Category Archives: Sexual morality

A Catholic Man Confronts a Rainbow Flag

A Catholic Stand Against a Rainbow Flag

Our enemy is advancing. Our enemies are not the poor souls he has pressed into his service. In Ephesians 6, Paul warned that our battle is against demonic powers. Our enemy’s bright cheery banners are flying from more and more houses in our neighborhoods. His rainbow flags demand surrender of all our Catholic notions of sexual purity. His dominance of the media persuades so many of us silently to surrender without resistance. He has broken through our defensive wall built from bricks of traditions. He has not yet won. Bishop Olmsted challenges Catholic men to rush into the breach *. How can we resist? Pray always. Think clearly and speak directly when occasions present themselves. But save your strength. Use prudence about when to fight.
Imagine an occasion presented by one of those ubiquitous rainbow flags. A man and a boy are cleaning up a yard on a March day.
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“Dad what do those dudes do?” Thirty seven year old Richard is raking leaves with his eleven year old son Frank. Frank points to the house across the street flying a rainbow flag. Frank adds: “The mail carrier told me that Ron and Jay just got married.” “Isn’t that weird?” he mutters.

Richard thinks “Frankie’s got me. I’m stuck, I can’t tell him to go ask his mother. I need the guts to speak straight and tell Frankie that homosexual acts are always immoral. Yet I have to put it in such a way that I give him no justification for ever harassing gay guys. How? I haven’t really talked with him about sex yet!”

Richard answers: “Yeh, I think that it is weird too. No matter what judges decide real marriage is for a man and a woman to form a family. You know how babies get started, don’t you?”

“Sure, sure we learned all that stuff in life sciences,” replies his son.

With relief Richard continues: “Good, that’s the place to learn about the basics of sex. A lot of it is natural science. Still there is much more to learn about loving and controlling ourselves to have kids the way God wants us to. And we have to start talking about all the horrible rapes and murders we hear about on the news every night. I’m sorry, though, I didn’t talk with you about sex basics before.”

“No, no”Frank quickly replies. ” I don’t want to think of mom and you when I think about the science stuff. I’d rather learn it in class or just talking with other guys.”

“So, you kids talk about sex:” Richard comments.

“Naturally” Frank answers.

Richard plunges into the serious discussion: “Well, then, you guys have talked about masturbating or jerking off. Do you guys use that word?”

“Maybe: “Frank mumbles with embarrassment.

Richard chuckles: “Frankie, you lied. You got an idea of what those dudes do.”

Frank responds: “Why does everybody think that the stuff they do and just jerking off is bad? It doesn’t hurt anybody.”

“Now I have to teach. Can I keep his attention?” Richard worries.

He begins: “Masturbation is really bad. It doesn’t seem like a big deal. But it is. It’s the phantasy world where all the horrible sinful things men do with sex can flash through your head. You’ve heard the gospel where Jesus said that a man who commits adultery in his heart has already committed it. Well, all those dirty thoughts guys have in their heads; they, in a way, are actually doing. While masturbating a guy is just a few thoughts away from doing the worst sex crimes in the world. And thoughts travel faster than light. ”

“Oh, oh, I’ve gotten too heavy” Richard senses.

“Any of the guys you hang out with talk about porn? I’ve worked it out so that you can’t get much, if any, on our phones or computers.”

“Some, maybe, get some pretty hot stuff” Frank volunteers. “But I don’t and some of the stuff they show me makes me feel, I don’t know, dirty or sexy, I guess.”

“Does it make you feel like playing with yourself?”

“ Yeh. Is that wrong?”

“Yes. Well, it is not wrong to feel like that. But it is wrong to do a man’s part of baby making just for that crazy feeling. A man is supposed to control wanting that feeling so that he gets it only when making babies with his wife. It’s hard being a man.”

“Is jerking off wrong?”

