Saturday, June 27, 2015

An Actual Coherent Thought I Had

I'm no actual philosopher, but anybody remember the case Loving v. Virginia? This, if you are unaware, was the case that prohibited state bans on interracial marriage. The details aren't super-critical. It seems to me that you can look at that case one of two ways: The muddle-headed liberal way, or the Thomist philosopher way. (Incidentally, the muddle-headed liberal and the Thomist will agree on the practical outcome.)

The liberal way is to look at that case, and the one yesterday, and yell, "You can't help who you love! WOO!!! [Waves rainbow flag]" You're done thinking. Must be nice. Wish I could, but I don't want to end up on the wrong side of history. I digress.

The Thomist looks at the whole thing and says something like:

Reply to Objection: The conjugal act is intrinsic to the nature of marriage. It is sensible for the civil power to regulate in some manner the conduct of marriage, since the results of the acts proper to spouses are children. Now, marriage is a common good, since marriage benefits the whole society, viz. it confers benefits to others besides the spouses. Conversely, the dissolution of marriage, if that were possible, has negative effects on others besides the spouses. So, a common good is that which does not diminish when participated in, however remotely.

I answer that, the substance of marriage consists in two persons, one of each sex, joining in conjugal, indissoluable union for the purpose of the generation and care of children, and the unity of the spouses. Because of the gravity of the obligation, and its obvious relation to the common good, the civil power ought to use all appropriate power to prevent the attempted dissolution of marriage, or to the imitation of marriage by acts common to spouses in the absence of assuming the duties proper to marriage, viz. fornication, or the abandonment of spouses and children, or other heinous acts.

It can be seen that skin color is accidental to personhood, since male and female alike are persons, and yet, a man from Ethiopia may marry a woman from Norway under the conditions above, freely, and, performing the acts common to spouses, bring forth children, blessing the society with them, and  with the benefits of their permanent union. This is especially so on the order of grace, since the Apostle says, "This is a great mystery, but I am speaking of Christ and the Church." And elsewhere he says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Therefore, it is improper for the civil power, on the order of nature--for it has no power above nature-- to prohibit marriage on the basis of accidental characteristics. Now, the order of grace perfects the order of nature, but does not destroy it. That is, that which is good on the order of nature bears witness to that above, and that above confers even greater dignity on that below.


I was going to say something about Bruce/"Caitlin" Jenner, but I got lost. Surely I'm not one to notice the irony though, in some saying that sexual preference is part of the essence of a person, but the biological reality of sex is not. If male and female are changeable, gay "marriage" is completely unnecessary; you could just change your sex. Food for thought. Transgenderism is a tacit admission that homosexuality is wrong, and that certain characteristics common to "gender" are not culturally conditioned.

1 comment:

Amos Long said...

Wow! That was really well written, JK! I had to search both Google and the Supplementum TertiƦ Partis of the Summa, to see if that came from Thomas. Have you ever thought about focusing on Thomistic writing?