I decided today to set down some things that I do when it comes to arguing about sexual morality. I know a lot of reasons given for teenagers and others to practice abstinence today seems to come down to STDs, unplanned pregnancy, guilt, and future regret. A lot of reasons against them also come from statistics showing negative results that can follow these actions.
Now I’m not against these insofar as they are true at this point. I do think though that these arguments should be secondary arguments. Why? I do believe that we can imagine a Brave New World easily where we’ve eliminated the problems of the first set that I mentioned. We could have no disease or pregnancy unwanted and we could have soma to eradicate negative feelings.
As for the second one, in such a society, we could probably avoid the dangerous statistics then as well. Furthermore, just because something doesn’t seem to produce the results we desire, I do not see how that necessarily means it’s immoral. It could be a good clue, but are we not putting the cart before the horse?
What method do I prefer? I prefer to argue about what sexuality really is. What is it’s intended purpose? What does it mean when we say that people are sexual? Why do I keep insisting that people have sex and are sexual long before they have sexual intercourse? At that level, because the words matter. Words shape ideas and this is a battle of ideas that we are in.
Of course, I am thankful for the statistics that so many other people find and I think that they are a part of a case, but not as the primary one. The danger is that if we did eliminate the secondary problems, could we say that sexual intercourse as anything other than between a man and a woman is immoral? I’m not sure we could if our only grounds were in secondary issues.
This will also get us to asking the main issues. We believe that disease seems to spread when intercourse takes place outside of husband and wife. Why does the system work like that? We seem to have to have condoms in order for people to be protected during sexual intercourse? Why does the most loving act of all require protection from your lover? Pre-marital intercourse seems to lead to trouble in marriage later on. Why is that?
This will get us into questions of what sexuality really is. Why is it important? It will also lead us to questions about morality. Why do we treat sexual morality so uniquely? Why is it that we believe that this is reserved only for marriage? Why do I even have sexual desire if I’m supposed to wait.
Yes. I plan to keep posting on this topic, but I wanted to set down the parameters I work with. I am not a statistician nor am I an expert on disease. I’m simpler a philosopher and a theologian.