the soul. What we to do one does affect the other - but causes proceed entirely from their effects. My question is: why is purely-superfluous act of masturbating once a cause that effects detachment from God, while the purely-superfluous act of smoking one cigarette, an abuse of the oral and respiratory faculties, is a cause that effects ... well, nothing? One ciggie isn't even a venial sin, but one moment alone in the bathroom sends you straight to Hell?!

This all stinks of legalism inherited from the Roman legions and bureaucracy. The condition of the soul and the identity of the human person, in the depths of his being, with Jesus Christ our Lord, is more important than ticking off one mortal sin or ticking off twelve venial sins. Obviously our true faith is expressed in works, but this is beyond even faith - it's what you are and choose to be, in your depths, that causes you to sin or not sin. We must work on the very depths, not the outer layers. :blush:

Masturbation is seen as a mortal sin ... Also masturbation usually involved thoughts for someone else which could violate six or ten depending on the person you're thinking about.

This has two parts: 1. adultery, and 2. covetousness

  1. It cannot be adultery if you're not married and plan to live the single life.

  2. Masturbation is covetousness of your neighbour's wife (or sister or daughter or brother) to a certain degree, but that act is already fulfilled in the mind before it is expressed by the act of masturbation. Covetousness and lusting are in the intellect, and the will pushes the body to masturbate based on them. While it is better to get rid of covetousness of the flesh in the intellect, it is not essential to the act of masturbation. Masturbation can be committed without reference to any person in the imagination (it's difficult, but it can be done entirely as a sexual release).

Now for the analogy (this may be bad...just warning you) You're driving on the road to God. Driving is inherently dangerous just as smoking is, yet you can smoke and drive at the same time because you can still pay attention to where you're going. You can't masturbate and drive at the same time because your entire focus is taken off the road and on to your ...ahem... You will ultimately run off the road to God. [End of bad analogy] :blush:

Well, the analogy is pretty bad if it's meant to separate smoking from masturbation, because a burning stick of smoke and fire in your hand while driving is just as dangerous as your John Thomas in your hand while driving. ;)

[quote="Dawnia, post:46, topic:242695"]
But seriously, why would you even want to take the chance if you know in your heart that it's wrong? Wouldn't it be better to direct your focus on other pursuits...like maybe smoking :D

Anyways...Good luck finding the answer you're searching for.

[/quote]

Well, of course I don't want to take a chance. My great doubts and many emotional arguments on this forum convinced me to go to confession; however, my doubt returns to me afterwards. I simply believe that, in order to be consistent, one must confess a single cigarette as much as one must confess a single solitary ejaculation. :eek:

Sorry if my language is too direct and blunt, but I want to do this scientifically. There's no use hiding behind Augustinian metaphors and sweetness.

[quote="GloriousOrder, post:47, topic:242695"]
Believe me, my friend, I converted because of the clarity St. Thomas Aquinas. Had there been any sound arguments up to this point, I would have been convinced. That saint is notorious for hurting our feelings when we are convinced that we're right about something and we're actually wrong. :p None of the arguments have really touched my heart and put a light off in my head, so I can't say I'm convinced.

[/quote]

Then maybe this answer from St. Thomas Aquinas will be of help.

St. Thomas Aquinas identifies masturbation as the biblical “uncleanness” and “effeminacy.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Pt. II-II, Q. 154, A. 11: “I answer that, As stated above (A6,9) wherever there occurs a special kind of deformity whereby the venereal act is rendered unbecoming, there is a determinate species of lust. This may occur in two ways: First, through being contrary to right reason, and this is common to all lustful vices; secondly, because, in addition, it is contrary to the natural order of the venereal act as becoming to the human race: and this is called "the unnatural vice." This may happen in several ways. First, by procuring pollution, without any copulation, for the sake of venereal pleasure: this pertains to the sin of "uncleanness" which some call "effeminacy." Secondly, by copulation with a thing of undue species, and this is called "bestiality." Thirdly, by copulation with an undue sex, male with male, or female with female, as the Apostle states (Romans 1:27): and this is called the "vice of sodomy." Fourthly, by not observing the natural manner of copulation, either as to undue means, or as to other monstrous and bestial manners of copulation.”