“It sure is. That’s what I have been saying. Masturbating is wrong for every man and a sin for Catholics because we believe that God wants us to use sex as we ought. The church gives us a lot of help to do that. You’ll stop looking at porn and thinking of sex to avoid confessing each week that you’ve been playing with yourself.”

To get the conversation away from himself, Frank asks about their gay neighbors. “Do you think that Ron and Jay are sinful?”

“Of course, what they do to get that special sexual feeling is a sin. But it is not just against a rule of our religion. It’s against a rule for all men. It’s immoral. Doing those thing with another guy would be wrong for me even if I weren’t married. Those kind of things would be wrong for you. Men are not supposed to play with each other that way.”

“Are Ron and Jay are bad people?”

“I didn’t say that. Their house is well kept up. They pick up after their dog better than some people on our street. They’re good neighbors.
Jay’s a fast runner. I met him running on the bike path a couple of weeks ago. I found out that he is an IT guy figuring out how to handle huge masses of data. But his pace was too much for me. I dropped back after about two miles.”

“Dad, you’re not answering my question.”

“Frankie, you’re old enough to know that doing some bad things doesn’t make you a bad person. Bad people regularly mess up other people’s lives in serious ways. However, doing some bad things stops you from being a good man: the kind of man you ought to be. Jay is not the kind of man he ought to be.”

“Did you tell him that?”

“No. It’s none of my business to talk to him about that. I’m not related to Jay in any way which might give me a right to even ask about his sexual acts. I wish that he had not told us by putting up that stupid rainbow flag and advertising that weird gay marriage.”

“Are you afraid to tell people what you think is right?” Frank taunts his father.

“No” his father comes back. “I would tell Jay if he asked. I’d tell anybody who asked. I’m telling you now that what those guys do is something no man ought to do and it is something to be ashamed of. Anyway, Ron and Jay already know anything that I would tell them.”

“Shouldn’t you try to make them better?” Frank continues his challenge.

Richard gets an insight on a way to move the conversation to bullying.

“Making other people better can be an excuse for doing mean and cruel things to other people. You have to know a lot about how to help people. You have to know what you have a right to do to other people before doing things you think are making other people better. The one sure thing you can do to help other people be better is to be a good example and never saying what you do not think is true if you are asked. Having the attitude that you can make others better can make you a bad person.”

“What? Wanting to make things better is making things bad.” Frank almost shouts.

“Yes, it can. I ‘m serious. It works like this. Usually bad people do something different from what is normally done. So it is their difference you want to change or punish to make them better. Even though I don’t think that it is OK, let’s say that it might be OK to be angry at the difference from normal that makes a person bad and try to do something about it. Well, one thing you will learn is that it is easy to think stupidly.”

“I already know lots of people are stupid.”

“An easy way to be stupid is to think that because what makes a person bad is being different simply being different makes a person bad. Being different from normal is confused with being bad. Still, people think, or at least feel that stupid way. That stupid way of thinking is what leads to bullying.”

“I’m not a bully” Frank protests.

“I believe you, of course. But you or your friends could become bullies; especially about being gay. Lots of guys feel that a kid acting in those different ways they think are girlish means he is gay. Those guys pick on that kid and maybe feel justified because they feel he is somehow wrong. They certainly could be wrong about his being gay. But they are absolutely wrong about picking on him. If he is gay, the poor kid is going to suffer a lot through his life. It’s terrible to have those temptations to have sex with other guys. It’s wrong to make their lives more miserable by picking on them.”
“If it is so terrible couldn’t we help him stop being gay” Frank interrupts.

“No, you can’t. Besides men are not gay or straight. We are all simply men who have all sorts of temptations to do what is wrong with our bodies. But we know what is right and have to work hard to do only that. The work is easier if you try not to think too much about sex.
Here, hold this yard bag open while I shove in this insert. We’ve talked enough about sex today. It’s good we started, though. We’ve got much to talk about as you go through school. Meanwhile, pray for them. And don’t even think of what those dudes do.”

———————————————————————————————————————–

A skirmish has been fought. One rainbow flag waves less victoriously. A father has taken a Catholic stand. A father and son have begun to fight back.

* Into the Breach: An Apostolic Exhortation to Catholic Men, Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ 2015

Readers my be interested in my book on sexual morality.

My book Confronting Sexual Nihilism: Traditional Sexual Morality as an Antidote to Nihilism was released by Tate Publishing on March 11, 2014. See Book Web Page for information about the book. The publisher’s listed price is $26.99. Printed copies can be purchased here by credit card for $3.99, plus $3.71 for shipping and handling.





To purchase the printed book by check, send check of $3.99 plus $3.71 for shipping and handling per copy. Send to:
Charles F. Kielkopf
45 W. Kenworth Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214
Include your shipping address.

Are Masturbators Intrinsically Disordered?

The point of this post is to use an analogy that reminds us that to say homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered is not to say that men who are classed as homosexuals are intrinsically disordered.

Let’s say that a masturbator is a male who masturbates at least once a week. There is a lot of masturbators in our society. With the ready availability of internet porn, the class of masturbators is growing because almost all men have inclinations at least to masturbate when sexually aroused. There are far more masturbators than men who engage in homosexual acts on the average of once a week. Let’s call such men homosexuals. If the homosexuals are not wholly included in the masturbators, the class of homosexuals certainly overlaps the class of masturbators.

An act of masturbations is intrinsically disordered. It is wrong regardless of the circumstances and reasons why it is done.

Proving that an act is instrinsically disordered is not easy. There is a long Catholic tradition of making a case, in Thomistic philosopohy, that masturbation and homosexual acts are intrinscially disorder. I have tried to make the same case, in a Kantian way, in my book: Confronting Sexual Nihilism. Here is not the place to make that philosophical case.

Here is the place to remind ourselves that just as we would not classify almost all men as instrinsically disordered because they have strong inclinations to perform intrinsically disordered acts, we should not classify that subset of men who have strong inclinations to perform intrinsically disordered acts of the homosexual style intrinsically disordered.

My book Confronting Sexual Nihilism: Traditional Sexual Morality as an Antidote to Nihilism was released by Tate Publishing on March 11, 2014. See Book Web Page for information about the book. The publisher’s listed price is $26.99. Printed copies can be purchased here by credit card for $3.99, plus $3.71 for shipping and handling.





To purchase the printed book by check, send check of $3.99 plus $3.71 for shipping and handling per copy. Send to:
Charles F. Kielkopf
45 W. Kenworth Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214
Include your shipping address.

Pragmatic Arguments to Support the Paternal Principle

In this post I lay out an abstract schema for ultimately using a pragmatic argument to justify the primary thesis of my book. The thesis is the Paternal Principle that a man ought never intentionally seek an orgasm except in intercourse open to conception with a woman to whom he has made a lifelong commitment to be faithful while caring for her and their children.

Here is the schema.

1. If after following all guidelines for reasoning well, viz. careful reasoning, I have doubts about whether or not my reasoning represents reality as it is apart from my careful reasoning,viz. things in themselves then my careful reasoning is not compelling to me.
2. If my careful reasoning is not compelling to me, then my careful reasoning is not compelling.
3. If my careful reasoning is not compelling, then there are questions about how well careful reasoning represents things in themselves.
4. If there are questions about how well careful reasoning represents things in themselves, then I take the critical stance of investigating careful reasoning to judge how well it represents things in themselves. (This is the critical stance originated by DesCartes.)

In Chapter IV of my book I admit to doubts about my reasoning because of assumptions made and have really tried hard –perhaps while boring readers- to follow guidelines for careful reasoning. So, I concede that my argument for the Paternal Principle is not compelling simply on the basis of my argument for it in Chapter IV. So, putting what I just admitted together with lines (1)-(4), we get (5) whose ideas I expand in Chapter XI.

