Last week I wrote about Robert George’s presentation at the CBHD summer conference. He expressed very clearly how important the difference is between seeing human beings as a unity of spirit and body and seeing human beings as non-bodily persons who inhabit and use non-personal bodies. We have seen one of the implications of that difference play itself out this week in the Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage.
The acceptance of homosexual behavior by a large part of our society is one part of a change in our society’s understanding of sexuality that is rooted in the idea of our being non-bodily persons who use our non-personal bodies for our pleasure. Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s much of our society has lost the idea that sexuality is intended to be manifested in the whole person unity of a man and a woman in marriage and is the foundation of the family as the most basic unit in society. That idea is grounded in an understanding of human beings as a unity of body and spirit. That understanding of sexuality which is grounded in a Judeo-Christian understanding of who we are as human beings has been replaced with the idea that human sexuality exists primarily for the purpose of providing pleasure and the enhancement of emotional relationships, and secondarily may involve the production of children. The use of the sexual functions of the body as an instrument of pleasure for the non-bodily self has led to the idea that anything that a person finds to be sexually pleasurable should be allowed and not restricted.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.