Facebook Debate: The Purpose of Sex

So, this discussion is still on-going (more or less) but I thought I'd post it here anyway for anyone who would like to read it.

It all started when one of my xtian friends posted this picture:

Along with the caption: "Seriously, do it for the kids. Doesn't get more Catholic/Pro Life than that."

It should be noted that he posted this in a folder labeled "Random/Funny/Sarcastic Humor/etc"
However, because of his caption, I still took it as an opportunity to get into a discussion with him.
This is what followed (over a few days of idle back-and-forth):

ME: Funny and cute, but you can only take this concept so far in reality.
Even within the confines of marriage, if you only have sex for the purpose of having children, you're either going to have a practically nonexistent sex life, or you're going to be a Quiverfull. Neither scenarios seem very healthy to me.
But, like I said, funny shirt. It's cute. I didn't mean to talk your ear off about this... ^^;

HIM: Are you encouraging contraception then or more abstinence?

Admittedly, I wasn't really expecting a response, but I wrote back anyway, deciding to just dive all the way in to the discussion
ME: While I personally have nothing against contraception, I have no problem with abstinence, either. If both people agree to abstinence, it can make for a very peaceful relationship, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with simply not having sex. I've been doing that for 21 years and it's worked well so far. :)

However, most couples, even the married ones, don't want to stay abstinent. When you don't believe in contraception, natural or otherwise, you can run into some problems.

Basically, all I was trying to say was that if you have sex only for the sole purpose of producing children, then you rob the experience of it's meaning and one of it's key uses; mainly, the connection of two people, and an expression of love through physical and mental means.

Yes, sex can result in children, but that is not the only reason people should have for engaging in it. Sex isn't just some laborious task that has to be completed before you can pop out a baby.

If all you really want is a baby, why not consider adoption? You'll be giving a kid who really needs a home, a home, and you won't be contributing to the over-population of the earth. It's a win-win in my book.

I was afraid that might have been too long for just a comment section, but he soon wrote back with one just as long.

HIM: The idea of over populating the earth is a farce. There is Catholic literature on it, and while this quote lacks substantiation for the argument it is interesting since I once heard it in a homily, "Saying that we can over populate the Earth when God told is to be fruitful is to say to God that He is stupid because He made the earth too small." (I will actually do some research on it and return with some empirical data for my argument.)

You are right about sex cannot only be for the children. (the shirt is just so stinking funny, because it's a play on words, "Do it for the kids" has been used in reference for many things.") Dorothy nailed on the head, "unitive AND procreative." Our Catholic faith teaches that you cannot separate the two, they must go hand in hand, lest we rob our dignity. Procreative here meaning always open to life, aka no contraception. Unitive here meaning as you are arguing, for the good and bonding of the couple. (All this within the garden of Marriage. For anyone else reading and wondering about us crazy Catholics).

And by natural contraception do you mean Natural Family Planning? If so it is not contraception. Contraception is a selfish and causes a caving in on oneself, and use of the spouse, and robs the act of love making it's mysterious and powerful attribute of procreation. After all God didn't have to give us sex, we could have all been asexual. NFP (Natural Family Planning) calls for the communication of the spouses and prayer. It is used for planning pregnancies and avoiding them all in light of God's marvelous design of the human body.

Finally, sex, in marriage, is like any other good thing in life. The more we do it, the less we appreciate it. (This in part of our nature. Our first ice cream sundae in 4 months is always better than the 4th ice cream sundae of the day.)

Unfortunately, up to this point, I haven't been able to reply. That was posted yesterday, so I'm not too far behind the curve. Also, there were other posts which I omitted, one of which was mentioned in my friend's last post.

One of the biggest things I wanted to talk to him about was how he said: 'Saying that we can over populate the Earth when God told is to be fruitful is to say to God that He is stupid because He made the earth too small.' That has to be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. So, if we jump out of a five story building and break our legs (at the least) then it says that God's stupid because he didn't make our legs strong enough? No, it says you're just being an idiot! It has nothing to do with god, it has to do with your poor planning and lack of reasoning.

Anyway, this thing is probably long enough as it is, and I'm pretty tired, so I'm just going to let the discussion speak for itself.
If there are any suggestions on what I could say in return, they would be greatly appreciated.

Views: 59

Comment by Dan on November 16, 2009 at 3:34am
I would say something like

There are about 6,788,436,261 people and counting on the planet right now . We have domesticated plants and animals. We have made previously uninhabitable places on the earth habitable. We have eliminated deadly diseases. We have moved mountains and shaped the world to our liking. We have commercial fishing fleets that bring in so much fish they often run the risk of overfishing. The activities of humans are threatening the extinction of many species of birds (some are already gone), and other animals. In fact, I don't think there is a single living thing on earth that even remotely has a chance against a human armed with a gun. Yet you still think that God's commandment "to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth (Gen. 1:28)" has not been fulfilled. I don't know I think we've fulfilled it 10X over.
Comment by Wassabi on November 16, 2009 at 10:35am
Dan- it doesn't work like that. no body- especially not religious people- see's humanity as one whole. it's all about breeding more than other groups. more than the muslims, more than the christians, more than the heretics. I blame democracy....
Comment by Doug Reardon on November 16, 2009 at 10:36am
He summed it up accurately when he wrote: "us crazy Catholics".
Comment by Skycomet the Fallen Angel on November 16, 2009 at 11:36am
Jake - I would be VERY careful when responding to your friend. He is obviously ultra-conservative on the issue of sex and thus if you open with a scathing or overly critical remark it could shut him down and he will refuse to listen to you. If you want to "knock some sense into him." As many people should know, India is the second most populous country in the world. He seems to very much care about children. And as I have seen with other conservatives, using video and visual shocking and sad stories is probably the best way to knock sense into them, although it might not always work.
Try this video [a warning, it is rather disturbing]
Comment by Skycomet the Fallen Angel on November 16, 2009 at 11:41am
By the way... you might want to add the VERY REAL statistic that in order for the whole world to live with the standard of living we have, we would have to have 4 Earths. 3 of them just for supplies. http://www.trap17.com/index.php/overpopulation_t58100.html/
Comment by Dan on November 17, 2009 at 1:10am
@yonny zohar
This is true, but they still have the perfectly viable option of adopting a kid. I actually find it quite hypocritical when religious pro-lifers tell women not to use contraception and not to get an abortion if they get pregnant. Then they tell them that if they can't take care of the child then they should give it up for adoption. Yet you rarely see any of them turn around and adopt the kids after they are born. I would actually be interested to see some statistics on adoption rates by religious belief, or the percentage of families within particular religions that adopt.


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