Languages Contents Introduction

Chapters 3.2 and 3.3

24–28 April 1989

3.4 Sexuality

Any sexual behaviour is permitted, that does not violate the principle of mutual consideration between those involved. Involved are the ones that make love to each other, but also any other regular sexual partners of any of them. As an example, this implies that married people are allowed to have sexual relations outside of their marriage, but only if this is possible without hurting the feelings of the marriage partner.

The judgment of other people’s sexual behaviour should not be based upon one’s own preferences, for it is among the facts of life, that what you find wonderful is despised by others, and vice versa.

Everyone has an unconditional right to decline a sexual advance. This is valid also in matrimony, and even in case of allurement by the person who refuses to go on later.

Considerable differences in might do not accord with harmonious sexuality. Therefore there must not be sex between parents and children, teachers and pupils, therapeuts and patients, and so on.

Emotional involvement and mutual delight are essential. By consequence, even commercial sex can under some circumstances be morally right. For instance, a woman posing for a nude magazine may do so because she is proud of her beauty, and likes people to admire it. Or she may enjoy showing herself nude, because she’s an exhibitionist. Another example is a prostitute who enjoys making love to many different partners, and freely chose to do this. But prostitution out of poverty or drug addiction is reprehensible, that is not the prostitutes, but the one who misuses them are to blame.

13 May 1989

3.5. Induced abortion

Aborting an unborn child is a grave decision, because in essence is does mean the killing of a human being. Every possible precaution must be taken to avoid abortion, so people, especially the young, should be well informed about contraceptives and should be able to obtain them easily and know how to use them.

Alternatives to abortion must be considered, such as adoption, or raising the child under less than optimal conditions. Many children are aborted in rich countries, who would otherwise grow up under unfavourable circumstances, which are nevertheless much better than what millions of children in the third world have to expect.

There are situations in which abortion certainly can be morally acceptable, for instance if the woman got pregnant when being raped or if it is known that the unborn child suffers from serious defects. In all cases, it is the pregnant woman who has the right to decide, with a secondary vote from the natural father, if he can be contacted and has a loving relation with the woman.

Governments must not forbid abortion, nor impede women to have an abortion if they so wish, lest illegal and medically risky abortions would occur.

3.6. Euthanasia

Someone who suffers from an incurable disease has the right to wish to die gently. Assisting in this is not immoral. It is however important, that only the interests of the patient are considered, and involvement of interests of any other persons must be carefully avoided. Also, there should never be any pursuasion of the patient.

An especially difficult case is when the patient cannot express any wishes because of coma. A written statement made before the illness can make euthanasia acceptable even then, but even if such a statement does not exist, euthanasia can be just in case of very long lasting coma, where there is no hope of recovery.

3.7. Genetic degeneration

In former days, and still in many developing countries, the mechanism of natural selection helped preserve the quality of the genetic material. It is however a very cruel mechanism, so it is a blessing that modern medical care can disable it. But this clearly bears in it the risk that the human race will eventually degenerate. Applying medical care therefore involves the necessity to replace the mechanism of natural selection by other control measures. The proper way to do this is the voluntary decision not to have children in case of known genetic defects, or to take the consequence of abortion in the unfortunate event that the feared mischievous combination of genes in fact occurs in a foetus.

It cannot be stressed enough though, that these things must always be a matter of free, voluntary, individual decision. History provides a clear warning as to what might happen otherwise: the nazis.

Chapters 3.2 and 3.3 Chapter 4

Copyright 1989, 2014, R. Harmsen, all rights reserved.