OrthodoxChristianity.net
September 01, 2014, 02:56:40 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 »   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Contraception & Natural Law  (Read 40301 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Mardukm
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 423


« Reply #45 on: May 15, 2009, 02:40:59 PM »

But I have since learned that the parameters are always mutating.  Grin
More likely, you did not know enough about the Catholic Church before you left.

Blessings
Logged
Mardukm
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 423


« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2009, 02:42:42 PM »

Ex Cathedra statements require an assent that is to God...

Are you saying that the pope is synonymous to God!!!
No, but infallible teaching, whether from Sacred Tradition, the Pope ex cathedra, from an Ecumenical Council, or from the bishops of the world united in one voice yet dispersed throughout the world, are to be accepted as if the teaching came directly from God himself.  I guess the EO don't claim that?  Strange.

Blessings
Yeah, I thought that EOs viewed the teachings of Ecumenical Councils as teachings from God.
It seems brother Mickey is a bit confused.  Or maybe he is just being polemical. Huh

Blessings
Logged
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #47 on: May 15, 2009, 03:52:58 PM »

Yeah, I thought that EOs viewed the teachings of Ecumenical Councils as teachings from God too. Very strange indeed.

Yeah, methinks Mickey might be polemicist maximus.  If you don't want to be part of the RCC, fine, but you don't have to go around picking fights.
Logged
Pilgrim
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Inquirer
Jurisdiction: Holy Orthodoxy
Posts: 304



« Reply #48 on: May 15, 2009, 06:34:21 PM »

Which, BTW, is the problem.

Is it right, wrong, or does it vary with the situation?

You will likely find a variety of opinions on this one.

Some are dead set against ANY form of contraception (even NFP), some say it is alright only to space out children, others allow it due to the unitive nature of sex, etc.

Being against contraception is not peculiarly Roman Catholic (like believing the office of the Pope is of divine origin and the channel of the church's infallibility on faith and morals). It's not even peculiarly Catholic in general.

Before 1930 all Christians agreed it's wrong. ALL. Including Protestants from high-church Lutherans to hardshell Baptists to writhing Pentecostals. Including... the Orthodox.

Given the decentralised nature of the Orthodox communion - not only no Vatican but not even a Lambeth (being invited to which defines who is Anglican) - it's fair to say there is a range of opinion on it there now, from agreeing with Rome/the early church/the Orthodox before the 1950s or so to more or less where mainline Protestantism was on the subject 50 years ago (it's between the couple, the minister and God, and only for the married).

One bishop, even one patriarch, issuing an encyclical yea or nay on the subject would not define Orthodoxy like the Pope does for Rome.

Citing widespread dissent on this among RCs is a slippery slope used by pro-aborts and people who believe in same-sex marriage (which is where the mainline Protestant churches are now: almost anything goes in a 'loving relationship' of consenting adults, hetero or same-sex). I don't think an Orthodox wants to use that argument.

Nice to hear about Western Rite ROCOR but...

'The Divine Liturgy of St Gregory'? Why not call it what it is, in all its goodness: 'the Roman Mass'? Byzantinisations like that are like when a Greek Catholic takes down the iconostasis and has groups praying the Rosary in church. For the same misguided reason (proving one's loyalty to one's church by copying its majority rite and differentiating from the bigger church that uses your rite). It's just not on.

Besides the Orthodox already have a Liturgy of St Gregory (Dialogos, the Pope of Rome), that of the Presanctified Gifts.

So the Orthodox  DID at one time have a more unified position (I knew about the pre-1930's opinion, having found it out to great surprise as an anti-Catholic reading Scott Hahn's Rome Sweet Home). Has there been any open debate among Clergy or the Laity on this subject recently? Perhaps in response to Humanae Vitae?

On the western rite, I think I would advocate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the rite of St. Pius V. In Latin, of course. I've also been interested in the move to restore the Liturgy by Traditional Anglicans...

If I became Orthodox, I would still hold to Western traditions (non-heretical ones), and resist Byzantinizations in the west as much as I did (and still do) Latinizations in the eastern Catholic rites.
Logged

Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth help us to walk the way of Life, which is Christ Jesus.

St. Cyril, St. Leo, and St. Severus pray that the Church may be united and one, Eastern and Oriental.St. Issac the Syrian, pray that Assyria would return to the Holy Church. St. Gregory, pray for Rom
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #49 on: May 17, 2009, 02:45:43 AM »

So here is my direct question:

Does the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill ("The Pill") in all or any of its various forms allow for conception to take place, but then prevent the fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterine wall?  I am trying to understand why "the Pill" is such a hot-button issue on the ethical front.

Does "the Pill" cause "little abortions"?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 02:46:10 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Quinault
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 4,509


What about frogs? I like frogs!


« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2009, 04:04:16 AM »

There are various types of birth control pills that prevent pregnancy in various way. The "mini pill" or progesterone only pill that is supposed to cease ovulation and thicken the cervical fluid so that it doesn't allow sperm to swim very well, but it must be taken daily at a very specific time and is far from completely effective. And the break-thru ovulation each month can be as high as 60% and it also causes the endometrium not to thicken so that the uterus is not conducive to a healthy pregnancy.

Then there are estrogen/progestin pills. Ideally these pills stop your body from ovulating altogether so that the egg is never released so you can't conceive. But this method isn't too reliable either because it can be nullified rather easily. Break thru ovulation can occur up to as much as 2 out of 10 cycles. Additionally pills cause the fallopian tubes not to "push" the egg thru to the uterus and cause the uterine lining to become hostile to any egg implanting. This is the most problematic aspect in that conception- or meeting of egg and sperm- occurs before implantation. And it also increases the chance of ectopic pregnancy.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 04:09:00 AM by Quinault » Logged
Mardukm
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 423


« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2009, 04:34:06 AM »

So the Orthodox  DID at one time have a more unified position (I knew about the pre-1930's opinion, having found it out to great surprise as an anti-Catholic reading Scott Hahn's Rome Sweet Home). Has there been any open debate among Clergy or the Laity on this subject recently? Perhaps in response to Humanae Vitae?

On the western rite, I think I would advocate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the rite of St. Pius V. In Latin, of course. I've also been interested in the move to restore the Liturgy by Traditional Anglicans...

If I became Orthodox, I would still hold to Western traditions (non-heretical ones), and resist Byzantinizations in the west as much as I did (and still do) Latinizations in the eastern Catholic rites.
I believe the EP praised Humanae Vitae when it was first promulgated.

Blessings
Logged
Mardukm
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 423


« Reply #52 on: May 17, 2009, 04:36:26 AM »

Dear brother Quinault,

Your concise description reinforces my belief of how utterly opposed ABC is to God's Natural Law.

Blessings

There are various types of birth control pills that prevent pregnancy in various way. The "mini pill" or progesterone only pill that is supposed to cease ovulation and thicken the cervical fluid so that it doesn't allow sperm to swim very well, but it must be taken daily at a very specific time and is far from completely effective. And the break-thru ovulation each month can be as high as 60% and it also causes the endometrium not to thicken so that the uterus is not conducive to a healthy pregnancy.

