Sunday, May 21, 2006

J. Budziszewski quote:


On the prolongation of adolescence, JB reminds us that "Adolescence is the span of time between the biological readiness to begin a family and the moral readiness to assume its responsibilities" (p.174) and he finishes the section with this paragraph:
"The unnatural prolongation of adolescence poses a variety of moral problems. Normal erotic desire is transmuted from a spur to marriage to an incentive for promiscuity. Promiscuity thwarts the attainment of moral wisdom, and makes conjugal love itself seem unattractive. Furthermore, prolonged irresponsibility is itself a sort of training, and a bad one. Before long the entire culture is caught up in a Peter Pan syndrome, terrified of leaving childhood. At this point even the responsibilities of marriage and family begin to lose their transformative character. Men in their forties with children in their twenties say “I still don’t feel like a grown-up,” “I still can’t believe I’m a father.” Their very capacity to face the moral life has been impaired."

4 comments:

David said...

Albert Mohler did an interesting seminar on this subject, although it was full of law. It kind of hits home with us non-married thirty-somethings.

trevor said...

Are the men in their forties unwed and absent fathers? Otherwise, if it is "the unnatural prolongation of adolescence [that] poses a variety of moral problems", how could JB say of the man who begat children in his early twenties that his "very capacity to face the moral life has been impaired?" That last bit seems to be contradictory to the first.

J.P. said...

I think it's only contradictory if you assume that fathering children is correlative to "the moral readiness to assume its responsibilities." The problem is not that we don't marry and have children, it's that we don't pursue the qualities that make us fully adult because we are still too busy pursuing youthful lusts.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I had a run in with J. Budziszewski a couple years ago when he said, "Andrew, your having inappropriate relationships with women." They were not sexual, but he felt that they were "too emotionally intimate." The whole men and women cannot be "just friends."

Well, he was right and I hate(d) him for it.

However, his propensity to go the law is a little much. It leaves people (like me) asking, "And who are you again?" It's no wonder he's left Anglicanism for Rome.

Anyone else who finds themselves at a cocktail party with J. Budziszewski don't get stuck in a corner with him.

-ap