# Why does the catholic church consider birth control immoral?

## Recommended Posts

Why does the catholic church consider birth control to be a sin even with married couples? This policy not only results in unwanted children that cannot be cared for and are a burden on society it also results in Aids being spread due to the anti condom fetish of the church.

• Replies 55
• Created

#### Popular Posts

Can you please give examples and sources? I don't ever seem to recall hearing that the Catholic church said contraception encourages sex outside of marriage, that it encourages infidelity, or that it

Not even that; the Catholics are also advocating birth control via abstinence. They are messing with procreation and bonding, whereas using other forms of birth control only interferes with procreatio

(My bold)   False.   "Those who attack the Church for its use of indulgences rely upon—and take advantage of—the ignorance of both Catholics and non-Catholics.   The Church has always taught th

The more cynical reasons are that they used to make a lot of money on all church related things like baptism through marriage to death.

##### Share on other sites

The more cynical reasons are that they used to make a lot of money on all church related things like baptism through marriage to death.

That's interesting, how did the Church make money this way?

##### Share on other sites

It has to do with evolution. Evolution needs sexual reproduction, which then perpetuates, generation after generation, so it can evolve. Once you add artificial additives to the process of evolution and break the chain, you begin to water down a natural process that has been around for billions of years.

One way to see this is to apply the two philosophies, to two herd of deer. One herd will be trained in the art of birth control, and the other herd will go au natural like evolution has done for billions of years. After a few generations, which of the two herds will have selective advantage?

Ironically, the church supports evolution, in spirit, but not in words. Atheism supports evolution in words, but not in the spirit of evolution; they can't understand why someone is not willing to void, what they then say is one of the critical parameters of evolution. Not exactly rational.

##### Share on other sites

It has to do with evolution. Evolution needs sexual reproduction, which then perpetuates, generation after generation, so it can evolve. Once you add artificial additives to the process of evolution and break the chain, you begin to water down a natural process that has been around for billions of years.

One way to see this is to apply the two philosophies, to two herd of deer. One herd will be trained in the art of birth control, and the other herd will go au natural like evolution has done for billions of years. After a few generations, which of the two herds will have selective advantage?

Ironically, the church supports evolution, in spirit, but not in words. Atheism supports evolution in words, but not in the spirit of evolution; they can't understand why someone is not willing to void, what they then say is one of the critical parameters of evolution. Not exactly rational.

This is a too simplistic look at evolution and the number of offspring a species has. There is selective advnatages in limiting the number of offspring, otherwise humans would still be using the same breeding technique pioneered early in reproduction evolution: That of having thousands or even millions of offspring and letting them survive on their own.

The selective advantage of fewer offspring is that more effort can be spent careing for them and giving them the best starting advantage they can get.

As a direct example:

Imagine a couple that earns $50,000 a year (note: all these numbers are just made up, but I did try to use reasonable values). If their morgage was cosing them around$500 a week ($26,000 a year) and other expenses (food, rates, taxes, etc) was around$300 per week ($15,600), their excess income would be around$161 a week ($8,400 a year). Now if they had just 1 child, they could (at maximum) spend thise excess on raising this child (education, computers, etc), but if they had 2 children then they could spend only half on each. If they had 5 children, then each would only get around$32 a week spent on them (sure, there would be some overlap between children but this is only an example not an comprehensive analysis). In terms of survival in animals, the parents would not necesarily have money to spend, but this would equate to time spent bringing the young food, teaching them to hunt, protecting them from predators, etc. With a small number of offspring, more resources can be dedicated to raising the few young.

If you look at animals in the wild, the number of offspring is a good indication of the amount of parental effort given to raiseing offspring, and you will also find that both are quite successful strategies but it depends on how much effort a species puts into the raising of their offspring.

Now, huamns have a long development period. That is each child requiers a large dedication of resources and time to their raising. This means that there is a significant advantage for having smaller numbers of children. So family planing and birth control are actually a good survival strategy.

Some other factors that come into the equation are that small populations have less impact on their food sources, so a smaller population can potentially have access to more resoufces from the environment as individuals for the same environmental impact and thus have a better quality of life, less risk of starvation and such (which is more "successful" a small healthy population of a large population on the verge of famine and starvation?).

