Contraception is stupid. There, I said it. And I mean it. Contraception really is stupid. This is not a statement about its morality or lack thereof, nor am I saying that people who use it are stupid. What I am saying is that when we look at what contraception really is and what it does, it can only strike us as stupid. Most people don’t see this, not because they’re dumb but because they haven’t sat down and really thought it through. Contraception is appealing because it is convenient, not because it makes sense.
Human beings are both physical and spiritual beings so many of the things we do have both a physical and a spiritual dimension. Sexuality most certainly does. Nonetheless, I want to look at it from the purely biological point of view because that is the only way in which many proponents of contraception see it. For them sex is nothing more than the satisfaction of a natural urge. And so, I intend to keep the discussion in their terms because that is where the stupidity of contraception is the most evident.
Allow me to explain myself. I think we can all agree that nature is, following the popular phrase, “wise.” Experience shows us that things in nature have a purpose, that every biological function that our bodies perform has an objective, and that that objective is, as far as I can tell, good for us. Our body needs to recover from its daily activities and, in order to attain that objective, we sleep. Our body needs nourishment to continue on living, so we eat. There is a certain sensation of pleasure attached to these activities because we are meant to perform them on a regular basis for our own good. However, the pleasure we feel is not their purpose. It is an incentive to perform them so we can enjoy the benefits of their purpose. I believe we could all agree that removing nourishment from eating or rest from sleeping, even while preserving the pleasure that corresponds to them, sounds stupid. It would render these activities useless. Why go through the hassle of lying unconscious for hours, or of introducing food into your mouth, chewing it, swallowing it, and then digesting it just to feel a pleasant sensation which you could obtain otherwise? That is, by removing the purpose of eating or sleeping, we would be corrupting these ordinary biological functions, damaging them and, in the end, leading them to their extinction. It is a rule of thumb of evolutionary biology that functions or attributes that have outlived their purpose will, eventually, cease to exist.
Now the problem is that attached to sex is an extremely intense pleasure and so when we talk about it we tend to stop thinking correctly. So let’s try to keep our heads cool, even if we’re talking about sex. I said the pleasure attached to sex is extremely intense. If this is so, we could assume (following the principle of pleasure being a “reward” for a biologically desirable behavior) that it is because sex is really good and necessary and that we ought to have it, not because of the pleasure it produces, but because of its purpose. Biologically speaking, sex has two purposes: procreation and unity. Procreation (which should be obvious) allows our species to continue existing, to survive, which, we have been told, is the whole purpose of evolution and adaptation. Unity is also a biological purpose of sex (at least in the human species) as it is useful for the survival of children that their biological parents remain together at least long enough to protect, feed, and raise them to full physical maturity. It is in this sense that I mean contraception is stupid. By voluntarily removing the purpose of sex, we are voluntarily condemning it to death. If you think sex is a good thing, why in the world would you want it to disappear? We Catholics were supposedly the ones who thought sex was bad, and yet, we’re the only ones trying to preserve it.
Someone might raise the objection that there are many other factors involved in sexuality besides biology, and that we must look at contraception from a broader perspective. I agree. If I simply looked at it from the standpoint of biology, it is because I mean to discuss with other people on their terms and not mine. It is no use to argue about the morality or immorality of contraception with someone who does not share your moral views. You need to put the discussion in their terms and prove their position untenable using their own principles. As a Catholic I am convinced that sexuality is more than mere biology. However, if the biological aspect of it is telling me that something does not make sense, that’s a pretty good indicator that all the other aspects of it will come to a similar conclusion. That, however, is a topic for a future post.Tags » contraception, sexuality
Slider by webdesign