Then there are estrogen/progestin pills. Ideally these pills stop your body from ovulating altogether so that the egg is never released so you can't conceive. But this method isn't too reliable either because it can be nullified rather easily. Break thru ovulation can occur up to as much as 2 out of 10 cycles. Additionally pills cause the fallopian tubes not to "push" the egg thru to the uterus and cause the uterine lining to become hostile to any egg implanting. This is the most problematic aspect in that conception- or meeting of egg and sperm- occurs before implantation. And it also increases the chance of ectopic pregnancy.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2009, 05:13:57 AM »

I believe the EP praised Humanae Vitae when it was first promulgated.


Indeed he did.  Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras wrote to the Pope to assure him of his "total agreement" with the encyclical's contents:

"We assure you that we remain close to you, above all
in these recent days when you have taken the good step
of publishing the encyclical Humanae Vitae. We are in total
agreement with you, and wish you all God's help to continue
your mission in the world."

~Patriarch Athenagoras' telegramme to Pope Paul VI, 9 August 1968, reprinted in Towards the Healing of Schism, ed. & trans. E.J. Stormon ,1987.
Logged
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2009, 09:08:09 AM »

So here is my direct question:

Does the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill ("The Pill") in all or any of its various forms allow for conception to take place, but then prevent the fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterine wall?  I am trying to understand why "the Pill" is such a hot-button issue on the ethical front.

Does "the Pill" cause "little abortions"?

No.
Logged

Love never fails.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2009, 09:09:18 AM »

Dear brother Quinault,

Your concise description reinforces my belief of how utterly opposed ABC is to God's Natural Law.

I fail to see how. Is shaving opposed to this law, too?
Logged

Love never fails.
Gabriel
Agnostic Pessimist
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 138


« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2009, 09:49:07 AM »

Dear brother Quinault,

Your concise description reinforces my belief of how utterly opposed ABC is to God's Natural Law.

I fail to see how. Is shaving opposed to this law, too?

A good point.  Pierced ears?  Breast implants?  Fertility drugs?  Gastric-bypass surgery?  Chemotherapy drugs?

I find it hard to distinguish where the line between allowed reinforcement and the limit of "God's Natural Law" is sometimes.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 09:49:43 AM by Gabriel » Logged

My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning.
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
chrevbel
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 708



« Reply #57 on: May 17, 2009, 10:10:12 AM »

Does "the Pill" cause "little abortions"?
No.
Can you cite a reference for this?  I understood differently.
Logged
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #58 on: May 17, 2009, 10:31:22 AM »

Does "the Pill" cause "little abortions"?
No.
Can you cite a reference for this?  I understood differently.

These pills, by design, prevent ovulation (http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/femalehormone1.html). So, they do not, by design, destroy those ova (egg cells) that have already been fertilized. Instead, they prevent the egg cells from coming out from the "captivity" of the ovarian follicles. So, the pills prevent fertilization, rather than kill the results of fertilizations (zygotes, embryos, fetuses). Pretty much like condoms prevent fertilization by not admitting male sperm into the female genital tract.

Of course, occasionally - and contrary to the design by which the pills work - a woman who is taking these pills will have a fertilized egg destroyed. But that can happen without taking any pills just as well.

I think saying that a woman should not take contraceptive pills because they CAN cause "mini-abortion" is the same as to say that we should not vaccinate our children because vaccines CAN fail or CAN cause an adverse reaction. Of course they can, but that's not the reason we should not use them.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 10:35:11 AM by Heorhij » Logged

Love never fails.
Quinault
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 4,509


What about frogs? I like frogs!


« Reply #59 on: May 17, 2009, 11:07:24 AM »

Caffeine consumption can actually nullify the effects of hormonal birth control in some women. To me the worst type of birth control is an IUD/IUS though. This form simply makes an egg incapable of attaching to the uterine wall. You could literally have an egg fertilized each month and not even know it.

But why anyone would want to take hormonal birth control is beyond me. I took it briefly for a couple months before and after my wedding and the effects were awful. I gained a large amount of weight and the mood swings were completely insane.

Saying that- my husband and I use NFP and a barrier method together to expand the number of "safe" days to have intercourse. (otherwise you end up with nearly half your month as "unsafe" because of various factors) I don't have a problem with preventing the sperm from getting to the egg or the egg getting to the sperm. The problem with hormonal pills is that they ALSO prevent the egg from implanting if sperm indeed meets egg. Roughly 25% of pregnancies end in early miscarriages naturally- most women don't even know they were pregnant to begin with in these cases. But to intentionally do something that would cause an early miscarriage if indeed sperm and egg meet would- to my mind, at least double the aforementioned figure. It doesn't work like having a tubal ligation where the egg is prevented from even getting to the uterus or the sperm from the egg. And even with a tubal ligation the tubes can actually regenerate on occasion. That is why the newest form of tubal ligation "burns" the ends of the tubes. You can still ovulate and the tubes will "grab" the egg and move it on down the line to the uterus. But even a tubal ligation doesn't prevent an egg from implanting like hormonal birth control does.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 11:26:04 AM by Quinault » Logged
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #60 on: May 17, 2009, 11:37:30 AM »

Caffeine consumption can actually nullify the effects of hormonal birth control in some women. To me the worst type of birth control is an IUD/IUS though. This form simply makes an egg incapable of attaching to the uterine wall. You could literally have an egg fertilized each month and not even know it.

But why anyone would want to take hormonal birth control is beyond me. I took it briefly for a couple months before and after my wedding and the effects were awful. I gained a large amount of weight and the mood swings were completely insane.

I heard it from women, too. But I heard something totally opposite, too - i.e. that it's the best, the safest and the least traumatic method of birth control.

Saying that- my husband and I use NFP and a barrier method together to expand the number of "safe" days to have intercourse. (otherwise you end up with nearly half your month as "unsafe" because of various factors) I don't have a problem with preventing the sperm from getting to the egg or the egg getting to the sperm.

Same here. Right now, we do not use any contraceptive methods simply because my wife is past that... point when she can get pregnant. In the past, we used barrier and some other methods that prevent fertilization. Harshly condemned by the Roman Catholic Church, of course. For reasons that to me seem irrational and overall absurd. These reasons, I am afraid, are based simply on the old Gnostic fear of sex as evil "per se." 

The problem with hormonal pills is that they ALSO prevent the egg from implanting if sperm indeed meets egg. Roughly 25% of pregnancies end in early miscarriages naturally- most women don't even know they were pregnant to begin with in these cases. But to intentionally do something that would cause an early miscarriage if indeed sperm and egg meet would- to my mind, at least double the aforementioned figure. It doesn't work like having a tubal ligation where the egg is prevented from even getting to the uterus or the sperm from the egg. And even with a tubal ligation the tubes can actually regenerate on occasion. That is why the newest form of tubal ligation "burns" the ends of the tubes. You can still ovulate and the tubes will "grab" the egg and move it on down the line to the uterus. But even a tubal ligation doesn't prevent an egg from implanting like hormonal birth control does.