5. I take the critical stance of investigating careful reasoning to judge how well it represents things in themselves; especially with regard to the Paternal Principle and the reasoning for it.

6. If I take the critical stance of investigating careful reasoning to judge how well it represents things in themselves, especially with regard to the Paternal Principle and the reasoning for it.
then there are theoretical and practical alternatives.
7 If take a theoretical alternative a theory of things in themselves is developed and then careful reasoning is compared with the theory of things in themselves for accuracy
8. If I take a practical alternative, I continue to use careful reasoning while setting aside questions about its correctness, keeping in mind a conclusion reached by such reasoning while acting as if such a conclusion represented things in themselves with the intention of letting things in themselves convince me that the conclusion represents reality as it is apart from careful thinking. These practical alternatives are called pragmatic arguments.
9. Satisfactory theoretical alternatives cannot be developed without begging the question at issue. Development of a theory of things in themselves would use careful reasoning. However, the question at issue is whether or not careful reasoning can develop an accurate theory of things in themselves.
Hence, (10).
10.I develop a pragmatic argument for the Paternal Principle and the reasoning for it.

Much needs to be said about what is permissible in this process of a pragmatic argument and I try to spell it out in Chapter XI The main task is to show how careful reasoning is not violated while letting ourselves be convinced by factors which cannot be expressed as reasons which can be stated in words. Not much can be said in support of the assumption that we can encounter things in themselves in ways which show us things in themselves but which cannot be said. This is a realistic assumption I make but cannot justify in words. But after all, it is not a foolish assumption. I am a thing in itself. In all sorts of ways I encounter things in themselves. The reality in which I am emeshed can teach me in many ways without words. In particular, it has taught me that traditional sexual morality for men as taught by the Catholic Church is true. This is what I defend in my book.

My book Confronting Sexual Nihilism: Traditional Sexual Morality as an Antidote to Nihilism was released by Tate Publishing on March 11, 2014. See Book Web Page for information about the book. The publisher’s listed price is $26.99. Printed copies can be purchased here by credit card for $3.99, plus $3.71 for shipping and handling.





To purchase the printed book by check, send check of $3.99 plus $3.71 for shipping and handling per copy. Send to:
Charles F. Kielkopf
45 W. Kenworth Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214
Include your shipping address.

What is the Fundamental Moral Principle of Female Sexuality?

Do you know of a Fundamental Moral Principle of Female Sexuality?

In my book Confronting Sexual Nihilism , I argue for a basic feature of traditional sexual morality. I call it the Paternal Principle. An elaborate statement of this principle is quoted below

A male may intentionally attain a sexual climax only in sexual intercourse with a consenting woman to whom he is bound by a life-long monogamous socially recognized union for procreation, In addition he should:(1) intend to cooperate with his spouse to protect and promote the lifelong natural development of any conception resulting from this intercourse and (2) strive to appreciate with his spouse the natural value of their sexual satisfactions and cooperate with her to enhance those satisfactions.

But this principle is only for men

The principle is intellectually accessible to women. Women, though, cannot think of it as founding their sexual morality. Of course, most aspects of humanity are common to men and women. So mutual collaboration is possible and needed for a full human sexuality. The paternal principle focuses almost exclusively on the distinctive feature of male sexuality: sperm dispersal. My thinking with male sexuality shows me that proper control of sperm dispersal can be the foundation of male sexual morality. I do not know how to think with female sexuality to locate a foundation for female sexual morality on such a single event.

We need input from women on a moral principle for female sexuality.

Readers of this post may be interested in my book on sexual morality.

Readers who email an attempt to state a fundamental principle of sexual morality for women to kielkopf.1@osu.edu will be mailed a free copy of my book.

My book Confronting Sexual Nihilism: Traditional Sexual Morality as an Antidote to Nihilism was released by Tate Publishing on March 11, 2014. See Book Web Page for information about the book. The publisher’s listed price is $26.99. Printed copies can be purchased here by credit card for $3.99, plus $3.71 for shipping and handling.





