RH Bill and Analogical Arguments

I would like to present here a debate on the Sex Education issue as contained in the RH Bill.  Notice how analogical arguments are beautiful in the ears but actually very weak to stand against cold reason.

ARGUMENT AGAINST SEX EDUCATION

“Informing young people about sex will lead them to try it.” (this is a common argument by those against sex education).

COUNTER-ARGUMENT

“Informing young people about stealing and its evil does not necessarily lead them to try it.”

COUNTER COUNTER-ARGUMENT

LONG ANSWER:  The counter argument is using an argument by analogy. An argument by analogy is a legitimate way of arguing a case and is a very persuasive argument but it is also susceptible to facile reasoning that gives more value to the workings of the imagination than to thought. For this reason, one must be very careful in using such an argument and of evaluating such an argument in others.

The essential elements (form and substance) in an argument by analogy is that, first, the form of the two arguments (the original and the counter) should be the same while, second, the content must be substantially similar in aspects. With this in mind, let us examine the counter argumnet or argument by analogy presented above.

First, regarding the form: it goes like…”informing them about an act (here i am thinking of stealing in general and sex in general) leads them to trying it. Now, the form used by the counter-argument is the same with the original or the argument against sex education. This means that the counter-argument is a true argument by analogy, that is, it passes the requirement of proper form. The question now is whether it is a correct one, meaning whether it passes the second essential element in an argument by analogy, the requirement of proper substance.

Second, regarding proper substance. Is sex similar to stealing? In the sense that they are acts, yes. In the sense that they are bad, no.  Stealing is BAD IN ITSELF while sex is NOT bad in itself but only when done in a disordered way as in extra-marital sex, pre-marital sex, homosexual sex, etc.  In the sense, that they (stealing and sex) equally present a temptation to a child, no.  Now we see that the two arguments are similar in their contents on one respect only, that is about ‘acts’.  But this respect is not significant enough to prove the point of the counter-argument.  Moreover, the last two respects of ‘bad’ and ‘equal temptation’ (this will be expounded in the next paragraph), which are the truly significant respects that the counter-argument needs are what are, in fact, missing in it.  For this reason the counter-argument or the argument by analogy presented above fails.

Regarding the difference between sex and stealing in terms of badness.  Since stealing is bad in itself, and when it is taught in class as something to be avoided, the tendency for the students is to avoid it considering that we have in ourselves the primordial command or ‘synderesis’ to ‘do good and avoid evil’ (which does not necessarily mean that all people always comply to this unviersal command.).  But when we are speaking of sex, it becomes a different matter.  Since sex is not bad in itself but only becomes bad when misused (as in pre-marital sex, extra-marital sex, homosexual acts, etc.), teaching young people about it cannot include the injunction of avoiding it (as sex, simply speaking) in CATEGORICAL terms for doing so might mislead them into thinking that sex is bad (which is a wrong way to think about sex).  But if this is the case, the tendency would be to avoid talking all together about the evil of misplaced and misused sex UNLESS the educator is prepared to explain to young people the meaning of the difference between ‘married love sex’ and ‘unmarried pleasure sex’.  However, when the educator is able, supposedly able, to explain the meaning of the cited diffrence to his young students who are also suppossedly able to understand it then sex education in schools (especially when they teach artificial contraception) would reveal its ugly head of de-contextualizing and mis-contextualizing sex, meaning sex outside of true spousal love– a de-contextualization and mis-contextualization that puts pleasure above commitment and morality.  Now, considering what is said above, the most probable thing that would happen then is that sex education would encourage young people to expereince sex rather than avoid it.