Well, like I said, it's not the "design" of the pill to do anything to a fertilized egg; so, yes, occasionally fertilized eggs can be harmed by the hormonal changes caused by the pill, but I am not at all sure that this happens, statistically, more often in women who take the pill than in women who do not.
Logged

Love never fails.
Mardukm
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 423


« Reply #61 on: May 17, 2009, 12:01:01 PM »

Dear brother Quinault,

Your concise description reinforces my belief of how utterly opposed ABC is to God's Natural Law.

I fail to see how. Is shaving opposed to this law, too?

A good point.  Pierced ears?  Breast implants?  Fertility drugs?  Gastric-bypass surgery?  Chemotherapy drugs?

I find it hard to distinguish where the line between allowed reinforcement and the limit of "God's Natural Law" is sometimes.
I don't see how any of these violates or impedes God's Natural Order.  Shaving? Huh  Pierced ears?  If one wanted to use them according to Pagan beliefs, and not for mere decoration, yes.  Breast implants? If used to promote unholy vanity and lack of respect for women, yes.  Fertility drugs? I think that is a good.  What violation can you think of?  Gastric-bypass surgery and chemo-therapy drugs? If it promotes health, how can it be in violation of God's Natural order?  

Understand that the Church since the beginning has viewed the Natural Law as part of God's plan for salvation. It is considered a violation of God's Natural Law and Order only if it contributes to a frustration of God's plan for salvation.  Thus, though buildings are man-made, they certainly do nothing to frustrate God's plan for salvation.  Neither does shaving, or medicine.  On the other hand, one can surmise from that principle why contraception is inherently wrong.  First we need to consider the purpose of procreation.  According to Catholic teaching, it is FIRST and FOREMOST for the upbringing of souls who will worship God and participate in God's plan for humanity's salvation.  To bring joy to the family and help establish stable societies is only a secondary purpose. I guess one's understanding of the purpose of procreation will directly influence how one understands contraception.  What does Eastern Orthodoxy teach is the purpose of procreation?

Of course, the Catholic Church understands that people will fall into sin (i.e., among other things, violate God's Natural Law), and not always be aligned to God's will and order. That is why she was given the power to forgive sins by Christ.  The Catholic Church helps people in their sinfulness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  That's how the Catholic Church deals with the reality of sin.  She teaches her members the Laws of God.  These are universal and DIVINE laws, and not subject to individual interpretation, even by individual priests or bishops.  The Catholic Church also recognizes certain mitigating factors for these divine and universal laws.  These mitigating factors do not reduce the OBJECTIVE reality of sinfulness for violating these divine laws, but rather reduces or completely takes away the culpability of individuals.  These mitigating factors generally fall under the heading of invincible ignorance.  But, most importantly, if Catholics in their human weakness violate these Laws, then the Catholic Church teaches and demonstrates God's love and mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Blessings
Logged
Mardukm
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 423


« Reply #62 on: May 17, 2009, 12:08:27 PM »

Dear brother Quinault,

Your concise description reinforces my belief of how utterly opposed ABC is to God's Natural Law.

I fail to see how. Is shaving opposed to this law, too?

A good point.  Pierced ears?  Breast implants?  Fertility drugs?  Gastric-bypass surgery?  Chemotherapy drugs?

I find it hard to distinguish where the line between allowed reinforcement and the limit of "God's Natural Law" is sometimes.
How do these violate or impede God's Natural Order.  Shaving? Huh  Pierced ears?  If one wanted to use them according to Pagan beliefs, and not for mere decoration, yes.  Breast implants? If used to promote unholy vanity and lack of respect for women, yes.  Fertility drugs? I think that is a good.  What violation can you think of?  Gastric-bypass surgery and chemo-therapy drugs? If it promotes health, how can it be in violation of God's Natural order?  

Understand that the Church since the beginning has viewed the Natural Law as part of God's plan for salvation. It is considered a violation of God's Natural Law and Order only if it contributes to a frustration of God's plan for salvation.  Thus, though buildings are man-made, they certainly do nothing to frustrate God's plan for salvation.  Neither does shaving, or medicine.  On the other hand, one can surmise from that principle why contraception is inherently wrong.  First we need to consider the purpose of procreation.  According to Catholic teaching, it is FIRST and FOREMOST for the upbringing of souls who will worship God and participate in God's plan for humanity's salvation.  To bring joy to the family and help establish stable societies is only a secondary purpose. I guess one's understanding of the purpose of procreation will directly influence how one understands contraception.  What does Eastern Orthodoxy teach is the purpose of procreation?

Of course, the Catholic Church understands that people will fall into sin (i.e., among other things, violate God's Natural Law), and not always be aligned to God's will and order. That is why she was given the power to forgive sins by Christ.  The Catholic Church helps people in their sinfulness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  That's how the Catholic Church deals with the reality of sin.  She teaches her members the Laws of God.  These are universal and DIVINE laws, and not subject to individual interpretation, even by individual priests or bishops.  The Catholic Church also recognizes certain mitigating factors for these divine and universal laws.  These mitigating factors do not reduce the OBJECTIVE reality of sinfulness for violating these divine laws, but rather reduces or completely takes away the culpability of individuals.  These mitigating factors generally fall under the heading of invincible ignorance.  But, most importantly, if Catholics in their human weakness violate these Laws, then the Catholic Church teaches and demonstrates God's love and mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Blessings
[/quote]
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 12:09:18 PM by Mardukm » Logged
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #63 on: May 17, 2009, 12:26:53 PM »

Understand that the Church since the beginning has viewed the Natural Law as part of God's plan for salvation. It is considered a violation of God's Natural Law and Order only if it contributes to a frustration of God's plan for salvation.  Thus, though buildings are man-made, they certainly do nothing to frustrate God's plan for salvation.  Neither does shaving, or medicine.

And condoms?

On the other hand, one can surmise from that principle why contraception is inherently wrong.  First we need to consider the purpose of procreation.  According to Catholic teaching, it is FIRST and FOREMOST for the upbringing of souls who will worship God and participate in God's plan for humanity's salvation.  To bring joy to the family and help establish stable societies is only a secondary purpose.

It seems like you are lumping together procreation and sexual intercourse of the married couple. Are these two the same thing?
Logged

Love never fails.
Gabriel
Agnostic Pessimist
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 138


« Reply #64 on: May 17, 2009, 12:43:16 PM »

I don't see how any of these violates or impedes God's Natural Order.  Shaving? Huh
 

Because humans grow hair on their face naturally.  If that's the default, then why interrupt what God put there?

Quote
Pierced ears?
 

Were you born with holes in your ears?

