Contempt for Traditional Catholic Moral Theory

I tripped falling hard on my right side in front of finish line for the October 21, 2018 Columbus Nationwide 1/2 marathon.My right femur broke immediately below the hip socket. Dr.Li an OSU orthopedic surgeon provided me with a titanium hip and femur insert. I am facing a long slow recovery.

Am I called to use my recovery to reinvigorate a mission I began a few years ago? This mission is to use whatever philosophical skills I have to show that traditional sexual morality is as well justified as any set of moral rules for sexual activity. A case for traditional, and Catholic, sexuality morality deserves the attention of all who claim to be open minded. Unfortunately, there is widespread contempt, even amongst Catholics, for so-called natural law moral thinking allegedly supporting traditional sexual moral rules.

Amongst “analytic philosophers,” Simon Blackburn has a good solid academic reputation.

Simon Blackburn, in Lust Oxford U. Press New York 2004, laments the damage to sexual morality by the putative philosophic error of finding it given by by nature. He wrote “Yet it is almost impossible to exaggerate the effect of this simple combination of thoughts about lust, restraint, reason and what is natural. The entire Catholic doctrine of birth control depends upon it.”

He then starts his very short seventh chapter criticizing this moral
theory by writing: “We pause to reflect here on the argument that sex is for procreation, and hence that any sexual activity or desire that does not have reproduction as its aim is immoral. Here philosophy can come to the rescue. The dry way of doing it would be through teasing out various different
senses of “natural,” and then worrying quite how the move works from what there is in nature, and what ought to be there, in human activities. The quick way of realizing that something must be wrong is through humor.”

Blackburn uses humor. It is easy to sketch out scenarios of how ridiculous it is to take interfering with what a system typically produces as immoral. After all engineering is interfering with some functions of some natural systems.

We are entitled to resent Blackburn’s recourse to mockery rather than argument. However, we must respect the serious problem in justifying moral rules by specifying functions of a few natural systems which it is morally wrong to frustrate. This selection problem is really hard to solve. What are the principles which specify that it is morally permissible frustrate the face warming function of facial hair by shaving while it is morally forbidden to frustrate the reproductive function of a sexual climax by masturbation?

This selection problem is one of the major issues I tackle in my book defending traditional sexual morality. The solution cannot be sketched in a blog post. However, the main tactic is bipartite. First make a case that moral laws are just as fundamental in nature as are factual laws. Second make a case that some of the basic natural moral laws specify that the reproductive function of sexual activity ought never be intentionally frustrated.

My book on sexual morality makes a philosophical case for traditional 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. These blog posts are in effect work towards a 2nd edition. Free copies can be obtained here by credit card by paying $3.75 for shipping and handling.

To receive a free book, send check of $3.75 for shipping and handling per copy. Send to:
Charles F. Kielkopf
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