Masturbation

Regarding the issue of masturbation…
I see lots of people in this forum say masturbation is a grave sin. But what is grave? I can agree that if you kill someone it’s something very grave. But masturbation? Why is it grave? Aren’t you people being too much puritanical?

There are a billion threads that go into detail with your question. Not only that but there is a sticky at the tp of the page.

The Church is not puritanical about sex. In fact quite the opposite. It is however “holy” about sex. It is not just “current” thought about the subject but rather it has been Christian teaching for millennia. For a Catholic view of the subject I suggest you read the CCC in relation to this subject.

Hoosier Daddy’s right. The CCC is the best place to start. In case you don’t have a copy:

[quote=Catechism of the Catholic Church] 2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of “the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.”

To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.
[/quote]

Sex isn’t for pleasure, it’s two ends are:

Unitive - a renewal of the one flesh union that comes about through the marital convenant

Procreative - a sharing in the creative power of God as we bring a new, immortal, person into the world.

Pleasure is a nice side effect.

Sex is a chance to transcend ourselves in a gift of our whole selves to another. Self-sex turns an outward act inward, twisting its shape into a mere mockery of what God intended.

Further, masturbation frequently involves lustful thoughts of members of the opposite sex. Reducing a woman (if you are a man) to an object whose image you please yourself to degrades both yourself and her. It violates what Immanuel Kant called the categorical imperative - never use another subject as an object.

For all these reasons its easy to see why masturbation is, under normal circumstances, mortally sinful.

This isn’t written anywhere… at least not that I know of, and its only my opinion, so take it at that. But to me, from my understanding, its a mortal sin because God knows how powerful our sex drives can become because of how close the sex act comes to God through its creative powers. He also knows how if given into it, how our love of it can skew our souls and minds from what is truly good. God never gives us a command to be ‘mean’, but to protect us from harm.

I believe a person can start self abusing innocently enough, but its like a weed that you first thought was a flower, but then quickly multiplies, kills and crowds out all the real flowers in the flower bed. It basically will become too powerful for you and crowd out real virtue if not held in contempt or cautiously controlled.

The Catachism states that it darkens the mind of the soul.

Self Control is a very important virtue if we want to learn how to be happy in this life.

Its “grave” because it crowds out and kills real life in your soul, that is virtue. You can be just alive and miserable. Or you can be alive in Christ… which is THE Life, as He said.

The Church teaching on this topic is intellectually unsatisfying because it’s essentially declarative in nature. The “reasons” given are unsupported.

How so?

If you wish to make the argument that masturbation or porn is Holy, go ahead.:shrug:

Sex has two good purposes: it can create life and it can strengthen the bond between husband and wife. Because it creates life, it can only be used in a marriage, where children will have a stable home. When not used for those good purposes, it is evil, a sin. It becomes an act of selfishness. In addition, sex is addictive to many people, just like an addictive drug. It is dangerous to use it in a situation where it cannot have good ends. Even married couples need to practice temperance. If they become addicted they can end up committing sins like contraception. They selfishly use sex for pleasure without the possibility of life.

First of all, I didn’t say anything about porn - that’s a different topic. Regarding masturbation, I think it’s morally neutral in itself, like drinking alcohol or eating. It’s the circumstances which make it immoral or disordered.

That’s declarative. You’ve given no reasons for why masturbation would be morally neutral nor have you dealt with the Church’s arguments as to why it isn’t. Try again.

OK, how about this: to my knowledge, it has not been demonstrated that masturbation - in and of itself - causes physical or psychological harm to anyone. If we define morality as not intentionally causing harm to oneself or others, then masturbation is not immoral.

As for the Church’s arguments - they’re based on the Church’s unproven assertions as to the exclusive purposes of sex.

I don’t think anyone really defines morality that way though. It’s about determining what’s right and wrong, and while it may overlap with your causing harm definition in some cases, that’s not all that it is.

And sex is short for sexual reproduction, the entire point of sex is to have babies and further the species. Pleasure is only a side effect, probably because species who found pleasure in sex were more likely to have it which resulted in the growth and survival of their particular species. But that doesn’t make it a purpose of sex.

