Category Archives: Sexual morality

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.





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.

Married couples are not individuals in the courting pool?

I highly recommend Robert Reilly’s Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything, Ignatius Press, 2014. Subsequent posts will likely use themes from his well written but unsettling account of how moral acceptance of homosexuality is corrupting our country. Despite my endorsement, I may seem negative by examining his suggestions that acceptance of contraception for married couples lead to “making Gay Okay.”
I refer to my Kindle edition. So, there are no page references.

About 83% of the way through his book, locations 3696-3703, Reilly traces today’s endorsement of gay-marriage back to the Anglican church’s limited acceptance of birth control at its 1930 Lambeth Conference. Reilly wrote: “Contraception used to be proscribed, then it was prescribed, and now it has become almost obligatory in the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act, which proposes to penalize employers who do not provide it, along with abortifacients and sterilization procedures, to their employees with fines of $100 per worker per day. I only wish there were survivors from the 1930 Lambeth Conference – which first endorsed a limited use of contraceptives- who might be forced to attend the Gay Pride events and officiate at same-sex “marriages”, so they could dwell upon what they hath wrought. Just as there is no such thing as being a little bit pregnant, there is no such thing as a little compromise on moral principles…”

The relevant resolutions of the Anglican bishops in 1930 are readily available. They give a very weak and vague permission for married couples to have sexual intercourse with the intent of preventing that intercourse from resulting in conception. Visit: http://www.lambethconference.org/resolutions/1930/1930-15.cfm Look at resolutions 8 to 20 on marriage and sex; especially 15. Today they would be considered ultra-conservative. The bishops thought that sale of contraceptives such as condoms should be illegal.

In location 3693, Reilly quipped: “As mentioned before, first came contraception and the embrace of no-fault divorce. Once sex was detached from diapers, the rest became more or less inevitable.”

In locations 1496-1501, he highlighted a few steps in a line of reasoning. “The separation of sex from procreation logically leads to the legalization of contraception, then to abortion, and finally to homosexual marriage and beyond. The logic is compelling, in fact, inescapable. Only the premise is insane.”

Is the line of reasoning compelling? What are the intermediate steps? What is the first premise? Is it insane? Such careful questioning of the suggested line of reasoning is a long and difficult logical analysis most suitable for a philosophy journal. Here, I will only consider two versions of a first premise separating sex from procreation. There are many, many ways of stating principles granting moral permission to separate sex from procreation.
The first version is a “strong” premise. This strong first premise plausibly leads to all else which Reilly mentions. Then I will express a weak version of separating sex from procreation which does not, without some special assumptions about the moral significance of marriage, directly lead to the moral permissibility of all the sexual activity to which Reilly alludes.
The strong moral separability of sex from procreation specifies:
Whether or not the pursuit of sexual satisfaction can lead to conception is irrelevant to the moral evaluation of that pursuit of sexual satisfaction.

This strong version is basically the progressive stance on sexuality which is the main target of my book. The stance is that pursuit of sexual satisfaction is to be evaluated by general rules for protection of life and property. Roughly: It’s OK as long as it does not hurt anyone. It legitimatizes sex outside of marriage, masturbation, homosexuality and sex with animals for those so inclined. Abortion requires a few more assumptions to be justified because, after all, a human at some stage of human life is killed. The progressive stance is the dominant stance in our culture.

I argue against the progressive stance by pointing out how its trivialization of sex by separating sex from procreation leads to a view that human life is insignificant, viz., nihilism. Is holding a nihilist outlook, even implicitly, insane?
The weak premise applies to married couples. I regard marriage as between one man and one woman in a union paradigmatically for the procreation and development of children. The weak premise is my restatement of the 1930 Lambeth Resolution.

The weak moral separability of marital sex from procreation specifies:
On occasion for reasons of health or finances, a married couple may pursue sexual satisfaction with each other although they take steps to insure that the satisfaction cannot, or is very unlikely, to lead to conception.
Here by “take steps” I refer to mechanical or chemical intervention to reduce significantly the probability of coitus resulting in fertilization. I call these interventions “artificial birth control.” Withdrawal, use of a condom or intrauterine shield are mechanical means. A sterilization operation is not a type of mechanical method under consideration here. Various birth control pills which are not abortifacients are chemical means for this discussion.

Logic alone does not extend a permission granted to a subset of the population to the whole population. Indeed thinking that logic extends such a permission is to commit a fallacy of composition.I.e., thinking what is true of a part is true of the whole. Of course, sometimes what is true of a part is true of the whole. Is a married couple a subpopulation which has special moral privileges? This question, provoked by Reilly leads me to reconsider the birth control issue. So, the permissiveness in the general population do not follow by logic alone from permissibility of separating occasionally mating, coitus, from possibility of conception amongst married couples.

What should be said about the morality of a married couple practicing artificial birth control? In Confronting Sexual Nihilism my Chapter VIII focused on the issue. , I raise a consideration that leads me to continue to give the birth control issue careful scrutiny. The consideration is that a married couple forms a special unit in the human pool for courting, mating and bonding. Maybe the stance of the book was somewhat inaccurate because it did not take seriously enough that a married couple has special sexual moral obligations and privileges which they do not have as individuals.

The principle of sexual morality for which I argued in Confronting Sexual Nihilism is far from a complete sexual morality. It is only a principle restricting males’ pursuit of orgasms, viz., sperm dispersal. It restricted a man to seeking orgasms only in a sexual act which could lead to conception with a women to whom he was bound by a life-long commitment to care for her and any children resulting from his acts. I called the restriction: The Paternal Principle. There is much more to sexual morality than the Paternal Principle. For instance, there are proper ways to court and bond. And, of course, there is the whole realm of principles for female sexuality.

In my book I regarded the courting pool as the sexually mature individuals who courted, bonded and mated i.e., had sexual intercourse. I regarded all men and women as in the courting pool and sexual morality as the rules for people in the courting pool. I did not pay attention to status differences within the pool. Marriage gives a man and a woman special status in the courting pool. They have the privilege of sexual intercourse with one another. They have the privilege of others being severely restricted from courting, bonding or mating with them. But they are severely restricted from courting or bonding with others. They are strictly forbidden to mate with others.

Do these pairs form units for which there are some special moral obligations and privileges apart from those for individuals? There are external rules for the pairs in relationship to other pairs and individuals. For instance, as noted above, they are morally protected from outsiders seriously courting them; let alone mating with them. There could be internal sexual rules for the married individuals with their marriage which they would not have as individuals. For instance, it might be sexually immoral for a married man to abstain from sexual relations with his wife for a long period for some religious reasons. Internal marital morality, conjugal chastity, is of concern for discussion of birth control.

The gist of my argument that artificial birth control is immoral for a married couple is that the practice subverts the foundation of their marriage. Marriage has it special privileges and obligations because it is the institution for using coitus for reproduction. Separating coitus from reproduction undermines that foundation as I argue in Ch. VIII 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 $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.

Prince Albert and The Paternal Principle

In the September 25, 2014 issue of the New York Review of Books, the British writer, Geoffrey Wheatcroft reviews a biography of Edward VII: The Heir Apparent, A Life of Edward VII, The Playboy Prince, Jane Ridley, Random House, 2014. The review is titled “The Hedonist King Who Knew His Place.” Wheatcroft writes with sophisticated amusement of Bertie’s (Albert Edward’s) sexual promiscuity during his many years as Prince of Wales. This sophisticated acceptance of male promiscuity as perhaps naughty, but not really immoral, is the main critical target of my book. In this post, though, I want to examine a reprimand Bertie’s father, Prince Albert, sent when learning of Bertie’s losing his “virginity” while serving a brief period with the army. I want to point out how a holder of the paternal principle would find the reprimand and find the straightforward language appropriate. What is the reprimand? I quote from Wheatcroft’s review and place the reprimand in bold italic type. For comparison purposes, I repeat the Paternal Principle from my book.