Smaller, less dense populations are less likely to develop new deseases (but too small and there won't be enough genetic diversity, so this is a case of balance between the two) or encourage the spread of deseases and so forth.

For a sexually reproducing species to have a stable population, there needs to be exactly 2 offspring survive and reproduce for ever 2 breeding adults. If it is more than 2 the population will increase until other pressures (like starvation, desease, etc) increase the mortality rate or decrease fertility bring the population expansion under control. If it is less than 2 then the population levels will decrease until other pressures allow for more offspring or the species becomes extinct.

One of the problems with humans is that we have drastically decrease the child mortality rate which means more chidlren are growing up to become adults and be able to successfully have children themselves. This measn we are in a massive population explosion, and the only way to stop it is to increase the child mortality rate (not something I advocate), or introducing elemtns that restrict the birth rate (family planning, etc).

yes, this is about Malthu's and limits of growth, but there arw two typically overlooked factors that both sides of the argument seem not to mention:

1) Yes, human inginuity will allow for an increased level of food productivity.

2) This increased productivity can't continue indefinitly.

The first is the argument against Malthus and has allowed us to continue population growth long after Malthus' predicted limits, however, this increased productivity can not continue to increase without limit, and it is a race between each of these increases as to when the limit is reached (we are probably a way off this limit to growth from food, but there are other factors that will have effect too - such as energy and access to other resources).

But, all this asside. To address the question proposed in the OP:

A society has rules that allow it to continue to exist, as any society that had self destructive rules would quickly self destruct and would no longer exist. These rules can be expressed as moral rules (as well as cultural traditions). With christianity, it continues to exist by teaching it to the young (really, all cultures do this). But, the more young there are, the more members are in that society and the bigger and stronger it is.

With any society, there are two rules that have to exist in it:

1) The society must support the members of that society

2) The members of a scociety are requyiered to contribute to that society

With rule 2, you can see that a contribution members can make to the society is to increase the number of people in that society. This means having children and teaching them to be members of that society.

Actions that seem to harm a society can be seen as immoral, and with christianity reducing the number of children taught to be christians is seen as harmful to the propogation of the society, then using birth control (even if it is a valid biological reason such as over population, etc) is seen as immoral.

##### Share on other sites

According to catholic.com, "God’s gift of the sex act, along with its pleasure and intimacy, must not be abused by deliberately frustrating its natural end—procreation." (which is what I remember from my catholic upbringing.) Somewhat like bulimia or starch blockers with regards to eating.

The catholic.com webpage also states that "until 1930, all Protestant denominations agreed with the Catholic Church’s teaching condemning contraception as sinful." The Seventh Lambeth Conference in 1930 resulted in the Protestant's first break on the subject by approving the use of birth control in limited circumstances.

##### Share on other sites

According to catholic.com, "Gods gift of the sex act, along with its pleasure and intimacy, must not be abused by deliberately frustrating its natural endprocreation." (which is what I remember from my catholic upbringing.) Somewhat like bulimia or starch blockers with regards to eating.

The catholic.com webpage also states that "until 1930, all Protestant denominations agreed with the Catholic Churchs teaching condemning contraception as sinful." The Seventh Lambeth Conference in 1930 resulted in the Protestant's first break on the subject by approving the use of birth control in limited circumstances.

So the idea is that sex is gods gift and that gives god the right to control this basic human experience? I understand what you are saying but I was hoping for something a little more profound, i didn't think it would be such a straight forward case of controlling the people at such a basic level.

In many cases the fundamentalist type churches seem to be going back that direction. One thing is for sure, the idea that birth control is wrong for young people in particular is certainly wide spread. The concept of abstinence only shows that nicely.