Regarding the difference between sex and stealing in terms of ‘equal temptation’.  The diference lies on two points: first point follows from what is said earlier about the difference between sex and stealing in terms of badness.  If stealing is bad in itslef and is taught to be avoided because it is bad, then it would present a lesser temptation to young people; in fact, the opposite of temptation would happen since we have this ‘synderesis’ or the natural aversion for evil (stealing then is seen as evil and should be avoided) and the natural desire for what is good.  Now since sex is not bad in itself, its teaching it to young people by the school is susceptible to various misrepresentations and misunderstandings. This means that because ‘objectivity’ is required in teaching a school subject the students would tend to consider sex as a neutral ground or something outside morality and from that stance of ‘neutrality’ or ‘objectivity’ the DOOR IS OPEN – I am not saying that the students will necessarily enter– to considering sex as a ‘must-have’ or at least as a ‘nice-to-have’.  This also means that because teachers do have their own subjectie opinions about sex, they will most probably be giving different and even opposing signals about the value and meaning of sex— I just pray that there are no ill-intentioned teachers in this regard).  In the context then of confusion at least and misinterpretation at most, the students who were given sex education having no sure guide for their actions (they are not specifically taught that pre-marital sex is very wrong, very evil) regarding the matter would tend NOT to reject premarital, extra-marital, homosexual sex as disordered human acts or immoral behavior.  Therefore, having pre-marital sex would be, according to the minds of these confused and misinformed students, excusable actions thereby increasing these acts’ tempting power.

The second point with regards to the difference between sex and stealing in terms of ‘equal temptation’ is that of the PRESENCE of a universal and natural human passion for procreation manifested in the sexual act (being rational creatures we ought to regulate these acts according to reason) and the ABSENCE of a universal and natural human passion for stealing.  If and when stealing is taught in class as something to be avoided because it is bad, the students’ passion would not be aroused. But if you teach children in their relatively innocent state about sex, eventhough you will tell them to avoid it because they are still young, you have thereby unwittingly or wittingly aroused their passions and therefore increase the temptations to engage in it.

A correct and realistic conception of the nature and state of man, especially that of the children, can truly help in deciding whehter sex education must be had in our schools. With the points i have given above, i think ‘sex education’ in our schools would only make the matter worse, it will just aggaravate the problem (unwanted pregnancies) it is trying to solve.

SHORT ANSWER: Stealing is not a universal human passion, therefore it is improbable that a teaching about it and about its evil can arouse someone to try it; on the other hand, because sex is based on a universal human passion, therefore teaching young children about it (especially in the context of school education where most teachers have no time if not intention of ministering to the souls of individual students) puts them at risk of arousing their sexual passion too early or simply wrongly.

P.S.

Some people might replace ‘stealing’ with ‘eating’ in their counter-argument.  Again, while eating is a universal human desire, it is not really passion in the sense that sexual passions are.  In this significant diffrence the revised counter-argument would still fail.

18 Comments

  1. when i was young, i asked my mom ” ma, where do babies come from?” my ma answered. “they come from Birds.. the Crane brings them, wrap in white cloth”
    then on my highschool days my classmate asks me, do u masterbate? i replied “no, i don’t and what is masterbate? he answerd “watch this and you’ll soon know.”
    later that day, i asked my dad, “pa, what is masterbate?” he answered, “son, your to young to know that, your not in the right age(16 yrs. old).” i asked again” then is it wrong to do if i find out what it is?” he only shruggs me off meaning to say he don’t wana answer..

    later that night i watch my 1st porn film and i learned masterbate or masterbation was a good feeling. due to this i learned more things from my classmates and i learned the words erection, cum, and sex.

    now at age 22 i have a son, and i tot babies come from birds(Cranes) my mom and walt disney was so wrong..

    We need Sex education, as a way to teach children that babies are made tru sex. and to have a baby comes with great responsibility that a 13-18 yr old. cannot handle.
    i am sick of priest or pastors saying no to RH bills HOWthe hell do they know whats going in the mind of a teenager? THEY DONT HAVE A baby SON or DAUGHTER TO FEED day or night. and to change pampers. and how much do they cost this days?? do u think a teenager can afford that?

    if the parents cannot explain to us (tipical filipino family) what is sex is. then its the school’s job to do so SCHOOL’s job is to TEACH.. make curriculum that teaches what sex does to a person..

    peace!

