Wednesday, June 21, 2006

abstinence makes the heart grow fonder

In Chesterton’s book on St. Thomas Aquinas he stated in an explanation of deductive reasoning: “… anybody in his five wits, would of course agree that the conclusion could only be true if the premises were true; and that the more true premises there were the better.” This came back to my mind as I was reading the latest brouhaha on the web about Dawn Eden’s new book The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On.
This book has yet to hit the stores but she went and blog published an excerpt that got the “lattes-and-latex lads and lassies” in an uproar.

Dawn begins with the premise that sex is sacred. She also backs up her premise with Scientific and Sociology studies. Dawn’s premise will lead to the conclusion that all life is sacred. We can come close to true fulfillment by sharing that sacredness in the sacrament of matrimony yet it can not truly be realized this side of the great divide. Life is an exciting adventure.

Her opponents do not begin with a falsehood they begin where all heresies begin with something close to the truth. They begin with sex is good. They back that up with feelings and moods as well as animal biology. Their conclusion ends with life is a commodity. And that achieving sexual pleasure is the end in itself and the only sin is to sleep alone. Life is the hunt.

As St. Thomas points out “A mistake in the beginning is a mistake indeed.”

Chesterton again: “If things deceive us, it is by being more real than they seem. As ends in themselves they always deceive us; but as things tending to a greater end, they are even more real than we think them. If they seem to have a relative unreality (so to speak) it is because they are potential and not actual; they are unfulfilled, like packets of seeds or boxes of fireworks. They have it in them to be more real than they are. And there is an upper world of what the Schoolman called Fruition, or Fulfillment, in which all this relative relativity becomes actuality; in which the trees burst into flower or the rockets into flame.”

I hope Dawn’s book gets a wide reading. Her work along with the work of Jason and Crystalina Evert will help restore sanity for she and they did not make a mistake in the beginning. Where as the “condoms-and-Cosmo coalition” most certainly did.


Nick Milne said...

Miss Eden is also a recent convert to Roman Catholicism, and has a fondness for Gilbert.

And your appraisal of the two sides' approaches to this matter is quite accurate. For the modern selfish types, it is this: "We should be having sex as often as possible with whomever we want; investigation is the tool that will destroy impediments to this idea." For the antemodern othertypes, it is this: "Should we be having sex? Investigation is the tool that will tell us."

There is a curious disdain for science in the approach of the former; which is hilarious, of course, for obvious contextual reasons related to the sort of claims they tend to make about rationalism, superstition and so forth.

I have enjoyed this post.

Joe said...

National Review asked Dawn Eden what her "summer reading" is. Her response:

The Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton: The Illustrated London News, 1908-1910, by G. K. Chesterton. The episodic nature of Chesterton’s weekly Illustrated London News columns makes them ideal summer reading; one can easily read this book straight through, or open it at any point and be sucked in. That the great British writer was a prophet is clear in his writings about the fads of his day; he finds aspects of them so timeless that his comments remain incisive. He not only saw the information age coming; he saw right through it: “Everything in journalism smells of the obituary notice. People talk about the haste and headlong precipitancy of journalism, but I have always been struck by the systematic slowness by which journalism contrives to keep behind the times.”

(from NRO)