Debunking the claim that “we are all animals”

I recently came across a post titled I’m getting pregnant on purpose to piss off my parents and saw this in the combox:

“I have to agree with you, We are all animals and if kids want to have sex, just like dogs, bonobos or bunnies, they will so it’s best that they are prepared to have it as safely as they can.”

Ok, before I begin debunking this claim, I’m not looking for controversy, but I will probably get it.  Here it goes:

I’ll start with some wicked intelligent truth from St. Thomas Aquinas to help me out.  If it is too wordy for you, skip it and go to my explanation below.

   “As we see if we reflect on the order of things, the addition of a greater perfection causes variation in the species of a nature.  Thus, a thing (such as a plant) that not only exists but lives, difers in species from a thing that merely exists (like a rock).

And that which exists and lives and feels (such as an animal), differs in species from the plant, which merely exists and lives.  Likewise a being that exists, lives, feels, and understands (namely, a human), differs in species from the brute animal, which merely exists, lives, and feels…

According to the true teaching of the Catholic Faith, Christ had a real body of the same nature as ours, a true rational soul, and, together with these, perfect deity

The closer any creature draws to God, the more it shares in His goodness and the more abundantly it is filled with gifts infused by Him.  Thus he who comes closer to a fire shares to a greater extent in its heat.”

Translation:

Rocks exist.

Plants exist and live.

Animals exist, live, and feel.

Humans exist, live, feel and understand.

Jesus exists, lives, feels, understands and is God.

The closer we get to Jesus, then, the more like Him we become.

What does this have to do with sex?  Everything.

If we believe sex is merely an animal instinct, humanity takes a step backwards. We become more animal-like and less like Christ in whose image and likeness we were created.

But if we define sex as a moral, holy act whose prime goal is to give oneself to another out of love (and to co-construct the miracle of life with God), we become more like God who, as St. John tells us, is love (1 John 4:8). The more we become like God, the more we draw closer to His original design for us and, essentially, the more human (and God-like) we become.

Want to know more about the sanctity of sex?  Check out 1flesh.org to see how a few sex-abstaining Catholic teens are changing the world.

What about you?  What do you think?

 Aquinas, St. Thomas, The Shorter Summa, Sections 206 & 209

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10 thoughts on “Debunking the claim that “we are all animals”

  1. animals are closer to god and have more understanding than we do……………….oh i know talking with you is a waste of time as youve got all thst bible stuff stuck up there………..but i dont hold that against you………….what is the purpose of the universe of which you are merely a part?………..

    • Unfortunately, I completely agree with you that animals at this point are much closer to God, but what does that say about the present quality of human morality? Not much. Which is exactly why we must become better people, rich in giving and charity. Otherwise we risk being de-humanized.

      • the problem is that animals are closer to god because of their lack of morality……..we have and do attempt to impose our morality on things that are natural..and end up with a distortion of the truth…now distortion is a lie…..”though shall not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil”…..in other words thou shalt not aquire morality…….just think about what the writer of this is actually attempting to say……….

      • But it was the serpent who put all of this into motion. What a chief of morality he was! 🙂 I have thought about what the writer is trying to say and the whole point of this story is that obedience to God leads to true freedom and thus, perfect morality. Neither the serpent nor Adam or Eve were obedient (nor you or I). It wasn’t until Jesus lived with perfect obedience that we sinners had someone to follow, someone to mimic. So, the more we live like Him, obedient to God’s will, the more free we become and the more moral we are.

  2. “What about you? What do you think?”

    That clearly abstinence-only education does not work if your goal is to prevent unwanted pregnancies and STDs amongst teenagers. Whether we’re animals or not (and I think we are), that much is clear.

  3. “We should teach them that abstinence works and, on top of that, let them know that there are other preventative options available to them if they are unable to show proper self-control?”

    Correct. The point is to be honest.

    Tell them that the only way to 100% avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases is to not have sex.

    However, acknowledge the fact that statistic shows a great number (perhaps even the majority) of teenagers will have sex anyway. If they intend to have sex, they should know about the other preventative options that exist. And explain that they are not 100% foolproof in all cases, but they are incredibly better than having sex with no preventative measures at all.

    My goal is to keep as many teenagers from having unwanted pregnancies or STDs. And this method would bring about the best protection. If one had some other goal in mind, then we could discuss that.

    • I completely agree with you in that we need to educate our children in regard to every option they have available to them. But the goal of my post was different, it was to encourage the sanctity of sex as opposed to the animalistic tendencies of it. I feel that other preventative options besides abstinence demean the procreative goodness of love and the innate virtue of self-control. In the end, you are right, we need to educate our children at every angle possible, but at the same time we should encourage them to do it in the way that harmonizes them with the Creator of all things.

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