Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ghost sex.

That Bad Catholic has written a fabulous post on "How Descartes Ruined Sex." It's pithy, it's simplified, and it's hilarious (you laugh or you cry).

I was a bit miffed because he's made my latest idea, "Descartes' Bad Sex," moot. But that's just vanity. This, however, is just dead-on:

"Biology and anatomy are a bit brusque with this issue: Sex is the reproductive act, all else is imitation. In fact, if one must qualify sex as to its location, use mechanical devices to have it, or otherwise separate its form from its function, then it is specifically defined as being ‘not sex’."

He doesn't quite explain the leap here:

"But notice what its advocates use in its defense, or in the defense of any other exotic form of foreplay being ‘sex’ itself. They will, in one way or another, split the body and the soul. They must. It’s impossible to argue that parts of the body besides the genitalia were meant for reproduction, so they will move on to “sex is what the partners make of it,” or something of the sort. What your body is doing isn’t important, whether it be anal sex, oral sex — whatever. You can have sex without sex. The union of the sexual act can be achieved without the true, natural union of your body. You can have the soul without the body."

I think what he's arguing at the very end is this: The "soul" of sex is that union of two persons, the "body" is the physical act of reproduction (or the simultaneous use of the reproductive organs--yes, they're physical organs. But the world of the flesh (as in, sarx) tries to divorce the union of the reproductive organs--which normally leads to reproduction--from the union of the whole persons. They try to have the soul of sex without the body.

And it's all Descartes fault?

No. But he sure did help the whole durned thing to collapse.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

The irony is that St Augustine had already sneaked the cogito into the De Trinitate with barely a whisper. I can't quote exactly, and I'm not going to procrastinate even more by looking up the reference, but it's in response to the skeptics who claimed no knowledge is possible even if one's own existence, he says "Against them... I have no fear, for even if I am decieved, yet I am". Descartes was actually not particularly well read, his friends pointed the plagarism out to him and there's a passage in a private letter where he recounts going to the town library in Amsterdam to verify.