Monday, July 28, 2014

Sex and Love

I am reading some philosophical works about the nature of love, right now. Here are thoughts I gleamed from Chapter One of Venerable Fulton Sheen's Three to Get Married. This chapter is about the differences between sex and love.
  • Historically, philosophers have considered love to be an act of the will, as opposed to love being an emotion, a passion or a desire. Loving someone is an active choice, not a passive event.
  • Some people love sex, while others love being in love. These are both wrong, because the true object of love is a person.
  • There are two reasons why our society prizes sex over love. The first is the promotion of physical pleasures, over and above reason and rational thought. The second is an increase in selfishness and egotism, where people care more about self-satisfaction than the good of others and the community at large.
  • When talking about married love, there are two extremes. First is the refusal to recognize sexual love, like the Victorians. The second is to make sexual attraction the primary thing, like Freud.
  • The senses enrich the mind, in that they give the mind new things to contemplate. In the same way, the body and its sex can enrich love.
  • A marriage or a relationship built on sex will inevitably lead to sadness. That is because, as far as sex is concerned, either partner can be replaced. The partners are condemned to be a tool or instrument of pleasure, not a companion of love.
  • Love transforms a person into what they love.
  • People try to rationalize their sexual behavior with science, psychology or social standards. Love does not require reasons or rationalization; love is its own reason.
  • Love is more encompassing than sex, because love seeks the totality, the entire person. Sex does not focus on the entire person, but only part of the person; usually, just certain body parts. Sex often attempts to eliminate everything in the other person that cannot be adapted to its carnal libido.
  • Love is always directed towards the other person, while sex is directed towards yourself. Sex pretends to love the other person, but really, all it loves is self-satisfaction, the possibility of receiving pleasure from the other person. Love causes a person to forget themselves; sex causes a person to forget others. Love gives, in order to receive, while sex receives, in to avoid giving.
  • Sex is not satisfied, but it is always looking for another experience, like a merry-go-round which spins around, only to spin around again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love Fulton Sheen!! Thanks for the article! :)