Edited by Moontanman
##### Share on other sites

The answer is very simply if you understand the underlying theological philosophy. The bible says that creation is good and that God created the Earth and everything on it, saw that it was good, and said it should all "go forth and multiply." It is very simple logic that if something is good and it reproduces itself, you want it to go on growing and reproducing. So for the Catholic Church to say that birth-control is good, they would be implicitly saying that human life is bad. They cannot say that human life is bad because they believe that humans are created in God's image with the purpose of re-creating themselves and the creation. For them to say that reproducing too much is sinful, they would have to define limits to God's bounty, which they do not believe in. Islam is the same; the Koran discourages mercy-killings in times of hunger, drought, or poverty because "God will provide." The Catholic Church doesn't decry the rhythm method, however, because they believe that sexuality is pro-creative in the sense that it results in a pro-creative and happy marriage, which is conducive to raising children. So, in practice, Catholics are allowed to have sex that isn't directly geared to reproduction although there are no guidelines as to exactly how many or few children a couple should have. I suppose couples are allowed to find out for themselves how many children God has planned for them. It is silly, though, to expect that the Catholic Church would every prescribe population-control since that implies that God will not ultimately provide. No child is unwelcome for people who have true faith in God's creation. They just don't want them to be seduced into evil.

##### Share on other sites

The answer is very simply if you understand the underlying theological philosophy. The bible says that creation is good and that God created the Earth and everything on it, saw that it was good, and said it should all "go forth and multiply." It is very simple logic that if something is good and it reproduces itself, you want it to go on growing and reproducing. So for the Catholic Church to say that birth-control is good, they would be implicitly saying that human life is bad. They cannot say that human life is bad because they believe that humans are created in God's image with the purpose of re-creating themselves and the creation. For them to say that reproducing too much is sinful, they would have to define limits to God's bounty, which they do not believe in. Islam is the same; the Koran discourages mercy-killings in times of hunger, drought, or poverty because "God will provide." The Catholic Church doesn't decry the rhythm method, however, because they believe that sexuality is pro-creative in the sense that it results in a pro-creative and happy marriage, which is conducive to raising children. So, in practice, Catholics are allowed to have sex that isn't directly geared to reproduction although there are no guidelines as to exactly how many or few children a couple should have. I suppose couples are allowed to find out for themselves how many children God has planned for them. It is silly, though, to expect that the Catholic Church would every prescribe population-control since that implies that God will not ultimately provide. No child is unwelcome for people who have true faith in God's creation. They just don't want them to be seduced into evil.

They have a word for people who practice the rhythm method of birth control, Parents but controlling your families size so you might be able to realistically provide for them is wrong but having children you cannot take care of is good? I have often wondered how a child being born into a horrific life is better than birth control. It seems to me that God is somewhat less than able to plan.

The idea that urging birth control would be saying that birth is not good is stretching a point far past it's breaking point. Keeping the population at a more reasonable level and allowing people to plan their families seems more god like to me. A healthy family able to take care of it's children seems to be an important part of a healthy society. Thanks for the explanation, i think it just shows how religion controls people but i do appreciate the explanation.

We know there limits to the carrying capacity of the earth, birth control is the only way we will survive. If for no other reason i would say that religion is a threat to the very survival of humanity.

The idea that having sex outside of marriage is bad due to unwanted children but that birth control is also bad because it prevent pregnancy contradictory.

Edited by Moontanman
##### Share on other sites
We know there limits to the carrying capacity of the earth, birth control is the only way we will survive. If for no other reason i would say that religion is a threat to the very survival of humanity.

The problem is that you only know that based on assumptions and human (i.e. fallible) methods of estimation. Plus, for all you know limiting population growth results in levels of wealth and lifestyles that end up resulting in more deaths and childlessness. Thus if people would limit their family-size on the assumption that doing so will keep population growth under control, it could end up backfiring as population actual spirals into a degenerative, pattern of destruction. The fact is that no one can ultimately predict human behavior. Personally, I can see having just one or two kids with the faith that they will prosper but someone else may feel like having more kids is a safety precaution against losing one or more to tragedy at some point. Religion is not a "threat to survival of humanity." Different people interpret religion differently and have different numbers of kids or don't have kids at all. The good thing about religion is that it keeps people living in hope and good faith, which is good for preventing the world from being overrun by death-driven nihilists.

The idea that having sex outside of marriage is bad due to unwanted children but that birth control is also bad because it prevent pregnancy contradictory.

Sex out of marriage is not dissuaded because it causes unwanted children. Marriage is viewed as a commitment to the person you're having sex with, so that people don't use each other and wash their hands of the consequences of sex. Marriage is about taking social responsibility and loving each other instead of treating your sex partner like a curse after you've finished with them.

