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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:45 am 
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Jack3 wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
gherkin wrote:

There is no way to speak clearly about a woman who remains single by choice. What does that mean, specifically?

I have in mind the case of a woman who chooses not to marry not because the family is evil, but because she does not like to be married. I do not like to eat cabbage, although it's not evil and I dont have a problem with others eating it.

:popcorn

I am sure you know there's no analogy between simple matters of taste and one's vocation. Does not like to be married...what does that mean? What is this person preferring to marriage and why? Again, if the woman is sincerely open to God's call and seeks it wholeheartedly, but finds that a suitable marriage never happens, that's one thing. But if she is placing other, lesser goods ahead of the good of marriage and family, then that's entirely different. You can't say she chooses 'a career' over family life, and that's just like you preferring cucumbers to cabbages.

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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:21 am 
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gherkin wrote:
mia.s wrote:
Wouldn't this imply that women by nature, are incomplete?

Depends very much on what you mean. Obviously, though, everyone is 'incomplete' in many senses upon conception, and human development unfolds towards completeness over a period of many years. There is a pretty clear sense in which one's reproductive organs are ordered towards a certain kind of purpose, and they have not come to completion unless they've engaged in that purpose. Of course, many of us are called by God to an even more perfect life of celibacy for the Kingdom.


If a woman is called to be a nun, and not having children makes her incomplete, why would God give her that supernatural calling? Same thing for a man becoming a priest? Say a married couple wants to have children, but through miscarriages, infertility, or other issues, they don't-- why would God do that to them, if people are going to judge them as "incomplete"? Christians don't have empathy toward those who have crosses to bear, and from what I can tell it's not edifying for most people.


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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:24 am 
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gherkin wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
gherkin wrote:

There is no way to speak clearly about a woman who remains single by choice. What does that mean, specifically?

I have in mind the case of a woman who chooses not to marry not because the family is evil, but because she does not like to be married. I do not like to eat cabbage, although it's not evil and I dont have a problem with others eating it.

:popcorn

I am sure you know there's no analogy between simple matters of taste and one's vocation. Does not like to be married...what does that mean? What is this person preferring to marriage and why? Again, if the woman is sincerely open to God's call and seeks it wholeheartedly, but finds that a suitable marriage never happens, that's one thing. But if she is placing other, lesser goods ahead of the good of marriage and family, then that's entirely different. You can't say she chooses 'a career' over family life, and that's just like you preferring cucumbers to cabbages.

Why and how is she incomplete?

And what about Josephite marriages?

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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:53 am 
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mia.s wrote:
gherkin wrote:
mia.s wrote:
Wouldn't this imply that women by nature, are incomplete?

Depends very much on what you mean. Obviously, though, everyone is 'incomplete' in many senses upon conception, and human development unfolds towards completeness over a period of many years. There is a pretty clear sense in which one's reproductive organs are ordered towards a certain kind of purpose, and they have not come to completion unless they've engaged in that purpose. Of course, many of us are called by God to an even more perfect life of celibacy for the Kingdom.


If a woman is called to be a nun, and not having children makes her incomplete, why would God give her that supernatural calling? Same thing for a man becoming a priest? Say a married couple wants to have children, but through miscarriages, infertility, or other issues, they don't-- why would God do that to them, if people are going to judge them as "incomplete"? Christians don't have empathy toward those who have crosses to bear, and from what I can tell it's not edifying for most people.

Why are you taking 'incomplete' as though saying it involved a lack of empathy? I think maybe because you are responding to 'incomplete' as though it were saying something other than what I'm using it to say, you are failing to follow my reasoning.

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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:57 am 
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Jack3 wrote:
gherkin wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
gherkin wrote:

There is no way to speak clearly about a woman who remains single by choice. What does that mean, specifically?

I have in mind the case of a woman who chooses not to marry not because the family is evil, but because she does not like to be married. I do not like to eat cabbage, although it's not evil and I dont have a problem with others eating it.

