Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Sexuality and scientific naturalism

In my previous post I argued that sexual research and therapy were good professions, blessed by God. To deserve such blessing, this research and therapy must be conducted in a manner that acknowledges our sexuality as a divine gift.

Naturalistic science presupposes radical materialism – the natural world of physical matter is ultimate reality. It presupposes that there is no creator God, who made the physical universe for us to enjoy. Instead, physical matter is all that really exists. As mere physical matter, it is in itself inert, passive, and lifeless. It operates according to rules that are complex but predictable. The role of science is to discover these physical rules of operation so that we can manipulate them, enhance the physical objects beyond their ‘natural’ state, and use them to ach achieve whatever we want. Naturalistic science dissects and reconstructs so as to control and dominate.

Applying this to sexual research and therapy: naturalistic science assumes that everything about sexuality can be ultimately boiled down to physics and chemistry, neurology and biology. Humans are, in the end, nothing more than complex biological machines. Love, loyalty, affection – all the personal emotions that accompany relationships, including sexual relationships – are not really real; they are merely outworkings of our biology and neurology.

Therefore, our physical bodies, and the internal operations of our will and emotions – our souls, our psyche – operates according to physical rules that are complex but predictable. Our bodies and souls are infinitely malleable according to the precision and detail of our scientific insight. The role of sexual research and therapy is therefore to dissect, reconstruct, control and dominate: to understand how our bodies and souls respond to sexual stimuli, so that we can manage and redesign our bodies and souls to do whatever we want.

The plastic surgeon and the counsellor represent the priesthood of sexual science. We think they can put us in touch with ultimate reality – the laws that our bodies and souls operate according to – so that we can manage that ultimate reality, and live healthy, happy, fulfilled lives. We end up living in a world of surgically enhanced genitalia and frequent trips to the therapist.

No comments: