A Natural Law/Common Sense Argument Against Contraception


April 3, 2012 10:00 am

Many people think that Catholic Church’s opposition to contraception is some weird religious discipline.  But the fact is that the Church’s teaching on contraception over the centuries has been defended primarily as a natural law teaching. That means that the truth of the teaching on contraception (that it is incompatible with the goods of sexuality) can be defended on the basis of facts we all can know about what makes for human happiness.  I wrote this essay some time ago and so some of the data is out of date (for instance, now 42% of all babies are born out of wedlock, not 22%) but the argument still holds.  This is a good primer for natural law principles and for a common sense argument against contraception.


Let’s think about each one of these as a concrete moral fact: when we see the heartbreak and social dysfunction associated with out-of-wedlock births, don’t our immediate and natural moral perceptions and judgments says “something is wrong here”; when we learn that a woman has had an abortion, no matter what our view of the morality of abortion, don’t we say “something has gone wrong here?”; when we hear of a divorce and all the surrounding heartbreak and dysfunctionality, don’t we think, “something has gone wrong here?”  When we see young people dying of AIDS, don’t we think, “something has gone wrong here?”


Here is the full article: Natural Law and Sexual Ethics

Resources by Janet E. Smith

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