A Philosophical Argument for Masturbation
January 27, 2009
We welcome this guest post offering a fresh perspective on the goodness of masturbation. God has given us the power of reason to guide us in recognizing His path for us. This post uses philosophical reasoning to explain the value of masturbation as a tool to help us glorify God. Please also see our earlier article on Masturbation: God's Great Gift to Us.
Masturbation decreases rather than increases vice.
Objection 1: Masturbation is a squandering of human time and physical energy that could otherwise be used for Godly worship, self-improvement, or good works.
Objection 2: Masturbation inflames carnal lusts, leading to worse sexual vices.
Objection 3: As an indulgence of physical appetite, masturbation encourages indulgence of other appetites, such as gluttony.
On the contrary, commission of vices requires time, energy, and motivation or desire. That which occupies time and energy preempts vice in the present, while that which extinguishes motivation or desire prevents the commission of vices in the future. As masturbation fulfils both these criteria, it results in a sum reduction of vice.
I answer that, masturbation diminishes vice by eliminating both opportunity and motivation to indulge in certain vicious activities. He who masturbates is therefore, on the whole, less likely to commit various vices.
Reply to Objection 1: It is said that idle hands are the devil's workshop. Insofar as masturbation occupies the onanist, it prevents him from engaging in vicious or destructive acts.
Reply to Objection 2: Rather than inflaming carnal lust, masturbation dissipates it by a harmless release of sexual tensions. In doing so, it removes, rather than proliferates, the driving force that motivates acts of sexual vice.
Reply to Objection 3: Pent up libido will seek relief through other channels, and without the relief of masturbation, might well find its expression through the satiation of other appetites such as gluttony, gambling, and other material vices.
Masturbation is a salutary use of the reproductive organs and does not conflict with reproductive sex.
Objection 1: Masturbation enervates the sexual organs.
Objection 2: In the male, masturbation wastes sperm that would otherwise be used for conception.
Objection 3: By providing an alternative release of sexual energies, masturbation cheapens and may even diminish the physical gratification to be found in reproductive intercourse.
On the contrary, regular use of a muscle or organ strengthens it, preserves ongoing functioning, and keeps it at the ready for functioning. If a limb or organ in the body is not used, it gradually withers away and loses sense or function. It stands that our reproductive organs should be no exception.
I answer that masturbation primes the sexual organs for use in reproductive sex and increases the chances of sexual intercourse resulting in conception by increasing the health of those organs and their issue. Additionally, by making one aware of the erogenous capabilities of the sexual organs, masturbation better prepares one for having a positive experience in partnered, procreative sex.
Reply to Objection 1: Masturbation exercises the sexual organs and assures that they are in good working order. It prevents stagnation of fluids and atrophy of tissues, and in the male, increases the quality of sperm by stimulating the production of fresh gametes.
Reply to Objection 2: Science has shown that regular and frequent ejaculations increase the quality of a male's sperm by stimulating the production of fresh and healthy gametes. Therefore men who masturbate regularly are more likely to father a child. Thusly, the spilt semen is but a sacrifice toward a more favorable chance of achieving conception.
Reply to Objection 3: Especially in the case of women, by demonstrating the range of possible sexual pleasure that one is capable of experiencing, masturbation encourages one to enter into a sexual relationship with confidence in one's own sexuality, and with the expectation of a positive experience.
Masturbation makes a positive contribution to human society.
Objection 1: Masturbation is most often a solitary, private and antisocial act, and is therefore contrary to human interaction and community.
Objection 2: As a act of self-gratification and self-indulgence, masturbation encourages selfishness and promotes the tendency to put one's own needs first above others'.
Objection 3: As a form of self-love, masturbation engenders narcissism, pride, and self-regard, which are detrimental to forming human relationships.
On the contrary, a solitary act directed towards oneself can nevertheless have positive repercussions for the individual's communal interactions and relationships, insofar as it improves the individual's disposition toward others.
I answer that through masturbation, an individual comes to be in a superior position to contribute to society through increased goodwill and capacity for healthy interpersonal bonds.
Reply to Objection 1: Masturbation is an activity in which all sexually mature humans may engage, therefore it can serve as a commonality upon which to build understanding amongst those of differing nationalities, viewpoints, etc.
Reply to Objection 2: After engaging in masturbation, an individual will be in a relaxed, fulfilled, and pleasant mood, and therefore more apt to extend charity and good will toward others.
Reply to Objection 3: The act of masturbation can give a sense of mastery, self-confidence, and ownership of one's body. Healthy self-esteem and a clear sense of self are necessary for healthy emotional bonds.