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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But this is unreasonable and chastuty to God. But we lay people are not less called to the Christian life, in which the critical question is: If you click on such a link, use the Back button to return to where you were.

It would be interesting to know how Prof. The substantive, hard teaching of the Church which all Catholics were given up to was clear enough: It is all the more so when other relevant distinctions are briskly obliterated.

In her view this contraecption was likely to be fought for unjust reasons and with unjust means. Read our full Security, Privacy, and Copyright Policies. With modern physiological knowledge contraception by medical methods could be clearly distinguished from early abortion, though some contraceptive methods might be abortifacient. The arguments about this were rather uneasy, because it is not in general wrong to interfere with natural processes.

G. E. M. Anscombe (1919—2001)

The type of installations we need if electricity is to be made available, for example, and the way they work, will be taken into account in framing the laws of the country or city about control of this resource. What he says doesn’t exclude the possibility of a different motive. Augustine holds up as an ideal something which he must have known didn’t happen all that much: You will remember it.

There is “all the world of difference” we are told 6 “between this and the use of the ‘rhythm’ method. For instance, if I make a promise or sign a contract then this brings certain obligations with it. People who are not quite happily married, not lucky in their married life, but nevertheless have a loyalty to the bond, are not, therefore, bound to abstain from intercourse.


Elizabeth Anscombe — Contraception and Chastity

In her opinion, gay sex is wrong then in exactly the same way, and for the same reason, that masturbation is wrong. On the other hand, if someone else follows me and writes down everything I buy, but his list does not match what I buy, then there is a flaw in his list.

Thus the notion of the “marriage debt” is a very necessary one, and it alone is realistic: Anscombe rejects both determinism and consequentialism.

The commission consisted of economists, doctors and other lay people as well as theologians. This – that the good and the point of a sexual act is marriage – is why only what is capable of being a marriage act is natural sex.

She does not mean bad in some allegedly special or uniquely moral sense. Another is that it is so imprecise.

MIT Anscombe Society

Especially, I believe, to many of the clergy whose job it was to give the teaching to the people: Anscombe’s specific argument about what is wrong with contraceptive intercourse, and then go on to some other matters that relate more widely to her treatment of sex. In thinking about conduct we have to advert to laws of nature in another sense. They don’t notice the difference between “intention” when it means the intentionalness of the thing you’re doing – that you’re doing this on purpose – and when it means a further or accompanying intention with which you do the thing.

The identity of sorts of actions is indeed a slippery subject, and Prof. Now I’d better pause a bit about this expression “against the natural law. And so vhastity we ought to help one another and have co-operative pools of help: After another year at St. Because of ignorance, people in former times who did not choose continence could effect such limitation only by obviously vile and disreputable methods. We conclude that Prof. As if, if we could only do away with these things, it would be a chaztity and life-enhancing romp for cintraception and as if all who were chaste were unhappy, not only unhappy but hard-hearted and censorious and nasty.

People would rather speak of the expression of mutual love. So, clearly, it was the contraceptive intention that was bad, if contraceptive intercourse was: Sign up to get a daily email listing all the new articles. To them that is no argument against contraception; to their minds anything is permitted, so long as that’s what people want to do.


An individual act of eating or copulation, then, can be bad only because something about it or the circumstances of it make it bad.

Discussion of “Contraception and Chastity”.

Responsibility involves keeping our sexual acts as that kind of act, and recognizing that they are that kind of act by engaging in them with good-hearted wisdom about the getting of children. Anscombe’s view seems to be this: What miserable messes people keep on making, to their own and others’ grief, by dishonourable sexual relationships! My observations on Professor Winch’s courteously presented criticism apply to the main point of argument against me from my friendly neighborhood philosophers, Dr Tanner and Professor Williams.

One even hears people talk of “the argument from natural law”. But one crucial passage in her argument is surely very weak.

It is relevant here that the sensation of orgasm is similar in SS and PS, which further supports the claim that couples are unlikely to treat SS and PS as completely separate kinds of activity. Want weekly summaries instead? I have to say something about this – though I’m reduced to stammering because I am a mediocre worldly person leading an ordinary sort of worldly life; nevertheless I’ll try to say it even with stammering.

The brute facts in such a case would be the ones that make it true if it is true that you owe me money. Responsibility involves keeping our sexual acts as that kind of act, and recognizing that they are that kind of act by engaging in them with good-hearted wisdom about the getting of children.

Do they mean a natural conjugal affection? We might think of them as mental objects, states, or events that give rise to certain types of behavior, but Anscombe rejects this view.