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Chapter 1

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Western University
Philosophy 4990A/B
Michael Fox

INTRODUCTION/ CHPT 1  The intention of the book is to provide an opportunity for continuous, uninterrupted confrontation, a change to test experience by experience  Love and responsibility with this sort of methodological basis, fears nothing and need fear nothing which can be legitimized by experience  Experience does not have to be afraid of experience. Truth can only gain from such a confrontation  Became a discussion on the means by which the correctness of moral norms might be established  Revealed also that the only solutions which can expect to be fully accepted must be based both on honest anthropology and on a profound insight into the act itself, revealed in particular that it is impossible to isolate the question of the legitimacy of the act so completely as to separate it from its primary function in interpersonal relations; that of expressing love or in other words affirming the person so as to enhance its dignity  There is probably no need to waste words showing how very closely the subject matter of that work is connected with the question of responsible love, which is the main theme of love and responsibility  All pronouncements on such matters must be based on personal experience, so that priests and persons living a celibate life can have nothing to say on questions of love and marriage  Doctrine the teaching o the Church – in the sphere of sexual morality is based upon the New Testament, the pronouncements of which on this subject are brief but also sufficient  Such a good is the person and the moral truth most closely bound up with the world of persons is the commandment to love- for love is a good peculiar to the world of persons  In the context of relationships between persons of different sexes, when we speak of sexual morality, we are really thinking of love and responsibility  Manuals of ethics and moral theology tend to deal with these two kinds of love separately: with the first in discussions of the theological virtues, since love is the greatest of these and with the second primarily within the framework of discussion of the cardinal virtue of continence, since sexual purity is connected with this  When it goes without saying that problems of sex are above all problems of the body  Sexual morality is within the domain of the person. It is impossible to understand anything about it without understanding what the person is, the mode of existence, its functioning, its powers CHAPTER 1 – THE PERSON AND SEXUAL KNOWLEDGE  The term person has been coined to signify that a man cannot be wholly contained within the concept individual member of the species, but that there is something more to him, a particular richness and perfection in the manner of his being, which can only be brought out by the use of the word person  Man has the ability to reason, he is a rational being, which cannot be said of any other entity in the visible world, for in none of them do we find any trace of conceptual thinking  In man, cognition and desire acquire a spiritual character and therefore assist in the formation of a genuine interior life, which doesn’t happen with animals. Inner life means spiritual life. It revolves around truth and goodness  A human person, as a distinctly defined subject, establishes contact with all other entities precisely through the inner self and neither the natural contacts which are also its prerogative, since it has a body and in a certain sense is a body  Constitute its characteristic way of communication with the world  It includes the power of self determination, based on reflection and manifested in the fact that a man acts from choice – this power is called free will  I am, I must be, independent in my actions. All human relationships are posited on this fact  To use means to employ some object of action as a means to an end – the end also implies the existence of means so that in the nature of things the means is subordinated to the end, and at the same time subordinated to some extent to the agent  Intelligent human beings are only required not to destroy or squander these natural resources but to use them with restraint so as not to impede the development of man himself, and so as to ensure the coexistence of human societies in justice and harmony  For a person must not be merely the means to an end for another person  Anyone who treats a person as the means to an end does violence to the very essence of the other to what constitutes its natural right  Therefore, if God intends to direct man towards certain goals, he allows him to begin with to know those goals, so that he may make them his own and strive towards them indirectly  Obviously, i may want another person to desire the same good which I myself desire. Obviously the other must know this end of mine, recognize it as a good and adopt it. If this happens a special bond is established between me and this other person: the bond of a common good and a common aim  Love between two people is quite unthinkable without some common good to bind them together  Instinct alone does not necessarily imply the ability to love. This capacity is, however, inherent in human beings and is bound up with their freedom of will. Man’s capacity for love depends on his willingness consciously to seek a good together with others, and to subordinate himself to that good for the sake of others, or to others for the sake of that good  Marriage is one of the most important areas where this principle is put into practice  These objective purposes of marriage create in principle the possibility of love and exclude the possibility of treating a person as means to an end and as an object for use  The sexual relationship presents more opportunities than most other activities for treating a person – sometimes even without realizing it – as an object of use  This subordination is a particularly strict obligation in marriage and the objective aims of that institution can be realized only if the partners adopt the broad principles which follow from acknowledgment of the value of the person in the context of a fully developed sexual relationship  These emotions or sentiments usually have some influence in determining the objective structure of peoples actions  A positive charge is pleasure and a negative charge is pain. Pleasure appears in different guises or shades – depending on the emotion affective experiences with which it is connected  For only a human being can be an object of equal status for another human being – a partner in activity – this equality between the subject and the object of activity forms a special basis for emotional affective experiences and for the positive or negative charges which they carry in the shape of pleasure or of pain  Sexual morality comes into being not only because persons are of the purpose of sexual life, but also because they are aware that they are persons  This morality is personalistic both in relation to its subject and in relation to its object – objectively because it is concerned with the proper treatment of a person in the context of sexual pleasure  This means that the science of ethics, if it is to fulfil its proper function in the field of sexual morality, must, in all the profusion and variety of human actions, and indeed of passive experiences too  Whatever shows not that but the intention to use a person even when it disguises itself as long and seeks to legitimate itself under that name  The useful is whatever gives pleasure and excludes its opposite for pleasure is the essential ingredient of human happiness. To be happy, according to the premises of utilitarianism is to live pleasurably  Utilitarian’s regard the principles of the maximization of pleasure accompanied by the minimization of pain as the primary rule of human morality with the rider that it must be observed not only by individuals, egoistically but also collectively by society  Pleasure is essentially incidental, contingent on something which
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