Catholic Girls are Sexier than Objectivist Girls

I was having a discussion with an Objectivist about adultery, divorce, and masturbation (which he, to my amusement, malaproped as a ‘Sin of Odin’). The discussion shipwrecked because the assumption that self-control was impossible, and undesirable if it were possible, in sexual matters but in no other matters of life, is one I could not countenance. I could not live up to the cool standards of a philosopher and discuss the matter soberly, because the subject matter was too disgusting and too personal. Blame me for a failure of patience.

Part of my impatience was provoked because he and I were discussing Objectivism, a philosophy that claims to be logical, and which is logical, granting its naturalistic premises, in all areas but this one.

Objectivism proceeds by little mental leaps over blind-spots where Ayn Rand simply “blanks out” the concept or the fact she does not want to face, or she papers over the blank spot with fierce and high-flown rhetoric. For her, true love is an expression of one’s highest values and deepest virtues: the heroic man is attracted to queenly and accomplished women, and the wretched man is attracted to whorish and loathsome women. Accomplishment and loathsomeness is measured by the woman’s loyalty to heroic (that is, Objectivist) values. All this is an interesting, if simplistic, theory of the psychological roots of love, but it is used in her writings, both fiction and nonfiction, and in her life, to justify adultery and divorce.

Coming from a  philosophy grounded firmly on the principle that reason and the vision of man as an heroic being must command all aspects of life (except, by sudden exception, this one) I found this sleazy excuse for utter wretchedness too ugly and too ungainly to dignify with further discussion.

From the axiom that man is an heroic being, Rand reaches the conclusion that man (in this one area) can act like the lowest sex-addicted traitor and philanderer, liar and craven oathbreaker?

From the axiom that man is a rational animal who must order his life via reason, Rand reaches the conclusion that man (in this one area) can follow his lowest animal instinct, break the bonds of civil concord and domestic love, and merely act howsoever one’s overactive sexual organs direct?

Oh, for shame. For shame.

Why does the Ayn Randian concept of compel absolute dignity to man’s highest values, man’s most supreme and dignified achievements, man’s greatness, in all other areas but this one? Somehow, when it comes to sexual matters, unchastity is suddenly and inexplicably excused from the dominion of reason and self-command. Sex is different from the other appetites and passions of man because of — blank out — the Randian philosophy suddenly has no answer.

My interlocutor merely asserted that chastity is an unrealistic or unobtainable goal, on the ground that Christian philosophy, because we faithful children of the Living God hold  that sex is sacred and marriage a sacrament, therefore placed too low a value on it, whereas “biology” places a high value on it.

Got that? Making something into the most solemn moment of life, surrounding it with celebrations, churchbells, flowers, solemnities, formalizing it with awful oaths and an exchange of rings and a change of names and titles, and holding it to be one of the seven sacraments of the Holy Mother Church, vowing to cleave to another in sickness and health, for weal or woe, until death alone parts you, vowing that nothing can put asunder what God has joined, and swearing to forsake all others, punishing adultery if not with stoning, at least with all the powers of the law and the church and the social order  — that is treating the matter of sex and romance lightly. Picking up a whore in the bar or getting your dick sucked in a bathroom stall, or seducing your best friend’s wife, that is taking the matter with the sober gravity that “biology” demands.

How an abstract concept, taken out of contest, like “biology”, can place a value on something was “blanked out” and not explained. It is at best a metaphor and at worst an absurdity, like saying  Astronomy voted Republican or Zoology preferred peanuts to soup.

My respect for Objectivism, which has always been very high, must drop a degree. Far from being something that harkens back to the clarity and nobility of Aristotle, this philosophy shares the degenerate characteristics of all modern philosophy, the apotheosis of the sexual desire above all other considerations, including the consideration of rulings one’s life by the dictates of sound philosophy, or the consideration of learning the stoic and objective temperament native to a philosopher.

Since this is also a point where the Natural Law, Right Reason, the Tao, or whatever one calls the objective moral order of the universe which all men know in their hearts, elude and evade how they might, disagrees with Objectivism and is undermined by it, my respect must drop a second degree.

I admit one has to have the particular stern and logical character of the Catholic to agree that contraception is immoral; but to admit that adultery is immoral all one needs is the minimal character of a decent human being.