:popcorn

I am sure you know there's no analogy between simple matters of taste and one's vocation. Does not like to be married...what does that mean? What is this person preferring to marriage and why? Again, if the woman is sincerely open to God's call and seeks it wholeheartedly, but finds that a suitable marriage never happens, that's one thing. But if she is placing other, lesser goods ahead of the good of marriage and family, then that's entirely different. You can't say she chooses 'a career' over family life, and that's just like you preferring cucumbers to cabbages.

Why and how is she incomplete?

And what about Josephite marriages?
I took a quick crack at the former at a couple of places earlier in the thread.

The latter I think has the same answer as the answer about being called to priesthood or religious life. A great natural good is foregone in the pursuit of a greater supernatural good.

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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:14 am 
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gherkin wrote:
mia.s wrote:
gherkin wrote:
mia.s wrote:
Wouldn't this imply that women by nature, are incomplete?

Depends very much on what you mean. Obviously, though, everyone is 'incomplete' in many senses upon conception, and human development unfolds towards completeness over a period of many years. There is a pretty clear sense in which one's reproductive organs are ordered towards a certain kind of purpose, and they have not come to completion unless they've engaged in that purpose. Of course, many of us are called by God to an even more perfect life of celibacy for the Kingdom.


If a woman is called to be a nun, and not having children makes her incomplete, why would God give her that supernatural calling? Same thing for a man becoming a priest? Say a married couple wants to have children, but through miscarriages, infertility, or other issues, they don't-- why would God do that to them, if people are going to judge them as "incomplete"? Christians don't have empathy toward those who have crosses to bear, and from what I can tell it's not edifying for most people.

Why are you taking 'incomplete' as though saying it involved a lack of empathy? I think maybe because you are responding to 'incomplete' as though it were saying something other than what I'm using it to say, you are failing to follow my reasoning.


Telling someone they're incomplete because they haven't given birth means they are lacking, and if they are lacking then it is a defect.

I said Christians don't have empathy toward those who are lacking.


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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:27 am 
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(A) I am not telling someone she is incomplete because she has not given birth. I am answering a philosophical question on a message board.

(B) 'Defect' is an emotionally-charged term that you are introducing here.

(C) I can lack many things without being defective. For example, right now, I lack the state of standing up. That's because I'm sitting down. It doesn't make me defective. I lack the ability to speak French. It doesn't make me defective. Lacks are evidence of limitation, not necessarily of defects.

(D) Giving up a certain limited good in pursuit of a greater, spiritual, good, is clearly not a defect. A nun who is a virgin and who will never give birth is not defective. But of course she is lacking in physical motherhood. There's nothing to even argue about there.

(E) I explained in my very first post in this thread why I say that in some sense it is clearly apppropriate to think that motherhood brings a new sense of completion to a woman. I could try to explain myself more thoroughly to someone who posed rational questions or objections to what I've said.

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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:40 am 
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The OP specifically said that the question is a cultural expression in his culture, therefore it's not just a philosophical one.

You may see this as a purely philosophical exercise, but this is on a public forum where anyone can come upon it and interpret the discussion here as Catholic teaching.

The fact is plenty of women have to contend with this idea day in and day out, to their detriment.


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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:06 am 
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To better illustrate-- a woman can have a baby out of wedlock, keep it or place it in adoption, and she is more "complete" compared to a woman sacramentally married without children?


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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:56 am 
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Of course it is philosophical. The OP asked if the idea, which he has heard from various sources around him, is good and true. Cultural expression are philosophical expressions. What else would they be? They might be bad philosophy, but still.

Regarding your question, isn't the answer obvious from other things I've said in this thread? The answer is clearly: yes, in some sense. But isn't is also obvious that the answer is no, in some sense? The married woman without children is more complete in the sense of living out the vocation of wife. The mother is more complete in the sense of having nurtured and given birth to a child, and if she kept it, in the sense of having raised a child.

You are trying to attack me for simply noting what ought to be obvious to you. We're limited, each and every one of us, and every time you say yes to one thing you are saying no to everything else. That's the deal. You can't be completely complete. That's God's domain. I'm not insulting you by saying you're incomplete. I'm saying you're a human being. I'd say that's a compliment.

