On Slater Young: Sexual Fantasy and Christian Morality

By Lance Patrick C. Enad

About three weeks before the Slater Young turmoil broke out, an interesting debate came out in YouTube between Matt Frad, a Catholic influencer and Dennis Prager, an Orthodox Jew pundit. In the debate, Prager argued that it was not in se immoral to sexually fantasize about persons or to view pornography (PROVIDED that no exploitation was involved, e.g., “annnimated”) so long as this was not acted out as immoral sexual behavior. This is because the ethics of the Law of Moses is in principle, behavioral. Frad, however, argued that such was inherently immoral using of course the words of Christ in Mathew 5:28 and arguing that pornography damages the individual and contributes exploitation (which although relevant, is really a slippery-slope argument), a position mainly based on Catholic Morality.

At the outset, it was too bad that Frad, as he admitted, was not able to argue as well as he could have and was constantly caught off guard by the sharp mind of Prager. The debate left the impression that Dennis Prager seemed like the Ethics of Ancient Philosophy (perhaps Aristotle) without the Christian Faith while Frad represented Moral Theology (though he wasn’t able to argue very well).

Interestingly, in the said debate, Prager made a distinction between lust and sexual desire, but that’s not relevant as of the moment. Nonetheless, it does bring to the table some interesting questions in ethics and moral philosophy as well as some distinctions between moral theology (or Christian ethics).

Christ, in Mt 5:28, said that “whoever looks at a woman lustfully commits adultery in his heart.” However, it is important to note that He preceded this with the phrase that “However, this I say to you.” This notes that before he gave this new interpretation of the Law of Moses (or to be theologically consistent, perfected the Law), this was not how it was interpreted. Hence, Sexual Thoughts only began to be recognized to be sinful when Christ revealed them to be so. In other words, sexual thoughts are only sinful in Christian Ethics or in Moral Theology but not in Moral Philosophy. This is because the law of Moses which is the interpretation of the Ten Commandments, are the privileged expression of Natural Moral Law or Moral Law without yet the light of Christian Faith, hence, Christ gave the Beatitudes in his ethical teachings to supplement the Ten Commandments (a subject perhaps more appropriate on another article about a Christian Gentleman).

Thus, just as pride is a virtue in the moral philosophy of Aristotle but a sin in the moral theology of Thomas Aquinas, Sexual Fantasy insofar as natural moral philosophy is concerned, not inherently wrong (although it can be under certain circumstances such as exploitation) but is only a sin in Christian Morality.

In short, insofar as Moral Philosophy is concerned, there is nothing wrong with Slater Young’s statement about men fantasizing about women, so long as this does not involve trafficking or abuse or other such circumstances. Slater Young’s statement is only wrong for those who hold to Christian Morality, who profess faith in Christ. Slater seems to be, at best, a cultural catholic  rather than a devout one, though rooting for him to be so.

The funny thing however, is this: will those (especially the woke mob) who strongly reacted against Slater Young’s statement on the basis of Christian Morality be also willing to profess the other tenets of Christian Morality on perhaps abortion, homosexuality, divorce, etc. and not just cherry pick? Christian Morality goes beyond the observance of natural law but is calls even further into self-sacrificing love as expressed in the Beatitudes.

Lance Patrick Enad, A Cebuano in Manila, Bachelor of Philosophy, Student of Theology.