Monday, February 01, 2010

The Two Lists: A Former Pro-Choice Atheist Reflects on Sex, Abortion and Anger

Two lists is a good way of looking at the problem of sexual immorality and abortion.

"In every society, there are two critical lists: acceptable conditions for having a baby, and acceptable conditions for having sex. From time immemorial, the one thing that almost every society had in common is that their two lists matched up. It was only with the widespread acceptance of contraception in the middle of the 20th century, creating an upheaval in the public psyche in which sex and babies no longer went hand-in-hand, that the two lists began to diverge. And now, in 21st-century America, they look something like
this":

A thoughtful response to the twin problems of sexual immorality and abortion.

4 comments:

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Richard,

I would only question the first item on the list regarding being ready to have sex. I'm not sure that in the 21st century a stable relationahip is a requirement.

It could possibly be replaced with, 'If you feel strongly that you would like to have sex with the person in question'?

If you desire sex and feel like there is a relatively low risk of problematic consequences (like STD or pregnancy) then there would be no problem in today's culture, right?

RkBall said...

Good point. Maybe we could notch it down another level to, "'If you feel strongly that you would like to have sex with someone, and the person in question would do".

P@J said...

"In every society, there are two critical lists: acceptable conditions for having a baby, and acceptable conditions for having sex. From time immemorial, the one thing that almost every society had in common is that their two lists matched up.”

This is, even for this site, one of the least informed comments I have ever read. Here is a tip for Jennifer: before you comment on anthropology, read a little about anthropology. Start with looking up anthropology in the dictionary. Under the “a”s.

Sex and society have numerous complex relationships. Some cultures set strict social guidelines for sex, some have almost none. Some promote the only-for-procreation idea of sex, others develop (sometimes surprisingly complex) non-procreative rituals around sex. (I suggest you Google the Sambia culture, if your delicate Christian mind can handle it). To say “almost every” society “matched” their lists is ridiculous. Those that viewed sex as primarily a reproductive process are very few and far between, and likely almost non-existent in the first 4000 years of human societies.

The article seems to suggest that contraception was invented in the 20th century (slyly blaming feminists and their “pill” for al the world’s problems). Contraceptive techniques were known to the Egyptians at least 2000 years before Jennifer’s sky-friend was nailed to a tree for suggesting we all be nice to each other for a change. Barrier contraception was common even in the dark ages. Homosexuality (decidedly non-procreative sex) was prevalent and accepted in many of the planet’s most dominant societies, including the Greek and Roman societies in which her magic book was developed. What an ignorant twit.

RkBall said...

Don't forget the common acceptance of infanticide and pederasty, too -- all practices which the Christians stalwartly stood against from the get-go. Their success resulted in better lives for children and women.

Furthermore, their emphasis on responsible sexual behavior, deferred gratification, self-discipline, along with the values of honesty, etc. laid the the foundation for western law and economic prosperity -- unlike cultures that engage in rampant sexual permissiveness and a live-for-the-moment ethos.

You're right about the lists in this sense: it's hard for most of us to realize the extent that judeo-christian values have permeated and informed our thinking and culture.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"