Quote
If one wanted to use them according to Pagan beliefs, and not for mere decoration, yes.


So, it's okay for you to alter your body for decoration, but not for other reasons?  Family planning, marital relationships, health of the woman?

Quote
Breast implants? If used to promote unholy vanity and lack of respect for women, yes.
 

Is there any other reason you can think of that breast implants would be used?  Wouldn't they fall in the mere decoration category you just mentioned?

Or, do we get to map people's bodies into zones that we can then define as "naughty bits" and "not naughty bits"?

Quote
Fertility drugs? I think that is a good.  What violation can you think of?
 

But, the Church is against in-vitro fertilization.  You'd think that if God needs that many soldiers to worship him, they'd be for any kind of fertilization, regardless of what medium is used.

Quote
Gastric-bypass surgery and chemo-therapy drugs? If it promotes health, how can it be in violation of God's Natural order?
 

Gastric-bypass is internally altering your body's natural digestive system to reduce your appetite and thus make you lose weight rapidly.  Your stomach was built a certain way for a reason, mysterious or practical... why does it get a free pass on alteration?

Chemotherapy combats your own body's mutated cells.  Is it okay to decide which part of your body to murder and which to live?  It's okay to kill cancer cells, but not okay to waste sperm?  You may view it as apples and oranges (sperm and cancer cells), but I'm simply trying to find the dividing line.
Quote
Understand that the Church since the beginning has viewed the Natural Law as part of God's plan for salvation.


Everything I just quoted is part of "God's Natural Law" (whatever that is).  Sounds like cherry-picking based upon my worthless opinion.
Quote
It is considered a violation of God's Natural Law and Order only if it contributes to a frustration of God's plan for salvation.  Thus, though buildings are man-made, they certainly do nothing to frustrate God's plan for salvation.  Neither does shaving, or medicine.  On the other hand, one can surmise from that principle why contraception is inherently wrong.

No... no, Marduk.  I don't.  I see absolutely nothing wrong with barrier and cycle disruptive contraception.

Quote
First we need to consider the purpose of procreation.  According to Catholic teaching, it is FIRST and FOREMOST for the upbringing of souls who will worship God and participate in God's plan for humanity's salvation.

God needs no human to be fully Himself.  That makes no sense at all.  God was Very God before the Birth of Light.

Or, do you mean participating in the world?  If one human is so important that by its non-birth God's whole plan for salvation would completely unravel, I'd hardly think that it would pick his pocket or break his leg (so to speak).  If one child is that important, it'll happen if He wants it to. 

I find it strange that God is all-powerful, but one little sleeve of latex can "disrupt God's plan for salvation."

Quote
To bring joy to the family and help establish stable societies is only a secondary purpose. I guess one's understanding of the purpose of procreation will directly influence how one understands contraception.  What does Eastern Orthodoxy teach is the purpose of procreation?

Duty to one's family is important, according to Saint Paul.  Husbands should love their wives like Christ loves the Church.  The Church doesn't steal people to baptize them because "God needs people to worship Him."  Neither should a husband or a wife bring mouths in the world unless they think they can properly succor them, teach them accordingly, and prepare them for the day when they won't be with them anymore.  I'm frankly sick of hearing that husbands and wives that use contraceptives don't love each other as much as people who don't.  Ridiculous.

I'm not Orthodox, so I'll let them answer the last part.

Quote
Blessings

Peace.
Logged

My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning.
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #65 on: May 17, 2009, 01:05:41 PM »

I'm not Orthodox, so I'll let them answer the last part.

I am Orthodox and, as such, know that the Orthodox Church principally does not make general statements on matters of marital relationships like contraception. Again, contraception in marriage is NOT a doctrinal/dogmatic issue. It is a pastoral issue. I know that the Orthodox Church as a whole, as the Body of Christ, does NOT "bind" me to think this and that about condom, this and that about diaphragm, this and that about progestine, etc. etc. etc. And it is sad to me that I see some Orthodox people frantically looking for "the opinion of the Church" on such maters. It simply does not exist. 
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 01:06:20 PM by Heorhij » Logged

Love never fails.
Mardukm
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 423


« Reply #66 on: May 17, 2009, 02:04:59 PM »

Understand that the Church since the beginning has viewed the Natural Law as part of God's plan for salvation. It is considered a violation of God's Natural Law and Order only if it contributes to a frustration of God's plan for salvation.  Thus, though buildings are man-made, they certainly do nothing to frustrate God's plan for salvation.  Neither does shaving, or medicine.

And condoms?
I can't think of any other purpose for which God created sperm except for procreation. So, yes, I believe that condoms, which has for its primary purpose (and even only purpose) the contravening of God's purpose for the male sperm is against God's Natural Law and Order, and therefore inherently evil. 

Quote
On the other hand, one can surmise from that principle why contraception is inherently wrong.  First we need to consider the purpose of procreation.  According to Catholic teaching, it is FIRST and FOREMOST for the upbringing of souls who will worship God and participate in God's plan for humanity's salvation.  To bring joy to the family and help establish stable societies is only a secondary purpose.

It seems like you are lumping together procreation and sexual intercourse of the married couple. Are these two the same thing?
I distinguish the two (I'm just being faithful to Catholic teaching), and this is evident from the fact that a woman is naturally infertile at certain times. So sexual intercourse CAN be distinguished from procreation.  However, to obstruct procreation in any way is against God's Divine Order. That is why according to the Catholic teaching, even the use of NFP as contraception is sinful (which requires the healing balm of the Sacrament of Reconciliation).

Blessings
Logged
Mardukm
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 423


« Reply #67 on: May 17, 2009, 02:08:18 PM »

Dear Gabriel,

I am aware that athiests and others have a purely secular version of Natural Law.  That purely secular interpretation often violates the DIVINE origin and end of God's Natural Law.  I hope and pray people recognize this difference, and for those who want a better understanding, I suggest reading St. Clement of Alexandria, or St. Basil.

Blessings
Logged
Gabriel
Agnostic Pessimist
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 138


« Reply #68 on: May 17, 2009, 02:32:39 PM »

Dear Gabriel,

I am aware that athiests and others have a purely secular version of Natural Law.  That purely secular interpretation often violates the DIVINE origin and end of God's Natural Law.  I hope and pray people recognize this difference, and for those who want a better understanding, I suggest reading St. Clement of Alexandria, or St. Basil.

Blessings

The Church Fathers are not infallible and are cherry-picked to fit whatever one wants them to say.

If you're implying that atheists and other secular types are somehow deficient in regards to marriage then would you agree that no person other than a Christian should get married at all?  Why or why not?
Logged

My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning.
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #69 on: May 17, 2009, 02:33:44 PM »

Understand that the Church since the beginning has viewed the Natural Law as part of God's plan for salvation. It is considered a violation of God's Natural Law and Order only if it contributes to a frustration of God's plan for salvation.  Thus, though buildings are man-made, they certainly do nothing to frustrate God's plan for salvation.  Neither does shaving, or medicine.

