Jason Peters has a very interesting post on C.S. Lewis, the environment, and the relationship between generations up at Front Porch Republic. What leapt out at me, though, was this passage from Lewis on contraception:
[T]here is a paradoxical, negative sense in which all possible future generations are the patients or subjects of a power wielded by those already alive. By contraception simply, they are denied existence; by contraception used as a means of selective breeding, they are, without their concurring voice, made to be what one generation, for its own reasons, may choose to prefer. From this point of view, what we call Man’s power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument. . . . All long-term exercises of power, especially in breeding, must mean the power of earlier generations over later ones.
I suppose I don’t understand the concern with contraception in the same way as many others do. I have my own doubts – and these are largely biological, that we are meddling overmuch with our natural composition (something I worry about with all kinds of drugs, treatments, etc.) – but the detriment to future generations seems a bit off. Isn’t choosing celibacy (as priests do) a similar case of an exercise of power vis a vis breeding? And isn’t there a case to be made that contraception prevents abortion and unwanted pregnancy? Maybe I’m simply not theologically savvy enough to understand the Catholic arguments against fully. Thoughts?