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Traditional Catholic Faith => Crisis in the Church => Topic started by: Geremia on August 18, 2016, 01:01:23 PM

Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: Geremia on August 18, 2016, 01:01:23 PM
Which of the following definitions of contraception is more correct and why:
• to seek pleasure as the ultimate end of the marital act
or
• to interfere with the marriage act
or
• none of the above (explain below)
?

#1 seems to be how St. Thomas Aquinas would define contraception (cf. his Summa Theologica question "Whether it is a mortal sin for a man to have knowledge of his wife, with the intention not of a marriage good but merely of pleasure? (http://dhspriory.org/thomas/summa/XP/XP049.html#XPQ49A6THEP1)"). I see many trads defining contraception as #2, yet with that definition, how would birth control pills be contraceptives?
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: Ladislaus on August 18, 2016, 01:19:10 PM
Not this thread again.  Matthew locked the last one.
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: Ladislaus on August 18, 2016, 01:20:34 PM
Quote from: Geremia
Which of the following definitions of contraception is more correct and why:
• to seek pleasure as the ultimate end of the marital act
or
• to interfere with the marriage act
or
• none of the above (explain below)
?

#1 seems to be how St. Thomas Aquinas would define contraception (cf. his Summa Theologica question "Whether it is a mortal sin for a man to have knowledge of his wife, with the intention not of a marriage good but merely of pleasure? (http://dhspriory.org/thomas/summa/XP/XP049.html#XPQ49A6THEP1)"). I see many trads defining contraception as #2, yet with that definition, how would birth control pills be contraceptives?


#1 is in no way contraception.  #1 can happen without there being any contraception.

Several of us already explained why the pill is contraception.  You have a mechanical view of contraception where in order for something to be contraception you have to physically prevent the sperm from reaching the egg.
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: Matto on August 18, 2016, 01:42:43 PM
I don't see how #1 is right. I thought contraception was taking steps to avoid conception during the marital act. It is possible to perform the marital act for pleasure alone while not doing anything to avoid conception. I do not see how this is contraception. It might be a sin, but it is not contraception.
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: Geremia on August 18, 2016, 03:29:28 PM
Quote from: Ladislaus
Several of us already explained why the pill is contraception.
Yes, and many people said it's because it interferes with the act, yet some women take estrogen-progestin pills for non-contraceptive purposes. Does the pill interfere with the act or not? It seems besides the point, which is that intentionality can make taking the pill contraceptive or not.
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: Geremia on August 18, 2016, 03:32:35 PM
Quote from: Matto
I don't see how #1 is right. I thought contraception was taking steps to avoid conception during the marital act.
If you seek something besides procreation as the ultimate end of the act, how aren't you at best indifferent or at worse hostile to conception?

(Also, there's >0% chance of conception with all forms of contraception, even onanism, so conception isn't being entirely avoided when contracepting.)
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: Geremia on August 18, 2016, 03:34:22 PM
Quote from: Ladislaus
Not this thread again.  Matthew locked the last one.
Maybe I should've phrased #1 as "to seek something other than procreation as the ultimate end of the marital act"
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: Geremia on August 18, 2016, 03:38:25 PM
The OED defines contraception as:
Quote from: OED
The prevention of uterine conception.
But this isn't right. Plenty of things (e.g., infertility) can prevent uterine conception.
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: Geremia on August 18, 2016, 03:44:32 PM
Quote from: Ladislaus
You have a mechanical view of contraception where in order for something to be contraception you have to physically prevent the sperm from reaching the egg.
In other words: intentionality matters.

Quote from: Casti Connubii's definition of contraception
Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.
So, by "conjugal act" he means something more than a "mechanical" or biological process?
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: songbird on August 18, 2016, 03:47:24 PM
It all starts in the brain.
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: reconquest on August 18, 2016, 04:01:40 PM
Quote from: Geremia
I see many trads defining contraception as #2, yet with that definition, how would birth control pills be contraceptives?

Ask anyone who uses birth control pills.
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: Geremia on August 18, 2016, 04:08:24 PM
Quote from: Fr. John Hardon, S.J.'s Catholic Dictionary
Term

CONTRACEPTION
Definition

Deliberate interference with marital intercourse in order to prevent conception. It is the performance of the marriage act with the positive frustration of conception. Also called conjugal onanism, from the sin of Onan, referred to in the Bible (Genesis 38:8-10); Neo-Malthusianism from the name of the English sociologist Malthus (1766-1834); it is popularly termed birth control, where those concerned with high birthrates have come to equate contraception with population control.

The Catholic Church has forbidden contraception from earliest times, and the number of papal statements dealing with the subject indicates the Church's constant tradition. In modern times the most significant document was Humanae Vitae in 1968 by Paul VI. After referring to the long history of the Church's teaching, he declared that the "direct interruption of the generative process already begun," even though done for therapeutic reasons, is to be "absolutely excluded as a licit means of regulating birth." Equally to be excluded is direct sterilization for contraceptive reasons. "Similarly excluded is every action that, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, purposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" (Humanae Vitae, II, 14).

Few aspects of Christian morality in modern times have given rise to more difficulties of conscience than the Catholic doctrine on contraception. This was reflected in Paul's admission, shortly after Humanae Vitae: "How many times we have trembled before the alternatives of an easy condescension to current opinions."

One of the results of the Church's teaching on contraception has been to emphasize her right to teach the faithful, even to binding them gravely in conscience, in matters that pertain to the natural law. Yet the basic motivation offered to married people to live up to this difficult teaching is highly supernatural, namely the prospect of loving one another in such a way that they will share the fruits of their affection with another person whom their mutual love will bring into being.
(source (https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=32788))
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: songbird on August 18, 2016, 04:17:23 PM
Geremia:  Do you know what other purposes are used for birth control pills beside contraception?  In the 70's, they were used for women who had eating disorders, anorexic. That is one.  Do you know other reasons?  

I disagree with contraceptives.  They are good for nothing, as far as I see it.  But others see $$.
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: Geremia on August 18, 2016, 04:21:40 PM
The Catechism of the Council of Trent (http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thechurch/catechism/Holy7Sacraments-Matrimony.shtml) says this about contraception:
Quote
married persons who, to prevent conception or procure abortion, have recourse to medicine, are guilty of a most heinous crime —nothing less than wicked conspiracy to commit murder.
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: songbird on August 18, 2016, 04:28:09 PM
Geremia:  I agree.  
Title: What is the proper definition of contraception?
Post by: Geremia on September 02, 2016, 11:12:00 AM
Quote from: reconquest
Quote from: Geremia
I see many trads defining contraception as #2, yet with that definition, how would birth control pills be contraceptives?

Ask anyone who uses birth control pills.
Don't they do so in order to seek an evil pleasure?