In Natural Law theories of ethics, why can’t the the unitive function of sex be its only or primary end

I am currently a Catholic, which seems to imply that I must either accept natural law ethics or renounce my beliefs if I want to stay consistent.

Is it incompatible with Natural Law theory to say something like ‘The properly ordered function of sex is to be unitive.’ Rather than ‘The properly ordered function of sex is to be procreative’ or ‘the properly ordered function of sex is to be procreative and unitive’.

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Who can help me in my search for further literature that critically deals with the ethics of natural law in all its facets (Stoic, Aristotelian-Thomistic, Modern, NNL)?

So far my research has already resulted in the following. But who knows more? What have I forgotten? Does anyone have any special recommendations?

Findings from the Internet:https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/iain-macsaorsa-the-myth-of-natural-law

http://darashpress.com/articles/natural-law-summary-and-critique

https://angramainyusblog.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-perverted-faculty-argument-reply-to.html

https://gunlord500.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/against-aquinas-an-in-depth-critique-of-natural-law-ethics-theology-and-metaphysics/

https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/46909/the-perverted-faculty-argument

http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/robert-anton-wilson-natural-law-or-don-t-put-a-rubber-on-your-willy

Academic papers:

Papers:

CAPALDI, NICHOLAS: USING NATURAL LAW TO GUIDE PUBLIC MORALITY - The Blind Leading the Deaf. In: THE DEATH OF METAPHYSICS; THE DEATH OF CULTURE - Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Morality. Edited 2005 by Mark J. Cherry

Donagan, Alan: THE SCHOLASTIC THEORY OF MORAL LAW IN THE MODERN WORLD. In: Aquinas – A Collection of Critical Essays edited 1969 by Anthony Kenny

DUBOIS, JAMES M .: Is Anesthesia Intrinsically Wrong? On Moral Absolutes and Natural Law Methodology. In: Christian Bioethics , 14(2) , 206 – 216, 2008

DUBOIS, JAMES M.: How much Guidance can a Secular Natural Law Ethic Offer? A Study of Basic Human Goods in Ethical Decision-Making. In: THE DEATH OF METAPHYSICS; THE DEATH OF CULTURE - Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Morality. Edited 2005 by Mark J. Cherry

GEWIRTH, ALAN: THE ONTOLOGICAL BASIS OF NATURAL LAW. In: The American Journal of Jurisprudence, Volume 29, Issue 1, 1984, Pages 95–121

Nielsen, Kai: An Examination of the Thomistic Theory of Natural Moral Law. In: Kai Nielsen: God and the Grounding of Morality 1991 [https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1038&context=nd_naturallaw_forum](https://scholarsh

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Incorporating scientific information in Natural Law Catholic Ethics

I hear time and time the Catholic Church's position on sex is

  1. Unitative
  2. Procreative

I think going on natural law ethics at the time that was a fine understanding of sexual ethics in a time with absence of scientific information.

Let me preface by saying I tend to enjoy catholic morality solving some ethical situations, but sex always confused me giving the current information we have.

Also I do agree with many aspects of catholicism sexual aspect to start out. I think its beneficial that we find life long monogamous partners, that we have temperance over letting sex drive dictate actions, etc. But, I draw the line at certain things like same sex relationships and masturbation in the context of having different sex drives than your partner(I.E. not a porn addiction, but being able to release yourself when your partner is not in mood. In fact this has been shown to decrease sexual stress in relationships with different libidos).

With natural law and aquinas ethical system we have:

  1. An act must be directed towards its purpose or end
  2. The act must be performed with the intent to achieve this end

For an act to be good, it must achieve its purpose, you must want to achieve its purpose, and you must have knowledge of the purpose.

I totally agree with unitative aspect. But procreation is holding me up. I feel current scientific understanding sex can be procreative, but its beneficial also in a social and health aspect. In past we would have totally just thought its solely for this procreative aspect, but now I don't know how people can continue to hold on to that that is must be directed towards procreation.

All the physiological benefits of expressing sexuality in a tempered manner directed towards fulfilling erotic love in your life seems to trump a complete act of sex having to be procreative. Because you would also be denying achieving these ends by abstaining from sex outside of procreation.

Now, are body parts allowed to have dual purpose? I am proposing unitative and procreative aspects of sex are disjunct with the same body part, not joined together.

I would say with current understand sex is:

  1. Unitative/Loving however a subset of this end is procreative.

So a complete act of sex must be unitative at all times, however a secondary cause may be procreative.

This opens up Catholic sexual ethics to sodomy, homosexuality, and masturbation in context of being directed towards stress relief for more unity with your partner.

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Natural Law Ethics

I have attempted to discuss natural law ethics elsewhere on separate forums, and practically every time it seems like none of my questions get answered satisfactorily or get brushed aside as being unimportant. So, natural lawyers, I have questions for you:

How does natural law navigate around the is-ought gap?

Why should someone follow the natural law if they can achieve eudaimonia in a different way?

Who decides what the natural law is?

Why should I believe there is a natural law of the universe, that I ought to follow, anyway?

Natural law continues to boggle my mind. It screams of arbitrary mob mentality, conformity, the naturalistic fallacy, and ultimately breeds hatred and distrust.

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"Against Aquinas: An In-Depth Critique of "Natural Law" Ethics, Theology, and Metaphysics" (very very long) gunlord500.wordpress.com/…
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📅︎ Sep 30 2016
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How does natural law in ethics deal with the fact that some unatural things are not immoral?