To purchase the printed book by check, send check of $3.99 plus $3.71 for shipping and handling per copy. Send to:
Charles F. Kielkopf
45 W. Kenworth Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214
Include your shipping address.

Learning Sexual Morality from Nature

In my book Confronting Sexual Nihilism, I defend traditional Catholic sexual morality. Actually the label “Catholic” is a misnomer. As recent as two hundred years ago it was the sexual morality taught by almost all the Christian churches and synagogues. Even if it was biblical it was not taught as being based on the bible alone. It was taught as the morality given by God to all people through His creation of human reason. Indeed the traditional sexual morality provided support to biblical teachings because it showed how, in this case, reason and scripture were in harmony.

In my book, I do not defend traditional sexual morality as Catholic, Christian, biblical or traditional. I defend traditional sexual morality using only human reason. But I do not use the traditional way of basing sexual morality on reason. The traditional defense relies on an erroneous assumption. The erroneous assumption holds: It is wrong to inhibit a natural system from fulfilling its natural end. Nature shows us the natural end of systems by showing us what, for the most part, the systems accomplish in nature. From such an assumption, arguments are easily given that sexual acts such as masturbation, homosexual acts and contraceptive acts inhibited the natural function of sperm dispersal which was conception.

For someone who is seriously trying to defend traditional sexual morality from reason, the above apparent oversimplification of the traditional use of reason to defend sexual morality is valuable. It highlights the problems confronting such an effort. The problems are hard to solve. My book is hard to follow.

How does nature, by showing us how systems function, ever tell us what is right or wrong?
Why is it wrong to inhibit the functions of some systems?
In particular, why is it wrong to inhibit the functions of sexual systems?

An effort to answer such questions without relying on any ideology assuming contempt for any type of human beings is an appeal to reason which deserves to be in the “market place of ideas” in a civilized society. It deserves this place even if a consequence of this line of reasoning leads to a conclusion “Homosexual acts are morally wrong.”

My book Confronting Sexual Nihilism: Traditional Sexual Morality as an Antidote to Nihilism was released by Tate Publishing on March 11, 2014. See Book Web Page for information about the book. The publisher’s listed price is $26.99. Printed copies can be purchased here by credit card for $12.99, plus $3.71 for shipping and handling.





To purchase the printed book by check, send check of $16.70 per copy. Send to:
Charles F. Kielkopf
45 W. Kenworth Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214
Include your shipping address.

Love requires moral rules to found the moral law

Jesus agreed, Lk 10:27 that the principles: “Love the Lord your God above all things and your neighbor as yourself” provides a foundation for all the laws of morality and religion. This agreement may suggest to Christians that love alone is sufficient foundation for morality. However, proper love is only a necessary condition for morality. There needs to be knowledge, or awareness, of rules on how we ought to act and how we ought to be. To modify an aphorism of Kant: “Love without rules is blind but rules without love are inoperative.”

Proper love is to choose the good for the beloved. But what is the good for God and for others? The good for God is what God wills. God wills what ought to be. So loving God is to choose what God wills, or what ought to be. Now, because the good is what God wills, loving ourselves and others is to choose what God wills for them and ourselves, or what ought to be for ourselves and others. So the problem of how to love our neighbors as ourselves becomes the problem of finding out what ought to be and developing the will to choose what we have found out what ought to be.

For humans, because we choose particular acts at particular times, what we ought to be is bipartite. We ought to choose those particular acts we ought to choose and become the kind of people who regularly choose the acts we ought to choose. So morality requires knowing the rules for the particular acts in particular circumstances we ought to choose and struggling to become people who keep those rules. If we are making that struggle we are loving. That struggle is building moral character. So, if we are struggling to form our moral character, we are loving God and our neighbor as ourselves. Perhaps grace of God is necessary to motivate us to start and persevere in the struggle to build moral character. By hard thinking throughout the ages humanity has uncovered the basic rules on how we ought to act in regard to controlling our basic passions and inclinations.

