« The Behavior of Catholics and Contraceptive Use-Becker | Main | A Further Comment on Contraception and Catholicism—Posner »

11/28/2010

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Interesting layout on your article. I really enjoyed reading it and also I will be back to read more in the future.

John Breen

For my response to this and Posner's follow-up post see the link below.

http://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/mirrorofjustice/2010/12/what-does-it-take-to-be-a-public-intellectual-when-commenting-on-the-catholic-church-not-much-richard-posners.html

Nancy D.

The nature of The Catholic Church's teaching on contraception is grounded in The Truth of Love. Sexual Love and sex are not the same for Love is not possessive nor does it serve to manipulate.

Nancy D.

F.Y.I.- Interesting Mike Wallace interview with Margaret Sanger:

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/time-capsule-mike-wallace-hammers-margaret-sanger-in-1957-interview

citizen1

The REAL problem, as has been identified by one of our great philosophers, Bill Mahar, is "religion." Societies unfortunately "expose" children to the concept of "faith" which trains their mind to accept and have their conduct dictated by fantasy and myth rather than relying upon their rational senses. It is a socially promoted and accepted indoctrination which then leads to authoritarianism and the blind acceptance of fascist and authoritarian concepts of government. Some human being who calls himself the Pope should have no authority whatsoever to dictate to human beings who are capable of making their own individual decisions relating to their conduct. For two old and supposedly "mature" men to even discuss this subject is an embarrassment. There are no Catholics. There are no Jews. There are no Methodists, etc., etc. There are only mammals which we refer to as human beings, the worst of all animals.

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Michael Schwenk

This is the perfect example of something so stupid that you need a PhD to believe it. Judge, you don't know a thing about Christianity, you atheist bigot.

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David Friedman

I suggest that there is a possible interpretation of both the Catholic position and the decline in birth rates in Catholic countries that neither Posner nor Becker is considering.

One purpose of contraception is to allow married couples who want to have children to avoid having more of them than they want. For that purpose, the rhythm method, employed with moderate competency, should work pretty well; a little googling suggests an average failure rate of about one pregnancy per eight years, producing an average of about three children over the fertile years of a marriage. Other forms of contraception are better, in part because they let the couple decide when to have their children, but rhythm can do a good deal of the job.

A second purpose is to allow married couples who don't want children to have sex without pregnancy; for that purpose rhythm is clearly inadequate.

A third purpose is to allow nonmarital sex without an unacceptable risk of pregnancy. For that purpose, rhythm is better than nothing, but much worse than other methods—especially if the partners are young and hasty.

So one possible interpretation of the Catholic position is that it is designed to get much of the benefit in control of family size while avoiding what some see as the cost of making non-marital sex too easy. And while no doubt some of the decline in birth rates reflects Catholic couples using methods the church disapproves of, some may also reflect greater use of the method the church does approve of, in a world where there is less reason than there once was for them to want large families.

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Medical

The Church of England has stated it "does not regard contraception as a sin or a contravention of God's purpose".

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Acne Care

A teaching can also be infallible if it is taught by the ordinary magisterium (the bishops dispersed in union with Rome) but whether the teaching on contraception fits this category of infallibility is debatable. But a reversal would be damaging to credibility nonetheless.

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Today, the use of condoms is far more related to responsible public health than contraception and it IS of public concern when any organization seeks to subvert measures to contain the AIDS epidemic in Africa, and throughout the world. The Pope and Catholic hierarchy should carefully review policies that result in the spread of an often fatal disease and make abortion and perhaps death by attempted abortion more common. What would Jesus do?
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Rosetta Stone

Many centuries later the “demographic transition”—the tendency for the birthrate to fall when a nation achieves a certain level of prosperity—placed the Catholic condemnation of contraception under pressure

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