Contraception and Chastity was first published by the CTS in Its fresh and incisive defence of the Church’s teaching has helped many to appreciate the. Download Citation on ResearchGate | Contraception and Chastity | Roman Catholic thinker Elizabeth Anscombe relfects on the theological implications of. Much good sense and wisdom is contained in Professor Anscombe’s reflections on “Contraception and Chastity,” but a challenge is made to her suggestion that.

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In all these cases but the last both parties may of course be consenting. Turning to chastity not in the narrower sense but in the sense in which it is simply the virtue connected with sex, the Christian Church has always set its face against contraception from the earliest time as a grave breach of chastity. That is to say: When we talk abstractly about the physical unity of the marital act congraception are simply talking about procreative striving: Copulation, like eating, is of itself a good kind of action: She apparently believed that neither Jeremy Bentham nor John Stuart Mill had a coherent moral philosophy, since each relied contracepyion on what she regarded as a hopelessly simplistic notion of happiness or pleasure.

Discussion of “Contraception and Chastity”.

This is not to deny that some individuals will be inherently vulnerable to developing distressing feelings of gender dysphoria — but it would be naive in the extreme to assume that social changes are having no effect here. Family Planning Behavioral Methods. Elizabeth Anscombe, or Miss Anscombe as she was known, was an important twentieth century philosopher and one of the most important women philosophers of all time.

There is indeed such a thing in marriage as intercourse “purely for pleasure”; this is what the Christian tradition did condemn. The quotations in these discussions are from the original publication. With modern physiological knowledge contraception by medical methods could be clearly distinguished from early abortion, though some contraceptive methods might be abortifacient.


One may rightly and reasonably be willing to respond to the promptings of desire. You will have no answer to someone who proclaims as many do that they are good too. By this, of course, she means that it would be a bad idea to try to do so. Why, in any case, should she suppose that she knows these sorts of thing to be true? What miserable messes people keep on making, to their own and others’ grief, by dishonorable sexual relationships!

We want to stress nowadays, that the one vocation that is spoken of in the New Testament is the calling of a Christian. For what that expression means is that sensuality is in command: Well, there remains the separate precept to each and in an irremediably unhappy marriage, one ought still to love the other, though not perhaps feeling the affection that cannot be commanded.

Faithfulness, by which a man turned only to his spouse, forswearing all other women, was counted as one of the great goods of marriage. If we will not let it cost anything; if we succumb to the threat of “losing our life,” then our religion is indistinguishable from pure worldliness.

The habit of respectability persists and old prejudices die hard. We conclude that Prof. But as I say I speak stammeringly because I’m not very well qualified. The fact that an encyclical is not an infallible kind of document only shows that one argument for the truth of its teaching is lacking. In this sense we know what we are doing even if in fact something is going wrong and we are not getting done what we mean to be getting done.

Translated by Mary Gregor.

In the narrower sense chastity means continence, abstention. She continued her support for traditional Christian thinking about military ethics after the war was over. The type of installations we need if electricity is to be made available, for example, and the way they work, will be taken into account in framing the laws of the country chaxtity city about control of this resource.


In her opinion, gay sex is wrong then in exactly the chsatity way, and for the same reason, that masturbation is wrong. Looking at it like this is aided by the following consideration: McCabe draws the analogy of football, where the purpose of the game is to score goals but where a back-pass may serve this overall end.

Elizabeth Anscombe — Contraception and Chastity

But you may after all use a douche or a cap or a sterilizing pill. Nor is it a prediction about what I expect to happen once I reach the kitchen.

Whether this speculation about her meaning is right or not, she clearly does regard the intentional killing of the innocent as prohibited, and this is hugely relevant to her thinking about both the ethics of warfare and sexual ethics.

This is not to say that all talk of obligation and the rest should be dropped. Quite generally, it ought to be obvious that evasive and preventive procedures are not on a par. In the case of promising, we might call this a moral obligation, to distinguish it from the kind of legal obligation that a contract might create.

In order that the race should continue it is necessary not chastitj that 5 Anscombe It is a use of the sexual organs that can never lead to procreation, and thus a kind of insult to life itself.

Humanly speaking, the good and the point of a sexual act is:

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