  2. in my opinion,,we need it as part of an elemntary corriculom…atleast they are aware…we cant blame those kids its us the parents are failing to educate them, to talk to them about there activities of the day.whats going on…we need more time to spend with them coz those young kids needs someone that could understand them….they can trust..

  3. Sino sa inyo ang nakakapansin na marami ng mga batang wala pang kaalam-alam maging magulang ay nabubuntis na..? pano nila mabubuhay yung batang yon… papaalaga nila sa nanay nila eh hindi nga sila naalagaan ng magulang nila..? we should give them knowledge about sex and how to prevent early pregnancies and its consequences… maybe they will realize the hardships of being a young mother and having to many children… If they don’t, at least we give them choices and we try to help them.

  4. Sino sa inyo ang nakakapansin na marami ng mga batang wala pang kaalam-alam maging magulang ay nabubuntis na..? pano nila mabubuhay yung batang yon… papaalaga nila sa nanay nila eh hindi nga sila naalagaan ng magulang nila..? we should give them knowledge about sex and how to prevent early pregnancies and its consequences… maybe they will realize the hardships of being a young mother and having to many children… If they don’t, at least we give them choices and we try to help them.

  5. My parents are not separated, they are still together and never got into a great fight, and still my elder sister and younger brother didnt finish their studies…my sister didnt finish HS, got pregnant at an early age, now having 4 kids without reaching yet the age of 30…my brother finished HS but didnt finished 1st sem of College due to brawling that actually got him in jail, now he has a child…they now have their own family but dont have a good job…with the said scenario, having a divorced parent isnt a reason enough for a child to be PASAWAY! It’s not always the parent’s fault…

  6. My parents are not separated, they are still together and never got into a great fight, and still my elder sister and younger brother didnt finish their studies…my sister didnt finish HS, got pregnant at an early age, now having 4 kids without reaching yet the age of 30…my brother finished HS but didnt finished 1st sem of College due to brawling that actually got him in jail, now he has a child…they now have their own family but dont have a good job…with the said scenario, having a divorced parent isnt a reason enough for a child to be PASAWAY! It’s not always the parent’s fault…

  7. Importante ang sex education para hindi lumalaking malisyoso’t malisyosa ang mga batang pinoy…tanging mga Pinoy lang sa buong mundo na hanggang ngaun eh natatawa at nababastusan pag-tinagalog ang breast, vagina at penis….

  8. Importante ang sex education para hindi lumalaking malisyoso’t malisyosa ang mga batang pinoy…tanging mga Pinoy lang sa buong mundo na hanggang ngaun eh natatawa at nababastusan pag-tinagalog ang breast, vagina at penis….

  9. What does religion got to do with the RH Bill? It’s hypocritical if we still cling to the image of Maria Clara, that teenagers won’t indulge in premarital sex, that they will not use contraception to prevent pregnancy. We have to face the fact that the media, Western pop culture and the Internet has a greater influence on our
    Youth than the Church or even their own family. Educating our teenagers on sex , preventing teen pregnancy and the enormous responsibility of having a family must start in high school.

  10. What does religion got to do with the RH Bill? It’s hypocritical if we still cling to the image of Maria Clara, that teenagers won’t indulge in premarital sex, that they will not use contraception to prevent pregnancy. We have to face the fact that the media, Western pop culture and the Internet has a greater influence on our
    Youth than the Church or even their own family. Educating our teenagers on sex , preventing teen pregnancy and the enormous responsibility of having a family must start in high school.

  11. What does religion got to do with the RH Bill? It’s hypocritical if we still cling to the image of Maria Clara, that teenagers won’t indulge in premarital sex, that they will not use contraception to prevent pregnancy. We have to face the fact that the media, Western pop culture and the Internet has a greater influence on our
    Youth than the Church or even their own family. Educating our teenagers on sex , preventing teen pregnancy and the enormous responsibility of having a family must start in high school.

  12. As far as I know, sex education is being taught in school already anyway. Think about Biology for one as a science subject that teaches about life… What the RH bill intends to do is to make sex education a separate subject of it’s own.

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