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Human sexuality and the creation of life

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Sergius89
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In my understanding of Objectivism two ideas seem to conflict.  Please let me know what you think.

 

When it comes to human sexuality it seems to me that if an individual has the opportunity to have sex and enjoys sexual activity and it makes them happy, they should have sex.  Unto itself this seems a simple line of reasoning.  Here's my issue.  It is also my understanding that when an individual decides to have a child it is because they would value a child or be happy with the parenting experience.  That being said just because a person has sex does not mean they want to have a child but a child can occur due to the sexual act.  I know that the first two thoughts concerning this are 

 

1.  Birth control

2.  Have an Abortion

 

For the issue of birth control my only counter point is that no birth control is 100% effective short of the more permanent sterilization techniques.  The problem with these is if the person does not want to have children now and may change their mind in the future.  In this instance it would seem that the individual must determine what they value more, the temporary enjoyment of sex or not have children until they are ready.

 

Concerning abortion my question lies in the value of human life.  I know that life is the ultimate value we as human beings have.  Without life nothing else has value.  It seems to me that if life is the ultimate value then creating new life would require great consideration since it is of such value.  I know the problem with this is that in no way are we required to value other people, only those that we derive value from.  What ever your thoughts are the input would be useful.

 

Thanks 

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Some types of birth control (pills, Depo-Provera, IUDs, implants), used correctly, are about as close to 100% as things get.

 

Not to mention that there's no law agaisnt using two birth control methods. A combination of an IUD and Depo Provera, for instance, would make pregnancy less likely than being murdered.

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I wasn't totally clear about a conflict you seem to be suggesting between enjoying sex and having/possibly having children.

But concerning your last paragraph, life is the "ultimate value" only to the person who is living, because if he dies he can no longer have or get any other values. But life itself has no inherent value -- you could consider life as just another aspect of the universe, like a star or the ocean. Life is just *there*, unless you're talking about the person who "has" the life. Then you can say that his life matters to him. Likewise, nothing is of any value inherently. If there were no people, what value would exist? Who would gain from good food, or warm sun, or whatever?

Applied to children, the unborn baby is not yet a value to himself, because he isn't really doing the living yet. A parent wouldn't have kids just for the sake of some unborn thing -- why would they? What value to them is the unborn baby? Unless, of course, they desire children, and then the baby becomes a real value for them which they work to get.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Immortality is required to validate life as an absolute value; mortals being delimited to life as a relative value.  Even those who credit an afterlife must transcend death to achieve it.  Therefore the only reliable value of life to pursue is self-determination, and as a consequence to avoid coercion.  The ethical resolution of unintentional pregnancies is best left to those who bear the consequence of bringing a new life to term.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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I know the problem with this is that in no way are we required to value other people, only those that we derive value from.  What ever your thoughts are the input would be useful.

 

Thanks 

 

Sergius,

 

It seems to me that other people are a "potential value". What is more, the greater the number of individuals who live around me, the greater that potential value is to me. What is more, as a professor, my employment requires the existence of a large surrounding population. That means that the surrounding population is an actual value, paying my bills so to speak. That unborn child is also a potential and actual value. 

 

The quest for consequence-free sex is a quest to void the Law of Causality. The vehemence of those protests that the unborn child is nothing but a bit of protoplasm is an attempt to skirt the Law of Identity. Ayn Rand got abortion wrong.

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The quest for consequence-free sex is a quest to void the Law of Causality.

This is completely baseless. Sex is not consequence free. A rational person understand this. A rational man also realizes that he is an actor who can deal with the consequences of his actions. By the logic of your implication, nobody should ever do anything yo deal with any negative consequences from any act he undertakes. Many actions have risks. It is wrong to say that anyone who undertakes any action that has a risk seeks consequence-free action. Further, a person may well think it is fine to have a child, but change their mind.

Secondly, your point that a fetus is potential value does nothing for an argument unless you assume that values are context-free or you assume that someone other than a potential parent can decide on this value and weigh it against the many negatives that come with having a child.

Of course, if one assumes that a fertilized egg has all rights of a human being, then both the above points are of no consequence, but you need to take those two out of your argument, because they're baseless.

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Sergius,

 

It seems to me that other people are a "potential value". What is more, the greater the number of individuals who live around me, the greater that potential value is to me. What is more, as a professor, my employment requires the existence of a large surrounding population. That means that the surrounding population is an actual value, paying my bills so to speak. That unborn child is also a potential and actual value. 

 

The quest for consequence-free sex is a quest to void the Law of Causality. The vehemence of those protests that the unborn child is nothing but a bit of protoplasm is an attempt to skirt the Law of Identity. Ayn Rand got abortion wrong.

It's raining, and your hat is an actual value to me. So gimme here. 

 

That's pretty much what your insistence to have a woman bear out your "actual value", and then pay you to educate it, amounts to.

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