[quote="LeafByNiggle, post:40, topic:242695"]
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.

[/quote]

It does deliberately and wholly frustrate the purpose of the genital in that specific action. I think you missed the force of my other example, vomiting food in order to have the pleasure of eating it but not the nutrition. A single such act would still be disordered, even though it does not permanently impair the action of the stomach.

[quote="LeafByNiggle, post:40, topic:242695"]
If masturbation totally replaced marital intercourse, then I would agree with you. But I suspect that such a situation is quite rare.

[/quote]

It does in terms of the way the Church views the use of the genitals, since each and every marital act must be ordered in the same way. Remember that individual acts within marriage that deliberately and wholly frustrate the procreative and unitive ends are also disordered. It's not as if married individuals can argue that the use of the Pill does not deliberately and wholly frustrate the purpose of the genitals since the woman returns to a normal cycle after she stops taking the Pill. With respect to both masturbation and contraception within marital intercourse we are talking about individual actions which are disordered.

[quote="LeafByNiggle, post:40, topic:242695"]
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.

[/quote]

Your counter analogy doesn't work. Not using one's genitals is not disordered any more than fasting is, although of course there are times when one has a duty to utilize each faculty (to discharge the marital debt and to provide adequate nutrition to one's body, as is our duty). But utilizing one's genitals or stomach in a way so as to thwart that to which they are ordered is disordered.

I think I have provided you with the explanation you were looking for. I certainly don't claim to be speaking for the Church, but her teaching is correct on this not only on the basis of divine revelation (important enough, obviously) but from the standpoint of natural law. I guess it's up to you what to do with that.

[quote="GloriousOrder, post:47, topic:242695"]
Well, of course I don't want to take a chance. My great doubts and many emotional arguments on this forum convinced me to go to confession; however, my doubt returns to me afterwards. I simply believe that, in order to be consistent, one must confess a single cigarette as much as one must confess a single solitary ejaculation.

[/quote]

I think I successfully addressed the distinction between smoking and masturbation above.

Your active conscience does you credit. Even before I became a Catholic I certainly tried to convince myself that this was no sin, but to no avail. My conscience, I hope enlightened by the Holy Spirit, would not allow it. Even the Protestant sects did not overthrow their understanding of the sinfulness of this action until well into the twentieth century, so that presents us with nineteen centuries of unanimous Christian belief on this matter.

The best I could ever do without sacramental grace was to try to limit frequency and lustful thoughts. Now, of course, the authority of the Catholic Church clinches the matter and she offers super-abundant graces to live in harmony with God's good will.

I’ve read this thread with interest, and noted the many thoughtful points that have been made. The topic of masturbation is difficult to discuss because of the emotional and psycho-sexual baggage that we all carry to various extents. Because of that, many revert to a strictly legalistic formulation as dictated in Canon Law. This can be viewed either in a negative light, as fleeing from our own thinking on the subject, or a positive light, as admitting that our reasoning is very limited in comparison with the whole of the truth as revealed by God and taught by the Church.

I have no problem with those who flee to the Canon Law and follow its rules, as doing so would certainly keep us from serious sin in the same way that avoiding eating would keep us from getting fat (sorry, terrible analogy I know). I try as much as humanly possible to do that myself, though I’m extremely grateful for the sacrament of confession for the countless times I fail. On the other hand, living only by a rule book risks the full life in the Spirit that Jesus offers us through His death and resurrection, and His institution of the Holy Catholic Church. And, more importantly, it risks us misinterpreting moral dictates because we don’t understand their contextual sense, something that is best left to a holy and spiritual pastor in individual counseling. As St Thomas Aquinas and other fathers realized, God created us body, soul, and mind, with which to know Him and love Him. So it’s right and proper that we should reason through these things as rational human beings, especially on topics that are bothersome such as this one.

