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.

Author: Meztishura Vojin
Country: Sri Lanka
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Business
Published (Last): 22 July 2012
Pages: 135
PDF File Size: 7.57 Mb
ePub File Size: 5.49 Mb
ISBN: 356-1-73734-432-5
Downloads: 25178
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Tygosar

The lack of clear accounts of the reason in the teaching was disturbing to many people. The situation was intellectually extremely distressing.

Elizabeth Anscombe — Contraception and Chastity

But they forget, I think, the rewardless trouble of spirit associated with the sort of sexual activity which from its type is guaranteed sterile: A single sexual action can be bad even without regard to its context, its further intentions and its motives. In thinking about conduct we have to advert to laws of nature in another sense.

This is not the case. For with contraception becoming common in this country and the Protestants approving it in the end, the Popes reiterated the condemnation of it. And so it is with the possibility of having intercourse and preventing conception. The chasitty kind of mistake I can make in using it assuming anscojbe the list itself is correct is if I overlook or misread something on the list and thus fail to buy it.

But the rationale offered by the theologians was not satisfactory. We ought absolutely not to give out a teaching which is flattering to the lucky, and irrelevant to the unhappy. One way of answering Williams and Tanner is to focus especially on marriage and say perhaps a little more about it than Anscombe does in her response to these authors, or indeed to Herbert McCabe.

But possibility vhastity mere acceptance. In a document of the third century a Christian author wrote of the use of contraceptives by freeborn Christian women of Rome. Thus the notion of the “marriage debt” is a very necessary one, and it alone is realistic: But they forget, I think, the rewardless trouble of spirit associated with the sort of sexual activity which from its type is guaranteed sterile: Despite some rather solemn nonsense that’s talked this is obvious.

And how many miseries and hang-ups are associated with loss of innocence in youth!

G. E. M. Anscombe (1919—2001)

Our world, for example, is littered with deserted wives – partly through that fantastic con that went on for such a long time about how it was part of liberation for women to have dead easy divorce: Laws of nature in a scientific sense will affect the rules about control that it is reasonable to have.


But we ought to be conscious that, like the objection to infanticide, this is a Jewish-Christian inheritance. There’s a sort of servitude to fleshly desire in not being able so to abstain. In this way pacifism actually does harm.

It is understood that Anscombe’s major message to Catholics is independent of religious premises. But, given that it is justified, it’s not all one how it is pursued. Among those who hoped for a change, there was an instant reaction that the Pope’s teaching was false, and was not authoritative because it lacked the formal character of an infallible document.

There is an opposite extreme, which perhaps we shall see in our day: If Christian standards of chastity were widely observed the world would be enormously much happier.

That was a mistake in execution, not in intention. This is not to say that all talk of obligation and the rest should be dropped. Now the difference between, on the one hand, taking the opportunity presented by an observed regularity, and on the other, securing the same state of affairs by causal intervention, is not of course in general a difference between the permitted and the immoral; if it were, the move from foraging to agriculture, or virtually any other form of human improvement, would be morally forbidden.

The meaning of this teaching “not purely for pleasure” should, I think, have a great appeal for the Catholic thinking of today that is greatly concerned for the laity. When we refer to a person we can, then, misidentify the person in question.

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

With modern physiological knowledge contraception by medical methods could be clearly distinguished from early abortion, though some contraceptive methods might be abortifacient. And this point in turn may suggest a built-in significance to sexual activity in general.

On the phenomenological point, thinkers such as Roger Scruton28, Aurel Kolnai and Thomas Nagel29, by attending to the nature of sexual desire itself, have tried, with varying degrees of success, to capture some of the differences involved. Anscombe has brought to the scene at all for this purpose is that between acts “of the reproductive type” and acts not of that type. And all the pleasure specific to it will be just as good as it is.


But that, after all, is what the Church as teacher is for. The following bibliography is not intended to be comprehensive but rather is meant as an introductory guide.

This question fails to grasp the extent to which the unitive and procreative aspects of marital sex are intimately united. Cambridge University Press, The same goes for her other work in the history of philosophy. Referees can call intentional fouls without having to be mind-readers. There is not much ancient tradition condemning contraception as a distinct sin. Elizabeth Anscombe and Contraception.

I mean that of the rational limitation of families. The reason why it seemed to be so in the dark ages by the “dark ages” I mean roughly from the anscomge – 5th centuries on to the 12th, say – I won’t make an apology for using the expression – scientifically it was pretty dark was that it was taken for granted that medical methods were all abortifacient in type.

In Christian teaching a value is set on every human life and on men’s chastity as well as on women’s and this as part of the ordinary calling of a Christian, not just in connexion with the austerity of monks. But that, after all, is what the Church as teacher is for. We have to remember that, as Newman says, developments “which do but contradict and reverse the course of doctrine which has been developed before them, and out of which they contracepttion, are certainly corrupt.

An accidental fall will not be judged morally by anyone, but some people regard suicide as a sin. We have seen that the theological defence of the Church’s teaching in modern times did not assimilate contraception to abortion but characterized it as a sort of perversion of the order of nature. Again, with effective contraceptive techniques and real physiological knowledge available, a new question came to the fore. 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.

One example of this is in her treatment of pleasure in connection with sexual activity. Sex couldn’t possibly be evil; it is the source of human society and life is God’s good creation.