##### Share on other sites

The problem is that you only know that based on assumptions and human (i.e. fallible) methods of estimation.

No, I know this because it is demonstrably true, the religious view that God will provide is demonstrably false. God never provides anything of material value to anyone, religion provides for a fortunate few, every one else just gets lip service and promises.

Plus, for all you know limiting population growth results in levels of wealth and lifestyles that end up resulting in more deaths and childlessness.

So planning ahead is bad and just letting things go to shit is good? Limiting growth might (in some other universe where cause and effect have no meaning... maybe) have the results you say but over population will for sure.

Thus if people would limit their family-size on the assumption that doing so will keep population growth under control, it could end up backfiring as population actual spirals into a degenerative, pattern of destruction.

But not limiting population will result in that pattern as sure as the earth turns and revolves around the sun, but then the church was at one time convinced that the word of god said it didn't. the word of god has been proved false so many times i cannot give your scenario credence.

The fact is that no one can ultimately predict human behavior. Personally, I can see having just one or two kids with the faith that they will prosper but someone else may feel like having more kids is a safety precaution against losing one or more to tragedy at some point. Religion is not a "threat to survival of humanity." Different people interpret religion differently and have different numbers of kids or don't have kids at all. The good thing about religion is that it keeps people living in hope and good faith, which is good for preventing the world from being overrun by death-driven nihilists.

Religion may not be a threat to humanity but believing it over reality is for sure.

Sex out of marriage is not dissuaded because it causes unwanted children. Marriage is viewed as a commitment to the person you're having sex with, so that people don't use each other and wash their hands of the consequences of sex. Marriage is about taking social responsibility and loving each other instead of treating your sex partner like a curse after you've finished with them.

So having sex with someone, even though both want it and enjoy it is treating them like a curse unless you marry them? Sex with birth control has no consequences, doesn't that solve the problem?

Edited by Moontanman
##### Share on other sites

Why does the catholic church consider birth control to be a sin even with married couples? This policy not only results in unwanted children that cannot be cared for and are a burden on society it also results in Aids being spread due to the anti condom fetish of the church.

"Contraception is wrong because it’s a deliberate violation of the design God built into the human race, often referred to as "natural law." The natural law purpose of sex is procreation. The pleasure that sexual intercourse provides is an additional blessing from God, intended to offer the possibility of new life while strengthening the bond of intimacy, respect, and love between husband and wife. The loving environment this bond creates is the perfect setting for nurturing children.

But sexual pleasure within marriage becomes unnatural, and even harmful to the spouses, when it is used in a way that deliberately excludes the basic purpose of sex, which is procreation. God’s gift of the sex act, along with its pleasure and intimacy, must not be abused by deliberately frustrating its natural end—procreation"

http://www.catholic.com/library/Birth_Control.asp

This is what the Catholic Church believes. This came from God. I think it is unreasonable to ask the church to condone birth control (a sin) in teenagers, when if they wouldn't be having premarital sex (also a sin) in the first place, they wouldn't need birth control. And while not perfect, Natural Family Planning can be 95% effective, especially if used in a Catholic inspired marriage. If you use this method religiously (no pun intended) you have a reasonable chance of having the family size you desire (more or less).

It seems to me that the Church has taken a stand on what is right and what is wrong, and if you follow what they teach there will be no out of wedlock children and there will not be an AIDS epidemic. It doesn't seem fair to ask them to preapprove one sin (condoms) because someone is planning to go ahead with another sin (premarital sex).

And the Church is not stupid. They know some Catholics will sin anyway. But the solution is for them to quit sinning, not for the Church to allow it.

The government has laws against murder, but they don't go ahead and allow it since they know people will commit murder anyway.

Seems to me like a well thought out and logical plan. And if you want to be a Catholic then you have to accept that these are the rules. I have no problem with the Church setting high standards and working to achieve them.

##### Share on other sites

Zapatos, you have demonstrated to me that religion is evil, it restricts love between even dedicated partners. It attempts to control humans from birth to death by restricting activities that are a big part of being human simply to control them, no other reason. The immorality of sex and the control on the population by causing guilt and strife over something that should be freely given between humans in love flies in the face of the idea of a loving god and gets us back to the cruel and spiteful god. Religion if believed and followed above reality is the most dangerous thing to humanity on this earth.