And condoms?
I can't think of any other purpose for which God created sperm except for procreation. So, yes, I believe that condoms, which has for its primary purpose (and even only purpose) the contravening of God's purpose for the male sperm is against God's Natural Law and Order, and therefore inherently evil. 

But is it God's plan or purpose that every single time the husband and the wife have sexual intercourse, they procreate? If it's not, then I do not see any wrong in preventing the sperm from fertilizing the eggs... Just because God made something, it does not necessarily mean that we have no right to kill it - after all, we "kill" millions of epidermis cells on our palms every time we use hand soap...

Quote
to obstruct procreation in any way is against God's Divine Order.

Yes, I know that it is, according to the teaching of your church, but it makes absolutely no sense to me. Doesn't the married couple have an ultimate say in when do they want to have children, and when do they NOT want to have children? If not - why?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 02:34:39 PM by Heorhij » Logged

Love never fails.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #70 on: May 17, 2009, 02:37:22 PM »

Dear Gabriel,

I am aware that athiests and others have a purely secular version of Natural Law.  That purely secular interpretation often violates the DIVINE origin and end of God's Natural Law.  I hope and pray people recognize this difference, and for those who want a better understanding, I suggest reading St. Clement of Alexandria, or St. Basil.

Blessings

The Church Fathers are not infallible and are cherry-picked to fit whatever one wants them to say.


Moreover, some of them had a blatanly Gnostic view on sex as something inherently sinful, regardless of marriage. St. John Chrysostomos, for example, plainly wrote in his homilies on Genesis that Adam and Eve certainly never had any bodily intercourse before the Fall and expulsion from the Garden of Eden. What, this sleazy, dirty, horrible thing, with these moans, etc.? Can one even see anything HOLY in THAT???  Tongue
Logged

Love never fails.
Gabriel
Agnostic Pessimist
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 138


« Reply #71 on: May 17, 2009, 03:06:18 PM »

Can one even see anything HOLY in THAT???  Tongue

Sure.  One with a healthy view of sex can.  I treat a woman's body like a holy place, even if it's not by strict definition.
Logged

My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning.
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
Mardukm
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 423


« Reply #72 on: May 17, 2009, 03:30:18 PM »

Dear brother Heorhij,

Understand that the Church since the beginning has viewed the Natural Law as part of God's plan for salvation. It is considered a violation of God's Natural Law and Order only if it contributes to a frustration of God's plan for salvation.  Thus, though buildings are man-made, they certainly do nothing to frustrate God's plan for salvation.  Neither does shaving, or medicine.

And condoms?
I can't think of any other purpose for which God created sperm except for procreation. So, yes, I believe that condoms, which has for its primary purpose (and even only purpose) the contravening of God's purpose for the male sperm is against God's Natural Law and Order, and therefore inherently evil. 

But is it God's plan or purpose that every single time the husband and the wife have sexual intercourse, they procreate? If it's not, then I do not see any wrong in preventing the sperm from fertilizing the eggs... Just because God made something, it does not necessarily mean that we have no right to kill it - after all, we "kill" millions of epidermis cells on our palms every time we use hand soap...

to obstruct procreation in any way is against God's Divine Order.

Yes, I know that it is, according to the teaching of your church, but it makes absolutely no sense to me. Doesn't the married couple have an ultimate say in when do they want to have children, and when do they NOT want to have children? If not - why?
As stated, it is not God's plan that every single time the husband and the wife have sexual intercourse, they procreate.  As stated, this is evident in how God created the woman, who is infertile most days of the month.  Where we disagree is your conclusion.  You position is, "if it's not, then man and woman should have full freedom to determine when to have kids."  My position (the position of the Catholic Church) is that no man or woman, married or single, ESPECIALLY Christians, can presume to act as if God's laws are not part of their life, in ANY part of their life.  Though some Fathers have had differing views on sexual intercourse (some more extreme than others), it is at least evident that contraception has always been considered by ALL as an instrinsic evil.  What is unanimous from the Fathers must be regarded by us (as Apostolic Christians) as being a divine teaching from God himself, and this is something to which we as Christians must give heed in our sexual relations.  That's my response to why a married couple does NOT have the ultmiate say in matters of bearing children.  The ultimate decision rests with God, and we must give heed to the Church as the voice of God.  We must make our decision - ALL our decisions - based on God's laws, not create our own.

As far as your example of germs, my response to Gabriel earlier would be relevant.  There is a distinction between the secular version of the Natural Law and the God's divine Natural Law.  Killing germs to protect a human being does not contravene God's plan of salvation per the Natural Law.  However, killing sperm or ova, or even preventing their God-ordained purpose in view of God's plan of salvation, does.

Blessings
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 03:50:03 PM by Mardukm » Logged
Mardukm
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 423


« Reply #73 on: May 17, 2009, 03:41:56 PM »

Dear Gabriel,

I am aware that athiests and others have a purely secular version of Natural Law.  That purely secular interpretation often violates the DIVINE origin and end of God's Natural Law.  I hope and pray people recognize this difference, and for those who want a better understanding, I suggest reading St. Clement of Alexandria, or St. Basil.

The Church Fathers are not infallible and are cherry-picked to fit whatever one wants them to say.


Moreover, some of them had a blatanly Gnostic view on sex as something inherently sinful, regardless of marriage. St. John Chrysostomos, for example, plainly wrote in his homilies on Genesis that Adam and Eve certainly never had any bodily intercourse before the Fall and expulsion from the Garden of Eden. What, this sleazy, dirty, horrible thing, with these moans, etc.? Can one even see anything HOLY in THAT???  Tongue
Did St. John Chrysostom actually state that sex is dirty and sleazy and horrible?  My understanding is that the unitive purpose of sex reveals a longing for unity with the divine.  This is why St. Paul taught that marriage is reflective of the relationship between Christ and his Church. This is why the Grace of celibacy allows certain men and women not to have the need for sexual activity since the longing for unity is fulfilled with God Himself.  And that is why there is no "husband and wife" in heaven.  Our longing for unity will be perfectly fulfilled in God.  This is the unity that Adam and Eve had with God.  That is why St. Chrysostom taught that Adam and Eve did not have sex - not because he thought sex was intrinsically evil, but because this longing for unity was satisfied by God Himself.

Well, that's my understanding anyway.

This longing for unity, btw, is part of the Natural Law.  It was one of the things God instilled in Man's nature (together with free will, rational thought, death and corruption).

Blessings
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 03:47:41 PM by Mardukm » Logged
Gabriel
Agnostic Pessimist
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 138


« Reply #74 on: May 17, 2009, 03:49:28 PM »

Though some Fathers have had differing views on sexual intercourse (some more extreme than others), it is at least evident that contraception has always been considered by ALL as an instrinsic evil.

I've seen people make this statement before, and if I remember correctly, they always post quotes that have to do with abortion and abortificiants, but not barrier methods or cycle disruption.

