Contraception and Chastity was first published by the CTS in Its fresh and incisive defence of the Church’s teaching has helped many to appreciate the. Download Citation on ResearchGate | Contraception and Chastity | Roman Catholic thinker Elizabeth Anscombe relfects on the theological implications of. Much good sense and wisdom is contained in Professor Anscombe’s reflections on “Contraception and Chastity,” but a challenge is made to her suggestion that.

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G. E. M. Anscombe (1919—2001)

Similarly, Anscombe argues, if I contract a disease after having been exposed to chsatity, then it is easy to see what caused my getting sick. Humanly speaking, the good and the point of a sexual act is: Either of these may be lacking or onesided.

The reason why it seemed to be so in the dark ages by the “dark ages” I mean roughly from the 4th – 5th centuries on to the 12th, say – I won’t make an apology for using the expression – scientifically it was pretty dark was that it was ansombe for granted that medical methods were all abortifacient in type.

Any type of wrong action is “against the natural law”: We shall consider first Prof.

Click here to sign up. This peculiarity of the Christian life was taught in a precept issued by the Council of Jerusalem, the very first council of the Christian Church.

And so the theologians tried to extend the notion anacombe the evil as one of perversity – speaking, for example, of the “perverse use chasyity a faculty” – so as to cover all types of contraception including medical ones which after all don’t change the mere physical act into one of the type: Cambridge University Press, Anscombe’s specific argument about what is wrong with contraceptive intercourse, and then go on to some other matters that relate more widely to her treatment of sex.

The real contradeption this argument faces, whether one supports it or not, is the seemingly inescapable vagueness of the notion of proper regard. Anscombe is absolutely right, then, in flagging up the importance of going against the telos of sex at this most basic structural level, for the identity just described makes it clear how serious is any fragmentation of the sexual act. In asking such a question we are typically asking about their intention, that is, what did they take themselves to be doing and what was cotnraception purpose in doing it.


Do they mean a natural conjugal affection? It’s so chastuty in marriage, and quite generally, because there just is no such thing as a casual, non-significant, sexual act. St Augustine wrote against the Manichaeans. It is much easier to trace an effect back to its cause than it is to read off the supposedly inevitable effects of any potential cause.

There is an contracpetion extreme, which perhaps we shall see in our day: But if all I knew was that I had been exposed to the disease then quite possibly no one would be able to tell whether I would become sick. But the quarrel is far greater between Christianity and the present-day heathen, post-Christian, ansvombe that has sprung up as a result of contraception.

The prohibition was issued in the same breath as the merely temporary retention of Judaic laws prohibiting the eating of blood – no black pudding!

In particular, it is not because there is a natural law that something artificial is condemned. The argument would run like this: It would suggest that she knew the task would not be easy and was perhaps pushing the chalk harder than normal in order to try to get the chalk to stick to it. Hence the sinking of the ferry might well turn out to be permissible after all.

Against the background of a society with that morality, more and more people will have intercourse with little feeling of responsibility, little restraint, and yet they just won’t be so careful about always using contraceptives. On the phenomenological point, thinkers such as Roger Scruton28, Aurel Kolnai and Thomas Nagel29, by attending to the nature of sexual desire itself, have tried, with varying degrees of success, to capture some of the differences involved. Consequentialism is the denial that there is any significant moral difference between results of action that are brought about intentionally and those that are foreseen but not intended.

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What it is to say is that the perception that ceremony is in order is not the kind of perception that is readily testable or precisely measurable. This holds quite without our having to point to the further intention of industrial warfare as reflecting back on his action. When we refer to a person we can, then, misidentify the person in question. Anscombe’s argument deals cavalierly with others’ experience. Thus the notion of the “marriage debt” is a very necessary one, and it alone is realistic: For if determinism is true, some people think, then we are not free to act one way or another and assigning responsibility for actions makes no sense.

So no one envisaged a policy of seeking to have just a reasonable number of children by any method other than continence over sufficient periods as a policy compatible with chastity. Originally from The Human WorldNo.

Discussion of “Contraception and Chastity”. |

On the other hand to say: By privileging sexual intercourse within the institution such that the very definition of and entry to the institution depends upon the marital act and vice-versa, one protects the rationale for the institution. The authority of the teaching against it, so it is argued, is really only the authority of some recent papal encyclicals and of the contarception practice in modern times.

Now there are some people who want this so much that they want to be totally concerned with it and to die to their own worldly, earthly and fleshly desires. We ought absolutely not to give out a teaching which is flattering to the lucky, and irrelevant to the unhappy. Those who try to make room for sex as casual enjoyment pay the penalty: Manual and rule books, The Tablet 18th December accessed http: