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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People who are not quite happily married, not lucky in their married life, but nevertheless have a loyalty to the bond, are not, therefore, bound to abstain from intercourse. Pope Paul removed the matter from the competency of the Council and reserved to the Pope that new judgment on it which the modern situation and the new discoveries – above all, of oral contraceptives – made necessary. The real problem this argument faces, whether one supports it or not, is the seemingly inescapable vagueness of the notion of proper regard.

These differences were the measure, great enough, of the separation between Christianity and the pagan world in these matters. But of course the notion of homicide is just not extendable to most forms of contraception. Christians were taught that husband and wife had equal rights in one another’s bodies; a wife is wronged by her husband’s adultery as well as a husband by his wife’s.

She quite explicitly is not forbidding the use of the word ought. Biologically speaking, sexual intercourse is the reproductive act just as the organs are named generative organs from their role. Discussion of “Contraception and Chastity”. In all these cases but the last both parties may of course be consenting. Causation Like Wittgenstein, Anscombe was concerned about the culture around her. It was clear that the condemnation was of deliberately contraceptive intercourse as a breach of chastity, as “a shameful thing”.

Elizabeth Anscombe and Contraception | Anthony McCarthy –

The reason why people are confused about intention, and why they sometimes think there is no difference between contraceptive intercourse and the use of infertile times to avoid conception, is this: They pretend to believe what they cannot chastiyy do not in fact believe. She expresses horror at any homosexual act, presumably because it transgresses natural law. This is the example that Anscombe uses most often. In the case of the contraceptive question, her confidence was at least derived from her supposing it to be a subject of a priori ane even though, as we have already said, we regard that supposition as mistaken, and the reasoning itself as sophistical.


And there were exclamations against the Pope for pressing medical experts to find out more, so that there could be certainty here. That’s the range of sins against chastity which got this label “sin against nature.

Brute here does not mean absolute as opposed to relative. Only the person who happens to have made a promise is obligated by it, for one thing. But the point here is that dispositions are affected in important ways such that the possible commitment to PS is rendered ccontraception difficult. Nor is it a prediction about what I expect to happen once I reach the kitchen. It is possible to act badly because of having a bad intention, of course, but it is also possible, as the example of writing on a wet chalkboard shows, for action to go wrong because of errors in execution.

If we are very unlucky we may live in a society that has wrecked or deformed this human thing. One of many assumptions which were granted to Prof.

Anscombe, G. E. M. | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Professor Winch may get to see the point by thinking about the difference between sabotage and working-to-rule. I think one has to know about it in order to appreciate the teachings of Christianity about chastity in a wide sense. Traditionally as she sees it the answer was God. From ’64 onwards there was an immense amount of propaganda for the reversal of previous teaching.

The appetite for killing children is a rather common characteristic in the human race. By retaining the importance of objective bodily structures and all they mean as well as our immediate intentions in the sexual arena, she honours the marital meaning of our sexual acts and organs and refuses to obscure the sui generis nature of the sexual-ethical sphere. McCabe draws the analogy of football, where the purpose of the game is to score goals but where a back-pass may serve this overall end.

She warns some of her faith against an error of supposing that having intercourse as a result of a desire for pleasure in intercourse is doing it “purely for pleasure, “where that means that “sensuality is in command. Its absence is sad, but this sadness exists; it is very common.

Contraception and Chastity

I mean that of the rational limitation of families. And contracepttion point in turn may suggest a built-in significance to sexual activity in general.


Or so she thinks. If you can turn intercourse into something other than the reproductive type of act I don’t mean of course that every act is reproductive any more than every acorn leads to an oak-tree but it’s the reproductive type of act then why, if you can change it, should it be restricted to the married?

We wouldn’t, for example, make the sexual organs objects of a cultic veneration; or perform sexual acts as part of religious rituals; or prepare ourselves for sexual intercourse as for a sacrament.

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Action is not like this: So what has to be explained is why in this case this sort of difference does import the vital moral distinction; that is to say, we need some further description of the two types of act, such that causal intervention makes the difference between the one type and the other.

Her book Intention aims to shed light on the concept of intention, and hence on intentional action, and the difference between intentional, rational action and non-rational behavior. Logic, Cause and Action: People just won’t be so careful. Its potentialities in all things the world cares about may be slight; but there is always the possibility of what it’s for.

Well now, people raise the cry of “legalism” one of the regular accusations of the present day against this idea which I have taken from the old theologians of “rendering what is owing,” the giving the other person this part of married life, which is owing. Here, however, people still feel intensely confused, because the intention where oral contraceptives are taken seems to be just the same as when intercourse is deliberately restricted to infertile periods.

But of course sexual pleasure is one of the things along with structural features that links substitutionary sex to procreative-type sex: From ’64 onwards there was an immense amount of propaganda for the reversal of previous teaching. For when is intercourse purely for the sake of pleasure? Indeed, Anscombe writes that we ought not to try to drop such talk.