“Some of the younger officers had sportingly smuggled” Nellie Clifton “a superior tart” “into a hut in the camp, where she introduced Bertie to the joys of sex. Lord Tarrington, a lord-in waiting to Queen Victoria, maliciously repeated the rumors to Albert with devastating effect. Victoria never forgot”… “in a letter of terrible reproach Albert told Bertie how shameful it was

to thrust yourself into the hands of one of the most abject of the human species, to be by her initiated in the sacred mysteries of creation, which ought to remain shrouded in holy awe until touched by pure & undefiled hands.

It’s hard to imagine such a letter written by a father to a son in 1961, or 1761 for that matter and even at that time”…

Prince Albert died at age 42 shortly after reprimanding Bertie. Queen Victoria felt that Bertie’s sexual misconduct was a factor in Albert’s death.

Statement of The Paternal Principle,

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.

A holder of the Paternal Principle cannot quarrel with the thought expressed in Prince Albert’s reprimand. I can imagine fathers who belong to an organization such as the Knights of Columbus writing such a reprimand and imagine many more at least thinking that they should reprimand their sons in this way if they heard of them having sex with a prostitute or even having one-night stands. I can imagine many men reflecting with shame, expressible in similar words on some of their early sexual experiences. Of course, as their sons grow older and are not being “initiated” into these “sacred mysteries” fathers may conclude that it is not worthwhile reprimanding their sons. They ignore these immoralities with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy familiar to many of us who hold the Paternal Principle and realize when reprimands are ineffective in controlling the behavior of others. However, when reflecting on our own behaviors where we control how we act such sharp reprimands are always in place when we violate the Paternal Principle. Realization that we should be subject to such a reprimand is a helpful thought for fighting off temptations to violate the Paternal Principle. Prince Albert’s reprimand could be slightly rephrased to reprimand masturbation or homosexual activity.

I cannot say that a man should be so sensitive that he “falls apart” if he learns that his son has violated the Principle or realizes that he has violated the Paternal Principle. I can say that a man should not be so sensitive to “sophisticated opinions” that scorn the Paternal Principle that he is afraid to express publicly and privately in judging himself the strong judgment of Prince Albert’s reprimand. In this case, Prince Albert got it right.

However, what about the case of a married couple practicing birth control?

In Wheatcroft’s review we also read about birth control.”Not the least important of the many social changes during the queen’s very long reign was that, as natality statistics plainly show, by the 1890s the higher classes im England were practicing birth control by one means or another. That had not been so in the 1840s, but if any woman would ever have been grateful for the Pill it was Victoria, who hated pregnancy and childbirth as much as she relished passionate nights with Albert. Sad to say she took it out on her chihldren.” She had nine children

So, this post leads into a series of posts on the morality of artificial birth control.

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.

Motiviation for My Condemning Immoralities

In two recent posts, I deliveredmoral condemnation of homosexual acts and life styles. Why? Here ‘why’ is not asking for the reason for which I conclude homosexuality morally wrong. The argument, or reasons, for concluding that it is wrong are in my book :Confronting Sexual Nihihlism. Here ‘why’ asks for my motives for arguing against homosexuality and expressing the conclusions of these arguments.

My intellectual motives for arguing against homosexuality and other sexual immoralities are easier to specify than my social motives for expressing these conclusions. My motives for expressing the conclusions are those for making recommendations to other people or giving other people information. These motives for expressing vary with circumstances; especially the audience to whom I intend to communicate. With respect to the intended readership of my book, I have two primary motives for expressing the moral condemnation of homosexuality. I want to explain my objection to gay-marriage and recommendation of a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.

