Celibacy

Discussion in 'Off-topic Discussion' started by Buzz Lightyear, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    I think the celibacy of the priesthood sends an important cultural message to the world - sex is not central to life, and that it is possible to live an excellent life without it.

    This is a positive message also to all the so-called 'incels' [involuntary celibates] out there... who might otherwise feel ostracized from a society becoming ever more obsessed with sex.
     
  2. Doesn't celibacy among priests lead to sexual abuse?
     
  3. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    No, that's a non-sequitur. You will find abusers in all walks of life... and these people will often seek out institutions that give them access... such as schools and churches etc. Now the Church [and society] screens a lot more thoroughly those in positions of power.

    It's a fallacy that we must express our sexual instinct... this idea probably begins with the Protestant revolution which was hostile to the monastic life.
     
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  4. truthseeker17

    truthseeker17 Fapstronaut

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    In Islam there were prophets who practiced Celibacy. These prophets were sent to a particular people in a particular time. This means that the message of these prophets were only for that people and none other. This changed with the last prophet Muhammad who was sent to all humanity. Because this is a total-religion for all kind of people of every time the rulings are different then religions before.

    Hereby Celibacy is forbidden in Islam. Moreover marriage completes half of our imaan(believe) and is one of extreme recommanded things. I do understand the major problems we are involved in nowadays. I don't think Celibacy is the answer especially not on global level. One might notice that Islam is extremely against immoral sexual behavior, celibacy could easily have been commanded to us. However it's still forbidden.
     
  5. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    Celibacy is certainly not considered the norm in the Christian tradition.... it is more like a form of excellence that a few might choose to pursue.
     
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  6. I do not get that message. The message that I used to get as an atheist was that these priests are torturing their bodies. For what? For some BS doctrine that is based on silly superstition and fear to go to hell. Excellent life? No, when I used to think of priests I would not call that excellent life. I would call that deluded life full of self imposed torture promoted by fear of punishment. I would associate nothing positive with it.

    But I was/am an atheist. Maybe for Christian people it would seem different. But I don't think an atheist person can look at a priest as an example of good way to live life. Now I think I'm probably a little more evolved, so I can also see some glimpse of their perspective. And I certainly see benefits of celibacy. I am kind of interested in it myself these days, or at the very least semen retention, excess limitation and control of my sexual desires. I probably will end up celibate at least for few years at some point.

    I agree with you that sex is not central to life, and that it is possible to live an excellent life without it. I just don't feel that celibate priests send that message. Religious celibacy sends message that sexuality is something to be condemned and suppressed, which I do not think is healthy mentality to have either.
     
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  7. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    Yes, repression and superstition is the standard interpretation of religious celibacy given by a secular society, and a secular mindset. For in secular society, the sexual instinct is largely the driving force behind consumption [just look at the ads. movies etc], and is thus the norm. It will be antagonistic to celibacy.. which is a form of excellence/ virtue.

    You don't have to look at celibacy in purely religious terms… you could think of it in cultural terms... as some pursuit of excellence [which you referred to]. There needs to be this kind of cultural space [whether in religious or cultural terms] for celibacy otherwise it could come to be thought of as 'abnormal' [isn't it already], which leads to a lot of pressure put on young people.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  8. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    This is one interpretation. Another is that we potentially have the power and dignity to control our sexuality [with restraint not repression] and that some even have the ability to live celibate lives. This sends the message that we are not enslaved to our passions, but that rational better self/ virtue can win out.

    Personally, I think the sex instinct needs to be sublimated in art... I see that art in the Church. One of the tragedies of the Reformation, in my opinion, is that it stripped Christianity of its art, which did lead to repression... and Freud.
     
  9. Lol what? Well that's definitely news to me and all my Christian friends and family.
     
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  10. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    Marriage is considered the norm. Celibacy excels that norm.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
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  11. Ah. Sorry, I was thinking you meant abstinence, as in not having sex before marriage.
     
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  12. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    Yes, and interestingly abstinence involves the idea of ongoing restraint. A celibate might ultimately achieve the stratospheric heights of transcending this desire altogether. I believe they achieve it through the sublimation of eros into art [the sublime].
     
  13. Reverent

    Reverent Fapstronaut

    I more tend to agree with this.

    I also look at celibacy as @The Serpent of Fire does; that it doesn't make one more excellent or holier and is probably BS doctrine.

    It seems to me that whenever we take the extremes of anything we often miss the point. Too much sex or conversely celibacy, either way doesn't hit the mark of our devine potential. We gain more from experiencing life and overcoming than we do by avoiding. The quest for self-mastery does not happen in a vacuum, we live on a giant earth with billions of other people. Interaction, even in appropriate sexual ways, is all part of the experience.

