The Natural Law and Sexual Morality

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I would like to preface this page with the observation that since the present moment in our cultural history is fixated on the idea of, as well as promotion of alternative lifestyles, I felt it appropriate to take the moment with a somewhat extended quote from Edward Feser’s book, The Last Superstition, as he makes a keen observation that applies to the field of natural law study when he states:

This is a big topic, and one I’d frankly rather not address at all. For one thing, it really needs a book of its own to do it justice; all I can do is scratch the surface here. For another, I fear that broaching it might only reinforce the tiresome cliché that natural law moralists are “obsessed with sex.” In fact if you look at any standard volume on ethics written from a traditional natural law theory point of view, you’ll find that it deals with sexual morality at no greater length than it treats of other moral topics – capital punishment, war and peace, property rights, social justice, and so forth. That reflects the natural law view that sexual activity, however important, is just one relatively small part of life among others, not the be all and end all of our existence.”

Page 141 The Last Superstation.

With that one qualification, I would now like introduce and share a couple of You Tubes at this point, along with a C.S. Lewis essay and a transcript from one of my professors at The University of Dallas a Dr. Janet Smith titled, The Natural Law and Sexual Ethics. Of course any essay coming from the heart and mind of C.S. Lewis is going to be instructive, but the graphic artist whom goes by the moniker Doodle, has a way with images which are both very entertaining as well as instructive. It’s brings to mind the tactic Lewis referred to in the creation of fairy tales and the way he had already effectively managed to “sneak past those watchful dragons” in many a young readers’ mind – planting the seeds of the gospel that may one day bear good fruit. While the gospel in itself is not placed at the forefront with Doodle’s sketches, Lewis’ brilliance as perhaps the most profound essayist of our time is, while infused with that irresistible rationality that is the product of a profoundly mature mind. The thought is (at least for me) while affording the mind some leeway from it’s analytical task in trying to understand the rationality of Lewis’ thought, if the listener steps back up to engage Lewis’ writing then hopefully a bit of interpretive license will have been obtained. At least this is my hope. I have placed Dr. Smith’s transcript (a PDF file) embedded in the hot link above in that papers’ title, and at the bottom of this page. Just above that link is a You Tube by the incomparable Christian philosopher Peter Kreeft speaking to the issues that surround the nature of contemporary aspects of homosexuality, and in light of the Natural Law and God’s eternal decree.

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Of course, rationality which needs a focus can best be had by the contemplative posture of reader in the solitude of his or her own reflective thought. To that end I have embedded for your perusal a scanned copy of the essay from which is the focus of Doodle’s activity above, titled:

==> We Have No Right to Happiness <==

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The hot topic of the day is the rightful place of the homosexual in our contemporary social world. With what seems like the larger portion of our culture wanting to ask and thereby turning that question on it’s head, what is the rightful place of the Christian in our social world? From a natural law perspective we join Peter Kreeft in a more extended treatment of this topic.

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The teaching fellowship of Dr. R.C. Sproul was joined by Dr. Rosaria Butterfield to discuss sexuality, our culture’s objection to biblical morality, and what it looks like for Christians to speak the truth in love. Dr. Butterfield is a pastor’s wife, mother, homeschool teacher, and author of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert and Openness Unhindered. We would like to invite you to join us and watch this informative discussion which was recorded for Google Hangout discussion which took place on October, 16 2015.

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Watch more of Rosaria’s conversion story click ==> here.

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The current demand to redefine marriage to include same-sex as well as opposite-sex couples is often motivated by goodwill, the will to fairness and happiness, while opposition to this redefinition is often motivated by bad will, the fear or hatred of homosexuals. Nevertheless, the rightness or wrongness of same-sex marriage has to be decided on its own merits, not by taking the moral temperature of the advocates on both sides. For

  1. We have no reliablle moral thermometer to stick into people’s motives; and

  2. We often have bad motives for good deeds or good motives for bad deeds; and

  3. We need to judge the deed, not the doer.

You can follow the reasoning of Peter Kreeft on these matters by following the hot link below.

Do Squares Have Three Sides Because We Say So?

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Dr. Janet Smith on

The Natural Law and Sexual Ethics

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In addition to Dr. Smith’s paper, I would like to invite you to consider some of what Dr. J .Budziszewski, Professor of Government at the University of Texas, Austin has to contribute to our understanding of the Natural Law and sexual powers, as he gives an intriguing talk on how “love” should be at the center of the marriage debate. Preceding Dr. Budziszewski’s talk are opening comments by Standford Ancombe Society President Judy Romea and Dr. Jennifer Bryson.

