The perils of humanist sexual philosophy

Warning: A philosophical discussion with atheists on sex ahead. Do not continue if you are easily offended by such discourses.

There is no joy in Godless sex.
If you are still blinking in surprise at the title and the previous line, the reference is towards a recent lecture that I attended, which was organized by a bunch of non-theists. The program was cleverly titled to titillate and attract attention towards the event – it was something about the joy there is in Godless sex.

Walking near the event venue, I made a decision on the spur of the moment to attend the lecture, and went in close to half an hour late.  I came back smiling at the end of the program, convinced.

But I was convinced not by the theories of a non-theistic, humanist sexual philosophy, but in my intuition that such a philosophy would be a recipe for self-destruction of a society.

Based on the premise that all religions are just inventions of the medieval and ancient man brought about to control human behavior ( the concept of religion was ridiculed by the speaker in response to a question), the speaker said that religions place unnecessary restrictions on how sexual needs of man are to be satisfied, and that these restrictions need to be given the boot, just as religions need to be.
According to this speaker, various sexual practices, fetishes, orientations that aren’t allowed by most religions can be exercised, and should not be discouraged or spoken against. He went on to give a few examples and details that I will avoid here to maintain a family-rating for my blog.  The one example that I am willing to repeat from him is that of homosexuality – on how it’s not bad at all, and that religions unjustly persecute people with homosexual tendencies.

He also made a mention of a humanist in the early 19th century by the name of Thomas Carlyle and his views on sex – which were similar to what the speaker had been suggesting. Carlyle also suggested that men and women should have it easier to divorce and remarry and that they shouldn’t be bound in an unattractive union, that people should be allowed to experiment with a temporary marriage (Strikingly similar to the practice of Muta in Shia Iran ).

The speaker clarified that while people should not be faulted for their sexual orientations and/or inclinations, it is OK for certain people to dislike some “stuff” in this regard – he gave his own example- of his dislike of a sexual partner dressing as a clown. I murmured to myself – what if I say that I dislike homosexuality ? Wouldn’t I be judged as “homophobic” and an intolerant bigot ?

I put up a few questions for the speaker in the question and answer session.  To his point that morals and values will still be followed in a non-theistic society, I asked him – who exactly makes these rules and values ? “Values are made by society”. Yeah.

To the speaker’s note that people should not be faulted for their sexual inclinations and should be allowed to exercise them, I asked him – what if someone was sexually inclined towards children; what if someone was a pedophile ? Should he be allowed to continue ? Was he saying that pedophilia should be legalized ?
Admitting that this has been a tough question, he went on to say that certain people are naturally pedophiles and that such people should still not be made to feel guilty about their inclination. He continued to say, to my relief, that such people need to be stopped. I asked him if that meant pedophiles should be put in jail – he replied in the affirmative but did not rule out other methods of stopping pedophilia. I asked him if this wouldn’t be making the ‘offenders’ feel guilty as they are being restrained -he let my question pass and took the next one.
The speaker also mentioned that cohabitation between two individuals before marriage tends to increase the chances of a marriage’s success, and that there are studies to show that.
I remembered reading a report in the not so distant past that was contrary to this assertion – I made a quick google search at the event and there it was – a report in USA Today from October 14th, 2010 which quoted a scientific study stating that cohabitation before marriage has no effect on the success of a marriage – I let the speaker know this and he was humble enough to admit his mistake.
I was thinking about how such a system, when adopted by a society would lead to its destruction – birth rates would fall, sexually transmitted diseases would be on the rise, entire generations would be born and brought up by gay parents (an entirely unnatural and scarred upbringing if for example, a child is brought up by two fathers with no mother ) who would not have a proper upbringing to face the worldly challenges.  In secular societies like Germany and other European countries, birth rates are falling, the population is declining, the percentage of the old is very high and the future (talking about hundreds of years ) seems uncertain.
I am sure this topic needs further analysis at least on my part to intellectually analyze the pros and cons of religion putting restrictions on sexual interactions between individuals, and why the cons would far outweigh the pros. But whatever be the case, the fact that my faith puts some restrictions on the ways in which sexual needs of man are to be satisfied is the truth for me and I am completely satisfied with it with the knowledge that the Creator knows what is best for His creation. That all of His restrictions are medically and scientifically proved to be logical only strengthens my convictions but this is not the cause of my convictions.




6 thoughts on “The perils of humanist sexual philosophy

  1. This was a very thought provoking read. still processing some things but greatly enjoying your blog! :) so glad i found it randomly today! best.

    • Thank you ! It is quite encouraging to know that there are people who enjoy reading my blog – I hope you continue to enjoy it. Feel free to discuss what you process if need be.

  2. The title spoke to me the most in this whole text. “Godless sex” is a genius phrase. When we accept God and invite him into our lives, we literally invite him into every aspect. I saw sex as a means to an end but this post really put it into perspective.

  3. “Warning: A philosophical discussion with atheists on sex ahead.” There couldn’t have been an awesomer, more attention-grabbing opener! Haha.

    Thanks for sharing the contents of this lecture. I’ve been thinking about how religion puts restrictions on not just sexuality but relationship models. It doesn’t mean that people don’t have the aptitude for something different. It just means that it’s something the Creator put in place to prevent chaos. (Imagine a world where everyone is confused about their sexuality because any option is open for them.) And it’s put in place by making engaging/not engaging in a matter of morality.

    Plus, there’s something else I realized after reading this Salon article titled “Is Monogamy Like Vegetarianism?”
    To a great extent, I think just because we have the aptitude to be a certain way in our sexuality doesn’t mean we HAVE to be that way.

    At least that’s how I justify it. Ya know, being a Muslim and all.

    Nice read. Thanks again for writing this.

    • Haha. Looks like my opener worked with someone!

      I agree with you – just because we think we are wired to be in a certain way – or wired to have a particular sexual orientation doesn’t mean we HAVE to put it into practice. It is a test from God. Just as if one is wired to be attracted to the opposite gender doesn’t mean one can have sexual intimacy with anyone from the opposite gender – except with one’s spouse, in the same way, if one is wired to be attracted to the same gender, one cannot have any intimacy. God tests us in different ways to see if we still obey His rules. As another example, He creates perfect human beings and also creates handicapped people, and tests both kinds to see if they still obey Him. (and that’s not in any way saying that homosexuals are diseased; they’re just different and have a sterner test)

      The Creator knows His creation best and how to maintain the balance of nature and prevent chaos, and His laws are to preserve that balance. This is my Muslim justification too!
      Thanks very much for reading.

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