Moral Education about Sex
To the Editor:
In contemporary society, the most glaring assaults on intrinsic moral worth and dignity are a result of popular sexual attitudes and behavior, as Gracie Hsu's article, "Revolt of the Virgins," suggested [December 1996, p. 48].
For too many, sex is simply a plaything or a tool to enhance one's popularity or to alleviate one's doubts about one's masculinity or femininity. For such people, sex--instead of being the communion of life and love within the sacrament of marriage--simply is a tool of masturbatory and voyeuristic gratification.
Clearly, then, we must teach young people to behave as good human beings and not like animals. We must let them know that they possess the God-given ability to develop purity of heart, mind, and soul; they must learn that, when we truly love someone, we must remain pure until giving of ourselves selflessly and lovingly within the sacrament of marriage.
By remaining pure until marriage we never will have to feel ashamed of past indiscretions, nor will we have to feel ashamed of looking into the eyes of our husbands and wives. If we were unfaithful to our spouses before marriage, will we possess the strength and nobility of mind, spirit, and character to remain faithful to them after marriage?
Haven Bradford Gow
Food and Nonrenewable Resources
To the Editor:
"The Myth of Global Hunger" by Dennis Avery [January 1997, p. 94] reminds one of the technologist in a dark room feeling the tail of an elephant, then declaring discovery of a new species of snake with hairy skin. Failure to acknowledge depletion of nonrenewable resources, upon which the breadbaskets of the world depend, invalidates the article's conclusions.
The photograph, on page 98, of a diesel-powered tractor spraying pesticides on a soybean field is a bit of macabre humor--petroleum being the source of both pesticides and tractor power. Many estimates have world petroleum production reaching its peak sometime between the years 2000 and 2020. A visit to Web page www.aloha.net/-jhanson would uncover for the "inquiring mind" a host of pertinent references.
The myth of technology, so prevalent these days, is a topical ointment alleviating the itch but not treating the core problem. Technology has indeed proved Lester Brown too pessimistic in the near time frame, just as extraction of nonrenewable resources, not envisioned by Malthus, has only delayed his prediction of mass starvation, not proved him wrong.
My faith rests in the second law of thermodynamics (entropy increases), not faith in technology and the linear extrapolations of past progress favored by its proponents. Experimental determination of the limits of population on the planet Earth is a high-risk endeavor reminiscent of the old teenage auto game of "chicken. …