Sex is a great thing, between people in love it's wonderful, to restrict that loving relationship by saying sex must result in procreation is evil. It steals a big part of what being a fulfilled human being means.

##### Share on other sites

Zapatos, you have demonstrated to me that religion is evil, it restricts love between even dedicated partners. It attempts to control humans from birth to death by restricting activities that are a big part of being human simply to control them, no other reason. The immorality of sex and the control on the population by causing guilt and strife over something that should be freely given between humans in love flies in the face of the idea of a loving god and gets us back to the cruel and spiteful god. Religion if believed and followed above reality is the most dangerous thing to humanity on this earth.

Sex is a great thing, between people in love it's wonderful, to restrict that loving relationship by saying sex must result in procreation is evil. It steals a big part of what being a fulfilled human being means.

Evil sounds a bit strong to me. I don't believe their intent is to cause harm. I would say their intent is to build a framework that will help people achieve high moral standards and a fulfilling life, and to do good in the world. I can't see how you can look at all the good works of the church and say they are evil.

You say sex "should be freely given". That is simply your opinion, just as the opposite is simply the opinion of the church. I can't see where your or their opinion should reign supreme.

I had 12 years of Catholic school, and sent my kids to 12 years of Catholic school. I also told them there is no excuse for not using a condom during premarital sex. While I have plenty to disagree with in the church, I feel that my kids and I are better off for the high morals and character the church helped develop in us.

Yes, religion restricts love between dedicated partners, but it is because they believe that is what God asks, and for an ultimately greater reward. And it is not simply to control them. You may not agree with their position, but I don't understand why you think the church is full of hand wringing evil doers.

I agree there is much harm caused in this world by the Catholic church, but not because of their intent to do harm. It is much the same as the harm caused in this world by government. Not by intent but because of the byproduct of people trying to do good. I doubt it was GWBush's evil plan to kill so many innocent Iraqis. It was just the result of him doing what he thought was right, and if some are harmed in the process, so be it.

I fall somewhere between agnostic and atheist, but my experience with the church tells me it wants to do good, whether that is the end result or not. And they believe in what they say because GOD told them. Just like they are wasting my time using the bible to prove to me evolution is not true, I think I'd be wasting my time trying to prove to them the Bible is wrong and condoms are really a good thing in the world.

##### Share on other sites

And the Church is not stupid. They know some Catholics will sin anyway. But the solution is for them to quit sinning, not for the Church to allow it.

The church use to sell indulgences. This is you could pre-purchace the right to sin. So the church has allowed people to knowlingly sin (and made a profit from it too). SO this argument is clearly false.

##### Share on other sites
According to catholic.com, "God's gift of the sex act, along with its pleasure and intimacy, must not be abused by deliberately frustrating its natural end—procreation." (which is what I remember from my catholic upbringing.) Somewhat like bulimia or starch blockers with regards to eating.

I find that a poor argument though, since there are other purposes for sex, such as pleasure and bonding. There is no need for the financial/personal burdens of procreation to interfere with bonding. The argument also suffers because it tries to make an "ought" out of an "is". A similar argument would be that they should not see doctors, as disease is used by God to punish people and people shouldn't interfere with that purpose.

The Bible is silent on that issue, since in those days children were highly valued; a status symbol for the mother and a worker for the father. Enough so that two prostitutes could take the issue of which was the real mother of an (illegitimate) child, all the way to the highest court of the land (that of King Solomon).

##### Share on other sites

The church use to sell indulgences. This is you could pre-purchace the right to sin. So the church has allowed people to knowlingly sin (and made a profit from it too). SO this argument is clearly false.

What argument is clearly false? Are you saying that the church IS stupid because of what some unscrupulous members of the church did during the middle ages?

BTW, my aunt had a plenary indulgence she used to keep framed on her wall. She received it after confessing and receiving absolution for past sins.

##### Share on other sites

What argument is clearly false? Are you saying that the church IS stupid because of what some unscrupulous members of the church did during the middle ages?

BTW, my aunt had a plenary indulgence she used to keep framed on her wall. She received it after confessing and receiving absolution for past sins.