    It is hard to suppose God would expect or desire celibacy and yet create male and female perfectly, biologically compatible for reproduction.

    The message to the world - sex is not central to life, is false . Without sex life itself wouldn't exist. (But I get what you're saying)

    I believe in marriage, sacrifice, and commitment as well as, self-control, accountability and personal discipline.
     
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  14. EthanW.

    EthanW. Fapstronaut

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    That was my first thought.

    I would say that celibacy should not be mandated by any religious institution, because religion is a question about who enters heaven and who goes to hell. If you tell someone that they need to practice a life of no sexual outlet in order to reach a divine plane of existence, you will have all of the same problems as we have seen with religious infighting over the history of human civilization. You are demanding something that goes against the biological instinct.

    Abstinence is workable. Celibacy, however, seems to lead to the problem of people attempting to engage in such mental gymnastics that they convince themselves that sex "with a woman" is immoral and corrupting yet sex with a young boy is a nice loop-hole that will salvage their immortal soul. Very problematic. I'm not saying that celibacy causes this -- a monk can be celibate, for example. But, I would say the case of sexual assault by priests to young children is an event that occurred too often to be ignored. Just take celibacy off the table, and stay on the safe side.

    If you are going to be celibate, you should reach that decision on your own.
     
  15. EthanW.

    EthanW. Fapstronaut

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    I never claimed celibacy is the sole standard of salvation. There are sects of Christianity that affirm that there are individuals (priests) that have power to lead and forgive members of their congregation, and that in order to be close to Jesus Christ, the Savior, they must lead a life of as much purity as possible. You said "most if not all forms," which implied that you recognize that celibacy can play a part in certain denominations' understanding of salvation.

    Furthermore, I was of the understanding that celibacy is a form of self-subjugation that is more severe than merely abstaining from sex until marriage. Priests are not permitted to marry, last I checked.
     
  16. Celibacy is admirable in some ways, but its obviously not how we all are meant to live. Or else, you know, the human race would cease to exist.
     
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  17. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    I'm looking more at the cultural aspects of it... the keeping of ideals alive in this day and age when the norm rules. Also the keeping alive of alternatives and various interpretations in the face of a new orthodoxy. If a person is sold the idea that life is just about the survival of his genes, and for one reason or another he is unable to do that, he may get pretty depressed. He may even descend into the simulacrum of porn leading into a downward vicious spiral.

    I would say that eros is the central energy of life... but that it is most productive when constrained and channeled by reason [in ethics, art, religion and law... in marriage]. Here is your moderation. And celibacy in monks and priests would serve as an exemplar of that moderation/ restraint. Ideology/ rationalism on the other hand is the extreme, where it will look to repress our instincts on the one hand, or give them free rein on the other.

    Today we look at sex as something as mundane as the brushing of one's teeth. It has become normalized. And yet it isn't that simple. We have discovered that it also has the power to destroy our lives in addiction... if left unchecked. The celibates, whilst affirming the sacrament of marriage, also serve to show that that instinct can be fully checked.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
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  18. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    Yes, it is not the norm. Perhaps the problem is our mode of thinking today does not allow for a tension to exist between the norm and the ideal...…

    All of us are meant to hold our sexual instinct in check.... celibates just do this to the utmost [through sublimation I believe]. If this were not possible, then neither, most probably, would be the institution of marriage... for couples with unsatisfactory sex lives would soon divorce.. or become philanderers.

    Another part of the problem is libidos on steroids.
     
  19. Buzz Lightyear

    Buzz Lightyear Fapstronaut

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    The verb sublimation is from the Latin word sublimare, meaning “raised to a higher status.”

    In psychology, sublimation is a mature type of defense mechanism, in which socially unacceptable impulses or idealizations are unconsciously transformed into socially acceptable actions or behavior, possibly resulting in a long-term conversion of the initial impulse.

    This is the modern psychological interpretation of sublimation. I'd probably go further... or should I say anterior, and say that it is the re-direction of erotic energy into some artistic endeavor. Eros is caught up [fulfilled] in agape... divine love. I think C.S Lewis has something to say about this in his 'Four Loves'.
     
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  20. I think celibacy is the way to practice chastity in the vocation of the priesthood. Chastity before marriage and after marriage is lived out in different ways. I'm not sure it's anymore excellent or higher in virtue then chastity within marriage. I agree that our culture is too focused on sex. Marriage is not for everyone.

    "Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy.126 "Man's dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end."
     
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