I can just about fathom how Catholics consider the early 'termination' of an embryo or a foetus murder but the birth control dictate flummoxes me.
They can't seriously be suggesting that every spermatozoa exists for the sole purpose of impregnating a women and that denying them access to the uterus is a sin. This has to be a very bizarre and damaging interpretation of Biblical Scripture and not one shared by other Christian sects.
Orgasms are genetically encoded to further the survival of a species. The fun element is a plus but reproduction is not the be all and end all - monkeys and people would not masturbate otherwise. And wouldn't involuntary nocturnal emissions by male Catholic celibates suggest this is just a natural thing, independent of religious strictures?
Is there any justification for such a belief beyond the Bible and is such a belief at all tenable in philosophical terms?
Instead of my rehearsing the arguments surrounding the Catholic prohibition of contraception (and its permitting, contrary to the teachings of St. Augustine, "natural family planning"), allow me to send you to the literature you should read to get a handle on the philosophical and theological issues. If you want to focus only on the 20th Century (bypassing Clement of Alexandria, Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas), you have to start with Pope Pius XI, "On Christian Marriage" ("Casti connubii"), Catholic Mind 29, 2 (1931): 21–64. Then read Pope Paul VI, "Humanae Vitae," Catholic Mind 66 (September 1968): 35–48; reprinted (pp. 167–83) in Robert Baker and Frederick Elliston, eds., Philosophy and Sex , 2nd edition (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus, 1984). For criticism of Paul VI's encyclical, see (originally from Ethics ), Carl Cohen, "Sex, Birth Control, and Human Life," in Robert Baker and Frederick Elliston, eds., Philosophy and Sex , 2nd edition (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus, 1984), pp. 185–99....