Our next meeting is Tuesday October 12th from 6-8pm, we will be covering "The Meaning of Sex,' and "Of Living Death."
Where? Auraria Downtown Campus, click HERE for directions
We will also be having a "PIZZA PARTY" afterwards. So come join us for a great discussion and free pizza and drinks! Anyone is welcome! (We will not be going to Old Chicago after the meeting this week, but anyone is welcome to stay after the meeting and enjoy great conversation and Pizza!)
Where to find the readings for this week:
They are both available in The Ayn Rand Reader. And "Of Living Death" is also available as an audio online for free: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reg_ar_oflivingdeath
The Meaning of Sex is also found in Atlas Shrugged, it is Francisco's talk to Rearden about the Mind-body relation in regards to sex. This is a very short two and a half page excerpt.
Of Living Death (more explanation below) identifies the connections between the Catholic Church's basic philosophy and its view of sex. This is found in The Ayn Rand Reader or you can listen to a lecture (which is a bit expanded but has a great Q&A session as well) here: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reg_ar_oflivingdeath
Overview of what we are covering and why:
To this day virtue is thought of as identical to chastity, and virginity is equated with a kind of moral purity. Many people today do not concern themselves with this kind of virtue or purity, but concede that it *is* virtue or purity.
At this week’s meeting, we will examine Ayn Rand’s essay “On Living Death,” which analyzes a Catholic encyclical calling for believers to abstain from contraceptives and non-procreative sex. Rand argues that it is the premise that sex is base, rather than a moral end in itself, which results in this doctrine and its destructive consequences.
“The motive of the church's doctrine on this issue is . . . psychological: if man is forbidden to regard sexual enjoyment as an end in itself, he will not regard love or his own happiness as an end in itself; if so, then he will not regard his own life as an end in itself; if so, then he will not attain self-esteem.
It is not against the gross, animal, physicalistic theories or uses of sex that the encyclical is directed, but against the spiritual meaning of sex in man's life. . . . It is not directed against casual, mindless promiscuity, but against romantic love.”
—Ayn Rand , “Of Living Death.”
Many of those who oppose abortion rights claim to do so in the name of the “sanctity of life.” By this they mean the life of the fetus, not the life and happiness of the mother. Why do they regard the first kind of life as sacrosanct, but the second as dispensable? How can those who oppose abortion on these grounds also advocate the right to “the pursuit of happiness” for adults?
“This issue is not confined to the Catholic church, and it is deeper than the problem of contraception; it is a moral crisis approaching a climax. The core of the issue is Western civilization’s view of man and of his life. The essence of that view depends on the answer to two interrelated questions: Is man (man the individual) an end in himself?—and: Does man have the right to be happy on this earth?”
—Ayn Rand , “Of Living Death.”