693. Are the human laws and customs that have been established for the purpose of placing obstacles in the way of reproduction contrary to the laws of nature?
“Whatever hinders the operations of nature is contrary to the general law.”
– But there are many species of living beings, animal and vegetable, the unlimited reproduction of which would be hurtful to other species, and would soon be destructive of the human race. Is it wrong for man to arrest their reproduction?
“God has given to man, over all the other living beings of his globe, a power which he ought to use for the general good, hut not to abuse. He may regulate reproduction according to his needs; hut he ought not to hinder it unnecessarily. The intelligent action of mankind is a counterpoise established by God for restoring the equilibrium of the forces of nature; and herein, again, man is distinguished from the animals, because he does this understandingly, while the animals, that also concur in maintaining this equilibrium, do so unconsciously, through the instinct of destruction which has been given to them, and which causes them, while providing for their own preservation only, to arrest the excessive development of the animal and vegetable species on which they feed, and which would otherwise become a source of danger.”
694. What is to be thought of usages intended to arrest reproduction in the interest of sensuality?
“They prove the predominance of the body over the soul. and show how deeply man has plunged himself in matter.”
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