Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Does Sex Mean Anything?

Does sex mean anything? That is does it have inherent meaning. Not meaning that we give it based on custom or superstition but meaning that is imbedded in the very nature of sex. Many people say No these days. There are people involved in the hook-up culture or whatever else that say they  engage in sex and it means nothing to them. Does that prove sex can be meaningless? Not really. You can have a Nazi declare the life of a Jew to be meaningless. He can kill many Jews and seem to have no ill effects. Does that prove he is right? That those loves and by extension all human lives are meaningless? No. You can say that the person in question is acting contrary to the nature of things. That people in the hook-up culture are living a lie when they engage in sex that way and Nazi's were living a lie when they treated Jews that way.

The next thing that people will ask is whether you can prove that people in the hook-up culture are suffering some ill effects from living sex lives contrary to what you say is the nature of sex. They want some irrefutable study that shows some measurable bad consequence of this. Of course that is a rats nest. All studies can be questioned. What qualifies as a "bad" consequence? When that can be shown then they can always claim the effects are not from the immoral acts themselves but the bad reaction of society to those acts. So you blame Christians for calling something immoral. That must be the real problem. It never ends.

But what about the Nazi example? Would you need to see a study of Nazi soldiers to know that the holocaust was wrong? Suppose they seemed to be otherwise upstanding citizens and claimed to sleep well at night? Would that make you think that maybe their actions were just fine? I hope not.

It really boils down to why can't we prove God exists scientifically. Moral truth has the same issues. We can come up with arguments that will work for those willing to be convinced. We can't typically come up with arguments that will convince everyone regardless. If that was the case we would no longer be talking about a moral issue. We fill our cars with gas so we won't get stranded on the road. That is not a moral issue because the bad consequence is clear.

They other reason we don't want to say that sex has meaning is that it is not nice. The people who claim sex has no meaning are going to say you are judging them. Besides, why does it really matter? I think the sexual acts I engage in or refuse to engage in have meaning. Isn't that enough? Not really. What we have done is taken something that is God's and made it something that is ours. When it is ours we can change it. When it is God's we must be changed by it. 

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