Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,649 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Is Non-Creation the Same as Saving a Life?

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Dec 05, 2006

OK, so you don’t have any idea what this headline means. It comes from a bumper sticker I saw this morning on my way to Mass: “My cat saves lives. It’s spayed!” Presumably this means that if there are too many cats in the world, more of them will be killed and discarded. Therefore, as night follows day, failing to reproduce saves lives.

There is another sense in which failing to reproduce saves lives, of course. This is the parsimonious sense of not spreading lives around needlessly. If lives are somehow stored up inside us, isn’t it a shame to squander them? Let’s save them for a rainy day. But, of course, lives are not stored up inside of us. We have the marvelous power to procreate new persons out of God’s grace and our own renewable resources. When a new person is created, it has the gift of life. Before that, this life does not exist.

Lives are not interchangeable. Each life is unique to an unrepeatable person (or, for that matter, an unrepeatable cat). I have heard it argued that contraception is a more grievous sin than murder because it prevents a new and immortal person from coming into existence, whereas murder kills only the body. This may be stretching the point, but even if the point shouldn’t be stretched, it is a point.

And the point is this: We don’t save lives by neutering our cats, or ourselves. We prevent them. I don't know about cats but, for people, that's a terrible waste.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($124,738 to go):
$150,000.00 $25,262.05
83% 17%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Church Moves On, Slowly October 24
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? October 24
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6