To the topic of the OP, the only difference that I can comprehend between masturbation and, say, smoking, is contextual. That is, smoking merely provides a temporary physical pleasure (to smokers), at the cost of a small risk of physical disease (for a single cigarette), without exposing the soul to a greater, objective, spiritual evil. Masturbation, on the other hand, also provides a temporary physical pleasure, but at the cost of exposing one to the much greater spiritual evils of lust (thoughts or pornography), and thence to fornication, carnality, and separation from what is Holy. Now, I realize that the OP has said that it’s possible to separate masturbation from lustful thoughts, and to conduct it in a sort of clinical fashion. I suppose that may be theoretically possible, but we’re living in the real world here, right? Even if you can do that once, twice, ten times, eventually the lust, etc, will enter your soul, I can guarantee. And once it does, the slope gets very slippery very quickly.

Having said that, I’m strictly speaking of masturbation in a solitary setting, whether single or married, man or woman. This is only my opinion, but I believe there are special cases for married men and women with physical problems in which mutual masturbation within the context of a unitive and procreative setting is not only possible, but may be the only way to achieve the loving union that God intended through marriage. I don’t want to get into details, because they are not necessary and are unlikely to be understood by those not in those situations, but there are certain conditions of cancer, paralyzed patients, etc, especially in the elderly, for which such conditions apply. I’ve read several threads on that topic and have left saddened at the lack of charity, and the Pharaseeism that I see expressed by some under the misinterpretation of Canon Law as written in the context of young virile couples of child bearing age. I’m sure this lack of charity is not meant intentionally, but it shows the danger of lay people literally interpreting what even Canon Lawyers had a difficult time with.

Peace in Christ,
Nespero

[quote="DavidPalm, post:49, topic:242695"]
It does deliberately and wholly frustrate the purpose of the genital in that specific action. I think you missed the force of my other example, vomiting food in order to have the pleasure of eating it but not the nutrition. A single such act would still be disordered, even though it does not permanently impair the action of the stomach.

[/quote]

I agree with that. But only a few sick people with an eating disorder engage in such an activity. I wanted to focus on smoking because so many more people do it. And if that is what constitutes "wholly and deliberately frustrating the purpose of the genitals", then does not each individual act of smoking do that for the lungs, even if one cig does not permanently impair the action of the lungs?

It does in terms of the way the Church views the use of the genitals, since each and every marital act must be ordered in the same way...

You have not yet established that masturbation is a marital act. It is a misuse of bodily equipment that is essential in the marital act. But that does not make every use of that equipment also a marital act. For example there are other parts of the body that play a lesser role in the marital act (like the lips for kissing) but we don't call each and every use of the lips (like playing the trombone) also a marital act.

...It's not as if married individuals can argue that the use of the Pill does not deliberately and wholly frustrate the purpose of the genitals since the woman returns to a normal cycle after she stops taking the Pill...

... but in that case the act really is a marital act and the conscious purpose of taking the pill really is to prevent conception (and thus deliberately frustrate the purpose of the act).

Your counter analogy doesn't work. Not using one's genitals is not disordered any more than fasting is..

I was not trying to claim that abstinence is disordered. I was using the obvious fact that abstinence is not disordered to show that the criterion for something being disordered needs to be more than "it avoids conception".

, although of course there are times when one has a duty to utilize each faculty (to discharge the marital debt and to provide adequate nutrition to one's body, as is our duty). But utilizing one's genitals or stomach in a way so as to thwart that to which they are ordered is disordered.

So are you saying that smoking is disordered?

I have read this thread with mixed emotions. Let me start by saying I woke up this morning with this very temptation. I suffer it almost daily. So I understand the desire to justify it, a temptation in itself. First, I think trying to justify one sin by comparing it to another is a bad idea. You may end up actually talking yourself into sinning. It is better to try to see a sin for what it is, not by comparison. I also think we need to drop this smoking vs. masturbation argument. The fact is the Church tells us that masturbation is indeed a sin. Argue all you like with yourself or others but this truth will not change and the end result will only be serious sin. 1 Tim 3:15 says the church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. Before Jesus ascended he gave us the Holy Spirit to guide the church. Knowing that the Holy Spirit guides the church to all truth, and the church has ruled on this matter closes the argument doesn't it? Whose judgement on matters of morals is correct? Our own or 2000 years of the Holy Spirit guiding the pillar and foundation of the truth(church). On matters of faith and morals the church cannot error. You don't even have to agree with the church, but it only makes you wrong. Like it or not. Try Romans 8:6. I know that Paul is not talking strictly of masturbation, but his point is clear. Remember, you said your conscience was bothering you. Thats all you need to tell you something may be wrong. Our conscience is suppose to guide our intellect, not the other way around. Believe me I know where you are coming from. I have been trying to break free of this for years and am finally putting pornography behind me, God willing. It isn't easy but truth is truth and fighting it will only hurt us. We have to be willing to recognize the truth instead of trying to justify untruth to indulge in sin. And one more thing... as someone who fights this almost daily, when's the last time you masturbated without a single impure thought on your mind? Pray for me, and I'm praying for you. Here is one more thought, and be honest, have you ever had this temptation, knew you should pray about it but ignored the prayer because you thought the temptation would go away and so would your excuse to masturbate? I know I have. Isn't sin a sneaky little bugger?