Condemning adultery is a universal precept, and it needs no justification simply because one cannot justify an obvious precept on the grounds of an obscure abstraction. Imagining walking in on your wife copulating with the neighbor or the mailman drives home more clearly the point that sexual infidelity is a betrayal, because it shows the low regard she has for your love, than any lawyerly debate about the nuances of consent and matrimony, than any philosophical debate about abstractions like temperance or justice, right reason or self-command.The ‘one flesh’ of the married couple is gashed and amputated by adultery.

If you saw your wife panting and sweating and giggling in the arms of her lover, and you and your child stepped into the room by surprise, the moral precept that adultery is wrong would be clearer than any words could make clear.

The matter is not changed if, like some grotesque hero of a Robert Heinlein fantasy, you and the wife reached a handshake agreement to participate in orgies or threesomes or have an open and non-binding form of sexual cohabitation contract: the mere silliness of all such fantasies and figments is perfectly clear to all persons except randy young boys and smug old intellectuals, neither of whom know jack about real life.

Go read the police blotter about the cases of murder in the second degree, crimes of passion, if you want a glimpse of real life in a fallen world, and what happens to sex once sex is desecrated from its central and holy role at the core of the sacrament of matrimony.

And if you want a glimpse of Eros in all his glory, follow the Catholic precepts for love and sex and marriage. Our women are feminine and fertile, because they do not practice that artificial sterility that turns a Daughter of Eve from a wife and mother into a doll-like sex object.

You want to have good sex? Sex is all about giving, self-sacrifice, self-abnegation, total commitment. The best and most erotic sex in the world is between a bridegroom and his bride trying to make a baby; all the senses and the whole soul is enflamed and enamoured in the marriage bed, between two who have completely and utterly given themselves, mind, body and soul to each other, worshiping each other with their bodies,  and who are using their sexual organs, nay, their whole beings, just as nature and nature’s God intended.

Or did you think evolution shaped your male member for the purpose of being inserted into a mouth, anus, armpit or ear, and ejaculating into a balloon, or into a sterile womb of some woman whose hormones have been denatured and defeminized by chemicals in a pill, and whose reproductive instincts and maternal instincts are at odds?

Modern sophomores are always yammering about Darwinian evolution when it suits them, but when the rather obvious point crops up that women are evolved to be feminine and maternal and sexual, and that men are evolved to be masculine and paternal and sexual (because Darwin favors reproduction over sterility) and that the point and purpose of sexual reproduction, in the Darwinian scheme of things, is and must be (wait for it!) sexual reproduction, the modern sophomores are strangely and unaccountably tongue tied.

Oh, they can wax eloquent about how Darwinian evolution favors producing homosexuals in order to ensure additional  caregivers for nephews and nieces, and how they wax rhapsodic about natural stillbirths and spontaneous abortion in animals, but they can never seem to return to the main point that if you believe that Darwinian natural selection favors the most successfully reproducing bloodline in a species, the purpose and the engine of Darwin is reproduction, not masturbating over pictures in Playboy magazines, or coupling with a demimonde who scars her womb aborting your unwanted son or daughter and cries over that dead unseen child for haunted decades later.

Granted, fathering a child on another man’s wife, if the other man bears the cost and burden of raising him, has some Darwinian advantage: it is the Cuckoo’s Egg strategy. But merely coupling with another man’s wife for pleasure, if the woman has made herself artificially sterile through contraception, enjoys neither Darwinian advantage nor common prudence.  If it is a one-night fling, you demean the sacred and erotic spirit in yourself; if it is permanent, you have to replace or kill her husband, and deal with his children, if any. If it is permanent, but she cleaves to her husband and scorns you, then you have given as much of yourself as you can give, for that is what love is, to a person who will not and cannot take it.

In other words, even a Man from Mars, who knew nothing about human beings aside from the fact that the race is bisexual and altricial, could deduce that adultery is imprudent as a reproductive strategy, intemperate and immoderate as a way to find personal happiness, and unjust for the same reason any treason is unjust.

No philosophy is worthy of the name that preaches immorality over morality. The point of philosophy is to discover the rational and intellectual underpinnings, the general rule, that underlies the reasonable moral maxims all men know in their hearts. Any set of ideas that undermines rather than supports this effort is not philosophy properly so called, but is merely rhetoric, merely excuse-inventing.