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Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Clintonesque Use of Force, and Other Onanism

I'm going to talk about masturbation, both in foreign policy and elsewhere.

First, we are using Tomahawk missles against the Libyan dictatorship, about five days after it crushed the uprising trying to unseat it.  I'm no military expert (but then again, neither are Hillary Clinton or President Obama), but I don't think that a few blown-up air defense assets will of themselves get rid of Quaddafi.

Recently Mark Shea reminded us all of the moral peril of masturbation.  While masturbation is a sin (whether mortal or venial, I'll let my priest decide), and has great laugh value, in light of Benedict XVI's recent remarks on condoms, I don't see how it could be a big deal anymore.  After all, in Catholic moral theology, use of contraceptives and masturbation both count as Onanism--sex without potential for procreation.  If B XVI thinks that contraceptives can be morally preferable to spreading AIDS, it is hard to see why masturbation is not morally defensible because it is preferable to causing pregnancy, fornication, adultery, and any number of problems entailed with having sex with other people.  I don't know--the Stoics thought that masturbation allowed the distancing of sexual impulses, allowing the sage to remain calm and detached from the world. 
It is the sexual equivalent of firing a Tomahawk missle--it doesn't really achieve much, but it relieves the pressure to do something meaningful.

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