No not stupid, less than honest maybe when it comes to sin but calling those people unscrupulous is disingenuous at best. At the time it was not only condoned it was part of the main stream church not a few unscrupulous members doing something bad.

I'd keep one if I had it too...

##### Share on other sites

I find that a poor argument though, since there are other purposes for sex, such as pleasure and bonding. There is no need for the financial/personal burdens of procreation to interfere with bonding. The argument also suffers because it tries to make an "ought" out of an "is". A similar argument would be that they should not see doctors, as disease is used by God to punish people and people shouldn't interfere with that purpose.

But here is the problem. Believers and non-believers are using two different sets of rules in their arguments. You are using logic, science, etc. and trying to refute what the church believes. But they believe God said it. From their perspective God easily trumps logic and science.

So, just like a believer will never be able to use the bible to convince you that evolution is false (because you have logic and science on your side), you will never be able to convince them the bible (and the beliefs it inspires) is false (because they have God on their side).

So while I love watching and learning from the arguments given when believers and non-believers square off, I know no one is actually going to win. It's like one side thinking they won because they scored the most goals, while the other side thinks they won because they ran the fastest.

##### Share on other sites

No, I know this because it is demonstrably true, the religious view that God will provide is demonstrably false. God never provides anything of material value to anyone, religion provides for a fortunate few, every one else just gets lip service and promises.

Some people see daily miracles in their lives when they expected to make out much worse than the did in a given situation. They look at their lives and the fact that they have yet to go hungry and see that as God having provided through worldly channels.

So planning ahead is bad and just letting things go to shit is good? Limiting growth might (in some other universe where cause and effect have no meaning... maybe) have the results you say but over population will for sure.

You don't get it. Believing that things will go to shit if you let them already expresses a lack of faith. The simplest way I can explain theism to people is that there is power in the world. When you believe that power is corruptible, it is frightening to see power intensify (such as when nuclear technology was unveiled). However, when you have faith that power is ultimately prone to goodness (which is the premise of there being a good-God), then you have faith in good triumphing over evil in the end, etc. So limiting growth assumes that left unchecked growth will result in detriment instead of benefit. Faith makes people optimistic.

Religion may not be a threat to humanity but believing it over reality is for sure.

How can you presume to know "reality" directly? Religion is one way of interpreting reality, just as science is.

So having sex with someone, even though both want it and enjoy it is treating them like a curse unless you marry them? Sex with birth control has no consequences, doesn't that solve the problem?

Imo, what marriage does is express an intent never to wash your hands of another person . . . in sickness and health, for richer and poorer, etc. So when you have sex with someone without marrying them, you are basically saying, "I don't care what happens to you in life after we finish having sex." As long as that person amuses you, you keep them around and when they become uninteresting you discard them. Polygamy is pretty much forgotten and trivialized in western culture at this point, but that is actually an even greater extension of the ethic of not discarding sex partners after the act.

I'm not saying I have this all figured out personally, because I don't. I just understand the logic of reserving sex for marriage. You can also question what really constitutes marriage. Obviously there is the formal institution, but what about when two people just feel a sense of lifelong commitment to each other? Isn't that also a form of marriage?

##### Share on other sites

No not stupid, less than honest maybe when it comes to sin but calling those people unscrupulous is disingenuous at best. At the time it was not only condoned it was part of the main stream church not a few unscrupulous members doing something bad.

I'd keep one if I had it too...

Indulgences became increasingly popular in the Middle Ages as a reward for displaying piety and doing good deeds. The faithful asked that indulgences be given for saying their favourite prayers, doing acts of devotion, attending places of worship, and going on pilgrimage; confraternities wanted indulgences for putting on performances and processions; associations demanded that their meetings be rewarded with indulgences. Money raised by indulgences was used for many righteous causes, both religious and civil; building projects funded by indulgences include churches, hospitals, leper colonies, schools, roads, and bridges.[31]

However, the later Middle Ages saw the growth of considerable abuses. Greedy commissaries sought to extract the maximum amount of money for each indulgence.[33] Professional "pardoners"[4] (quaestores in Latin) - who were sent to collect alms for a specific project - practiced the unrestricted sale of indulgences. Many of these quaestores unfortunately exceeded Church teachings, whether in avarice or ignorant zeal, and promised impossible rewards like salvation from eternal damnation in return for money.[31] With the permission of the Church, indulgences also became a way for Catholic rulers to fund expensive projects, such as Crusades and cathedrals, by keeping a significant portion of the money raised from indulgences in their lands.[31] There was a tendency to forge documents declaring that indulgences had been granted.[31] Indulgences grew to extraordinary magnitude, in terms of longevity and breadth of forgiveness.