Paul is one of nine children of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. After Antonin’s passing on February 11, 2016, Paul led part of his father’s funeral mass hosted at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Just like his father Paul is critical of same sex attractions as being the excepted norm in society. In addition to serving as a priest Paul is also the founder of the Arlington chapter of Courage, an organization inside of the Roman Catholic Church that seeks to help people with same-sex attractions move beyond the confines of homosexual identity and develop an interior life of chastity”.

Fr. Scalia speaks on ==> Homosexuality.

Here is the First Things articleA Label That Sticks that Fr. Scalia gives a brief mention to in the audio presentation above.

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I would like to call your attention to a recent book that

addresses this problem in very apt way. You can find out more

about this book by following this hot link which will take you to

==>The C.S. Lewis Study Group’s Bookshelf where you can find out more about this very astute analysis of the recent controversies which surround this topic.

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The You Tube below is an interview with Robert R. Reilly author of Making Gay Okay. I hope you will find of interest.

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We now come to the Christian view of marriage as elaborated by C.S. Lewis in his classic view of the faith taken from his book Mere Christianity.

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An Amazon Link

==> God and the Transgender Debate  <==

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In an attempt to extend our comprehension down to a kind of nuts and bolts level, and to try and understand just how some of the positions which purport to explain, while defending, many of the non-traditional beliefs having been recently accepted in our world, I would like to direct your attention to The C.S. Lewis Study Group and to a series of very short, and well done, articles that have been posted on line by Dr. Mary Klages who is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA. If your interested to learn more click ==> here.

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The Natural Law

For those you who would like a more in depth study of the natural law theory which includes, among other things, the historical trajectory of this idea you will want to follow this link to The C.S. Lewis Study Group’s Bookshelf you will find an Amazon listing for this course at the bottom of that page consisting of 24 lectures audio discs 31 minutes in length which were listed at $17.21 (+S&H) at the time of this posting. To find out more about how to get sets of courses like these at reduced savings click here ==> (About The Teaching Company).

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Refer to the information below if you would like to find out about the professor that teaches this course.

Professor: Father Joseph Koterski

Fordham University

St. Louis University

As a Jesuit priest, I think there is something from this tradition that I can bring to bear, that will be of great interest to those who share my convictions, those who do not, and to those who are interested and searching.

A member of the Society of Jesus, Father Joseph Koterski is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University, where he specializes in the history of medieval philosophy and natural law ethics. Before taking his position at Fordham University, Father Koterski taught at the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. He earned his doctorate in Philosophy from St. Louis University, after receiving an H.A.B. in Classics from Xavier University. As a priest ordained in 1992, Father Koterski brings an added dimension of insight to his study of theology and biblical texts. He earned his Master of Divinity and License of Sacred Theology from the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Father Koterski is a veteran Great Courses instructor and a respected teacher and scholar. At Fordham, he has been recognized for his teaching skills and was awarded the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching and the Graduate Teacher of the Year Award. He serves as the editor-in-chief of the International Philosophical Quarterly and is coeditor of the Fordham University Press Series in Moral Philosophy and Moral Theology.

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For those who would like to hear a more sophisticated presentation of The Natural Law we would like to extend an invitation to view a YouTube presentation given by Dr. Edward Feser as he spoke at Princeton University regarding Natural Law theory and sexual morality. His lecture and the following Q&A session were moderated by Robert P. George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton. The event was sponsored by the Princeton Anscombe Society and was free and open to the public.

The Anscombe Society, founded 10 years ago, seeks to promote an appreciation of marriage, family, and sexual integrity while engaging the campus community through lectures, debates, and discussions.

After his talk, Professor Feser answered questions from the audience. Some of the questions may not be audible, but Professor Feser repeats the questions.

We hope you enjoy Dr. Feser’s presentation and will look forward to discussing these topics with you at the discussion forum.

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The Last Supersition

For those who would like to learn more about the book Dr. Feser mentioned in the YouTube above click on the following link and you will be taken to ==> The C.S. Lewis Study Group’s bookshelf on which your will find it listed along with a number of other books which include Dr. Feser’s: Philosophy of Mind, Aquinas, and The Last Superstition. If you would really like to come to grips with a more detailed analysis of they way Natural Law reasoning applies, obtain a copy of his book shown here, ==> The Last Superstition, and proceed to chapter four, The Scholastic Aptitude of Feser’s analysis. It is saturated with differing shades of reason as to why creating babies, from a Natural Law perspective is a sociological/psychological necessity if true social-as well as individual happiness-is to be obtained.

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For those would like to know more about this dynamic speaker, you may want to go to our ==> Dr. Edward Feser page off of ==> The C.S. Lewis Study Group’s web page. Just follow this hot link if you would like to take a look at ==> Edward Feser amazing blog.

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