Needless to say, a man who takes advantage of a woman by having sexual intercourse with her while she doesn’t know what is happening is a rapist, and should be punished to the full extent of the law. But let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about voluntary sex with voluntary drunkenness.
We should always reason logically, but right reason isn’t just about logical arguments. The pain of growing up in a broken home deeply affects how some of my students think about the natural laws of marriage, family, and sexuality. Sometimes they draw the wrong lessons.
A reader sends this anecdote:
“My nephew and I talked last night about abortion. I could tell that he was troubled by the fact that at the earliest stage in his or her development, the developing child looks like a glob of cells. “‘Most people can’t connect that picture with a baby,’ I remarked, ‘because that’s not how babies look.’
I doubt that we give enough thought to what we mean by the common good, because a good may be common, or shared, in a number of different ways:
Type 1. It may be like the good of conversation for those participating in it: Unless they are competing for approval, if the conversation is better for some, it is better for all.
The old sort of liberalism thought the law should promote good character, but considered it unwise for the law to demand so high a standard that the demand for virtue backfires. This is a very ancient idea, and it is true.
A note from Australia. Thomas Aquinas writes in the Summa that “the divine law commands certain things because they are good, and forbids others because they are evil -- while others are good because they are prescribed, and others evil because they are forbidden.”