Engraving of the Mass of Saint Gregory by Israhel van Meckenem, 1490s, with an unauthorized indulgence at the bottom[34]The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) suppressed some abuses connected with indulgences, spelling out, for example, that only a one-year indulgence would be granted for the consecration of churches and no more than a 40-days indulgence for other occasions. The Council also stated that "Catholics who have girded themselves with the cross for the extermination of the heretics, shall enjoy the indulgences and privileges granted to those who go in defense of the Holy Land."[35]

But very soon these limits were widely exceeded. False documents were circulated with indulgences surpassing all bounds: indulgences of hundreds or even thousands of years.[31] In 1392, more than a century before Martin Luther published the 95 Theses, Pope Boniface IX wrote to the Bishop of Ferrara condemning the practice of certain members of religious orders who falsely claimed that they were authorized by the pope to forgive all sorts of sins, and exacted money from the simple-minded among the faithful by promising them perpetual happiness in this world and eternal glory in the next.[36]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indulgence (my bolding)

Sounds to me like the misuse was not condoned. Unless of course you are saying that indulgences in general are wrong. And note, the purpose of the indulgence was to take away the punishment for sins that you asked forgiveness for, and received absolution for. You could not just wantonly sin and expect a get out hell card. If you weren't truly sorry, you were not forgiven.

##### Share on other sites

Some people see daily miracles in their lives when they expected to make out much worse than the did in a given situation. They look at their lives and the fact that they have yet to go hungry and see that as God having provided through worldly channels.

This is nothing but a self fulfilling prophecy, what about all the people who do go hungry, who do not make it no matter how hard they pray or work? Can they blame god for not providing for them?

You don't get it. Believing that things will go to shit if you let them already expresses a lack of faith. The simplest way I can explain theism to people is that there is power in the world. When you believe that power is corruptible, it is frightening to see power intensify (such as when nuclear technology was unveiled). However, when you have faith that power is ultimately prone to goodness (which is the premise of there being a good-God), then you have faith in good triumphing over evil in the end, etc. So limiting growth assumes that left unchecked growth will result in detriment instead of benefit. Faith makes people optimistic.

i am opptimistic about most things, just not religion. I see no evidence of any higher power in the world. Power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely... Whose power is more absolute than religion? If faith makes people beleive they can go one reporducing with no consequences then faith makes them stupid not optimistic.

How can you presume to know "reality" directly? Religion is one way of interpreting reality, just as science is.

We so far religion has failed miserably to explain reality, from lightning to evolution so far religion fails completely.

Imo, what marriage does is express an intent never to wash your hands of another person . . . in sickness and health, for richer and poorer, etc. So when you have sex with someone without marrying them, you are basically saying, "I don't care what happens to you in life after we finish having sex." As long as that person amuses you, you keep them around and when they become uninteresting you discard them. Polygamy is pretty much forgotten and trivialized in western culture at this point, but that is actually an even greater extension of the ethic of not discarding sex partners after the act.

Why should having sex with a person connect you to them forever? Why is sex such a limiting factor? Polygamy is not about not abandoning sex partners, it's about marrying young girls before then can figure out how they have been filled with bullshit about how their cults prophet says they have to marry this old man and have his babies so he can be a god in the after life and you can continue to have his babies to populate the worlds he will amek in the after life, along with the last 5 or 6 young girls the religion has brain washed that way.

Sex is good, sex is enjoyable, and while you are trying to find out if you are compatible with some one and since sex is a huge part of being compatible i see no reason we should not have sex with different people until we find the one we are truly compatible with, this works for women as well as men. as long as children do not result i see no reason not to have sex with people i am considering pair bonding with and sometimes if both people agree why not just sex for the fun of it?

I'm not saying I have this all figured out personally, because I don't. I just understand the logic of reserving sex for marriage. You can also question what really constitutes marriage. Obviously there is the formal institution, but what about when two people just feel a sense of lifelong commitment to each other? Isn't that also a form of marriage?

