April 4, 2011
The Bible is the greatest source of wisdom for life in all of humanity. If followed, its teaching regularly and without rival leads to human flourishing. It is important to keep this in mind, because, since the beginning of the twentieth century in the United States, current after current of alleged thought has told us to jettison scriptural teaching in favor of some recent, more updated findings. This has especially been true in the sexual revolution, which tells us that traditional biblical morality is stifling and repressive. However, if the Bible is true, one would predict that. In fact, following its teachings would lead to flourishing, and disobeying its teachings would have a deleterious effect on people.
I just finished reading Joe McIlhaney, MD, and Freda Bush’s, MD, book, Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting our Children (Northfield Publishing, 2008). So far as I know, neither author is a believer, and if he or she is, neither’s religious views form a part of his/her arguments. The thesis of the book is that, given current brain research, is it now beyond reasonable doubt that sexual promiscuity (basically, any intense sexual activity, including, but not limited to, intercourse) has a negative impact on one’s brain chemistry, one’s health, one’s ability to enjoy sex, and one’s ability to connect emotionally and relationally with someone. They argue that only in the context of traditional marriage can sexual relations be life-giving.
The book is an important read, and the findings are what one would expect if the Bible’s teachings in this area are true. People ask me why I believe the Bible. There are many reasons, but one of them is that the Bible is born out by real life, and this book is another example of that fact.
One other observation. The author’s make the claim that certain states of the brain (e.g., the release of certain chemicals) affect one’s sense of attraction for and connection with another person. Now, if we were just our brains, it would seem that such states of the brain, along with physical inputs, would actually determine these factors. But if that were so, it would seem that using irreducible semantic contents to argue for healthier sexual approaches (i.e., abstinence until marriage) would be otiose unless, of course, those semantic contents, and other irreducible mental states have a causal impact on brain chemistry. Thus, the very act of arguing their case shows that some form of at least interactionist property dualism is true. Were this not the case, then the authors should be seeking some sort of medication to alter brain chemistry in this area that would, in turn, alter behavior. Pills, not arguments, would be the order of the day.