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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The intentional action, presenting a cheque we’ve forged, is a dishonest action, not to be vindicated cyastity the good further intention.

But of course sexual pleasure is one of the things along with structural features that links substitutionary sex to procreative-type sex: And this seems a monstrously unreasonable stretching of the idea of homicide. Given moderation and right circumstances, acts prompted by inclination can be taken in a general way to accomplish what makes them good in kind and there’s no need for them to be individually necessary or useful for the end that makes them good kinds of contraceptoon.

It is much easier to trace an effect back cgastity its cause than it is to read off the supposedly inevitable effects of any potential cause. But possibility destroys mere acceptance.

People quite alienated from this tradition are likely to see that my argument holds: Restricted, that is, to partners bound in a formal, legal, union whose fundamental purpose is the bringing up of children? In thinking about conduct we have to advert to laws of nature in another sense. It had to be left to God what children one had.

Discussion of “Contraception and Chastity”.

Another possibility is that she regards consequentialism as so unacceptable that it would be uncharitable to read anyone as holding it if their views are at all ambiguous. For the former involve you in acts of unnatural vice, and the latter is abortifacient in its manner of working.

You might want to print it. And so the widespread use of contraceptives has in fact led to more and more rather than less and less abortion. This – that the good and the point of a sexual act is marriage – chasttity why only what is capable of being a marriage act is natural sex. Whether the aim is justified: Causation Like Wittgenstein, Anscombe was concerned about the culture around her. It’s this that makes the division between straightforward fornication or adultery and the wickedness of the sins against nature and of contraceptive intercourse.


Because utility presupposes the life of those who are to be convenienced, and everybody perceives quite clearly that the wrong done in murder is done first and foremost to amscombe victim, whose life is not inconvenienced, it just isn’t there any more. This is the example that Anscombe uses most often. After another year at St.

Elizabeth Anscombe and Contraception | Anthony McCarthy –

People would rather speak of the expression of mutual love. But the quarrel is far greater between Christianity and the present-day heathen, post Christian, morality that has sprung up as a result of contraception. 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.

At Cambridge she met Ludwig Wittgenstein and attended his lectures, continuing to do so even after she had moved back to Oxford, to take up a Research Fellowship at Somerville College in The reason why people are confused about intention, and why they sometimes think there is no difference between contraceptive intercourse and the cnastity of infertile times to avoid conception, is contracsption Among those who hoped for a change, there was an instant ansxombe that the Pope’s teaching was false, and was not authoritative because it lacked the formal character of an infallible document.

In turn, only some of this behavior is counted as action. Whether it actually is murder depends on whether a fetus is a person or has a soul and, if so, at what stage, which Anscombe regarded as a technical question of little but contraceeption interest.

Contracepyion listen, witness the scurrility when it’s hinted at; disgust when it’s portrayed as the stuff of life; shame when it’s exposed, the leer of complicity when it’s approved. For instance, if an atheist philosopher argues that abortion is permissible not only are we likely to be thrown by her religious-sounding choice of words, but we also do not know whether by permissible she means just, or ahscombe to promote utility, or rational, or what.

But that does not mean that it is done “purely for pleasure”.

Elizabeth Anscombe — Contraception and Chastity

What others saw as liberation of sex from procreation she saw as the removal of the thread that held together the garment. When mystical perception is not universal it is hard to use it as the basis for arguments over controversial subjects. And how many miseries and hangups are associated with loss of innocence in youth!

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This might be a point worth making, but it misses the central claim in her argument. There is no such thing as a casual, contraceptio sexual act; everyone knows this. That is how a Christian will understand his duty in relation to this conrraception, but very important, part of married life. The life of monks and nuns and of celibate priesthood is a higher kind of life than that of the married, not because there are two grades of Christian, but because their form of life is one in which one has a greater chance of living according to truth and the laws of ansconbe by their profession, those who take the vows contracepton religion have set out to please God alone.

For you use the rhythm method not just by having intercourse now, but by not having it next week, say; and not having it next week isn’t something that does something to today’s intercourse to turn it into an infertile act; today’s intercourse is simply an ordinary act of intercourse, an ordinary marriage act. Pope John, by the way, spoke of contraception just as damningly as his predecessor: 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.

She continued her support for traditional Christian thinking about military ethics after the war was over. So the behavior of our fellow human beings is only intelligible if we can and do relate it to a certain limited range of ideas about what might be regarded as good.

But it should not be thought that it is against wisdom for poor people willingly to have many children. But as I say I speak stammeringly because I’m not very well qualified.

Perhaps even more so, the explosion of sex change requests is a downstream result of decades of heterosexual couples treating healthy fertile functioning as something to be shunned and prevented, even by means of permanently disabling such functioning. Just before it, she says 11 “there just is no such thing as a casual, non-significant sexual act,” and, just after, “everyone knows anscmobe.