I wrote a book on sexual morality using the above notion of character morality.
Read more about character sexual morality in my book Confronting Sexual Nihilism: Traditional Sexual Morality as an Antidote to Nihilism was released by Tate Publishing on March 11, 2014. See Book Web Page for information about the book. The publisher’s listed price is $26.99. Printed copies can be purchased here by credit card for $12.99, plus $3.71 for shipping and handling.





To purchase the printed book by check, send check of $16.70 per copy. Send to:
Charles F. Kielkopf
45 W. Kenworth Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214
Include your shipping address.

Sexual Morality in Nature

In my book supporting traditional sexual morality I have a model of how sexual morality could have been a result of natural evolution. I’ll sketch out how this mode.

In our non-human predecessors there were emotional inhibitions against attaining orgasms –sperm dispersals- outside of intercourse with a female with whom there would be pair-bonding for her protection and off-spring protection. Call them chastity inhibitions. Of course, there would be inclinations to have orgasms through self-stimulation, contact with other males and in intercourse with just about any available female. The evolutionary function of chastity inhibitions is to hamper the wasteful dispersal of sperm. The chastity inhibitions would be strong negative feelings against the ways of wasting sperm. There would be feelings of disgust, shame and, yes, homophobia. Of course, the chastity inhibitions would not always successfully inhibit masturbation, homosexuality, promiscuity and rape. But they would stop enough useless and detrimental sperm dispersal to have survival of a pair bonding species.

As a non-scientist I am reluctant to suggest that I have any worthwhile knowledge of brain science. Nonetheless, let me suggest that the main brain regions operative in chastity inhibitions are in the amygdala.

As the various species of homo evolved some, viz. sapiens, developed brain regions giving them the capacity for thoughts which could be expressed in sentences both indicative and imperative. Let me say that the regions for these thinking capacities are in the pre-frontal cortex. Amongst these imperative thoughts are those with the semantics of moral thought. Here the significant semantic feature of moral imperatives is that they override all other imperatives and suggest that there is harm in the mere disobedience to them and a value in simply obeying them. These are categorical imperatives: Do this regardless of the consequences! Never do that regardless of any inclination to do otherwise! For instance: Never seek an organism exception with a woman with whom you have a commitment to care for her and your off-spring regardless of any inclination to do otherwise.

In my model of evolution of moral thought, I assume that the chastity inhibitions evolved to become expressible in moral imperatives. Assuming chastity inhibitions are helpful for survival, they would be strengthened by being expressible with moral thoughts. Also how moral thoughts can motivate action is explained by thinking of them as having evolved to, amongst other things, to express emotions.

So, in brief, moral rules are natures’, evolutions, way for us to commands acts we are naturally inclined, to some degree, to promote.

This model shows that it is not implausible for me to write of the moral code for which I argue as natural. I do not need to write of it as having a source in some supernatural or metaphysical realm. I do think that many who try to understand human beings as naturally developed beings would accept something like my model as an explanation of traditional morality or even what they call moral intuitions.

However, I am not entitled to claim that the morality I defend has originated in nature and is thereby justified. I cannot say that what is taken as right is right. I cannot go from “is” to “ought.”

On the other hand, the moral code I defend cannot be set aside by saying that it is a mere product of nature and rather primitive nature at that. It has to be taken seriously in our moral thinking whether we choose to defend it or argue to set it aside. Why? It is moral thinking and the moral thinking whereby we defend it or challenge it is of the same kind. At least those who believe that moral thinking is a result of natural development – evolution- have to accept that the moral thinking whereby they seek to set aside traditional morality is of the same kind as the moral thinking of traditional morality. They cannot regard their moral thinking as coming from some higher source outside of nature.

