Statesboro, GA, USA
Basically she said that she believes in fate, and that every single thing, bad or good that happens to her, is for a reason and was always meant to happen.
Therefore she doesnt use conrtraception AT ALL, of NO KIND. Now she is only 18, and the number of partners she has had cant be counted on both hands, toes are needed! And not once has she used protection. Perplexed by this i questioned her motives for such...ignorant behaviour, and she puts it all down to fate.
Your friend seems to be more of the mystic, while you're the pragmatist? However there's something for her to think about ... Even the ancients who believed in "fate" as a mysterious force, did not view it so deterministically. In revolt of fatalism they perpetually tried to appease the gods. There was sacrifice and other behavioral restraits to cooperate with fate, and if possible befriend it, even if the friend was shrouded in mystery. If she's going to believe in fate, I think it would be good for her to ask herself, "what IS fate anyway ... What is it's metaphysical nature?" If she's going to be the mystic, then where has the most mystical thing of all, choice, got off to? Is fate kinder to some and only cruel to others? Why? Does fate rule with the Iron scepter of arbitrary destiny, or is made of greener wood, indicating something more compatible with human life and vitality? For though I believe that the ancients didn't have it right in their self manufactured pantheon of idols, I think the perception of relational and personal necessity behind the cosmos was on the right track.
Of course, I would also tell you that I think an extreme pragmatism that shuns the "mystical" side has it's own danger of extremes. Yes I believe in choice, action, and prophyllactic control. But there IS an element of this life which is beyond our control. There's a difference between presumption and confidence. Does contraception and Birth control really eliminate the dangers of sex outside of committed monogamous marriage? It might reduce the physical dangers of STD's, but it doesn't eliminate them. So that risk is still present. Also, the idea that moral judgements should be made on the basis of personal benefit weighed against risk, is problematic. That kind of thinking is what has lead to abortion on demand, among other things. It's the "ends justifies the means" myth. The fault of that is not that it isn't absolutely true (it is), but that we cannot know by natural means what "ends" are in their totality. We are so complex and dependent, in our spiritual/ psychological/ physical makeup. And much modernity tells us that the spirit/ character/ soulish aspect is a myth that former generations held because they didn't know any better. But do we really know any better? I think the most striking evidence for this is the fact that all the while the contemporaries tell us we have no soul, we get the sneaking uneasy feeling they're right. But the malaise doesn't come from realizing that we never had souls, but from the dim awareness that somewhere, somehow, we've lost them.
I think the best approach to your friend would be to present the dual advice of considering pragmatic self-care (which you mentioned), but also to give thought of the deeper question of whether sexual promiscuity is wrong for something more than the physcial risk ... even for something more than psychological risk. The whole question of morality / spirituality is very applicable I think.
[This message has been edited by Stephanos (08-27-2004 11:10 PM).]