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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Primary Works Anscombe, G. In particular, it is not because there is a natural law that something artificial is condemned. The meaning of anscommbe teaching anscommbe purely for pleasure” should, I think, have a great appeal for the Catholic thinking of today that is greatly concerned for the laity. Perhaps this explains why intentions matter, but what are intentions? This holds quite without our having to point to the further intention of industrial warfare as reflecting back on his action.

Elizabeth Anscombe and Contraception | Anthony McCarthy –

The Christian life simply imposed these peculiar restrictions on contracfption. Donald Davidsonfor instance, has called it the most important philosophical work on action since Aristotle. Indeed, abortion is now being recommended as a population control measure – a second line of defence. On the one hand, it would cbastity been absurd, wouldn’t it? For it is not even a proper act of intercourse, and therefore is not aand true marriage act.

Anscombe defends, between rhythm and the pill, is at least as absurd as the distinction between the pill and other methods, which she rejects. This question fails to grasp the extent to which the unitive and procreative aspects of marital sex are intimately united. And in one way these may have been psychologically the same sort of prohibition to a pagan convert.

Because, like the fear of venereal disease, it’s an objection that’s little capable of moving people or inspiring them as a positive ideal of chastity may. This fall was caused by a thought of suicide, perhaps even by an intention to commit suicide, but it was an accident still, caused by a shock rather than carried out deliberately. Because, like the fear of venereal disease, it’s an objection that’s little capable of moving people or inspiring them as a positive ideal of chastity may.


For with contraception becoming common in this country and the Protestants approving it in the end, the Popes reiterated the condemnation of it. That is, to very general and very well-known facts of nature, and also to ascertained scientific laws. Anscombe’s specific argument regarding what is wrong with contraceptive intercourse is considered before moving on to some other matters that relate more widely to her treatment of sex.

It’s this that makes the division between straightforward fornication or adultery and the wickedness of the sins against nature and of contraceptive intercourse. The action is not left by you as the kind of act by which life is transmitted, but is purposely rendered infertile, and so changed to another sort of act altogether. But marriage is so great a good, he said, that it altogether takes vice out of this; and what’s bad about our weakness is thereby excused.

We ought absolutely not to give out a teaching which is flattering to the lucky, and irrelevant to the unhappy. Augustine’s reference to copulating in a “base” way so as not to procreate, thus to identify some ways of contraception practised in former times as forms of unnatural vice.

The adulterous act is not maritally unitive — but neither, we should note, is the contracepted act even between husband and wife. Action is not like this: Thirdly, promising itself is a useful anx not necessarily essential human practice. Faithfulness, by which a man turned only to his spouse, forswearing all other women, was counted as one of the great goods of marriage.

Elizabeth Anscombe — Contraception and Chastity

And if ansckmbe is nothing intrinsically wrong with contraceptive intercourse, and if it could become general practice everywhere when there is intercourse but ought to be no begetting, then it’s very difficult to see the objection to this morality, for the ground of objection to fornication and adultery was that sexual intercourse is only right in the sort of set-up that typically provides children with a father and mother to care for them.


The lack of clear accounts of the reason in the teaching was disturbing to many people. This can make the former state of things look intolerable, so that one wonders why they were so pleased about weddings in former times contracrption why the wedding day was supposed to be such a fine day for the bride.

The race as a whole has certain requirements if it is to survive as such, and, because we are its members, in some of our activities we act not simply as individuals fulfilling our private purposes, but as representatives of the race doing a job laid down for us by these requirements of the race. According to abscombe interpretation of the rules and of the statements of the relevant politicians, traditional rules of war would be broken by the British Government if it went to war with Germany.

I will be coming back to this. And there were exclamations against the Anx for pressing medical ocntraception to find out more, so that there could be certainty here.

Contraception and Chastity

But we ought to remember also, what isn’t always remembered, that insensibility and unjustified abstention is also anscimbe sin against moderation, and is a defrauding of one’s partner. The very point of them is just the obvious material well-ordering of human life that is promoted if people have these virtues.

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