But, I'll take your word for it for now.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 03:49:49 PM by Gabriel » Logged

My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning.
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
Mardukm
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 423


« Reply #75 on: May 17, 2009, 03:53:10 PM »

Though some Fathers have had differing views on sexual intercourse (some more extreme than others), it is at least evident that contraception has always been considered by ALL as an instrinsic evil.

I've seen people make this statement before, and if I remember correctly, they always post quotes that have to do with abortion and abortificiants, but not barrier methods or cycle disruption.

But, I'll take your word for it for now.
This would be a good time to investigate those quotes.  Good idea.  I believe Father Ambrose way back when in CAF gave a link to a list of such quotes.  perhaps he can repost the link for our perusal.
Logged
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #76 on: May 17, 2009, 04:51:00 PM »

Can one even see anything HOLY in THAT???  Tongue

Sure.  One with a healthy view of sex can.  I treat a woman's body like a holy place, even if it's not by strict definition.

The Fathers' view was not healthy, unfortunately. They were all monks and they did not even know the first thing about what sex is.
Logged

Love never fails.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #77 on: May 17, 2009, 05:01:10 PM »

Killing germs to protect a human being does not contravene God's plan of salvation per the Natural Law.  However, killing sperm or ova, or even preventing their God-ordained purpose in view of God's plan of salvation, does.

I was not talking about germs - I was talking about healthy, viable epithelial cells of the human skin, which we all necessarily kill, in the most direct sense, when we use soap. The epidermis is only a fraction of a millimeter thick. The most superficial layers of it, the so-called stratum corneum and stratum lucidum, do not contain viable cells - only dead cells, But underneath, there are the stratum spinosum, and the stratum granulosum, and the stratum germinativum. All these contain viable cells, and oh yes, milions of them die when you wash your hands. So what? Miriads of new epithelial cells will come to replace the dead ones, that's the design (the mitotic activity in the stratum germinativum is colossal).

Same thing, actually, with sperm. The terminally differentiated "spermatozoa" are the result of the process of meiosis, which goes on and on and on in the testis of a male, beginning from age ~5-6 till virtually death. Each milliliter of the seminal fluid, which accumulates in the ducts of the testicles, contains tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions, of the spermatozoa, which, by design, do not live long - their life span is something like 1.5 - 2 days, and later they senesce and are literally "eaten" by neighboring cells, called macrophages. If a man ejaculates and those several million sperm cells that are not delivered into the woman's reproductive tract end up in a condom and die - how is this different, strictly speaking, from killing (or letting die) these same number of millions of sperm cells by simply abstaining from sex? There is simply no rational, human explanation of this difference - instead, there is a flood of "holy"-sounding words about God's plan, etc. etc. etc.

Your Church does not write encyclicas about the holiness of the epithelial cells of your palms, and it does not call you to stick to God's plans about these cells by not using soap, right? So, how is using condoms any different?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 05:01:36 PM by Heorhij » Logged

Love never fails.
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,988


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #78 on: May 17, 2009, 05:02:55 PM »

Can one even see anything HOLY in THAT???  Tongue

Sure.  One with a healthy view of sex can.  I treat a woman's body like a holy place, even if it's not by strict definition.

The Fathers' view was not healthy, unfortunately. They were all monks and they did not even know the first thing about what sex is.
All of them?  Respectfully, this seems a bit presumptuous and over-generalizing.
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #79 on: May 17, 2009, 05:04:17 PM »

Can one even see anything HOLY in THAT???  Tongue

Sure.  One with a healthy view of sex can.  I treat a woman's body like a holy place, even if it's not by strict definition.

The Fathers' view was not healthy, unfortunately. They were all monks and they did not even know the first thing about what sex is.
All of them?  Respectfully, this seems a bit presumptuous and over-generalizing.

All that I read.  Embarrassed
Logged

Love never fails.
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #80 on: May 17, 2009, 06:19:16 PM »

The Fathers' view was not healthy, unfortunately. They were all monks and they did not even know the first thing about what sex is.

It's good that now you can discount their positions on these matters wholesale.  Those fools, giving up everything for God.  What do they know?
Logged
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #81 on: May 17, 2009, 06:22:42 PM »

Did St. John Chrysostom actually state that sex is dirty and sleazy and horrible?

Yes.

Here is the direct quote from the Russian translation I have studied (English is my learned language, while Ukrainian and Russian are my two equally "first," native languages):

 4. Адам же позна Еву жену свою (IV, 1). Замечай, когда это случилось. После преслушания, после изгнания из рая, - тогда начинается супружеское житие. До преслушания (первые люди) жили, как ангелы, и не было (речи о) сожитии. И как это могло быть, когда они свободны были от телесных потребностей? Таким образом вначале жизнь была девственная; когда же по безпечности (первых людей) явилось преслушание и вошел (в мир) грех, девство отлетело от них, так как они сделались недостойными столь великаго блага, а вместо того вступил в силу закон супружества. http://www.wco.ru/biblio/books/ioannz4_1/Main.htm

(4. Adam has known his wife Eve, Genesis IV, 1. Please note how that happened. After the transgresion, after being banned from the Paradise - then, only then the marital intercourse begins. Before the transgression (the humans) lived like angels, and there could not be even a question about the sexual "hanky-panky." And think, how could that even be, if there was this state of freedom from the carnal lust? Therefore, the real original life was one of virginity; only when they became careless and transgressed, this original (or "true") state of virginity was taken away from them because they became unworthy of the most precious gift, and instead the law of carnal intecourse overcame them.)

Given that St. John in previous chapters of these homilies very passionately argues that the Garden of Eden is not an allegory but was right here on Earth, I conclude that he believes that the state of virginity for the real, literal, earthly humans is what God wanted to be and the "law of carnal intecourse" is the dirty, unwanted, devious thing that we have to just put up with...

My understanding is that the unitive purpose of sex reveals a longing for unity with the divine.

The purpose of us being men and women - according to St. John Chrysostomos - yes, perhaps; but the purpose of us, men and women, having genitals, sexual arousal, erection, lubrication, orgasm etc. etc. etc. - most definitely NO, for him and for other Fathers as well. That is filth, the consequence of transgression. That will not exist in the "eonos" to come...

This longing for unity, btw, is part of the Natural Law.

But of course!!! But wasn't that longing for unity fulfilled before Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden? They did not have children, right... and yet, how, based on what, do we conclude that having sex, in the most physical sense, was not part of God's plan for the perfect humankind?

It was one of the things God instilled in Man's nature (together with free will, rational thought, death and corruption).

No, death and corruption was not instilled - corruption is what we got for separating ourselves from Him. Sex, however - why should it be equalled with corruption and death? Is smelling some wonderful aroma also the result of the Fall? Or listening to Mozart? Why is sex so singled out??? (My hypothesis: simply fear... the ancient Gnostic fear of things that are pleasurable in this "eon...")
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 06:36:41 PM by Heorhij » Logged

Love never fails.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #82 on: May 17, 2009, 06:27:33 PM »

The Fathers' view was not healthy, unfortunately. They were all monks and they did not even know the first thing about what sex is.

