Is masturbation immoral?

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Bones-O
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 04:40 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple wrote:
Has anyone touched on the context yet? yes pun intended...

I mean like it can't always be proper... watching a public sporting event? During a funeral? While shopping? On the subway? ect, ect, ect.

Yes, just like loving, child-producing sex.
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 04:51 pm
@Greg phil,
We cannot judge the morality of the masturbatory act on its popularity, since people do immoral things all the time. Nobody contests the immorality of lying, but it's clear that almost everybody does it at some point or another at least once.

Neither can we judge the morality of the masturbatory act based on any analogy to other animals. We are not other animals. The mark of humanity is that we have reason, intellect, and will. Animals lack these things. Furthermore, man is called to a higher standard on account of his rationality/willfullness/intellect, because in this way, he has been created in the image of God, and the sexual act for man has been raised to a higher standard...nothing short of being less than the very image of the Blessed Trinity. Just as in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost there is a cointimacy, fecundity (The Father begs the Son, and the Father and the Son spirate the Holy Ghost), and so forth and so on, there is likewise in the sexual act a cointimacy, fecundity, and so forth and so on. When performed in the context of marriage, the sexual act is an image of God.

Furthermore, even if it were wrong for no other reason(s), God has commanded us not to do it through His Holy Church. Therefore, to do it is wrong.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 05:03 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Bonaventurian wrote:
We cannot judge the morality of the masturbatory act on its popularity, since people do immoral things all the time. Nobody contests the immorality of lying, but it's clear that almost everybody does it at some point or another at least once.


Lying and masturbation cannot be compared as they involve different things. Lying is immoral, because it generally affects others than just the liar. Lying to oneself also alters the relationship of the self to the truth. Masturbation on the other hand does not generally involve other people. It also has nothing to do with laws or morals. Thus, it is a disanalogy to compare the two.

Bonaventurian wrote:

Neither can we judge the morality of the masturbatory act based on any analogy to other animals. We are not other animals. The mark of humanity is that we have reason, intellect, and will. Animals lack these things. Furthermore, man is called to a higher standard on account of his rationality/willfullness/intellect, because in this way, he has been created in the image of God, and the sexual act for man has been raised to a higher standard...nothing short of being less than the very image of the Blessed Trinity. Just as in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost there is a cointimacy, fecundity (The Father begs the Son, and the Father and the Son spirate the Holy Ghost), and so forth and so on, there is likewise in the sexual act a cointimacy, fecundity, and so forth and so on. When performed in the context of marriage, the sexual act is an image of God.

Humanity may have the rational side, but it also shares the non-rational side with animals. Thus, you can compare the non-rational actions of humans to the actions of animals since they are non-rational by nature. People elevate human sexuality above that of animals, but it is not a justified elevation. There is no real difference between the non-rational of animals and that of humans. Just because people say that there is a difference does not make it so.

Bonaventurian wrote:

Furthermore, even if it were wrong for no other reason(s), God has commanded us not to do it through His Holy Church. Therefore, to do it is wrong.

That depends if you believe the so-called messengers of God. Personally, I am siding with Hume on this one and saying that we are not justified in forming an idea of God that transcends what is seen in nature. Thus, the church holds no real authority over anything, because the authority is not justified.

If you would do me a favor, please break out the original Greek text of the Bible and please show us where in the original text it explains that it is immoral to masturbate. Translations are not good enough because of the difficulties of translating Greek into English. Anyway, it does not matter because the authority of the Bible is not justified. Rationalized maybe. Justified--absolutely not.
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 05:13 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;64650 wrote:

If you would do me a favor, please break out the original Greek text of the Bible and please show us where in the original text it explains that it is immoral to masturbate. Translations are not good enough because of the difficulties of translating Greek into English. Anyway, it does not matter because the authority of the Bible is not justified. Rationalized maybe. Justified--absolutely not.


I'm afraid we'd have to go to the Hebrew text for that. (Well, we could use the LXX, it's in Greek, at least, but it might not be the same as the Hebrew MS text) However, the interpretation, and it is, in fact, just that (nothing more) is from a few places in Leviticus and in the punishment one guy (I'd have to look up that place and name again) got for letting his seed pour out on the ground instead of trying to impregnate the lady at YHWH's command (essentially).

