The case for sexual abstinance

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Slopeshoulder
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The case for sexual abstinance

Post #1

Post by Slopeshoulder »

In another thread..
His Name Is John wrote: Sexual activity should be reserved until marriage (I can explain why if you so want).
I'd be curious to see that. I can't imagine why. Every argument I've seen for abstinance falls flat IMO. Joyfully, I've never been impressed by them. But bring it on...

Assuming consent exists, puberty is in the past, and laws are upheld...
What is the case for abstinance before, outside of, or between marriage(s)?
What is the case for abstinance for any reason at all?

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Post #2

Post by Slopeshoulder »

Sex is a good. Sex is a near universal desire, except for asexuals.

But we do limit sex to reduce exploitation (rape, statuatory rape, informed consent, incest, bestiality, etc), and probably to reduce social ills (although I can't think of laws for that, but mores and religious proscriptions do come to mind).

But assuming these laws are upheld, I think the only limits put on sex should be as a result of:
1. a personal choice to limit onself
2. a personal and elective promise to limit oneself made to one person or persons
3. a respect for the limits and promises of others, as a broader civil behavior (e.g. no hitting on your friend's spouse, or anybody's spouse actually, as there is an implied promise, unless and until told otherwise).

As pre, post, or even consensual extra-marital sex don't fit these criteria, I say we shouldn't forbid them.

IMO the Bible writers didn't think hard enough or know enough or live in a relevant enough culture to guide us on specifics, so we can ignore them on specifics, seeing how the Bible isn't a rulebook or a manual. Instead, we can just try to keep to the spirit of what they meant, if we are so inclined, but thematically (like the themes of love, respect, emphasis on personhood, responsibility, mutuality, creation, redemption, stewardship, proportionality, etc). Theologians and secular thinkers run the gamut of course.

It would appear that, given the statistics regarding pre/extra/post-marital sexual attitudes and behavior, most people, including most people who claim a belief in God, agree with me.

The burden therefore is on those who would disagree. Why should we end the fun?

Haven

Post #3

Post by Haven »

I agree with you, there is no problem with premarital sex. Although I personally don't engage in casual sex and prefer to save intimacy for a relationship (not marriage), I recognize that is simply my personal choice and have no desire to force that view on others. Anything goes between consenting adults.

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Re: The case for sexual abstinance

Post #4

Post by connermt »

Slopeshoulder wrote:In another thread..
His Name Is John wrote: Sexual activity should be reserved until marriage (I can explain why if you so want).
I'd be curious to see that. I can't imagine why. Every argument I've seen for abstinance falls flat IMO. Joyfully, I've never been impressed by them. But bring it on...

Assuming consent exists, puberty is in the past, and laws are upheld...
What is the case for abstinance before, outside of, or between marriage(s)?
What is the case for abstinance for any reason at all?
The only time I could think of abstinence works is when it's agreed upon by all parties involved in the decision.
Saying "the bible says you should wait for marriage" is a fine thing to say, and even uphold if you so desire. And if that's what you want, you need no other reason than that.
But trying to force that view on others legally, socially, economically, etc is wrong IMO.

Mr. LongView

hi...

Post #5

Post by Mr. LongView »

I have chosen the abstinence route in the past.
Generally, after a break up, it has been my approach. (All two of them, in my 38 years.)
Emotional pain and loss can lead to bad decisions and complications.
Personally, I feel like I should have my head on straight before partaking in an activity which can be some what sticky.

As for a universal taboo.

NO GO!

Do what you want, just use the proper PPE. :D

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Post #6

Post by Mr.Badham »

Sex is best with someone you love.

I've been in a loveless marriage, and the sex was horrible.

I'm in a relationship now, she's my fiance, and the sex is awesome.

I've said it before, "If there is a good and just God, he sees nothing wrong with my relationship".

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Re: The case for sexual abstinance

Post #7

Post by McCulloch »

Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.� But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians
The truth will make you free.
Gospel of John

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Post #8

Post by Quath »

So it sounds like the only "valid" reason is dogmatic religious threats.

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Post #9

Post by Felix »

Avoiding sexually transmitted diseases (some kill)

Avoiding unwanted pregnancy (kill, or have a big responsibility)

Avoiding emotional traumas (sometimes causing people to kill themselves)

Avoiding Hell (you're wagering our soul)

Strengthening the bond between you and your spouse, and potentially having a level of intimacy that is impossible for others to have.

I see a couple threads around here on Christopher Hitchens, who eventually died a slow and miserable death resulting from his futile effort to find happiness in the bottom of a bottle and a pack of cigarettes. Atheists insist they're happy, but their lifestyles don't show it. Sex provides only a moment of pleasure, and they don't even get as much sex as someone who respects the institution of marriage.

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Post #10

Post by Quath »

Felix wrote:Avoiding sexually transmitted diseases (some kill)

Avoiding unwanted pregnancy (kill, or have a big responsibility)

Avoiding emotional traumas (sometimes causing people to kill themselves)
For these, it is a risk assessment. It is a similar to the risk we take when we hang out in a crowd where there could be many diseases of which some are deadly.
Avoiding Hell (you're wagering our soul)
Different dogmas have different views on this.
Strengthening the bond between you and your spouse, and potentially having a level of intimacy that is impossible for others to have.
It could go the other way into sharing a sex life based on inexperience which could lead to some bad results. I was once with a woman who had just divorced. I was the second person she had had ever been with. He husband was her first and they were married for many years. She said the sex was horrible and just got worse over time. Her husband did not feel comfortable talking about it to anyone and they found it easier to just drift apart. So I can see times where this could be a strong negative.
I see a couple threads around here on Christopher Hitchens, who eventually died a slow and miserable death resulting from his futile effort to find happiness in the bottom of a bottle and a pack of cigarettes. Atheists insist they're happy, but their lifestyles don't show it. Sex provides only a moment of pleasure, and they don't even get as much sex as someone who respects the institution of marriage.
I think the desire many religious people have is they expected Hitchens to be sad and lonely and suffer for his life and beliefs. But I saw no evidence of it. He was surrounded by many people who cared for him and were very sorry to see him go. I felt he went out as well and I hope I can face death with as much dignity.

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