Contraception, health, and desire

Andrew Haines makes basically the same point apropos of Tollefson’s essay as I did the other day.

And here’s just one more way of putting it that occurred to me this morning. I think it’s safe to say that we have a natural desire for health (and even a natural inclination to health – I noticed recently that it is sometimes forgotten that ‘desire’ and ‘inclination’ aren’t the same thing; all inclinations are desires, but not all desires are inclinations). But the fact that health is something that we desire doesn’t mean that health requires the satisfaction of all our desires. I think that confusion about this has some very bad consequences, including consequences that obstruct pro-life efforts.

(Maybe I’ll now stop flogging this issue for a while.)

Kevin Miller

Kevin E. Miller is Assistant Professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. His BS (biochemistry and molecular biology), MA (political philosophy), and PhD (theology; dissertation: "Mercy, Justice, and Politics: John Paul II on Capital Punishment") are all from Marquette University. Besides several UFL conference papers over the years, he has contributed chapters to books on sexual morality and Catholic social thought, and published short essays, papers, and book reviews in Linacre Quarterly, National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, and Communio, among other journals. In fundamental moral theology, he is especially interested in natural-law theory, virtue ethics, and the distinctively Christian contribution to moral thought. In applied moral theology, he works especially in the areas of sexual, social, and medical/health-care morality. With regard to texts/authors, he studies especially Scripture, Aquinas, Henri de Lubac, and John Paul II. His website: http://www.franciscan.edu/faculty/MillerK/