Here’s something reasonable about this matter: Masturbation is only a sin if you masturbate too much. If you do it once a day (or less than that) it’s not sin, it’s just nature. But if you have to stimulate yourself watching porn while you masturbate it is a sin.

How is something that is against the Church reasonable for a Catholic?

Here is my question.

Why is it that you would argue opposite of what the Church teaches about a sin? Are you seeking understanding or justification?

that is false, masturbation is always a sin. there is no such thing as if done moderately.

altough the guilt can be decreased by adiction and stuff like that, we must not use it as an excuse to stop fighting with all our might, or from confessing it.

Not intentionally causing harm to oneself or others as a definition of morality is an indefensible position.

Come now, can’t you think of all sorts of abominable things that could be done that will cause no harm to oneself or another? Would you defend such evil things?

And strange guy, why are you fighting against the Church? Christ established it and said it would not succumb to death, and it has endured, producing and defending against the greatest minds of all time. Trust in Mother Church and not in your own intuitions, for “narrow is the gate” that leads to salvation and wide is the one that leads to destruction.

I’m not fighting against the Church, I’m just seeking the truth. Masturbation is not a grave sin, it doesn’t make any sense. If masturbation is grave, then what to say about something such as murder? I see myself as a catholic, but that doesn’t mean I have to follow blindly the whole Catholic Church Cathecism, if even most priests don’t do that.

Where does the concept of faith and obedience fit into your view?
IF you deny this because you don’t want to accept it and it does not make sense to you then why in the world do you believe in a God that is in the Eucharist? Or a God who died for your sins, even this one. Catholicism and indeed God is not a take what you wish theology. YOu say you seek the Truth. You have it in the CHurch. You have it in the God who will forgive mortal sins, the only thing you have to do is accept that, but either your pride or your hormones or your guilt wont let you. Judas had the same problem.

How much of the CCC do you have to follow?

How have you made this assessment of “most priests”?

You would say that murder is a grave sin as well. Granted, I would admit that murder is worse, but that doesn’t change anything. Let’s say hypothetically I killed 24 people and it required 3 for me to get a life sentence (probably not accurate at all, but just pretend it is). If I killed 14 people instead, yeah, it wouldn’t be as bad, but it would still be bad and a life sentence. So yeah, you could argue that one grave sin is worse than another grave sin, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re both grave sins.

Being Catholic means that you should follow the Church’s rules. You might not agree with or understand certain things, and I’m sure a lot of us have felt the same and can relate, but you should follow them while searching for a better understanding of why the rule is what it is - this site is great for that. And I don’t know what priests you’ve met, but the priests I know all seem to follow the Church’s rules. I don’t know where you got “most priests don’t”.

I think masturbation has probably caused more corporal damage to society in the past 50 years than the Holocaust.

^ This is a statement that would get me laughed at by most crowds of people. In some crowds, they would even find it offensive, because I am counting the horrors of the Holocaust as a lesser evil. I would come across as hysterical. I suppose even a person that agrees with the Church teaching on masturbation doesn’t have to agree with me on this, but I think it’s a very reasonable view to have. The entire structure of a healthy marriage culture; of honorable & charitable & selfless husbands and wives, of religious that hold their vows, of boys that answer the call to priesthood, of good fathers, good mothers, and good families that raise children to be good fathers and good mothers, is built upon the understanding that purity is a positive societal good. When this unravels, so does the rest.

I might compare it to a person questioning why skipping Sunday Mass is a grave matter. The vast majority of sins we commit seem so trivial to us, including the grave ones. However, when you culminate those million upon millions of so-called trivial sins made by individuals, you have the difference between either a holy nation or an apathetic nation. When you culminate those millions upon millions of minor shopping liftings, you have businesses losing billions of dollars of revenue, and all the severe consequences thereof. When you culminate those millions upon millions of people that don’t guard their language, you have the difference between either a calloused or a modest culture. Each individual is going to have to answer for the part they played in making the world what it is.

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