Sunday, November 2, 2014

Intrinsically Disordered "Love"

I was hoping to avoid discussing altogether the recent Hollywood-esque or Washington-esque events surrounding a certain CBC personality. However, it occurs to me that a certain strong point can be made here about the ubiquitous assertion of "but this is who I am" nonsense surrounding sex.

Here we have yet another person trying to pawn-off the claim that "I am into S & M - it's just who I am" much like a homosexual would claim that walking down the street naked and being addicted to sex is "just a part of who he is." I am kind of surprised that this celebrity didn't get away with it. But there seems to be a limit to society's willingness to accept that this is who I am - and it runs out right before you begin to punch women. Seems as good a point as any.

So, then, it's not all about 'being born that way.' Society seems to be edging ever-closer toward accepting pedophilia and polygamy as a part of the special sexual character of various individuals, but with this CBC guy, we have a full-stop. And I am glad.

It's not that we have begun to reflect more fully and consistently on the original liberal maxim, I am free to swing my arms anywhere that doesn't intersect with your nose, because when it comes to preaching, baking cakes, giving money to political causes, and teaching your own children, our society does not respect your freedom to do as you wish. Everyone innately believes that they are right about moral issues and anyone who says, your views are as valid as mine, is either self-deceived, expects that, of course, you actually see things the way they do, or is attempting to manipulate you.

There is one thing we all have in common, and that is the belief that when it comes to morality, if you don't agree with me, you are wrong. As soon as we get in touch with this the better. People believe things because they think they are true. We don't tend to think of our moral views as amounting to little more than blind guesses. Of course, a few people who are actually wise grant that they might not have everything worked out, but nevertheless, even they are really attached to their values. If there is one person I respect less than the stubborn person, it's the spineless, mindless one.

Now, as for Mr. S & M who thought he would get away with it, there was some reason to think that he would get away with it. I have seen sexual violence being treated by pop culture as just a quirk, a funny sexy quirk. You see people dressed in leather at these parades, don't you? But insofar as sex has domination attached to it, it is immoral. It is defective, a symptom of a sickness. As Lady Gaga sang, "When it's love, if it isn't rough it isn't fun." As of this moment, that song has more than 200 million views on YouTube. In other words, this is a sentiment that people are quite willing to accept. But, as I said a few posts ago, no, it isn't fun, it isn't good, it isn't innocent, it isn't healthy. Sex is supposed to build people up, not humiliate and hurt them emotionally and/or physically. People who associate love and pain need to talk to a psychologist.

this really has nothing to do with anything
To tell you the truth, I haven't thought much about violence in sex. I just don't like violence all that much anywhere. I grew up playing soccer - and unlike in hockey - you are not allowed to touch another player. Soccer kind of has this elegance attached to it whereby touching is a sign of a lack of actual skill. Yes, yes, I know what you are going to say, but those few famous cases of violence in soccer are well known because of their rarity. Hockey has more violence in one night than soccer does in a lifetime.

So, not having thought a lot about violence in sex, I guess I have been a little surprised by the almost universally-negative response to the CBC guy. Why? Because this seems to me the only time that we have widespread agreement that it is the end that determines the moral character of the act. That's a basic Catholic moral theological truism, but not one widely accepted. The world thinks intention primarily defines the moral character of the act, but Catholics say it is primarily the end, the goal, the reason for which (not the reason why) an act is done that describes its moral character. This is why the Church can condemn abortion per se and doesn't need to talk about the intention of the person seeking it.

In terms of sex, the Church - following Augustine, I should point out - speaks of the 'ends' of the marriage and the meaning of the nuptial act. This is why battery cannot ever be considered licit in marriage: it does not fulfill the meaning of marriage. Intention doesn't matter enough to change what is intrinsically alien to marriage into something acceptable to it. Not abortion, not contraception, not homosexuality, not bigamy, etc.

Intention, of course, isn't meaningless, but it cannot override or be referred to irrespective of the meaning of human life and of marriage. Even still, intention has an intimate relationship with the object, but it is not the 'boss' in this relationship. In Vertitatis Splendor, St. JP II said that it is not possible to have an objectively good will without an objectively good end:

"Without the rational determination of the morality of human acting... it would be impossible to affirm the existence of an 'objective moral order' and to establish any particular norm the content of which would be binding without exception." (VS, 82)

"No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church." (VS, 62)

What I find most interesting is the very un-modern idea that there is some kind of relationship between the heart and the world, not that the heart dictates to the world what is right, but that the heart is itself incapable of completely ignoring the reality that confronts it. You could write a whole book on this last phrase, and perhaps I should.

This is what I see cropping-up in this recent scandal. The perennial philosophy reasserts itself.

It will never be okay to punch a lady, strangle her, whatever, no matter what people intend by it. 2 + 2 cannot equal 5, nor can punching and other expressions of anger actually express love. This opens a huge entry-way into the wild subjectivism (the dictatorship of relativism) that dominates this age. 

If you admit in even the smallest sense that 'love is not all that matters,' we may begin to question other things as well. Feminism has taken advantage of this and homosexualism couldn't exist without it. And yet, here we have old dead white men telling women they cannot be punched, no matter how much they might want to be. Because, in fact, yes, no woman really wants to be 'loved' that way.