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  1. #1
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    Is Fornication Immoral?

    Morality is a very confusing topic for many people because the conflate their personal moral intuitions based on their love of self and humanity (which is the basis of true morality) with cultural norms and religious dogmas. For example, a Jew probably would feel that eating a pork chop was a real moral offense. The rest of us just laugh at such silliness. So how do we determine what is right or wrong, moral or immoral? There is only one standard: LOVE of self and others. That's it. That's what answers all moral questions.

    So what is fornication? We need to answer that before asking if it immoral or not. Here's a pretty clear definition:
    fornication [ˌfɔːnɪˈkeɪʃən]n
    1. voluntary sexual intercourse outside marriage
    2. (Law) Law voluntary sexual intercourse between two persons of the opposite sex, where one is or both are unmarried
    3. (Christian Religious Writings / Bible) Bible sexual immorality in general, esp adultery
    I highlighted definition #1 since that is the one I want to use in this discussion. The definition of fornication is dependent upon the definition of marriage. So what is marriage?
    mar·riage (mrj)n.1.
    a. The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife, and in some jurisdictions, between two persons of the same sex, usually entailing legal obligations of each person to the other.
    b. A similar union of more than two people; a polygamous marriage.
    c. A union between persons that is recognized by custom or religious tradition as a marriage.
    Again, I highlighted the words I find particularly pertinent. LEGAL. JURISDICTIONS. CUSTOM. RELIGIOUS TRADITION. Do any of those words have anything to do with morality? Nope. They are all legal/cultural/religious terms. That's what marriage is. A legal fiction. A cultural/religious tradition. And to top it off, the Bible doesn't even define "marriage" or even that it should be limited to two people. God himself gave David multiples wives.

    And there is yet one more definition we must consider before we can understand the moral status of fornication. What is sex? Is holding hands sex? Hugging? Kissing? Dry humping? Mutual masturbation? Oral sex? Or only when the penis enters the vagina? I think the answer is that sex is a continuum of showing love through physical contact. It can be degraded of course if there is no love. Then it becomes nothing but an bodily function. But even then, why should it be wrong to help another with their bodily functions? So even though there are some tangential moral questions that arise when looking at specific activities related to fornication, I cannot see anything about fornication itself that should be considered immoral.

    The final issue is "adultery" which involves lying and breaking your word. That would be immoral. But if such things are not happening when two consenting adults choose to have sex, then it is not relevant to the question of the morality of fornication.

    Conclusion: I see nothing immoral if two consenting adults choose to have sex with each other.

    I'd be very interested to know what others think.
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  2. #2
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    Before we debate on fornication, let's see what the Bible says about fornication and fornicators:

    Fornicators:
    1. 1 Corinthians 6:9
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,

    2. 1 Timothy 1:10
for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

    3. Hebrews 13:4
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.


    Fornication:
    1. Isaiah 23:17
And it shall be, at the end of seventy years, that the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her hire, and commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth.

    2. John 8:41
You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”

    3. 2 Corinthians 12:21
lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.

    4. Galatians 5:19
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

    5. Ephesians 5:3
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;

    6. Colossians 3:5
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

    7. Revelation 14:8
And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

    8. Revelation 17:2
with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

    9. Revelation 17:4
The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.

    10. Revelation 18:3
For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

    11. Revelation 18:9
[ The World Mourns Babylon’s Fall ] “The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning,

    12. Revelation 19:2
For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.”


    God Bless the Righteous.
    Ask and You shall receive,
    Seek and You shall find,
    Knock and the door will be open unto You.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Conclusion: I see nothing immoral if two consenting adults choose to have sex with each other.
    Ain't it your evil inclanation that makes you conclude that way?

    If it were that simple you even wouldn't have to bring forward the question.

    Summertime, make love in the cornfields?



    But it doesn't go by itself.

    Someone has to take the initiative.

    Be it you or your partner.

    It is usually the man, or even it is "the way of the man"

    cf. Rashi on Genesis 1:28,
    and subdue it: The“vav” [in וְכִבְשֻׁהָ is missing, [allowing the word to be read וְכִבְשָׁה, the masculine singular imperative] to teach you that the male subdues the female that she should not be a gadabout (Gen. Rabbah 8:12), and it is also meant to teach you that the man, whose way it is to subdue, is commanded to propagate, but not the woman (Yev. Yev. 65b).
    You would like to have someone like Ruth to come to you on the threshing-floor.

    But even then it's not that simple.

    Aren't you already married? (Like Ploni Almoni). Father of children? Or even grandfather?

    Your wife wouldn't consent.
    Last edited by sylvius; 07-27-2012 at 11:52 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    Before we debate on fornication, let's see what the Bible says about fornication and fornicators:

    Fornicators:
    1. 1 Corinthians 6:9
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,

    2. 1 Timothy 1:10
for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

    3. Hebrews 13:4
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.


    Fornication:
    1. Isaiah 23:17
And it shall be, at the end of seventy years, that the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her hire, and commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth.

    2. John 8:41
You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”

    3. 2 Corinthians 12:21
lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.