If homosexual activity is immoral, pair-bondings in which it is practiced should not be dignified by being called ‘marriage.’ The term ‘marriage’ is to be reserved for male/female bondings in which the morally proper sexual acts are performed. Publicly labeling people as immoral demeans them even if they boast of their immorality. For instance, a man who brags of cheating at cards, demeans himself whether or not he realizes it. Most emphatically: A man who boasts of cheating on his wife degrades himself. Unless some public good is accomplished by accusing a man of the immorality of homosexuality, the man should not be demeaned by being so labeled. In general, little public good is accomplished by labeling people as homosexual. Public good is accomplished by calling a man whose adultery is well known “an adulter.”

So, I recommend not demeaning homosexuals but propose demeaning adulterous men. If homosexuals want to be so labeled, they are fools who fail to realize that they making themselves look foolish. I will not cooperate with them when they make themselves look foolish. I suppose that I should add to “don’t ask, don’t tell,’ a guideline for what to do if “they tell.” My guideline, and practice, is “don’t listen.” I do not express moral judgment against homosexuality in vain hopes that mere expressions of judgments can help cure the condition. I defintely do not express a judgment that homosexuality is immoral to urge legislation against homosexual activies. In general, I oppose dealing with this moral issue with legal sanctions.

Actually, in my book, I tried to find good justification for my judgments that masturbation, fornication and adultery are immoral. Fortunately, I am not afflicted with have same sex-attractions. Condemnation of homosexuality is simply a corollary of a general principle- The Paternal Principle- for which I argue.

My intellectual motive for arguing for the immorality of homosexuality, and the other male sexual immoralities, is to convince myself that my judgment that homosexuality et al. are immoral is a well founded judgment. I want to know what is wrong for me. But this requires knowing first what is wrong for others.

As these next few Blog posts develop, it emerges that I am trying to understand the moral harm I would do to myself by performing one of these immoral acts. From a definition, in §II.7 of my book, ‘moral harm’ is specified to be the bad status a person has by violating a moral rule. In so far as the purpose of moral thinking is to guide us on how to be the right kind of people, there needs to be a sense of what this moral harm is over and above what the definition says.

The most important moral thinking is the moral thinking which guides individuals on how to be the right kind of people – how to form their moral character. Understandings of morality which hold that the most important moral thinking is for forming character are called character moralities. This important moral thinking is an inseparable combination of thinking that a rule forbids something and sensing that simply violating the rule is harmful to the violator. Developing this sense of the harm of moral harm requires thinking from the “inside” so to speak. You need to think of what you would be doing to yourself by simply violating a moral rule which you believe to be correct. Much of what follows will be my doing this “inside” thinking. Readers have to do it for themselves.

My parents, schools, traditions of my communities, etc., caused me to have certain moral opinions. Here I will stay with sexual morality. I, as most of us, confront many challenges to our moral opinions. My intellectual motive behind arguing for moral judgments is to bring me to a conviction that my moral opinions are well founded or need modification to be well founded. In general, I try to justify the opinions which I received; but not always. I have imagined living in accordance with “progressive” moral practices contrary to moral teachings I received from my Catholic tradition. The imagined way of life -a life style in accordance with the so-called sexual revolution – seemed an empty pursuit of pleasure leading to nothing.

Now recognition that a sexual morality contrary to traditional sexual morality leads to nihilism does not justify traditional sexual morality. However, it indicates an aspect of what the moral harm of the violations. The threat of nihilism by abandoning traditional sexual morality provides motivation for trying to justify traditional Catholic sexual morality. Justifying it means trying to show that reason supports it.

To show that reason supports a moral opinion requires showing that acts or ways of acting in accordance with the opinion are general requirements for human beings. These general requirements are expressed as moral rules forbidding or permitting certain acts or ways of acting. Most often, the rules are negative. The usual form is: Thou shalt not. Because reason deals with general principles, using reason to discover what I am forbidden to do, requires first using reason to establish what everyone is forbidden to do. So, the intellectual effort to justify my judgment that I am forbidden to intentionally attain a sexual climax outside the context of my marriage to a woman requires justifying a judgment that such seeking of sexual climaxes is forbidden to everyone. With respect to intellectual motivation, my condemnation of homosexuality is a by-product of what I really wanted to discover about my moral entitlements to attain orgasms.

In my next posts, I I plan to display my “inside” thinking of violating traditional sexual morality in order to arouse a sense of the moral harm of such violations.

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. Buy printed copy here with credit card for $10 off the listed price: $16.99.



Homosexual acts are immoral and active homosexuals are immoral: 1st Post

The purpose of this post and the next is to clarify where I stand on the morality of male homosexuality; on both the morality of the acts and the morality of the character of those who practice those acts. In blog posts I will present arguments to support various facets of the traditional sexual morality for which I argue in my book. I want to avoid having my arguments gain any extra appeal because readers are unclear where I stand. I am assuming that morally condemning homosexuality is unpopular. So, being coy about whether or not I think homosexuality is immoral might lead some to view my arguments more favorably. I do not want to mislead anyone.

In this post I will specify why I judge the acts and the men to be immoral. In the next post, I will assess the significance of making these negative moral judgments. In my book Confronting Sexual Nihihlism I argue for
The Paternal Principle,
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.

Moral condemnation of homosexual acts is an immediate consequence of the paternal principle. In the book I develop what I call “character morality.” In character morality, a man has a moral flaw if he has a principle for satisfying an inclination in conflict with the fundamental principle on how that inclination ought to be satisfied. So active homosexuals have a moral character flaw.

Of course, here the moral judgment against homosexual acts and homosexual men is derived from the Paternal Principle. The fundamental argument is that of the book wherein I argue for the Paternal Principle.
My next post assess the significance of these moral judgments.

What is the significance of making these judgments?

These judgments tell men with same sex attractions acts which they should try not to commit and styles of life which they should try to improve. They are instructions on how to become better men. More on this in the next post.

Homosexual acts are immoral and active homosexuals are immoral: 2nd Post

What is the significance of my judgments that homosexual acts are immoral and active homosexuals are immoral?

First and foremost, these judgments express my firm belief that I would be performing an immoral act if I performed a homosexual act and that I would have an immoral character trait as long as I lacked a firm purpose of avoiding such acts.
This belief is not a mere thought that I would be immoral. The thought in the belief is mixed with a sense of the wrongness of the acts and way of life. The sense of wrongness is hard to describe. I usually characterize it as a sense of being under the control of a power with no concern for right or wrong – only for its satisfaction. Lust is a good label for that driving power I dread.

Secondly it tells men with same sex attractions about acts which they should try not to commit and styles of life which they should try to eliminate. They are instructions on how to become better men. The sense of wrongness accompanying the thought of the wrongness of the others’ acts comes from counterfactual thinking. To have a sense of the wrongness of other peoples’ acts I have to think how I would feel if I did what they are doing but having my thought of the wrongness.

When I do not try to think of what it would be like to be the active homosexual with my thought of the wrongness of homosexual acts my typical sense is pity. I am gratefull that I do not have their sexual inclinations.

I have explicitly written that I do not want to gain support for my arguments because people are unclear about my moral disapproval of homosexuality. However, I do not want people to become illogically hostile to my arguments on other issues because they think that I have some judgments about homosexuality which go way beyond judging homosexuality to be immoral.

First note that my judgments about the immorality of homosexuality does not require any definite judgments about how legal systems should deal with homosexuality. In fact, I tend to be rather Libertarian about legal control of sexuality. In regard to social control of homosexuality, I strongly favor a policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” This is based on Golden Rule thinking. If I were afflicted with same sex attraction I would like my friends and family help me “keep it in the closet.”

Note finally that from the perspective of the Paternal Principle habitual masturbators, adulterers, fornicators etc., are all sexually immoral in both their acts and life-style.
For instance with regard to sexual morality, a young man, with heterosexual attractions, who regularly goes to bars to pick up women for one night stands is as morally corrupt as a young man, with homosexual attactions, who regularly goes to gay bars to pick up another man.