So many of you like to talk about how humans are animals, and that sex is just a part of our nature. Do any of you actually believe it’s noble to abstain from sex?

Posted: April 20th 2011

Dave Hitt www


Posted: May 30th 2011

See all questions answered by Dave Hitt


When theocracies ruled the earth, reliable methods of birth control were unavailable, and the damaging psychological and physical effects of sustained abstinence were unknown, Churches insisted on celibacy for the ignoble purpose of keeping their coffers away from wives and children.

In the present age, I think it is just as ignoble to sensually/sexually deprive yourself deliberately so you can feel superior to your own self—the one that appreciates and needs pleasure—and to others.

If you refrain from having sex because you believe it is an act that only makes sense when two people care about each other in a committed way, that is not noble, that is just being true to your specific needs and is just smart. If you abstain from sex because you believe that your unproven divine entity calls you to be its representative on earth then you are just a jerk.

Do you think eating only tasteless food is noble? Why think sex is only for reproduction or otherwise it is not a good? Non-human animals choose to eat very tasty food, not just nourishing food. Oh goodness, we are doing something that non-human animals do, we better stop it! We may wake up as rabbits in the morn.

Posted: May 20th 2011

See all questions answered by logicel

Blaise www

I believe that in this context, you are defining noble as “of an exalted moral character or excellence”. By that standard, I’m sure we could all hypothesize situations in which it would be 'noble’ to abstain from sex. They would all involve situations where having sex would cause suffering or harm to another.

However, your question implies that you think that abstaining from sex is somehow noble in and of itself, regardless of whether or not it would cause harm or do good. That’s where we would differ. I cannot see a single good reason why it would be noble to abstain from something normal and healthy UNLESS it would somehow cause harm to another.

Posted: May 17th 2011

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George Locke

The tendency of religion to reject pleasure in the name of virtue is one of its greatest evils.

Sex has many merits: it brings people together, makes them happy, relieves tension, reinforces bonds, and, not least, it’s lots and lots of fun. Is sex a panacea? No. Are there risks? Yes. When the risks outweigh the benefits, abstinence is a wise course of action, but abstinence is hardly a virtue in itself. On the contrary, confidence in one’s sexuality can form the foundation of a happy life. Self-denial paves the way to frustration, neurosis, and misery.

Posted: May 16th 2011

See all questions answered by George Locke


I can think of times when it might be the honorable thing to do. If one is lacking birth control, or the other partner appears not to be able to give real consent – abstinence then would be honorable. Or if you don’t think you’re ready or in a position to have sex, abstaining then would also be reasonable (I’m not sure I’d call it honorable).

Other than that, I don’t think I’d label abstaining as honorable. Fine if you want to.

Posted: May 16th 2011

See all questions answered by Eric_PK

brian thomson www

“Like to talk” about it? It’s simply a fact that we have an animal nature, whether we like it or not, and sex is an expression of that nature. It’s a physical act, and there are physical consequences to doing it or not doing it. Note that I am not saying that it’s solely animal in nature, but I am saying that we would be misguided if we tried to deny the animal part of it. We may be humans, but we’re still animals. What does “nobility” mean in this context?

So, if a healthy adult man abstains from sex, are there real physical consequences that should factor in to the decision? (Short answer: yes.) That’s the basis on which to decide whether to do something or not: what will be the results, good or bad, either way? If the context to the question has anything to do with the forced celibacy of Catholic clergy, well, you need only look at the news headlines to see the consequences of their “abstinence”.

Posted: May 15th 2011

See all questions answered by brian thomson


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