This line of thought supports one of the goals of my book which is that the moral thinking traditional sexual morality needs to be treated with respect in the current market place of ideas and not be dismissed as “hate speech” because it dares to condemn promiscuity, masturbation, homosexuality etc..

Read more about sexual morality in nature in my book Confronting Sexual Nihilism: Traditional Sexual Morality as an Antidote to Nihilism was released by Tate Publishing on March 11, 2014. See Book Web Page for information about the book. The publisher’s listed price is $26.99. Printed copies can be purchased here by credit card for $12.99, plus $3.71 for shipping and handling.





To purchase the printed book by check, send check of $16.70 per copy. Send to:
Charles F. Kielkopf
45 W. Kenworth Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214
Include your shipping address.

Complementarity of the Sexes vs. Harmony of the Sexes

I have recently published a book on sexual morality. It is a defense of traditional sexual morality At least the book is a defense of traditional sexual morality for men: No intentional attainment of orgasms until in sexual intercourse with a woman with whom there is a commitment to life long care of one another and any children resulting from their sexual intercourse.

I did not write to support any fundamental rule for the traditional morality for women because it might be different for women than for men. Women certainly have a different way of participating in sexual intercourse and relating to off-spring. I suggested that women might be the best people for articulating the fundamental principle for female sexuality.

I assumed that the moral rules for men and women, as well as men and women, complement one another in the broad sense that they function together in nature to bring about production and care of off-spring. As in so many species the male and female individuals in nature form new reproductive units. Of course, what happens in nature does not happen with mechanical regularity. Some individuals never mate while other mating units fail. But that’s nature.

But there is more harshness in nature than mere failure to attain a purpose. The attainment of a purpose may require frustration. Parts acting together may need to be “turn on” and “turn off” devices for the other part. That seems to be the way it is with men and women in their inclinations and maybe even in their moral principles. A turn off from one party when the other party is turning on certainly would not be harmony although it might well be how the complementarity is working best on this occasion. The “war of the sexes” is natural. Fortunately, there are many situations of mutual “turn on.” Occasional harmony is also natural.

Read more about sexual morality in nature in my book Confronting Sexual Nihilism: Traditional Sexual Morality as an Antidote to Nihilism was released by Tate Publishing on March 11, 2014. See Book Web Page for information about the book. The publisher’s listed price is $26.99. Printed copies can be purchased here by credit card for $12.99, plus $3.71 for shipping and handling.





To purchase the printed book by check, send check of $16.70 per copy. Send to:
Charles F. Kielkopf
45 W. Kenworth Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214
Include your shipping address.

Male Masturbators are Immoral

Male masturbators are immoral because they are acting on a principle or maxim that they can enjoy up through orgasm any imaginable sexual activity. There are, of course, external constraints on enjoying these activities with any unimagined person beyond oneself. There is fear of legal and social disapproval, lack of any interested partner, etc. The masturbator, though, places no internal restrictions, beyond his sexual interest, on these activities. There is no internal restriction on expanding these sexual interests when more exciting fantasies are needed for orgiastic pleasure.

The acts of a masturbator are not as serious as the acts of a man who actually carries out the sexual fantasy of the masturbator. But their sexual characters are the same. For instance, the masturbatory act of a man imagining fellatio with a nine year old boy is certainly not as serious as the act of a man who does it. But they both share the principle that they can enjoy this kind of activity.

Accepting a practice of masturbation is the basic form of an immoral sexual character for any man. Why? It puts him in conflict with any morality because in his imagination he can flout any rule. Any sexual morality will condemn some sexual activity*. A man who accepts his practice of masturbation holds that no only imagined sexual activities can be condemned.

*(Utilitarian moral outlooks which hold that in principle any sexual activity is permissible will hold some are in fact impermissible because of the damage they do.)