    4. Galatians 5:19
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

    5. Ephesians 5:3
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;

    6. Colossians 3:5
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

    7. Revelation 14:8
And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

    8. Revelation 17:2
with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

    9. Revelation 17:4
The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.

    10. Revelation 18:3
For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

    11. Revelation 18:9
[ The World Mourns Babylon’s Fall ] “The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning,

    12. Revelation 19:2
For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.”


    God Bless the Righteous.
    Thanks for the information CWH. It gives a good test to see if the morality taught in the Bible is true or not. The Bible clearly teaches fornication is a sin. Therefore, if fornication is not really immoral, the Bible will be proven wrong on this point.

    Therefore your post makes this question a lot more interesting.

    So, can you give any reason (outside the Bible) to conclude that fornication is a sin? There are many things the Bible says are wrong that you don't agree with such as eating pork. Therefore, the fact that the Bible says something is wrong doesn't mean it really is.

    I would be very interested to know if you could address the point of my post. Fornication is defined by the human institution of marriage. But human institutions are man-made and they change from culture to culture. And even in the Bible, marriage is not defined. God himself gave David many wives so polygamy cannot be a sin. And in the Bible there usually is no mention of "marriage" but merely the man "taking" the woman to be "his woman." Indeed, the word translated as "wife" in the Bible usually is just the word "woman."

    All the best,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
    Ain't it your evil inclanation that makes you conclude that way?
    That begs the question because you are assuming that fornication is "evil."

    I want to know why you think it is evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
    If it were that simple you even wouldn't have to bring forward the question.
    If what were that "simple"?

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
    But it doesn't go by itself.

    Someone has to take the initiative.

    Be it you or your partner.

    It is usually the man, or even it is "the way of the man"

    cf. Rashi on Genesis 1:28,
    and subdue it: The“vav” [in וְכִבְשֻׁהָ is missing, [allowing the word to be read וְכִבְשָׁה, the masculine singular imperative] to teach you that the male subdues the female that she should not be a gadabout (Gen. Rabbah 8:12), and it is also meant to teach you that the man, whose way it is to subdue, is commanded to propagate, but not the woman (Yev. Yev. 65b).
    So Rashi was a sexist rabbi. That's almost as surprising as discovering the Pope is Catholic.

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
    You would like to have someone like Ruth to come to you on the threshing-floor.

    But even then it's not that simple.
    What are you talking about?

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
    Aren't you already married? (Like Ploni Almoni). Father of children? Or even grandfather?

    Your wife wouldn't consent.
    Your comment is irrelevant. We're not talking about adultery.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    That begs the question because you are assuming that fornication is "evil."
    I didn't say that fornication is evil.

    But that it is your "evil inclination" that says there is nothing wrong with it.





    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    If what were that "simple"?
    To have "extra-marital" sex.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    So Rashi was a sexist rabbi.
    That's what you make of it, or what your "sexist mind" makes of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    What are you talking about?
    About having fun in the grainfields.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Your comment is irrelevant. We're not talking about adultery.
    So only the unmarried can enjoy free sex?

    But sexual ïntercourse is already kind of marriage.

  7. #7
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    There is a joke that says that every time that Adam returned home the first thing Eve did was count his ribs.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
    There is a joke that says that every time that Adam returned home the first thing Eve did was count his ribs.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
    I didn't say that fornication is evil.

    But that it is your "evil inclination" that says there is nothing wrong with it.
    If it is my "yetzer hara" that says there is nothing wrong with it, then you are implying that there is something wrong with it. Maybe not "evil" but wrong. Immoral. Is that what you were trying to say? It would help if your put out a little more effort to make your posts understandable.

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
    To have "extra-marital" sex.
    Exactly. And that is "adultery." It has nothing to do with fornication (the topic of this thread).

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
    That's what you make of it, or what your "sexist mind" makes of it.
    I think you have a reading comprehension problem. It is not "my" mind that is sexist. It is the comment by Rashi that is totally sexist. He said that men are supposed to "subdue" women.

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
    About having fun in the grainfields.
    What are you talking about?

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
    So only the unmarried can enjoy free sex?
    That would depend upon what promises you made when you got married. Some married folks have "open marriages" in which they allow each other to have sex with others. But again, you are confusing fornication with adultery. Those are two entirely different subjects.

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
    But sexual ïntercourse is already kind of marriage.
    I used to think of sexual intercourse as implying marriage. Indeed, the act is called the "consummation of marriage." The two become "one flesh."
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I think that''s why she is "ezer k'negdo" , helpmate opposite him.

    Genesis 2:20,
    And Adam named all the cattle and the fowl of the heavens and all the beasts of the field, but for Adam he did not find a helpmate opposite him.


    Rashi on Genesis 2:23,
    This one this time: This teaches us that Adam came to all the animals and the beasts [in search of a mate], but he was not satisfied until he found Eve. — [from Yev. 63a]
    Adam had enjoyed free sex with all the animals.
    With Eve this came to an end, Eve didn't allow.

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