By Patrick Lee
This booklet defends the conjugal view of marriage. Patrick Lee and Robert P. George argue that marriage is a particular form of group: the union of a guy and a lady who've dedicated to sharing their lives on each point in their beings (bodily, emotionally, and spiritually) within the type of union that may be fulfilled by way of conceiving and rearing little ones jointly. the excellent nature of this union, and its intrinsic orientation to procreation as its normal success, distinguishes marriage from different kinds of neighborhood and gives the root for the norms of marital exclusivity and permanence. Lee and George aspect how the elemental ethical norms concerning sexual acts stick to from the moral requirement to appreciate the nice of marriage and clarify how the legislations should still deal with marriage, given its conjugal nature, studying either the same-sex-marriage factor and civil divorce.
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Extra resources for Conjugal Union: What Marriage Is and Why It Matters
Of course, marriage does involve a union of souls, but what marriage is – the essence of marriage – includes bodily union as well. Indeed, a sound understanding of marriage presupposes a firm rejection of any dualistic understanding of human persons as souls (or minds) and not bodies – an understanding that reduces the body to the status of a subpersonal extrinsic instrument at the service of the soul (or mind), considered as the “true” person. Persons are soul (or mind)-body composites. Human beings are not properly understood as nonbodily persons inhabiting (or in some mysterious way associated with) nonpersonal bodies.
18 These desires are obviously for conditions or activities that are not genuinely worthwhile. Desires are not self-validating. Objects of desires require some feature that makes them worthwhile and the desire for them reasonable. A similar point applies to pleasures: whether a pleasure is a genuine good depends on what one is taking pleasure in – the pleasure of a Nazi in murdering people whom he dislikes or the pleasure of a sadist, for example, is not a good. But if hedonism were true, one would have to say that the pleasures experienced by the Nazi or the sadist were in themselves goods, though outweighed by the pain or harm he causes.
This denigrates children, since products derive their meaning and value from their producers. 6 6 Of course, it is possible to produce children in a laboratory, but this productive act is distinct from the act by which spouses become one. Moreover, this kind of act – artificial reproduction – is morally problematic, for the child, a distinct human person, is treated as if she were a mere product. She may be loved for her own sake after she comes to be, but she comes to be as related to her parents in the first moment of her existence as a product is related to a producer.