The Philosophy of G. E. M. Anscombe
11 Introduction Given the present prevalent contraceptive culture, due to scientific de- velopments in the medical field, it is not too rare to come across serious minded youngsters, desirous of knowing the truth, who ask ‘what is wrong with contraceptive intercourse within marriage?’ – it is a good and effec- tive way of controlling population, avoiding unwanted pregnancies, spac- ing births, expressing mutual love! When they hear it said that it is against nature, they are confused. How is it against nature? they want to know. They give the example of the contraceptive pill which renders the sexual act in no way different from the ordinary sexual intercourse. Al- though intuitively we do perceive the difference between these acts and realize that there is ‘something wrong’ in it, we are at a loss to confront on a deeper rational basis. Considered by the intention embedded in the very action, contraceptive sexual intercourse (in whatever form it be) becomes problematic (we will have occasion to discuss this issue at length in this book). Hence, the concept of intention in moral actions is impor- tant, although it is not the only decisive element in the moral evaluation of human actions. Also, the right understanding of the concept of intention is needed. For example, Paul Touvier, a French Nazi collaborator who served a pro-Nazi militia set up by the collaborationist Vichy government (France), was condemned in 1994 for having executed seven Jews in 1944 in Rillieux-la-Pape near Lyon. During the legal process, Paul...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.