If this condemnation of masturbation interests, or irritates, you, my book defending traditional sexual morality might also be of interest.
My book Confronting Sexual Nihilism: Traditional Sexual Morality as an Antidote to Nihilism was released by Tate Publishing on March 11, 2014. See Book Web Page for information about the book. The publisher’s listed price is $26.99. Printed copies can be purchased here by credit card for $12.99, plus $3.71 for shipping and handling.





To purchase the printed book by check, send check of $16.70 per copy. Send to:
Charles F. Kielkopf
45 W. Kenworth Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214
Include your shipping address.

Penance: Guilt, Shame, Self-Loathing as Penitential Pain

This post elaborates on my February 16 Post: Penance: Pain as a Scapegoat Which Carries Away Moral Evil in two ways. First, I advocate mental pain as the proper penitential pain. Second, I bring out more of the theory rationalizing inflicting pain on yourself to cleanse yourself from a moral stain or heal yourself of a moral wound.

In my previous post, I suggested interpreting penance as a way of cleansing or healing ourselves for moral damage we inflicted upon ourselves by a wrong such as masturbation which in no clear way does any tangible damage to our bodies or anyone else’s body. My suggestion was that we inflict some tangible damage on ourselves. Penance as cleansing or healing works by linking the moral wrong with a tangible wrong which will heal. The healing tangible wound is taking away the moral harm with which it has been linked. We are morally cleansed because the moral wrong in us has gone away insofar as it was a type of wound in us. However, the moral wrong is still formerly – “on paper” – in our history until it is forgiven.

Forgiveness is another topic. Penance may be necessary for forgiveness but I do not think penance is sufficient for forgiveness

What kind of pain is a suitable penance for victimless sexual immoralities; especially masturbation? As suggested by the Lenten texts from Joel: “Rend your heart; not your garments” the pain should be interior – in the mind. Mental pain is tangible – guilt, shame and self-loathing are felt. Let yourself feel these pains by not giving yourself any excuses. Of course, as in any important endeavor, good judgment is needed to know when to “go one with your life” and let the mental pain and moral wound heal.

Why, though, inflict pain on ourselves so that it can become a wound which is supposed to take away a moral wound? Here I need to sketch out thoughts on the reasons for punishment.

One reason for punishment is restitution. I am not writing of penance as restitution. I am not thinking of penance being the infliction of some tangible damage to ourself as a way of paying back for a satisfaction immorally attained. For instance, the pay back for the pleasure of masturbation might be a cold shower. On this model the pain is paired with the illegitimate pleasure and then the pleasure-pain pair is neutralized. Such a model may be useful for understanding some dimensions of penance. But that is not the dimension which I am trying to understand. Here I am struggling with a belief that penance is appropriate to make myself cleaner or healthier after committing a moral wrong. I try bring myself back to my moral status I had before the immoral act. The restitution model does not seem to me to bring out making myself healthy after committing a moral wrong. It is too impersonal. Restitution brings our making the situation better. What can fairly be labeled a retribution model of penance brings out that penance is supposed to make me better by somehow removing the moral damage I brought upon myself. This is different from a rehabilitation model of penance where penance is to build my character. The retribution model is also different from a deterrence model. On a deterrence model, the masturbator would inflict some pain on himself after masturbating and threaten to inflict that pain on himself every time he masturbated. Cold showers might be his choice of deterrent.

Restitution, rehabilitation and deterrence are all important dimensions of penance. They are forward looking dimensions of penance. They aim at making the person or situation better in the future. Retribution is backward looking. In retribution we go back in our history to clean or heal a wound we suffered. We are trying to bring ourselves status quo ante.

My thoughts about penance, forgiveness etc., come from my emphasis on sexual immorality as producing moral harm in my book Confronting Sexual Nihilism .
My book Confronting Sexual Nihilism: Traditional Sexual Morality as an Antidote to Nihilism was released by Tate Publishing on March 11, 2014. See Book Web Page for information about the book. The publisher’s listed price is $26.99. Printed copies can be purchased here by credit card for $12.99, plus $3.71 for shipping and handling.





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