If you are hurting because you can't have children, I am terribly sorry for you, and you have my prayers. But the reason you are hurting is because you feel that limitation so keenly. It is that very incompleteness that is causing you such pain. It's a cross that you bear. It's NOT an insult for me to say that. If you take it as such, then that is simply your preference, and I'd suggest that it shows you are lacking in empathy towards me.

A man who pursues the marital vocation and fatherhood is clearly incomplete in the sense that he is not an ordained priest--and as we know from crystal clear Church teaching, the priestly vocation is higher than the vocation to married life. As a married man, then, by stating this fact about Church teaching, am I saying something detrimental to me as a husband and father? I've got a wife and kids, so I know those limited goods, but I do not have Holy Orders and so I will never know what it is to say the words of Consecration or the words of Absolution. What a loss! But in choosing married life, I chose not to pursue ordination. As a limited creature, I can't do everything.

As a woman, you cannot pursue ordination. Is it hurtful for me to say that? Isn't that a limitation on you? Doesn't it make you incomplete somehow?

We're all in the same boat in one way or another. We've all got our crosses to bear.

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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:14 pm 
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As a woman, it's not a limitation to not be able to pursue ordination because it literally cannot happen. I understand this because Jesus chose men to follow apostolic tradition (Fulton Sheen has a good talk on this). I am not "attacking" you, or anyone here, nor am I exerting a lack of empathy toward you nor anyone here.

Where has the Church established that people are or aren't "complete" based on their physical parental status?


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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:21 pm 
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Like I said, I'm answering a philosophical question philosophically. I'm not quoting Church teaching.

Apart from that, I think you're telling me you're not interested in thinking about what I have to say, so I'll step out of the conversation with you here.

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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:30 pm 
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I do understand-- and have read-- what you have said. I don't agree with the idea that people are "incomplete" because they haven't experienced certain aspects of a vocation, or a particular vocation at all. If people are incomplete because they don't experience something, then what does that say about their calling? It simply means they haven't experienced it. A lack of experience doesn't mean incomplete.


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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:47 pm 
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gherkin wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Why and how is she incomplete?

And what about Josephite marriages?
I took a quick crack at the former at a couple of places earlier in the thread.

I didn't understand, which is why I ask again.

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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:29 pm 
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Jack3 wrote:
gherkin wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Why and how is she incomplete?

And what about Josephite marriages?
I took a quick crack at the former at a couple of places earlier in the thread.

I didn't understand, which is why I ask again.

Can you say specifically what I'm not making clear to you? I am not sure what else I can say, unless you can point out specific stuff that you're not getting.

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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:34 pm 
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gherkin wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
gherkin wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Why and how is she incomplete?

And what about Josephite marriages?
I took a quick crack at the former at a couple of places earlier in the thread.

I didn't understand, which is why I ask again.

Can you say specifically what I'm not making clear to you? I am not sure what else I can say, unless you can point out specific stuff that you're not getting.

The specific sense in which they are incomplete. You bring in nuance about different kinds of childless people, but I don't think you've said how and why they are incomplete.

Is it that they are incomplete not because of the childlessness per se but indirectly, because of the selfishness, vanity ot hatred of the natural family that leads to it? That would make sense to me, but I get the feeling that you're getting at now than this.

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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:15 am 
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gherkin wrote:
Think of all the things that are natural to women--most specifically, being able to internally nurture a new life, then bring that life forth into the world, then feed that baby from her own resources, while teaching (with Dad, of course) the child all he needs to know--that are part of being a mother. In a very obvious sense, a woman who doesn't do those things has not fully lived out the woman's way of being.

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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:24 am 
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gherkin wrote:
gherkin wrote:
Think of all the things that are natural to women--most specifically, being able to internally nurture a new life, then bring that life forth into the world, then feed that baby from her own resources, while teaching (with Dad, of course) the child all he needs to know--that are part of being a mother. In a very obvious sense, a woman who doesn't do those things has not fully lived out the woman's way of being.

That isn't obvious to me :|

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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:31 pm 
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Why not? Where's the block? Say why you don't see some sense of incompleteness.

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 Post subject: Re: Does childbirth complete a woman?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:45 pm 
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I don't know how to put it. In simply don't see incompleteness.

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