It's good that now you can discount their positions on these matters wholesale.  Those fools, giving up everything for God.  What do they know?

Alveus, believe me, it's a struggle for me, too. Every morning and every evening, when I pray, I say, "by the prayers of the God-bearing Fathers, Lord, have mercy on us."

But in certain areas, really, what did they know? Did they know about meiosis? Did they know about cells?

Imagine the Fathers considering Newton's first law of motion, saying that an object will move without any "reason," in a straight line and without acceleration. What do you think they will say to that? As late as in the 1540's - 1620's, the main objection to the Copernican Heliocentric system was that the Earth does not have any "reason" to move...
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 06:28:26 PM by Heorhij » Logged

Love never fails.
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #83 on: May 17, 2009, 11:17:52 PM »

But in certain areas, really, what did they know? Did they know about meiosis? Did they know about cells?

Well, I don't have a problem agreeing that many obviously know a great deal more about science than they ever did or could have.  So when it comes to the nature of sexual intercourse, we might be right to raise some eyebrows.  But my point is that they were holy men, and it is our job to keep their spirit alive as only Orthodoxy has!

I think that if you really believe that Adam and Eve were real people and they really stopped being perfect beings or whatever, then it's not a much bigger stretch to imagine that they did not have intercourse.  If you think they are mythological archetypes for all of humanity's condition, then the question of a period 'without intercourse' becomes moot.  Orthodoxy talks out of both sides of its mouth in regard to this.  "Material reality is sanctified; but don't have sex!"  It just depends on who you talk to and when you talk to them.  Are any beliefs about human sexuality outlined as dogmatic in the Orthodox church?  I would assume there should be some dealing with fornication at least...  Just curious to know.

Also, consider this my official public request that you select an avatar!  I have so much trouble telling people apart on here without visual aids; you people who have no avatars ruin my life.  The runners up are the ones who change them frequently!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 11:19:31 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
chrevbel
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 708



« Reply #84 on: May 17, 2009, 11:43:33 PM »

Quote from: Heorhij
I think saying that a woman should not take contraceptive pills because they CAN cause "mini-abortion" is the same as to say that we should not vaccinate our children because vaccines CAN fail or CAN cause an adverse reaction. Of course they can, but that's not the reason we should not use them.
I only partially agree.  There's nothing inherently wrong with baseball, either.  But we don't play it with infants lying inside the fence.  We take necessary precautions to ensure that they aren't injured or worse, without regard to whether the game was designed to harm them.  Your answer of "No" was to the question "Does 'the Pill' cause 'little abortions'?".  The correct answer is "Yes".  There is a subtle but significant difference between does it cause and was it designed to cause.

Quote from: Quinault
But why anyone would want to take hormonal birth control is beyond me.
Many women take them for the health benefits.  They substantially reduce the risk of certain cancers, for example.  I've seen estimates of reducing one's risk by as much as 80%.
Logged
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #85 on: May 17, 2009, 11:49:21 PM »

Your answer of "No" was to the question "Does 'the Pill' cause 'little abortions'?".  The correct answer is "Yes".

If this is the case, can you please refer me to a credible secular website or publication that can confirm this information?
Logged
chrevbel
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 708



« Reply #86 on: May 17, 2009, 11:54:59 PM »

Your answer of "No" was to the question "Does 'the Pill' cause 'little abortions'?".  The correct answer is "Yes".
If this is the case, can you please refer me to a credible secular website or publication that can confirm this information?
Actually, I'll stand corrected to start.  "Yes" is inaccurate.  A more precise answer is "we aren't for sure".  Even Heorhij above agrees that it appears likely that oral contraceptives occasionally allow conception but prevent implantation.  I'll look for a credible source to cite.
Logged
chrevbel
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 708



« Reply #87 on: May 18, 2009, 12:10:48 AM »

I'll look for a credible source to cite.

From the Archives of Family Medicine, an AMA Journal:
Quote
The primary mechanism of oral contraceptives is to inhibit ovulation, but this mechanism is not always operative. When breakthrough ovulation occurs, then secondary mechanisms operate to prevent clinically recognized pregnancy. These secondary mechanisms may occur either before or after fertilization. Postfertilization effects would be problematic for some patients, who may desire information about this possibility.
Logged
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,860



« Reply #88 on: May 18, 2009, 12:19:39 AM »

So the medical answer is "probably"?
Logged
Cudgel
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 172


« Reply #89 on: May 18, 2009, 03:25:25 AM »

Orthodoxy talks out of both sides of its mouth in regard to this.  "Material reality is sanctified; but don't have sex!"  It just depends on who you talk to and when you talk to them.  Are any beliefs about human sexuality outlined as dogmatic in the Orthodox church?  I would assume there should be some dealing with fornication at least...  Just curious to know.

Alveus,

[These are complicated questions. Please send me a PM if you wish to see an email with the primary sources and scholarly material that this comment will draw from.]

I must admit that I found reading this thread incredibly discouraging; I had often feared that sharing the conclusions of my personal theological and historical research might lead to scandal or confusion, but, as this thread has shown, the level of ambiguity and confusion that *already* exists on extremely relevant questions of sexual morality within our contemporary context is absolutely intolerable and harmful to those attempting to take their faith seriously within a dating or marriage relationship.

I will be as clear and concise as I possibly can. Previous Christian thought on sex was based on two premises, I will discuss each separately:

1) The primary purpose/justification of the release of seminal fluid is procreation.
2) Sex is morally illicit between (free) men and women without permission from those who own/have rule over the latter.

The first premise leads to the discouragement of masturbation and/or eroticism of any kind no matter how serious the relationship before marriage and of sexual acts unlikely to end in procreation after marriage has taken place. Patristic literature, pastoral policy and canon law throughout the centuries seemed to largely agree with this assumption, although emphasis on the latter has fluctuated over time.  Sex as lovemaking could not emerge as a dominant Christian concept until the scientific/philosophical model upon which dogma was applied was proven repudiated.  Christian moral reasoning on sex throughout the centuries involved a continuous dialogue with Christian dogmatic textual sources, Jewish thought, Stoicism, contemporary science, etc.

"Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted" Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2 (A.D. 191).

"To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature." Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor of Children 2:10:95:3 (A.D. 191).

"[Some] complain of the scantiness of their means, and allege that they have not enough for bringing up more children, as though, in truth, their means were in [their] power . . . or God did not daily make the rich poor and the poor rich. Wherefore, if any one on any account of poverty shall be unable to bring up children, it is better to abstain from relations with his wife." Lactantius, Divine Institutes 6:20 (A.D. 307).