EDIT: Although actually that line you had quoted, Theaetetus, is probably referring to the Roman Catholic system (which does not need to quote scripture...they can make it up as they go, due to the 'top-down-god-to-Pope' model they maintain).
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 05:18 pm
@Greg phil,
1. Our disagreement, The., originates ultimately from a different view of the human person. I don't think that man is, in Spinozan terms, "a part of nature," but rather has been created immediately and miraculously by God in His own image and likeness. I'm aware that you disagree with me, and that most people on the board disagree with me, but I don't really care.

Even if I can't demonstrate otherwise, my inability to demonstrate the point makes my position no less right.

2. Who says that the Bible is the only authority on Christian morality? The Holy Church (who derives Her authority from Jesus Christ Himself) is the final authority on all spiritual matters.

3. I don't see the bit about "affecting others" particularly relevent. Both masturbation and lying are wrong insofar as they deviate from the Law. The consequences are irrelevent. In Kantian terms, the beginning and end of morality is respect for Law.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 05:24 pm
@Greg phil,
If the Holy Church is the final authority on all spiritual matters, then what are all of the Eastern religions and Islam? Not to mention, the Church holds no authority over me. I chose not to follow the dogma, and; therefore, it has no application in my life. I am outside of the realm of the Church because I chose not to follow. As far as I am concerned, nature is the final authority on all spiritual matters.

Even if you look at masturbation from a Kantian perspective, there is nothing wrong with it from this deontological perspective. You are adding far more to Kant than what he had to say about moral issues. As we have already argued, masturbation is a non-moral action. Thus, moral laws have no application.
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 05:27 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
If the Holy Church is the final authority on all spiritual matters, then what are all of the Eastern religions and Islam?


Lies.

Quote:
Not to mention, the Church holds no authority over me. I chose not to follow the dogma, and; therefore, it has no application in my life. I am outside of the realm of the Church because I chose not to follow. As far as I am concerned, nature is the final authority on all spiritual matters.


Unam Sanctam, by Pope Boniface VIII wrote:


Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins, as the Spouse in the Canticles [Sgs 6:8] proclaims: 'One is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only one, the chosen of her who bore her,' and she represents one sole mystical body whose Head is Christ and the head of Christ is God [1 Cor 11:3]. In her then is one Lord, one faith, one baptism [Eph 4:5]. There had been at the time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church, which ark, having been finished to a single cubit, had only one pilot and guide, i.e., Noah, and we read that, outside of this ark, all that subsisted on the earth was destroyed.

We venerate this Church as one, the Lord having said by the mouth of the prophet: 'Deliver, O God, my soul from the sword and my only one from the hand of the dog.' [Ps 21:20] He has prayed for his soul, that is for himself, heart and body; and this body, that is to say, the Church, He has called one because of the unity of the Spouse, of the faith, of the sacraments, and of the charity of the Church. This is the tunic of the Lord, the seamless tunic, which was not rent but which was cast by lot [Jn 19:23-24]. Therefore, of the one and only Church there is one body and one head, not two heads like a monster; that is, Christ and the Vicar of Christ, Peter and the successor of Peter, since the Lord speaking to Peter Himself said: 'Feed my sheep' [Jn 21:17], meaning, my sheep in general, not these, nor those in particular, whence we understand that He entrusted all to him [Peter]. Therefore, if the Greeks or others should say that they are not confided to Peter and to his successors, they must confess not being the sheep of Christ, since Our Lord says in John 'there is one sheepfold and one shepherd.' We are informed by the texts of the gospels that in this Church and in its power are two swords; namely, the spiritual and the temporal. For when the Apostles say: 'Behold, here are two swords' [Lk 22:38] that is to say, in the Church, since the Apostles were speaking, the Lord did not reply that there were too many, but sufficient. Certainly the one who denies that the temporal sword is in the power of Peter has not listened well to the word of the Lord commanding: 'Put up thy sword into thy scabbard' [Mt 26:52]. Both, therefore, are in the power of the Church, that is to say, the spiritual and the material sword, but the former is to be administered _for_ the Church but the latter by the Church; the former in the hands of the priest; the latter by the hands of kings and soldiers, but at the will and sufferance of the priest.