[quote="minnesotaboy, post:53, topic:242695"]
I have read this thread with mixed emotions. Let me start by saying I woke up this morning with this very temptation. I suffer it almost daily. So I understand the desire to justify it, a temptation in itself. First, I think trying to justify one sin by comparing it to another is a bad idea. You may end up actually talking yourself into sinning. It is better to try to see a sin for what it is, not by comparison. I also think we need to drop this smoking vs. masturbation argument. The fact is the Church tells us that masturbation is indeed a sin. Argue all you like with yourself or others but this truth will not change and the end result will only be serious sin. 1 Tim 3:15 says the church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. Before Jesus ascended he gave us the Holy Spirit to guide the church. Knowing that the Holy Spirit guides the church to all truth, and the church has ruled on this matter closes the argument doesn't it? Whose judgement on matters of morals is correct? Our own or 2000 years of the Holy Spirit guiding the pillar and foundation of the truth(church). On matters of faith and morals the church cannot error. You don't even have to agree with the church, but it only makes you wrong. Like it or not. Try Romans 8:6. I know that Paul is not talking strictly of masturbation, but his point is clear. Remember, you said your conscience was bothering you. Thats all you need to tell you something may be wrong. Our conscience is suppose to guide our intellect, not the other way around. Believe me I know where you are coming from. I have been trying to break free of this for years and am finally putting pornography behind me, God willing. It isn't easy but truth is truth and fighting it will only hurt us. We have to be willing to recognize the truth instead of trying to justify untruth to indulge in sin. And one more thing... as someone who fights this almost daily, when's the last time you masturbated without a single impure thought on your mind? Pray for me, and I'm praying for you. Here is one more thought, and be honest, have you ever had this temptation, knew you should pray about it but ignored the prayer because you thought the temptation would go away and so would your excuse to masturbate? I know I have. Isn't sin a sneaky little bugger?

[/quote]

That is some good advice. I am sorry if I appeared to justify masturbation. Actually my intent was not to justify it by comparing it to smoking, but rather to show by the comparion that smoking is also wrong. For the record, my conscience also tells me that masturbation is harmful to me spiritually, so I applaud you in your intentions.

Guys, your temptation can be overcome. With God's help, I overcame that, impure relationships, pornography and more, and all eleven years ago or longer. You will be tempted, but not as much as you think you will, and in the end you can be victorious with the help of the God you honor by abstaining from such actions.

I pray God helps those of you who battle as I once did, through the merits of His Son, Jesus Christ and the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

There's peace and joy to be had, guys. Go for the eternal, not the temporal.

Emil

[quote="Emil, post:55, topic:242695"]
Guys, your temptation can be overcome. With God's help, I overcame that, impure relationships, pornography and more, and all eleven years ago or longer. You will be tempted, but not as much as you think you will, and in the end you can be victorious with the help of the God you honor by abstaining from such actions.

I pray God helps those of you who battle as I once did, through the merits of His Son, Jesus Christ and the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

There's peace and joy to be had, guys. Go for the eternal, not the temporal.

Emil

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

[quote="brgregmack, post:6, topic:242695"]
It also harms us psychologically. Here's a link that explains it clearly.
theporne
ffect.com/who-does-it-hurt/men/235-articles

[/quote]

Thanks so much for posting this link. I found the article helpful.

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