There be dragons!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Humanae Vitae

Ever have days that you just get a little irate over seeing things too clearly?

Contraception, why not? I reread Humanae Vitae today and thought about that question raised by Paul VI. Why oughtn’t one to engage in artificial contraception? Yet the answer to me seems so very obvious that it becomes a source of frustration.

Look, either human actions do or don’t represent spiritual actions.

  • If they don’t then there is no purpose or point to our action and we are no more than highly evolved apes; the whole of man’s spiritual happiness and nobility of existence being thrown out with one negative.
  • If human actions do represent spiritual actions then either they do or they don’t have specific consequences on the spiritual level.
  • If they don’t then all actions are whimsical bits of relativism, without consequence and one might as well murder and rape from the world all that one desires rather than suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
  • If they do then marriage either does or doesn’t have a spiritual dimension.
  • If it doesn’t then marriage is the one, unique action, materialistic and relative.
  • If it does than marriage either is or isn’t ordered according to natural law.
  • If it isn’t then one must deny that this most fundamental action of our human existence is connected to the natural law which governs every other aspect of our humanity.
  • If it is connected to natural law than natural either does or doesn’t dictate that marriage is twofold; procreative and unitive.
  • If it isn’t twofold (solely procreative or solely unitive) then we deny one aspect of natural law and the marriage act either has no purpose (again, unique among human endeavors) or it becomes nothing more than a unitive or a procreative activity.
  • If solely unitive, the unity eventually fades with nothing to show for such unity (as pleasure and happiness in another person will fade without some project to work on together).
  • If solely procreative, neglect of one’s spouse eventually kills the love and happiness the two share and makes an object of one or the other person.
  • If, then, marriage is unitive & procreative it either does or doesn’t reflect the spiritual reality of unity and procreation.
  • If it doesn’t reflect this reality what then would it reflect? One is left denying the spiritual aspect or seeking some better spiritual aspect for this action to reflect.
  • If it does reflect this aspect then the greatest example of unity and procreation is the unity of Christ and the Church which unites God with the individual soul and produces the fruits, or children, of such union in loving acts of charity.

So either one denies the spiritual aspect of man altogether, or else one denies that this act (of all human acts) has relevance in the spiritual realm, or else one denies that this act reflects this reality of unity and procreation, or one relents and says that indeed marriage does reflect the union of Christ and His Church.

Then, any act that actively denies or prevents one or other aspect of the twofold nature of marriage denies the twofold nature of the union of God and man.

Contraception, why not?

  • If contraception then one either does or doesn’t deny one aspect of the marriage life.
  • If one doesn’t, then the very purpose of contraception is undermined, or redefined by a lie.
  • If one does deny one aspect then doesn’t one have then to justify by denying other realities; namely that there are other realities, or that there is natural law, or that there is a purpose to human action, or that this act corresponds with this reality, or that there is a twofold meaning to the marriage act, or that there must not be any artificial barrier between God and man?
  • And if there is a barrier raised between God and man and the subsequent denial of other realities, a denial necessary to justify the action of contraception, what then becomes of human life? What happens when the artificial barrier fails and the natural course of things occurs as God planned and a little bambino or bambina emerges into the world? Isn’t it a mistake? Isn’t it unplanned? Isn’t it out of one’s control? Shouldn’t one destroy it and keep only those little ones that one judges are worthy of life?

Seems that this is a one way ticket to making gods of ourselves.

Isn’t that obvious?

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