However, one sword ought to be subordinated to the other and temporal authority, subjected to spiritual power. For since the Apostle said: 'There is no power except from God and the things that are, are ordained of God' [Rom 13:1-2], but they would not be ordained if one sword were not subordinated to the other and if the inferior one, as it were, were not led upwards by the other.
For, according to the Blessed Dionysius, it is a law of the divinity that the lowest things reach the highest place by intermediaries. Then, according to the order of the universe, all things are not led back to order equally and immediately, but the lowest by the intermediary, and the inferior by the superior. Hence we must recognize the more clearly that spiritual power surpasses in dignity and in nobility any temporal power whatever, as spiritual things surpass the temporal. This we see very clearly also by the payment, benediction, and consecration of the tithes, but the acceptance of power itself and by the government even of things. For with truth as our witness, it belongs to spiritual power to establish the terrestrial power and to pass judgement if it has not been good. Thus is accomplished the prophecy of Jeremias concerning the Church and the ecclesiastical power: 'Behold to-day I have placed you over nations, and over kingdoms' and the rest. Therefore, if the terrestrial power err, it will be judged by the spiritual power; but if a minor spiritual power err, it will be judged by a superior spiritual power; but if the highest power of all err, it can be judged only by God, and not by man, according to the testimony of the Apostle: 'The spiritual man judgeth of all things and he himself is judged by no man' [1 Cor 2:15]. This authority, however, (though it has been given to man and is exercised by man), is not human but rather divine, granted to Peter by a divine word and reaffirmed to him (Peter) and his successors by the One Whom Peter confessed, the Lord saying to Peter himself, 'Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in Heaven' etc., [Mt 16:19]. Therefore whoever resists this power thus ordained by God, resists the ordinance of God [Rom 13:2], unless he invent like Manicheus two beginnings, which is false and judged by us heretical, since according to the testimony of Moses, it is not in the beginnings but in the beginning that God created heaven and earth [Gen 1:1]. Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.


"Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature by subject to the Roman Pontiff."
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 05:28 pm
@Greg phil,
Words, are only words, nothing more. Just because some dead guy may have claimed that everyone is under the authority of the Church, does not make it so. The world is vastly different that it was back when such declarations were made.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 05:30 pm
@Greg phil,
Quote:
Both masturbation and lying are wrong insofar as they deviate from the Law


What "Law" does masturbation deviate from?
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 05:32 pm
@Greg phil,
Quote:
Even if you look at masturbation from a Kantian perspective, there is nothing wrong with it from this deontological perspective. You are adding far more to Kant than what he had to say about moral issues.


1. Kant's not a deontologist. This is a common misconception. His ethical system has an underlying goodness, namely a good will (See the first few pages of the Groundwork on this matter).

2. I honestly don't care whether or not the thing in question conflicts with Kant's system. The only reason I quote Kant is to point out that I have no concern for the consequences of actions, but only of whether or not they are done out of respect for the Law.

Clearly, the law I have in mind isn't strictly tied up with the Categorical Imperative, but rather the Goodness of God, and secondarily, His will, and my underlying goodness is not the good will, but rather God Himself.

That said, I am not going to bother writing very much on the matter, since, so far as I am concerned, I have written fairly exhaustively (and the work is as of yet unfinished) in another thread, and it follows as being both clear and obvious from what I have already written that my position is right and yours is wrong. See here.

3. No part of the human life can lack a moral standard, because the human person is a moral creature.

---------- Post added at 06:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:32 PM ----------

Theaetetus wrote:
Words, are only words, nothing more. Just because some dead guy may have claimed that everyone is under the authority of the Church, does not make it so. The world is vastly different that it was back when such declarations were made.


The world might be. God isn't.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 05:38 pm
@Greg phil,
The thread author has stated his recent renunciation of the church, so is clearly not looking for Christian arguments against the act but asking for philosophical arguments for it. One assumes he is familiar with the former, so I'm not seeing it as apt to turn this into a preaching platform.

This thread was so better when it was about pig-love.
 
William
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 06:17 pm
@Greg phil,
Bones,
I have explained it as far as I am concerned. Just not to your satisfaction. Sorry.
William
 
salima
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 06:50 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
And I think the point many of us are making is that it's absurd to have to justify masturbation. If you sought to justify masturbation, you should seek to justify all forms of self-gratification. One shouldn't have to justify these things, in my opinion. Chocolate pudding, masturbation, playing video games, sports, etc. - Are we to justify all things that make us feel *good*, or provide us enjoyment?