Natural law seems to imply that something unnatural is immoral. But obviously something like using earplugs or blindfolding are not immoral. Building a house, drinking vitamins and preventing illness seem also to be good although they are not really natural. Natural law theorists don't seem to be idiots. How do they deal with this then?

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I answer some common questions about natural law theory in ethics.

I answered somebody's questions about natural law theory in ethics:

> "1. Can someone briefly summarize what Natural Law based ethics is?"

Natural law theory is the idea that we have an obligation to obey a moral law which is within or seen through or revealed by human nature itself, (which is why it's called the natural law) which is real and universal, not a matter of subjective opinion. It influences the moral codes of most human societies, so the wisdom of history is generally seen as invaluable in identifying it's content.

> "2. Are there atheists or naturalists who hold to Natural Law or is it specifically theistic?"

Yes there are, although most of the most popular versions are theistic in some way.

> "3. What distinguishes it from Divine Command Theory (I'm also thinking of possibly multiple versions of DCT)"

Divine Command Theory is the idea not only that our moral obligation is to obey God's commands, but also that the sole, only reason why we have any moral obligation is because God commanded and for no other reason. Theistic natural law theorists may believe we ought to obey divine commands, but not that the sole reason for obeying them is because they are divine commands and for no other reason. So divine command theory and natural law theory are mutually contradictory positions IMO.

> "4. Is it different from ethical non-naturalism? Ethical non-naturalism basically says that moral properties exist and cannot be reduced to, explained, or analyzed by natural properties (i.e. Sentience)."

Natural law theory looks to an analysis of human nature through introspection and the wisdom of history to identify universal ethical principles - and the religious morality of our Judeo-Christian heritage is a big part of that, as are the ideas of John Locke and other Enlightenment thinkers. Natural law theory is closely related to (although not identical with) virtue ethics and social contract theory. There are also flavors of it which are somewhat in sympathy with Kant's ethics (in the resulting judgements, not in the process by which they are reached) because of how Kant used the Golden Rule as his starting point.

Ethical naturalism, on the other hand, completely disregards history and instead looks to the natural world, discovered by the natural sciences, to somehow try to get ethical maxims. It prescribes some arbitrary goal like "flourishing" and then tries to apply the scientific method to find the most efficient means to achieve tha

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The Aristotelian World of Equestria: Virtue Ethics and Natural Law youtu.be/tJjus1CCGSo
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Can virtue ethics be reconciled with natural law theory?
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Looking for further literature that critically deals with the ethics of natural law in all its facets (Stoic, Aristotelian-Thomistic, Modern, NNL)

So far my research has already resulted in the following. (But who knows more? What have I forgotten? Does anyone have any special recommendations?)

Papers:

CAPALDI, NICHOLAS: USING NATURAL LAW TO GUIDE PUBLIC MORALITY - The Blind Leading the Deaf. In: THE DEATH OF METAPHYSICS; THE DEATH OF CULTURE - Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Morality. Edited 2005 by Mark J. Cherry

Donagan, Alan: THE SCHOLASTIC THEORY OF MORAL LAW IN THE MODERN WORLD. In: Aquinas – A Collection of Critical Essays edited 1969 by Anthony Kenny

DUBOIS, JAMES M .: Is Anesthesia Intrinsically Wrong? On Moral Absolutes and Natural Law Methodology. In: Christian Bioethics , 14(2) , 206 – 216, 2008

DUBOIS, JAMES M.: How much Guidance can a Secular Natural Law Ethic Offer? A Study of Basic Human Goods in Ethical Decision-Making. In: THE DEATH OF METAPHYSICS; THE DEATH OF CULTURE - Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Morality. Edited 2005 by Mark J. Cherry

GEWIRTH, ALAN: THE ONTOLOGICAL BASIS OF NATURAL LAW. In: The American Journal of Jurisprudence, Volume 29, Issue 1, 1984, Pages 95–121

Nielsen, Kai: An Examination of the Thomistic Theory of Natural Moral Law. In: Kai Nielsen: God and the Grounding of Morality 1991 https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1038&context=nd_naturallaw_forum

Nielsen, Kai: Myth of Natural Law. In: Kai Nielsen: God and the Grounding of Morality 1991

Nielsen, Kai: On Taking Human Nature as the Basis of Morality: An Exericise in Linguistic Analysis. In: Kai Nielsen: God and the Grounding of Morality 1991

Pickett, Brent L.: Natural Law and the Regulation of Sexuality. A Critique. In: Volume 8 Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest 39 (2004). https://scholarship.richmond.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1076&context=jolpi

Phillips, D. Z. and Mounce, H. O.: On Morality's Having a Point. In: Philosophy, Vol. 40, No. 154 (Oct., 1965), pp. 308-319

Weithman, Paul J.: Natural Law, Morality, and Sexual Complementarity. In: Sex, Preference, and Family - Essays on Law and Nature. Edited by David M. Estlund and Martha C. Nussbaum

Wildes, Kevin Wm., S.J. “Whose Nature? Natural Law in a Pluralistic World,” in The Death of Metaphysics; The Death of Culture (29-37). Edited 2005 by Mark J. Cherry.

Monographs:

Nicholas Bamforth and David A. J. Richards: PATRIARCHAL RELIGION, SEXUALITY, AND GENDER - A Critique of New Natural Law

John Corvino: What's Wrong with Homosexuality – Chapte

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Is there a book/paper on Natural Law/Virtue Theory applied ethics?
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