Masturbation is sinful!

But only for men and only if you’re Catholic. We women can masturbate as often as we want 🙂

Ok, this is complete nonsense. Masturbation is not a moral issue and nor is sex for that matter. The reason I’m bringing it up is because Richard Dawkins found himself in the middle of a Twitter storm last week. He tweeted about abortion and whoa, I thought climate change debates were contentious. Abortion also generates heated discussions and often emotional ones too. His Tweet was perhaps a little callous but it’s hard to phrase something as complex as what he was trying to say in 140 characters. You can read what he said and his more detailed explanation here – Abortion & Down Syndrome.

I am absolutely in favour of abortion so I’m with Richard Dawkins on this one. Something he and others have pointed out is that most of the people rallying against abortion, also eat animals. It seems quite inconsistent to me to have a pro-life view and then apply it to just one species: your own. This is callous too!

People who include only humans in their moral sphere, while excluding other creatures, often do so because they hold a sanctity of life view; that humans and humans alone are holy and/or sacred. I disagree with this view. I don’t think there’s anything holy or sacred about us. We’re only human by virtue of our DNA. The species we belong to has no relevance from a moral or ethical point of view. What does matter is our capacity for pain and suffering, our autonomy, and our self-consciousness but other animals possess these things too. A foetus in the early stages of pregnancy has a mental capacity inferior to that of a cow or a pig. Yet how often are anti-abortionists seen picketing abattoirs and defending the right to life of the animals we eat?

Two years ago a young woman in Ireland died of septic shock after being refused an abortion. She was admitted to hospital at 17 weeks’ gestation due to miscarriage but there was still a foetal heartbeat so they denied her an abortion. She died a week later. Before she died staff at the hospital told her she couldn’t have an abortion because this is a Catholic country and that’s the law.

If we follow the argument that humans are sacred and every potential human sacred too, we’re going to end up here:

No masturbating! It’s sinful!

9 thoughts on “Masturbation is sinful!”

  1. Those who claim to be pro-life seldom stop to think what they force onto others. We had a terrible thing happen in my family when my sister-in-law, who is a very small woman, found that her first pregnancy was twins. The babies grew so large that they began to damage her uterus and she was rushed to the hospital when she began to bleed profusely. She was told that she would not be able to carry the twins to birth but that if one of them could be removed, the other would likely survive. However, a recently passed NC state law classified the procedure as an abortion, and a doctor who performed the procedure could have been charged with murder. She was told that neither she nor the babies would likely survive a trip to a state that allowed the procedure. So she waited, eventually losing both babies. Her womb was so severely damaged that she had to have a hysterectomy.

    The North Carolina law was later overturned, but she and my brother will never be able to have children of their own. Laws that interfere with lawful medical procedures or that lack reasonable exceptions, often ignore the reality that the laws force upon other people.

  2. Well, the comment section of this post Rachel will either be lively or uneventful, depending I guess on how widely it travels. I have just a few musings on this.

    1. Pretending there is a god and all the catholic prescripts, rules and whatnot are sacrosanct, and masturbation is indeed a sin, then you better fire up “Highway to Hell” at my funeral.
    2. I wonder how many pro-life politicians support Israel’s genocidal bent in Gaza and ignore the plight of millions of starving Africans?
    3. We secularists in a sectarian society are expected to respect the religious beliefs of others but are not given the same weight of respect for our “beliefs (science, reason, humanism etc) ” in what they claim are moral arguments. Being religious does not automatically make one an expert moral practitioner just as being secular does not automatically make one immoral. A close scrutiny of……or even a passing glance at the Catholic church and their shameful history of child sexual abuse gives the lie to their moral superiority. For them to then pass judgment on the actions of others where abortion, masturbation, premarital sex homosexuality are concerned is highly hypocritical to say the least.

    1. I agree. Having a religion does not make a person an expert on morality. Masturbation, permarital sex, and homosexuality are not moral issues.

      And yes, I’m aware I could get some colourful comments but I’m going to take a tough stance 🙂

  3. My impression as been that those who term themselves “moral”, in reference to sexuality, are the same people who object to sex education and contraception. Then, with gross hypocrisy, condemn those who have to deal with the consequences. A pattern that is replicated with many other issues. If they would all go away, then the rest of us could live in peace. Perhaps there is a point to colonising Mars after all.

  4. What is so ironic is that some people that take an extreme moral stance on issues, may not ever have found themselves in the situation that challenges the belief they campaign- the saying of one never can know someone until they have travelled miles in another’s shoes- comes to mind- A decision to end a pregnancy is not really something that one takes lightly- The crap about adverse outcomes after abortion is that, crap- One pregnancy in 6 will not continue- that is nature- so if the theory of this person that claims women have babies with a higher rate of deformity, then this is certainly not borne out (pardon the pun) by babies lucky enough to be born in a country with good maternal health and sanitation that ensures a good infant survival rate- Without taking anything that may cause teratogenicity, the malformation rate is 2%. The guy is basically talking out of his er, $%se! I guess that could be a serious defect- what’s worse is the unnecessary worry and guilt he puts others through…At least with masturbation there’s minimal risk of pregnancy!

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