We'd be here for quite some time, my friend. No, I think it's more important we acknowledge it's time to put to rest this silly stigma on self-assisted sex.

amen.

for something to be immoral i think it has to cause harm to others or self in some way. rather than try to justify it, wouldnt it be more apt to show how exactly does it harm anyone? but i dont think anyone can do that. i dont recall any objections from the medical community.

i cant believe i am posting on this-but the sad fact is it is an issue of major importance to a lot of people. it is the stigma against it that has caused harm to people, not the act itself. did you ever actually see a child discovering itself for the first time? (i have more than once) and this is considered to be evil/immoral?
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 07:02 pm
@Greg phil,
Honestly, I can guarantee that my girlfriend would probably agree that masturbation is actually beneficial at times to other parties... and I would agree with her for the same reason. But to find it harmful to another individual is impossible. You could make the claim that the chronic masturbators do harm to themselves, but that is their own choice, and it should not be the responsibility of a society to mediate in their personal lives.
 
salima
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 07:04 pm
@Bones-O,
Bones-O! wrote:
The thread author has stated his recent renunciation of the church, so is clearly not looking for Christian arguments against the act but asking for philosophical arguments for it. One assumes he is familiar with the former, so I'm not seeing it as apt to turn this into a preaching platform.

This thread was so better when it was about pig-love.


LaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughing

---------- Post added at 06:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:34 AM ----------

Bones-O! wrote:
Okay, I asked several questions, maybe that's a bit much.

Claim: A homosexual couple cannot provide the balance a heterosexual couple can.

1. How is balance evaluated - what is it?

2. How does a heterosexual couple (or this special familial bond that relies on sexual conception) provide this balance?

3. How do unbalanced children then come from heterosexual families who seriously considered having family (or do you suppose all children born of such heterosexual couples are always balanced)?

4. What do homosexuals lack such that this balance is not provided?

5. What are the facts supporting this - i.e. what evidence do we have that children of homosexual couples are less balanced than children of heterosexual ones?

Because in the absence of any of this information, there is no reason to suspect any difference between homosexual and heterosexual parents. I mean, if you showed me that lack of breastfeeding led to imbalance for instance... that's something people can at least understand.


i think we need a new thread here, addressing different topics. must be something on this in the archives though...
 
William
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 07:35 pm
@Greg phil,
Justin, we have it seems kinda hijacked Greg's thread. Perhaps we can rename it and move it to a more appropriate location. Pigs, artificial insemination and tradition marital conception, adoption and alternative families seems to have become the dominate themes. You be the judge as to what to do with it.
Thanks,
William

---------- Post added at 09:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:05 PM ----------

Bones-O! wrote:
Okay, I asked several questions, maybe that's a bit much.

Claim: A homosexual couple cannot provide the balance a heterosexual couple can.

1. How is balance evaluated - what is it?

2. How does a heterosexual couple (or this special familial bond that relies on sexual conception) provide this balance?

3. How do unbalanced children then come from heterosexual families who seriously considered having family (or do you suppose all children born of such heterosexual couples are always balanced)?

4. What do homosexuals lack such that this balance is not provided?

5. What are the facts supporting this - i.e. what evidence do we have that children of homosexual couples are less balanced than children of heterosexual ones?

Because in the absence of any of this information, there is no reason to suspect any difference between homosexual and heterosexual parents. I mean, if you showed me that lack of breastfeeding led to imbalance for instance... that's something people can at least understand.


I will do my best. But not in this thread. Let's see what Justin decides.
William
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 07:46 pm
@Greg phil,
Hey we got to 64+ posts on a thread asking whether masturbation was immoral. We did well, even if it was padded. It's gone on so long I was beginning to ask "Is masturbation thread immortal?"
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sat 23 May, 2009 08:11 pm
@Greg phil,
If anyone is interested, I can also start a new thread, since this was kind of hijacked from Greg's intentions. Let me know what it is called, and which posts I should move on over and I can take care of it. It is my duty as a moderator to help out with such situations.

Other than that, I think we killed this masturbation thread by coming to the general conclusion that it is a non-moral act; therefore, it cannot be immoral.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sun 24 May, 2009 06:19 am
@Greg phil,
I moved most (all?) the posts that were off-topic, and general spoke to the question of what an ideal family is.
 
Greg phil
 
Reply Sun 24 May, 2009 02:18 pm
@Greg phil,
ok i've heard enough on this topic thanks.

- though I haven't actually decided myself how what i think
 
 

 
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