That is truly fine, i see no reason to not reserve sex for marriage if that is important to you but after you are married will you abstain from sex unless you want a child? Or will you use birth control and allow your self to have a real healthy sexual relationship with the woman you love? I'm not arguing against commitment i am arguing against limiting your relationship due to the fear of pregnancy and the hardships unplanned pregnancies can bring.

i think people who can make a life long commitment to each other is what it's all about and sex is a big part of any normal relationship, not being able to use birth control makes a mockery of any relationship between people with a normal sex drive in our society.

Sounds to me like the misuse was not condoned. Unless of course you are saying that indulgences in general are wrong. And note, the purpose of the indulgence was to take away the punishment for sins that you asked forgiveness for, and received absolution for. You could not just wantonly sin and expect a get out hell card. If you weren't truly sorry, you were not forgiven.

While i have no basis for feeling this way, i do feel that charging people to forgive their sins is less than straight forward and basically dishonest. The ease by which it was perverted seems to confirm this. Of course i was raised protestant, we do not have to ask anyone but god to forgive us and he does it for free...

Edited by Moontanman
##### Share on other sites

"While i have no basis for feeling this way, i do feel that charging people to forgive their sins is less than straight forward and basically dishonest. The ease by which it was perverted seems to confirm this. Of course i was raised protestant, we do not have to ask anyone but god to forgive us and he does it for free..."

You don't pay to have your sins forgiven. You must be forgiven first, and that is free in the Catholic church too, although you must use a priest as an intermediary between you and God. You pay so that you are not punished either on earth or in purgatory. The idea is that if you do something like pay some money to fund a church (or spend your time building a church), you will have cleansed your soul the same as if you had spent some nasty time in purgatory, or with some newly acquired disease.

Edited by zapatos
##### Share on other sites
While i have no basis for feeling this way, i do feel that charging people to forgive their sins is less than straight forward and basically dishonest. The ease by which it was perverted seems to confirm this. Of course i was raised protestant, we do not have to ask anyone but god to forgive us and he does it for free...

You don't pay to have your sins forgiven. You must be forgiven first, and that is free in the Catholic church too, although you must use a priest as an intermediary between you and God. You pay so that you are not punished either on earth or in purgatory. The idea is that if you do something like pay some money to fund a church (or spend your time building a church), you will have cleansed your soul the same as if you had spent some nasty time in purgatory, or with some newly acquired disease.

Ah yes, purgatory, i had forgotten about that one. So even if you are forgiven you have spend time in purgatory but you can pay money to get out or stay out? If you don't you get a disease or you suffer in purgatory? Sounds like a racket to me. No purgatory in Protestantism either. Or neo-paganism for that matter.

But i think the Evangelicals have a similar system where you give them huge amounts of money and or property to make sure god hears you or something like that, love offerings they are called. I had an uncle that was a popular preacher, he got rolex watches and expensive cars from his congregation.

##### Share on other sites

Ah yes, purgatory, i had forgotten about that one. So even if you are forgiven you have spend time in purgatory but you can pay money to get out or stay out? If you don't you get a disease or you suffer in purgatory? Sounds like a racket to me. No purgatory in Protestantism either. Or neo-paganism for that matter.

But i think the Evangelicals have a similar system where you give them huge amounts of money and or property to make sure god hears you or something like that, love offerings they are called. I had an uncle that was a popular preacher, he got rolex watches and expensive cars from his congregation.

I don't know if there is any way to buy an indulgence these days. The rules are always changing in the Catholic church. I remember when I was a kid in school, they would pass around the plate to collect money for pagen babies. The idea there was that for \$5, they would have enough money to fund the missionary work necessary to find and baptize one more baby. And it was important because if a baby was not baptized before death, they would go to limbo, where they would neither be punished nor find eternal happiness with God. I remember as a kid having these visions of a buch of babies all sitting around in a room with a cloudy mist on the floor. I laugh every time I think about it. I think limbo is no longer part of Catholic teaching, but I do wonder what happened to all those babies I was unable to keep out of limbo before they finally shut it down. Maybe spending eternity dancing the limbo!

## Create an account

Register a new account