"Again, vice is the wrong use of our conceptual images of things, which leads us to misuse the things themselves. In relation to women, for example, sexual intercourse, rightly used, has as its purpose the begetting of children. He, therefore, who seeks in it only sensual pleasure uses it wrongly, for he reckons as good what is not good. When such a man has intercourse with a woman, he misuses her." (St. Maximus the Confessor)

Carefully examine at their reasoning. Why must sex always have its end *either* selfish pleasure or the explicit intent to procreate?  Because they "knew" semen had certain biochemical properties and effects upon the male psyche if continually released, sexual pleasure which results in the frequent release of it *must* have procreation as its primary or sole purpose. Contra this position,  we now know that each milliliter of seminal fluid contains several tens of millions of sperm cells that are constantly being recreated and "vainly ejaculated, damaged, and wasted" in all healthy men.  If they knew this, I suspect they would have arrived at moral conclusions similar to that of most Christians today, that is, in favor of responsible contraceptive use.  The Church has (relatively) quietly ceased its condemnation of birth control as an intrinsic evil because the empirical basis for doing so passed into non-existence. What of the second premise?:

2) Sex is morally illicit between (free) men and women without permission from those who own/have rule over the latter.

[Before I proceed with my discussion of sexual morality in general, I encourage everyone to examine for themselves the meaning of the relevant New Testament terms in their original language and historical context: http://www.religioustolerance.org/pornea.htm]

Prior to the theological and scientific separation of procreation from sex, another revolution in legal and moral thought had occurred a few centuries earlier: absolute legal and moral intolerance of the ownership of persons by persons.  However, central to traditional Jewish, Roman or Christian legal and moral reasoning on sex is this *not* being the case.  Why is consensual sexual intercourse between a free unbetrothed man and a free unbetrothed woman condemned in the Torah?  Because the female is the father's property; and without his permission the relationship must end with a payment of the father.  Why is it condemned in Roman law? Because the relevant master and/or male authority has not given his permission. Why is it condemned in ancient church canons? For the same reason.  I will substantiate these claims with textual support from Emperor Justinian laws and St. Basil's canons.  Notice the change in policy if the woman is free:

-----------------------------------------------------------

JUSTINIAN LAWS

Marriage is the union of a man and a woman, a partnership for life, involving divine as well as human law.


Marriage cannot take place unless everyone involved consents, that is, those who are being united and those in whose power they are.


When a man lives with a free woman, it is not considered concubinage but genuine matrimony, if she does not make money as a prostitute.

The right is granted to the father to kill a man who commits adultery with his daughter while she is under his control. Therefore no other relative can legally do this, nor can a son under paternal control, who is a father, do so with impunity.

Where the law says, "He may kill his daughter at once;" this must be understood to mean that having to-day killed the adulterer he can not reserve his daughter to be killed subsequently; for he should kill both of them with one blow and one attack, and be inflamed by the same resentment against both. But if, without any connivance on his part, his daughter should take to flight, while he is killing the adulterer, and she should be caught and put to death some hours afterwards by her father, who pursued her, he will be considered to have killed her immediately.


http://faculty.cua.edu/pennington/Canon%20Law/RomanLaw/MarriageRomanLaw.htm

ST. BASIL'S CANONS

XXII: ...In the case of a girl who has been taken when not betrothed, she ought first to be removed, and restored to her own people, and handed over to the will of her own people whether parents, or brothers, or any one having authority over her. If they choose to give her up, the cohabitation may stand...

XXXVIII. Girls who follow against their fathers' will commit fornication; but if their fathers are reconciled to them, the act seems to admit of a remedy. They are not however immediately restored to communion, but are to be punished for three years.


XL. The woman who yields to a man against her master's will commits fornication; but if afterwards she accepts free marriage, she marries. The former case is fornication; the latter marriage. The covenants of persons who are not independent have no validity.


XLII. Marriages contracted without the permission of those in authority, are fornication. If neither father nor master be living the contracting parties are free from blame; just as if the authorities assent to the cohabitation, it assumes the fixity of marriage.
[http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3202199.htm]

-------------------------------------------------------------

Both Church and contemporary society legally and morally now reject the assumption that persons can own other persons and/or that procreation is the primary end of or inseparable from lawful sexual activity. The first happened a few centuries ago and the latter theological consensus emerged late last century (1970s-ish); which is like 30 minutes in Church time. Applying our theology to a more modern intellectual and legal context, I will address two among the most relevant questions. First, what is sex? Sex includes the whole range of acts that begins with intentional arousal and ends with failed or successful attempts at bringing one or both of the persons to a climax. Mutual masturbation/oral sex/etc. are all really sex in my opinion because (1) they begin with acts of intentional arousal that seek to end in orgasm and (2) effective manual/oral stimulation is often more physically pleasurable than/more emotionally intimate than/ and preferred over vaginal intercourse by a large percentage men and women.

Secondly, what is sex for? Theologically, this question has NEVER formally been raised and addressed within a context where nobody owns anyone, where long term serious, emotionally intimate relationships before marriage are accepted as normal by both Church and society, where the enjoyment of sexual pleasure has been physically and philosophically separated from procreation and where the loss of seminal fluid at regular intervals is accepted as a sign of biological health rather than a disease that needs to be cured. So the question is just 30-70 years old depending on one's starting point. I believe a theologically sound and intellectually defensible understanding of sex within this context would understand its role as expressing and reinforcing shared commitment and love through shared pleasure and mutual vulnerability.  Virtually everyone today (Christian and non-Christian) who condemns promiscuous/recreational sex seems to accept this viewpoint either explicitly or implicitly, from the most strict (no kissing before marriage) to the most lax (just use protection).  That is, they both understand sex as having the same purpose but disagree on the previously inconceivable non-dogmatic question of how much commitment should precede a given level of physical intimacy.  However, at that point we talking about respect and responsible risk management rather than good vs. evil. It's ideal for parents/authorities to offer advice to young people and for them to work it out themselves when they enter committed relationships.

To summarize, there is no theologically normative form, starting point or relationship of church/state to marriage, period; the same could be said for the question of what precisely legitimizes sexual relations. No Jew or Christian would at any time in history deny that our bodies belong to God and this entails is that they should not be misused; but what constitutes an instance of misuse remains unexplained by this mere fact. Given that previous Christian thought on this question had many moral, legal and scientific presuppositions that are no longer accepted by anyone, both explicitly and implicitly and that examination of the relevant texts in their original languages and historical contexts reveals significantly fewer easy answers than many would suspect, the means and ends that need to be respected and taken into consideration must be carefully reconsidered and not thoughtlessly parroted.  Speaking personally, I think marrying guys off to women because they are burning to have sex is a bad idea in our own time and within our current understanding of things. The desire for sexual release should never be the primary justification for marrying one person rather than another.  Sex should be an afterthought with respect to whom one marries because it is the non-physical aspects of persons that are most important and the non-physical aspects of relationships that make worthwhile or not.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2009, 03:30:09 AM by Cudgel » Logged
Tags:
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 »   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.192 seconds with 72 queries.